Chess news,tactics and nonsense!


I first noticed this item on Horton’s original blog LOST ON TIME and then followed up doing some further research, finally finding THIS link which is a bit more detailed. Apparently, the ‘tractor-chess’ phenom began back in 2012, probably induced by the desperation surrounding the end of the world craze….well, the end of the world did not happen, and we are left with ‘tractor chess’.  Seems fair! ENJOY!




Chess, cinema, potpourri and nonsense!






I was watching TV the other night with my wife, the FOX CRIME channel, in particular the Poirot series and I really enjoyed ‘The Big Four‘, an adaptation of the 1927 Agatha Christie novel which revolved around solving a mystery that began with a chess match at which one of the grandmaster’s died unexpectedly while playing his third move:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 (opponent suddenly keels over and dies)  0-1

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I have to say that I really enjoyed it, descriptive notation and all! Infact, fate would have it that I have recently been watching a lot of oldish films where chess is an integral part of the plot. Is it just my imagination, or can it be true that chess has always been part of Hollywood?  (Food for thought for a later blog?!)



Deadlier than the Male is a 1967 mystery drama that might be considered something of a James Bond-ripoff that apparently was all the rage back then.


You can actually find the entire film over at YouTube, and a short synopsis can be found HERE.


But the best part of the film (for me) is a scene near the end where the film’s star and his arch-rival settle things once and for all in a GIANT ROBOT chess game:





I have been trying to find out more of this photo of a young Jane Seymour, but without success so far.  Readers might remember Jane as being a Bond-girl back in the early 1970’s, before going on to greater things.

But getting back to the photo, I love it! Jane is packing (count. 3-guns) and showing her underwear at the same time.  And the chess set?  Certainly not a coincidence! There must be some hidden meaning…that escapes me.

Perhaps some reader might be able to help out?!  I thought of asking Winter (over on ChessHistory) but had second thoughts when I realized that Winter had probably already copyright-ed the photo and would just ask me to remove it.




Friday’s chess tactics quiz!





1st Stars Cup  Bandar-e Anzali   2016.7.15  P0sition before Black’s 33rd move.  White’s pieces have been pushed back into passive positions, while Black has cleverly weakened White’s King position.  Now is the perfect time to strike…



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1st Stars Cup  Bandar-e Anzali   2016.7.18  Position after 18 moves.  It seems very much as though the game is just beginning, infact it is about to end!  



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1st Stars Cup  Bandar-e Anzali   2016.7.18  Position before Black’s 27th move.  It is clear that White has been outplayed by his more experienced rival, who dominates the centre with his powerful armada…Black can now play 27…Nb4!? to increase his pressure (28.b3! Qa6!), but the grandmaster wants more.  He wants to immediately end the game…



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1st Stars Cup  Bandar-e Anzali   2016.7.18  Position after 19 moves. Material is even, but Black’s pieces lack coordination.  His last move was 19…h6, trying to get rid of some pressure….




1st Stars Cup  Bandar-e Anzali   2016.7.15  Khademalsharieh,S–Short,N : 33…Ne2+ 34.Rxe2 ( 34.Kf1 Qh2 35.Rxe2 Qxh3+ 36.Rg2 Nxg2 37.Nxg2 Qxf3+ 38.Bf2 Qxd1+ ) Qg3+ 35.Kf1 ( 35.Ng2 Qh2+ 36.Kf1 Qh1+ 37.Bg1 Bh2 ) ( 35.Rg2 Nxg2 36.Nxg2 Qh2+ 37.Kf1 Qh1+ 38.Kf2 Qxd1 ) Qxh3+ 36.Kg1 Bh2+ ( 36…Nxf3+ is even more precise ) 0-1 After  37.RxB Nxf3+ 38.NxN RxR+ etc or 37.Kh1 RxR etc.

