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About Chess
Feature Articles 2002-2003...

27 December 2003 - The Midnight Challenge, or 'Christmas in Russia'
'My maternal grandfather was a passionate admirer of the game of chess, and so superior a player that at one time he was regarded as the strongest in St. Petersburg...' [From The Book of Chess by H.R.Agnel (New York, 1882).] (M-W.COM)

20 December 2003 - Steinitz on the 'Relative Value of the Pieces'
The 1st World Champion's explanations are as valid today as when they were written over 100 years ago. In this brilliant introduction to positional play, Steinitz discusses the special powers of each of the six pieces; the differences between the Rook, Bishop, and Knight on the Queenside vs. the same pieces on the Kingside; and the relative strengths of each of the eight Pawns. (M-W.COM)

13 December 2003 - Elementary endgames (Part 8)
Rook plus a lone Pawn vs. a Rook may look simple, but appearances are deceiving. The Lucena position, the Philidor position, checking distance, the long side & short sides of the Pawn, and Nalimov tablebases all help us to understand this common type of endgame. (M-W.COM)

06 December 2003 - Online Chess Play Sites III
The third in our series of online play articles covers two sites claiming World Network status : World Chess Network and World Chess21 Network. One offers a 15 day free guest membership, while the other appears to offer basic services at no cost.

29 November 2003 - The Collected Works of Wilhelm Steinitz
We review The Collected Works of Wilhelm Steinitz (Pickard & Son, Wylie, Texas, USA), edited by Sid Pickard. Contains five ChessBase databases (called 'e-books') -- the Games of Wilhelm Steinitz, the Modern Chess Instructor, the Sixth American Chess Congress, Magazine Articles, and the Steinitz Gambit -- plus bonuses.

22 November 2003 - Kasparov - X3D Fritz, New York, 2003
Explaining positional play in a game between Kasparov and a computer is not an easy task. First, computers are not known for their positional play. Second, Kasparov's play is so subtle and complex that it is often beyond explanation. Let's not let that stop us! (M-W.COM)

15 November 2003 - Online Chess Play Sites II
Continuing our series on 'Where to Play', this is the second article on sites that offer online chess play. Here we look at Chess.net, FICS, and InstantChess. At least one of them is a free site and one offers unlimited free play.

08 November 2003 - Chess Gifts : Top Picks
Looking for a gift for a chess player on your list? Look no further! Our Top 10 Chess Gifts for this Holiday Season and Top 10 Popular Chess Books should give you plenty of ideas.

01 November 2003 - Positional Play : Piece Placement
'Play with your Pieces, not with your Pawns!' Here are some elements of piece play which are in the arsenal of every good player. Our guide is Aron Nimzovitch, the author of My System. (M-W.COM)

25 October 2003 - Online Chess Play Sites I
We look at three game sites that offer dozens of different games along with chess : MSN, Pogo, and Yahoo. We'll be using our trio as a baseline when we look at the online play sites which specialize in chess.

18 October 2003 - Famous Chess Tournaments (Part 2)
Our register of tournaments meets our register of famous players. Players who never had the chance to play for the World Championship receive well-earned recognition.

11 October 2003 - Positional Play : Pawn Structure
(Q) What makes the Pawn structure so important for developing a plan? (A) Because it evolves slowly and a single aspect of that structure can remain fixed for many moves, sometimes for the remainder of the game. Some types of Pawn structure are so common that they have names. (M-W.COM)

04 October 2003 - Alexa's Top Chess Sites
Everyone knows about Google, the search engine that returns remarkably well directed results. Less well known is Alexa, a marriage of browser technology, Google, and Amazon. Having ample time on our hands, we decided to look at the Top-200 chess sites returned by Alexa.

27 September 2003 - Famous Chess Tournaments (Part 1)
Introducing our register of historical tournaments, here are 207 great events. Starting with London 1851, we give the winners of each. Who were the most successful tournament winners of all time? Kasparov and Karpov top the list of modern players, while Lasker edges Alekhine among the earlier players.

20 September 2003 - Openings - Traps! (Part 3)
Continuing the About Chess traps series, here are 28 more best-loved traps plus an index of all traps (parts 1-3) by opening.

13 September 2003 - How to Find Clubs and Events
Looking for a club or a local tournament? Here are some quick links to the national federation pages which list clubs and events for the English-speaking countries.

