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Chess puzzle #36: two tough nuts to crack

10 May

The diagram position occurred after black’s twentieth move in the game Schöneberg -Tukmakov (Zinnowitz DSV 4th 1967).

Maybe you recognize the structure. At least there are some remnants of the Keres attack in the Sicilian Scheveningen.

I love the name Scheveningen because hardly any non native Dutch speaker is able to pronounce this name in the correct way. Of course we Dutch have no problems with this. Correct pronouncation…

My mother told me that in the Second World war there was a simple trick to debunk German spies. One would ask the culprit to pronounce the following silly sentence: Continue reading

How strong were the old masters?

10 Dec

It is difficult to say how strong these players were. You can’t compare them with modern grandmasters. The modern grandmaster stands on the shoulders of these giants of the past. In the old times a lot of stuff needed to be invented. Steinitz himself was one of the first grandmasters who formulated basic chess principles.

These principles, which favored a more cautious and positional style, were not to every-bodies liking. Most of the (top) players in that era were still stuck in the Romantic way of playing chess. This meant:

Go for the attack and try to beat you opponent with great combinations.

Defense seemed not very important. Only a coward plays defensive moves! Here you have an example. Continue reading

The Baden Baden chess tournament

8 Feb

Adolf AnderssenIf you are vaguely aware of the chess history you might wonder: ‘Baden Baden’ where did I hear this name before? Well the Grenke Chess Classic is not the first chess tournament held in this spa town. 

In fact the first super tournament in the history of chess was held in this picturesque town.

The 1870 chess tournament was stronger than previous tournaments in London (1851 and 1862) and Paris (1867).

Compared to these earlier tournaments some rules were changed. First chess clocks were introduced. The players had to make 20 moves per hour. Before draws did not count. Games had to be played all over again. Now draws counted as half a point. And only top international players were invited. These are their names: Continue reading

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