Renaming Your Files

Recently GM Simon Williams recently wrote an article for 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.

c = CHRIST (or CAIN, CHOIR, or CHORUS – the last two referring a collection of ANGELS)
d=DAVID, DANIEL, DECALOG (the Ten Commandments.)
f=FAITH (and the FLOOD)

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)
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.)
f=(the) FALL (of Adam and Eve, mankind, and Satan)
g=GOLGOTHA (hill where Christ was supposedly crucified) and GAGA (a minor Babylonian deity.)

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!

b= BRAVES, BREWERS (one could also consider the BOSTON Red Sox and BROOKLYN Dodgers)
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.)
f=FIREFLIES (a minor league team of Columbia, South Carolina)
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 Need a Chess Historian

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

Here is a series of posts that generated a lot of responses.

So why am I making such a big deal over all this?

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.

A link to the trailer is given below.

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?

Thinking About Thinking

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?

Here is an example:

Maciej Swicarz (2145)-Radoslaw Jedynak (2140)
Polish U18 Team Ch..
Augustow, 1996
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.Qg4 Nc6 5.Nf3 Nge7 6.c3 cxd4 7.Bd3 Qc7 8.O-O Nxe5 9.Nxe5 Qxe5 10.cxd4 Qd6 11.Nc3 Bd7 12.a4 a6 13.a5 Rc8 14.Bd2 Qb8 15.Rfe1 Qa7 16.Bg5 h5 17.Qh4 b5 18.axb6 Qxb6

19.Bxe7! Bxe7 20.Qxe7+!! 1-0 (20…Kxe7 21.Nxd5! wins material.)

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?

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2020_08_20_b.jpg

15.Qxf7+!! Kxf7 16.Ne3+ Kf6 17.Ng4+ Kf5 18.Be6mate 1-0

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.

Cheating in Correspondence Chess

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

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 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 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. 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).

It is just not worth it!


Thematic Tournament, Round 2, 2020
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Qb6 10.Be3 Qb7 11.Qg3 b4 12.Na4 Nbd7 13.f3 O-O 14.Rfd1 Nc5


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. 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 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

My Dictionary

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]


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.]


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.]
[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.] 



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.]
[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.]
[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]




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]

SET (+S)

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.]





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.]





1.e8=N+ wins


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.]


Chess and Checkers

When I was in High School, and just beginning to understand the theories of chess, an old man came to visit us at the table. This episode probably then happened a park.


He watched with some intensity, as I and my opponent were engrossed in our game. After the game ended (I think I won), he asked, almost with a sneer, “so what is the difference between checkers and chess?”



I didn’t exactly why he was asking this question. But I gave him my best answer and replied, “Chess is more complicated”.



With that, the old turned around and departed. Maybe he thought I was rude and me being a male teenager, that may be true. Or is because he didn’t expect the conversation to go that way. Or he may have thought he has interacting with younger teens (after all, when I was 14 I could still pass for a 12 year-old).



So, I got to thinking, what are differences between chess and checkers. And I drew up a list. Which I promptly lost. But I remember most of it. And now with the magic of the Internet, and blogging in particular, here is my list (corrected for spelling and grammar).







The boards are identical in size (8 x 8).


Each board has 64 squares.


A man moving to the 8th rank is promoted.





It is a game usually played by only two competitors.





Checkers is played on a red and black board. Chess is typically played on a white and black board.


In checkers, each player starts with only 12 men. In chess, each player starts with 16 men.




In checkers, all the men look the same, move the same way, and are of equal value. In chess, the pieces look different, move differently, and are worth different values.





In checkers, Black moves first. In chess, White moves first.


In checkers, a man reaching the 8th rank can only be promoted to a King. In chess, a man reaching the 8th rank can be promoted to a Queen, a Rook, a Bishop, or a Knight. But never to a King.


In checkers, players use only 32 squares of the board. In chess, both players use all 64 squares.


In checkers, players may only move their men diagonally. In chess, players may move their pieces diagonally, forward, backwards, and horizontally.


In checkers, a player captures a man by jumping over them. In chess, a player can capture a man by occupying their place on the board.


In checkers, only a king can move backwards. In chess, Knights, Bishops, Rooks, Queens, and Kings can move backwards. Pawns are the only units that may only move forward.




In chess, there are rules for en passant and castling. No such rules exist for checkers.


