“Forced Moves Are The Easiest”

January 27th, 2010

My friend Keith McGuigan surprised me just now by posting the following touching sentiment out of the blue on my Facebook wall:

“Forced moves are the easiest” You know I always thought this was some chess lore from some great mind, but a google search turns up nothing. This saying, which I’ve totally integrated into my life philosophy, appears (to me) to be an Erin Dame original. If so… well done, my friend, and as it turns out, it is good advice from a great chess mind. :)

Thank you, Keith, for the kind words! To the best of my knowledge, it is an original. I’m glad to hear it has helped guide you beyond the confines of the 64 squares.

World Team Chess Championship

January 9th, 2010

Every four years, the world’s chess elite come together to represent their countries in high-level team competition. This time the venue is Bursa, Turkey, with play running from January 3rd to the 14th, 2010. Unfortunately, China declined to send a team, but the rest of the powerhouses are there in force.

Just past the mid-way mark, with five rounds of nine in the books, the USA team is playing inspired, fighting chess. They now sit in 2nd place a half point behind Russia who beat them in the third.

My favorite game so far? It’s a tough choice, but this one, having been played today, is fresh in my mind. It contains some beautiful tactics (talk about hammering home a single square weakness [g2]!) and adds another stunning notch to the King’s Indian Defense’s belt. :)

Hoogoveen Open 2009

October 23rd, 2009

Our man, (once) hometown hero, Josh Friedel is currently playing the Open Section at Hoogoveen in The Netherlands. The last few rounds have been rough, but he recovered nicely today with this miniature:

And a few rounds before that, he had this even shorter and far more spectacular game. As you play it out, really slow down at move 16 and on to appreciate the ideas and lines behind the moves. And, did you honestly see that last move coming?! Wow. Good stuff.

Legal Online Poker

October 23rd, 2009

I hope someday our representatives will come to their senses and legalize online poker and gambling in the United States. It’s another of the many consensual crimes that need repealing before we can really call ourselves a free country.

In the meantime, I wanted to bring to your attention a novel way in which you can still enjoy heated card battle over the virtual felt and win money while you’re at it!

And, this is NOT an offshore operation. They’re based in the US, but go about things in an entirely different way. It’s an especially attractive model for beginners as the risk is completely eliminated, yet you don’t feel you’re playing with Monopoly™ money.

I encourage you to head over and read their FAQ for all the details.

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Kosteniuk’s Moscow Blitz Miniature

September 6th, 2009

This position comes from a recent game, one played during the latest Moscow Blitz Championship, an open-air event, between GM Alexey Korotylev (2597) and the Women’s World Chess Champion Grandmaster Alexandra Kosteniuk (2516).

In this miniature, Kosteniuk was presented with the following position at move 19.

It’s Black to move and win. Do you see the combination? To the end?

To check your answer and listen to first-hand commentary from the winner, check out her video about the game here…

Serious chess. Serious fun!