I have some older chess playing friends. Some of them are now looking forward to retirement. And like so many soon-to-be-retirees they are thinking of moving to places where they can enjoy their hobbies and skills full time.
So, here is a list of potential retirement locations for my older, chess playing friends:
First the easy ones to locate.
QUEENS [n. a borough in the city of New York. After all, having more than one queen is usually better than having just one.]
If that location is not big enough, then one can choose the following:
QUEENSLAND [n. a state comprising the northeastern part of Australia.]
Of course, many players would prefer the king.
KINGSTOWN [n. the capital, chief port, and main commercial center of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.]
KING’S CANYON [n. a National park in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, US.]
KINGS CROSS [n. a district in Central London, England.]
KING CITY [n. a city in California.]
And if a chess player really enjoys a king hunt, then this might be the place:
KINGSBURY [n. a district of northwest London in the borough of Brent.]
KINGSBURY [n. a suburb in Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.]
Interesting that some players really, really like their bishops. In which case, they may decide on moving to:
BISHOP [n. a city in Inyo County, California, and Nueces County, Texas. If you decide to live both, you may want to have different colored houses, say one being White, and the other Black. But that’s up to you!]
Now, here are the harder ones.
Finding a city named simply Knight has proven impossible to find. But the German word for Knight is Springer.
And there are many Springer Streets in the United States Most of them are in residential areas where one can rent or buy.
If that is not enough for a player who loves putting his knight on e5 (or K5 in descriptive), he may enjoy living here:
KNIGHTS LANDING [n. a city of Yolo County, California.]
Finding a city simply named ROOK has also been impossible to find. But a ROOK DRIVE exists in Huntington Beach.
For more than a street, one might try CASTLE CITY MOBILE HOME PARK, a Senior Retirement living location in Newcastle, CA. It sounds like a perfect fit for elderly and still active chess players.
And one can still live in a castle in Europe. If he is willing to travel a bit and spend a lot more.
In Green Bay, WI, there is a PAWN DRIVE,
and a PAWN AVENUE in Quincy, IL,
but strangely, there doesn’t seem to be a pawn shop on those streets.
A fun game to play over. More fun if you are White!
What is the Borg? For Star Trek aficionados, they are an evil group of aliens who kidnap indigenous and sentient life forms and enslave them by use of electronic and computer implants.
But for the chess player, it is a dangerous, reply by Black against 1.e4. And when we say dangerous, we mean dangerous for Black, not White.
What makes this opening so bad for Black?
First of all, White can open the game with 1.g4 and Black can’t stop that move. But Black can really only play this move after 1.e4 (Both 1.d4 g5? 2.Bxg5 and 1.Nf3 g5? 2.Nxg5 quickly loses the game for Black).
Secondly, no one have ever claimed that 1.g4 is a good move. And it’s even worse when it is played a move behind for the following reason:
Thirdly, the move 1.g4 severely weakens White and since Black is a move behind, his reply 1…g5 weakens him even more.
But how did Black’s opening 1.e4 g5 get the name, Borg? Well, the move 1.g4 is known as Grob’s Opening. And Borg is Grob spelled backwards.
But this name only took hold after Star Trek, The New Generation introduced the Borg in an episode titled, “Q Who?”, which aired on May 8, 1989.
18.Nxf7+ Kc8 19.Nd6+!! (Much better than taking the rook and losing the initiative. Keep the enemy king on the run!) 19… Kd8 20.Qg5+ Nf6 21.Qxf6+ Kd7 22.Qf7+ Kd8 23.Nc4 Qxb2+ 24.Kxb2 b5 25.Bd6 a3+ 26.Kb1 bxc4 27.Qc7+ Ke8 28.Qe7mate 1-0
Alan R. LeCours-Richard Pugh New York Ch. Kerhonkson, Aug. 31 2003 1.e4 g5 2.d4 e5?! 3.d5 d6 4.Nc3 g4 5.Be3 Nf6 6.Qd2 Nbd7 7.O-O-O Rg8 8.Bd3 a6 9.Nge2 Nc5 10.Ng3 Bd7 11.Kb1 b5 12.Nce2 a5 13.c3 b4 14.c4 a4 15.Nc1 c6 16.f3 Qa5 17.Rhe1 Nb3 18.axb3 a3 19.bxa3 (19…Qxa3 20.Qa2, and White keep his extra piece.) 1-0
Escalante-“Chsstrrrst” (1637) Blitz Game chess.com, Jan. 16 2021 1.e4 g5 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.Bxg5 Qb6 5.Qc1= [The chess.com computer says this is an error and suggests the sharper 5.c4, and then the question becomes, can Black reasonably take the b2-pawn with his Queen?
5…Qxb2 6.Nd2, White’s best move, and now:
6…Qxd4?! 7.Ngf3 +/- Qg4 8.cxd5!, and the position between +/- and +- for White.
6…cxd4 7.Bxc4, and White has the advantage.
6…Nc6 7.Rb1 Qxa2 8.Ngf3, and there should be an infinity sign here (which means an unclear position, but I can’t upload that symbol here).]
6.cxd4 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Bd3 Bg4 8.Nbd2 O-O-O 9.O-O f6 10.exf6 exf6 11.Bf4 h5 12.h3 Bd7 13.Nh4 Nh6? (Better is 13…Ne5 as the move not only stops Ng6, but White can’t open the c-file with c4.) 14.Ng6 +/- Bg7 15.Nxh8 Rxh8 16.Nf3 Nf5 17.Re1 Nb4 18.Qd2 Nxd3 19.cxd3! (Finally, opening the c-file and Black is ill equipped to defend his isolated king on that file.) 19…h4
If Black chooses to ignore the Bxg5 threat, he might also want to counter-attack. And he occasionally succeeds.
IM Craig W. Pritchett-IM Michael J. Basman Great Britain Ch. Southampton, England, 1986 1.e4 g5 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c5!? (This is an interesting, and possibly even a good, move.) 4.d5 h6 5.h4?! (This is possibly where White starts to go wrong. The position is closed and he should not open it up so soon.) 5…gxh4 6.Nf3 d6 7.Nxh4 Nd7 8.Nf5 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Ne5 10.Bb5+ Kf8 11.Be2 Qa5 12.Kf1 Bxf5 13.exf5 Nf6 14.Rxh6 Kg7 15.Rxh8 Rxh8 16.Kg1 Qxc3 17.Rb1 Ne4 18.Bh5 Qd4 19.Be3 Qxd1+ 20.Bxd1 Nc3 21.Ra1 Nxd5 22.Bc1 b5 23.Bb2 f6 24.Rb1 b4 25.Be2 Nf4 26.Bf1 Rh5 27.Bxe5 fxe5 28.g4 Rg5 29.f3 Kf6 30.a3 a5 31.axb4 axb4 32.Bc4 d5 33.Bf1 Rg8 34.Ra1 Rb8 35.Ra6+ Kg5 36.Ra7 c4 37.Rxe7 b3 38.cxb3 cxb3 0-1
But if White remains flexible, he can often take the pawn and still have enough pieces and space to engineer an attack. There is also the issue of Black trying to win the b2-pawn with his queen.
