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My Chess Blog

My new chess video series/playlist at YouTube..”My game of the week”

Posted on June 1st, 2014 by Richard

My game of the week

I have created a new YouTube chess video playlist at my rpdatutube YouTube chess account. It is called “My game of the week” and the first video shows a French Advanced Wade variation win for me as black. The video is shown below:

I like the French defence as both White and Black. Notable GM’s that have played the French defence are GM Nimzovitch, GM Korchnoi, GM Botvinnik, GM Morozevich, GM Akobian, GM Uhlmann to name just a few!

Bobby Fischer did not play the French defence as black. He preferred the Sicilian defence as black. With white against the French he almost always played 3.Nc3 leading to the Classical or Winawer variations but he did not have his normal success rate against the French as in his other openings.

Rating increase based on the French

Many of my games are French defence ones and as I have to improve my rating, I need to play the French defence better! So I look forward to great games with the French defence and even the French Exchange (which I vow not to play as White if I possibly can! It is the most dull variation in the rich French defence system!).

Enjoy your chess over this next week and I hope to have another chess video next week….

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My chess goal…

Posted on March 6th, 2013 by Richard

I am going to try & blog regularly about attaining my chess goal. What is my chess goal?
Well, very simply it is to get (& maintain) my 5 min blitz rating consistently over 1400 on FICS.
My rating right at this moment is 1201 (but in July 2010 it was at 1480). So I want to get a 200 point plus rating increase as quickly as I can.

How can I do that? Well I intend to try & do some practice games daily versus chess engines with the free software ‘Lucas’ chess and try to play at least x2 rated FICS games per day. I also own Chess Position Trainer, Fritz9 & COWPro chess software and I hope to use all this chess software to help achieve this goal. I will have to make time for training & playing each day-most likely in the mornings and evenings. I shall outline my progress here with posts about my games and comments on improving. I have had my rating in the past above 1400 but have never consistently held it there. I feel this is a fairly modest yet hopefully achievable chess goal for me to try and accomplish. Presently I can win against 1300/1400 rated players but I have played several poor games and can lose to players rated 900-1000! So I want to eradicate those poor games. I far prefer 5 min blitz play ie quick time control games to slow play chess and the internet and computer chess engines are ideal for this.

Further I have always enjoyed learning about openings and I have studied these more than mid & end game play. This has helped me but I find I am generally fine in the first 8-10 moves of games but I definitely need to improve my mid & endgame technique as I often make weak moves through the mid & end game phases.
Well, I will need to consolidate my opening knowledge and increase my mid & end game knowledge to try & achieve this aim.

Daily training:
Start-Day 1
FICS rating 1201

Example game Lucas chess (using Tarrasch Toy Engine):

This game shows Scotch opening (Mieses variation). It is my current favourite opening to the Kings pawn first move ie with 1.e4 e5. As white 1.e4 is my favourite opening as I liked the advice of Bobby Fischer who is quoted as saying “e4 is best by test”. Strangely the Scotch opening is not a Fischer opening but one played very successfully by Garry Kasparov & many years before by J H Blackburne who are also favourite GM chess players of mine. I like the Scotch as many players can be offguard with it as they maybe expecting a Ruy Lopez(Spanish) or Guicco Piano (Italian) opening after 1.e4. The Scotch is though deceptively simple to start but much harder to fully understand as it can lead to several variations that need some knowledge of & practice with before mastering! This is true of this Mieses variation which throws up some strange moves and is a good example that the Scotch can be challenging both for white and black!

I played about 6 FICS games to get my rating up but as I lost 2, drew 1 and won 3 and my rating finished at only 1205 – I finished just 4 points up from my start rating! As I don’t think the games are particularly interesting I will not post them here. I lost 1 on time which is an issue I need to address and play quicker. I beat a 1480 player who blundered his Queen & resigned. The other loss was an English defence game vs 1.d4 and I need to practice my English defence opening as black more.

Still at the end of every training day I hope to finish with a higher rating and see how quickly I can get my rating to 1400+ and keep it there! On to day 2…..

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French defence

Posted on March 4th, 2013 by Richard

Against 1.e4 I play 1…e6 and start the French defence. I have mentioned this before in my other posts and I have done a video or two with my French games and now I add a little more on the French defence.

After 1.e4 e6 the game can continue in several ways and it is useful to know something about these if you play 1.e4 e6 -the French Defence. 3 mainline French variations are Advance/Classical/Tarrasch variations and White can play other ways and commonly this might be a Kings Indian Attack with d3 or French sidelines such as the French Reti gambit & Wing gambits.

Against the French Advance Black often employs the Wade variation with Qb6. Then Black will try & play on the Queenside while White may try to play on the Kingside.

The French Exchange is just a very boring opening by White! It actually has a notable drawing record and imho is a very unimaginative way for White to play against the French. It tends to lead to very symmetrical positions and Black often remains the opening tempo down. So I always like to develop quickly and not give White any tempo with a6/h6 type moves until castled & fully developed. This openings main challenge is to look further ahead and prepare for a slow attritional game-not something I enjoy but needs to be taken seriously before one player gets too bored & makes mistakes!

