Monthly Archives: November 2014

World Championship Commentary


I have been watching the world championship matches live on the internet with commentary by Peter Svidler and Sopiko Guramishvili. It’s fascinating to listen to because the commentary lets me understand what great players think about during a game. I’m enjoying the depth to which the commentators explore potential lines, even if sometimes they aren’t played. I also like the fact that, because it is live, I can imagine myself in the players position and doing so makes me think along with them rather than review a fait-a-complis – this makes me think harder. Today, however, I played lazily in my 1hr Sunday competition and even as I played I thought that I should be trying harder, that I should be looking at more options and following them through more concretely like the commentators do. I didn’t though and I lost to an eight year old. I look forward to watching more commentary and adapting my thinking to emulate better how they think. Hopefully by doing so I will be able to win the rematch with this youth.

Dark Horses


I’m excited. A new film about chess has come out and it looks like it’s a corker. The film is called ‘The Dark Horse’ and the synopsis reads:

The Dark Horse is a provocative, emotionally-charged and inspiring drama about a man who searches for the courage to lead, despite his own adversities – finding purpose and hope in passing on his gift to the children in his community.

And here is ‘the man’ Genesis talking about chess

and playing chess

The trailer for the movie is here.


Postscript: I have seen the film and it is great! It has gone on to win many awards.

Free Your Mind And Your Soul Will Follow


When I was about seven I learned the moves for chess. I remember a friend of my dad’s visiting and my dad telling me that he was a chess expert, one of the best players in Belgium. I told this expert I could play chess and the board came out. The only thing I remember him telling me is that you should start with either 1.e4 or 1.d4 and castle as soon as possible. Over time other ‘rules’ have been added to my knowledge; control the centre, develop pieces, castle, grab open files, link pawns, close the centre before attacking on a flank, trade weak pieces, don’t bring out your queen early, etc…

Recently I have posted about the King’s Gambit and my joy at discovering such a wild opening which seems to break so many of these rules. I have also been playing deliberately more unusual moves and caring less about rules and set openings – aiming instead for tactical sequences. This hasn’t translated to better results but the games have been fun and I’m exploring more ideas. I was inspired to post about this change because I noticed a few moves by Carlsen in his second round match with Anand that seem to reflect this more tactical, combinative approach – moves I would have never considered as candidate moves a few months ago. The moves were 12. Nxb6 and especially the rook lift 14. Ra3. Here is the game.

This rule – breaking is something I have noticed in a lot of contemporary games. If you compare them to older games of the 1800’s they are markedly different and much looser. It seems to me that tactical combinations have greater weight than they used to.