Vladimir Petrienko-Jan Svatos Trimex Open Pardubice, Czech Republic, 1992 1.e4 g5 2.d4 Bg7 3.Bxg5 c5 4.Be3 Qb6 5.Nc3 (Again, we have the question about Black taking the b-pawn with his queen. The biggest counter-threat from White is of course, Nd5. So, again, is it worth for Black to take the b-pawn? According to result of this game, the answer is No.)
This week is Robert Rowley’s birthday! He was born Jan. 12 1950, earned his FM title and won the Arizona State Chess Championship a total of eleven times.
Many of his game are based on sound play and tactics making them enjoyable, and understandable, for beginning and intermediate players.
Let’s look a couple of his games.
Robert Rowley-IM Jeremy Silman World Open Philadelphia, 1990 [Escalante] 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 b5 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.O-O Be7
[Also interesting is 5…c5!? GM Ulf Andersson-Ivar Bern, corres., Norwegian 50-Year Postal Jubilee, 1995/6, continued with 6.Bg5 Na6 7.Na3 Nc7 8.c4 b4 9.Nc2 a5 10.e4!! Bxe4 11.Re1 Bxc2 12.Qxc2 cxd4 13.Nxd4 Ra6 (Here Ulf was ready to introduce another nasty tactical trick. 13…Rb8 14.Nc6 dxc6 15.Bxc6+ Ke7 16.Rad1 Qc8 17.Qd2 and the threat of 18.Qd6mate and 18.Qe3! are decisive.) 14.Rad1 h6 15.Bxf6 Qxf6 16.Qa4 Bc5 17.Nxe6! (White’s enormous pressure had to be released somehow.) 17…Bxf2+ 18.Kh1 Rxe6 (Or 18…Nxe6 19.Qxd7+ Kf8 20.Qc8+ with a mate in two.) 19.Qxd7+ Kf8 20.Rxe6 Qxe6 21.Qxc7 g6 22.Rf1 (Ivar Bern decided to save his stamps due to 22…Bb6 23.Qb7 f5 24.Rd1 and the treat 25.c5 puts a period to Andersson’s little masterpiece.) 1-0 – notes to this game by Inside Chess.]
6.Qd3 a6 7.c4 bxc4 8.Qxc4 O-O 9.Nc3 Qc8!? (This move does have other purposes other than protecting the b7-bishop. It takes the queen out of the possible pin after Bg5 and supports queenside play. Finally, Black is not committed to …d6, even though that is the right move for the d-pawn. He can still …d5 if the position warrants it.)10.Bg5 d6(Well, there goes the ..d5 plans.) 11.Rac1 Nbd7 12.Na4 Bd8 13.Nd2 Bxg2 14.Kxg2 Rb8 15.Qc6 Rb4 16.Rc4 Rxc4 17.Nxc4 Be7 18.Rc1 Nb8 19.Ncb6 Nxc6 20.Nxc8 Rxc8 21.Rxc6 h6 22.Bxf6 Bxf6 23.e3 a5 24.b3 Bd8 25.Kf3 Ra8 26.Nc3 Kf8 27.e4 Ke7 28.Ke3 Kd7 29.d5 f5 30.f3 fxe4 31.fxe4 Bg5+ 32.Kd3 Rf8 33.Nb5 Bd8 34.Nd4 exd5 35.exd5 Rf1 36.Rc2 Rd1+ 37.Kc4 Bf6 38.Nc6 Re1 39.a4 h5 40.b4 (40.Nxa5 works just as good, and perhaps a little better than the text, in creating an a-pawn passer.) 40…axb4 41.Nxb4 Ra1 42.Kb5 Bd4 43.a5 Bc5 44.Nc6 Rd1 45.Kc4 Re1 46.a6 Re8 47.Ra2 Kc8 48.Kb5 Bb6 49.Ra4 g5 50.h4 g4 51.Rf4 Rh8 52.Rf5 Bc5 53.Kc4 Bg1 54.Kd3 Bh2
55.Rf1 1-0 (As Rb1 and Rb8 cannot be stopped.)
Rowley-Hurdle Phoenix FIDE Futurity Arizona, 1980 [Hurdle, “Games from the Phoenix FIDE Futurity”, Chess Life, Aug. 1981] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Nbd7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Nxe5 9.Bf4! (A move that appears to refute this variation – Escalante.)
9…Nfd7 (Moving the knight on e5 is embarrassing after Nbd5.) 10.Bb5 Bg7 11.Qe2 O-O 12.O-O-O a6 13.Bxd7 (Any retreat by this Bishop allows Black to begin his attack with …b5. Very interesting is 13.Bxe5 Nxe5 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.Rxd8 Rfxd8 where Black has Rook, Bishop, and pawn plus pressure for the Queen. The position would be fairly equal but Black can improve with 13.Bxe5 Bxe5 14.Bxd7 Bf4+, keep the pawn.) 13…Nxd7 14.Bg5 Qb6! 15.Qxe7! Bxd4 16.Rxd4 Qxd4 17.Bh6 Qf6 (Now White is down an entire Rook but he has all the play. This is the critical position of the game, and perhaps 17…b5 wins. If 18.Rd1 Qf6 19.Bxf8 Qf4+ 20.Kb1 Nxf8 21.Rd8 Bb7 22.Qxf8#. So perhaps 21…Qh6 22.Nd5 Bb7 23.Nf6+ Kh8 24.Qxf7 Qg7 and Black holds. Rowley suggested 21.Nd5! Qh6 22.Nf6+ Kh8 23.Qe4!, and then 23…Rb8 24.Qe5 Ra8 25.Qd4, in either case setting up a winning discovery. Of course, Black could abandon the Rook and counter attack the Knight. For example, 23…Ra7 24.Qd4 Qg7 25.Qxa7 Qxf6 and it’s still a hard fight. Back to the game.) 18.Bxf8 Qf4+ 19.Kb1 Nxf8 20.Nd5 Qf5 (Defending the Bishop. If Black tries 20…Qh6?, then 21.Nb6 Rb8 22.Qc7 leads to disaster on the Queenside.) 21.Nf6+ Kg7 22.Ne8+ Kg8 1/2-1/2
The game which has been described as a game of skill, where players rely on memory, tactics, long winded strategies, good moves, and healthy diet (it helps – believe me), leaving nothing to chance or clairvoyance, does allow, and sometimes even encourage, supernatural intervention. (I have seen players pray before a game.)
Before we start, let me introduce you to Caïssa, the goddess of chess, who showers her favors on prodigies and like Nike (the goddess of victory), occasionally smiles on lower rated.
No one has ever seen Caïssa, but she is around, esp. when chess is being played. Here is one interpretation, but she can also be found on the chessboard itself.
Now it is possible for both players to error in a game. And yet one player still emerges with a win. The goddess always wants to reward the player who willing to take a chance.
“createsure”-Escalante Thematic Tournament – Practice The French (U1900) – Round 2 chess.com, 2020/1 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.exd5 exd5 (A cross between the Tarrasch and the Exchange variations of the French. It gives White a small advantage and is usually played when one is content with a draw.) 5.Bd3 Bd6 6.Ne2 O-O 7.O-O Re8 8.c4 c6 9.Re1 Bxh2+?! (I was hoping for a quick win here with the classical bishop sac on the kingside. However, this move is an error as White has some very beneficial knights to keep his king safe.) 10.Kxh2 Ng4+ 11.Kg3!