06 September 2003 - British and Canadian Chess Champions
Rounding out the ABCs of chess champions : America, Britain, and Canada. Watch for more lists of the champions of other English speaking countries. (M-W.COM) (M-W.COM) (M-W.COM)

30 August 2003 - Openings - Traps! (Part 2)
Continuing the About Chess traps series, here are 21 more best-loved traps plus links to other pages dedicated to the art of the trap.

23 August 2003 - Behind Before You Buy Chess Playing Software (non-Windows)
Our Buyer's Guide lists five non-Windows computing platforms and technologies plus a few important subcategories where chess playing software has taken hold. As certain as spring leads to summer, whenever a hardware engineer develops a new computer processor, a software engineer follows with a new program to play chess. We can't list all chess playing products for each platform, but we can lead you to the experts.

16 August 2003 - Chess Today celebrates its 1000th issue
And GM Alexander Baburin shares his thoughts on Internet chess publishing. 'The idea to start a daily Net-based chess newspaper came to me in the summer of 2000, on a plane to Copenhagen. There was a lot of free and good chess stuff on the Net, so Chess Today had to offer something unique.' (Reprinted with permission.)

09 August 2003 - Openings - Traps! (Part 1)
Introducing our traps series : a chess trap has a large element of surprise. The trapped player didn't notice anything special, but the position is suddenly, completely, irrevocably lost. Here are 21 best-loved traps. (M-W.COM)

02 August 2003 - Behind Before You Buy Chess Playing Software for Windows
Our Buyer's Guide lists eight commercial chess playing products for Windows, including some World Champion programs. Pay attention to the difference between the user interface and the chess engine for each product.

26 July 2003 - Early Chess Players
The early history of modern chess was dominated by the Mediterranean countries, starting with Italian and Spanish players in the 16th century. French players took the leading role in the 18th and early 19th centuries, when they were challenged by strong players from the British isles.

19 July 2003 - Elementary endgames (Part 7)
An extra Pawn is an advantage; when it's an outside passed Pawn, it's a big advantage. Endgames with outside passed Pawns are elementary because they illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of the different pieces. (M-W.COM)

12 July 2003 - Behind Before You Buy a Chess Computer
Shopping for a chess computer? Our Buyer's Guide links to the three main manufacturers, and our weekly article gives a few more tips about where to look online.

05 July 2003 - Profiles of Famous Chess Players
We add the first profiles to our register of Famous Chess Players, starting with the first 13 official World Champions. These profiles list the events which led to the crowning of a World Champion, usually matches plus an occasional tournament, and are linked from the register entry for each player.

28 June 2003 - Elementary endgames (Part 6)
When an endgame position is an exception, there is often a Rook's Pawn involved. The edge of the board provides a natural barrier which nearly always results in exceptional positions. Here we look at some of those exceptions. (M-W.COM)

21 June 2003 - Famous Chess Players
Introducing our register of outstanding players, past and present. The 112 names on the register were not chosen at random, and here we explain how the register was developed. Is your favorite player missing? Let us know!

14 June 2003 - Where to play chess
Computer and network technologies have revolutionized the royal game. There are now more ways to meet and play opponents than at any time in the long history of the game.

07 June 2003 - Elementary endgames (Part 5)
Although King and Pawn endgames look simple, they have their special features and can be tricky. Here we look at the simplest King and Pawn vs. King (and maybe a Pawn). The ideas in these examples are also seen in more complicated endgames. (M-W.COM)

31 May 2003 - Foxwoods Open
Other countries have their Super Grandmaster tournaments, but the United States is the land of the Super Open. One of the newest Super Opens is the Foxwoods Open, held on Easter weekend at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket (Ledyard), Connecticut.

24 May 2003 - Checkmates with Names
Some checkmates are so notorious or so common that they have names. They represent mating patterns which arise frequently in real games. Knowledge of these patterns, plus many more, comes early on the learning curve of every improving player. (M-W.COM)

17 May 2003 - Middle game - King safety
The loss of the King means loss of the game. The player whose King is well protected has a big advantage over an opponent whose King is poorly protected. Here's the why, when, and where to castle. (M-W.COM)

10 May 2003 - 10 New Puzzle Sets
We added 10 new puzzle sets, typical of the work of Fred Reinfeld, to our page on the Middle Game. The puzzles were taken from much larger collections published by Reinfeld, a U.S. Chess Hall of Fame inductee, in the 1950s.

