Nov 6 2009

Andrew Martin Articles Round-Up


The series of IM Andrew Martin’s articles on ChessCube has come to an end, but you can still access this fantastic resource. Andrew Martin’s columns provide excellent game analysis. He analyses both recent and classic games, providing chess players with plenty to mull over.

The quizzes from Andrew Martin are a great way to test your chess knowledge, with Andrew providing further analysis.

These quizzes and columns should be revisited by every chess player who is keen on improving. Follow ChessCube on Twitter for a daily reminder of these articles.

Oct 29 2009

ChessCube Blitz Game in YouTube


Watch a live game on ChessCube with commentary:

Oct 16 2009

“My Thought Process” by Beginchess


There’s a lot to be said for having a method of assessing positions. A methodical approach can provide comfort in times of trouble and help prevent impulsivity and pessimism.

When it comes to blundercheck time, this question can be of great value: “What does my proposed move UNDO?”

Chess players are very focussed on DOING something. So much so that we often forget that every move also undoes something. Don’t come undone!

This article from Begin Chess on Thought Process is a good read, beginners and experienced players alike: My Thought Process.

Aug 28 2009

Taking Back a Move in Chess


“A man that will take back a move at chess will pick a pocket.”
- Richard Fenton (1837 – 1916)

CTRL Z Threadless Tee

CTRL Z Threadless Tee

So, when ChessCube Version 4 launched this week, it launched without the “take back” option. It’s back (some of you may be pleased to know), but we’ve certainly seen lots of debate around whether it shouldn’t even be an available option!

I asked for some opinions around ChessCube HQ, and John‘s thoughts are worth sharing:

When you take back a move in chess you have had a glimpse of the future and your opponent has not had the same advantage. Except in beginners’ games, it ought not to be allowed in my opinion.

Ultimately it can only harm the chess development of the player who takes back the move. Takebacks can also quite easily bedevil relationships.

The player who is asked for a takeback is placed in an invideous position. If she refuses then she risks being thought of as an ungracious person. And if she accedes then she has set a precedent which will be difficult to repudiate. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Much simpler to simply not allow the possibility at all.

Mouse slips? I have had a few and smarted most mightily for it. I’m much more careful with my mouse these days.

When playing games online, most players wouldn’t want to be at the mercy of their own mouse slips. It’s something we had to consider with the online games in the SA Open. For those games, even though the game was played online, each player also had a physical board to show their moves to the arbiter. That way, a request to take back a move based on a slip of the mouse could be verified against the board.

What do I think? Well, I’m quite the beginner myself, so I were to want to take a move back it would more likely be because I’d made the wrong one, rather than that my mouse had slipped. It would be better for me to learn to play the game without that “ctrl + z” option. For better players, I can understand the frustration of a mistaken move because of a sticky mouse. Take back remains for now.

What do you think?

[Image is detail of the "CTRL + Z" Tee by Ben Devens at Threadless.]

Aug 7 2009

The Torre Attack – an easy opening


The Torre Attack (named after Mexican Chess grandmaster Carlos Torre Repetto – if trivia is your thing) is an opening which is both easy to understand and easy to play. It’s also used by some of the best international chess players, so you know it’s worth taking a look at.

Here’s a video by IM Andrew Martin so you can see what it is all about:

You can also find more analysis by reading Andrew Martin’s latest article on the Torre Attack or by buying his exclusive two-part, part 1 and part 2, video series in our online store.

Perhaps the Torre Attack is your first step on the path to Grandmaster?