30 March 2007

Videos with a British Accent

At the beginning of the month, a BBC-YouTube deal was announced. The BBC report was BBC strikes Google-YouTube deal (news.bbc.co.uk). If the quality of this latest offering for Video Friday is any guide, we are in for a treat.

Derron Brown (10:23) • "Trick of the Mind" Chess.

Julian Hodgson, one of the GMs appearing in the clip, was British champion four times.

28 March 2007

Positional Play: Drifting

This game is a strange choice for a collection of best games. Its most interesting sequence began a few moves before the diagrammed position, where Kasparov started his commentary. White played 13.Nce2, leaving the a2-Pawn en prise to Black's Queen, but believing that Black could not capture it because of a Queen trap. Capture it Lasker did -- 13...Qxa2 14.Ra1 Qxb2 (taking a Bishop) 15.Rfb1 Qxb1+ 16.Rxb1 -- getting a Rook, Bishop, and Pawn in return.

Who was Lasker's opponent? It depends on whom you consult. Everyone agrees on the first name, Alexander. For the family name, Hannak gives 'Iljin-Genevsky', Kasparov (KAS) gives 'Ilyin-Genevsky', Soltis gives (SOL) 'Ilyn-Genevsky', and Gaige gives 'Ilyin-Zhenevsky'. Take your pick, but I usually follow Gaige.

Returning to the diagram, my computer's first choice was 16...d5, but Lasker played 16...Rfd8. Now the next seven moves were 17.c4 Ne8 18.f4 a6 19.Kh1 Nc7 20.Qe3 Rb8 21.Rd1 Nb4 22.Qc3 a5 23.Ra1 b6.

Moscow 1925
Lasker, Emanuel

Ilyin-Zhenevsky, Alexander
[After 16.Ra1-b1(xQ)]
[FEN "2r2r1k/pp1bbppp/2nppn2/8/3NP3/1P4P1/2PQNPBP/1R4K1 b - - 0 16"]

Of the three commentaries I reviewed -- Hannak's notes by Bogoljubov (BOG, from the tournament book), KAS, and SOL -- none of them offered entirely satisfactory notes, often guessing at the reasons for White's moves, and leaving unexplained the reasons for Black's. Some examples:-

17.c4 • SOL: 'White has the nice Pawn structure he wanted when he played 13.Nce2. But his unfamiliarity with Q-vs-pieces middlegames begins to take its toll.'
17...Ne8: • KAS: 'White also has some advantage after 17...a6 18.Nc2 Nb8 19.Rd1 b5 20.Ne3 bxc4 21.Nxc4. But this does not concern Lasker at all: his main aim was to upset the opponent's familiar routine, and to force him to play a position with an unusual balance of forces.'
18.f4: • BOG: 'White is trying to force matters thereby weakening his King position; a much safer move was 18.Nxc6.' • SOL: 'White remains on Sicilian auto-pilot: He continues to play the kind of moves White pursues in a normal 1.e4 c5 middlegame, instead of consolidating his position by putting his Rook at c1 or d1 and repositioning the e2-Knight. Here, for example, 18.Nxc6 and 19.Nd4 would have left chances roughly even.'
21...Nb4: • BOG: 'Whereas Black is strengthening his position with every move White seems to shove around his pieces rather aimlessly.'
22.Qc3: • SOL: 'White has no plan. He should have played his Knight to c2 at move 19 or 20. Black now sets up a solid Pawn formation that allows himt to take over the initiative 22...Bf6 and Na6-c5.'
23.Ra1: • BOG: 'That Rook had no business here.' • KAS: ?; 'White begins to "drift"; 23.Nc2 Nca6 24.Bf3 was correct.'

After 23...b6, White played 24.Qe3, losing the exchange.

BOG: ?; 'A regrettable mistake thereby cutting short a game that had promised to become very interesting and instructive.' • KAS: ?; 'A fatal mistake. White would have maintained approximate equality by 24.Rd1 Bf6 [...] • SOL: ?; 'A blunder. Kasparov claims the position is still equal after 24.Rd1 Bf6 25.Qe3. The same can be said of 24.Qf3 Bf6 25.Rc1'.

