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The chess blog of GM David Smerdon

Musings on chess, and lesser things


    • 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
      • | 555 views
      • | 5 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
      • | 1980 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
      • | 3079 views
      • | 20 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
      • | 3260 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
      • | 1759 views
      • | 21 comments
    • Men, Women and Nigel Short 2: An academic response

      SUMMARY: Short’s article was not as controversial as it has been made out to be Short based his claims on two recent academic contributions – one statistical comment and one study on FIDE data – that suggested that gender gaps cannot be exp... | Read More

      • GM smurfo
      • | Apr 24, 2015
      • | 3479 views
      • | 24 comments
    • Men, Women and Nigel Short

      (See also the second, more technical follow-up: Men, Women and Nigel Short 2: An academic response)   Much to my amazement, chess has hit the front pages of the mainstream media for the third time in a fortnight. This time, however, it's mor... | Read More

      • GM smurfo
      • | Apr 20, 2015
      • | 1892 views
      • | 11 comments
    • So What?

      For the past week, the chess world has been abuzz with reports of GM Wesley So's involuntary forfeit at the recent US Chess Championships. For the non-chess readers of my blog, the short version of the story basically goes like this: So, the numbe... | Read More

      • GM smurfo
      • | Apr 18, 2015
      • | 1749 views
      • | 8 comments
    • A tale of tie-breaks and rugby

      A while ago, I wrote a post about tie-breaks in chess. It  was inspired by a research proposal I submitted on social network formation as applied to round-robin chess, which basically consisted of a lot of mathematics. One point to come out of ... | Read More

      • GM smurfo
      • | Mar 31, 2015
      • | 1386 views
      • | 2 comments
    • Thicker than water

      Many people are surprised to hear that I come from a family of extremely talented artists. They are usually even more surprised to discover that I cannot draw so much as a realistic stick figure. I think I made  flip-book once that made some sens... | Read More

      • GM smurfo
      • | Mar 1, 2015
      • | 1541 views
      • | 8 comments