[And Black is facing the prospect of a quick loss after a bad sacrifice and a pair of equally bad hallucinations. Obviously moving back to g1 leads to an early mate. But this is the illusion. White wins after 11.Kg1 Qh4 12.Nf3 Qxf2+ 13.Kg1, with the idea of Rf1. I had considered 11.Kg3 and knew it was usually a bad king move as it leads directly to a fun king hunt for the attacking player. I didn’t consider the move was worth studying. But I should have! 11…Qd6+ leads to either 12.f4 Re3+ 13.Kh4 Qh6#, or the better 12.Nf4! Rxe1 (else 13.Rxe8+) 13.Qxe1g5 14.Qe8+ Kg7 and it is White who wins after 15.Nb3.] 11…Qg5 (Now the values of 12.f4 and 12.Nf4 switch places. 12.Nf4 is not good because 12…Ne3+ 13.Kf3 Bg4+ 14.Kg3 Bxd1+ 15.Kh2 Qxf4+ 16.g3 Qxf2+. But 12.f4 Re3+ 13.Nf3 wins!) 12.Qb3?? (White, after facing the threats, both real and illusionary, unbelievably blunders, and allows Black to finish the game with ease.) 12…Ne3+ -+ 13.Kf3 Qg4mate 0-1
Gods and goddesses have always encouraged not just good behavior, but also good health.
In the following game, my inebriated opponent came to the board red-eyed and reeking of alcohol. It didn’t help him, but it helped in keeping me awake as I find alcohol disagreeable in smell, in taste and by ingestion. Did I mention this was a night game?
Gomez Baillo-Escalante US Open Los Angeles, CA 1991 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.d4 exd4 11.Nxd4 Nxd4 12.cxd4 Be6 13.Nc3 c6 14.Qh5?! (Does White actually believe his premature queen sortie is going to lead to a quick mate? Maybe the alcohol is taking it’s toll as my opponent is playing about 200 pints below his rating. I have a reasonable excuse for my weaker moves; I am 200 points below my opponent’s rating. But I’m sober and that is an advantage in chess.) 14…Qd7!? (Black could play 14…Nf6, but I like my knight just where it is!) 15.Nxd5 (It stands to reason that if I like my knight just where it is, then my opponent does not like my knight where it is. Black has a slight disadvantage.) 15…cxd5 16.Bc2 g6 17.Qe5?! (17.Qe2 was better.) 17…Bd6 (With this simple move, Black now gains a slight advantage.) 18.Qg5 Be7 19.Qh6 (White is fixated on a kingside mating strategy. Tunnel vision helps see deep in a position. But this is not the only part of the board. Other ideas and strategies are emerging.) 19…Bf6 20.Bg5 Bg7 21.Qh4 Bf5 22.Rac1 Rac8 23.Bxf5 Rxc1 24.Rxc1 Qxf5 25.g4 Qe4 26.Be3 Bxd4 27.Bh6 Re8 28.Bg5 Bxb2 29.Qh6 Bxc1 (Black misses 29.Qxg4+! -+. But he finds it the next move.) 30.Bxc1 Qxg4+ 31.Kf1 Qe2+ 0-1
You might not find it in a magazine. And you might not find it in a book. But there is a gambit that seems appropriate for Halloween. It is known as the Frankenstein-Dracula Variation (or FDV for short).
In this gambit (perhaps attack would be more descriptive), Black gives up a rook and a few pawns and then proceeds to gain control over a large portion of the board and threatens White’s queen in numerous ways.
Is it any good? Let’s check it (sorry, bad pun) out.
L. Janse-GM J. Hector Paskturneringen Open Sweden, Apr 20 2019 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4 4.Qh5 Nd6 5.Bb3 Nc6 6.Nb5 g6 7.Qf3 f5 8.Qd5 Qe7 9.Nxc7+ Kd8 10.Nxa8 b6 11.Nxb6 axb6 12.d3 (White wants to develop his Bc1. As events will show White will not have the time to develop this bishop. 12.Ne2 is the better choice.) 12…f4 13.Qf3 Nd4 14.Qd1 Bb7 15.Nf3 Nxf3+ 16.gxf3 Nf5 17.h4 Nxh4 18.Rh3 Qg5 19.Qe2 Bc5 20.Kd2 Qh5 21.Rxh4 Qxh4 22.Qxe5 Re8 23.Qb8+ Bc8 24.Bc4 Bb4+ 0-1
Ray Bott-Roger D de Coverly Match, Game 7 London, 1988 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4 4.Qh5 Nd6 5.Bb3 Nc6 6.Nb5 g6 7.Qf3 f5 8.Qd5 Qe7 9.Nxc7+ Kd8 10.Nxa8 b6 11.Qf3 Bb7 12.Qh3 Nd4 13.c3 Bg7?!
14.Bd1? (White has to play 14.cxd4 and while Black runs wild over the board with his pieces, he is doing so with one less piece. White’s sole developed piece, his queen, is stuck in the open and becomes a target. The end is swift.) 14…Ne6! 15.d3 Bxa8 16.Ne2 f4 17.Kf1 Ng5 18.Qh4 Nf5 0-1
Recently GM Simon Williams recently wrote an article for chess.com titled, “Name Your Pawns”, in which he provided proper names for the files of his chess board.
And I thought …what a great idea!
Here are my submissions to this theme.
Let’s start with the divine.
If I were a fundamentalist Christian (I am not – just go with idea),
I would first rename my files from White’s side.
a=ANGEL (or ABEL) b = BIBLE c = CHRIST (or CAIN, CHOIR, or CHORUS – the last two referring a collection of ANGELS) d=DAVID, DANIEL, DECALOG (the Ten Commandments.) e=ELIJAH, EDEN, EXODUS, EPISTLE f=FAITH (and the FLOOD) g=GENESIS, GOSPEL h=HEAVEN
And if we were to play on a 10 x 10 board, then ISIAH and JESUS.
But that only takes care of the files on the White side. Here are the newly named files for the Dark side.
a=ARCHFIEND (another name for the Devil) b= BAAL, BEELZEBUB, BABEL c=CALLICANTZAROS (Greek vampires that would feed on children born around Christmas time.) d=DEMON, DEVIL, DEMONESS, and DELILAH (she’s the one who had a servant cut off Samson’s hair, rendering him vulnerable.) e=EVIL f=(the) FALL (of Adam and Eve, mankind, and Satan) g=GOLGOTHA (hill where Christ was supposedly crucified) and GAGA (a minor Babylonian deity.) h=HELL
And if we were to play on a 10 x 10 board, then INCUBUS and JUDAS.
Of course, one may also choose other themes for renaming their files. For example, Baseball!
a=ANGELS, ATHLETICS b= BRAVES, BREWERS (one could also consider the BOSTON Red Sox and BROOKLYN Dodgers) c=CHICAGO CUBS, CARDINALS d=DODGERS (this time, the Los Angeles team) or the DRAGONS (it is both the name of Japanese major league team and a minor league team of Dayton, Ohio.) e=EXPOS f=FIREFLIES (a minor league team of Columbia, South Carolina) g=GIANTS h=HOUSTON Astros
And, of course, the Indians and the (Blue) Jays would follow.
So, be creative. Find what interests you might (other than chess) and see if you are willing to change names of the files on your board!