It's interesting to compare the position after 23...b6, with the position in the diagram. In seven moves, White has played c4, f4, Kh1, and transferred the Rook and Queen to a1 and c3, where they are vulnerable to ...Bf6. The other two moves were lost by playing the Rook and Queen to intermediate squares before they reached a1 and c3, which they could have reached in one move.

In eight moves, Black has played the Pawns to a5 and b6 (three moves), the Knights to b4 and c7 (three moves), and the Rooks to b8 and d8 (two moves). As Bogoljubov said, it would have been 'interesting and instructive' to see how Lasker intended to continue. To play through the complete game see...

Alexander Ilyin-Zhenevsky vs Emanuel Lasker, Moscow International Tournament 1925

...on Chessgames.com.

26 March 2007

Moscow 1925

Returning to Lasker's Moves that Matter, there are left on the list two games from both Kasparov's and Soltis's books on Lasker. These are the only games played after New York 1924 that Kasparov included in his book: he was more interested with his Predecessors during their reigns as World Champion.

The Iljin-Genevsky - Lasker game was played in the Moscow 1925 event. Although Soltis included five games from the event, he had little to say about the event itself in his introductions to the games. This is surprising because Soltis is an expert on the history of Soviet chess, and because it was the first great tournament organized by the Soviets after the revolution in 1917.

In 1924, the year Stalin took control of the troubled nation, Nikolai Krylenko, commander in chief of the Russian forces 1917-18, was appointed chairman of the chess section of the All-Union Committee on Physical Culture. Although money was still scarce, funds were allocated to organize the Moscow 1925 tournament. It was a relative success for 56 year old Lasker, who again finished ahead of Capablanca. The following crosstable is from the German edition of Hannak's biography of Lasker.

The famous scenes featuring Capablanca in the silent movie 'Chess Fever' were filmed during the event. It was also during that event that the Cuban World Champion lost in a simultaneous to the unknown teenager Botvinnik.

24 March 2007

Vote for the Chess Oscar

A few weeks ago FIDE.com invited the World Press to Vote for Chess Oscar.

Chess journalists around the world are invited to vote for the Chess Oscar on the FIDE web site. A project of the FIDE Commission for Chess Information, Publication and Statistics (CHIPS) under chairman Alexander Roshal, this well known award was revived by `64` magazine. For more information and web enabled automated voting, go to oscar.fide.com. This project shall also assist the CHIPS Commission in creating a database of chess journalists.'

What's 'CHIPS'? A Google search informs that it stands for Chess Information, Publication and Statistics. Its officials are listed under FIDE Chess Information (CHIPS). For minutes from their meetings, search the FIDE site for the acronym.

Are chess bloggers considered chess journalists by FIDE? The best way to find out is by voting.

22 March 2007

Positional Play: Using the Rook Pawns

In Positional Play: Réti - Lasker, New York 1924, Lasker advanced the a-Pawn to create weaknesses on White's Queenside. A few moves later, in the diagrammed position, he advanced the h-Pawn to create a weakness on White's Kingside. I'll again follow the game with the help of instructive explanations from three GMs: Alekhine (ALE), Kasparov (KAS), and Soltis (SOL); presented in chronological order of their annotations. 24...h5

ALE: 'By this advance and the subsequent exchange the White King is deprived of one of his protecting Pawns, a fact which will be of decisive importance in connection with the attack by the Rook later on. It is now evident that the King was much safer on g1 and should have remained there.' • SOL: 'Target -- h2!'

By 'one of the protecting Pawns', Alekhine meant the f-Pawn, which will disappear after ...h4, ...hxg3, and f2xg3. This will clear White's second rank of Pawns, giving the Black Rook more action on that rank. Réti played 25.Qh1; the GMs had a difference of opinion on this move.

