September 30, 2011

Jan Timman and Jorge Luis Borges

To my shame, I must admit that my cultural knowledge is lacking Jorge Luis Borges' famous masterpieces. The Argentine writer and poet came to my consciousness today, thanks to Jan Timman and his book, Een sprong in de Noordzee. Amongst many interesting chess stories which you can enjoy reading his book, Timman is also talking about literature, art and different cultures he encountered through his chess tournaments.
In 1982, while Timman was playing in Buenos Aires, the Argentinian grandmaster Miguel Quinteros arranged a meeting between the Dutchman and Borges, a meeting that had a profound impact on Timman. 2nd of March 1982 is still vivid in his memory, the day when he could meet in person one of his favourite writers: Jose Luis Borges!

September 26, 2011

TV Chess Sketch

Maybe you remember the video I posted a while ago, The Master Game from the 80's, aired by BBC. It was a very interesting TV series, with the players commenting their moves, you could listen their thoughts and follow the game. It was a big success back than and it even made it into a TV sketch, as Mark Crowther shares with us on twitter.


September 23, 2011

Chess Story

There are dozens and dozens of technical chess books on the market about how to improve your chess, how to become a champion, how to study this game, top ten x and z, hidden secrets and so forth. And yet, so little good books which are capable to offer the reader a different perspective, with an emphasis on the chess player's personality, a sensitive and sometimes derided subject in the chess circles.
"Chess Story" (also known as "The Royal Game", written by the Austrian author Stefan Zweig, published in 1942) shows us the other side of this pure intellectual meeting of two individuals' brains for a dual upon a 64 square board.

September 21, 2011

Silver medal for Roumania

The Romanian Chess is facing a rebirth: David Gavrilescu achieved the silver medal for his age group, under 8, in the European Youth Chess Championship, held between 10-21 September in Albena, Bulgaria. 

September 16, 2011

Why does White move first in chess?

Have you ever asked yourself why is White the one to make the first move on the board? I never seriously thought about it before, not until today. I don't even know what strange connections or associations took place in my head to come up with this question. Rules are rules and we don't really bother to wonder why they are there in the first place. But just like when you cannot remember a word, a name, and you are struggling with it the whole day long to bring it into memory, so this question gave me no peace until I started to look out for the answer. And it's pretty interesting!

September 4, 2011

Is blitz harmful for your chess?

Have you ever heard the following advice: play some blitz games, it will improve your chess skills?! Me neither:) Well...actually, a few players support this idea, as long as the number of games played online will not interfere with your normal preparation hours. We know it already, whatever turns into obsession, cannot be good.
And yet, what should we understand from this? Is playing blitz a useful practice or a waste of time? What are the others saying?