In checkers, captures are mandatory. In chess, players may decline a capture.


In checkers, openings are decided by lot. In chess, opening play is determined by the players.



And for us chess enthusiasts:


Chess has a high cultural value. People equate us chess players as possessing great intelligence, a fantastic memory, and in its purest form; grace.


It is possible to be a prodigy in math, music, or chess.


Two examples;


Frank Brady wrote “Bobby Fischer: Profile of a Prodigy”.




Wikipedia has an article titled, “Chess Prodigy”.



No checkers player has ever been known or labeled as a prodigy.


Dallying with the Dilworth

Recently I had an opportunity to analyze to the Dilworth variation of the Open Ruy Lopez.


To begin, let us look up the moves that lead up the Dilworth.



1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 (This move defines the Ruy Lopez, named after the 16th-century Spanish priest Ruy López de Segura.) 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 (The Open Variation of the RL. Black’s objective is to get good piece play by advancing his d-pawn and giving his pieces the freedom to roam across the board as well as pushing and protecting his d-pawn.) 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 (9.Nbd2 Nc5 10.c3 d4 11.Ng5 leads to interesting Karpov Gambit. I’ve researched this line and IMHO, White’s attack is almost worth the pawn he sacrificed.) 9…Bc5 (Black can also play 9…Be7, which will give him a more closed game.) 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2!? (With this move Black gives up a knight for White’s f2-pawn and in return, gets a pinned White Rook and misplaced White King. And the Dilworth fight is on!) 12.Rxf2 (A forced move. The real analysis begins here.)


Black can certainly play 12…Bxf2+ at this point. But better is delaying this capture as not only is rook pinned, but it’s fixed position temporarily hinders the movement of White’s pieces.

Bobby Fischer-W. Stevens
US Open
Oklahoma City, July 24 1956
[White gets a small advantage but can’t do anything with it.]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 Bxf2+ 13.Kxf2 f6 14.exf6 Qxf6 15.Kg1 Rae8!? (15…Bg4 16.Nf1 Bxf3 17.Qxf3 Qxf3 18.gxf3 Rxf3 19.Be3 Ne7 20.Bg5! +/- ECO.) 16.Nf1 Ne5 17.Ne3 Nxf3+ 18.Qxf3 Qxf3 19.gxf3 Rxf3 20.Bd1 Rf7 1/2-1/2

Black must play 12…f6, or at least transpose into it.


We now continue.


12.Rxf2 f6

Two moves White should now avoid are 13.Nb3 and 13.Qe2. Again, not necessarily bad, but he has a better alternative.


Hennie Daniels-T. Farrell
England, 1943
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.Nb3 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 fxe5 15.Nc5 Bg4 16.Bb3 Ne7 17.h3 Bxf3 18.gxf3 Qd6 19.Ne4 Qd7 20.Ng5 h6 21.Ne4 c6 22.Be3 Qxh3 23.Bc5 Qh4+ 24.Ke2 Rxf3 25.Nf2 Raf8 26.Qg1 e4 27.Qg2 Ng6 28.Qf1 Nf4+ 29.Kd2 Nd3 30.Nxd3 Rxf1 31.Rxf1 Rxf1 0-1


Gyula Kluger (2250)-Laszlo Szabo
Hungary Ch.
Budapest, 1946
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.Qe2 fxe5 14.Nb3 Bxf2+ 15.Qxf2 e4 16.Qe1 Bg4 17.Nfd4 Ne5 18.Nc5 Qf6 19.Be3 Rae8 20.Qg3 h5 21.Bb3 Kh8 22.h3 Qd6 23.Qh4 Ng6 24.Qe1 Bc8 25.Ne2 Bxh3 26.Rd1 c6 27.gxh3 Rf3 28.Bd4 Rxh3 29.Qf2 Nh4 30.Nf4 Nf3+ 31.Kf1 Qxf4 32.Be3 Qg4 0-1


13.exf6! And now Black has to play 13…Qxf6 or 13…Bxf2+ .

We’ll look at 13…Qxf6 first.

White’s best is 14.Nb3! He wins most of the games as his knight move solidifies his position.


