Thursday puzzle / game

White to play Taking on h7 does not lead to a clear-cut win. Can you see something that does? Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play How does White get a winning material advantage? Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and win Can you work out how to nurse a pawn through to the eighth rank? Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play White has sacced a piece for a strong attack. What is his quickest road to victory? Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and mate in 2 I don’t often feature problems (as opposed to studies or game continuations) in these puzzles as I find them a bit too artificial. In that regard this is no exception but it is nonetheless rather pleasing. Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play and win The last of the group of three Wotawa puzzles sent in by Christian who said, “This is currently my favourite study but it isn’t easy, there’s an amazing hidden idea in the solution which I found very surprising!” I couldn’t agree more – it takes a bit of work to […]

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play The prosaic Rxc1 would leave White a pawn down after …Bxd4. Can you find a better way ahead for White? Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play and win The second of the Wotawa studies kindly sent in by Christian. To my eyes this is harder than last Monday’s and requires a bit of imagination to solve. Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play and win Thanks to Christian Westrap who sent in this study by Austrian composer Alois Wotawa. We will feature a couple more of these over the next two Mondays. Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play White has sacced a piece to get a strong attack down the h-file. What is the quickest route to victory from here? Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play Thanks to Martin Simons for this puzzle with a good theme and a nice sequence in the mainline. With best play what should the result be? Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play and win We all know how tricky knights can be. In this Troitsky study, at first sight, only Black can possibly win but the white knight has other ideas! Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and win Another gentle study by Reti.  The question is how to deal with the black pawn. Solution

Monday puzzle / game

Black to play What is Black’s strongest continuation? Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and mate in 3 This position is from a Mark Hebdon game. Can you spot the forced Mate in 3 against all defences? Solution

Monday puzzle / game

Black to move Black has sacced a piece but has a nice mating sequence. Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and win The mainline of this study is just 4 moves long. Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play White is two pieces down so needs to find something decisive. Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and mate in 2 An elegant problem but not one for the purists! Solution

Wimborne-Dartford Thursday evening online events

Graham Hillman sends this report on an interesting tie-up between Wimborne and Dartford chess clubs. For over one year now we’ve had a small forum of players from Wimborne and Dartford Chess club meeting every Thursday evening (Dartfords’s Club night). When the lockdown first started Wimborne like many of its other Dorset clubs struggled to […]

Monday puzzle / game

White to play What is White’s strongest continuation? Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and win This is a fairly gentle study by Steinitz. Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play and win There is only one route to victory here for White. Can you find the key idea and also calculate the mainline? Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play White has a number of ways to win but what is his shortest route to victory? Solution

Monday puzzle / game

Black to move and win Black has sacced his queen to reach this position. How does he finish it off? Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to move and draw It looks hopeless but White can salvage a draw. Another study by Henri Rinck, perhaps a little trickier than most of his. Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play and draw Those of you who do these puzzles regularly will know that I am a fan of elegant studies with very few pieces, and so admire the works of Troitsky, Rinck and Reti amongst others. This is another Richard Reti study and has some similarities with Puzzle 4 in section D […]

Monday puzzle / game

White to move White is under considerable pressure but has a chance of his own. Can you find it? Solution

Online West of England County Championship – End of Season Report

Ian Clark has sent the following end of season report on the Online West of England County Championship which ran from January to March 2021. The very first online County championship was efficiently organised by Ian George of Cornwall. The decision for us to play was made after asking Dorset players who wished to take […]

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and draw You only have two choices. Which way do you choose? Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play At first sight it seems White is under a lot of pressure. How does he turn the tables? Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to move White’s queen is under attack and Black is aiming to remove some pressure. What is White’s best response? Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play How does White emerge a whole piece up? Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play and draw This is another excellent study that Christian Westrap sent in. Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play How does White win material to leave a clearly won position? Solution

Monday puzzle / game

Black to play Black is a pawn up. How does he force the win of more material to leave a won position? Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and win Another study, this time by a more famous composer, Alexey Troitsky. A win might look unlikely at first glance but there is a way! Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play and win This is a study by Armenian composer Ernest Pogosyants. Once you have found the key idea there are two lines to look at on Black’s second move. Solution

4NCL Over The Board Tournament !?