1st Stars Cup  Bandar-e Anzali   2016.7.18  Short,N–Ghaem Maghami,E:  19.Nd5! A very nice positional sacrifice that leaves Black paralyzed and helpless. 19…exd5 20.cxd5 Qb7 21.Nc6! Rfe8 22.f4! Nh5 23.e5! Nb8 24.Nxd8 Rxd8 25.e6 Nf6 26.f5 b5 27.Bd4 Rf8 28.Qh6 fxe6 29.dxe6 d5 30.fxg6 Nc6 31.Rxc6 1-0

1st Stars Cup  Bandar-e Anzali   2016.7.18  Firouzja,Alireza–Dreev,A: 27…Bd2!! 28.Nxd2 (White’s problem is that he can not take with the Rook because of forced mate on c1) 28… Qc2+ 29.Ka1 Rb5! 30.b3 Ra5 31.a4 Nb4 0-1 (Also 31…Rxa4+ would win)

1st Stars Cup  Bandar-e Anzali   2016.7.18  Edouard,R–Pourramezanali,A:  20.Ne4! Qe6 21.Bxd5 ! Qxd5 22.Nxf6+ Kf7 23.Nxd5 Bxc3 24.Bxc3 with two extra pawns that White had no problema converting into a win some dozen moves later.

Wednesday’s chess tactics quiz!


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TCh-CHN   2016.7.26  Fang, Yan–Xu, Yinglun.  Yesterday! Let’s start today’s work with a Rook and Pawn ending. Both sides have passed pawns, but White’s are more advanced, and therefore has the better chances of winning the game.  But he must exercise caution, as the hasty 40.b5?! (threatening 41.Rb6+ and 42.Rc6) would allow the clever 40…Kg7! when White must fight for a draw (!), as the reader can easily verify.



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17th Karpov Poikovsky  2016.7.26  Gm Motylev, Alexander–Gm Jakovenko, Dmitry. Position after White’s move, 22.Rd8, which came with a draw offer which was accepted(!). Fascinating! White is threatening Rxf8+ and Qd8 mate; Black, for his part, is threatening to capture one of White’s Bishops….

While a draw is actually a fair result in this game, it took me quite a while to understand why! And even so, I think that both players should have played on! If only because it is a very tricky position. For instance if now 22…g6 (luft!), then White wins with 23.RxR+ KxR 24.Qd8+ Kg7 25.Qf6+ and 26.e6!

So my challenge to you, dear Reader, is



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Dutch Open  Dieren   2016.7.26  Gm Debashis, Das–Vos, Tjark. Position after 22 moves of play. The grandmaster has played the opening recklessly against his less experienced rival, and now finds himself a pawn less with a shattered pawn structure.

It is clear that White would be satisfied with a draw, if he could somehow get a perpetual against the enemy King.  Tempting, therefore, is 23.Rxe6!?, when 23…PxR?! 24.RxP+ PxR 25.Qxg6+ gives a draw.  But the clever 23…Bf6! would refute White’s idea, and after 24.Rxf6 Qxf6 25.Rh4 Qg7 26.Qxg7+ Kxg7 27.Bh6+Kg8 28.Ne4 Nd5!  Black is simply better.

Another unsuccessful idea is 23.Ne4!?, trying to get in Ng5 or Bg5, but Black successfully defends with 23… Qxd4! 24.Ng5 ( or 24.Bg5 Bxg5 25.Nxg5 Qg7! ) 23…Qg7!

But there exists a very clever resource in the above position that would allow White to save his game.  Do you see it?



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Quebec  Open  U2000  Montreal  2016.7.23  Morin, Louis–El-Adraoui, Mourad. Position after 18 moves of play. White had earlier sacrificed a Knight to open the Black King position, hoping that he could take advantage of it. It is not easy, however.  If White now tries to bring in the Rook with the immediate 19.Qh3 (planning 20.Re3 and 21.Rg3) then Black can successfully defend with 19…Ndf6! 20.Re3 Bc8! followed by BxN.

However, Louis Morin, a resourceful tactician, had forseen a very clever idea….