Ramon Ardid Rey-Jan Kleczynski X25
Paris Ol.
France, 1924
[This game appears to be the first time the Dilworth variation was played in a master game.]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6



13…Qxf6 14.Nb3 Bxf2+ 15.Kxf2 Ne5 16.Nc5 Bg4 17.Qxd5+ Kh8 18.Qe4 Qh4+ 19.Kg1 Nxf3+ 20.gxf3 Rae8 21.Bg5 Rxe4 22.Bxh4 Re5 23.fxg4 g5 24.Ne6 1-0


M. Paragua (2521)-C. Acor (2246)
Foxwoods Open
Ledyard, US, Mar. 20 2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Qxf6 14.Nb3 Bxf2+ 15.Kxf2 Ne5 16.Kg1 c6 17.Be3 Bg4 18.Nbd2 Rae8 19.Bc5 Rf7 20.a4 Qh6 21.axb5 axb5 22.Kh1 Nd7 23.Bg1 Qh5 24.Qf1 Nf6 25.Re1 Rfe7 26.Rxe7 Rxe7 27.h3 Bf5 28.Bd1 Qe8 29.Bc5 Re6 30.Qf2 Ne4 31.Nxe4 Bxe4 32.Qg3 h6 33.Qc7 Kh7 34.b4 Rg6 35.Bd4 Qe6 36.Be5 Qf5 37.Kh2 Qf8 38.Bg3 Qf6 39.Qe5 Qf7 40.Nd4 Rg5 41.Qe6 Qa7 42.Bg4 Qa1 43.Qf7 Qb2 44.Nf3 1-0


Z. Abdumalik (2428)-N. Khomeriki (2347) X25
World Junior Girls Ch.
Tarvisio, Italy, Nov. 20 2017
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Qxf6 14.Nb3 Bxf2+ 15.Kxf2 Ne5



16.Kg3!? (A brave king! The usual move is 16.Kg1.) 16…g5 17.Qd4 h5 18.Bxg5 h4+ 19.Qxh4 Qg7 20.Nbd4 Nxf3 21.gxf3 1-0


White also can experiment with: 14.Qf1.


Moscow, 1943
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Qxf6 14.Qf1 Bg4 (14…g5 15.h3 h5 16.Nb3 Bxf2+ 17.Qxf2 g4 18.hxg4 hxg4 19.Qg3 +- ECO ; 14…Ne5 15.Nd4 Qh4 16.N2f3 Nxf3+ 17.Rxf3 Bg4 18.Rf2 Rae8 19.Bf4! +- Suetin.) 15.Kh1 Bxf2 16.Qxf2 Rae8 17.Qg3 Ne5 18.Bd1 Nd3 19.h3 Bh5 20.Bc2 Nf4 21.Ng1 c5 22.Ndf3 Ne2 23.Nxe2 Rxe2 24.Bd1 Re6 25.Bd2 h6 26.Kh2 Re4 27.Ng5 hxg5 28.Bxh5 Re5 29.Bf3 Qe7 30.a4 Kh7 31.axb5 axb5 32.Ra7 Qd6 33.Bg4 Rd8 34.Kh1 d4 35.cxd4 cxd4 36.Bf4 Re1+ 37.Qxe1 Qxf4 38.Rd7 Rxd7 39.Bxd7 d3 40.Bg4 d2 41.Qe2 b4 42.Qd3+ g6 43.Kg1 Kh6 44.b3 Kg7 45.Bf3 Qf7 46.Kf2 Qe6 47.Qe3 Qd6 48.Bd1 Qd5 49.g4 Kh7 50.Ke2 1-0


So Black almost has to play 13…Bxf2+ and come up with a plan after 14.Kxf2

He can try 14… fxe5!?


Edward Sergeant-George Thomas
Guildford, England, 1944
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.Nf1 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 fxe5!? 15.Kg1 e4! (The point of Black’s last move. More testing is needed for this line.) 16.Bg5 Qd7 17.Nd4 Bg4 18.Qd2 Ne5 19.Ne3 c6 20.Nxg4 Qxg4 21.Bd1 Qd7 22.Be2 Rf7 23.Bf4 Nc4 24.Bxc4 bxc4 25.Be3 Raf8 26.h3 h6 27.Ne2 Rf6 28.Kh2 g5 29.Ng3 Qd6 30.Bd4 Rf5 31.Qe3 R8f7 32.Kh1 Rf3 33.gxf3 Qxg3 34.fxe4 Rf3 35.Qg1 Qh4 36.Be5 Rxh3+ 37.Bh2 g4 38.Re1 Rxh2+ 0-1


But more common is 14…Qxf6.

