Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Global eBook Middlegame Collaborative

The Global eBook Middlegame Collaborative, today announces its inception.

Phaedrus, and Transformation, have organized themselves as a cooperative effort, to create an eBook generated from the lesser known--but perhaps the most comprehensively useful--of Lazlo Polgar's three books often referred to as Bricks. To do so alone would exhaust most mortals, so we purport to accomplish this by combined and shared efforts upon Polgar's comprehensive book: 'Chess Middlegame, 77 Types in 4,158 Positions'.

Ardent students of systematic chess improvement are invited to join. We only ask for your time, and necessarily of course, confidentiality as to our communications such as email and identities.

We do not require that you have any chess pedigree as to knowledge or rating or skill, but only readiness to begin in the next month in your weekly contribution of hours and effort. What you will get in the end is the same 4,000+ chessBase cbv file that we all will share and the interpersonal discoveries realized in collaboration in it's best sense.

In the first phase, ten of us will collaborate in creating a powerful chess middlegame study and teaching tool, in each rendering some 320 positions into pgn files, from Polgar's book. Sir Pino has generously offered to join our efforts, which means that we still have room for seven more persons.

The reward will be your possession of a powerful tool suitable for almost a lifetime of chess study. You will be able to do advanced thematic training with all the advantages which eBooks provide such as 'Annotations and Variations', 'Search', and 'Evaluation and testing lines' by chess engines. The printed book offers several disadvantages such as its being out of print and thus extremely costly to furnish; it is also not very easy to handle in being very thick and heavy. Moreover, our eBook will be an improvement upon the original, as it is already well known that the book can either be incomplete or have faulty solutions.

Of course, more needs to be discussed about phase two and phase three, and specifics about what is involved concerning agreements as to confidentiality and use since this is not a commercial venture and is for private use. For more information you can email us at

Monday, March 3, 2008

Missed Opportunity

It's time to get this blog back up and running, don't you think so ?
I played a game in the club championship a few weeks ago. I won the game, but I could have ended it earlier, I missed a simple mate in 2 :

White to move, I play white. My thoughts were fixed on winning his queen, so I played 14 Bxf6 without much thinking. I totally missed blacks answer : 14 ...Bf2+, winning back the queen...

Of course I should have played 14 Ng4+ ( 14 ... Kg7 15 Qh6#) !

You can replay the game here

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The King's Gambit, where to start ?

Some time ago I decided to start playing the King's Gambit. I don't know why exactly I'm so attracted by this opening. Probably it's tactical nature, the wild attacks, the rich history, or some great Andersson &Morphy games I looked at recently... .

Since I'm trying to improve my tactical skills it seems like a good idea to adopt the king's gambit. BUT since I'm also trying to improve my rating, I certainly don't think it's a good idea to start playing the king's gambit unprepared... .

So learning the king's gambit, where do I start ? What do I have to know/learn before I can use the opening in serious rated games ?

Last week I bought "The King's Gambit For The Creative Aggressor" from Thomas Johansson. I started playing through the first chapter yesterday,but I must admit, I am overwhelmed by the massive amount of variations.

So for the moment I think the best approach is :
  • Understanding the key concepts (fast piece development & nice pawn center in exchange for the sacrificed pawn on f4, (half)open f-line, attack on f7, ...)
  • Getting familiar with the main KG-lines without losing myself in the endless list of variations.
  • Play the KG in blitz & analyse the opening afterwards

My first serious rated OTB game is in september (new start of club championship),so I have some time to get familiar with this new opening.

By the way, I'm working on my first circle through level 4. I'm advancing very very very slow. The problems are a lot harder compared to level 3. Yesterday I spent 75 minutes on 5 problems. Compared to Tempo's 5 days per problem this is still lighting fast, but still, I'm not used to this slow problem solving thing... ;-)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

What's next ?

I finally finished my last loop through levels 2 and 3. I'm quite happy with my score (98,0% for level 2, 97,8% for level 3), so now it's time to start with level 4 ! I think I will do my first loop very slow (10 problems each day), so there will be some time left for other chess related things :

  • Opening repertoire (Kings Gambit, GPA, Nf6 Scandinavian, Dutch Defense).
  • Study master games
  • Endgames (Silman's Complete Endgame Course + Polgars Endgame Brick)
  • Positional play (reassess your chess)
  • play chess (FICS + FICGS) and analyze my games
  • Last but not least, reading the blogs of the other knights. Especially Tempo's research on the thinking / learning process is very interesting.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


The position below is from a game I played on FICS last week (I played the black pieces, black to move and win). I eventually won the game but I missed a nice mate:

Solution : 22 ... Qf2! 23 Rg1 Rd1 24 Rxd1 Qxg2#

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Tactics Update

I finished my third circle on level 3 (296 problems) today :

Level 3, circle 1 : 84,5%
Level 3, circle 2 : 90,9%
Level 3, circle 3 : 96,0%

So what's next ?
I'm gonna do one more loop through level 2 & level 3, when that's finished I'm finally gonna start with level 4...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tactics Rule

I won my OTB game (club championship) yesterday. I won a piece with a tactic (which I'm a bit proud of ;-) ) :

Black to move (I play the black pieces).

I wanted to bring my rook to e2, so I first looked at the Bh5 - Bg6 manoeuvre to exchange the white bishop on d3. I realised this plan was too slow and suddenly noticed that I could bring my rook to e2 directly ! I spent a lot of time calculation all the variations, the final conclusion : white will lose a piece.

So I played Re2. My opponent gave me a strange look, had a long think, and finally played Qf1. I played Rxd2, my opponent immediately answered with Bc1 (he looked at me like "you made a big mistake, I'm winning your rook"). My heart stopped beating for a few seconds (his bishop pins my rook on my queen, I missed this move in my calculations). After a few seconds I realised his move was not as dangerous as it looked, I just had to exchange the rooks and move my queen away. So I did, I played Rxd1, he played Qxd1, I moved my queen to f6, and I was a piece up... .