Wednesday, 25 October 2017


Strand won both matches tonight, not quite sure what the exact scoring was.
I had a very interesting game, though I lost on time.

However a typical position arose which illustrates the type of position which club players have to deal with. It is not a tactical position, where you can win a pawn, a piece, or get a forced checkmate.

It is more of a mundane type of position, where there is possibly one or more options.

Just how is the club players supposed to work out which is the best, or one of the best moves to make?

Here is the position, it is very interesting. Black to play? What would you play?

I will post the move I made in the comments section and the reason I chose that particular move.

ECC 12:12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017


Providence has landed a bombshell on the South Belfast Chess Club. Apparently the Ulster Bankers Club will be closing at the end of the year.

So, the SB committee will be urgently looking for a new venue. Will be ironic if they end up back at Fisherwick???

Meanwhile tonight`s league game against Civil Service was a decisive 4.5 defeat for the SB A team.

ECC 12:12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Friday, 13 October 2017


I very rarely play online chess on any server as I have discovered I can hardly win a game.

On Wednesday night I did play a couple of games on My opponent was a computer programme named Computer 3-HARD rated at 1603.

In both game I was victorious, just goes to show it is easier for me to win games against a computer programme, than it is to win games against "humans."

ECC 12:12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Saturday, 7 October 2017


Great video of GM Simon Williams preparing for his match against GM Ben Finegold.   

Simon Williams has, or has developed, the art of making Chess entertaining and fun.  This is a real talent.

Proverbs 22:29 Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.

Thursday, 5 October 2017


Forget about Magnus Carlsen winning the Isle Of Man chess, the tournament he took part in was not the most interesting tournament of the occasion.

The real interesting tournament was the Minor chess tournament which run alongside Magnus Carlsen`s tournament.

It was interesting for a bad reason which seems to plague what we could call "Amateur Chess."

Before the Minor tournament even started I was able to tell colleagues who would win it easily, plus I could point out that the winner would be one of the competitors who was not particularly highly rated!

A few years ago, I noticed a guy playing in one of the Gibraltar Amateur due to his "body language."  He was strolling about the place radiating an outward "super confidence" which belied his "Amateur status" and his rating of approx 1400!

Naturally he won the tournament, I suspect he may have won the same tournament on the following year as well!

His rating seems to have went up a little since Gibraltar, but not enough to hinder him, entering and easily winning the 2017 IOM  Minor tournament.

It has reached the stage where "Amateur chess players," who enter tournaments for people with ratings below 2000, need to start ascertaining before the tournament starts, whether all the "competitors" are legitimate or not.  It is too late to say or do anything once the tournament has started.

I am pretty certain if I see an Amateur chess tournament anywhere in Europe, and the entry consists of some "Moroccan players," some "Nigerian players" or some "Romanian players" then it is impossible to know if the players are genuinely of an amateur playing strength or not.

The first time I came across this phenomenon was in Gibraltar in 2009.  A certain Mr. Haddou Sellak from Morroco was put down in the starting list as approx a 1200 player.  

He exhibited the exact same body language as the "Romanian guy" who won the recent IOM Minor.

Body language can be a very interesting subject.  I did write about it on another blog.

Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Monday, 25 September 2017


The UCU website carries a very nice article paying tribute to our respected and popular Chess colleague, Ray Devenney.  

Ray is on the move to Newcastle Upon Tyne in North England.

Best wishes for the future Ray.  I am posting this picture courtesy of the UCU.

Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.