Karpov – Ulhmann Madrid 1973. Black has just played 21 Red8. Karpov then plays a very subtle move which improves his endgame prospects by restricting the scope of one of black’s minor pieces. it might be best to play through the game as its a very difficult move to spot.


There’s no forced win but better prospects in the endgame to be had.


“You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it’s going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.”

Pirsig, Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance -An Enquiry into Values.

If something reduces in size ad infinitum, there comes a point when it stops being what it is, wouldn’t that be right?  Was it altogether unsurprising that when the beleaguered Luton Chess club lost its home of nearly 40 years and several of what few members it clung onto left thereafter, its footing within the town was finally and begrudgingly lost? I think not.

For the first time in its recorded history, Luton Chess Club no longer plays within the confines of the town. Those who wish to represent Luton at chess must now travel up the A6 to Bedford, whose chess club has kindly accommodated what is left of its historical south Bedfordshire rival.

“To accuse others for one’s own misfortune is a sign of want of education. To accuse oneself shows that one’s education has begun. To accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one’s education is complete.”


At several points both before and after, as well as during the two great abysmal wars of the 20th century, Luton had no chess club, however, some years later, after the Great English Chess Explosion occurred, the town had more than half a baker’s dozen clubs and almost 20 stunningly mediocre teams -with the odd exception! The latest set back, endogenous or otherwise, is of course, like life itself and all things in it, temporary in nature…let us hope that a resolution is found sooner rather than later but if not then so be it.

Should you wish to play for Luton, please take note of the following e-mail address: pmontgomery@ntlworld.com. Peter will assist you in your endeavours over the board, however sublime, egocentric, stupendous, uninteresting or nefarious they may be.

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.”


A Lutonian speaketh…


Seneca? Epictetus?


The former president of the English Chess Federation appears to have made a blunder far greater than any he may have played over the board. Prior to the release of his autobiography, CJ de Mooi made several rather sensational claims (presumably to help sell the thing, possibly because he is suffering from guilt), one being he may have murdered someone whilst in Amsterdam!?


This week he was arrested at Heathrow Airport regarding the aforementioned claim. See here: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-37437498

From what is read he hasn’t yet been charged, it is alleged only that he has committed murder. However more details appear here, http://www.moordatlas.nl/event/2156?backend=0

What is the moral of this story I wonder? If you’ve killed someone, don’t tell anyone? I doubt it, that’s just plain common sense. How about apply to life what chess teaches you, such as think before you act? Well that doesn’t quite work because we aren’t purely rational creatures, I think the moral of the story must be don’t lob junkies into canals after you’ve knocked them out. It’s not terribly British and when being robbed in Amsterdam its awfully impolite not to offer to go dutch -thus pocketing half the dinero!

I wonder what will come of all this… .

Indian relief

Adibhan - Minero Pineda Baku 2016. White to play and win.

Adhiban – Minero Pineda, Baku 2016. White to play and win.

The Bedfordshire county chess team may benefit from extra firepower next season after I was contacted by ‘Big Vern’, about playing on the bottom board. ‘Big Vern’ whose exploits and activities are sometimes the subject of a comic strip in Viz, has recently been spotted in the Ukraine, as is verified here.


The ‘Vern’ plans to give his ‘shootahs’ a rest and lie-low for a bit, going incognito somewhere quiet like Kempston or Harrold, far away from the murky underworld he usually inhabits. ‘Big Vern’ apparently learnt the game whilst ‘goin’ grey in a chokey (British slang for prison)’ as he put it, and ‘might be available some Sundays’ I am informed.

Harrold: a murky underworld

Harrold: not a murky underworld



A warm welcome to ‘Big Vern’.



Rogues Gallery

We have all been told time after time just how great the Soviets were at chess and having read almost every publication translated into English about them, I have more than a few ideas why. The following list shows how dominant the Soviet players were at the Olympiads they played in, but bear in mind for political reasons the Soviets only began participating from the 1950s onwards.

Courtesy of the English Chess Forum here is the list of players who beat a Soviet at the Olympiads.

Ljubojevic (twice)
Seirawan (twice)
Vallejo Pons

23 losses in total -scary!