New blog to go online on Wednesday!


Finally!  After weeks of tweaking and more than a few sleepless nights trying to figure out why things don’t work the way they are supposed to work, I have succeeded into getting my new blog all set up. It should go online tomorrow.  Stay tuned for the precise address.

While I have been quite satisfied with this website, its limitations have been frustrating.  The lack of pgn-viewer capability, for example, has limited the kinds of chess material that I would have liked to have presented. The new website will make use of atleast 2 pgn-viewers!

The new website will also be very plug-in friendly, allowing me to present information in various formats–especially with respect to advanced galleries–easing access to links and videos.

Thankyou for your patience.



Today’s chess tactics quiz!

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Baku Open   2016.9.19  Gadimbayli, Abdulla–Paramzina, Anastasya:  9.Ne6! 1-0  It is either the Queen or mate after 9…PxN 10.Qh5+

Baku Open   2016.9.21  Abdulov, Orkhan–Soozankar, A.M.: 13.Nf6!! Qc8 (Taking the Knight is soon mate after 14.Qc3+) 14.Qc3 Kh6 15.h3 1-0  It is forced mate in at most 4 moves.

Baku Open   2016.9.26  Mamedjarova, Turkan–Karayev, Kanan:  26…Rf1+!! 27.Kxf1 Bxd3+! 28.cxd3 Qc1+ 29.Kf2 Qe3+ 0-1 White loses his Rook after ….Qxd3+

Baku Open   2016.9.20  Hesham, Abdelrahman–Amin, Bassem:  26.d6+ Qf7 27.Nf6+! 1-0 It is either the Queen or the house (27…PxN 28.Bd5; 27…Kf8 28.Nh7+ Ke8 29.Bc6+)

Baku Open   2016.9.18  Fataliyeva, Ulviyya–Sindarov, Javokhir: 23.Bxh6! (Threatening mate in two if Black takes the Queen) 23… gxh6 24.Qf4!? (24.Rxh6+ is a bit faster) 24… Ne5  25.Rxh6+Kg8 26.Qxe5! Bxh6 27.Rg3+ Kh7 28.Rg7+ Kh8 29.Qf6 1-0 Ouch!

Mark Dvoretsky RIP


Mark Dvoretsky (9-12-1947 to 26-9-2016)

Sad news today of renown Russian chess coach Mark Dvoretsky’s death.  Age 68. Dvoretsky was also an acclaimed author, having written more than 20 books, all of them popular.

I have most of them, and just this spring I started to read his latest series (For Friends and Colleagues)-not really anything chess-instructive about them–but that recount how Mark got into chess coaching when younger, and of the personalities that he met along the way.


I first met Dvoretsky at the 1985 Candidates Tournament in Montpellier, France where he was the official trainer of both Artur Yussupov and Alexander Chernin.  Four years later, in 1989, when I was playing Yussupov in the Candidates Matches in Quebec City, I had a better chance to get acquainted with him.

Two episodes stand out, even today, of that Quebec Match.  The first is that Dvoretsky needed a computer to access his files, but in 1989 it was against the law to rent or sell a computer to anyone Russian(!), and not knowing how to solve his little problem, he approached my team.  We rented a computer for him for the duration of the event!

The second episode is quite funny, and reveals Dvoretsky’s real nature, his humility and his warmth as a human being. Yussupov and I had drawn our first game, and I won the second game…the ending was REALLY crushing! (Yussupov had a rest day and then came back and levelled the match in the third game. After 8 regular games, the match was 4-4.  I lost the rapid tie-break game, and Yussupov advanced to play Karpov in the next stage of the Candidates)

ANYWAY, after the closing ceremony in Quebec City, Dvoretsky and Yussupov pulled me away for a few moments and gave me the following picture that they had taken in their hotel room after my crushing victory in the second game:



The photo shows the final position where Yussupov resigned, and the stuffed figure (red) shows how Yussupov and Dvoretsky felt! The photo also is indicative of the quality of Dvoretsky as a coach: it is never easy to deal with a defeat, but he managed to get Yussupov to see it as something other than a tragedy.

I will miss Dvoretsky.  My condolences to his family.


Murder she wrote…


English Chess boring?  Not on your LIFE!  If it is not Ray Keene brazingly plagiarizing everything within arm’s reach at the British Library, or Nigel Short merrily pestering the opposite sex in the international media, then you can be sure that there is always some juicy news-worthy item to be found elsewhere in English Chess…

This week’s skeleton in the closet involves the arrest of a recent ECF president, CJ de Mooi, allegedly for murdering a stranger back in 1988 when a down and out CJ dredged out a low-life existence as a sex worker in Amsterdam. (No one can make this up!)





From a 2015 interview that CJ gave to the English media.


Happier times.

Baku: why the US media doesn’t care.


It has been a full week now since the Baku Olympiad ended. The victorious US team won its first gold medal in almost 80 years, an achievement that was as brilliant as it was deserved. (My apologies to Kavalek, but except for historians, few consider the 1976 Haifa Olympiad a real Olympiad given the USSR and the Warsaw-pact countries boycotted the event, as did all of the Arab world). 

Many of us expected that the US winning team would be welcomed as national heros when they returned to the US. That they would appear on CNN, have a parade thru Times Square. Maybe even invited to the White House…

But this was NOT to be the case. Instead, this past week has been a NIGHTMARE for American Chess:


(click on image for link)

In the week since their victory, except for the above controversial news item and some reporting in and around St.Louis, NOT A SINGLE major US news service has even carried the victory. Only dedicated chess-sites or regular chess-columns mentioned the US victory in Baku. Unbelievable!  Had I not seen with my own eyes, I would have thought this could have never happened.  But it did…

Is the US media afraid of Trump?


Trump has made the 2016 run for the White House all about immigration.  What is more, his hardline views on what today is American and what is un-American are gaining ground as the election campaign nears its end. Polls show that Trump is neck and neck with Clinton.  And it very much appears that the mainstream US media is trying not to provoke Trump’s obsession with immigration.


Below are a but a few clickable news articles that indicate what I am talking about with respect to the media’s changing attitude with respect to immigration. They are taken from  The last two, in particular, show how a number of media chains might actually be getting onboard Trump’s campaign.




The 2016 US election is going to DEFINE America for a long time to come.  Especially, it is going to define America’s attitudes with respect to what is and what is not an American.  As a Canadian, I am repulsed with such growing racist views and and racial stereotypes.  Clearly I do not agree with them!  I find such thinking scary…

BUT it is not for me to decide. What only matters is how the American people PERCEIVE what is an American or not.  About what is American and what is un-American.


As a chessplayer, I am shocked at how the US team that won in Baku is COMPLETELY IGNORED by the US media.

Now the question is to see how (or if) the US media covers the upcoming world championship match in NYC between Carlsen and Karjakin…

Winning 5-second tactic!


From a blitz game that I saw today over the ‘net. I was quite impressed!  White had just played 22.Qxd6, attacking both the Rook and Bishop.  If 22…Rf7, then 23.Qxe5 is a BIG advantage for White.

My initial impression was that Black had simply not seen White’s 22nd move.  However, after just a few seconds thought, Black uncorked a move that wins by force!


Chess, art, stockings,fun and potpourri

Being so occupied with my blog move (this week!) I haven’t been able to regularly update this blog as much as I would have liked. Here are some fun photos/tweets etc that I have come across the past few days surfing the net, following chess and what not. Enjoy!