Places to Play Chess online, part 5

Chessboss is a newcomer to the online chess arena. It is an all web interface - but it seems to be missing a lot of features. The biggest problem with Chessboss is the lack of players. Anyone can create and run a tournament which is nice. With the many other options it feels like Chessboss does not have a large enough following for one to have a good number of people to play with. But if you are looking for a quick casual game it might fit you.

Related Posts
Places to Play Chess online
Places to Play Chess online, part 2
Places to Play Chess online, part 3
Places to Play Chess online, part 4


Attacking Chess Game of the Week - 07-23-2010


Attacking Chess Puzzle of the Week - 07-23-2010

Last Weeks puzzle:

Solution: 1.Nh5 Qb2 2.d4 Qxd4 3.Rxd4 with 4.Qxg7++

An easy one this week.

FEN - rnbb1rk1/3q1pn1/p2p3Q/1ppN4/4P2P/5N2/PPP1BPP1/3R1RK1 w - - 0 1


Chess News of the Week - Anatoly Karpov out for a fight

Anatoly Karpov out for a fight - Telegraph
Karpov's lawyers, White & Case, are a global firm based in Manhattan. They seek nothing less than the disqualification of the incumbent FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov who is standing for a fifth term.

The rules demand that at least one member of a Presidential ticket be female and Ilyumzhinov's choice is American WIM Beatriz Marinello. Supporting documents indicate Ms Marinello was not nominated by the US Chess Federation but by her native Chile and Brazil. Karpov contends she is not even a member of either federation.

Karpov's lawyers also seek a ruling confirming he was nominated by the Russian Chess Federation. There is a supporting video of a meeting endorsing Karpov on May 14th. Subsequently the RCF was hijacked by Ilyumzhinov's supporters. Propaganda is very important at this stage as many smaller countries await events to be sure of being on the winning side. The election will be held this September during the Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk.

Seems like an odd rule to me - but I have no problems with it.  I don't follow too much about the FIDE - but I do like Karpov.  I would love to see another Kasparov - Karpov match.  What I would like to happen is for the new FIDE president to push for chess in the Olympics.


Places to Play Chess online, part 4

Another good place to play chess online is Gameknot.com. There are some good things they provide. The teams are really cool, and the ladder is pretty nice as well. The problem with this site is that to get some of the nice features one must pay a pretty high membership fee. To be able to captain a team one must pay $60 a year. For that price it seems better to consider a Diamond chess.com account. You get a much better overall experience there. But if you are looking for another place to play some email games, Gameknot is fairly good.

Related Posts
Places to Play Chess online
Places to Play Chess online, part 2
Places to Play Chess online, part 3


Attacking Chess Puzzle of the week - 2010-07-15

Last weeks puzzle:

Solution:1. Qxf8 Kxf8 2. Bh6+ Kg8 3.Re8 ++

This weeks puzzle:


Attacking Chess Opening Overview - Reti Gambit

This gambit against the French is not very well know and has not had a large amount of popularity.  It is slowly gaining players who like and - and there are some GMs are also playing it.  It is a fun chess opening that is played against the French defense.  The most recent book on it was written by Thomas Johansson and is called The Fascinating Reti Gambit.

The gambit was first played by Reti just before he switched from 1.e4 to playing 1.Nf3.  Sad to say that he did not continue playing the variation and it was fairly obscure for a long time.  In the 90s a number of GMs starting playing the variation.  Most players of the French Defense look down on it and most books only give a line on it and say Black as equality or an advantage.

The gambit starts out like this.  1.e4 e6 2. b3

This takes Black out of his standard French play and White ends up playing a gambit.  The main line plays as follows:

2... d5 3. Bb2 dxe4 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Qe2 Bb4 6.O-O-O Qe7 7.Kb1 Ndb7 8.g4 O-O 9. g5 Nd5 10. Nxe4

Common Tactics
  1. Opposite side castling - this often leads to crazy attacks where White and Black try to mate each other first.
  2. g4-g5 - This attack often forces the Black knight to a less than ideal location.
  3. Bg2 will give White more influence in the center and often wins back the sacrificed pawn.
The main purpose behind the gambit is to throw Black into a tactical game instead of the many quiet games that they can have playing the French defense. The game is much more open than the standard French defense, and with opposite side castling it is sure to have both sides attacking. The Reti Gambit is very interesting and the games are full of interesting tactical ideas.


