Friday, September 27, 2013

Links to Game Collections has a series of user created Game Collections on various themes. I created this post to put a quick links to them here.

Collections on games from  Books on Attacking Chess

Aagaard's Attacking Manual 1 
Aagaard's Attacking Manual 2
Vukovich The Art of Attack in Chess
The Modern Art of Attack
Timman On The Attack
Christiansen Storming the Barricade
Christiansen Rocking the Ramparts

Collections on Attacking Openings

Here comes the Elephant Gambit
A Wandering Tour through the Traxler Gambit
The Alapin Diemler Gambit and the Reti Gambit against the French
Minchev The King of the Halloween Gambit 
Dynamic Danish Gambit
Perenyi Attack
Kneel before the Grob
Goring Gambit
Ruy Lopez- Marshall CounterAttack
The Fabulous Budapest Gambit
Sicilicide Ideas Against the Sicilion


TheAlchemist Brilliancies by Unknowns
Attacking Lessons by Prashla
NasMichael I came to Play
Benjamin Lau ThunderStorms in Blue Sky
Mr Nimzo Modern Romantic Attacking Games
Ulhumbrus Favorite Games
Concentration of Force

players games collection

Alekhine's Best Games
Super Nezh 
Life and Games of Mikhail Tal 
The Brillant Games of EJ Diemer

The Ninth Pawn Chess Course
Patzer2 Game Collections
PB games and puzzles 

Brutal Attacking Games 

Collections on games from Move by Move Books

Chernev Logical Chess Move by Move 
Chernev The Most Instructive Games Ever Played of Chess 
McDonald Chess The Art of Logic Thinking  
McDonald The Art of Planning in Chess
McDonald Giants of Power Chess
McDonald The Giants of Strategy 
Gidden 50 Essential Chess Lessons 
Understanding Chess: Move by Move

Logical Chess.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Summer Of (Chess) Love

Hi All,

It's nice and warm here in New Hampshire and it's time for the Summer of (Chess) love Carnival. I've quickly patched this together with help of Blue Devil Knight.
(this is a work in process)

Bright Knight presentsDan Heasman’s 7-10 Basic Tactics Books posted at Empirical Rabbit.

Heinz Z speaks to Truth

Mark Weeks presentsImprove Your Chess with the Master Game posted at Chess for All Ages.

Intermezzo presentsHebden Bridge Chess Club: Worst of British Chess Awards posted at Hebden Bridge Chess Club.

ChessAdmin presentsReflections on Training posted at Path to Chess Mastery.

Here is my favorite old time post from Nezh which speaks to a game that changed him

BDK, everyone favorite blogger , broke his cone of silence to submit this .

DK Transform is back and his blog is  always a delightful trip

Eburke has something we need to be reminded of how to win two basic rook endings   Lucena and Philidor:
Elubas looks at the Tactics Strategy connection

Espeago discusses something I should take to heart the importance of avoiding premature attacks

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer of (Chess) Love 2011 Carnival

Hey All,

It's hot as hell here in New Hampshire. The Hippie Bus has arrived and it's time to cellebrate the Summer of (Chess) Love 2011.

Feel free to link to your post about about chess at the following site  . It could be one you just wrote or an older one you are proud of. What ever you feel like don't worry...It's cool.

Prodigal Pawn did a far out job hosting July's carnival and can tell you what it's all about here.

Date for final submission is August 4th and I hope to post the carnival around the 7th.

Until then Peace , Love and Puka Shells.

 Jim Takchess

Monday, July 4, 2011

July Carnival

Prodigal Pawn has hosted the July Carnival and is found here.  TommyG has some nice post including some older links from the Knights Errants. Good Stuff.

I'll be hosting the August Carnival . More to Follow.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Nothing is more important that King Safety

A chessgame showing the dangers of grabbing material at the expense of King Safety and Development. A very interesting game from Attacking  Manual 2

Reminds me of the Traxler with the Knight out of play on the other side of the board.

The board view  is WTM # 13 and here the game is lost for black .

 This reminds me of something which I have been fighting during the past 10 years. I'm sure if my play reflected it I would improve 200 points.........

Dan Heisman tells you the two most important things you can learn in chess...........

What I am about to tell you may sound simple, but it is likely the most important piece of advice you will ever read in this column:

There are only two main principles in chess: safety and activity. Safety is much more important than anything else, and activity is much more important than anything but safety.

From Page 3 of his first novice nook.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Talking Traxler: Opening Theory :

Here is a variation which I could of reached in a Traxler game that I played last night and discussed with a friend. I figured it would be helpful to explore this further and write a post to document my thinking.

To reach this position, White had just played qf3 for defense purposes and threatening a black knight which was on e5. We discussed playing ng4 which we both  felt was good. However Fritz pointed to the move played here by Black Nf6 which removes the target.                                                                     

Here with WTM, his King and Queen are  awkwardly placed. If  he is greedy and takes the Rook out comes Nd4 an attack which gains a tempo. In the position above he can't move Ke2 due to the the Nd4+  royal fork.                                                      

The continuation of a game on with this line went 

Although after the line  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 Bc5 5. Nxf7 Bxf2+
6. Kxf2 Nxe4+ 7. Ke3 Black played Qh4. A more popular line is 7....Qe7.

