Riley’s Chess Picks

Scouring the internet high and low for Chess, Riley grabs the most interesting picks of the litter for the day and shares them with you. If you run across a story that Riley might’ve missed (hey, it happens) feel free to send an email and we’ll put it giving you the kudos!

August 10, 2008

Artic Chess Challenge (BRRRRRR!!!!)

I have to confess, when I first saw the headline – Artic Chess Challenge – I thought it was a tournament among researchers at the Artic Pole. I was wrong. No surprise there and the tournament is instead at  the home country of teen phemon GM Magnus Carlsen – Norway. More specifically at Tromso, Norway. The tournament will end sometime today and you can read the most up to date results at if you are as intrigued by the title as I was.

August 5, 2008

How Did He Do It?

Magician/Mentalist Derren Brown plays 9 of Great Britain’s top chess players and ends up with an even score. In his own words in the video at Brown explains exactly how he does. I have read about this before, but the video was much more satisfying.  Watch it and see how to beat chess masters.

August 4, 2008

Ouch! The fine line between winning and losing

Susan Polgar has provided a very painful example of the fine line between winning and losing on her blog at It has happened to me many times in my games, but never thought I would see it at the strong GM level.  Enjoy the game and feel GM Stellwagen’s pain.

Will it be this way in the future?

Anand punished Carlsen in the Rapid World Chess Championship. Will it be this way one day when they compete against each other for the regular World Chess Championship?  One has to wonder.  Great report on the Rapid Championship at

Great Advice – Annotations vs. Statistics

Want to improve your game? Of course you do, we all do. The question is, “How best to go about it?”  Tom Chivers makes some fine recommendations on how to improve your game using both annotations and statistics concerning one’s own games. Read this fine article here

August 3, 2008

Queens’ Gambit Declined “Elephant Trap”

Jrobi;s videos and especially those on chess traps are very instructional and I have wanted to introduce them for some time. This is a perfect introduction that greatly illustrates his ability to use online videos to teach effectively in small bites (usually less than ten minutes. Here it is the elephant trap, but keep visiting his website and find more over time. Go here to enjoy the “Elephant Trap”

Nice Article on Problems with Playoffs in Chess

Tom Braunlich wrote a very interesting piece on “Playoff Theory” that addresses many of the problems and potential solutions for Playoffs in Chess. As any organizer can tell you – problems abound with playoffs or with determining trophies with the current systems in play.  The author does a good job of describing the pros and cons of the various approaches to the problem – the best I have seen to date and even has some proposals depending on time available for playoffs. In my opinion though, for playoffs to really change, the ‘culture of chess’ has to change.  Right now grandmaster draws are still way too acceptable as are results that can be large ties. Both have to change for any of the proposals to have a chance.  Time will tell. Read the article at

What are the ‘best’ or ‘worst’ chess books you have ever read?

The Chessex blog has started a column on the best and worst chess books he has ever read.  You can read it here, but more interesting as his ‘worst list only has one book is what are your nominations for best and worst chess books you have ever read?  I have an inquiring mind and want to know. Please send your nominations to me at and I will compile the list and publish the same after I have a sufficient replies to create a list.

August 2, 2008

Dumb, Dumber, and Dumbest

I have seen so many links describing chess-boxing as the new wonderful great combination of sports. Balderdash!  Finally I have a link that properly describes chess-boxing as one of “The world’s 10 silliest sporting events” ranking right up there with “Wife-Carrying”, “Goat-Polo”, and “Nettle-Eating”.  Of course the use of the term ‘sporting events’ is itself an incredibile stretch.  To read all about these silly events go to

Interview with GM Kramnik

It was 25 July 08 when the Weekly Euro interviewed GM Vladimir Borisovich Kramnik former world champion and current challenger to GM Vishanathan Anand. It contains some very interesting insight into the old Soviet school of chess. It is well worth the read. You will find it at

Enjoy The Show!

I have seen any number of these that I cannot make myself sit through, but this one is a delight.  For a quick look at a very interesting chess game where a former world champion loses and analysis is provided that a beginner like myself can follow (for the most part) is particularly satisfying. For GM Naiditsch vs GM Kramnik enjoy the show atℑ

The Cream of the Crop

And it is just that – the cream of the crop.  Chess Informant has a new book out based on the 10 best games from 100 individual volumes of Chess Informant.  This has to be one sweet collection.  To read more about it and see game 727 go to

Timelapse Chess … Photography that is!

This is neat.  Really enjoyed the video of a game of chess played on a street cafe table with traffic in the background and pedestrians stopping by throughout the game. Could not tell anything about the game, but I got a real kick out of the video.  You will too if you go to

Does Chess Belong in the Olympics?

Frankly, I don’t know. Don’t even know what the criteria is or was. I recall years ago, it looked as if it might be a part of the Olympics. Something I was very much in favor of at the time, but for some reason some prominant GMs got their knickers in an uproar over drug testing of all things. Imagine!  Didn’t get it then, don’t get it now.  Now for a view that currently favors chess as an Olympic event go the the international (strong European flavor) Sportingo to read why they believe Chess belongs in the Olympics at

August 1, 2008

“Staggering” you say?

