An unexamined life is not worth living.
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
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Grachev – Shirov, 2014, analysis position 1
Black to move. How can he win the queen on a spot?
Grachev – Shirov, 2014, analysis position 2
Black to move. How can he regain the piece and obtain better position?
For the full analysis, see my April Tactics book, or you can just view the game here.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Friday, June 6, 2014
Monthly Chess Tactics will allow you to
* Catchup on latest major chess news
* Follow top grandmasters
* Improve your game
* Study combinations any time and anywhere - on your PC, phone, tablet, or any eReader device
* Maintain regular practice by solving one or two puzzles a day
After the major top tournaments of the first 4 months of the year, May was a relatively quiet month on the top scene. But, of course, still a lot of tournaments were played at different levels, including top GM round robins - Capablanca memorial in Havana, won by Wesley So, and Karpov's tournament in Poikovsky, won by Morozevich. Several combinations in this edition also come from the Italian team championship, and the Czech national championship.
In June the Stavanger tournament will involve the top players again, and is sure to produce some interesting combinations that will be included in the next volume.
Here is the list of previous editions:
Tactics of the Month - January
Tactics of the Month - February
Tactics of the Month - March
Tactics of the Month - April
Monday, June 2, 2014
Having recently published two collections of Morozevich's combinations, I am glad to see that the former world's #2 player is in top form again. To recap, in the Practical Tactics Series: Attack with Alexander Morozevich - Selected Games and Best Combinations - includes Morozevich's combinations as White, while “Counterattack with Alexander Morozevich” focuses on his games as Black.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Fritz - reads and writes
ChessX - reads, but writes have some issues
SCID - reads, but does not write
- Each tool exports moves with a slightly different new line format
- Each tool (or even different versions of the same software) updates headers in its own way, putting PGN header tags in a different order. That results in issues such as player names in the game headers cannot read properly by some versions of the same packages.
- Additional formatting, such as arrows, diagrams, highlighted squares, and engine evaluations also follow a different convention. So arrows you draw in Fritz, will likely show up as garbage if you open up the same PGN file in Chess Assistant and vice versa. What's even worse - if you add a diagram for a position in Chess Assistant, hoping to be able to print it from Fritz, you'd be in for a disappointment.
To learn more about this (and to possibly bypass some of these issues) - read my recent post Editing Pgn Files without ChessBase or Other Database Program – Syntax Highlighting or other posts I wrote about PGN.