Here’s two videos from her first tournament. I will be playing with her in the next one. Below both, a picture of I watching on appears.


If six hour sessions most nights constitutes being heavily caught up in a writing project, then I am. And focusing on it so intensely it is having a profound impact on my life. The post itself details in great length what I did and didn’t gain from chess in my youth. In writing it I became fully aware of the fact that chess had a far larger impact on who I was than anything else in my youth, and forever thereafter for that matter. It is clear what my goal in life now is, and that is to inspire my daughter to become a stronger player than I was…and so the preparation begins. She goes to a chess school, here is an excerpt from her first lesson. It’s in Thai but you can follow the action easily enough. The amusing irony here is that Grace opens with the move I played most of my life.


I thought it best to honour the life of Geoffrey Diggle in whatever way I could. 4 years ago I found a second hand book store that sold his extremely rare publications, so I bought them.

In case you don’t know who he is, he was a columnist for the British Chess Magazine for many years and made many people laugh courtesy of his way with words and immaculate sense of humour in his column ‘Newsflash’.

I took particular interest in him when I discovered passages of his on Edward Winter’s site

He spoke about my home town and I was soon to learn that he played for both Luton and Bedfordshire in the 1930’s -and was the manager of my bank as well. But more importantly I learnt that the venue for the Luton chess club at that time was The George Hotel on George street, which was the exact venue where my grandmother and grandfather met for the first time during ‘an evening of dance’. This I learnt through researching the post I hope to complete very soon: I wasn’t expecting it to go beyond 25,000 words but the care and effort put into I am deeply proud of, but more importantly, writing it has been more therapeutic than I can put into words.

Attached below are Diggle’s works. I apologize that some corners of some papers are slightly blurred. They were scanned 2 months back where use of my right arm was limited indeed, and there was no strength left to hold the cover down to my scanner. Anyway, enjoy Diggle, his sense of humour is second to none and the publications below are extremely rare. Now they are all yours…

Diggle Vol1Diggle Vol2


Grace and I

In the first video you see my daughter in the pink dress take her place.

In the second you see me for what I really am. I Still do not have full use of all my limbs and the damage to my nervous system is much worse than I thought.So did I stay at home and do nothing but recover? Like fuck I did. I run non stop and push it so hard on my bike at all times even though I can’t grip the handlebars with my left hand very well. I posted this because I have spent over a year writing a post that dispels many myths surrounding chess, and I am tremendously proud of it. My upbringing is very much different to what you might expect. So now you can see me as I really am and not whoever you thought I were.

Being a game of concentration, perhaps playing on-line does not lend itself to great play. By this I mean how could I, he who is perennially rusty, win a forth consecutive game with The St. George Defence, this time winning in 11 moves? Can you really open with 1. …a6 and win in eleven moves against a player rated 1900+? Yes of course, as the opening sentence suggests, and here is the proof:


A rather unusual set up by white that aims towards a queenside castle.


The move black must always deliberate over is should he play Nc6 and if so when, so here I play 7. …Nc6 because there is no pawn on d4.

1. e4 a6 2. f4 b5

3. Nf3 Bb7 4. d3 e6

5. Be3 c5 6. Nbd2 Nf6

7. Qe2 Nc6 8. h3 d5

9. e5 Nh5 10. c3 Ng3

11. Qf2 Nxh1

0-1   Bizarre!

“It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.”
― Aristotle, Selected Writings From The Nicomachean Ethics And Politics

Quietly proud of last night’s victory, I adopted The St. George Defence again tonight, this time my opponent being 1923. Once again my opponent had some idea of how to play against it but got his systems mixed up like the victim before him. This time he went for a classical big centre and undermined it himself, only to then drop a knight.


Black once again, this time the person who plays white is Dutch.


Nd2 is a sound main line where white tries to retain a classical pawn centre. I was expecting white to play c3 here, instead he plays the more aggressive c4, which works in some lines but undermines his centre in this one. 


All I did was exchange of b and c-pawns with 6. …bxc4 and 7. …cxd4 respectively, and await a timely …Bb4+. Black is fine. I play the Sveshnikov Sicilian, which means …e5 may come at some point.


The position has transposed into an open Sicilian type postion, so it is here I play …e5 to lure the c4 knight away, after which Qa5 is devastating.  


I squeezed in all position motives I wanted to and sensed correctly that, given the game was only a 15 min game, white would unthinkingly play 16. Nd6. Can you tell why its a blunder? It’s not very hard to guess, even on an off day for someone ELO-1234 it would take far less than 0.000001 second, which is much less time than its taken to read this rather silly sentence.

Checkmate was delivered on the 48th move…

“My country, right or wrong,” is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, “My mother, drunk or sober.”
― G.K. Chesterton, The Defendant

“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”
― Howard Zinn

The stupidly named St.George Defence, is a better defence to play than most people think. It’s not that I play it because I am English by birth but rather its obscurity.

I have played it on and off for five years, sometimes against titled players, and can win with it quite easily. Last night I played on-line someone rated 2032, about 100 points higher than mine. See below for how it went.


I am black of course.


A slightly innocuous setup by white.


The two things you need to understand about playing 1. …a6 is not to develop your queen’s knight too early, and that if the centre becomes blocked its often better not to castle. White should proceed with 8. e5 here. The point with an early b5 by black is that the knight can come to d5 and remain unchallenged if that happens. But here white plays 8. d5 for some odd reason.


White has just played 11. Nc6 with no advantage.


The opening was a success owing to the fact that my opponent didn’t quite know what to do then made a slip.


Black has just played 17. …Nb4, which is, I think, winning.


…getting messy


26. … Rd1#.


I was half-watching the tv too as I played this out on my phone…