Bulletins

Sep
18

Bulletin No.79 – The Bournemouth ‘Grand’ Chess Congress

Introduction After much deliberation and several reworks of the numbers, the Bournemouth Grand Chess Congress was finally launched in 2012, the same year as the London Olympics. However, it almost did not happen! Below is the full history of the Congress, how it came about, its successes including attracting some of the UK's top Grandmasters [...]
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Sep
11

Bulletin No.78 – Combo Corner: Botvinnik

Introduction When you think of Botvinnik you immediately think of strategic masterpieces rather than fantastic tactics. However, Botvinnik did play some really nice combinations, it was just that by the time he played them he normally had other ways of winning.  In other words Botvinik's combinations were normally crowning glories after he had already outplayed [...]
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Sep
04

Bulletin No.77 – Local Games: A Mixed Bag of Goodies!

We have a bit of everything today!   We start with a short king hunt... our second offering is a positional game with twists and turns... and we end with a memorable win against a famous GM. Enjoy! Attack with the English We normally associate the English with subtle queenside pressure or the big centre [...]
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Aug
28

Bulletin No.76 – Combo Corner: Alekhine

This week we have a new type of bulletin: Combo Corner!  In these we will feature three fantastic combinations from some of the all time greats, whilst trying to avoid the very best known examples in the interests of bringing you something fresh.  On occasion we may stretch the definition of a combination but will [...]
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Aug
21

Bulletin No.75 – Local Games: One Human Baffler and Two Engine Bafflers!

Today we start with a game that has a sharp and pretty finish and on the way through features unusual and interesting positions that are really hard for a human to evaluate.  Then we have a couple of games containing moves that are easy for a human to understand but have baffled engines! All three [...]
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Aug
14

Bulletin No.74 – Endgame Corner: Rook Ending Crash Course

Introduction I thought a few times about writing an Endgame Corner on rook endings and decided against it, partly because I am not a GM standard expert on them and partly because it seemed like a large and daunting task.  However, having decided that I wouldn’t do it, a couple of people suggested it would [...]
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Aug
07

Bulletin No.73 – Local Games: A Stunning Novelty and 2 Black Kingside Attacks

Today we feature a brilliant opening sac that was way ahead of its day, and two attacks against the castled white king.  Plenty of blood all round! A Stunning Novelty! When Martin Clancy played this game in 2005 the idea of Nd5 in the Morra was basically unknown and must have given his opponent quite [...]
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Jul
31

Bulletin No.72 – Endgame Corner: How to Win Opposite Colour Bishop Endings

We all know that opposite coloured bishop endings are drawish.  The defending side puts their pawns on the same coloured square as their bishop and blockades the opposing pawns when they are on the opposite colour.  A pawn up you will not normally be able to win, two extra pawns are often not enough, and [...]
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Jul
24

Bulletin No.71 – Local Games: A Strategic Masterpiece and 2 King Attacks

Today we feature a strategic masterpiece by Christian Westrap and two attacks against the opposing king by Mike Waddington, both featuring exploitation of the dark squares. All three games are annotated by the winners, giving a great insight into their thinking. How to crush the Benko! The Benko can be tricky to play against because [...]
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Jul
17

Bulletin No.70 – Endgame Corner: Rook + Pawn vs Bishop

We all know that a lone rook can rarely win versus a lone bishop.  But what about rook and pawn v bishop? As long as neither the rook nor pawn is immediately en prise that must always be a win, right?  That's what I thought until about a year ago but I was wrong. Of [...]
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Jul
10

Bulletin No.69 – Local Games: A Superb Miniature and Two Swindles

Today we feature a superbly played miniature and two horrendous swindles! 13 Moves... Unlucky for Someone! Mike Duggan finds all the critical moves to produce a fine game. He makes it look easy, but that is only because his play was really strong. Simple but Sneaky! Here Peter Anderson wondered if his opponent might autopilot [...]
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Jul
03

Bulletin No.68 – Endgame Corner: Queen vs Minor Pieces

Do you know how a queen fairs against two minor pieces?   And if you know what the result should be, could you achieve it in practice? Queen vs Two Bishops This is drawn but only if the defending side can quickly achieve the correct defensive set up.  The king needs to be near but not [...]
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Jun
26

Bulletin No.67 – Local Games: Instructive miniature plus two sacrificial finishes

Today we feature a very enjoyable and instructive miniature and two games with crisp finishes featuring the same sac, each annotated by the winners. Pretty and Instructive We start today with a delightful miniature from Christian Westrap. Sac and Win! Martin Simons finishes a complex game with a well calculated sac. Sac, Sac and Win! [...]
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Jun
19

Bulletin No.66 – Endgame Corner: Two Bishops vs Knight (and Pawn)

Endgame Corner will be one of the types of bulletin we will be running over the next few months. There won't be lots of analysis in these (quite often no analysis), but rather I will normally try to quickly summarise whether an endgame is won or drawn, whether or not it is easy to play, [...]
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Jun
12

Bulletin No.65 – Local Games: A Miniature and 2 King Walks!

