1 year ago
World Chess Championship 1972
World-class match play (i.e., a series of games between the same two opponents) often involves one or both players preparing one or two openings very deeply, and playing them repeatedly during the match. Preparation for such a match also involves analysis of those opening lines known to be played by the opponent. Fischer had been famous for his unusually narrow opening repertoire: for example, almost invariably playing 1.e4 as White, and almost always playing the Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defence as Black against 1.e4. He surprised Spassky by repeatedly switching openings, and by playing openings that he had never, or only rarely, played before (such as 1.c4 as White, and Alekhine’s Defence, the Pirc Defence, and the Paulsen Sicilian as Black). Even in openings that Fischer had played before in the match, he continually deviated from the variations he had previously played, almost never repeating the same line twice in the match.

World Chess Championship 1972

World-class match play (i.e., a series of games between the same two opponents) often involves one or both players preparing one or two openings very deeply, and playing them repeatedly during the match. Preparation for such a match also involves analysis of those opening lines known to be played by the opponent. Fischer had been famous for his unusually narrow opening repertoire: for example, almost invariably playing 1.e4 as White, and almost always playing the Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defence as Black against 1.e4. He surprised Spassky by repeatedly switching openings, and by playing openings that he had never, or only rarely, played before (such as 1.c4 as White, and Alekhine’s Defence, the Pirc Defence, and the Paulsen Sicilian as Black). Even in openings that Fischer had played before in the match, he continually deviated from the variations he had previously played, almost never repeating the same line twice in the match.

1 year ago
Chess was a lifelong fascination that Stanley Kubrick acquired from his father “Before I had anything better to do (making movies), I played in chess tournaments at the Marshall and Manhattan Chess Clubs in New York, and for money in parks and elsewhere.” For Kubrick, his love of chess was closely connected to his attraction to the subject of war and to the process of moviemaking.
Kubrick saw the mental discipline required by the game as crucial to his success as a director: “Among a great many other things chess teaches you is to control the initial excitement you feel when you see something that looks good. It trains you to think before grabbing and to think just as objectively when you are in trouble…It takes more discipline than you can imagine to think, even for thirty seconds, in the noisy, confusing, high-pressure atmosphere of a film set. But a few seconds’ thought can often prevent a serious mistake from being made about something that looks good at first glance.”

Chess was a lifelong fascination that Stanley Kubrick acquired from his father “Before I had anything better to do (making movies), I played in chess tournaments at the Marshall and Manhattan Chess Clubs in New York, and for money in parks and elsewhere.” For Kubrick, his love of chess was closely connected to his attraction to the subject of war and to the process of moviemaking.

Kubrick saw the mental discipline required by the game as crucial to his success as a director: “Among a great many other things chess teaches you is to control the initial excitement you feel when you see something that looks good. It trains you to think before grabbing and to think just as objectively when you are in trouble…It takes more discipline than you can imagine to think, even for thirty seconds, in the noisy, confusing, high-pressure atmosphere of a film set. But a few seconds’ thought can often prevent a serious mistake from being made about something that looks good at first glance.”

1 year ago
Puzzle: In this game against the nine-times Irish champion John O’Hanlon, played in the Nice tournament of 1930, Duchamp (Black) has a choice of two apparently crushing Knight moves: either 30…Nxf3+ or 30…Nd3+ Which is correct?
Solution: The one Duchamp played: Nd3+! After 31.Rxd3 Rxe2+ 32.Bxe2 Qg1++ is a startlingly abrupt checkmate, so Black had to give up his Queen with 32.Qxe2 but after Rxe2+ 33.Bxe2 Ke5 34.Rd4 Qc5 he resigned. If Duchamp had played the tempting 30…Nxf3+ then after 31.Rxf3 Rxe2+ 32.Bxe2, the would-be killer Qg1+ is confounded by 33.Rf1.

Puzzle: In this game against the nine-times Irish champion John O’Hanlon, played in the Nice tournament of 1930, Duchamp (Black) has a choice of two apparently crushing Knight moves: either 30…Nxf3+ or 30…Nd3+ Which is correct?

Solution: The one Duchamp played: Nd3+! After 31.Rxd3 Rxe2+ 32.Bxe2 Qg1++ is a startlingly abrupt checkmate, so Black had to give up his Queen with 32.Qxe2 but after Rxe2+ 33.Bxe2 Ke5 34.Rd4 Qc5 he resigned. If Duchamp had played the tempting 30…Nxf3+ then after 31.Rxf3 Rxe2+ 32.Bxe2, the would-be killer Qg1+ is confounded by 33.Rf1.