White can go totally wrong after 15.Kg1

GM Ljubojevic-GM Yusupov
Tilburg, Sept. 27 1987
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Kg1 Rae8 16.Qf1 Bf5 17.Bxf5 Qxf5 18.b3 d4 19.cxd4 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Qc5 21.Bb2 Rxf1+ 22.Rxf1 Re2 23.Rf2 Rxf2 24.Kxf2 Qd5 25.Ke3 Qe5+ 0-1


GM E. Matsuura-FM Guilherme De Borba
Floripa Open
Florianopolis, Brazil, Jan. 25 2020
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.Nbd2 Bc5 10.c3 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Kg1 Rae8 16.Qf1 Bf5 17.Bxf5 Qxf5 18.Nb3 Ne5 19.Nbd4 Nxf3+ 20.Nxf3 Qc2 21.h3 Re2 22.b3 Qxc3 23.Qxe2 Qxa1 24.Qe6+ Kh8 25.Qc6 Qxa2 26.Qxd5 Qb1 27.Qc5 Re8 28.Qc6 Rf8 1/2-1/2


But 15.Kf1 Ne5 keeps the game going. It is doubled-edged and White just has to find the correct 16th move. He didn’t in this game.


La Palma C.C., 1982
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Ng3?! (Too slow.) 16…Rae8! (Taking advantage of the extra tempo.) 17.Kg1 Bg4 18.Qxd5+?! (It is not a good idea to open lines when your opponent is the one doing the attacking, even if it is a check.) 18…Kh8


19.Be4 (Not 19.Qe4? Nxf3+! -+) 19…Rd8 20.Qc5 Rd1+ 21.Kf2 Bxf3 22.gxf3 Nd3+! 0-1


16.Kg1 is flashy and may not be the best for White. But it does lead to lots of excitement and can be a real crowd pleaser.


IM Nelson Mariano-IM Sophia Polgar
World Jr. Ch.
Matinhos, Oct. 1994
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Bc2 O-O 11.Nbd2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Kg1 Rae8 16.Nf1 Ne5 17.Be3 Nxf3+ 18.Qxf3 Qxf3 19.gxf3 Rxf3 20.Bd4



20…Bh3 21.Ng3 Re6 22.Rd1 h5 23.Bb3 c6 24.Nxh5 Bg4 25.Nxg7 Rg6 26.Kg2 Rf7 27.Re1 c5 28.Be5 c4 29.Bc2 Bf5+ 30.Bg3 Bxc2 31.Ne8 Be4+ 32.Kg1 Rf3 33.a3 Kf8 34.Nc7 Rf7 35.Rf1 Rxf1+ 36.Kxf1 Ke7 0-1


Milan Babula (2323)-Jesper Skjoldborg (2274)
Czech Republic Open
Marianske Lazne, Jan. 29 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Kg1 Rae8 17.Be3 Nxf3+ 18.Qxf3 Qxf3 19.gxf3 Rxf3 20.Bd4 Bh3 21.Ng3 Re6 22.Rd1 h5 23.Bd3 h4 24.Nh1 c5 25.Bxc5 Re5 26.Bd6 Rg5+ 27.Ng3 hxg3 28.hxg3 Rf6 29.Bb8 Bf5 30.Bf4 Rgg6 31.Be2 Bg4 32.Kf2 Bxe2 33.Kxe2 Rf5 34.Kd3 Rc6 35.Re1 Kf7 36.Rh1 g5 37.Bb8 Rf2 38.g4 Rxb2 39.Be5 Rxa2 40.Rh7+ Kg6 41.Rg7+ Kh6 42.Rg8 Ra3 43.Rh8+ Kg6 44.Rg8+ Kf7 45.Rg7+ Ke6 46.Rg6+ Kxe5 47.Rxc6 b4 48.Rg6 Kf4 49.Kd4 bxc3 50.Kxd5 Kxg4 0-1



16.Be3 is better. White’s defences are improved with a flexible bishop.

