Posted on May 15, 2013 by chesscentral
Even Bobby’s “Fischer Random”, also known as “Chess960″, is not without precedent in our standard chess. We know that Fischer admires Steinitz, and is well aware of the 1st world champion’s games and writings. As a teenager Fischer was seen reading the International Chess Magazine, while as recently as 1996 he was observed buying a collection of Steinitz games from a chess shop in Argentina. One may guess whether Fischer was aware of the following game, played in the winter of 1875 between Blackburne and Potter – or of others like this one. It would be interesting to collect pre-Fischer examples of Fischer Random, to see if other piece arrangements were practiced.
The game itself is worth reproducing on several counts, beyond being a possible precursor of Fischer Random; for the unusual combat between two strong players, and the commentary by Steinitz are very fine – although the 1st world champion was still discovering his “voice” in this early column in The Field. Unless we are mistaken, a rare slip creeps into his note to Black’s 21st move where the dismissed 21…b6 does NOT lose the Exchange to 22.Ba6+ Kb8. The idea is valid, however, say if White’s Rooks were doubled. Perhaps another strange irregularity in an altogether irregular game.
Steinitz, from The Field (October 1875):
The interesting game published below was played at the West End Chess Club between Messrs. Blackburne and Potter a fortnight ago, for a small prize offered by Mr. Ballard. Both parties agreed to a displacement of the pieces, in order to waive all advantages from the knowledge of the openings, and it was therefore arranged that on both sides the Bishops should be placed on the Knights’ squares, and the Knights on the squares of the Bishops. We have adopted the usual notation, as if the pieces had been placed in the ordinary way.
View the Fisher Random 1875 Chess Game here
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Posted on March 24, 2013 by chesscentral
Check out Kevin Butler’s new chess video introduction to the Steinitz Gambit, covering the important ideas underlying this wild chess opening! After 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 exf4 4.d4 Qh4+ 5.Ke2 the White King is perfectly comfortable behind his strong central pawns, and the monarch even plans on better placement in case of any endgame. Very bold! Kevin’s video explains what’s going on, and shows how you can use the fighting King in your chess openings.
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Posted on March 16, 2013 by chesscentral
A group of children in southwest Philadelphia are using chess to stay positive and avoid violence in their city. Will any of them be the next chess prodigies?
Check out this CNN video story where everyone wins:
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Posted on March 3, 2013 by chesscentral
Here at ChessCentral, we feel that the growing number of young Grandmasters is the result of access to strong chess computers and chess software used for training. We remember the days of stacks of books, of studying each game page by page, and hoping that our chess analysis was right because there was no way to verify our conclusions.
The question of who is a chess prodigy may need to be rethought because there are many more elite young players than there once were.
At the Reykjavik Open in Iceland, which ended Wednesday, Wei Yi, a 13-year-old from China, completed the requirements for the Grandmaster title. In doing so, he became the fourth-youngest Grandmaster ever.
It is a remarkable accomplishment, but not as remarkable as it once was. After Bobby Fischer became a Grandmaster at 15 in 1958, breaking the old record by three years, it was 1991 before Judit Polgar bettered his mark.
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Posted on October 14, 2012 by chesscentral
Not only do the cool kids actually play chess, but now they get to have a movie made about them! The new documentary Brooklyn Castle is centered around a Brooklyn school’s championship chess team with over 20 National Championships to its credit.
A few years ago another movie was made about chess called Knights of the South Bronx. Ted Danson stars in the inspiring true story of an inner-city teacher who taught his students to be champions. Danson stars as English teacher David MacEnulty (who wrote the software program Think Like a King) in this true story of heroism and inspiration. It depicts one man’s struggle to better the lives of underprivileged children from the South Bronx, and by teaching them he transforms their lives and the lives of thousands of other kids, their families, and their neighborhoods.
More details about the Brooklyn Castle documentary to follow!
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Posted on August 25, 2012 by chesscentral
We just found this notable blog entry by chess author Lubomir Kavalek at the Huffington Post. He talks straightforward about plagiarism in the chess world, naming names – an excellent article which calls to mind some observations from our own experience.
In the role of publisher, ChessCentral has produced many fine print books and e-books found in our catalog. Unfortunately, each passing year exposes more web sites that choose to sell, share or give away our copyright protected property, our books and articles. Recently we found an eBay seller with over 100 chess books from many publishers, all scanned and placed on CD and ready to ship. When contacted he claimed some “obvious right” based on his work of scanning. A generous interpretation of the law!
Other portals frequently offer chess book downloads that are copy protected. To the credit of Chess.com, for example, once an infraction is brought to their attention they remove it immediately from the site. But many outlaw domains remain silent and await enforcement. Most chess book publishers could keep a cadre of copyright lawyers busy.
Another area often pirated is chess software. In fact, many “warez” sites frequently appear in searches for popular software products before listings from legimate chess shops. We’ve even seen Google ads hawking illegally obtained chess software. If weeks of programming must be added to protect software from theft, the price goes up and honest consumers pay.
Mr. Kavalek suggests that most victims of piracy don’t talk about it, and so the author has spoken out for them. The intellectual pirate is a thief who forces everyone to suffer equally at the cash register.
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Posted on August 4, 2012 by chesscentral
Get ready, on Sunday, August 12 you will have a chance to play against World Champion Viswanathan Anand. Anyone with an Internet connection can partake in this duel between individual genius and “the wisdom of crowd. You can be part of a team of chess players from around the globe willing to pit their skills against the world’s number one player.
Anand is scheduled to play a number of exhibition games on August 13th, against on-site participants at the Metro Chess Invitational Chess Camp in Los Angeles at 1:30 EST. You and your team mates will be one of the boards, with a human making the moves for your team.
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