Sunday, August 31, 2008

Matrix Ping Pong

My favorite part is the "sky view". Enjoy. =)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Immortal Mates, Part IV

Our last immortal mates were Damiano's and the dovetail mate. Think you can spot them in the following positions? (White to move, solution at the end.)

Strictly speaking, the dovetail mate is not an immortal mate; after all, it doesn't commemorate any particular chess player. Two other such mates are the epaulette mate and the guéridon mate. Back in the days when the French were a force to be reckoned with in the chess world (no offence, Monsieur Bacrot), people sometimes named mates after things from France. Epaulettes are shoulder ornaments that used to decorate French army uniforms; in the epaulette mate, the mated king cannot escape because it is sandwiched between two friendly pieces.

In the guéridon mate, two pieces to the left and right behind the king prevent it from escaping on the diagonal; the setup resembles a guéridon, a peculiarly shaped French coffee table.

Returning now to a true immortal mate: Gioachino Greco was a 17th century chess master whose legacy lives on in Greco's mate, a file/rank mate delivered by a queen and a bishop:

Forza Italia!

(Solution to the quiz: (a) 1. Qxd6+ Kxf7 2. Rf1+ Kg7 3. Qf6# leads to a dovetail mate; (b) 1. Rf8+ Bxf8 2. Qf7+ paves the way for Damiano's mate.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

British MP Calls for More Chess in Schools

Chess and education is on the increase in many western nations after numerous studies have shown improvements in math and reading when chess is introduced into the school's curriculum. In this short clip, Dr Evan Harris touches on this while playing a game with 11 year old chess champion Emma Bentley while endorsing a chess DVD.

Monday, August 18, 2008

jrobichess Interviewed by Hip-Hop Chess Federation's Co-Founder and CEO Adisa Banjoko

I was both happy and humbled when Adisa Banjoko, co-founder of the Hip-Hop Chess Federation and award winning author and public speaker, contacted me regarding an interview. I have been following the growth of the HHCF for awhile now, and both the HHCF and the new WuChess site have been working wonders at getting young people interested not only in chess, but good values to live by. A lot of high profile people have been involved with the HHCF, including Josh Waitzkin (subject of one of my favorite movies "Searching for Bobby Fischer" and many high profile Hip-Hop artists like RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan to name a few.

To read the interview, please visit the new Hip-Hop Chess Federation blog here, and here are some videos going over what the HHCF and WuChess is all about.

RZA, Josh Waitzkin & QBert Playing Chess at HHCF!

Hip-Hop Chess Federation Talk w/ Adisa,RZA and Josh Waitzkin

WuChess Chess (Founded by RZA from Wu-Tang Clan and Chesspark)

Hip-Hop Chess Federation Main Page
Hip-Hop Chess Federation Blog
WuChess Online Premium Chess Site

Friday, August 15, 2008

New Video Series: Grandmaster Chess Endgames

In pursuing my own work on endgame study I launched a new video series on Grandmaster Chess Endgame play. The first video can be viewed here and it goes over an interesting game between Bobby Fischer and Rodolfo Cardoso. While Fischer was not yet a Grandmaster at the time of his match with Cardoso, it was just prior to his amazing rise to the top levels of the global chess scene.

In creating the video, I also found the story of Rodolfo Cardoso to be very interesting. According to what I could find, Cardoso was the world's first Asian International Master, with a track record of strong chess performances to his credit. In 1956 he won the Philippine Junior Championships, and also won a silver medal at the Chess Olympiads in Moscow in 1956. Cardoso was also the Philippine champion in 1958 and 1963.

The PGN file of the lines covered in the video can be downloaded on the lower left in the match feed section.