FirebrandX's Blog


    • Modern Correspondence Chess from the Inside Out:

      What is ICCF?The International Correspondence Chess Federation is the world governing body on officially-rated correspondence chess games. There are delegates from many countries that promote their own national or international ICCF tournaments &a... | Read More

      • FirebrandX
      • | Mar 1, 2016
      • | 1130 views
      • | 6 comments
    • 19th USA Correspondence Chess trophy:

      The trophy arrived from the ICCF-US offices today. Here's a pic of it: | Read More

      • FirebrandX
      • | Jan 22, 2014
      • | 1950 views
      • | 9 comments
    • Winning the 19th USA CC Championship

      After three years of work in the semis and the final, I managed to secure 1st place of the 19th USA CC Championship on June 30th, 2013. Below are some selected games I played in the event with detailed annotations, including notes on opening theor... | Read More

      • FirebrandX
      • | Jul 2, 2013
      • | 2512 views
      • | 8 comments
    • Choosing an heirloom chess set

      For years I've been playing on roll-up boards and plastic club pieces. I decided it was long past due that I invest in a serious wooden set that any master would be pleased to play on in a high-stakes game. First was the issue of pieces. There ar... | Read More

      • FirebrandX
      • | May 15, 2013
      • | 7061 views
      • | 13 comments
    • The Petroff Debate:

      While it's been pretty well known the Petroff is an effective defense for holding the draw, I've long held the stance that it is even more effective in computer assisted or 'centaur' games. I didn't just decide this out of the blue, but rather I c... | Read More

      • FirebrandX
      • | Oct 6, 2012
      • | 2084 views
      • | 6 comments
    • New chess book cover art:

      Coming out soon is John Watson's new book on a complete repertoire for white involving 1.d4 and 2.c4. I'm very excited to read this new book when it comes out, and I was honored once again to do the cover art for it. This time, we decided a milit... | Read More

      • FirebrandX
      • | Apr 10, 2012
      • | 1515 views
      • | 1 comment
    • Are computers closing in on solving chess?

      The title may be a little extreme, but I got very curious about the concept. I chose to use ICCF games to get a solid pool of computer-enhanced game results. The arrival of multi-core computers and ever-stronger software like Rybka and Houdini ... | Read More

      • FirebrandX
      • | Dec 1, 2011
      • | 2442 views
      • | 4 comments
    • Winning an ICCF game with ZERO analysis:

      On ICCF where deep engine analysis drives most of your opponents' moves, it becomes paramount to be well-prepared in the opening. My own method is to create a database of all ICCF games played (they can be downloaded from the ICCF main web site). ... | Read More

      • FirebrandX
      • | Sep 30, 2011
      • | 6955 views
      • | 27 comments
    • Tournament Blitz: Openings & Timing

      I started playing 3-minute blitz tournaments over at another online site where you pay an entry fee in the form of cubits, hoping to take the top prize of nearly triple your entry fee. This adds intensity and pressure to perform well, actively ... | Read More

      • FirebrandX
      • | Mar 24, 2011
      • | 1496 views
      • | 0 comments
    • A total one-sided thrashing

      I didn't have the benefit of learning chess as a child. Instead, I picked up the game well into my adult years. As a result, I'm far too slow to play bullet to my own expectations of skill now that I'm nearing 40. 5-min blitz on the other hand,... | Read More

      • FirebrandX
      • | Mar 11, 2011
      • | 984 views
      • | 0 comments