In light of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, the 4NCL management team has made the confident (or brave) assumption that there will be over the board chess soon after the 21st June. It has already booked the 4-star conference centre hotel Woodland Grange in Leamington Spa for its 25th 4NCL Congress on 9-11 July […]

Coronavirus Update

Here is the UK government’s link to its Roadmap out of lockdown including its 4 steps announced this week … Covid-19 Response Spring 2021 As the dates are indicative and subject to change, it’s too early to be definitive but with a significant relaxation of measures and restrictions for meeting up indoors scheduled for 21st […]

Wimborne vs Chandlers Ford match

Graham Hillman reports that Wimborne and Chandlers Ford played a friendly match on Friday 12th.  It was conducted at the very civilised speed of 45 minutes plus 15 seconds increment and was held on lichess. The match ended in a draw, reflecting two well balanced teams. Options for future matches, possibly involving other clubs, are […]

Monday puzzle / game

White to play and draw This is a short but particularly ingenious study by Georgian composer Josef Kricheli. Solution

Western Counties Championship – Dorset & Wilts draw with Hampshire

The second round of the Western Counties online championship took place yesterday.   Dorset and Wiltshire faced Hampshire and drew 8-8 in an exciting match. The match was full of interesting chess and quite a few critical moments that went in both directions.  A few stood out as I watched the games. Captain Ian Clark won […]

Monday puzzle / game

White to play and win This is a clever study by Polish composer Szaja Kozlowski. Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play White can swop queens for a nice advantage but has something much stronger. What is his best way of proceeding? Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play and win This is a tidy little study by Pal Benko Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and win White has sacced an exchange and a pawn to reach this promising position. How does he convert? Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

Today we have another game from Allan Pleasants from his successful 2017 Welsh Championship campaign. An interesting game with a very pretty finish! Click here to see the game with Allan’s splendid annotations.

First West of England Online Counties Match Sunday 10th Jan – Watch the games live this evening!

The combined Dorset and Wilts team which is being captained by Ian Clark will play its first match this coming Sunday at 7:00pm against Gloucester.   The parings for this match are shown at the end of this article. The match will be conducted on Lichess and it will be possible to follow the games.  You […]

Wimborne U125 Tournaments Tuesdays 2 pm

Wimborne have been running online tournaments on Tuesday afternoons for a while and would like to notify everyone that these are open to players from other local clubs. The details are: Held on lichess for players graded under 125 old money Tuesday 2 pm – 5 pm Time limit: 20 minutes + 10 seconds increment. […]

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and win This may look like a composed position but is from Shabalov-Krush 2004. Only one move wins for White here. Can you find it? Solution

Monday puzzle / game

Mate in 2 An easy but elegant one with which to start the new year. Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and win quickly The solution to the last puzzle before Christmas is both simple and at the same time a little hard to spot. You’ll kick yourself if you don’t find it! White has a number of ways of winning but one is much more convincing that the rest, forcing a quick […]

Monday puzzle / game

In Bulletin No.35 we covered the story of Allan Pleasants becoming Welsh Champion, which included the end of his game against Paul Hatchett. This was an interesting game and you can see the whole of it with Allan’s annotations here.

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and win Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play and draw If you looked at Thursday’s puzzle you will have a hint for this one! Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and draw This is another puzzle kindly sent in by Christian Westrap. Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play White has a commanding position. Can you see his quickest way to finish the game off? Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and mate in 2 We are firmly back in problem world here with an obvious (to my inexpert eyes) try that fails and a key that makes the same idea work. Solution

Monday puzzle / game

Black to play and mate in 8 Another Schlechter game. Black has a number of ways of winning but can you find Schlechter’s mate in 8? Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play and win This is the first of three Carl Schlechter games we will be featuring in a row. Schlechter certainly had a very sharp eye for a combination. Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and mate in 8 This is another Sam Loyd problem.   White’s challenge is to avoid stalemating black. Solution

West of England Counties Online Championship Details

Ian Clark has provided an update on the West of England Counties Online Championship and reports that good progress has been made in both organising the event and assembling a squad. The key points are: Dorset and Wiltshire will be fielding a combined team to ensure a large enough squad which currently comprises 15 Dorset […]