03 May 2003 - Behind Before You Buy an Analog Chess Clock
Here are a few points that were left out of the Buyer's Guide article on Analog Chess Clocks. They include three additional models worth considering.

26 April 2003 - Middle game - Open lines
Open lines are the streets and roads the line pieces use to move around a chessboard. Paul Morphy showed us that tactics and combinations have a positional basis. He used pieces placed on open lines to strike quickly and decisively at his opponent's weaknesses. (M-W.COM)

19 April 2003 - Amber Blindfold & Rapid Tournament
What's the best privilege that comes with being a super grandmaster? It might be the opportunity for an invitation to the annual Amber Chess Tournament. Once a year the world's top players meet for fun and games in Monaco.

12 April 2003 - Kasparov at 40
The 13th World Champion, who has been the world's number one player for an incredible 19 consecutive years, celebrated his 40th birthday in April 2003. To honor the occasion, we created our first About Chess biography and selected 10 of his best games.

05 April 2003 - Middle game - Double attacks
Tactics start to flow when one move does two or more things. For a deeper look into double attacks, our guide is Chess Tactics for Advanced Players by Yuri Averbakh. Don't be put off by the word advanced. Averbakh's advice is for everyone! (M-W.COM)

29 March 2003 - Behind Before You Buy a Digital Chess Clock
A Buyer's Guide article doesn't have a lot of space for notes. Here are a few points that were left out of the piece on Digital Chess Clocks.

22 March 2003 - Linares !
2003 was the 20th edition and confirmed the Spanish event as the premier super tournament -- the Wimbledon -- of chess. Leko and Kramnik finished 1st/2nd. Did Radjabov's game against Kasparov deserve the 'most beautiful' prize?

15 March 2003 - Openings - Introduction to 1.d4
The initial position of a chess game is nearly symmetric. Only the position of the King and Queen breaks the symmetry, and this makes all the difference between 1.d4 and 1.e4. In most games opened with 1.d4, White plays an early c4 followed by Nc3. (M-W.COM)

08 March 2003 - FIDE : Fédération Internationale des Échecs
FIDE, founded in Paris in 1924, is a French acronym for the organization known in English as the World Chess Federation. Gens Una Sumus! (M-W.COM)

01 March 2003 - Chess clocks
A chess clock has two connected time displays, linked so that only one clock can run. A player who fails to make the required number of moves loses on time. Even World Champions forget to press the clock! (M-W.COM)

22 February 2003 - Openings - Introduction to 1.e4
No chessplayer can ignore 1.e4, when White already attacks on the first move. Half of your opponents are going to open with the King's Pawn - how do you react? (M-W.COM)

15 February 2003 - Kasparov - Deep Junior, New York, 2003
The ghost in the machine withstood the onslaught of the world's top-rated player, sacrificed material for positional considerations, and proved once more that the best computers are a real match for the best humans. (M-W.COM)

08 February 2003 - The Corus Lineup
Once called Hoogovens Beverwijk, now called Corus Wijk aan Zee, the 2003 edition of the super tournament was the 65th overall and the 2nd strongest. Viswanathan Anand won for the 3rd time.

01 February 2003 - Chess Openings - Unusual First Moves
The initial position shares a feature with all chess positions -- the legal moves do not all have equal value. What distinguishes the good moves from the bad moves, and from the not-so-bad moves? (M-W.COM)

25 January 2003 - Chess Ratings
The Elo rating is a relative measure of a player's skill. What does Elo stand for and how is a rating calculated? (M-W.COM)

18 January 2003 - U.S. Chess Champions
The 2003 U.S. Championship was the 48th since 1936. 24 players have won the title at least once, 15 players more than once. Here are their names. (M-W.COM) (M-W.COM)

11 January 2003 - Elementary endgames (Part 4)
The game has been fought hard and the armies have been reduced to the bare minimum. Both players have single pieces of equal value, while a lone Pawn is on the board. What now? (M-W.COM)

04 January 2003 - Google Games - the World Chess Champions
Who are the most popular World Champions? The least popular? Google page counts give us a clue. And, yes, Women's World Champions have pages too.

