Archive for December, 2016

Luther’s Chess Reformation

December 16th, 2016 8 comments

The book is already out on Forward Chess and will be published in physical form on Wednesday (available in chess book shops everywhere!). I managed to have a chat with Thomas about the book in general. Unfortunately I am still in my early days in learning to use this software. Nikos said I forgot to click on bottom, which meant I look a bit slimmer than usual! Apparently it is not that bad…

The Pgn can be found here. There are no variations this week though…

The Prize is going out any moment…

December 14th, 2016 10 comments

These will be sent to the winner of the quiz today. 

Categories: Prizes Tags:

Doing something difficult

December 13th, 2016 9 comments

I put this on Facebook before realising that it also belongs here.

When you are trying to do something really difficult, it is important to use all of the resources and techniques you have available. Here are a few:
1) Have a plan to follow. It does not have to be too tight, for most people it is better if it is not. But something that tells you what the next step is at all possible moments. A simple daily or weekly routine is ideal.
2) Allow it to take the time it takes. As long as you are following your plan, you are succeeding. Putting an arbitrary deadline on your goal will make you a failure until you make it and be dispiriting when you get there.
3) Keep a track of your progress. Where there is a way, there is will. Once you see progress happening, you will get energized.
4) Find ways to improve your habits; use substitutions to change them. If you are fighting yourself, you will have much less time and energy to overcome the challenge of your goal.
5) Make things easy. Find whatever pattern and technique you can to make things easier.
6) You will lose your way. Get back on track quickly. Smokers on average try 8 times before they manage to quit. Overcoming your own bad habits will be hard.
7) Make yourself accountable for others. Ideally, get into a situation where others will gain from your success and lose out in case of your failure. An intelligent bet can solve this.
8) Don’t go it alone. Find someone who can support you. A gently push when you are losing momentum can be the difference between success and failure. Knowing that someone cares is often everyone.
9) Almost forgot. This is probably the most important. When you are working on your goal, you need to work on it with focus and attention. Too many times we watch the clock and think of when we have “done enough”. It is important that you work hard when you work; you can always play hard afterwards. Work before play, baby.
I am 51% of the way to my goal. More than half way. I am very determined. I have a strong routine. I follow it, thus succeeding on a daily basis. I track everything and can see the progress clearly. I have changed a lot of bad habits, not always at the speed I wanted, and not all of them yet, but enough for it to make a difference. I found easy ways to commit and have made it hard to cancel. I don’t stop for a moment when I go in the wrong direction. I turn around and keep focus. I never get disappointed with myself; I know all big achievements come hard. I have found people to help me and as I progress, I tell more and more people about my goal. I have found a World class bet. One I cannot get out of with any dignity without winning it. And someone saw that I was trying hard and took me under the wing. All I had to do was accept the help offered.
The most important point is that it took me six-seven months to get through the first 25% of the goal and six weeks to get through the next 25%. As the routine is getting stronger, as the faith is growing, I am now on a path that will likely lead to success. And beyond.
When I am done, I shall gladly tell you all about it.
Categories: Jacob Aagaard's training tips Tags:

Quiz – The Winner

December 12th, 2016 4 comments

We have had the answers to the Quiz, and now is the time to officially announce the winner. Congratulations to “J.A. Topfke”!

Thanks to everyone who took part, and commiserations in particular to “RAP” who, as he mentioned in this comment, missed out on winning by one move. He was level on points, with the tiebreaker being how many moves the longest game would be. 94 was correct. 86 said RAP; 87 said J.A. Topfke.

The potential confusion of whether Magnus appealing to reduce a fine counted as an official complaint (I say no) luckily had no impact on the top places, however you interpreted it. We would have the same winner even if “yes” was accepted as the correct answer.

We did receive an email from our winner “J.A. Topfke” (using his real name) and we did reply, but we doubt our reply was safely received, as an automatic error message arrived here. So hello J.A.! We are not ignoring you; you just seem to have a lot of email problems. We do have a name and delivery address, so all should be well in sending you the prize – books written by the late Mark Dvoretsky. J.A., if you wish to get in touch, then maybe your email is fixable, or you can leave a comment on the blog.

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Vlog 7 – Two Bishops vs Rook Endgame at the World Championship

December 9th, 2016 16 comments
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Quiz – Final Answers

December 6th, 2016 12 comments

I have put the final answers into the Quiz excel sheet, so you can all see how well you did. The rules for the quiz were given in this post.

Please feel welcome to check if I got anything wrong!! It is certainly not impossible. After considering any complaints we will officially announce the winner at the end of this week.

The answers are:

All these questions relate to the classical games. If you believe the match will end in a play-off, choose 13 in question two.

1. Who will be the next World Champion, Carlsen or Karjakin? Carlsen

2. How many days of play will there be played in the match (7-13)? 13

3. Which classical game will be the first decisive game (0=no decisive games)? 8

4. Will any game reach a position with Mate in 3 moves on the board? no

5. How many pawns will be promoted? 0

6. Will any official complaints be filed by either player? no

7. How many en-passants will there be? 0

8. Which first move by White will be played in the first decisive game? d4

9. How many draws in 30 moves or less will there be? 1

10. How many decisive games over 60 moves will there be? 1

11. How many wins for White? 1

12. How many wins for Black? 1

13. How many games will end with both queens on the board? 4

14. How many moves will be played in the shortest game? 30

15. How many moves will be played in the longest game? 94

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The World Championship Polls

December 5th, 2016 No comments

We have four World Championship/Carlsen poll results to catch up on.

You were exactly right that 1.e4 e5 would be the most frequently played opening. It wasn’t even close, with 9 of the 12 classical games starting 1.e4 e5 (and 3 of the 4 tie-break games).


But the poll-clickers should have had more faith in Magnus after his Round 8 loss. He did rebound, though to be fair it was a close-run thing in Game 9.

Read more…

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Vlog 6 – Two Endgames from the World Championship

December 1st, 2016 10 comments

The pgn file can be downloaded here.

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