The 1927 World Championship Match was a fiercely contested clash of chess styles. Jose Raul Capablanca had a straightforward playing style which, combined with his famously precise endgame play, was his recipe for success. Alexander Alekhine, on the other hand, preferred creating complexities and oftentimes employed risky attacks in route to his victories. Capablanca wasContinue reading “Chess Position Worth Sharing 143”
Tonight I showed Werner Springe vs Hans Gebhardt, Munich 1927 to my chess students at Gomes Elementary School in Fremont, California. This game, played by relatively unknown players, is a delightful choice for a chess lesson. In the position below, black has just played pawn to h6 threatening white’s bishop. What is white’s best move?
GM George Koltanowski, simply known as Kolty to his many friends, was the most passionate chess player I have ever met. He was always sharing his love for chess through his daily San Francisco chess column that ran for over five decades straight. His blindfold simultaneous exhibitions set world records and many new chess fansContinue reading “Winning Chess Moves: Koltanowski vs. Tholfsen, 1928”
A young fan of this blog enjoyed the last Sam Loyd puzzle I shared (see: Betcha Can’t Solve This #Chess Puzzle 63) but asked if I had a “slightly easier problem by Samuel Loyd.” So, as was requested, this evening I am sharing another Sam Loyd mate in 3 that is much easier to solveContinue reading “Chess Position Worth Sharing 140”
During the mid-nineteenth century, Samuel Loyd was one of the strongest chess players in the United States. However, his real passion was for the compositional art of chess puzzles, not tournament play. Known as the “Puzzle King”, his book Cyclopedia of 5000 Puzzles was published in 1914, three years after his death. Below is aContinue reading “Betcha Can’t Solve This #Chess Puzzle! 63”
National Chess Day is celebrated in the United States on the second Saturday in October. The 38th U.S. President Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. declared National Chess Day on October 9th, 1976 as part of the nation’s bicentennial celebration. Today, the day honors chess’ lengthy history and the role it has played in uniting people fromContinue reading “So I was just playing a game of #chess and then this happened! 43”
During her illustrious career, WGM Valentina M Borisenko-Belova (1/28/1920-3/6/1993) won the Women’s Soviet Championship five times (a record she shares with Nona Gaprindashvili.) Zara Nakhimovskaya was a formidable chess player who won the Latvian Chess Championship for Women four times. In our feature position, Valentina M Borisenko-Belova is playing with the white pieces against ZaraContinue reading “Winning Chess Moves: Borisenko-Belova vs Nakhimovskaya, 1968”
It is with great sadness that I am sharing the news that Joseph Norman Cotter passed away on May 23 at the age of 91. Mr. Cotter was a chess player, educator and friend whom I met during our shared adventures in the 2006 USCF Golden Knights correspondence chess tournament. During our game, Norman spokeContinue reading “Joseph Norman Cotter (June 25, 1929 – May 23, 2021)”
At age 99, Yuri Averbakh has spent the better part of of his life checkmating opponents but off the board, it appears that he used his famous chess stubbornness to checkmate COVID.
Tonight I finished a long day of teaching chess by presenting an absolutely superb mating combination played by the first World Chess Champion. A brilliant positional player, particularly in his later years, Wilhelm Steinitz rose to prominence in the mid-nineteenth century as a dangerous attacker in the romantic style of chess that had been popularisedContinue reading “#Chess Position Worth Sharing 133”
Happy birthday to Paul Keres, who was born on January 7, 1916. From 1935, when he debuted as a sensational nineteen-year-old at the Sixth World Chess Olympiad in Warsaw, Paul Keres was one of the top five players in the world before his untimely death from a heart attack on an international airplane flight fromContinue reading “Today is Paul Keres’ Birthday”
Question: How did chess players like Morphy/Alekhine get good at tactics without the computers, books, and databases that we have today? Paul Morphy and Alexander Alekhine Answer: Both Morphy and Alekhine were born wealthy in a household that valued chess. Paul Morphy learned chess at an early age by watching games between his uncle andContinue reading “How did Morphy and Alekhine get so good at chess?”
Question: Why wasn’t Rashid Nezhmetdinov a Grandmaster? Answer: By most accounts, Rashid Nezhmetdinov should be a Grandmaster (if for no other reason than having won the Russian Championship over a talented field in 1950, 1951, 1953, 1957 and 1958.) It wasn’t until 1950 that the Grandmaster title was first awarded by FIDE and only 27Continue reading “(GM) Rashid Nezhmetdinov”
Paul Morphy was a 19th-century New Orleans chess prodigy who was the de facto world chess champion during much of his short life. He rarely lost when he played throughout Europe and the United States. He was also a lawyer who graduated from what is now Tulane Law School. As a student, he was saidContinue reading “5 ways chess can make you a better law student and lawyer”
José Raúl Capablanca‘s chess delivered and still creates an irresistable masterful impact. In his games an inclination towards straightforwardness prevailed, and in his seemingly effortlessness brilliance there was a one of a kind delight of veritable simplicity. Indeed, his style, one of the most perfect, most completely clear in the whole history of chess, stillContinue reading “My Quora Answer to: Which chess player’s games have you found the most instructive?”
White to move and win (Richard Reti, Kolnische Volkszeitung of 1928).
Chess has a rich history full of stories that I share with my students to add extra colour to our lesson material. Below is the tale of Pal Benko’s incredible life’s journey and his great sacrifice which allowed Bobby Fischer to make history. Pal Benko was born while his Hungarian parents were vacationing in Amiens,Continue reading “Benko’s Great Sacrifice”
White to move and mate in 5 (11th century chess puzzle, author unknown).
The “Game of the Century!”