We have historians for war, fine art, films, mathematics, astronomy, and of nations. But we don’t, as far as I know, have an expert, who specialty is chess history.
Most of the history we can find on Internet is a brief overview of the game.
Here is an example, from The History Guy, who certainly knows his stuff and usually provides a well-rounded and complete video on many historical subjects.
A little more of Queen Isabella of Spain that is referenced in the video. These notes help complete the profile of the noble Queen.
She took the throne in 1474 and instituted many legal, economic, and political reforms. She is also the one who financed Christopher Columbus to find an alternate route to China (he failed of course).
By most accounts, she was a capable queen and more of a reformer and leader than King Ferdinand (her husband).
Chess was known in the kingdom of Ferdinand and Isabella.
In fact, Isabella learned chess along with her other studies while she was growing up.
And special note here. At the end of the video, the speaker makes the comment how the original board game was played on an “8 inch by 8 inch board”. If chess was first developed in about 500 AD as most accounts claim, then the British had not yet introduced their Imperial units of measures, which included the inch. Probably he meant, “8 squares by 8 squares board”.
While I learned a few tidbits, I wanted more. More than an overview. Much more.
Most of the information of players, opening theory, changes in tournaments (clocks, formats, etc.), players histories, and even many GM games, are scattered among many collectors and museums. There is no clearing house, no attempt to collect and format all the data for reference, or at least to provide an easy timeline.
I challenge you to discover which year 10 GMs earned their title. The only restriction is none of your 10 GMs can be a World Champion.
Indeed, there are several people online who, with abundant amount of time, can help fill some of the gaps and occasionally overturn many assumptions about the history of chess.
One of my favorites is “batgirl” on chess.com.
Here is a series of posts that generated a lot of responses.
Well, last year (2019) a movie was being made. It was titled, “The Opera Game” and was to be a film about Paul Morphy.
It failed to come out this year. One reason might be because of the Corona-19 virus that forced the postponement or cancellation of many new movies in production.
Another reason might be is there are many gross errors both the main character (Paul Morphy) and the use of chess notation.
Here is what I wrote on the forum. Please know we only saw the trailer, a short film which is supposed to highlight the film (instead this trailer sank it).
In watching the trailer for the “The Opera Game”, I noticed several glaring errors that could have been resolved by resorting to the Internet (no books needed). I also did not know what century this movie was set.
First, Algebraic Notation (AN) was used by the Europeans, except for the British, who used DN. The United States also practiced DN. Morphy would have certainly used DN, and not AN as the movie alleges.
I am old enough to remember DN – I used it for a while in beginning years of chess. I changed to AN when it became popular in the 1980s.
It was a glaring error in the movie.
The chess sets were another problem. The sets displayed in the movie were not generally used by 19th century Southern aristocrats. I did a little research on the Internet. Here are the pieces Morphy would more likely to have used. I took me less than five minutes to find the images.
In fact, I found another photo of Morphy with a chess board on the Internet. It took slightly longer: about 5 minutes this time.
Finally, the dialog is again from the 20th or 21st century. People at that time were much more reserved and polite, especially in the South.
Morphy was shown to be young, when he played his uncle blindfolded, which the movie got correct. He was also frail, quiet, inquisitive, and probably introspective. But nothing like that was shown in the movie. What we got instead is snarky kid who didn’t show respect to his uncle. Unthinkable in the South.
A consultant or chess historian would have proven to be useful and essential to improving the quality of the movie.
This movie about our favorite board game would be greatly improved if they had paid a consultant who knew the history of the game. Instead, this movie, if it ever comes out, might give some potential players an inaccurate portrayal of chess and impede the growth of the game.
The worse is trying to convince the non-player that the movie is inaccurate, and he should ask an expert on chess history. But where is the expert?
Sometimes I get the questions, “How do you plan your moves or know what moves to play?” Or “How do you determine candidate moves and figure out which one is best?” This is good start.
Well, there are times in which the moves are obvious and can be played very quickly.
Under this category are:
1) Book Moves – Opening moves that are considered standard, so you don’t have to think about them. For example, 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 represents the Nimzo-Indian Defence and is probably known by at least 90% of all players. The moves can be played quite quickly if both players want to get to that position.
2) Personal Preferences – Moves that a player has decided before the start of game he would like to play when facing a certain position. For example, in the King’s Gambit Accepted (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4), a player may have already decided he may go for the Bishop’s Gambit (3.Bc4), and can play that move instantly. A more experienced player might decide to come up with a new move in a certain position (also called Theoretical Novelty, or TN for short), and then play it to surprise his opponent.
3) Thematic Moves – It is well known that a rook belongs behind a pawn to assist in its promotion. Such thematic moves lessen the time in searching for the right move. Mostly used in speed games where time is limited.
If the moves are not obvious, then it is of great benefit to have a mental hierarchy of what constitutes a good, or even the best move in a certain position.
Here is my list:
1) Does my move, or a series of moves, produce or force a checkmate? If the answer is a yes, then there is no reason to consider anything else as a checkmate ends the game.
2) Does my move, or a series of a move, produce or force a material advantage?
I read somewhere that winning a queen gives a player at least a 98% of winning the game. Winning a rook is at least 96%. Don’t ask me where I got this information, it was something I read a long time ago, but it does seem to be accurate. Maybe someone should do a more complete study here.
3) Does advancing a piece create problems for my opponent? For example, in the Fried Liver attack (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5?! 6.Nxf7!) White’s sixth move causes confusion in Black’s position and he has to focus on staying alive. It is also a Book Move.
4) Does pushing a pawn cause a similar effect?
Rhee-Hinrichsen El Segundo, CA, 1969 [White’s eighth move causes chaos in Black’s position which climaxes in spectacular mating sequence.] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 d6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Bc4 g6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 (This sequence of opening moves is known as the Magnus Smith. The pawn advance is key here.) 8…Nd7 9.exd6 exd6 10.O-O Be7 11.Re1 O-O 12.Bh6 Re8 13.Qf3 d5 14.Nxd5 Bb7
5) How about on a board with less pieces? Does pushing a pawn increase the potential for queening? Best if a pawn move creates problems for my opponent and threaten to queen at the same time.
It is best to keep in mind that such moves are not played in isolation. The opponent has to make every other move. As such, one has to take into account that short of a forced mate, the opponent can, and usually will, be attacking as well. And one should also use the above list to check if his move, or series of moves, does not allow his opponent to counterattack with a more forceful move.
For example, if I make my move, does this allow my opponent to checkmate me? Can he win material if I was to make this certain move? Etc.
Suddenly, the planning gets complicated. One must now plan, studying, think, and sweat. And you are lucky, the best move, or at least a serious candidate move, will spring out from your labors.
Five big questions about cheating in correspondence game, are:
(1) Why this sudden interest in cheating in correspondence chess? (2) What is cheating? (3) How does one cheat in correspondence? (4) How can cheaters be caught? (5) What is are the penalties for getting caught?
But first, let us define the difference between OTB chess and correspondence chess.
Over The Board (OTB): Chess played between two players, in which both players can see each other across a board. This form of chess uses a chess clock, individual sheets of paper where players write down their moves, and Tournament Director (TD) the help with any disputes. The OTB players are not allowed to consult any notes and games normally finish in a few hours.