ALE (repeated by KAS): 'Even for Reti himself this is almost too "original". In any event this move would have been ineffective if Black had been merely content to protect his Pawn simply by means of 25...Rd8. His next move is much more energetic and to the point.' • SOL: '!'

Alekhine's comment implied no better than a '?!', while Soltis gave a '!'.

New York 1924
Lasker, Emanuel

Réti, Richard
(After 24.Kg1-h2)
[FEN "2r3k1/1p1qbppb/5n1p/p2p4/P2N4/1P1PN1PP/1B2PPBK/Q7 b - - 0 24"]

After 25...h4, the GMs again had different opinions on White's next move, 26.Nxd5.

ALE: 'The only chance. After 26.Bxd5 Nxd5 27.Qxd5 (27.Nxd5 Bc5! etc.) 27...Qxd5 28.Nxd5 Bc5 29.Nb5 Bf5. • KAS: 'Alekhine buries White too early, saying that the endgame after [same variation through 28...Bc5] is hopeless for him; after 29.Ne3 hxg3+ it would have been far from easy to dismantle the unusual Knight harness.' • SOL: 'One of the unanswered questions about this game is what were Reti's ambitions around this point. Was he playing for a win or a draw? He would likely have been able to draw following [variation through 29.Ne3]. But he appears to be playing for more.'

[NB: Kasparov's term 'Knight harness' is a descriptive phrase which I have never seen before. Are there other examples?]

26...hxg3+ 27.fxg3 Nxd5 28.Bxd5 Bf6

ALE: 'Because of this unpleasant pin, White, notwithstanding his subsequent ingenious attempts, must perish eventually.' • SOL: '!'; As the endgame nears both players are concerned about two Black pieces: Black has to avoid turning his h7-Bishop into dead wood 28...Rd8? 29.e4. White has to avoid granting the Rook an entry point 28...Bf6 29.e4?? Bxd4 and Rc2+.


KAS: 'If 29.Qg2 with the idea of 29...Rc5 30.e4, there is the reply 29...Bxd4 30.Bxd4 Rc2 31.Qf3 Bf5!. • SOL: 'This is a good way of clearing a path for the Queen and repositioning the Bishop at b5 or c4. It's been suggested that 29.Qf3 is superior. However, Black has the better of 29...Bxd4 30.Bxd4 Bf5!. Then 31.Bc4 Bxh3! 32.Bxf7+ Qxf7 33.Qxf7+ Kxf7 allows the Rook to invade -- whereas 31...Qxd4? is wrong because [the Rook] doesn't play after 32.Qxf5 Rc7 33.e4.


KAS: '29...Rd8 30.e3 Bxd3 was also possible.' • SOL: 'White's best hope is to build a defensive wall, such as 29...Rd8 30.e3 Bxd3 31.Bc3 Qc7 32.Qc6.


KAS: 'Alekhine attaches an exclamation mark to it, but the cold-hearted Fritz shows that essential was 30.Be4 Bxd4 31.Bxh7+ Kxh7 32.Qe4+ f5 33.Qxd4 Qxd4 34.Bxd4 Rc2 35.Kg2 Rxe2+ 36.Kf3 Re8 37.Bc3 Rb8 38.Bxa5 Rxb3 39.Kf4 Rxd3 40.Bb6 with drawing chances.' • SOL: 'Now 30.Be4! is a good try, based on 30...Bxd4 31.Bxh7+ Kxh7 32.Qe4+. Black keeps his winning chances with 30...Bxe4 31.Qxe4 Re5 32.Qg2 Re8.

A few moves later Black managed to exchange Queens, then traded a Bishop for the Knight on d4, creating doubled d-Pawns. The remaining Rook and Bishop were able to prevail without the help of the Black King.