Here is a representative game from that line

and similar games to that


Sunday, May 29, 2011

AAgaard Attacking Manuals Common Theme

Terry Francona, Manager of the Boston Red Sox, often talks about the importance of players having a respect for the game (Baseball) to show it through their actions on and off the field . His highest praise is when he says a player plays the game the right way. He consistently talks about this in press conferences and I'm sure this follows through in what he says to his team and individual players.  He is a class act. (yes, I am a Boston Red Sox Fan)

This reminds me of one reoccurring themes in Jacob Aagaard's Attacking Manual 1 & 2   , A short excerpt from the beginning of each book  appears at these links. 1 & 2 . I think of this theme as Respect for Chess , it's complexity and the difficulty to play it well. In these two books, he shows this and discusses this in many ways. I have found these ideas to be extremely well stated, interesting and good food for additional thinking. I have liberally quoted from his books in this blog. (The book quotes are italicized)

His following statement speaks to the trivialization of difficulty of the game among the general chess book reader and player.

I have included something I have not seen in other books. Before each chapter I have selected a number of diagrams representing positions from the coming chapter for you to consider, should you feel so inclined. It is my experience as a trainer, as well as someone who has had to work to improve, that “reading and nodding” (Daniel King) can create a false impression of how difficult chess really is. By thinking over these positions for up to 10 minutes each, you will have a first impression of what your intuition has to say about these positions, before I say what I think about them. Though we might never meet, this is a way for us to have a constructive dialogue.

I've noticed in general (but not universally) better players ( than I ) talk differently about the game and are more accepting of ambiguity. I've notice this in players I've talked to at tournaments as well as a friend I have analyzed with on (Thanks J!)  They are slower to make sweeping statements about a position and stay uncommitted longer to the value or discrediting a move or plan. I think Rowson has some interesting thinks to say about this trait of better players in his book Chess for Zebras.

Much in chess is unknown or unknowable or at least it can vary greatly from game to game.  Respect that these things are still being worked out and talking in ideas. As he wrote in the following.

Most often, decisions in attacking consist of such or similar trade-offs. This is what makes dynamic chess so interesting. Both players have a chance to win, as White is winning on points (static feature) and Black is winning on time (dynamic feature). This is also what makes dynamic chess so difficult. Though there are clear rules to follow, which can be translated into techniques,in the end all conclusions at the board will have to be guided by concrete calculation and gut feeling. Without the techniques, rules and so on that I will describe in these two books,you could be choosing the moves and ideas you want to calculate a little at random. After reading this book, hopefully your bias will be strongly towards the kind of decisions that are most commonly right.

Respect to play well requires not to fall to lazy thinking/slovenly play. (I'm guilty as charged , do as AAgaard says not as I do 8) ) He writes:
It is tempting to bring in the rook, but as we have just seen, we should never yield uncritically to the impulse of playing the most natural move without investigating whether or not it is also the best move. Chess is far too complicated to be played with a superficial approach.

He is also respectful to the readers needs and desire to improve and structures the book with this in mind.

Although I am a writer by nature, and place a high value on aesthetics, I am deeply aware that most readers will have picked up this book with the hope of improving their chess. My experiences and conversations with some of the best players in the World have strengthened my belief that it is very useful to solve exercises regularly if you want to improve your play. Although a well-written book can affect your play positively, it will do so much more if you are involved, rather than just reading it.

He is also respectful of other players and their play and speaks to their mistakes in a reasoned measured way.

Obviously those strong players had other ideas and somehow they did not work out, but we should also not overestimate the human ability or underestimate just how difficult chess is. We need all the help we can get to play this game just on a decent level. (a statement to which this blogger adds: Amen Brother!!!!)
and again:
During my research, I found it striking that serious mistakes were committed more often than not. If I had to guess, I would attribute the mistakes to the players’insufficient familiarity with the relevant patterns, not forgetting the simple fact that chess is just difficult!

Aagaard teaches mainly through game annotations and the selection is interesting in that most of these games have a poor move or two often on both sides of the board. Most games are recent and are played by GM's.

That being said he doesn't suffer fools lightly especially when it comes to the subject of chess commentary and the blind acceptance of computer analysis. In talking about chess coverage of his games and tournaments;

When I see my games annotated in newspapers or magazines by people who are not playing at the top level themselves,I meet the "Fritz Mentality". In it's simplicity its a kind of apex problem where people cannot understand that chess is very difficult as the understand it easily when they are looking at the tactical problems pointed out by Fritz

He then gives an example of a commentator disparaging Aagaard's opponents move as missing the obvious answer .An "obvious answer" that took 24 guess of audience in the commentary room.
An interesting side note to the respect for the difficulty of chess is that he doesn't lose sight that chess is a game not a computer exercise or a solved problem.
It is easy to get lulled into the sensation that chess is easy (rather than simple,which is something else)that chess should be played perfectly and other such nonsense.
Chess is very difficult and the chief task of the competitive player is to create problems for his opponent. The best problems are those that cannot be solved but before you create these you have to create problems that can. At best,very difficult ones. But which are they? How do you tell? Often by noticing that you do not know how to solve them either .

At the end of book 1,  as a preface to 50 study positions , he asks you to approach things in a special way.

It is for this reason, i suggest that you look at the next 50 exercises with the attitude of simply  thinking about them and enjoying the thought process. Chess is about thinking and improvements in chess come from improving the way you think. Do not test yourself as you should not try to reach a certain outcome but instead enjoy looking at these hopefully interesting positions.

I find it reassuring that a GrandMaster who won the British Championship, writes great books , plays and train at the high level acknowledges  that chess is a damn hard game and writes an advanced book (target audience 1700 +) that I can understand (somewhat) and enjoy.

I plan on working with this book further as well as study my more basic tactical themes and problems. The reality of my play is I'm still missing some basic tactics and need to build my base so that I have the chops to better use the ideas in this book.