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Quebec  Open    Montreal  2016.7.25  Gm Lesiege, Alexandre–Fm Barbeau, Sylvain. Position after 31 moves. Both players had aimed for this position and Black–having an extra pawn–must have felt satisfied.  If White tries to win it back with 32.Ng5(?!) Bd5 33.Re1 then the simple 33…Bg7! would be very strong. However, Lesiege had forseen a clever resource in the position above that gives him the advantage…




TCh-CHN   2016.7.26  Fang, Yan–Xu, Yinglun: 40.Kb1! 1-0  If 40…Rc4 41.b3 Rc3 42.Kb2 Rc6 43.b5 and 44.Rb6+ and 45.Rc6 (note:43.Rb6 should be good enough also); Ori f 40…Rc6 then 41.b5 as in the last variation.

17th Karpov Poikovsky  2016.7.26  Motylev, Alexander–Jakovenko, Dmitry: 22…f6! 23.exf6 ( 23.Rxf8+ Kxf8 24.exf6 Qc1+ 25.Bf1 Qxc3 26.fxg7+ Kxg7 ( or 26…Qxg7 27.Qd8+ Kf7 28.Qxc7+ Kg8 29.Qd8+ Qf8 30.Qg5+ etc ) 27.Qe7+ with a perpetual ) Rxd8 ( 23…Qxc3?! 24.f7+ Kxf7 25.Rxf8+ Kxf8 26.Qd8+ Kf7 27.Qxc7+ Kf8 28.Qxb7 with advantage ) 24.f7+ Kxf7 25.Bh5+ g6 26.Qf6+ Ke8 27.Qh8+!? (trying to win?. Ofcourse, White had a perpetual with Qe6+) Kd7 28.Bg4+ Kc6 29.Qxd8 Nxc4 30.Bf3+ Kb6 31.Bxb7 Qxc3 with na even game 

Dutch Open  Dieren   2016.7.26  Debashis, Das–Vos, Tjark: 23.Ree4!!  ( Beautiful! Talk about Rooks and files, well this is certainly weird. White wants to play Rh4)23…Nd6?? ( Correct is either 23…Nd3!? 24.Rh4 Bxh4 25.Rxh4 Qxh4 26.Qxh4 Nxc1 27.Ne4 Kg7 but White has a forced repetition if he wants; or the immediate 23…f5, which allows 24.Rxg6+ with a draw ) 24.Rh4 Bxh4 25.Rxh4 Qxh4 26.Qxh4 Nf5 27.Qe4 and Black does not have enough for the Queen.  Rfd8 28.Be3 a6 29.Bb3 Rd6 30.Qb7 Rcd8 31.Ne4 Rc6 32.Bd2 Nxd4 33.Ng5 Rf8 34.Bxb4 Rc1+ 35.Kg2 1-0 

Quebec  Open  U2000  Montreal  2016.7.23  Morin, Louis–El-Adraoui, Mourad: 19.Qg3! Very strong move, deflecting the Bishop and gaining time for the attack 19…Bf6 (19…Bh8 would be answered the same way) 20.Qh3! Bg7 21.Re3!  Decisive  21… Bxe4 22.Rxe4 Ndf6 23.Rh4 Qd7 24.Bxh6 Nxh6 25.Rxh6+ Kg8 26.Rxf6 Rfd8 27.Qg4 1-0 

Quebec  Open    Montreal  2016.7.25  Lesiege, Alexandre–Barbeau, Sylvain: 32.Rd8!! Re7?? (After the correct  32…Bc6! 33.Nd4.Be7 34.Rxe8+ Bxe8 White is only a bit better ) 33.Ng5 e5 ( 33…Bd5 34.Bf6 ) 34.Nxe4 1-0

Some news items

A work in progress!  I will add to and update news items from around the chess world during the past days. Great play from the World Champion in Bilbao, taking his third title at the Spanish resort. The Quebec Open is underway, while the Calgary International begins tomorrow. And much more… Enjoy!

Monday coffee, art and potpourri



One of the great pleasures in life is just to start looking for an interesting photo, and then to take it from there.  Some photos tell stories; some tell lies; most are just boring.  But some really move me. Or make me laugh….in anycase, here are some great things to look at, appreciate and enjoy.


Monday’s chess tactics quiz!


“When you see a good move, wait.  Look for a better move!”

Em. Lasker (1868-1941)

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TCh-CHN  2016.7.24 .  Position after 39 moves. White has outplayed his rival and has actively posted each and every piece. Now is the time to cash in.



