An unexamined life is not worth living.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
The approach of studying openings deeply and both in terms of specific variation, as well as the skill of playing for subtle positional nuances that are prepared at home was first developed by Botvinnik and today has been taken up to the “machine” level by Kramnik with his razor sharp and deep opening preparation. The similarities are likely not accidental, as Botvinnik was the teacher of Kramnik in the late 1980s, so there is a personal connection.
Has anyone else made similar comparisons between Kramnik and Botvinnik in the past? Are there other chess champions who have been called out as very similar in style?
Here are a couple of games by Botvinnik and Kramnik in the same opening - Slav Exchange:
Monday, July 14, 2014
- Solutions should be computer or human checked for accuracy (if you ever solved an incorrect puzzle, you know where I come from)
- Multiple possible solutions are generally avoided for any given puzzle
- Games need to be new to me (some combinations migrate from one book to another until everyone can recognize them by heart)
- The quality of the games has to be rather good, preferably - played by grandmasters
- In terms of layout or presentation - solutions are easy to look up, ideally - without the risk of seeing solutions to the next positions (whether the puzzle is available online or in a book)
Thursday, July 10, 2014
With so many instructive games played at the world Rapid and Blitz Championship in Dubai, the June “Tactics of the Month” edition is more than double the usual size, and includes over 100 combinations. Here are a couple of examples:
Topalov, V. -- Grischuk, A.
2nd Norway Chess 2014 2014.06.04
Black to move. Solution (in the book preview)
Le Quang Liem -- Bologan, V.
FIDE World Rapid 2014 2014.06.16
White to move. Solution (in the book preview).
Sunday, July 6, 2014
See the solution here.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Inspired by recent articles on data mining of chess information, I pulled out my query on a chess SQL database that I ran on 1.5 million games, and with the help of Tableau Public – generated this infographic on 500 ECO codes. Here are the results:
- Black does best with the ECO codes in bottom right corner
- White scores best in the top left corner
- For example A94 (Dutch Stonewall with Ba3) is the best scoring code for White
- B59 (Sicilian, Boleslavsky variation) – apparently scores really well for Black.
If you are not too familiar with what opening moves each code corresponds to – this Wikipedia page will be helpful - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_chess_openings.
Does anything on this chart look surprising? Is your favourite opening in the expected part of the diagram?
Sunday, June 22, 2014
Several times I found myself looking for a solution to my problem online without finding it, only to later realize that the tool/utility/service has actually been around available for years. This happened with SCID, and now again with FinalGen. FinalGen is a free GUI utility that allows one to analyze endgames with 7 pieces and more after generating all the necessary data on demand! It is user friendly enough and does not require any complicated command line syntax or configuration, as one could expect. For the position below, it allowed me to generate exact evaluation in less than an hour! Apparently White wins!
Bernstein – Prince, 1946
White to move – see the complete game here.
I have played and analyzed quite a lot of rook endgames with two pawns vs one, and they often could not be precisely evaluated – until now!
You can get FinalGen on its website http://www.mtu-media.com/finalgen/home_ing.php