From today the weekly bulletins will be shorter than in the past but we will still bring you plenty of quality content!   Roughly every other week we will bring you three games by local players.   These will be a mixture of best/favourite games, short games and swindles and will be annotated by the players themselves [...]
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Jun
05

Bulletin No.64 – Team Battles: a year of fun chess

When Covid-19 struck Martin Clancy took it on himself to organise tournaments for local players starting with the first open tournament being held on 25th March 2020.   With these events proving popular, a few weeks later Martin decided to run the first Team Battle, this taking place on Thursday 4th June 2020.   It was an [...]
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May
29

Bulletin No.63 – The Confessions of a 4NCL Captain

Keith Gregory (pictured above)  has kindly written the following bulletin of his experiences of being the captain for the Wessex 4NCL teams.  A brief history of 4NCL So where did it (4NCL) all begin... ? Whilst it is now a major chess institution in the UK and a “chess-home” to many GMs, IMs etc. the [...]
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May
22

Bulletin No.62 – Blackmar-Diemer Gambit but not as we know it!

Everyone has probably heard of the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit (BDG) and locally, Alan Dommett has even written an informative, entertaining book on it as a tribute to Emile Joseph Diemer, which was published in 2003 and dedicated to Alan's wife, Marion, (which you can see here on Amazon). As some of you may know, Alan has [...]
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May
15

Bulletin No.61 – lichess, the gift that keeps on giving: Puzzles!

Martin Clancy kindly wrote this informative bulletin about the lichess puzzles and some of its innovative features that may help us all improve our skills. Please note that all the blue headings in this bulletin are clickable links that will take you to the relevant lichess pages. lichess.org lichess really is “the gift that keeps [...]
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May
08

Bulletin No.60 – The Covid Candidates

The Candidates tournament to decide who will challenge Magnus Carlsen for the world title finished last week with Ian Nepomniachtchi emerging victorious.   If Nepo goes on to beat Carlsen that may be the thing that people remember most about the tournament, otherwise it is always likely to be remembered as the Covid Candidates.  The virus [...]
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May
01

Bulletin No.59 – Yesterday’s News(knight) Never Dies!

About a year ago at the start of the first Lockdown we provided a brief review article on our local regular Newsknight magazines which ran for 13 years from 1993 to 2006. One blink and you probably missed it as it was one of our shortest ever bulletins! Over the last year, Newsknight has played [...]
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Apr
24

Bulletin No.58 – Riveting Rapidplay Games

In this bulletin Peter Anderson annotates five more games from the 1st Dorset Online Rapidplay that took place a few weeks ago, starting with games from Allan Pleasants and Richard Allis who were placed joint 4th. Each game is entertaining, of good quality and instructive, with the losers as well as the winners playing their [...]
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Apr
17

Bulletin No.57 – The Psychological Traits of an Ideal Chess Player!

A bit of a bold statement, but in chess, as in all walks of life, some people may just be a little more suited to the game than others. This is a short introductory article, which is designed to be thought provoking, contains some personal views, and seeks, at a high level, to identify the [...]
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Apr
10

Bulletin No.56 – Team Dorset On Tour! – March 2013

Photo by Florian Pépellin  CC BY-SA 4.0 Although many Dorset chess players have played in Jersey before, this was the first Jersey chess tournament to be held for over 10 years and its return in March 2013 was well received. To add to the attraction there were 4 GMs and an IM all lined up [...]
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Apr
03

Bulletin No.55 – Last Trophy Standing!

When did the B&DCL Team Handicap Knockout Cup Competion begin? The B&DCL Team Handicap Knockout Tournament began in 1993. We are not exactly sure how many teams entered in its inaugural year but we think it was eight. Why haven't we reported on this team cup competition in earlier bulletins? Last Spring during the first [...]
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Mar
27

Bulletin No.54 – Dorset Rapidplay Bloomers, More Games & Trivia Quiz!

A Different Year, A Different Rapidplay - Part 2! Last Saturday, we reported on how this new online tournament appeared to capture people's imagination with a free entry and a substantial prize fund leading to an excellent turnout of 60 players and an exciting tournament. We also focussed on the key games played by the [...]
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Mar
20

Bulletin No.53 – Rapidplay Games

A Different Year, A Different Rapidplay! No Free Lunch and No Snow Plough Required! Exactly one year after the last face-to-face chess event was played, the 1st Dorset Online Rapidplay Championship held last Sunday was the first 'official adventure' into the online tournament chess world by the Dorset County Chess Association. We did not know [...]
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Mar
13

Bulletin No.52 – World Championship Matches: Top 10 Interesting Facts!

