You can find an interesting article on helping your children with chess on author Richard James’ site. Here is the article:

I think it would be a good idea to read it in conjunction with another of his articles, which can be found here:

Richard James is an acclaimed author, noted for his literature teaching chess to children.



Capablanca speaks

I recently bought the book ‘The only quiz book you will ever need’ and found a section on chess. To my surprise I got two questions wrong (1 & 14). You can find all questions and answers below:

Chess: Miscellaneous 1 Quiz 5 (page 137)

  1. Which Word Chess Champion’s namesake ‘gun’, sees a queen backing up two rooks on the same file?
  2. In 2005, the first World Championship in Chessdarts was won by a future Women’s World Chess Champion and the 2004 BDO World Darts Champion. Name either.
  3. During the candidates tournament in Zurich 1953, which future World Chess Champion used his fine baritone voice to sing extracts from opera on Swiss radio?
  4. In 2003 a biography subtitled ‘It’s only me. was published about which late English chess grandmaster?
  5. Name either of the grandmasters whitewashed 6-0 in successive matches by Bobby Fischer in 1971 in the Candidates Tournament to find a challenger to the World Champion Boris Spassky?
  6. Whose reign as World Champion was first interrupted by Vassily Smyslov and then Mikhail Tal, making him the only man to hold the title in three nonsuccessive periods?
  7. Which leading proponent of hypermodern chess wrote the influential book Mein System in 1925?
  8. The men’s team from which country, with a population of just over 3 million, won the European Team Championship in 1999 and the World Team Championship in 2011 and the Chess Olympiad in 2006, 2008 and 2012?
  9. Containing a hidden chess player, it was a sensation for decades. By what name was the Automaton Chess-player constructed by Wolfgang Von Kempelen in the late 18th century better known?
  10. In May 2014, who achieved a record Elo rating of 2,882?
  11.  What move is represented in chess notation by 0-0-0?
  12.  The English Opening derives its name from its use by which English unofficial world champion, who played it during his 1843 match with Saint-Amant?
  13. Taking its name from English and Austrian players who analysed it in 1886, which chess opening is characterized by the opening moves 1. e4 c6?
  14. Which Dresden born millionaire grandmaster (1928-2013), heir to the Karl May publishing house refereed to the Fischer-Spassky match in Reykjavik in 1972?
  15. In 2010, who, at the age of 16, became the youngest ever Women’s World Chess Champion?

McCready’s bonus question:

One of the questions above contains a misnomer. Which question is it and what is the misnomer?



  1. Alekhine -Alekhine’s gun
  2. Alexandra Kosteniuk or Andy Fordham
  3. Vassily Smysov
  4. Tony Miles (an anagram of his name)
  5. Mark Taimanov or Bent Larsen
  6. Mikhail Botvinnik
  7. Aaron Nimzowitch
  8. Armenia
  9. The Turk
  10. Magnus Carlsen
  11. Queenside or long castling
  12. Howard Staunton
  13. Caro-Kann defence
  14. Lothar Scmid
  15. Hou Yifan

Bonus Question answer: question 8 contains the term ‘Olympiad’, this is in fact a misnomer meaning the period of time between olympics rather than an event itself. Nearly 100 years on we are still waiting to have this changed in chess!



With chess traditionally being a ponderous and serious game, the online xanadu aka, brings us the antithesis of that once more with Miss Tactics and Miss Strategy, both of whom team up for more Banter Blitz to tickle your fancy.

Miss Tactics - IM Sopiko Guramashvili (left) and Miss Strategy IM Anna Rudolf (right)

Miss Tactics – IM Sopiko Guramashvili (left) and Miss Strategy – IM Anna Rudolf (right)

They aren’t just a pair of pretty faces, both are titled and know what they are talking about. You younger guys ought to count yourselves lucky: when I was in my youth girls didn’t play chess, the only thing you could ogle was your opponent’s chair leg!

The link below should take you to the latest episode of banter blitz.—miss-strategy-banter-blitz

A frank and honest article concerning the plight of English chess has been written by GM Nigel Davies, whom you might also know as one of Chessbase’s better presenters, if not the best. The title is a play on words with the naturalized Brit GM Murray Chandler’s book The English Chess Explosion. 

Here it is:


More from Nunn, Understanding Chess Endgames 1, pg 35. Note that the solution is given directly under the diagram. Should you wish to solve it yourself, I suggest you scroll down slowly. There are four lines of text beneath the diagram, after which the solution appears. In any event its white to play and win.


The Swiss GM Yannick Pelletier has had a bumper month by beating Nakamura with some beautiful preparation against his beloved Kings Indian Defence, and then the current world champion Magnus Carlsen. Carlsen, who perhaps underestimating his opponent rated almost 300 points below him, played a move that is certainly not becoming of a world champion…but then what blunder is?


It is here that Carlsen plays 37… Rg8??



Is it me or does it seem that Pelletier has been around for ever?

For those partial to a little schadenfreude -in other words the entire global chess playing community- here’s Naka upstaging Carlsen on the blunder front against Caruana. The move that follows defies belief. How on earth can someone of his caliber play a move that you see at the lowest level of amateur games!


Nakamura (Black), has just played 6…f6?? I promise I’m not making that up. Check out the game below if you don’t believe me.


Oh dear! You weren’t playing on auto-pilot and by analogy were you Naka?