Chess News of the week - Nepal Chess Association granted membership to Nepal Olympic Committee

MYREPUBLICA.com - News in Nepal: Fast, Full & Factual
KATHMANDU, July 5: Nepal Olympic Committee (NOC) granted its associate membership to Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) and Nepal Chess Association.

An NOC meeting has endorsed the requests by the respective associations for membership recently on the basis of participation of the games in regional and continental tournaments and their popularity in Nepal.

"We have consulted international authorities and decided to grant the membership," said NOC President Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan at a press conference on Monday.

This is the first time NOC has added members after its establishment.

"International Cricket Council is already in Olympic movement and we are also participating in tournaments like SAG and Asian Games. We are not separate from the Olympic movement," said CAN President Binaya Raj Pandey. Likewise, Nepal Chess Association President Rajesh Hari Joshi thanked NOC for the membership.
Would be fun to see chess in the World Olympics.    Maybe have speed chess or game/30 to keep the speed interesting for spectators.  I remember seeing some chess matches that were covered on PBS on year.


Places to Play Chess online, part 3

One of the more popular places to play online chess is the Internet Chess Club.
It has been around for a long time.  ICC and FICS split many years ago when the internet was in its infancy.  FICS wanted to provide a free place to play chess while the ICC wanted to provide some services which had a cost.  Both are good sites and provide a good service.  ICC has a lot more players on normally, and there are some other benefits to the service.  The problem is the cost.  It costs $70 a year for a membership.  The price seems very high and it has kept me from playing there since there are many other places to play.

If the $70 a year is not a problem, ICC provides good services and has a good number of players to play against.  You get access to chess.fm - videos teaching chess.  Personally - I play at FICS and chess.com for free.

See my previous posts for more places to play chess online.
Places to Play Chess online
Places to Play Chess online, part 2


Attacking Chess Game of the Week - 2010-07-09


Attacking Chess Puzzle of the week - 2010-07-08

Answer to last weeks puzzle:

1. Rxg6 hxg6 2. Qxg6 Bg7 3. Bxg7++

This weeks puzzle:


Attacking Chess Opening Overview - Smith-Morra Gambit

The Smith-Morra gambit always evokes a very strong response from many players. It is the ideal idea - limit the large amount of theory that one must know and learn a system that allows White to have an initiative while putting the Sicilian player on the defensive. It has a less than ideal reputation but it is a good alternative for players to learn tactics, open lines and have less opening study to do.

The gambit is relatively new, but the idea has been around for a while. Morphy was the first player to do the c3 gambit, but it was not in the modern move order. Tartakower was the first grandmaster who actually tried to play the modern move order. He played the gambit on and off through his career. In South America there was some analysis done by Rivadavia. The major contribution to the popularization of the gambit was done by Pierre Morra and Ken Smith. They provided a good amount of analysis and played it enough to get attention.

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3. c3
This is the starting position of the Smith-Morra gambit.  It can be declined at this point, although accepting it with the intent to show it is weak seems like the rage right now.

3...dxc3 4. Nxc3 Nc6 5. Nf3 d6 6. Bc4 e6 7. O-O Nf6 8. Qe2 Be7 9. Rd1

This is the classical main line position.  White is threatening 10. e5, is castled, has an active position and development is ahead of Black.

In general, White develops with the following scheme Nf3, Bc4, O-O, Qe2, Rd1 followed by deciding on the best place for the queen bishop.  Sometimes Black plays to take advantage of this setup and it must be changed but normally Whites setup is fine.

Common Tactics
There are some common tactics that exist in the Smith-Morra. I list them below.
  1. e5 thrust
  2. Knight sacrifice on d5
  3. Piece Sacrifice on b5
The Smith-Morra gambit is a fun, exciting gambit that takes Black out of his comfort zone in the Sicilian.  The game usually ends up with White having the initiative in a fairly even game.  Black is denied from playing his pet Sicilian system and has to be more defensive.  There are a number of ways for Black to equalize, but the games are fun and complex.