USSR Ch., 1977
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Be3 Rae8 17.Bd4 Bg4 18.N1d2 Qf4 19.Kg1 Nxf3+ 20.Nxf3 c6 21.Bd3 Bxf3 22.Qxf3 Qxf3 23.gxf3 Rxf3 24.Rd1 a5 25.Kg2 Rf4 26.Kg3 +/-


Sokolsky Memorial
Minsk, 1978
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Be3 Rae8 17.Bc5 Nxf3 18.gxf3 Rf7 19.Kg2 h5 20.Qd3 Qg5+ 21.Kh1 Bf5 22.Qxd5 c6 23.Qxc6 Bd7 24.Qg6 Qxc5 25.Bb3 +/- Ree7 26.Ng3 Qe3 27.Qxh5 Be6 28.Nf5 Rxf5 29.Qxf5 Bxb3 30.axb3 Qe2 31.Qd5+ Kh7 32.Qh5+ Kg8 33.Qd5+ Kh7 34.Rg1 Re5 35.Qf7 1-0


Kirovakan, Armenia, 1978
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Be3 Qh4+ (16…Bg4? 17.Qxd5+ Kh8 18.Qe4 g6 19.Bd4 +-) 17.Kg1 Nxf3+ 18.gxf3 Rf6 19.Bd4 Qg5+ 20.Kh1 Bh3 21.Ne3 Rf7 22.Qg1 +/- Qf4 23.Qg3 Qxg3 24.hxg3 Rxf3 25.Bb3 Be6 26.Kg2 Rf7 27.Nxd5 Rd8 28.Nf4 Bxb3 29.axb3 c5 30.Ne6 Re8 31.Nxc5 Re2+ 32.Kh3 h5 33.Rxa6 Rf1 34.Kh4 Rf5 35.g4 hxg4 36.Ra7 Rf7 37.Rb7 Rxb2 38.Rxb5 Rh2+ 39.Kg3 Rh3+ 40.Kxg4 Rhf3 41.Ne6 1-0


GM Vassily Ivanchuk-GM Artur Yusupov
Linares, Feb. 21 1990
[Inside Chess?]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Be3 Rae8 17.Bc5 Nxf3 18.gxf3 Rf7 19.Ng3 Bg4 20.Kg1 Qxf3 21.Qxf3 Bxf3? 22.Rf1! +/- Rf6 23.b4! c6 24.Bf5? (>24.Bd4 Rf4 25.Bf5 with the idea of Bd7 +-) 24…Be2 25.Re1 Bh5 26.Rxe8+ Bxe8 27.Be7 Rh6 28.Bg5 Rd6 29.Be7 Rh6 30.Bc8 Bf7 31.Bc5 Be6 32.Bxa6 Bd7 33.Bb7 Kf7 34.Ne2 Ke6 35.Nd4+ Ke5 36.Nb3 Ke4 37.Bf2 Bh3 38.Nd4 Rg6+ 39.Bg3 Rf6 40.Bf2 Rg6+ 41.Bg3 Rf6 42.Bf2 Rg6+ 1/2-1/2


FM C. Olivares Olivares-FM W. Cuevas Araya (2187)
Chile Ch.
Santiago, Feb. 20 2019
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Be3 Rae8 17.Bc5 Qh4+ 18.Kg1 Rxf3 19.gxf3 Qh5 20.Nd2 Bh3 21.Kh1 Nc4 22.Bb3 Nxd2 23.Qxd2 Qxf3+ 24.Kg1 Qg4+ 25.Kh1 Qe4+ 26.Kg1 Qg4+ 27.Kh1 Qe4+ 28.Kg1 Qg6+ 29.Kh1 Qe4+ 30.Kg1 Re5 31.Be3 Qg4+ 32.Kh1 Qf3+ 33.Kg1 Qg4+ 34.Kh1 Qe4+ 35.Kg1 Qg6+ 36.Kh1 Qe4+ 37.Kg1 Qg4+ 38.Kh1 c6 1-0

And that’s where we stand. More analysis is needed!

A Different Type of a King Hunt

The King Goes Hunting!



William Smiley-Matthew Lasley
Summer Service Series
Section S40081
CCLA 2014
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.dxe6 Nc6 5.exf7+ Kxf7

[Risky play has its own rewards. Certainly, it takes guts and luck. And perhaps, maybe, Black was aware of the following game:

25 minute game, Aug. 1 2003
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.dxe6 Nc6 5.exf7+ Kxf7 6.d3 Bc5 7.Nf3 Ng4 8.Ng5+ Kg6 9.Ne4 Nxf2 10.Nxf2 Bxf2+ 11.Kxf2 Qd4+ 12.Kg3 Rf8 13.Qe2 Qd6+ 14.Kh4 Qd8+ 15.Kg3 h5 16.Qe4+ Bf5 17.Qh4 Qe8 18.Qg5+ Kh7 19.h3 Qe5+ 20.Qf4 Qe7 21.Kh2 Bg6 22.Qg5 Qd6+ 23.Qg3 Qd4 24.Nc3 h4 25.Qg4 Qd6+ 26.g3 Ne5 27.Qxh4+ Kg8 28.Bg2 Rf2 29.Kg1 Raf8 30.Ne4 Rxg2+ 31.Kxg2 Qxd3 32.Re1 Nf3 33.Nf6+ Rxf6 0-1.]

