Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rybka Officially Banned

As I've reported earlier on the ongoing saga regarding Rybka as a legitimate chess engine, the International Computer Games Association (ICGA) has just officially disqualified and banned Rybka and its programmer Vasik Rajlich from previous and future World Computer Chess Championships.

In addition, the ICGA is also asking that it returns the trophies+prize money of the World Computer Chess Championships in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

More details here:

Just wow.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Out Of The Frying Pan

Sometimes, we get ourselves deeper into the abyss. Take for example this blitz game that I just finished. White played too passively and is paying the price. The White king is exposed, the Black Knight has infiltrated into White's camp and the White pieces are not well-placed.

Black to play.

Here, I'm not going to kid myself. The most predictable move is naturally which I dished out in an instant.

1... Rd2 (no prizes for guessing this move)

The White Queen has a few moves and here, I was thinking....

2. Qe5 but the problem is after 2.... Qxe5 White drops a further pawn after
3. fxe5 Rxf2

White realising this, plays instead.

2. Qe3 and it is here that I set the trap. So the

Question: Can you see what is wrong with this move?

(blanks deliberately inserted)

(more blanks deliberately inserted)

(moer blanks deliberately inserted)

My opponent did indeed play 2. Qe3 but now White is in complete ruins because of .............

2.... Nd3! and the Rook or Knight cannot be taken because of mate on b2 and White would lose the Queen in the process. Ouch.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Problem With Holidays

Hi folks, I'm currently not in Sydney - have not been there for the past 2 weeks. In fact, I'm back in the sunny tropics of Singapore visiting my parents, my brother and my in-laws.

So far, it's been a blast. I've brought along my chess tactics book but sad to say, I've been doing nothing the past week except having great lunch/dinner treats all the time. My father-in-law had a new iPad2 given to him by my brother-in-law so I've been busy collecting videos and uploading to his iPad2. You'd be surprised by the amount of free instructional chess videos on youtube and

Of course, this also meant that my chess has taken a very distant backseat as the book I brought along with me has been left on my father's workdesk has been left looking *very* neglected. Hehe.

Unfortunately, my days in the tropics are coming to an end soon. And I'll have to go back to work.... bummer.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Ideas Behind The Move

In order to find the correct move, it is necessary to first find out the correct plan. There are 2 ways to formulate a plan.

a) Work forwards ie. if I play this, my opponent plays this and so on and evaluate.

A nicer common idea is to:

b) Work backwards. Find out if the current board position matches up to a previous pattern you've seen before and how to get the pieces to the correct squares. If no pattern emerges, ask yourself, how best to checkmate your opponent then find out the steps to make this happen.

White to play

Yes, it's another puzzle and this one I just played a moment ago. And this one is not too easy but not overly hard (if you know what to look for).

White is obviously in a great position. How does White further press home the advantage?

When you're ready for the solution, scroll down below......

(blanks deliberately placed)

The move is

1. b6!! Do you see the idea? Now in this game, Black felt forced to take on b6 and replied with 1.... cxb6 (shown below)

Now comes the entire idea behind the whole b-pawn push......

2. Rh7! (threatening mate on a7) and now 2.... Bxh7 is met with
3. Rd7 (and unavoidable mate)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Find The Continuation

I just finished off an online blitz game. I thought that I had played well until I ran it past Fritz..... and what a surprise I got!!!!

In the following puzzle, Black is under a huge pressure as below. Now we can all see what is coming. But that is not the question I want to ask. What I want to ask is:

Evaluate and find the best continuation after 1. Rxf5 gxf5 (this is what actually happened in the game).

When you have finished, see what Fritz found in the explanation far below! FYI, I didn't find the correct continuation but there's no stopping the silicon monster.

(Leaving blank spaces)

(Leaving more blank spaces)

1. Rxf5 gxf5 and we reach the position below. How do we proceed?

2. Ne4+!! A shot out of the blue!! Kh8 (forced) (2... Kh6 3. Qg5# naturally)

3. h6 (threatening 4. Qg7#)

and now.... Black is surprisingly mated.

2.... Rg8 is met by Qe5+ with unescapable mate to follow on g7