Chess News of the Week - FIDE elections - Karpov versus Ilyumzhinov

Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information: FIDE Election Update
The FIDE Secretariat announces that the following Presidential Tickets and Continental Presidents have submitted their candidacies to the FIDE office by 28 June 2010.

Concerning the FIDE elections, the Russian Chess Federation (RCF) informed FIDE on 28 June 2010 that the Supervisory Board of the RCF, during its meeting of 28 June, confirmed the letter of its Chairman Mr Arkady Dvorkovich to FIDE on 21 April, nominating Kirsan Ilyumzhinov as Russia's candidate for the office of FIDE President 2010-2014. Furthermore, the RCF informed FIDE that the letter sent by Mr. Alexander Bakh on 23 June is not valid on nominating a candidacy from the Russian Chess Federation. Attached are all the relevant documents as sent by the RCF.

Interesting that there are only two candidates in this election. Karpov is probably the US favorite, but it seems that Ilyumzhinov has a better chance to win. Karpov having been the world champion would make a very interesting FIDE president.


Places to Play Chess online, part 2

Another place that I have been playing online is chess.com. The major attraction here is the correspondence type games.  You add a seek or respond to one indicating that you are ready to play.  The time control is from 1 day per move all the way up to 14 days per move.  There are a good number of players here and the games seem to start fairly quickly.  They are very pushy about getting money from you which is annoying however.

There are also other features that they have that are nice.  Live Chess is available, which kind of functions as a Internet Chess Server via a browser.  It is not as good as FICS but it works.  They have video lessons which require one to be a member.  It is an interesting idea and the membership fee goes to pay the GMs and IMs who are creating the content.  There is a Game Explorer which is pretty worthless without a membership as well.  There are a lot more features, but most of them require payment.

The main reason to log into chess.com is the free correspondence play.  If you happen to be willing to shell out the money for the membership there are some interesting features for studying chess.

See my previous post for more places to place online chess, Places to play Chess Online


Tools used for creating a chess blog

When I started my blog a few weeks ago I had a hard time finding good places to create board images and finding a way to share PGN games. Hopefully this post will help others who decide to create a chess blog.  There are a good number of tools available and I have found these to be great.

  • For creating Chess Diagrams, I have been using chessup.net.  The website allows you to setup a board, change the colors as needed and then create an image that you can upload to your blog.  It works great.  
  • Another way to create diagrams is to use a program called DiagTransfer.  It is a native Windows program, but it works fine in Crossover Office.  It allows you to add arrows and markers to a board.  I still have not used it but when I get into describing a position more in depth I probably will use the arrows and markers.
  • As for posting games, I have found pgn4web to be the best option.   It will accept a PGN game as input and will create a board on the page to show that specific game.
  • I use Blogger to host my blog.  It works fairly well and is a common blogging platform that is well supported.
  • Scribefire is a nice Firefox addon that allows one to write posts to multiple blogs.  It is highly recommended and cross platform.
If you write a chess blog which tools do you use for sharing games, puzzles etc?  Are there any really nice ones that I missed?


Attacking Chess Puzzle of the week - 2010-07-01

Answer to last weeks Puzzle:

1...Bxh3 starts an attack on White's king.  If White ignores the threat then Black will followup with 2...Bxg2++.  If White plays 2. gxh3 then 2...Qxh3 3. Qh2 Qxh2++.

White would try sacrificing his Queen for a Rook and Bishop - but this failed because the Rook on d1 is hanging.  2. Qxf2 Qxf2 3. gxh3 Qf3+ with a fork on the King and the Rook.

2. Qh2 is another try but it fails to 2...Rxg2 3. Qxd6 Rxa2 and the discovered check wins.

This weeks puzzle:

FEN : 3r1rkb/4qp1p/p5p1/1p3Q1N/8/PBP3R1/1P1p2PP/R5K1 w - - 0 1