For the past several decade I’ve been working earnestly to hit the magic 2200 rating, the threshold for the “master” title. … More Okay, fine, I get it—I didn’t make it
World-class chess is largely a celebration of great moves (Topalov-Shirov: 47…Bh3!!!). For most of us, though, it’s a series of decent moves punctuated by total stinkers. Boldi (1750) – Slater (2130). Here I found a powerful calculation: 21…Qf6 22.Rf3 Qxd4! 23.Qxd4 Re1+!! winning the queen on d4! [Psst: Derek, you gave up your queen too. So you’re … More Howlers
This game is Bick (2240) – Slater (2130), Golden State Open 2016.
Something terrible and strange is about to happen.
White is about to make his 41st move, meaning both players have just made time control. … More The curious case of the mutual blindspot
There’s something for everyone. There really is. Long, long ago we mentioned competitive Rock Paper Scissors tournaments. You may have seen news or video of 14-year-old Lucas Etter set a world record for solving Rubik’s Cube in less than 5 seconds. Just for fun, here he is doing 2×2 cubes. (Yes those exist too.) I … More Klytus, I’m bored. What plaything can you offer me today?
Played another G/45 at the Mechanics Institute club this past weekend. Here’s a final-round game that’s kind of comically inept, although that sounds harsher than I mean it. But there’s a long sequence where every move by either of us improves the other guy’s position by a half-pawn or more. C’mon gang, let’s count the wrong moves! Mays … More Fourth position
Date of highest blitz rating, FICS: September 1996 Then: 1937 Now: 1608 Date of highest standard rating, FICS: February 2008 Then: 2123 Now: 1946 Date of highest standard blindfold rating, FICS: January 2010 Then: 1796 Now: 1559 Date of highest blitz blindfold rating, FICS: August 2004 Then: 1371 Now: 1078 Date of highest tactics rating, chess.emrald.net: September 2007 Then: 1792 Now: 1658
San Francisco’s famous chess club is part of the Mechanics’ Institute, a cultural center “founded in 1854 to serve the educational and social needs of mechanics—artisans, craftsmen and inventors.” It claims to be the oldest continuously operating chess club in the US. As you might guess, the venerable chess room is a bit of time capsule … More The memory of great chessplayers