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Chess in a bar

Chess in a bar

FM ddtru
| 25 days ago

In my previous posts I wrote about a tournament that was played in a chateau, now it's time to tell about my experiences of playing chess in a slightly different environment. During my first weeks in France the places where I played chess the most...

Chess at the chateau. Part 2: ups and downs

Chess at the chateau. Part 2: ups and downs

FM ddtru
| Sep 19, 2021

At the end of Day 1 of the Chateau d'Asnieres rapid tournament I found myself at the top of the tournament table with 4/4. In the evening I learned that I am playing GM Etienne Bacrot in Round 5. I was really excited, as it was going to be my...

Chess at the chateau. Part 1: a perfect start

Chess at the chateau. Part 1: a perfect start

FM ddtru
| Sep 18, 2021

Seven weeks ago I have moved from Singapore to France to start in a new job. It has been quite a journey so far, especially since neither me, nor my wife spoke any French at the start and so navigating the daily life was not always easy. However...

The defensive wizardry of Tin Jingyao

The defensive wizardry of Tin Jingyao

FM ddtru
| Jul 13, 2021

When I was playing basketball in the high school, our coach always repeated the same mantra: "Defense wins games". None of us liked to hear it back then and even fewer of us could really put this phrase into practice, but of course the coach was r...

Study-like endgame by Keres

Study-like endgame by Keres

FM ddtru
| May 22, 2021

One of the most precious chess books in my collection is "20 games of the Twelfth USSR Championship" by Igor Bondarevsky. The cover of this pocket-size book looks like this: However, my copy of this book is more battered and bruised. The insc...

The early reviews of my Smyslov book

The early reviews of my Smyslov book

FM ddtru
| May 4, 2021

There is nothing more exciting - and at the same time nothing more scary - than to read the reviews of your own book. "The Life and Games of Vasily Smyslov: Volume I - The Early Years: 1921-1948" has been published a few months ago, and I am reall...

A new book on Alekhine

A new book on Alekhine

FM ddtru
| Feb 28, 2021

The Russian chess historian Sergey Voronkov has recently published a new book about Alexander Alekhine. The book is published in Russian language under the title "Russian Sphynx" and contains a wealth of material that either has not been publ...

7 Tactical Shots

7 Tactical Shots

FM ddtru
| Feb 22, 2021

A few weeks ago I signed up to play for my company team in the FIDE World Corporate Chess Championship, which took place this weekend. It turned out to be an intense competition, with many strong players and tons of exciting games played over...

2020 Singapore Public Service Tournament

2020 Singapore Public Service Tournament

FM ddtru
| Dec 27, 2020

Two weeks ago I did live commentary for Singapore Public Service Team Tournament and I decided to share my impressions of this interesting competition. This tournament is organized in Singapore annually since 1997, with the teams representing...

The Gorky Park Chess Fraternity

The Gorky Park Chess Fraternity

FM ddtru
| Dec 19, 2020

In the summer of 1935, Vasily Smyslov took part in his first chess tournament. Until that moment the future World champion played only at home, mostly against his father. Smyslov's main goal was to measure up against the ranked chess players ...

Smyslov and Moscow 1935 tournament

Smyslov and Moscow 1935 tournament

FM ddtru
| Oct 31, 2020

In February-March 1935 Moscow hosted the Second international chess tournament. Once again, the main stars of the tournament were the former World Champions, José Raúl Capablanca and Emanuel Lasker, and just like in 1925, neithe...

Smyslov's chess education at home

Smyslov's chess education at home

FM ddtru
| Oct 17, 2020

Vasily Vasilievich Smyslov learned chess in 1927, at the age of six and a half. His first teacher was his father, Vasily Osipovich Smyslov, and he was quite a strong player himself. After all, how many amateurs could claim victories over not just ...

Smyslov's childhood years

Smyslov's childhood years

FM ddtru
| Sep 13, 2020

When I started working on the book about the early years of Vasily Smyslov, I often asked myself - how did the world look like when he was born, almost a hundred years ago? How did it feel growing up in Moscow in the 1920s? Of course, I had some...

The Life and Games of Vasily Smyslov. Volume I

The Life and Games of Vasily Smyslov. Volume I

FM ddtru
| Sep 1, 2020

For the past few years I’ve been working on a book about the 7th world champion, Vasily Smyslov, and I am happy to announce that "The Life and Games of Vasily Smyslov. Volume I: The Early Years 1921-1948" has finally gone to print! If e...

Why study classics?

Why study classics?

FM ddtru
| Jun 19, 2020

"Why study classics?" is a question that I hear quite often these and one that was never seriously asked in my youth. 30 years ago studying classics was universally accepted as the best way to learn chess, together with analyzing one's own games. ...

My first Chess960 tournament

My first Chess960 tournament

FM ddtru
| May 7, 2020

Somewhat strangely, the chess life in Singapore has never been so active and buzzing with excitement as it is during the COVID-19 crisis. This resurgence is mostly thanks to #ChessAgainstCovid initiative, which I described in my previous post. At ...

Chess against COVID in Singapore

Chess against COVID in Singapore

FM ddtru
| May 1, 2020

About a month ago Singaporean GM Kevin Goh Wei Ming started a great charity initiative called Chess against COVID. The goal is to raise funds through chess for the families most affected by COVID-19 pandemic - those who have lost jobs, the el...

8 Lessons of Cairnhill Open

8 Lessons of Cairnhill Open

FM ddtru
| Dec 13, 2019

Last weekend I took part in Cairnhill Open, a local tournament here in Singapore. In fact, there were two separate tournaments, 9-round rapid and 11-round blitz, so I played more chess than I usually do in a normal month  I did surprisin...

Vera Menchik's steamroller chess

Vera Menchik's steamroller chess

FM ddtru
| Sep 5, 2019

Tigran Petrosian once compared Mikhail Botvinnik to a bulldozer, ruthlessly sweeping away everything in its path, and I often recalled this metaphor whilst playing through the games of Vera Menchik. Of course, this is not to say that V...

Vera Menchik attacks!

Vera Menchik attacks!

FM ddtru
| Aug 25, 2019

Vera Menchik was a positional player through and through. When she launched an attack, it usually meant that she exhausted all other ways to improve her position and that all possible preparations have been made. In his classical book "Akiba ...

Tactics in the games of Vera Menchik

Tactics in the games of Vera Menchik

FM ddtru
| Aug 18, 2019

A few weeks ago my article on Vera Menchik appeared in British journal "CHESS". Unfortunately, it is not (yet?) available online but you can buy this issue of the journal at the publisher's website. "CHESS" is one of the best journals in the histo...

Tactics on a weekend

Tactics on a weekend

FM ddtru
| Aug 3, 2019

I don't play much chess these days, so the 21 games over the weekend was a real frenzy for me. I took part in three different tournaments with three different time controls. The main conclusion that I made after analyzing these games? I have to wo...

Smyslov's wildest game

Smyslov's wildest game

FM ddtru
| Jun 26, 2019

Today I am going to show you what is arguably the wildest game of Vasily Smyslov's chess career. It was played in 1940 USSR Championship, one of the strongest and, unfortunately, one of the most forgotten Soviet events. It was a debut of the ...

Levenfish on Chess Improvement

Levenfish on Chess Improvement

FM ddtru
| Jun 15, 2019

While browsing the bulletins of 1942 Kuibyshev tournament I came across an interesting article on chess improvement by Grandmaster Levenfish. Things have changed quite a bit in the 75+ years that followed, and yet the recommendations of this artic...

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