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Karpov Poikovsky  2016.7.24  Position after 24 moves. A very unusual position, especially for Grandmasters! Both Kings are in the open, but Black is up a Rook and piece…In this kind of game, the initiative is everything.  In the game continuation White decided to win back some material with 25.RxN(?), but after 25…g5! White’s position collapsed like a house of cards.  INSTEAD, from the above position, White has a much stronger continuation, giving some winning chances.



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Lake Sevan  Martuni  2016.7.21 Position after 20 moves. White had sacrificed a piece for the attack, but now what to do?  If 21.e5?! Black beats back the attack with 21…BxB! 22.QxB Ng4+ 23.K-moves Qf5!  Or if 21.Bxc8?! Rxc8 22.d5?! PxP 23.NxP (23.cxd5 Rxc3!) Rxp+ with a mating attack.



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Lake Sevan  Martuni  2016.7.20  Position after White’s 43rd move. A fascinating and wild game! Both sides are trying to win, material even but unbalanced. In such positions the initiative is everything. Wrong now would be 43…Qc3? as 44.Qb8+! Ke7 45.Qd6+! wins. Better would be 43…Qa1!?, but things are still messy after 44.Kg2 as taking the Bishop would allow a perpetual check starting with Qb8+.



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27th Czech Open Pardubice 2016.7.23  Position after 20 moves.  At first sight, a complex fight with opposite-side castling. If now 21.Bd2!?, with the idea of 22.Rc1, then 21…Kb8 is anybody’s game. Black must have felt confident about his chances in this position above…



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27th Czech Open Pardubice 2016.7.23  Position after Black’s 24th move (24…Nb4). White had sacrificed his h-pawn to open the h-file and build up an attack against Black’s King with a later Rh1.

Black’s last move aims to exchange White’s light-colour Bishop. If White now plays 25.BxN BxB 26.Nf4, then 26…RxR and 27…Bf8 will give a sufficient defence against White’s Kingside initiative.




1.) TCh-CHN  2016.7.24 gm Lu, Shanglei (2611)—fm Yu, Kaifeng (2251) : 40.BxN! QxB 41.Nc6! PxN 42.QxR Rf8 43.PxP! etc.  In the game continuation we saw 40.Ka2 Nc5? 41.Nc6! bxc6 42.Qxb8 Nxa4 43.dxc6 Rc5 44.Qb7 1-0

2.) Karpov Poikovsky  2016.7.24  gm Jakovenko, Dmitry (2712)—gm Sutovsky, Emil (2622): 25.Qb4+! Kf7 26.Bd5+ Kg6 27.Rxf8 Rxf8 28.Qxf8 with dangerous threats. 28… Nd7! 29.Qd8 ( 29.Qd6+= ) Nf6 30.exf6 Qd7 31.Qg8 And Whtie has the better chances.

3.) Lake Sevan  Martuni  2016.7.21  gm Sevian, Samuel (2595)—gm Onischuk, Vladimir (2615): 21.d5! cxd5 22.Nxd5 Qe2+ 23.Kh3 Bxe6+ 24.Qxe6 Nxd5 25.Rxd5+ Ke8 26.Qxg6+ 1-0

4.) Lake Sevan  Martuni  2016.7.20  gm Pashikian, Arman (2615)—gm Anton Guijarro, David (2627):  43…g3!! 44.hxg3 Bh3+ 45.Ke2 Qb2+ 46.Kf3 Qg2+ 0-1

5.) 27th Czech Open Pardubice 2016.7.23 gm Gavrilov, Alexei (2465)—fm Wallner, Joachim (2333): 21.Bf4!! Qxf4 22.Rxe7 Rd7 23.Rxd7 Kxd7 24.Qxb7+ 1-0

6.) 27th Czech Open Pardubice 2016.7.23  im Cerveny, Martin (2384)—gm Lintchevski, Daniil (2548): 25.Bxg6!! fxg6 ( 25…hxg6 26.Qh3 ) 26.Nf4 Bf8 ( 26…Rxc1 27.Nxg6 ) 27.Nxg6 Bg7 28.Bxb4 Nc2 29.Bd6 hxg6 30.Qxg6 Qd7 31.Rxc2 Rxc2 32.Qxc2 Rc8 33.Bc5 1-0

Chess, cinema and what not…

Dracula versus Frankenstein

Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff play a chess game, reminiscent of their match in The Black Cat, in an episode of the Hollywood newsreel series ”Screen Snapshots” (1934).