20 March 2007

Positional Play: Réti - Lasker, New York 1924

It's high time to return to Lasker's Moves that Matter, specifically Réti + Reti vs. Lasker. In the diagrammed position, many players would continue by playing one of the Rooks to c8. Lasker played 12...a5. I'll follow the game with the explanations of three GMs: Alekhine (ALE), Kasparov (KAS), and Soltis (SOL).

ALE: !; 'To be sure this cedes to the opponent a square, b5, otherwise difficult of access, but on the other hand, weakens in return not only the corresponding square of b4, but also chiefly White's b-Pawn. All in all a very good transaction.' • KAS: !; 'Lasker sensed the correct course of play. White could not allow ...a4, but now his b3-Pawn and b4-square are weak.'

The two World Champions considered that 13.a4 was forced. Lasker pushed the other Rook Pawn with 13...h6.

ALE: 'Preparing for the retreat of the Bishop later on and strengthening thereby the eventual threat of ...e4, inasmuch as White would not then attack the Bishop with Nf3-d4.' • SOL: 'Black wasn't ready for 13...Nc5 14.Nxe5.

Now White continued with the planned Queen move to the corner.

New York 1924
Lasker, Emanuel

Réti, Richard
(After 12.Rc1-c2)
[FEN "r4rk1/pp1nqppp/3b1n2/3ppb2/8/1P1P1NP1/PBRNPPBP/3Q1RK1 b - - 0 12"]


KAS: 'After 14.Nh4?! Bh7 15.e4 Nc5! Black would have seized the initiative.'

14...Rfe8 15.Rfc1

SOL: 'For the moment White can still use tactics to push in the center. 15.e4 (15...dxe4 16.Nh4). But after 15...Bh7 he would find himself on the defensive: 16.Nh4 Nc5 or 16.Re1 dxe4 17.dxe4 Nc5 18.Rc4 Nd3.

15...Bh7 16.Nf1

ALE: 16.Nf1 'A defensive move against the now really serious threat of ...e4-e5 etc.' • KAS: 'In parrying ...e4, White leaves the b3-Pawn undefended.'


ALE: 'By means of 16...e4 17.dxe4 dxe4 18.Nd4 e3 19.Nxe3 Bxc2 20.Rxc2 etc., the exchange could have been won, but thereupon the two united White Bishops would have acquired altogether too much power. Black, therefore, prefers rightly to put on additional pressure.' • KAS: 'What is White to do now? Imperceptibly Lasker has outplayed his opponent.' • SOL: 'Black looks for a way to change the Pawn structure and play for an advantage. A natural method is 16...e4 17.dxe4 17...dxe4. But after 18.Nd4 the most consistent and aggressive move, 18...e3, virtually forces White into an exchange sac. It's not hard to see that it's sound: 19.Nxe3 Bxc2 20.Rxc2 followed by 21.Ndf5.


ALE (and repeated by KAS): 'With correct positional judgement White seeks his salvation in this sacrifice by which he can dispose of one of Black's center Pawns. 17.Qa2 for instance, would have been apparently less profitable on account of 17...Na6. • SOL: 'This is in step with Tartakower's view that the Hypermoderns were really "Neo-Romantics". Alekhine thought the sacrifice wasn't sound. "Rather a dubious outcome for the 'opening of the future'", he sneered. White's problem is that defending b3 with 17.N1d2 allows 17...e4! with advantage to Black. And on 17.N3d2 Black has 17...Na6 and Nb4.

After 17...Bxc5 18.Nxe5, Black had won the exchange. The game became a battle to take advantage of the slight material advantage.

18 March 2007

Chess Collecting

I understand the chess collecting passion and hope that I never succumb to it. Like many chess players, I have a number of chessic odds and ends sitting in a spare drawer and I have a few hundred books that serve mainly as reference. The thought of real chess collecting, meaning chess set collecting, conjures up a nightmare where the house is filled with huge display cases and my time is spent endlessly dusting thousands of chess pieces. I'll leave real chess collecting to the people who have the wherewithal to do it properly.