Just love the headline on this article “Chess has staggering effect on education” – I really do.  I mean how often do you see the word ‘staggering’ in conjunction with chess?  I confess this is my first time.  Nontheless, this is a super article with one downfall – it is in England aka Great Britain and not in the USA.  Read the article and wonder just how successful GM Susan Polgar’s efforts to bring chess to the schools might become.  The full article is at

Baseball & Chess

I grew up 30 miles west of Cleveland, so it was really neat to read about a number of Cleveland Indians playing chess in the club house and on the road. Can’t wait to send this article to my Mother and Father who are great fans of the Indians. If you are interested you can read the story at

Chess in Schools?

If this is the question, the incredibly obvious answer is yes.  However there is a discussion going on in southwestern Louisiana on this topic.  I emailed a friend of mine in Layfayette, LA on this topic and he told me some systems already have chess in the schools in LA. More will soon have them according to this article at

Why the interest in RP Chess Olympiad Team?

Because the number 2 board position is taken by GM Wesley So, that’s why. So you might say, “So what, GM So? Who is he?”  Well, GM So recently earned his GM title at the tender age of 14.  He joins the ranks of 3 ‘young’ players to watch and watch closely in my humble opinion. The other two are Norway’s Magnus Carlson (not yet 18 & #2 rated in the world) and our own Hikaru Nakamura (not yet 21 & #31 rated in the world). GM So, rated only so 2577, has not yet moved into the top 100, but my money says he will do so.  For some background on the RP team and GM So check out

Pet Peeves About chess Positions on TV Shows

This is a title that belongs in Jonathan Hilton’s “Ohio Chess Connection” magazine. Instead in is found in the Central Oregon Chess Journal at While I have not seen any of the shows mentioned, I have seen enough nonsense about chess on tv shows to really enjoy this article on the COCJ – you probably will too.

2008 World Chess Champinship Approaches

This match between the World Chess Champion, Anand and the previous World Champion, Kramnik promises to be a winner. Kramnik is the only player to defeat Kasparov in match play will have his work cut out for him against the powerful Anand.  Go to Steven Nickolls’ blog at to see both Anand’s and Kramnik’s FIDE rating cards as well as a history of each player.

July 27, 2008

  • Love the title “The Chess Decoy” and the Art
  • Susan Plogar & Scholastic Chess
    • If you want to get an idea on just how popular chess can become in your community, then check out this local article from (of all places) Lubbock, TX.  Then check out the links in the article. GM Susan Polgar is onto to something here and it would behoove us to pay attention.
  • 159 Games in 6 Months!
    • In an article about how many games the players headed to the world championship are playing we run across details, not of a SUPER GM, but a GM who simply loves to play. GM Oleg Korneev, Russia, played 159 games in 6 months and was ranked 34 in the world. WOW!  Read about it and play over one of his games here:

July 22, 2008

  • h8=Q? Missed Miracle
  • Color Me Frustrated
    • This is the second link I have looked at about 600 year old chess piece discovered in northwest Russia. But no picture of the piece, just of the archaeoligical site. Go and see if you share my frustration.

July 21, 2008

July 13, 2008


  • My, my, my, who in the world thinks he can pick out the 110 MOST FANTASTIC MOVES EVER PLAYED?  None other than Tim Krabbe, writer, chess author, etc. I really like his choices too because (in his own words) they contain “incomprehensible King’s moves, sweeping insights, long-term sacrifices, inconspicuous pawn moves, theoretical novelties that no one ever thought of, improbable moves away from the action, and even a few brilliancies. What they all have in common is that some leap of imagination was necessary to find them”  In other words they are not moves any and every GM could find although most are played by GMs.  You can start with the first 10 at

July 12, 2008

July 11, 2008

July 9, 2008

  • “Crush! Maim! Kill!” If that is how you oft times think about your chess game, then you want to read about this book “How to Crush Your Chess Opponents” at … don’t be surprised if you end up buying it as well.
  • “Life is a game of chess. It is a game of chess within a game of chess.” Now if that did not make you dizzy, I want to recommend this article titled Life Lessons from Chess as I found it to be extremely true from my own experience. I especially liked the section subtitles: “You Are Responsible” “Responsibility is Learned” “In Control, Or Out?” “How to Gain Control” “Rebelling” “We Do It for You” and “Just LIke Playing Chess”.  You will find this essay it at

July 8, 2008

  • Want to direct non-chess players to a link that will convince that chess is a stupid game and maybe, just maybe, make them laugh at the same time, then go Uncylopedia’s article on chess.  Some say it is satrical, some say it is exactly on target, I say it’s a hoot and good for a laugh.  Try it at

July 7, 2008

July 5, 2008

July 4, 2008

July 3, 2008

June 30, 2008

June 29, 2008