“The Black Cat is a 1934 horror film that became Universal Pictures’ biggest box office hit of the year. The picture was the first of eight movies (six of which were produced by Universal) to pair actors Béla Lugosi and Boris Karloff. Edgar G. Ulmer directed the film, which was also notable for being one of the first movies with an almost continuous music score. Lugosi also appears in a 1941 film with the same title.” (wiki)




My inspiration for this item is drived from today’s entry in the great blog  DELUDOSCACHORUM. The above photo of Deanna Lund  is taken from  Season 2 (Episode 4)  of the 1960’s hit THE LAND OF THE GIANTS.

Entitled  DEADLY PAWN, the earthlings are forced to play a game of chess with a demented industrialist. This episode aired on October 12, 1969. I actually remember seeing this (!)


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Deanna Lund (born 1937) is a real stunner!


Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends







“A recent article in the New York Times saw as a problem the fact that females are greatly under-represented among the highest rated chess players. Innumerable articles, TV stories and political outcries have been based on an “under-representation” of women in Silicon Valley, seen as a problem that needs to be solved.

Are there girls out there dying to play chess, who find the doors slammed shut in their faces? Are there women with Ph.D.s in computer science from M.I.T. and Cal Tech who get turned away when they apply for jobs in Silicon Valley?

Are girls and boys not allowed to have different interests? If girls had the same interest in chess as boys had, but were banned from chess clubs, that would be something very different from their not choosing to play chess as often as boys do. As for chess ratings, that is not subjective. It is based on which players, with which ratings, you have won against and lost to.

Are women and men not to be allowed to make different decisions as to how they choose to spend their time and live their lives?


Chess is not the only endeavor which can take a huge chunk of time out of your life, and unremitting efforts, to reach the top. If you want to become a top scientist, a partner in a big law firm or a top executive in a major corporation, you are very unlikely to do it working from 9 to 5, or taking a few years off, here and there, to have children and raise them.

Applying the same unsubstantiated assumption to differences in “representation” between different racial and ethnic groups likewise produces many loudly expressed grievances, political crusades, and millions of dollars from lawsuits charging discrimination — all without a speck of evidence beyond numbers that do not match the prevailing assumptions.

People who base their conclusions on hard facts often reach very different conclusions than those who base their conclusions on the preconception that outcomes would be even or random in the absence of somebody treating somebody wrong.

Something as simple as age differences among groups can doom any assumption of even or random outcomes.

If every 20-year-old Puerto Rican in the United States had an income identical with the income of every 20-year-old Japanese American — and identical incomes at every other age — Japanese Americans as a group would still have a higher average income than Puerto Ricans in the United States. That is because the median age of Japanese Americans is more than 20 years older.

People with 20 years more work experience usually make higher incomes. And age difference is just one of many differences between groups.

You can study innumerable groups in countries around the world today, or over centuries of recorded history, without finding a single example of the even or random outcomes that are used as a benchmark for determining discrimination.

Nevertheless, courts of law — including the Supreme Court of the United States — use something that has never been found anywhere as a norm to which current realities are to be compared. Billions of dollars, in the aggregate, have changed hands as a result of individual lawsuits charging discrimination.

Life is undoubtedly unfair. But that is not the same as saying that the unfairness occurred wherever the statistics were collected. The origins of this unfairness often go back to different childhood environments for individuals or different geographic or cultural settings for groups and nations.

These differences between nations, as well as differences between individuals and groups, reflect the fact that the world “has never been a level playing field,” as economic historian David S. Landes put it. Renowned historian Fernand Braudel said, “In no society have all regions and all parts of the population developed equally.”

How long will we continue to take something that has never happened, and never had much chance of happening, as a norm?”




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Sevilla Monologues



Glasses and pretty Asian girls

(Part I)


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