Monday puzzle / game

White to move and win It is 1996 and a 44 year old Jan Timman is playing a 16 year old Peter Leko. Timman showed he still had his tactical sharpness by forcing a quick resignation. Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to move and mate in 5 This is a problem by Sam Loyd. The story goes that someone was bragging that they could tell at a glance which piece would deliver mate in a chess problem. Loyd composed this puzzle and asked the chap which piece he thought least likely to deliver mate and […]

Monday puzzle / game

Black to play Botvinnik, playing black, forced a quick resignation. Can you see how? Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and mate in 2 Even if you don’t try to solve this puzzle, it is worth playing through the solution as it is most impressive. Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to move Can you spot a killer blow for white? Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and mate in 2 I like this problem for two reasons: whilst the material balance is artificial, the piece placements all look quite natural there are a large number of plausible tries for white but at the same time the key is quite logical Solution

Monday puzzle / game

Black to play and win This one is over 130 years old but a delight to look at. Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and mate in 3 Only one line to work out in this puzzle so in a sense it should be easy, but it still takes a bit of solving. Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to move White has a number of ways of winning, but one is much more convincing than the rest. In the game black resigned within 4 moves but could have resigned in good conscience after just two. Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play and win quickly Another fine Jonathan Speelman finish. Solution

New ECF Rating System Live

The new ECF rating system is live and can be found here. It features 4 digit ELO style ratings and will be updated monthly (though presumably due to the coronavirus there will be little or nothing to update for a while). Clubs are encouraged to enter any rated internal competition results through LMS which automatically […]

Thursday puzzle / game

White to move and win The last of the Tal finishes for a while. Solution

Monday puzzle / game

A typical Rinck study where he makes a little material go a long way.

Thursday puzzle / game

White to move and win Tal has sacced a piece to reach this position. Can you finish it off from here? Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

Black to play and win Tal, playing black, finds a simple way to finish the game. Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to play and win Over the next few weeks I will be featuring a mixture of Henri Rinck studies and Mikhail Tal game finishes. This one is a Rinck: not too hard and quite pretty. Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and win Something gentle by way of real world chess. Solution

2020 Dorset Blitz Cancelled

It is with much regret that I have decided to cancel this year’s Dorset Blitz Championship. The three main reasons are: 1. Although I understand that a couple of chess tournaments are planned for late September, I’m not entirely convinced that such a gathering is legal yet. 2. As far as I’m concerned, the Blitz […]

Monday puzzle / game

Mate in 2 The last of the chess problems (as opposed to studies or game continuations) for a while. This one is simpler than last Thursday’s but still contains a big variety of different mates. Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

Mate in 3 There is a lot going on it this classic chess problem by Anderson and Eaton, 1953. It has a theme (prevention of black checks on a5, d8 and g5, sometimes by black preventing it himself) and a wonderful variety of different mates. In the solution I have given 13 different first move […]

Monday puzzle / game

White to move and win To my eyes quite a hard study with a tricky move to find and a difficult finish to work out. Solution

Online Team Events Schedule

Martin Clancy has set the dates for the forthcoming Ringwood Invitational online team battles, all at 7:30 pm: Monday 31st August Monday 14th September Monday 28th September Monday 12th October Monday 26th October Reports on past events and the winners are here: Poole Poole Southbourne Ringwood

Thursday puzzle / game

White to move Black may have been feeling quite happy here as Nxh6 gives him strong play for his pawn. How does white burst his bubble? Solution

Ringwood win Team Battle

Ringwood win first mid-month team battle in closely run race.

Monday puzzle / game

White to move White has a commanding position. How does he capitalise on this to gain a clearly won position? Solution

Bulletin No.28 – Patzer: the Australian magazine featuring Dorset chess!

Patzer is a regular publication produced in Australia but this edition features games by local players.

Thursday puzzle / game

White to play and mate in 2 There are plenty of plausible tries here. Good hunting for the key! Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to move Black is material up and threatens to take the pawn on e7. How does white turn the tables? Solution

Bulletin No.27 – Purbeck Chess Club Returns to Outdoor ‘over the board’ Chess

Following several months of isolation and limited over the board chess, Steve Peirson reports on the welcome return to face-to-face combat for some Purbeck Chess Club members.