This is the usual image when the public think of chess.
Correspondence Chess: A game played where reflection time (the time allotted for a player to research, analyze, and play a move) exceeds one day. In addition, players are allowed, with some restrictions, access to printed material, databases, and their own notes.
The game can played via postcards, email, and Internet servers. Organizations that feature correspondence chess events include ICCF, USCF, CCLA, and chess.com.
Here is a correspondence game from the dawn of the Internet.
Escalante-“The Thinker” Chess Palace BBS, 1990 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Qf3+ Ke6 8.Nc3 Nb4 9.d4 Nxc2+ 10.Kd1 Nxd4 11.Bxd5+ Kd6 12.Qf7 Be7? 13.Ne4+ Kd7 14.Qxg7 (with the idea of Qxe5. 14.Nc5+ is just as good.) and White duly won.
Now, let’s now answer the questions!
(1) Why this sudden interest in cheating in correspondence chess?
The cheating, and the interest in cheating, is not sudden onslaught, but rather part of continuing problem of correspondence chess. With the corona virus epidemic still rampant, many OTB players who would normally prefer to play chess facing their opponents in real life, now must get their study, play, and enjoyment, from correspondence chess or the Internet.
This increases the number of players who play on the Internet, where apparently more cheating occurs than anywhere else. Interesting enough, having more OTB players are not the problem. It’s still the people who would still cheat in OTB and correspondence play.
Personally, last year I had played one cheater in a speed game on chess.com and two correspondence cheaters the year on the same website. One game is presented at the end.
So yeah, cheating is a real thing.
(2) What is cheating?
Cheating: Influencing the game or tournament by illegal means. This can take various forms.
(3) How does one cheat in correspondence?
A caveat here. This list is not exhaustive as no single list of cheating can ever be complete. Cheaters are apt in finding new ways circumvent the rules and ethics. And while this list is meant for correspondence play, many of these items are also directly applicable to OTB chess.
(a) Using active help rather than passive help.
A player may consult publicly available books, magazines, newspaper articles, opening databases, most web sites, and videos (such as YouTube.com) for help on his move. He may also use his own notes. This is passive help.
This type of help is allowable in correspondence chess only. OTB players must not use any type of notes, including a player’s thoughts during the game nor may he write down any inspirational thoughts, as GM Wesley So found out (2015 US Men’s Championship, against GM Varuzhan Akobian).
Active help is using a computer, an engine, an endgame table base, a cellphone, or any other electronic device, generate moves for the player. He is also not allowed to ask for help from a friend, a GM, or any other person, for help on his moves. Nor is he allowed to “show off” his game to other players, where they might be tempted to comment on the game. It’s quite a list!
However, it must be mentioned that ICCF (International Correspondence Chess Federation) does allow computers for help. This list is meant for mostly domestic play and not international. And even then, some international organizations and events prohibit computer assistance. Please check if you intend to play in an international correspondence tournament.
And, yes, players are allowed to use chess engines and computers to study their game after the end of their game. Just like the game below.
(b) Impersonating a player, real or fictional, to play in tournament which is impersonator is not normally allowed to play..
Examples of this type of cheating are:
Assuming the role of a woman in game if one is a man. This is probably impossible in OTB, but several cases have existed in correspondence play. Perhaps the most (in)famous case is that of Miss Leigh Strange. You can look it up in the Internet.
Assuming the part of a younger person to partake in a junior contest. No known examples exist. But it is possible.
Playing in a lower section that is beneath a players rating. A Master, hiding the fact he is a Master, and playing an unrated tournament, is a supreme example of this form of cheating. Unfortunately, it has happened. More than once.
(c) Throwing a game so as to lower one’s rating so he can play in a tournament with lower rated players (see above). It is informally known as “sandbagging”.
(d) Convincing other players to lose or draw their games so that a player may place higher in the standings that he would not otherwise reach.
(e) Deciding the outcome of a game before starting the game. Known as collusion.
(4) How can cheaters be caught?
The most obvious example is a player who would be normally be playing at 1200 (beginner) Elo, suddenly plays at 2000 (Expert) level. Players do not normally jump 800 Elo points in a short time. This raises a red flag.
The more complex a position, or the longer sequence of moves necessary to reach a goal, the more likely a player is to error, even if it such error is minor. The same goes for many types of endgames. Being suddenly proficient in these areas again raises red flags.
Chess.com has adapted a policy that if they feel they can accuse a suspected cheater and win a in court of law, where the level of evidence needs to be high for a conviction, they can ban the player. It is this player’s opinion that this standard should be applied in in all correspondence play.
(5) What is are the penalties for getting caught?
They range for immediate forfeiture of the game and all games in a tournament (if the offender is lucky), to being barred for life for that organization.
A lawsuit is possible to recover any prizes awarded, as well criminal charges that might be filed (depending on circumstances, the nature of the offensive, and other factors).
15.Bh6!? (This idea was mentioned by GM Golubev in one of his books on the Sozin, and as such, we are still in theory. Chess.com list of Master games also gives 15.Nxc5 dxc5 16.Ne2, but Black wins both games. And who wants to play a losing game? Finally, Stockfish considers 15.Bh6 an error.) 15…Ne8 (Pretty much forced and a move I expected.) 16.Nxc5!? [Only now do we leave theory. The idea is to preserve the bishop (Black threatens …Nxb3) and perhaps allow him back into the game via c2 so he can apply pressure on Black’s kingside.] 16…dxc5 17.Ne2!? (Where else could the knight go?) 17…Kh8! (Black gets out of trouble and threatens the other bishop.) 18.Be3 Bd7 19.Qf2 Rc8 20.c4 Qc7!? (Black’s move seems very strong. I didn’t know it at the time, but this move is almost certain to be engine-generated. After the game Stockfish gave 20…bxc3 21.bxc3 Nf6 22.c4 Bc6 23.Nf4 Nd7 24.Nd3 f5 25.e5 Qc7 26.Rab1 a5 27.Qg3 Rfd8 28.a4, evaluating the position as +.81. But Black’s move seems stronger. Was my opponent really playing stronger than Stockfish?) 21.Bf4 e5 22.Be3 a5 23.Bc2 Be6 24.b3 a4 25.Ng3 (The idea of Nf5 makes sense as White has to generate counterplay before he gets squeezed to death.) 25…Nd6 26.Rd2 Rfd8 27.Rad1 Nb7 28.f4 Rxd2 29.Bxd2 f6 30.Bc1 Na5 [Here as where my opponent was forfeited as he was caught cheating in this game and others. Not only did he lose an enormous large amount of games this year (2020) but he is now banned from the website. And as chess.com announced earlier this year; it is for life.) 31.Nf5 (Only played so the players in the round two, including me, can advance to the next round.) 1-0
I have used some chess dictionaries I found on-line and even some printed books. But I was unsatisfied with what I have read. Too often, it seems that many writers simply copy what has been printed, even if what has been printed is incorrect, misleading, incomplete, or confusing.
So, I created my own. Produced from an editor’s point of view, with many spelling mistakes and other errors removed, important information added to make the definitions more complete, and even updating recorded moves from Descriptive Notation (DN) to Algebraic Notation (AN).
This dictionary, like every other dictionary is not complete, nor can any dictionary be complete. This dictionary is meant to include only the most common terms used by players, writers, teachers, and those who study the game.