6.Nf3 Bg4 7.Be2 Bxf3 8.Bxf3 Qd3 9.Bd5+ (9.Be2 Re8 and it looks like Black already has the advantage.) 9…Nxd5 10.Qh5+ Ke6 (Charge! Arthur Holmer, writing in the Oct-Dec. 2016 issue of The Chess Correspondent, noted the brave, and almost foolhardy, 10…Kf6 leads to victory after 11.Qe2 Ncb4.) 11.cxd5+ Qxd5 12.Qxd5+ Kxd5




13.a3 Re8+ 14.Kd1 Bc5 15.f3 Re6 16.d3 Kd4 17.Nc3 Kxd3




18.Ne4 Bb6 19.b4 Rd8 20.Bd2 h6?! (Black is almost forced to make this weakening move.) 21.Rc1 Bd4 22.Nc5+ Bxc5 23.Rc3+ (White finally manages to push back the Black king.) 23…Kd4 24.Rxc5 Re5 25.Rxe5 Nxe5 26.Kc2 Nc4 27.Ra1 Ne3+ 28.Kb3 Nxg2 29.Bxh6! Re8 30.Bxg7+ Ke3 31.h4 Kxf3 32.h5 Re3+ 33.Ka4 c6 34.Bb2 Nf4 35.h6 Nd5 36.Bd4 1-0 (The Chess Correspondent mentions, “Black actually overstepped the time control and the server automatically issued a time forfeit, but the White h-pawn will promote or cost material.” Black loses his king at the end. But what a brave and courageous king!)




The “Dragon” describes a vast complex variation in the Sicilian. Black sets up a fianchettoed bishop on g7, castles kingside, and hopes to attack on the queenside.


But where did the name Dragon come from?


So far, the research indicates that the name originated from the 19th century Russian player Fyodor Dus-Chotimirsk. He claimed to have invented the term in 1901 as Black’s kingside pawn structure resembled the constellation Draco. The constellation’s name means “dragon” in Latin.


It might also help to know that Dus-Chotimirsk was an amateur astronomer.


We can only assume that the fianchettoed bishop represents the head of the dragon while the bishop’s long diagonal is its tail. You will appreciate the long diagonal (tail) of the dragon after playing over a few games.

Here is an illustrated (AKA with diagrams) introduction to the Dragon.


M. Maric-S. Matveeva
Yugoslavia, 1992
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 g6 6.g3 Nc6 7.Nde2 b6 8.Bg2 Ba6 9.O-O Bg7 10.Nd5 O-O 11.Re1 Rc8 12.c3 Nd7 13.Be3 Nc5 14.Nd4 Ne5 15.Nb4 Bb7 16.f3 a5 17.Nd5 e6 18.Nf4 Nc4 19.Nb5 Ba6 20.Bxc5 Rxc5 21.a4 Nxb2 22.Qb3 Nxa4 23.Nxe6 Rxb5 24.Qxa4 fxe6

0-1 (Black is threatening White’s “c” pawn. And 25.c4? Rb4! loses more material than just a pawn.)


Milenko Lojanica-Gawain Jones
Victoria, 2009

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 O-O 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.O-O-O Rb8 11.Nxc6? bxc6 12.h4 Qa5 13.Nb1??  Nxe4! 0-1 (with the idea of Bxb2#.)


