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My Chess

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My Chess

By Hans Ree

Foreword by Jan Timman

Russell Enterprises, 2013

ISBN: 9781936490677

My Chess

An interesting book bringing together 40-odd articles Ree has written over the years, mostly for New in Chess magazine.

Profiles of one sort or another predominate, whether of world champions (Fischer, Karpov and Kasparov), near-world champions (Bronstein, Kortchnoi, Timman), cultural figures associated with chess (Duchamp, Nabokov) or Dutch players whom Ree has known (with one, Euwe, being also a world champion).

Ree writes about tournament play and the chess club, De Kring, as well. And, like the current world champion (see Carlsen’s recent interview on Norwegian TV) and the Austrian artist Gottfried Helmwein, Ree seems to have a soft spot for Donald Duck.

One sentence struck me. Ree writes of Euwe that, despite his solid establishment status, he preferred to mingle with bohemians rather than ‘respectable plodders’. It struck me because that’s a strand or a subtext running through many of the essays: in the Netherlands, uniquely perhaps, chess is an arena where the bourgeois and bohemian worlds meet.

The essay about Murey is especially beautiful and, in my view, the best in the book.

The publisher’s description is here.


Written by P.P.O. Kane

February 28, 2018 at 5:47 pm

Chess News Websites

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Here is my choice of the best websites for keeping abreast of what is happening in the world of chess.

  • The Week in Chess. Mark Crowther’s site provides fresh content each day and a weekly digest, including thousands of games, for download. There is full coverage of even the most obscure national championship. John Watson’s book reviews are infrequent but always worthwhile.
  • chess24. I use this site mainly for watching tournament and match games in real time. Yasser Seirawan and Jennifer Shahade, together with the ebullient Maurice Ashley, are my favourite commentary team.  You can play chess here as well as watching games and reading tournament reports.
  • Chessbase: Chess News. There are round-by-round reports of major tournaments featuring games, often annotated, that you can play over online. There are interviews (a recent one with the late, great Mark Dvoretsky) and features (e.g. Jon Speelman’s Agony Column). Chessbase are usually fairly keen to push their products as well – nothing wrong with that, of course, and they are generally good products. A valuable resource.

Can you add to this list?

Carlsen-Karjakin: final thoughts

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In the end, then, Carlsen kept his crown, edging out Karjakin in the tie-break.

I followed the dying throes at The Guardian website, which had a widget showing each game in real time. The champion’s final move, a spectacular queen sacrifice leading to checkmate next move, was striking but overall it was a mediocre match. It should be emphasised that in classical chess the honours were even and, incidentally, since separate rapid and blitz world chess championships exist, why create a tie-breaker using these formats?

Comparisons were made in some quarters with the Spassky-Fischer match in 1972, but really there is no contest. That match produced a fair few classic games, above all the sixth and thirteenth, whereas Carlsen-Karjakin produced none.

Still, the best player won.

Written by P.P.O. Kane

December 16, 2016 at 11:56 am

Carlsen-Karjakin Match Special

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No doubt about it, it is going to be a biggie!

New in Chess Carlsen-Karjakin Match Special

The World Chess Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin takes place later this month in New York, from 11-30 November.  As a preview, New In Chess magazine has published a free digital 40-page Match Special, which includes:

  • annotations by both Carlsen and Karjakin to their previous games
  • a preview of the match by Dutch GM Jan Timman
  • an interview with Sergey Karjakin
  • a comparison of the players’ respective strengths
  • an analysis of a Carlsen sideline in the Ruy Lopez

You have to register with New In Chess to receive the Match Special, which is available to view in the New In Chess magazine app and as a downloadable PDF. Details here.

Written by P.P.O. Kane

November 7, 2016 at 5:15 pm