Last week I picked up a copy of CCI-USA News (Vol.2006 issue II), where 'CCI' stands for Chess Collectors International. The first page of the printed newsletter had a list of chess links to 'Interesting collections and chess related information'. Since a printed list of web links is only useful for getting started, here is the same list in clickable format.

I used the titles that I found on the pages rather than the titles in the CCI-USA newsletter.

16 March 2007

Video Friday

Some calendars have the first day of a week fall on Sunday, others on Monday. It's more than a detail, because it determines when the other days fall. In extreme cases it can have a major impact on cultural traditions. Here is a well known example:

24: And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. 25: God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26: Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28: God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
29: Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30: And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground--everything that has the breath of life in it--I give every green plant for food." And it was so.
31: God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day.

Friday is always my busiest day. Every two weeks, when my blogging schedule falls on Friday, I have no time to research anything. In the preceding famous passage from Genesis 1, so much happens on the sixth day that I am certain it was a Friday. Here, inaugurating a new the first tradition on Chess for All Ages, is the second installment of Video Friday.

From Living Torah Volume 31 Episode 123 (5:21) • A Chess Lesson.

Chess and metaphysics don't usually mix well. This video is a pleasant exception.

14 March 2007

Wandering Notes on the Reti Opening

Getting back to Réti + Reti vs. Lasker, the game from the 16th round at the New York 1924 tournament was not the first time that Réti played 1.Nf3 against Lasker. That happened the previous year at Moravska Ostrava (aka Mährisch-Ostrau) in the Czech Republic. At that time Réti steered the game back into a Slav with 1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 dxc4.

Among the strong points of Soltis' book on Lasker are the introductions to the games. Typically, they are only a few paragraphs long, but are filled with related details that only a chess historian of Soltis' stature can tie together. Here are two examples for the tournaments mentioned above.

The return of Lasker to international chess in 1923 was a sensation. Virtually everyone thought he had retired after losing his world championship title to Capablanca in 1921 and repeatedly rejecting tournament invitations afterwards. By then he was 54, the same age as Alekhine when he died, and a year older than Capablanca at the time of his death. Even in our day an active 54 year old player, such as Karpov in 2005, is extraordinarily rare because it is so difficult to maintain playing quality. (p.233)
The strongest chess tournament between St.Petersburg 1914 and AVRO 1938 was organized because efforts to arrange a world championship match had failed. In late 1923 Alekhine tried to obtain American sponsors for a championshipchallenge to Capablanca. But the likely patrons didn't think he had much of a chance. Instead they were willing to foot the bill for an international tournament -- New York 1924 -- featuring Alekhine, Capablanca, Lasker, Marshall, and others. (p.248)

In his book Soltis also included the Lasker - Réti game from the tenth round, which started 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Bb4. Soltis called this the 'McCutcheon Variation', the preferred spelling of most chess writers (Google: about 38,000 results) over 'MacCutcheon Variation' (about 15,600 results), including the historians Gaige and Hooper/Whyld.

The Réti - Lasker game from the 16th round started 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 c6, a true Reti Opening. In his notes to the game in the tournament book, Alekhine wrote, 'If, as we surmise, [2...c6] should be the best reply to Réti's second move, then at all events that move by White has the merit of maneuvering Black into a variation of the Queen's Gambit hitherto not considered as fully satisfactory (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3)'. This comment on a mainstream Slav Defense shows that, by modern standards, Alekhine's opinions on the early opening could sometimes be quaint.

Alekhine had more to say about the Reti Opening in the same book. His essay 'The Significance of the New York Tournament in the Light of the Theory of Openings' (p.247) had sections on the 'The Reti System' (p.262) and 'Reti's System for Black' (p.265). He defined 'The System for Black' as the double fianchetto.

Réti discussed the Reti Opening in 'Masters of the Chess Board' under the heading 'My System of Opening' (p.180). He wrote, 'By far the best defense against this attacking system, which Tartakower named "Opening of the Future", is still to be found in the counter-attack first employed by Lasker in New York 1924. To be sure, Lasker's method is probably held in greater esteem because of the repute of its creator and the success he has won with it, than because of its true value'. He claimed that 9.Nbd2, as he played against Lasker, was inferior to 9.Nc3, 'for the aim of White's opening tactics is to to demolish Black's bulwark d5'.

