As it’s my 39th birthday today I thought I’d celebrate by showing one of my best games. Played when I was just 8 years old it shows the power of the Modern Defence bishop on g7.
Mikhail Tal is one of the greats that I actually had the privilege of meeting and playing against.
Tal was a really wonderful and funny person who loved to play blitz. His bohemian lifestyle did nothing for his health and he spent much of his life in and out of hospital. What he saw during his games was simply amazing, fantastic calculating ability linked to tremendous imagination.
Here’s a short pictorial video:
The following brilliant game was posted recently on Kevin Spraggett’s site but without it being replayable. As it’s a real gem, and one that isn’t well known (at least I hadn’t seen it before!), I thought it worth posting.
White’s 18.Rhf1! is surely one of the most beautiful moves ever played on a chess board, the point being the spectacular follow up of 19.Rxe6!.
With Andy Murray playing in the Wimbledon final today it’s time to explain how chess has contributed towards getting him there. It comes through his coach, Ivan Lendl, whose father was a chess master and who plays the game himself.
Lendl is known to be one of the best strategists on the tennis tour and I think this comes from having a chess background. In the following quote, on his early years in tennis, he recalls some games with his dad:
I don’t have fond memories of those times. My mother would drag me to the courts ever since I was able to breathe and once I was able to walk she was pushing one of those tennis rackets in my hand. She was very hard on me, almost oppressive at times. I like to think of my father in those times, who was able to soothe me more…with a game of chess
Here’s one of his father’s games, just about the most exciting one I could find among the quiet and determined performances listed on my database. The bishop sacrifice is nice, but hardly speculative in any way:
The discovery that my son has the same birthday as the legendary Paul Morphy has prompted a new direction in our ‘Neenz’ games.
This evening we went over the following miniature, which reminds me of the lightness and brilliance of the American genius. It also reminds me how much ‘classical chess’ has changed over the years, and I continue to wonder how its original spirit might be reclaimed.
In an earlier post I published the game Rossolimo – Romanenko. Here’s a second brilliancy by Rossolimo in his favorite 3.Bb5 Sicilian.
This last weekend I played in my first long play tournament since 2009, the Open section of the Bolton Congress. I managed to come first on my own with 4 wins and a draw, half a point ahead of a rising star, 14 year old Joseph McPhillips.
The result confirmed that my rust removal attempts are proving successful; I didn’t miss too much, played the positions quite objectively and was very patient. My best game came in the last round which I needed to win after McPhillips was held to a draw.