Monday, 28 May 2007

Thanks to The Closet Grandmaster for highlighting the very promising new chess website,

So, apart from having the most desirable chess website address possible, what does offer? Well, it's designed to be a community based website with users actively contributing content. A lot of work has been done on the interface and it looks great - professional but friendly.

Membership is free and members are able to contribute to the community in many different ways. Apart from posting at the forum, members can also have their own chess blog on the site - a very nice feature! You can also upload chess related videos via YouTube and submit your own articles or news items.

You even get your own email address. How cool is that?!

At the moment, you can only play against a computer opponent at, but a facility for members to play against each other online is promised within the next few weeks.

There's loads more at the site as well, like daily puzzles to solve. So what is missing? YOU! is still in beta and is looking for members to join and try out the site, contribute content and report any bugs.

After trying it out myself for a few days I'm seriously impressed. has the potential to be the best community driven chess website around and I recommend it to all chess players.

Friday, 18 May 2007

Susan Polgar & Paul Truong

Seldom does the name Susan Polgar appear on the web or in print these days without the words 'assisted by Paul Truong' (pictured) following immediately after. It is therefore not entirely surprising that Susan and Paul have tied the knot and become more than just business partners, as reported at Susan's blog.

Best wishes to them both for a happy future together.

Monday, 14 May 2007

50 Essential Chess Lessons

I'm currently reading 50 Essential Chess Lessons by Steve Giddins and would very much recommend it to any 'club' players like myself who are trying to improve.

Steve Giddins is a FIDE Master from England and regular contributor to the British Chess Magazine. Giddins states in the introduction to this book that he is trying to produce a modern version of Irving Chernev's 'The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played'. He succeeds spectacularly and even manages to improve on the old classic by adopting the more systematic approach of grouping the games together into particular topics.

The book is divided into 5 Chapters:

1. Attacking the King (3 Games)
2. Defence (4 Games)
3. Piece Power (10 Games)
4. Pawn Structure (25 Games)
5. Endgame Themes (8 Games)

I found the section on pawn structures to be particularly enlightening. All the games are chosen carefully to elucidate the theme being considered and at the end of each of the 50 games there is a list of 'essential lessons' to take from the game.

A pdf sample from the book can be found here.