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Fritz 13 ‘s “Let’s Check” Videos

Let’s imagine the realm of chess as a world of its own. How much of this world have we discovered already? Actually, no one can answer this question precisely. Probably less than we believe. We know some elementary endgames quite precisely, and some of them we can only evaluate correctly with the help of the computer. But analyzing with engines also altered the evaluation of certain openings significantly. Maybe we already know some continents – certain openings and variations – in the realm of chess. But maybe these are just islands? Are there still unexplored areas, white spots on the great map of chess openings? Presumably.

Hitherto everyone calculated for himself. Now we can all research together. What will we discover? Things are going to be exciting…with Fritz 13 Chess Playing Software.

See Fritz 13’s Let’s Check Videos here

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Everyman E-book App for iPad

Have an iPAD? Now you can read Everyman chess e-books and enjoy the same interactivity as you do on your PC. Featuring a full iPad landscape and portrait support, search with autocomplete, support for zip files and full eBook store with inApp purchasing. When you launch your app you will see your book list, which will include the free chess book samples provided by Everyman. Your Book list is categorized into two sections:

1) Books which show eBooks customized by Everyman specifically for this app (including the samples)

2) PGN files which show any .pgn files you may have downloaded from the web or added from your hard drive

To get this great new app go click here

ChessCentral carries over 100 Everyman Chess E-Books. To browse the full line of e-books click here.

Mike Barton Memorial: A Tribute to a Good Chess Friend

By Gary M. Pylant

On August 20, 2011 38 chess players met at the Greater Memphis Chess Center to honor Mike Barton.  Graham Horobetz won the event on tie breaks over Kenneth Turner.  The format of the tournament was originally two sections: Game in 60 and Game in 30, but the players elected to play only in the G/60, which had four rounds.

The chief tournament director for the event was Michael Salzgeber, who wore a tall black and white checkered, chess hat that look like it came from Doctor Seuss’ “Cat in the Hat.”  Before each round Michael would ring a cow bell to notify that the round was about to begin.  Some of the players found this amusing yet effective to keep everything on schedule.

In the days before chess computers and advanced database programs, Mike Barton was a frequent visitor to a special chess community near East High school in Memphis, Tennessee at Tillman and Waynoka.  Chess legends from the Memphis Chess Club lived in a cove area with white apartments that were made of four living units.  Kenny Thomas, Gary Newsom, John Oman, Sid Pickard, Gary Pylant, Randy Cope, Joy Wellman were a few of the area chess residents that lived in these special apartments.  James Gallagher Jr., Curt Jones, Paul Linxwiler, Jack Smith, Mahlon “Scot” Smith, Charles “Rick” Herbers, Robert Felt and countless others would show up unannounced to play all-night marathons, five-minute parties on the weekends that did not have chess tournaments.  Those were the good old chess days, and Mike made it better.

Mike loved to razz everyone at this chess commune with his sharp wit and sardonic jabs.  He became affectionately known as the “Gill Man” after the monster from the classic horror movie “Creature from the Black Lagoon.”  All of the old-school chess players know what a “fish” is: one that gobbles the bait, especially from an offered gambit pawn, but Mike was not a fish or bad chess player.  He beat the best players in his chess career including Leonid Filatov in 1995.

We all miss Mike, and I am sure that he would be proud of the way the Mike Barton Memorial turned out.  Four players enjoyed winning special chess gift certificates from ChessCentral.com, the web chess store that is owned and operated  by Sid Pickard. Andy Sorensen was surprised to win a chess set and board (both hand carved from Sweden) that was donated by Roy Nilsson.  They ironically played in the last round with Andy coming through with a victory over Roy.

Let the Trend be Your Friend

Young chess players who today live on the internet might be shocked to learn that personal computers were a rarity in the mid-1980s. At the beginning of that decade chess study consisted of countless hours pouring through stacks of books – you know, those bound paper objects that needed the page turned manually when you got to the lower right hand corner. And a physical chess board had to be set up on which the book moves were played.

Before you say, “Eww! Gross!” imagine TWO chess boards, one to play out the main line and one for the notes and variations. Yes children, that’s how grandpa learned the game and some of us (somehow) actually got good at chess before computers took over the world.

Fast forward to the 21st century. Is it an accident that more and more pre-teens are becoming chess Masters, or that 9-year-old Samuel Sevian recently earned his Master rating? If we assume that the human brain hasn’t changed much in thirty years the only explanation lies in electronic computerized chess study. Today’s chess player can literally see dozens of chess games in the time it took Bobby Fischer to play through a single game – and he could absorb a chess book very quickly indeed!

Humans adapt, and chess Luddites who disdain technology handicap themselves needlessly. Paper chess books will always be with us, but we suggest that “the trend is your friend” and that all chess players should at least try an electronic chess book.

Queen to Play

Queen to play: A film about Chess

Oscar winner Kevin Kline (A Fish Called Wanda) and the luminous Sandrine Bonnaire (Vagabond) square off in this stylish and sophisticated dramedy of new-found passions and mid-life triumphs, set on the postcard-perfect isle of Corsica.

Lovely, repressed and quietly intelligent, French chambermaid Hélène (Bonnaire) discovers she has a knack for chess. This obsession—much to the chagrin of her husband and teen aged daughter—leads her to seek the clandestine tutelage of a reclusive American doctor (Kline, in his first French-speaking role)—a liaison that radically transforms both of their lackluster lives.

Starts April 1, 2011.

This unique film is in French with English subtitles. You can check out the opening schedules here:

Stay turned. ChessCentral is working with Zeitgeist Films for poster giveaways.

Chess Software on the Mac

The Apple Mac has become very popular in recent years. First introduced in 1984 it was the first personal computer to have a mouse and a graphical user interface. Now, the modern Mac, like other personal computers, is capable of running alternative operating systems such as Linux, FreeBSD, and, in the case of Intel-based Macs, Microsoft Windows.

This is great news for chess players who love their Mac. So many wish to use ChessBase software but have not had the ability until recently since there is no special Mac-version of ChessBase, Fritz, or the playchess.com client. And ChessBase has informed us that there are no plans for a Mac version for the future either.

There are two good alternatives for Apple-Users with a new Macintosh Intel processor:

1, Apple offers “Boot camp” for free. “Boot camp” enables you to install Windows XP on your system if you have one of the new Intel-Macs. This way you can run two different operating systems on one device. You may either start it with Windows or with Mac. You will find more information about “Boot camp” here.

2. Another alternative is to install VMWare or “Parallels desktop”. That allows you to switch from a Mac program to a Windows program without a reboot of your system.

ChessCentral carries a line of Mac chess software. The most popular is Chessmaster 9000 for the Mac. This is a good all around chess program made to challenge your chess playing skills. For training we like the Think Like a King Family Package (which also works on PCs). You can also get Shredder Chess a power packed chess playing software program for Mac.

Mac users now have many ways of honing their chess playing skills without giving up their beloved Macs.

Chess Fractals

If you are not familiar with the chess work of Mark Weeks, you should be. We have known Mark since the beginning of the Internet when he started a web site called World Chess Championship. Check out the copyright date at the bottom of the site!

Next, we caught up with Mark when he became chess guide for About.com. He was one of the few volunteer writers that kept the world informed about the events happening in chess. he did a marvelous job for years and was sorely missed when he retired from that position.

Now we have just come across his blog called Chess for all Ages where he covers a plethora of chess topics.

This leads to the title of this blog post. Check out what Mark found. Chess Fractals. These images are in the spirit of Escher and will boggle the mind. Enjoy!

Thanks Mark for your tireless years of dedication to the world of chess.