2 years ago
The Turk, also known as the Mechanical Turk or Automaton Chess Player (German: Schachtürke, “chess Turk”’ Hungarian: A Török), was a fake chess-playing machine constructed in the late 18th century. From 1770 until its destruction by fire in 1854, it was exhibited by various owners as an automaton, though it was exposed in the early 1820s as an elaborate hoax. Constructed and unveiled in 1770 by Wolfgang von Kempelen (1734–1804) to impress the Empress Maria Theresa, the mechanism appeared to be able to play a strong game of chess against a human opponent, as well as perform the knight’s tour, a puzzle that requires the player to move a knight to occupy every square of a chessboard exactly once.
The Turk was in fact a mechanical illusion that allowed a human chess master hiding inside to operate the machine. With a skilled operator, the Turk won most of the games played during its demonstrations around Europe and the Americas for nearly 84 years, playing and defeating many challengers including statesmen such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin. Although many had suspected the hidden human operator, the hoax was revealed only in the 1820s by the Londoner Robert Willis. The operator(s) within the mechanism during Kempelen’s original tour remains a mystery. When the device was later purchased in 1804 and exhibited by Johann Nepomuk Mälzel, the chess masters who secretly operated it included Johann Allgaier, Boncourt, Aaron Alexandre, William Lewis, Jacques Mouret, and William Schlumberger.

The Turk, also known as the Mechanical Turk or Automaton Chess Player (GermanSchachtürke, “chess Turk”’ HungarianA Török), was a fake chess-playing machine constructed in the late 18th century. From 1770 until its destruction by fire in 1854, it was exhibited by various owners as an automaton, though it was exposed in the early 1820s as an elaborate hoax. Constructed and unveiled in 1770 by Wolfgang von Kempelen (1734–1804) to impress the Empress Maria Theresa, the mechanism appeared to be able to play a strong game of chess against a human opponent, as well as perform the knight’s tour, a puzzle that requires the player to move a knight to occupy every square of a chessboard exactly once.

The Turk was in fact a mechanical illusion that allowed a human chess master hiding inside to operate the machine. With a skilled operator, the Turk won most of the games played during its demonstrations around Europe and the Americas for nearly 84 years, playing and defeating many challengers including statesmen such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin. Although many had suspected the hidden human operator, the hoax was revealed only in the 1820s by the Londoner Robert Willis. The operator(s) within the mechanism during Kempelen’s original tour remains a mystery. When the device was later purchased in 1804 and exhibited by Johann Nepomuk Mälzel, the chess masters who secretly operated it included Johann AllgaierBoncourtAaron AlexandreWilliam LewisJacques Mouret, and William Schlumberger.

2 years ago
I don’t have any clear preferences in chess. I do what I think circumstances require of me – I attack, defend or go into the endgame. Having preferences means having weaknesses. —Magnus Carlsen

I don’t have any clear preferences in chess. I do what I think circumstances require of me – I attack, defend or go into the endgame. Having preferences means having weaknesses. Magnus Carlsen

2 years ago
 
Xiangqi (Chinese: 象棋; pinyin: Xiàngqí) is a two-player Chinese board game in the same family as Western chess, chaturanga, shogi, Indian chess and janggi. The present-day form of Xiangqi originated in China and is therefore commonly called Chinese chess in English. Xiangqi is one of the most popular board games in China. Besides China and areas with significant ethnic Chinese communities, Xiangqi is also a popular pastime in Vietnam.
The game represents a battle between two armies, with the object of capturing the enemy’s “general” piece. Distinctive features of Xiangqi include the unique movement of the pao (“cannon”) piece, a rule prohibiting the generals (similar to chess kings) from facing each other directly, and the river and palace board features, which restrict the movement of some pieces.

Xiangqi (Chinese象棋pinyinXiàngqí) is a two-player Chinese board game in the same family as Western chesschaturangashogiIndian chess and janggi. The present-day form of Xiangqi originated in China and is therefore commonly called Chinese chess in English. Xiangqi is one of the most popular board games in China. Besides China and areas with significant ethnic Chinese communities, Xiangqi is also a popular pastime in Vietnam.

The game represents a battle between two armies, with the object of capturing the enemy’s “general” piece. Distinctive features of Xiangqi include the unique movement of the pao (“cannon”) piece, a rule prohibiting the generals (similar to chess kings) from facing each other directly, and the river and palace board features, which restrict the movement of some pieces.

3 years ago
The classic form of the mechanical chess clock was perfected, like the game itself, by the Russians…. Crafted from white metal, with a ribbed Art Deco pattern on the sides and two slappable black buttons with just the right amount of give, the Yantar clock watched with stubborn pride as many of the century’s greatest chess players battled to checkmate.

The classic form of the mechanical chess clock was perfected, like the game itself, by the Russians…. Crafted from white metal, with a ribbed Art Deco pattern on the sides and two slappable black buttons with just the right amount of give, the Yantar clock watched with stubborn pride as many of the century’s greatest chess players battled to checkmate.