But I have the satisfaction know that if I am missing something important, a kind, gentle reader would let me know.
My kind, gentle reader, please take some time off this Independence Day, shooting off fireworks, eating a hot dog, and enjoying your time at the beach. And let me know what I am missing.
On second thought, go ahead, enjoy your holiday, your weekend, your family and friends, and the fireworks. Come back when you are ready.
Have a wonderful and warm holiday!
Rob’s Chess Dictionary
ACTIVE [adj. (1) describing a piece that has movement, (2) describing a type of defence that involves counterplay, (3) describing a game that has time limit of 30 minutes per player.]
ADJOURN (+ED, +ING, +S) [v. to take a break from a game to continue later.]
ADJUDICATE (+D, ADJUDICATING, +S) [v. to make a judgment made by an impartial person to determine the result of a game.]
ADJUDICATION (+S) [n. the act of making a judgment made by an impartial person to determine the result of a game.]
ADVANCE (+D, ADVANCING, +S) [v. to move forward, esp. with a pawn]
ADVANTAGE (+S) [n. a lead in material, time, space, or position, in a game or study. See DISADVANTAGE.]
ALBINO (+S) [n. a classification of studies that specify a specific white pawn move a problem or study ; adj. referring to specific white pawn moves in a problem or study.]
ALGEBRAIC [n. the most popular chess notation for recording moves.]
ANALYZE (+D, ANALYZING, +S) [n. to work out alternate or better moves or plans.]
ARISTOCRAT (+S) [n. a study or problem which has no pawns in the initial position]
ATTACK (+ED, +ING, +S)
AUTOMATON (+S) [n. a mechanical device that appeared to make moves in a game by itself during the 18th and 19th centuries but were controlled by a human player concealed inside the machine. The most famous automaton was the Turk.]
BAD BISHOP (+S) [n. a bishop blocked by his own pawns]
BATTERY (BATTERIES) [n. a rook and a rook or a rook and queen, of the same color, on the same file.]
BIND (+S) [n. a situation or a position that has restrictive movement.]
BISHOP (+S) [n. a diagonally moving piece.]
(CLASSICAL) BISHOP SACRIFICE (+S) (n. AKA “the Greek gift”, it is a typical sacrifice of a bishop on an opponent’s kingside castled position which forces the king out which he may be attacked. See game below.]
Greco-N.N. Rome, 1620? 1.e4 e6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Bd3 Nc6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.h4 O-O 6.e5 Nd5 7.Bxh7+! (The classical bishop sacrifice. Black’s king has take the bishop and come out to face the upcoming attack, or he loses a pawn with a worse position.) 7…Kxh7 8.Ng5+ Bxg5 9.hxg5+ Kg8 10.Qh5 f5 11.g6 Re8 12.Qh8mate 1-0
BLACK (+S) [n. the side with the darker pieces that moves second in a game, (2) the defending side in a study.]
BLINDFOLD [n. a game which at least one of the players cannot see the board.]
BLITZ [n. a very fast game, esp. one with a five-minute time control.]
BLOCKADE (+D, BLOCKADING, +S) [v. to stop a piece, esp. a pawn from moving.]
BOARD (+S) [n. same as CHESSBOARD.]
BODEN’S MATE [n. AKA a Criss-Cross Mate, is a checkmate that occurs when the two bishops mate the enemy king, with each bishop coming from an opposite diagonal from the other.]
BOOK [n. a position or series of moves so well known it can be found in books.]
BRILLIANCY (BRILLIANCIES) [n. a game with a beautiful combination or with spectacular moves.]
BUGHOUSE (+S) [n. same as SIAMESE.]
BULLET [n. a game with a one-minute time control.]
BYE (+S) [n. a pre-arranged score of ½ for not playing a game in a tournament.]
CAISSA [n. the goddess of chess]
CAPTURE (+D, CAPTURING, +S) [v. to take a piece or pawn]
CASTLE (+D, CASTLING, +S) [v. to move the unmoved King two squares to the kingside or queenside and placing the rook on the other side of the King. You may not castle while in check, through check, or end with your king in check. See also CASTLE, LONG and CASTLE, SHORT.]
CASTLE, LONG [n. queenside castling. Written as O-O-O.]
CASTLE, SHORT [n. kingside castling. Written as O-O.]
CENTER [n. collectively, the squares e4, e5, d4, d5 that reside in the middle of the board.]
CHECK (+ED, +ING, +S) [v. to threaten the enemy king with an immediate capture. It is common in casual play to announce check, but forbidden in tournament play.]
CHECKMATE [n. same as MATE]
CHESSBOARD (+S) [n. a piece of material (wood, plastic, vinyl, etc.) that is meant to have pieces placed on it for study or play.]
CHESSMAN (CHESSMEN) [n. a piece in a set]
CLOCK (+S) [n. a timer used in a game]
COMPENSATION [n. possession of having other advantages, such as an open file, for a piece or pawn that has been gambitted, sacrificed, or lost.]
COMPOSER (+S) [n. one who creates problems or studies]
COOK (+ED, +ING, +S) [v. to find another solution to a problem or study.]
CORNER (+S) [n. the squares a1, a8, h1, and h8.]
CORRESPONDENCE [n. a chess game played through the mail or email.]
COUNTERPLAY [n. potential or actual aggressive moves by the defender designed achieve equality or an advantage] DECLINE (+D, DECLINING, +S) [v. to not accept a gambit or sacrifice.]
DECOY (+S) [n. a pawn or piece that lures away an attacker.]
DEFEND (+ED, +ING, +S)
DEFENDER (+S) [n. pawn or piece that thwarts an enemy attacking piece.]
DESCRIPTIVE [n. an old-fashioned notation used in English speaking countries until the 1980s.]
DEVELOP (+ED, +ING, +S) [n. to put a pawn or piece on a more useful square.]
DISADVANTAGE (+S) [n. being behind in material, time, space, or position, in a game or study. See ADVANTAGE.]
DOUBLED [adj. describing two pawns of the same color on the same file. See also TRIPLED.]
DRAW1(+S) [n. a game ending in a tie.]
DRAW2(+N +S, +ING) [v. to end the game in a tie.]
DRAWABLE [adj. describing a position in which a tie is the likely outcome.]
DUTCH [n. the opening 1.d4 f5.] ECO [n. short for Encyclopedia of Chess Openings.]
EDGE [n. a small advantage]
ELO [n. the rating system most widely used. It was named after its inventor, Arpad Elo (1903-1992).]
EN PASSANT [n. French for “in passing”, it is a move that occurs when a pawn moves two squares from its starting position and passes an enemy pawn that has advanced to its fifth rank. The advanced pawn on the fifth rank may choose to capture the pawn as if the pawn had only moved forward one square.]
EN PRISE [n. a French term meaning “in a position to be taken”, “exposed to capture”, or simply, “a piece left hanging”. It is a piece or pawn that is unprotected and can be captured, usually the result of an oversight.]
ENDING (+S) [n. although it can be synonymous with ENDGAME, it is a term more likely to be used in a study rather than a game.]
ENDGAME (+S) [n. the stage of the game where few pieces, or no pieces, remain. Also known as the ENDING.]