Ka Szadkowski (2300)-M. Mroziak (2406)
Polish Team Ch., 2nd League
Szklarska Poreba, Sept. 2 2017
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.O-O-O Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Be6 11.Kb1 Qc7 12.h4 Rfc8 13.Bd3 Qa5 14.h5? Rxc3! 15.Qxc3 Qxa2+ 0-1


Jan Svatos (2280)-Pavel Jirovsky (2335)
Czech Chess Union Open Ch.
Prague, 1964
[A question for White. What is worse than worse having a bishop with long diagonal attacking your castled position? Having two bishops with long diagonals attacking your castled position! Not to mention the enemy queen and rooks. Details below.]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.Be3 O-O 8.f3 Nc6 9.Qd2 a5 10.O-O-O a4 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.e5 Ne8 13.exd6 Nxd6 14.Be2 Qa5 15.Bd4 e5! (White was probably not expecting this move. It opens up the position in Black’s favor.) 16.Bc5 Qxc5 17.Qxd6 Qe3+! (This little zwischenzug keeps the advantage for Black. Obviously not 17…Qxd6? 18.Rxd6 and White is doing OK.) 18.Qd2 Qb6 19.Bc4 Qb4 20.b3 axb3 21.Bxb3 e4 22.Nb1 Qb6 23.c3? (All this move does is to loosen up White’s castled position. It’s hard to find a good move, but 23.fxe4!? keeps Black’s bishop from f5 for at least another move.) 23…exf3! 24.gxf3 Bf5! -+


25.Kb2 Rfb8! 0-1



The next two games are from the rarely played Zollner Gambit. Consider these games as sidenotes.


Raymond Martin (2230)-Raymond Vollmar (2143)
US Open
Fort Worth, TX, July 9 1951
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 g6 7.Be3 Bg7 8.O-O O-O 9.f4 Qb6 10.e5 (The Zollner Gambit) 10…dxe5 11.fxe5 Nxe5 12.Nf5 Qe6 13.Nxg7 Kxg7 14.Qd2 Re8 15.Rae1 Bd7 16.Bd4 Bc6 17.Qf4 Ned7 18.Bg4 Qd6 19.Qxd6 exd6 20.Rxe8 Rxe8 21.Bxd7 Bxd7 22.Nd5 1-0


L. H. Hansen (1993)-A. Groenn (2409)
Sveins Memorial
Oslo, June 24 2011
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 g6 7.O-O Bg7 8.Be3 O-O 9.f4 Qb6 10.e5 dxe5 11.fxe5 Nxe5 12.Nf5 Qe6 13.Nxg7 Kxg7 14.Qd2 Kh8 15.Nb5 Nc4 16.Bxc4 Qxc4 17.Na3 Qc6 18.Qd4 b6 19.Nc4 Bb7 20.Rf2 Rfd8 21.Qh4 Qe4 22.Qxe4 Nxe4 23.Rf4 Rac8 24.b3 f5 25.Re1 Ba6 0-1




David McTavish (2224)-Jura Ochkoos (2298)
Canada Open
Toronto, 1992
[Black has to be careful not trade off his dragon.]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.O-O-O Qb8 11.h4 Rc8 12.Bb3 a5 13.a4 h5 14.g4 Nb4 15.Bh6 Rc5 16.gxh5 Nxh5 17.Rhg1 e6 18.Nf5 exf5 19.Rxg6 Kh7 20.Bxg7 f4 21.Rxd6 Be6 22.Bxe6! fxe6


23.Rd7! (Black is facing lines that end in mate. Lines like 23…Nxg7 24.Rxg7+! Kxg7 25.Rg1+ Kf7 26.Qd7+ Kf6 27.Qg7#) 1-0


Edwin Bhend-Otto Zimmermann
Zurich, 1954
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 O-O 9.O-O-O Na5? 10.Bh6! Be6 11.h4 Bc4 12.h5 Bxf1 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.hxg6 h5 15.Nf5+ 1-0


Yu Lie (2348)-Leon Hoyos (2395)
World U14 Ch.
Halkidiki, Greece, 2003
[If this is how someone under 14 plays chess, I would not want to play him as an adult! What makes this game more interesting is the fact is that since Black moved his dragoned bishop off the long diagonal, White takes over the long diagonal and uses it for HIS bishop.]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bc4 Bg7 4.O-O Nc6 5.c3 e5 6.d4 exd4 7.cxd4 Nxd4 8.Nxd4 cxd4 9.Qf3! (Not just going for the easy mate but it also forces the Black queen to a vulnerable spot. Otherwise if 9…Nf6 or 9…Bf6, then 10.e5!) 9…Qf6 10.Qg3 Ne7 11.Bg5 Qe5 12.Bf4! (Willing to give up a pawn for continued rapid development.) 12…Qxe4 13.Bd3 Qd5 14.Bd6 Bf6 15.Re1 Kf8 16.Nd2 Qh5 17.Qf4 Bg5 18.Qe5 Kg8 19.Bxe7 Bxd2?! (Admittedly there is not much else Black can do. But now he is mated in three moves.)
20.Qxh8+!! Kxh8 21.Bf6+ 1-0

Corona Problems? No problem!