3 years ago 3 years ago
 
Fischer’s brilliance was enough to make him a star. It was his relentless, even pathological dedication that transformed the sport. Fischer investigated constantly, studying every top-level game for new ideas and improvements. He was obsessed with tracking down books and periodicals, even learning enough Russian to expand his range of sources. He studied each opponent, at least those he considered worthy of preparation. Brady recounts dining with Fischer and hearing a monologue of the teen’s astonishingly deep analysis of David Bronstein’s openings before the two were to meet in the Mar del Plata tournament in 1960. No one had ever prepared this deeply outside of world championship matches. Today, every game of chess ever played, going back centuries, is available at the click of a mouse to any beginner. But in the pre-computer era, Fischer’s obsessive research was a major competitive advantage.
In his play, Fischer was amazingly objective, long before computers stripped away so many of the dogmas and assumptions humans have used to navigate the game for centuries. Positions that had been long considered inferior were revitalized by Fischer’s ability to look at everything afresh. His concrete methods challenged basic precepts, such as the one that the stronger side should keep attacking the forces on the board. Fischer showed that simplification—the reduction of forces through exchanges—was often the strongest path as long as activity was maintained. The great Cuban José Capablanca had played this way half a century earlier, but Fischer’s modern interpretation of “victory through clarity” was a revelation. His fresh dynamism started a revolution; the period from 1972 to 1975, when Fischer was already in self-exile as a player, was more fruitful in chess evolution than the entire preceding decade.
Fischer’s uncompromising approach had an even greater impact on the chess world than his results. I am not referring to any “special moves,” as often suspected by those unfamiliar with the game. It was simply that Fischer played every game to the death, as if it were his last. It was this fighting spirit that his contemporaries recall most about him as a chess player. (via The Bobby Fischer Defense)

Fischer’s brilliance was enough to make him a star. It was his relentless, even pathological dedication that transformed the sport. Fischer investigated constantly, studying every top-level game for new ideas and improvements. He was obsessed with tracking down books and periodicals, even learning enough Russian to expand his range of sources. He studied each opponent, at least those he considered worthy of preparation. Brady recounts dining with Fischer and hearing a monologue of the teen’s astonishingly deep analysis of David Bronstein’s openings before the two were to meet in the Mar del Plata tournament in 1960. No one had ever prepared this deeply outside of world championship matches. Today, every game of chess ever played, going back centuries, is available at the click of a mouse to any beginner. But in the pre-computer era, Fischer’s obsessive research was a major competitive advantage.

In his play, Fischer was amazingly objective, long before computers stripped away so many of the dogmas and assumptions humans have used to navigate the game for centuries. Positions that had been long considered inferior were revitalized by Fischer’s ability to look at everything afresh. His concrete methods challenged basic precepts, such as the one that the stronger side should keep attacking the forces on the board. Fischer showed that simplification—the reduction of forces through exchanges—was often the strongest path as long as activity was maintained. The great Cuban José Capablanca had played this way half a century earlier, but Fischer’s modern interpretation of “victory through clarity” was a revelation. His fresh dynamism started a revolution; the period from 1972 to 1975, when Fischer was already in self-exile as a player, was more fruitful in chess evolution than the entire preceding decade.

Fischer’s uncompromising approach had an even greater impact on the chess world than his results. I am not referring to any “special moves,” as often suspected by those unfamiliar with the game. It was simply that Fischer played every game to the death, as if it were his last. It was this fighting spirit that his contemporaries recall most about him as a chess player. (via The Bobby Fischer Defense)

4 years ago
brookehatfield: Matthew won his trophy for finishing 17th in his division which included 274 competitors from around the country. “I like playing chess,” he said a few days after the photo was taken, “because  I win a lot.” And what is the best opening move in a chess game according to Matthew? “3-4 for white and 3-6 for black cause you open your pawn into the center of the board and you own the center.”

“That was probably the last picture of the trophy intact because a piece broke off when we got it home,” said his mother Judith Carter, who took the bus 14 hours each way so that she could watch Matthew compete in the tournament, “but it was a nice Mother’s Day because he got the trophy.” (via)

brookehatfield: Matthew won his trophy for finishing 17th in his division which included 274 competitors from around the country. “I like playing chess,” he said a few days after the photo was taken, “because  I win a lot.” And what is the best opening move in a chess game according to Matthew? “3-4 for white and 3-6 for black cause you open your pawn into the center of the board and you own the center.”

“That was probably the last picture of the trophy intact because a piece broke off when we got it home,” said his mother Judith Carter, who took the bus 14 hours each way so that she could watch Matthew compete in the tournament, “but it was a nice Mother’s Day because he got the trophy.” (via)