Against the Classical is the Winawer with Bb4 (pinning Nc3) but White can reply with Qg5 pressurising Black’s kingside. There is a lot of theory to the Winawer (including Poisoned Pawn variation). Presently I do not play this as I have not taken up the challenge to play this very sharp opening. Instead against either Classical (Nc3) or Tarrasch I play dxe and go for either Rubinstein variation (Nd7) or I have just become aware of the Fort Knox variation with Bd7 & next Bd6 which have less theory for Black but also good chances for White.

I have played a few Fort Knox blitz games but unfortunately I do not seem to have saved any to show here.
I believe GM Neil McDonald plays this but I have only seen a video of him losing with it!(against GM D Howell). Here is a link to Melbourne Chess Club YouTube video about it:
French Fort Knox at Melbourne Chess Club
I have already had mixed results with the Fort Knox variation and I look forward to playing it a bit more and comparing it against the French Rubinstein.

Against the Kings Indian Attack? Well frankly I do not know this well enough yet to pass comment. I must start to study this more now…

As White I am playing the Advance variation myself and exploring the Milner Barry Gambit in blitz with Bd3. I have not in general had great success with it yet but it is exciting & I am learning from my mistakes and feel it is appropriate for blitz games. If Black is not careful with the “Wade” Queen(!) it can become a target & be lost with a crushing advantage to White. This is where having some ideas of what possibilities an opening gives is helpful over just choosing moves at the time over the board. Playing moves at the time over the board is fine in general but you will probably miss opportunities that are there if you know more about the opening through some prior study and preparation of it.

Anyway I hope this gives a little insight into the French defence, an opening I play and which I need to explore more. The French defence is a rich & complex opening for Black & White & I j’aime la francais! I hope you enjoy playing with & against the French too-Viva the French! 🙂

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I don’t believe it!

Posted on November 15th, 2012 by Richard

Wow it appears to be just over a year since my last post here!
If blog posting was a chess game I would have lost on time ages ago! I must have been doing too many other things (I have even started a football blog following Ipswich Town FC-bet there aren’t many of those around these days! Surprisingly I have kept it regularly updated-see the sidebar for a link to it).

So what can I report on my chess front?
My chess playing has taken a step back over the last season. I played some poorish games in my club play and lost too many and sadly I felt I could get not enough support to help me improve. So I took the decision not to join the chess club for this new season. I feel I get much more enjoyment playing blitz chess online and playing chess programs on the computer as OTB in the club. Actually I haven’t played that much chess on the computer. I did treat myself to Chess Position Trainer (CPT) and started to practice with it but I have not used it in many weeks. I still would like to improve my online blitz rating and did have a good game against a 1350 player today but the game was drawn just as I was about to deliver mate! (at least I didn’t lose). I have actually been doing more chess programming recently and have started blog posts about this ( see Chess Programming page on nav/menu-EDIT-I have just noticed this page is not working fully & I will need to adjust my WordPress theme files to fix this). I have also done a couple more chess videos (see them at my Youtube video page rpdatutube).

I did play a rapidplay tournament a while ago- the Thetford RapidPlay and did better than last year with 3/6 in the Minor section. I had x2 wins x2 draws and x2 losses-consistently mediocre!



Finally I have recently had a good contact with another chess blogger Chris- he runs a fine chess site called Chess Musings. We have swapped links-see the link to his blog on the sidebar links.
Well of course I hope to do more regular posts on all aspects of chess here but for now happy chessing all! 🙂

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French defence Advance variation

Posted on October 17th, 2011 by Richard

I like the French defence. It is my favourite defence as Black vs White 1.e4 and as I play 1.e4 as White I often face it as White and am trying to learn & play the French Advance variation as White.

Off the top of my head now I cannot remember a specific French defence game as Black or White as good examples. I will try & look into this as I think it helps understanding of the openings if you can recall specific games. I do know Bobby Fischer played as White vs the Winawer variation several times. For the Black side I recall Botvinnik had some good French defence games & Unzinger specialised in it (Korchnoi must have played it too!-I will investigate!).

Well here is my latest chess video showing a 5min blitz game in the French Advance. I made several mistakes as White in this game & my opponent certainly made mistakes with a massive end blunder to lose the game!

YouTube Preview Image

I intend to learn from my mistakes and improve my chess play & rating!!



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Petrovs Defence Nimzowitsch Attack variation

Posted on October 4th, 2011 by Richard

Today I played Numpty chess engine and won another game in the Petrovs C42 Nimzowitsch Attack variation.

I have posted this in a new video I have on my channel at YouTube. It actually shows 2 games against Numpty in this opening-the first a win for me as White & the second as a win for Numpty as Black.

This follows on from my last video that features in my previous post.

The games I show here I feel are quite interesting as the effect of central file and square control can be seen in this opening.

Here is the link to the video:

YouTube Preview Image

I have often found the Petrovs defence to be quite difficult to play against as White. There are a few traps-ask Vishy Anand-he went a piece down early on in a match in this opening & resigned the game!

However the Nimzowitsch Attack variation seems relayively easy to play!


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