Brief History of Chess

I compiled information from Encyclopædia Britannica and World Book to create a timeline on the origins of chess and other interesting historical data.

Click here to see the article “Brief History of Chess“.

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Best Chess Interfaces and GUIs

Chess engines are normally not standalone programs: they need an adequate interface in order to run them. Today, I’m going to run through a number of chess interfaces/GUIs (graphical user interfaces).

Nowadays, most leading interfaces support the Universal Chess Interface protocol, which is widely considered to produce the strongest engines in the world. Almost all of the following interfaces double as chess database/analysis software…

See the full article “Best Chess Interfaces and GUIs“.

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Chess Book Recommendations

Chess books are the ultimate source of knowledge on chess. In technical terms, they can provide more detailed material than DVDs. Some players even credit 1800+ of their rating points to a single book! There is an abundance of chess literature out there and today, I’m going to go through some of my personal recommendations. I have broken the suggestions up into categories so they are easier to digest.

Opening

Opening books on specific openings are either superseded or go out of date quickly, so I’m not going to recommend any titles in that department. However, you can find some book/DVD recommendations that complement repertoires in my “opening repertoire suggestions” article…

See the full article “Chess Book Recommendations“.

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Sveshnikov’s 60th Birthday

Evgeny Sveshnikov, born in Cheliabinsk, Russia, on February 11, 1950, is perhaps best known for the opening named after him, the Sveshnikov Variation of the Sicilian Defence (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5). To be honest, having played the Sveshnikov Variation many times before, I hadn’t realised this grandmaster was so young! Evgeny Sveshnikov became an IM at 25 and a GM at 27.

It is interesting to note that in January of 1984, Sveshnikov was diagnosed with third stage cancer. He survived and went on to live a normal life.

Check out ChessBase’s tribute article “Evgeny Sveshnikov turns sixty“.

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Review of Roman’s Lab DVDs

Roman’s Lab is a range of chess DVDs that have been released within the last few years and I believe the series hasn’t finished yet. The DVDs are presented by famous American Grandmaster Roman “Dzindzi” Dzindzichashvili. Best known for his videos and books nowadays, he was once within the world top 10. Throughout his career, he has landed defeats on big names such as 6th World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik, Bronstein, Larsen, Timman, Shabalov and Nakamura. He has worked with 12th World Champion Karpov, 13th World Champion Kasparov, Kamsky, Korchnoi and Perelshteyn. Roman has come equal first in the US Championship twice. According to Wikipedia, his peak rating was 2703 in October 1978. These days, he is much older (65 at the time of writing), but he is still well known for his very strong online play…

See the full article “Roman’s Lab DVDs“.

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New Chess DVD Reviews

I have reviewed several chess DVD series recently. DVDs are a great way to learn if you want to take a more relaxed approach to chess improvement.

PRO CHESS: THE VIDEO CHESS MENTOR
CHESSBASE FRITZTRAINER
FOXY OPENINGS

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Chess Styles

Long since the days of Ruy Lopez and Greco have players argued about chess styles. Before we continue this article, I would like to bring to attention some important words that my chess coach FIDE Master Geoff Saw said to me, “I really doubt that [12th World Champion] Karpov would ever play an inferior move just because it’s more congenial to his style. But if the moves are objectively about the same anyway then it’s fine for personal preferences to take over… Way too many players wreck themselves by deciding that they are an ‘attacking’ playing or a ‘positional’ player, and this kind of self-labelling stops them working properly on areas of weakness.” A player must be careful that their style does not get in the way of playing the best objective moves. Now that the ‘disclaimer’ is over, let’s continue onto the main discussion.

It is often said that our chess style emulates our personality. For example, an outgoing person might be an aggressive chess player. Although we can’t draw anything extremely deep from this, it is one of those unique nuances that apply to chess…

See the full article “Chess Styles“.

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New Book on The Legendary Bobby Fischer

There has been much literature written on 11th World Champion Robert James “Bobby” Fischer, considered by many, including the highest ever rated player 13th World Champion Garry Kasparov, as the best chess player in history. “Bobby Fischer – The Career and Complete Games of the American World Chess Champion” is a new 408-page book by German Grandmaster Karsten Müller…

See the full article “New Book on The Legendary Bobby Fischer“.

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Lack of Improvement in Chess

Today, I’m going to discuss some issues you might face when you’re playing chess long term.

Chess Ceilings

Chess authors often talk about “chess ceilings”, where each chess player has their own peak standard of play and can never improve above that level. Grandmaster John Nunn, in Secrets of Practical Chess, stated: “It is my belief that most players never get anywhere near their natural ceiling, and that considerable improvement is possible with appropriate education, training and practice…

Click here for the full article “Lack of Improvement in Chess”.

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New French Chess Movie

There is an interesting new French chess movie soon to be released called Queen to Play (also known as Joueuse), starring Sandrine Bonnaire and Kevin Kline. Jennifer Beals has a cameo.

See the article “French Chess Movie” for more details and a trailer.

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