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The chess blog of GM David Smerdon

Musings on chess, and lesser things


    • Pirate Week

      Three strange pirate-related things happened to me last week. Now there's a sentence you don't see every day. Admittedly, some of the links to buccaneering are a little tenuous, but it still makes for an unusual theme. It started when I found ou... | Read More

      • GM smurfo
      • | Aug 27, 2015
      • | 785 views
      • | 3 comments
    • Before Thirty…One.

      Two years ago, I wrote a post entitled “Before Thirty” in which I detailed plans to complete some of my life goals. One of them was to publish a book before my thirtieth birthday (by the way, I got to that handstand in the end). The book was t... | Read More

      • GM smurfo
      • | Aug 14, 2015
      • | 1745 views
      • | 6 comments
    • Book review: Gelfand's "Positional Decision-Making"

      “Positional Decision-Making in Chess” – Boris Gelfand (and Jacob Aagaard) Quality Chess    It’s rare that a chess book holds my attention well enough that I finish it in one sitting. It’s rarer still that I have the opportunity to ... | Read More

      • GM smurfo
      • | Aug 6, 2015
      • | 6634 views
      • | 7 comments
    • Magic chess

      There's so much chess going on at the moment that it's hard to keep up. I'm not talking about Biel - for the most part, with the exception of the incredible Navara-Wojtaszek clash, it's been pretty lacklustre - but rather the Politiken Cup and the... | Read More

      • GM smurfo
      • | Jul 30, 2015
      • | 1437 views
      • | 3 comments
    • Book Review: Sergey Kasparov's Swamp

      “A Cunning Chess Opening For Black” – Sergey Kasparov New in Chess   “Lure your opponent into the Philidor swamp!” promises the subheading on the book’s cover, accompanied by a ghastly green-and-brown photo of – literally – a s... | Read More

      • GM smurfo
      • | Jul 27, 2015
      • | 2921 views
      • | 3 comments
    • A quick morning puzzle

      A couple of months ago, I had a rare occasion to play against a fellow Australian in the 4NCL league match weekend in England. The Aussie in question is IM Justin Tan, an extremely talented young player who probably hasn't received the attention h... | Read More

      • GM smurfo
      • | Jul 2, 2015
      • | 3644 views
      • | 7 comments
    • A Chess Dispute

      I can't believe I haven't come across this before. Over a century old, a minute's worth of chess-related slapstick, and now I really want to buy a hat. | Read More

      • GM smurfo
      • | Jun 14, 2015
      • | 2448 views
      • | 11 comments
    • How to prove you're not a cheater

      The recent ‘cheating’ scandal at the European women’s chess championship is incredibly sad. This story stands apart from the recent ‘Georgian GM’ and Indian ‘phone legs’ incidents in that the accused, Mihaela Sandu  is almost certa... | Read More

      • GM smurfo
      • | May 31, 2015
      • | 3752 views
      • | 21 comments
    • Book reviews: "Liquidation on the chessboard" and "Taimanov: The English Attack"

      That title is pretty horrible, but I'm told it's very "googleable". Let's go with that. I recently received three books from New in Chess. Two of them are your run-of-the-mill chess books: well written, somewhat typical and, simply, good books. ... | Read More

      • GM smurfo
      • | May 24, 2015
      • | 3820 views
      • | 3 comments
    • Micro movie review: 'Jupiter Ascending'

      My ten-word review of the much-hyped Wachowski brothers' sci-fi flick Jupiter Ascending:   Expectation:  The Matrix meets Star Wars. Reality:  Sharknado meets Frozen. | Read More

      • GM smurfo
      • | Apr 29, 2015
      • | 2014 views
      • | 22 comments