Thursday puzzle / game

White to move and draw The black pawns threaten to queen but with precise play white can reach a draw. Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to move and mate in 2 This puzzle was the starter problem in the 2020-2021 Winton British Chess Solving Championship and features four different mates on the second move. Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to move and mate in 3 Thanks to Christian Westrap for sending in this tricky puzzle. Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to move What is happening in this position: White is winning? Black is winning? It’s a draw by perpetual check? Solution

Daily Quiz: Questions 1 to 50

Daily chess knowledge questions

Thursday puzzle / game

Kasparov – Andersson 1981 An 18 year old Garry Kasparov dismantles one of the world’s hardest to beat players in short order. I have not been inclined to give many grandmaster games on here but this one is not well known and is both deeply impressive and at the same time easy to understand once […]

Monday puzzle / game

White to move What is white’s strongest continuation? Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to move What is white’s strongest continuation? Solution

Monday puzzle / game

Black to move and draw Solution

Bulletin No.25 – Poole Club Chess International

Pictured above is Roy Milner, main organiser for the international trips.   Did you know? Back in the mid 1970s the first informal (and unofficial) Poole Club Chess International trip abroad took place visiting a team in Cherbourg. The name of Poole was chosen at the time to reflect that Poole was twinned with Cherbourg […]

Newsletter No. 7 is out

Nikki Forster has released Junior Newsletter number 7

Thursday puzzle / game

White to move What is white’s strongest continuation? Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to move and win Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to move What is white’s strongest continuation? Solution

Thursday puzzle / game

White to move and win White has a great position and a number of strong continuations. However, there is one crushing move here that leads to a quick mate (maximum 10 moves). Hint: you need a bit of imagination and/or some strong logic to find the first move. Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to move and win At first sight because the pieces have a line of symmetry it might appear that there must be two solutions to this puzzle. In fact there is only one. Solution

14th June: Coronavirus Update

Below is a message from Martin Simons regarding the coronavirus and local chess. I hope you are all keeping well. It has been almost a month since the last update on the Dorset Chess Website and this update comes in two parts. 1. League Season Update The UK Government has started to relax some of its […]

Bulletin No.22 – Chess at the Cafe Tratt in Swanage

With lots of thanks to Derek Mount and Steve Peirson who produced the article. Pictured above, left to right, are Dick Woodford, Brian Beard, Paul Stanley and Derek Mount enjoying a relaxing game of chess at Caffe Tratt. Taking inspiration from the Flirt Café in Bournemouth, in autumn 2017 Purbeck Chess Club member Derek Mount […]

Thursday puzzle / game

White to move and mate in 5 Solution

Monday puzzle / game

White to move Kasparov, playing white, has sacrificed an exchange for a pawn to reach this position. A quick glance gives the impression that black’s king is in trouble and there are a number of promising candidate moves for white. However, in fact only one move wins. Can you find it? Solution

Bulletin No.21 – History of the Dorset Individual Chess Championship

The history of the Dorset Chess Championship in words and photos, and a few introductory words on bulletins for the comings weeks and months.

Thursday puzzle / game

A few days ago we featrued one of Ian Clark’s games from the 1999 Jersey Open.   Today we have another from the same tournament.   This time Ian was white against Mike Yeo, a renowned opening theortician and tactician.   Ian does not normally shy away from tactics but against Mike he chose to play more quietly.   […]

Monday puzzle / game

Starting today and continuing at least until face-to-face chess is widely restarted in Dorset, puzzles will appear twice a week on this site, on Mondays and Thursdays. Black to move and win Solution

Welcome to Peter and Martin – as Mike retires

I would like to extend a very warm welcome to Peter Anderson as Webmaster and Martin Clancy, League Controller, both appointed from tomorrow, 1 June ’20. With my retirement from chess admin today, I would just like to say it has been an honour and privilege to serve both Leagues for the last 6 years […]

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to move How does white force a decisive gain of material? Once you have got the key idea for white there are a few ways to finish it off. Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to move. What is white’s strongest continuation? Solution

“Dorset Local Chat” – Articles 1 to 10

Dorset Local Chat N0.10 – The Dorset Rapidplay – 25 years strong and last UK Chess Tournament standing in 2020 by Martin Simons and Mike Jay   How it all started, then developed – The Tuckton Social Club years (1995 – 2012) – Martin Simons discusses these early years (pictured above Bruce Jenks playing in […]

