Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Some new chess rules passed by FIDE

You can read about it at

Here are the first couple:
At the recent FIDE Congress, delegates from the 103 countries represented made some rule changes that had been debated for the past few years. Here are the highlights-
1. Changes for title requriements:
a. By a margin of 100-4, it was voted for the introduction of a new title-TM (Traveling Master). To earn his TM title, a player must achieve a FIDE rating of 2000 and play in tournaments on all 8 continents.
b. The GM title was modified as well. FIDE abolished the necessity of "norms," saying that it is "unfair to the players not skilled enough to achieve them."
There are lots more, you should probably check out these important rule changes.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Smith Morra Mayhem!

Quick update...I will probably have a few over the next month.

I have been playing a lot of blitz lately (2-5 games a day, with 3 0 time controls). I have ignored opening theory (in fact I have purposefully been playing objectively unsound, reckless openings), tactical training, and slow games for the last few years. Other bits of life have become my highest priority.

While I have found the Smith-Morra a fun weapon against the Sicilian, I also got the suspicion that I was missing lots of opportunities. Hence, on a whim, I bought the book 'Mayhem in the Morra' by Marc Esserman. It isamazing, written by someone who loves chess, loves the opening, and takes great pains to explain tactics and strategy at multiple levels, including word-based explanations for people like me, to more concrete variation-crunching analysis for those that want more meat on the bones.

I am getting a much better understanding of the main strategic goals, but also the most common tactical themes (e.g., a common knight sacrifice that I frankly would never have thought of on my own). It is so clear, its enthusiasm for the game so contagious, that it makes me want to drop everything and start doing chess full time.

If I had to come up with any criticisms (which I force myself to do for all reviews) it is that he is probably not objective enough; he is something of an evangelist for the opening, and evangelicals are usually not the most trustworthy sources. That said, in this case it is contagious and likeable (unlike some offbeat opening books where it is offputting, especially if the person writing it is rated 1000 at but writes as if they have a refutation of the Ruy Lopez). Frankly, at my crappy 1200-level blitz games, I will never find any problems with this opening.

I like to make an analogy between good chess authors and mother birds. They do all sorts of work to get the food and digest the material, and are kind enough to spit it back in the mouth of those of us less able to secure our own food. This guy is like a freaking pelican mommy shoveling chewed up fish into my cakehole. Thanks to Marc Esserman for this great book, it truly makes me wish I had more time for the chess sink.
Read more »

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Happy Birthday, Carnival!

That's a wrap!

Welcome to the December 5, 2011 edition of chess improvement carnival. Some great stuff, and as a Christmas gift I was very inclusive in accepting stuff that was submitted.

This is the last Carnival I am going to be involved with. I appreciate everyone taking the time to participate by submitting articles, hosting carnivals, etc..

You have provided a lot of great content the past year, and Warheit is going to be taking the baton from me, so be sure to stay tuned to his blog, and comments section here, for updates on what is going on. He showed his unflagging enthusiasm for chess by making three submissions this month. Wow!

Blunderprone presents How I rust-proofed my training. This topic is incredibly important, so have a look.

Robert Pearson presents Chess Blogger v. Chess Blogger! ChessAdmin-RLP 10.15.11 1/2-1/2

lefthandsketch presents Irina Krush's Lecture at the Marshall Chess Club

Intermezzo presents Abrakebabra!

Robert Pearson presents Memorable Game 9: 2002 Alaska State Ch., Ron Campbell - R. Pearson 0-1

ChessAdmin presents Annotated Game #21: Modern Stonewall Hero

lefthandsketch presents Simon Williams: Attacking with the French

Robert Pearson presents Book Review: Play 1. e4 e5! A Complete Repertoire for Black in the Open Games by Nigel Davies

ChessAdmin presents The Kung Fu of Chess

Mark Weeks presents The Bridge, the Diversion, and the Best Defense

Robert Pearson presents more Chess and Brain Stuff, plus blitz heresy

Geoff Fergusson presents Coakley’s Winning Chess Exercises for Kids

Intermezzo presents Christmas Quiz 2011 posted at Hebden Bridge.

Good bye chess bloggers! Warheit, contact me via email, please, and we'll talk....

Monday, December 05, 2011

Chess Improvement Carnival the 12th

Will be up tonight...My apologies for the delays, this is a sign it is time for me to pass on the skeptre!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tomorrow is deadline for December Carnival!

The fearless Wahrheit has volunteered to continue on with the Chess Improvement Carnival next year! If you have suggestions for how we could improve it, please write it in the comments here, or let him know.

One thing on my wish list is better carnival software. The site we use is awful, but the only thing I found. If anyone knows of any alternates, please tell.

Last chance! See previous post for details on how to submit.

It will be the last carnival in my rotation. If someone else wants to pick up the gauntlet, let me know in the comments. I'd recommend doing it every other month.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

November Carnival is up!

Intrepid Prodigal Pawn had to walk backwards through New England ice and snow, hand-coding the Carnival in machine language and sending it in via carrier pigeon. Also, I screwed up and didn't send him the submissions until late. So in general he has been through a lot, so go read his dang Carnival!

Next month will be the final Chess Improvement Blog Carnival! Submit your stuff, anything from the past year, here.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Reminder: Tomorrow is deadline for November 4 Carnival!

See my previous post for details on this second-to-last chess improvement carnival.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

October Carnival is Up

Mark Weeks, at Chess for all Ages, has posted a most excellent Chess Improvement Carnival.

Thanks for hosting, Mark! I look forward to learning how to improve at chess!

The second-to-last carnival will be hosted by Prodigal Pawn on November 4, submissions due by November 1 here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Three days to submit for October!

October 1 is the deadline for submitting to the October Chess Improvement Carnival. Mark Weeks is hosting, and has the announcement here.

Monday, September 05, 2011

September Carnival is up!

The ninth monthly carnival is up over at Hebden Bridge Chess Club. Thanks, Hebden Bridge for hosting twice this year.

October edition will be hosted by blogger celebrity Mark Weeks over at Chess for All Ages. You can submit your content here.