ENVELOP (+S) [n. a flat paper cover in which a scoresheet of a game and a separate piece of paper that indicate a player’s next move (but unknown to anyone else) is inserted, sealed, and then presented to the tournament director for safekeeping until the game is resumed.]
EPAULETTE (+S) [n. a mate occurring when the opposing King is caught on the side of the board with both of his rooks preventing his sideward movement. The queen giving the mate stands in front of the king, close enough to mock and mate him but not close enough to be captured. See example below.]
EXCELSIOR (+S) [n. a pawn that promotes in a problem.]
EXCHANGE (+D, EXCHANGING, +S) [v. to trade pieces]
EXHIBITION (+S) [n. a chess game played for the public to promote the game, a tournament, a player, a group, or used as a fundraiser.]
EXPERT (+S) [n. a title just below a MASTER.] EVALUATION (+S) [n. the analysis and assessment of a position.]
FAN [n. an acronym for Figurine Algebraic Notation.]
FEN [n. short for Forsyth–Edwards Notation, a concise method of recording a position.]
FIANCHETTO (+ED, +ING, +S) [v. to develop a bishop on b2 or g2 for White; or b7 or g7 for Black, and usually protected by three pawns; two on the sides, and one directly in front.]
FIDE [n. short for Fédération Internationale des Échecs, the international organization of chess, founded in Paris in 1924.]
FILE (+S) [n. a column of eight squares going from rank #1 to rank #8.]
FLAG (+S) [n. an indicator on a mechanical clock that moves (falls) when a certain time has elapsed.]
FLANK (+S) [n. the right and left files of the center.]
FOOL’S MATE [the shortest game that can end in mate. 1.f3 e5 2.g4? Qh4# 0-1]
FORK (+ED, +ING, +S) [v. to attacking more than one piece or pawn with a single piece.]
FM [n. short for Federation Master.]
GAMBIT (+S) [n. a move, typically in the opening and planned prior to the game, in which a player freely gives up a pawn, piece, or exchange, in the hope of either obtaining a tactical or positional advantage. See also SACRIFICE.]
GAME (+S) [n. the actual play of chess as opposed to problems, studies, and analysis.]
GM (+S) [n. short for GRANDMASTER.]
GRANDMASTER (+S) [n. the highest title in chess]
GRANDMASTER DRAW [n. a quick, uninteresting, listless, and even boring, draw.]
HOLE (+S) [n. a weak square which may easily be occupied by an enemy piece.]
HAUPTTURNIER (+S) [n. a German word that is freely translated as “candidates’ tournament”, or a tournament that one needed to win to be considered a master in Germany.]
ICCF [n. short for International Correspondence Chess Federation.]
IGM [n. short for International GrandMaster, an old term. It has mostly been replaced with GRANDMASTER or simply GM as “International” is implied.]
INFORMANT (+S) [n. well known periodical from Yugoslavia.]
INTERZONAL (+S) [n. a tournament to determine candidates to play in the World Championship.]
IQP [short for Isolated Queen Pawn. See ISOLANI.
ISOLANI [n. an isolated pawn on the d-file.]
ISOLATE (+D) [n. a pawn that does not have any other pawns of its own color on an adjacent file.]
J’ADOUBE [n. French word for “I adjust”. Spoken just before a piece being adjusted on its square. Used in “TOUCH MOVE” situations.]
KEY (+S) [n. correct first move in a problem.]
KIBITZ (+ED, +ES, +ING) [v. to give Illegal, and usually unwanted, advice given from one who is not a player in the game.]
KIBITZER (+S) [n. one who kibitzes.]
KING (+S) [n. the most important unit on the chess board. Losing the king means losing the game.]
KING PAWN OPENING [n. a game that opens with 1.e4.]
KINGSIDE (+S) [n. the “e”, “f”, “g”, and “h” files. The kings reside on the “e” file at the start of the game, hence the name. See also QUEENSIDE.]
KING’S GAMBIT [n. an opening that begins with 1.e4 e5 2.f4. White is willing to give up his f-pawn to gain an advantage in the game. Black sometimes has difficulties keeping his extra pawn but he can try to attack as well.]
KNIGHT (+S) [n. the piece that can leap over other pieces and moves in an “L” shape.]
KNIGHT’S TOUR [n. an exercise in which a knight starting on any square on an otherwise empty board makes 63 consecutive moves, touching each square exactly once.]
LUFT [n. German word for “air.” Moving a pawn forward so the king has an escape square is an example of LUFT.]
MATCH (+ES) [n. a series of games between two players for a championship, prize, or bragging rights]
MASTER (+S) [n. a player who obtains a rating over 2200]
MATE (+D, MATING, +S) [n. a position in which a player’s king is in check and there is no way to remove the threat. Checkmate is a win for the player delivering the mate.]
MINIATURE (+S) [n. a game lasting than 25 moves or less, usually with a win for one of the players, (2) a problem with less than 7 pieces.] MOBILITY [n. freedom of a piece or the pieces.]
NAJDORF, Miguel [n. a Polish-Argentinian chess grandmaster (1910-1997).]
NAJDORF [n. a complex Sicilian arising from the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6. It was named the GM who popularized it.]
NORM (+S) [n. a score a titled player would be expected to earn in a tournament.] NOTATION (+S) [n. a system of writing down the moves.]
N.N. [n. a player in a recorded game whose name is not known. It may be short for No Name, Not kNown, or even the Latin phrase, “nomen nescio”, but there is no agreement.]
ODDS [n. a game in which a stronger player removes his pieces and/or pawns prior to game to make the game more equal. A stronger player may also offer time odds, when he would play when less time than his opponent.]
OLYMPIAD (+S) [n. a world team event held every two years.]
OPEN (+S) [n. a tournament which anyone can join]
OPPOSITION (+S) [n. the ability to force the other side to move into a disadvantageous position. See also ZUGZWANG]
OTB [n. short for Over The Board. As opposed to CORRESPONDENCE.]
PAIRING (+S) [n. a notification in a tournament informing the player what color he will be (Black or White), who is his opponent, and what board number they would play on.]
PATZER (+S) [n. slang term for a weak player.]
PAWN (+S) [n. a unit that moves forward and can promote to a more powerful piece upon reaching the eighth rank.]
PAWN CHAIN (+S) [n. two or more pawns of the same color diagonally linked. A pawn chain’s weakest point is the base.
PERPETUAL (+S) [n. a position on the board that a player is forced to repeat by his opponent.]
PGN [n. short for Portable Games Notation, a coding system that allows a game to be played on a computer or laptop.]
PIECE (+S) [n. the rook, knight, bishop, or queen. Sometimes the king is considered a piece.]
PIN (+NED, +NING, +S) [n. an attack on a piece that is in line within another, and usually more important piece, and cannot move without the piece behind it being liable to be captured.]
PLAYER (S) [n. a competitor in a tournament, match, or casual play.]
PLY (+S) [n. one-half of a whole move. The opening 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 involves three PLYS.]
POINT (+S) [n. (1) a numerical evaluation given to each piece. For example, a rook is worth 5 points, (2) A single point given to the winner of a tournament or match game. A draw means each player receives ½ of a point. The winner of a tournament or match is the player with the most points.]
POSITION (+S) [n. the arrangement of pieces and pawns on the board.]
POSITIONAL [n. a type of play that avoid tactics, instead relying on applying, maintaining, and increasing pressure on a position.]