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to move. How does white gain a decisive material advantage? Solution

Online Team Challenge: 7:30 pm Thurs 4th June

As publicised elsewhere on this site, Martin Clancy of Ringwood Chess Club has organised regular online chess events for individual players. Now he has set up a team event for Thursday 4th June at 7:30 pm. As well as Ringwood, the following clubs have expressed an interest and their teams have been pre-entered by Martin […]

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to move and win This is a superb study with some pleasing symmetry. Solution

Bulletins 1 to 20 – Martin Simons reflects on 30 articles, 61 puzzles & 2 Towns

(Pictured above Martin Simons, Chair B&DCL and DCCA Executive Committee member. He has been the inspiration behind all the website “Bulletins” & “Dorset Chess Chats” over the last 2 months, providing interest and information during lockdown. They have required a huge amount of research and we are all very grateful to Martin. Also, as several […]

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to move and win This is quite a famous and pretty finish to a game played 100 years ago. However, even if you have seen if before and remember the theme can you work out all the details? You need 6 only moves in a row in the main line to force the win. […]

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to play. Mate in 2 moves. Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to move Black is threatening mate by Qh4/5/6 and Qh2 etc which at first sight is not easy to stop. How does white force a draw? Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

Today we feature another one of Ian Clark’s games, this one from the 1999 Jersey Open. Of that tournament Ian writes: “I won my first round and then played an up and coming IM in Simon Williams with black and I was whipped! I then lost to a German 2300 player in round 3. I […]

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to move and win Solution

Female players, your chance to represent England on 28th May!

On 28th May there will be an online event in which any and all English women and girls can represent their country.   You don’t have to fight for a place – the more on the team the better! Below is a recent post on Facebook by Jovanka Houska calls for  female chess players to participate.  […]

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to move Magnus Carlsen, black, was trying to squeeze a win out of this endgame and had spent 4 minutes before playing Kh7. Can you see what the world champion had overlooked? Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to move What is white’s best move here? And after black’s most obvious reply what is white’s strongest follow up? Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

Black to move and win. There is only one move that wins for black in this position. Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

Black to move and win. Another elegant study. Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

Black to move. White is under attack but after something mundane like Bg4 or Qh4 he has good chances to survive and if he can reach an endgame his pawn structure could even be favourable. In the game Stephen Berry playing black found the strongest move which give him a fierce attack. Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to move. How does win material in this position? Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to move and mate in 2. Simple but elegant. Many thanks to Richard Quin for sending in this problem. Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

Black to move. Black has two ways to win material in this position. Can you spot them both? (This is trickier than it looks at first sight!) Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

Black to play and win. Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

Black to move. Black has a big advantage. What is his strongest continuation? Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to move. White has a good postion and has a strong forcing contiunation. Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to move. On the board is a well known type of pawn structure that is often objectively about level but in practice can be easier to play as black as he has the potential for dropping a knight in on d4. However, in this exact position white has a powerful tactical sequence. Solution

Remembering Tim Crouch, who “greatly supported Dorset events” – “a true legend, always courteous and gentlemanly”

The recent passing of Tim Crouch has been reported – another tragic victim of  Coronavirus. As Martin Simons has commented, “he greatly supported events in Dorset and originally came from this county”. Tim was also very well known on the chess congresses circuit across the country and was “hugely liked and respected”. His loss to the […]

Puzzle / Game of the day

Black to move. White is threatening c5 with an overwhelming position. But Botvinnik, black, was eagle eyed and turned the tables on white. What did he play? Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

Black to move. Black is attacking white’s queen on b2 and his rook on f8 but in the meantime has to deal with an awkward check. How should black proceed? Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to move and draw This puzzle is based upon a game between Martin Simons and GM Tony Miles. Martin managed to draw the game, a superb result as Miles was certainly a cut above the average GM. In this position black has a simple plan: play f5, move his K to e7, then play […]

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to play and draw White needs to pick the first right move and a strong follow up to hold this tricky position. Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to move and win This is a superb and elegant study. It revolves around black trying to give up his rook for the e-pawn and white trying to prevent this. Enjoy! Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to move Mate in 3 Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to move Mate in 3 Solution

Puzzle / Game of the day

White to move What is white’s strongest and most direct continuation? Solution