I haven’t been to a tournament or even a club for some time now.


Mostly this is due with the “Stay Home” initiative.


The gym is closed. So is the local college, the library, the mall, bookstores, movie houses, amusement parks, coffee houses, fast food restaurants, churches, and various work places. The beach is still open here in Huntington Beach. But city and county officials are talking about closing that too.


So, what do if you really want to play chess?


Naturally, there is the Internet. I play on But you can find many other sites to play Blitz, Bughouse, and even tournament games.



s-l1600 (1)

And get out those old Informants! The books you acquired some time ago, and just didn’t have the time to read or study from it. Go ahead, grab an issue, a pen, a highlighter and a notepad. Mark up the book, write your notes on the paper, and have some fun!


If you have a word processor, you might enter your favorite games and your notes right onto your laptop.


But what to do if you don’t have any Informants? Well, any chess book will do! Even if it is written by Reinfeld and annotated in Descriptive Notation (DN). Hint! – his best book is 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations.


s-l500 (3) BCF_Yearbook_Cover_1995_2s-l500 (2)


And then proceed as above.

And if you are one of those rare chess players who doesn’t own a single book on chess, then you still have options to enjoy the game.


You can always read and study various chess magazines. Even old ones.



They can be ordered on And available in different languages.

You can also download games from the Internet in PDF, PGN, http, or text fashion.

If you want human interaction, you can email a friend. Request games to enjoy or study. Offer to play games via email. Or even by telephone.

Old-fashioned blue telephone on a white background.
I did that, pre-Internet. Just be sure to have a pen and notepad or scoresheet – you might want a copy of the game (another hint here!)


Most important of all, during this time of self-isolation and possible mass paranoia and hysteria, keep busy. Don’t miss an opportunity to enjoy the one thing that a virus can’t block you from doing; that is to enjoy your game, your life.


David Cummings-Yura Ochkoos
Kitchener Octoberfest Open
Ontario, Canada, 2002
[This game can be found in “Across Canada”, in the December, 1992 issue of “En Passant”, published by Chess Federation of Canada. Notes by Escalante (who is stuck at home).]
1.c4 e6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 c5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.d4 Nc6 6.cxd5 exd5 7.O-O Be7 8.Be3 c4 9.Ne5 O-O 10.b3 cxb3 11.Qxb3 Na5 (ECO gives 11…Bd6 as being equal. But now it appears that the text move is slightly stronger. Meanwhile, we are still in “book”.) 12.Qa4 a6 13.Bd2 Nc4 14.Nxc4 b5 15.Qc2

[Egon Brestian (2475)-Reinhard Lendwai (2405), Austria Ch., 1991, continued instead with 15.Ba5 Qe8 16.Qc2 bxc4 17.Nc3 Be6 18.e4 dxe4 (Qd7!?) 19.Nxe4 Nd5 20.Nc5 Bxc5 21.dxc5 Qe7 22.Bb6 Rab8 23.Rab1 Qf6 24.a4 Rfc8 25.a5 Nc3 26.Rbc1 Nb5 27.Rfd1 Nd4 28.Qe4 Nb3 29.Rxc4 Bxc4 30.Qxc4 Nxc5 31.Bxc5 Qg5 32.Bd5 Kh8 33.Qd4 Rb5 34.Bb6 Rc1 35.Bf3 Rxd1+ 36.Qxd1 h5


37.Qd8+! (Simplifying into a winning 2B vs. R endgame.) 37…Qxd8 (37…Kh7? 38.Qxg5 Rxg5 39.Bb7 wins.) 38.Bxd8 Kh7 39.Bb6 Kg6 40.Be2 1-0]

15…bxc4 16.Nc3 Be6 17.Bg5 Rb8 18.e3 Qa5 19.Rab1 Bb4?! 20.Bxf6 Bxc3 21.Be5 Rb5 22.e4 Rd8 23.a4! Rxb1 24.Rxb1 dxe4 25.Bxe4 Bxd4? 26.Bxd4 Rxd4


27.Qc3!! 1-0