POISONED PAWN (+S) [n. an unprotected pawn that, if captured, causes problems for the side that took the pawn, including positional problems, mating threats, and/or material loss. The two most common examples of a poisoned pawn can be found in 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 (The Poisoned Pawn in the Najdorf) and 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Qc7 7.Qg4 (The Poisoned Pawn Variation of the Winawer).]
POSTAL [n. old term for correspondence chess]
PROBLEM (+S) [n. a puzzle where one side, usually White, can force mate or otherwise obtain a winning position]
EXAMPLE OF A PROBLEM
Morphy New York Clipper, 1856
White to mate in 2
PROMOTE (+D, PROMOTING, +S) [v. to advance a pawn to the 8th rank and exchanging it for a queen. See also UNDERPROMOTION]
PROMOTION (+S) [n. the act of advancing a pawn to the 8th rank and exchanging for a queen.]
PROPHYLAXIS [n. a technique of preventing a move, or series of moves, designed to prevent an opponent from developing his pieces on ideal squares or otherwise improving his position.]
QUAD (+S) [n. a tournament with four players]
QUEEN1(+S) [n. a piece that combines the powers of a rook and bishop. It is considered the strongest piece in chess.]
QUEEN2(+ED, +ING, +S) [v. to promote a pawn]
QUEENSIDE (+S) [n. the “a”, “b”, “c”, and “d” files. The queens reside on the “d” file at the start of the game, hence the name. See also KINGSIDE.]
QUIET MOVE (+S) [n. a move that does not attack or capture an enemy piece but does increase the pressure to one’s opponent sometimes enough to force resignation.]
RANK (+S) [n. a row of eight squares going from the “a” file to the “h” file.]
RATING (+S) [n. a numerical estimation of a player’s strength.]
RECORD (+ED, +ING, +S) [v. to write down the moves of a game]
RESIGN (+ED, +ING, +S) [v. to formally give up a game]
RESIGNATION (+S) [n. the act of resigning.]
ROOK (+S) [n. a piece that moves vertically and horizontally and is involved in castling.]
ROOK LIFT (+S) [n. a move that places a rook in front of its own pawns, often on the third or fourth rank, in order to speed up an attack.]
ROUND ROBIN (+S) [n. an all-play-all tournament.]
SACRIFICE1(+S) [n. a move in which a player freely gives up a pawn, piece, or exchange, in the hope of either obtaining a tactical or positional advantage or a drawn position (if losing). See also GAMBIT]
SACRIFICE2(+D, SACRIFICING, +S) [v. to freely giving up a pawn, piece, or exchange, in the hope of either obtaining a tactical or positional advantage or a drawn position (if losing). See also GAMBIT.]
SCHOLAR’S MATE [n. a short game known by most scholastic players. 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Qf3 Nd4? (> Nf6!) 4.Qxf7# 1-0.]
SCOREPAD (+S) [n. a collection of bound SCORESHEETS.]
SCORESHEET (+S) [n. a piece of paper especially made to record moves in a game. See also SCOREPAD.]
SECOND (+S) [n. one who helps and supports a player in preparation and analysis before and during a tournament or match]
SIAMESE [n. a variation with two boards, four players, and general mayhem.]
SIMULTANEOUS [n. an exhibition where one player plays many others at the same time. Often abbreviated as SIMUL.]
SKEWER (+S) [n. an attack upon two (or more) pieces in a line.]
SKEWER (+ED, +ING, +S) [v. to engage in the act of setting up a SKEWER.]
SMOTHERED MATE (+S) [n. a mate in which a knight is attacking the enemy king who is surrounded by his pieces or pawns and cannot escape.]
A SMOTHERED MATE
SPRINGER (+S) [n. German word for “Knight”. The symbol “S” is sometimes used in studies in place of “N” (for Knight) in studies.]
STALEMATE1(+S) [n. a position in which one side has to move but that has no legal moves and is not in check. The game is drawn.]
STALEMATE2(+D, STALEMATING, +S) [v. to create a position in which one side must move but that has no legal moves and is not in check.]
STRATEGY (STRATEGIES) [n. long term gain]
STUDY (STUDIES) [n. an analysis of an actual or composed endgame with a stated goal in mind. White always moves first in a study.]
SWINDLE (+D, SWINDLING, +S) [v. gaining a victory from a lost position, usually playing on the overconfidence of the opponent.]
SWISS (+ES) [n. a type of tournament where players play others with similar scores.]
TABIA (or TABIYA) [n. a common position where analysis or play would start.]
TACTIC (+S) [n. short term gain]
TACTICAL [adj. describing a position or play that mainly features tactical play, which can include threatened forks, queen traps, promotions, checks, and mating threats.]
TD [n. short for Tournament Director]
TEMPO (TEMPI) [n. unit of time associated with a move, i.e., one move equals one tempo.]
THEMATIC TOURNAMENT (+S) [n. a tournament with all the games starting with the identical moves. Such tournaments are used for practicing or testing a variation or because it is a favorite opening among the participants.]
THEORY (THEORIES) [n. explanation of how to gain an advantage or save a lost position.]
TIME CONTROL (+S) [n. time allotted to each player to make his moves. The time controls need not to be the same for both players. See also ODDS.]
TN [n. short for Theoretical Novelty, a new move or idea in the opening.]
TOUCHED PIECE RULE [n. a player who touching a piece must move that piece on his turn if it is legal to do so.]
TOURNAMENT (+S) [n. a series of games between numerous players to determine a winner.]
TRANSPOSITION (+S) [n. a move, or a sequence of moves, that changes a recognizable position into another recognizable position. Most common in the opening stages of the game.]
TRÉBUCHET [n. mutual ZUGZWANG in which either player would lose if it were their turn to move.]
TRIANGULATION (+S) [n. a technique used in king and pawn endgames to lose a tempo and gain the opposition.]
TRIPLED [adj. describing three pawns of the same color on the same file. See also DOUBLED.]
UNDERPROMOTION (+S) [n. a promotion to a knight, rook, or bishop as opposed to a QUEEN.]
A REASON FOR UNDERPROMOTION
UNRATED [n. one who has no rating ; adj. describing a tournament where no ratings are at stake.]
USCF [n. short for United States Chess Federation.]
VARIATION (+S) [n. alternate moves or lines from a main line]
WALLBOARD (+S) [n. a printed posting, usually attached to a wall of a tournament room, that displays the pairing, results, etc.]
WGM [n. short for Women’s GrandMaster]
WHITE (+S) [n. (1) the side with the lighter color pieces that moves first in a game, (2) the attacking side in a study.]
WIM [n. short for Women’s International Master.]
WINDMILL (+S) [n. a series of checks, alternating between a protected checking piece and a discovered check by another piece, ending with a material gain or mate.]
WING GAMBIT (+S) [n. the name given to variations of several openings in which one player gambits a wing pawn, usually the b-pawn. The two most common examples can be found in the French Advanced (1.e4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e5 c5 4.b4) and the Sicilian (1.e4 c5 2.b4).]
ZWISCHENZUG (+S) [n. a German word for “in-between move”, which is unexpected and usually changes the evaluation of a combination or position.]
ZUGZWANG (+S) [n. a German word for “the compulsion to move”, where any move would result in loss of position, material, or game.]