The above photo shows Alekhine (left) and Capablanca ready to start a game in their 1927 world championship match. Most of us know the official world champions from Steinitz to Carlsen.  But how well do we know the matches and tournaments that led from one to the other?  Who did best and worst, who played [...]
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Mar
06

Bulletin No.51 – How Do Our Local Chess Players Think?

Introduction This article was produced for Dorset Chess in 1982 and it was reproduced in the 'CHESS' magazine in April 1986. Many of the findings and analyses remain just as relevant today as they were almost 40 years ago and quite interestingly, Alexander Alekhine, the World Champion when this game was played almost 80 years [...]
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Feb
27

Bulletin No.50 – Mike Waddington on the BIG money Isle of Man Grand Swiss

Map copyright OpenStreetMap Mike Waddington has kindly provided this fascinating article on the Isle of Man Grand Swiss and has annotated a couple of games which are given at the end. The Isle of Man, The Tournament and The Man Behind It What springs to mind if one mentions the Isle of Man? Perhaps TT [...]
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Feb
20

Bulletin No.49 – Alan’s Column Revisited – Local Games and More.

On the previous incarnation of the Dorset Chess website between 2012 and 2013 there was a feature called Alan's Column in which Alan Dommett annotated games, some local, some national. This bulletin brings you some of the most interesting action from that. Here are seven games, four of them featuring local players, all crisp wins [...]
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Feb
13

Bulletin No.48 – Valentine’s Special – Share the Love, Share the Draw, Share the Point!

We often remember many of our fantastic wins and our worst losses, especially those short ones, covering combinations galore and brilliant finishes. This has been fully illustrated when you submitted your games in droves for our articles on Local Blunders and then the Countdown to Christmas Short Games series. Indeed, there were so many games [...]
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Feb
06

Bulletin No.47 – 7 Deadly Sinful Traps for White

In Bulletin No.31 Martin Simons showed how to ‘Bash’ the Birds and to be (almost) winning after only 3 moves. In Bulletin No.38 we covered '7 Deadly Sinful Traps for Black'. In Bulletin No.45 we examined perhaps the most trappy of Black openings with the Stunning Stafford Gambit. However, these bulletins have all been written [...]
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Jan
30

Bulletin No.46 – The world champions & what you may not know! – Part 2 Petrosian to Carlsen

Photo (cropped) by Vladimir Barskij of Carlsen retaining his title in 2016.   CC BY-SA 3.0 In this and the previous bulletin we are taking a look at each of the official world chess champions, going down the “classical” line from Steinitz to Carlsen, missing out the FIDE champions from the time of the split (i.e. [...]
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Jan
23

Bulletin No.46 – The world champions & what you may not know! – Part 1 Steinitz to Tal

The above is a rare photo with four world champions together: Smyslov, Botvinnik, Euwe and Tal at Schipol airport in June 1961. In this and the next bulletin we take a look at each of the official world chess champions, going down the “classical” line from Steinitz to Carlsen, missing out the FIDE champions from [...]
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Jan
16

Bulletin No.45 – The Stunning Stafford Gambit

Martin Simons offers a personal view on the attraction of this gambit. Be afraid, be very afraid, there is a new gambit in town!  Until 2020, it was hardly known but maybe because of Lockdown and the vast numbers of chess players migrating across to the online blitz chess platform the Stafford Gambit has now [...]
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Jan
09

Bulletin No.44 – Chess Players – Are we just a little bit different?

Along with many other sports people and those who have a passionate hobby, we are often thought of as a special breed. In a game where deep, complex yet forthright decisions have to be made in solitude and silence, it is perhaps reasonable to think that the people who are drawn to chess are often [...]
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Jan
02

Bulletin No.41 – Christmas Puzzles and Quiz – ANSWERS

Photo by Photo by Kgbo (Wikimedia) CC BY-SA 4.0 How did you get on with our Christmas Puzzles and Quiz? Answers to all 24 brain challenges are below. A. Six Christmas Tree Chess Puzzles It wouldn't be Christmas without these! 1. Warm Up - What is the best move if it is White to move [...]
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Dec
31

Festive Bulletin No.43 – A Review of our Extraordinary Year

How Good Are Our Bulletins? - Please Have Your Say No, we are not asking 'How Good is Your Chess?' but 'How Good are Our Bulletins?' Over the last 9 months, and particularly more recently, have we managed to achieve the right balance or is there something else you would like to see covered and [...]
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Dec
26

Bulletin No.42 – More Local Games Fireworks!

Many thanks to all players who submitted their short games. The response has been absolutely fantastic and we have been a little overwhelmed. We apologise to those people whose games have not been included. However, due to all the excellent games submitted, here are 7 more to entertain you, some of which are just a [...]
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