Monthly Archives: March 2014


A Delightful 3 Hours

A couple of years ago, I played a game against a young girl. I was impressed by her play. I was losing for 90 percent of the game due to a bad choice of opening – that darn elephant gambit of mine. Eventually she made a mistake and with a crowd watching I struggled to find the winning moves, but later analysis showed that my choice was okay.

Last night the tables were turned. It was a delight to play Jennifer again, as I had enjoyed the first game. So much so, that when she played at Denton against on other occasions, I felt I was missing something when she had other opponents.

Yesterday I had white and played a version of the Sicilian that I usually don’t like. My chess program Sidonia as white plays 1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb4+. I tried using the same opening as my computer program.
It worked well and I came out of the opening a pawn up. I felt I just needed to hold onto the pawn until the endgame and the game would be mine. It didn’t quite work out that way though. Jennifer put pressure on my c pawn and then my b pawn. I needed my dark bishop to protect my b pawn, but that came at the cost of disconnected rooks and back rank mate threats. With a great mental struggle I managed to unwind that better than I thought possible.

However I then found myself going into a blocked endgame with no strategy in my mind to unravel it.

Jennifer played it better than I did and then she unblocked it with a clever move, h4, that I had not even considered.

From there, I think the game should have been a draw. I had written off the queen-side of the board. I thought I was zugzwanged, but I had a free move, a5. So, game to Jenny. Thanks for an enjoyable evening.

I’ve run the game through a chess engine for analysis.
The moves are shown above and I’ll add the analysis later.

Edit: here it is! Ivan Versus Jennifer (HTML)

Weird (and I mean weird) Checkmate.

I found this a very strange checkmate.

White sacrifices his rook. Black refuses the rook and counter sacrifices his bishop. White refuses the bishop and resacrifices his rook on a neighbouring square.

It takes a little bit of analysis to make sense of the moves.

Nice move

Using a queen to diagonally pin a bishop!

Bishops are usually pinned laterally or vertically. Since bishops capture diagonally I don’t think of them as being pinned diagonally too often. Also, what, can pin a bishop diagonally? Only piece of greater than or equal value [another bishop, or a queen], so a diagonally pinned bishop is likely to simply swap itself off at no material loss, and perhaps even a gain.

So why on earth would you want to use a queen to pin a bishop?

Well, a game I saw recently had a bishop pinned on both diagonals!

I don’t think it would have readily occurred to me to protect my queen with an unprotected bishop, as happened here.
I hope someone else enjoys this move!

Ivan Urwin versus P. Edhouse

This is my game from Tuesday. I know there are mistakes I made, but it was a hard fought game, and at times my brain was hurting from thinking at work and then thinking during the game so much. Maybe I should have a 5 minute rest during the game – go off and get a beer or something!

Anyway, I enjoyed it, which is the main thing. I enjoyed it tremendously. My opponent was a gentleman too. We were losing 4-0 and he could possibly have made it a 5-0 whitewash. We had 5 minutes each left on the clock and agreed a draw. I made some mistakes noting down the game. Some of the mistakes were writing Nf3 for blacks Nf6. Some were forgetting to say which knight or rook moved somewhere, when there were two possibilities. They are signs of tiredness, but worse than that was missing a knight fork: king and rook; and also missing that what I thought was a free pawn was just diverting a defender. Chess is odd in the way that you can try to analyse variations to great depth, and miss the simplest moves as a result.

Can't remember

Cool (defensive?) move

Watching chess engine’s playing out games on my computer (Josefine) to improve my chess engine’s opening book, there was a move caught my eye. There are moves that look wrong initially and then you look at them and can see the explanation – the reason why the move is actually okay.

Here white plays c4 threatening the knight, and black surprised me by coolly defending the knight with the bishop.

This move was made because after pawn takes knight, a recapture by the bishop would eye down on the white rook, so there is compensation for the loss.


A knight out in Chorlton

well, a night out really.

I usually have little interest in other peoples games. On Tuesday I made an exception and went to support our team – Denton Chess Club – who were playing away at Chorlton. The team playing was Denton’s first team. However Denton One had also played away on Monday, and it isn’t easy getting people to turn out for games on consecutive days. Away teams are often weaker than home teams too, since it is easier to get to home games and some people might not be able to get to an away game with ease.

On top of that,. Chorlton are not a weak team. So it shows the strength of the new Denton players, when we can come away with a draw under circumstances like that.

I was walking around taking some pictures for the website. Apologies to one of our player if I distracted him, because he played an opening move too rapidly and wham – a queen lost and a resignation.
I took his seat and took pictures of Tim’s game to my left and Rotislav’s game to my right. I have probably not got his name right: he is a new member of the club, and a strong player. I expect his grade to keep rising.

The game in the previous posting is from the photographs. As a result, I might have transposed a few of the opening moves. I am more sure that the ending is correct, as it was all rather beautiful and seemed to go from an advantage to a crushing win with the Sort of precision that one is used to seeing in computer games.

When I analyzed the game by computer later the computer says the best move here would have been e4 (mate in 11).

I don’t expect a human to play that move however. It seems very unnatural.
The move played is shown by the dotted green arrow, in response to the move shown by the red boxes.

Denton Game

A great game and a win for Denton

Get Your Own Chess Server

I got an email with this in it.

“Get Your Own Chess Server”
Meet your friends in your own chess server. It is easy. It is free. Just put a link like this on your web page: Chess Club
Where the text after ?room= is the name of your chess club or community.

Hmm. We can already play chess online: there are sites where you can register for free. I am on where you can play using their webpages and don’t need to download anything. I am also registered twice on FICS, the free internet chess server. One account is for me, and the other is for my chess program. On top of that, I added the ability to play chess on the Denton Chess Club website. If you click on the Live Chess link on it takes you here …

As a result, I have been a bit slow to investigate new alternative. But now I have started to look at it by writing this blog post. That will put a link on the website where people can see it and click it. Then later I’ll look into adding a link from the main page, using a logo, or even “embedding an iframe”, which means put their web page inside mine.