12 March 2007

Testing HTML Tables

According to the Opening Explorer at Chessgames.com, the most popular openings today are:-

1.e4 206,083
1.d4 145,174
1.Nf3 36,586
1.c4 32,038
1.g3 2,909
1.f4 1,403
1.b3 1,130

According to the Position Search at Chesslab.com, the W-L-D stats for the four most popular moves are (from White's point of view):-

 H: L:
1.e4 41% - 30% - 29%38% - 31% - 31%
1.d4 39% - 27% - 34%38% - 28% - 34%
1.Nf3 36% - 25% - 39%37% - 26% - 37%
1.c4 38% - 26% - 36%38% - 28% - 34%

The 'H:' column is for games played through 1990; the 'L:' column is for games played since 1990. According to the 'L:' statistics, with 1.e4, White has a 38% chance of winning, a 31% chance of losing, and a 31% chance of drawing.

This doesn't look very good in draft. How will it look when it's published?


Later: As usual with Blogger.com, CRLF between lines causes formatting problems. Flowing the table rows without CRLF looks acceptable.

10 March 2007

KB Days

This week I spent two days at the chess library in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB)...

Bibliotheca Van der Linde-Niemeijeriana

...located next to the Central Station at The Hague. A lot has changed at the KB since the last time I visited four years ago. The main reason for this week's visit was to collect material for my reference page on...

The World Chess Championship Zonals

...In a perfect world, every article on a chess tournament would include basic information like where it was played, when it was played, and who won. Once again, I was reminded that we live in an imperfect world.

06 March 2007

Gadgets and Widgets

While preparing my latest Blog Tripping post (February), I noted a few tools worth a comment. The first was a Yahoo tool for searching RSS feeds...

Atomic Patzer Makes Yahoo! Chess Pipe

Pipes: Rewire the web

...While it looks promising, I'm not yet convinced it has real value. I use a few other Yahoo RSS tools, mainly in MyYahoo, and haven't found them to be particularly useful.

The next tool is the monstrosity that Snap has unleashed on the blog world...

Most prefer buttons instead

Your Opinion Requested

...Free advertising, anyone? I purposely left Snap out of the tripping article, because I wanted to say, 'Snap Is Crap!', but I wasn't sure whether that would pass the guidelines established by the AP Stylebook that About.com follows. I did, however, leave an opinion (worded more politely) against 'Opinion Requested', because Wahrheit is genuinely interested in feedback.

I also noticed on another blog that there was a nice list of clickable labels in the widget column. I neglected to note the name of the blog and now I would like to see if that is done with a Blogger.com widget or maintained manually. I hope I notice it again next month.


I just checked the AP Stylebook. The entry on 'obscenities, profanities, vulgarities' says, 'Do not use them in stories unless they are part of direct quotations and there is a compelling reason for them.' Now I can quote myself elsewhere and adhere to the guidelines. As for the compelling reason, isn't being crap enough?


2007-03-18: Re 'a nice list of clickable labels in the widget column', it's a Blogger.com widget. I added it today.

04 March 2007

Réti + Reti vs. Lasker

Continuing with Lasker's Moves that Matter, in the game Réti - Em.Lasker (Reti Opening), New York 1924, I had the same problem as in Finding the Critical Move. I applied the same technique...