28 December 2002 - The Year 2002 in Review
If chess were a wine, 2002 might not have been a great year, but it was certainly a very good year. Its highlights were a FIDE World Championship final, an Olympiad, and a brave attempt at reconciling the nine-year split in the World Championship title. (M-W.COM)

21 December 2002 - Elementary endgames (Part 3)
The final battle in a chess game can be a single piece against a lone Pawn, assisted only by the two Kings. Here are positions worth knowing for major pieces vs. a Pawn and minor pieces vs. a Pawn. (M-W.COM)

14 December 2002 - Match Wits with Bobby Fischer! (Part 2)
Fischer won the World Championship in 1972 by crushing all opponents. Here are some examples of his style from that period. Not just a player, he was an author and an inventor.

07 December 2002 - 2002 Olympiad (35th) - Russians on Olympus
The Russians are likely to dominate international chess for a long time. Their ranks include almost 1/4 of the world's top players. You can't tell the players without a scorecard, so here it is.

30 November 2002 - Elementary Endgames (Part 2)
Pawnless endgames may not appear in many games, but they are important when evaluating more complex endgames. Here are the simplest -- Rook vs. minor piece, Rook & minor piece vs. Rook, Queen vs. Rook -- you should know them. (M-W.COM)

23 November 2002 - Match Wits with Bobby Fischer! (Part 1)
There's probably no chessplayer who is liked so much and disliked so much as Robert J. Fischer. Before he became an embarrassment to the chess world by his hate talk, he raised the art of chess to peaks that we are only now beginning to understand.

16 November 2002 - Improve Your Middle Game (Part 3)
'The games of the great masters are not played by single moves, but by concerted plans of attack and defence.' - Capablanca (M-W.COM)

09 November 2002 - 2002 Olympiad (35th) - Background
The 2002 Chess Olympiad in Bled, Slovenia, is the 35th tournament in the 75-year history of the team event. It's also the Greatest Chess Show on Earth.

02 November 2002 - Improve Your Middle Game (Part 2)
'The Middle Game is chess in excelsis, the most beautiful part of the game, in which a lively imagination can exercise itself most fully and creatively in conjuring up magnificent combinations.' - Tarrasch (M-W.COM)

26 October 2002 - Brains in Bahrain
Finally! The long awaited Kramnik - Fritz match has been played in Bahrain. Kramnik won the first half of the match, Fritz the second half. The 4-4 tie leaves the chess world clamoring for a rematch.

19 October 2002 - Improve Your Middle Game (Part 1)
Pattern recognition is one of the skills that makes a master. It's not inherent; it's learned. Why is one chess player a struggling club player and another a master? (M-W.COM)

12 October 2002 - Portable Game Notation (PGN)
Downloading games is one of the most popular chess activities on the Internet. PGN makes it simple. The 'Tower of Babel' for chess stands tall. (M-W.COM)

05 October 2002 - Build an Opening Repertoire (Part 3)
Keep your repertoire balanced, consult references, consider your strengths & weaknesses, use your computer, and track your results. Don't be surprised as your playing strength improves. You're on the path to becoming an expert or better. (M-W.COM)

28 September 2002 - Ancient Chess Piece Discovered
If the Albanian artifact is a chess piece, then chess history as we know it is wrong. Does a crown bearing a cross mean it's a King?

21 September 2002 - Build an Opening Repertoire (Part 2)
An opening repertoire is a nice expression that means 'if my opponent moves there, then I'll play here', where the preparation is done at home. Not only will it help you get a good game in the opening, it will also start you thinking about a chess position the way the best players do. (M-W.COM)

14 September 2002 - Reunification of the World Chess Title
If all goes according to the Prague Plan, the World Chess Championship title should soon be reunified. Why is one title better than two? Find out how the schism happened and how it should end.

07 September 2002 - Build an Opening Repertoire (Part 1)
Here's how to avoid losing a chess game in the opening. It's a simple procedure that can be used by all players from beginner to expert, including the best in the world. What do grandmasters know that the rest of us don't? (M-W.COM)

31 August 2002 - Man vs. Machine in October
October will see which intelligence rules chess - real or artificial. World number one Garry Kasparov matches wits against World Computer Champion Deep Junior, while World Champion Vladimir Kramnik squares off against powerhouse Deep Fritz.