[Event "New York"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1924.??.??"]
[Round "16"]
[White "Reti, Richard"]
[Black "Lasker, Emanuel"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A12"]

1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 c6 {GK:!?} 3.b3 Bf5 {GK:!?} 4.g3 Nf6 5.Bg2 Nbd7 6.Bb2 e6 7.O-O Bd6 8.d3 O-O 9.Nbd2 e5 {GK:?!} 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.Rc1 {GK:?!} Qe7 12.Rc2 a5 {GK:! AS:!} 13.a4 h6 14.Qa1 Rfe8 15.Rfc1 Bh7 16.Nf1 Nc5 {GK:!?} 17.Rxc5 {GK:!? AS:!?} Bxc5 18.Nxe5 Rac8 19.Ne3 Qe6 20.h3 Bd6 {GK:? AS:?} 21.Rxc8 Rxc8 22.Nf3 {GK:? AS:?} Be7 23.Nd4 Qd7 24.Kh2 {GK:?!} h5 {GK:! AS:!} 25.Qh1 {AS:!} h4 {GK:! AS:!} 26.Nxd5 hxg3+ 27.fxg3 Nxd5 28.Bxd5 Bf6 {GK:! AS:!} 29.Bxb7 Rc5 {AS:!} 30.Ba6 {GK:? AS:!?} Bg6 31.Qb7 Qd8 32.b4 {AS:!} Rc7 33.Qb6 Rd7 {GK:! AS:!} 34.Qxd8+ Rxd8 35.e3 axb4 36.Kg2 Bxd4 {AS:!} 37.exd4 Bf5 38.Bb7 Be6 {GK:! AS:!} 39.Kf3 Bb3 40.Bc6 Rd6 41.Bb5 Rf6+ 42.Ke3 Re6+ {GK:! AS:!} 43.Kf4 Re2 44.Bc1 Rc2 45.Be3 Bd5 0-1

...and derived the following trail markers from Kasparov and Soltis. Lasker's 12...a5 and 24...h5 (both '!'; both moves by Rook Pawns), and Reti's 17.Rxc5 (!?) are all worth further study. The double blunder on 20...Bd6 and 22.Nf3 (both ?) was a missed opportunity. The move 30.Ba6 (GK:?, AS:!?) represents a significant difference in opinion. Lasker's 28...Bf6, 33...Rd7, 38...Be6, 42...Re6+ (all '!' by both commentators} could be discussed under the heading 'winning a won game'.

When I saw Kasparov's notes that 'Alekhine attached an exclamation mark to [9...e5]' and 'Alekhine attached an exclamation mark to [30.Ba6; Kasparov: '?']', I wanted to include Alekhine's notations from the tournament book. In fact, Alekhine didn't use these notational conventions in that book. They must have been inferred by Kasparov or by whatever source he was following. • Alekhine wrote, '9...e5: Now a Pawn formation similar to that in the game between Reti and Yates, is reached, which is the more favorable for Black since his QB has already been developed', and '30.Ba6: Threatening Qa8+, etc.'

To play through the complete game see...

Richard Reti vs Emanuel Lasker, New York 1924

...on Chessgames.com.

02 March 2007

Embedded Videos (Google)

Following up Embedded Videos (YouTube), here's an example of an embedded Google video. The technique is similar, although the parameters are different. The clip I chose has been available for months, but I like it so much that I don't mind seeing it again.

The Immortal Game: A History of Chess (4:15) • David Shenk's new book (GOOD MORNING AMERICA - September 4th)

I covered the basics of searching for chess videos in an About Chess article: Chess Videos [25 February 2007; Elsewhere on the Web].


Since I am often curious about how software works, I looked at the HTML code for the two services. The YouTube code is provided by YouTube in the 'Embed' field. The Google code is something I worked out by looking at examples from other blogs. Here is the code stripped of the leading '<' and trailing '>', one tag per line...

YouTube code:

  • object width="425" height="350"
  • param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/4hA0WjUTR2c"
  • /param
  • param name="wmode" value="transparent"
  • /param
  • embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/4hA0WjUTR2c" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"
  • /embed
  • /object

Google code:

  • embed style="width:400px; height:326px;" id="VideoPlayback" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=-171374104176431873"
  • /embed

...The YouTube code duplicates the 'embed' parameters in the 'object' and 'param' tags. Is this really necessary?