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James Aitken, Scottish Chess Player.


Hi, I’ve been off air for a while as I have undertaken the task of entering
all 45(!) chess score books of James Aitken into the BritBase Database

The games start from the year 1931 and end in 1983.

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Yes that is a picture of me...

The Mysterious Art of Zugzwang.


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A Rook on 7th
green pawns

The first Super GM O.T.B. tournament to be held for a long time recently finished.
It was held in Norway. Carlsen won it and the final score table looks like this.

{imgblock=/imgu/blog/1/b4u437199-1603217453.png}Title here{/imgblock...

Knighthoods in Chess


Found this floating around the net.

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Wouldn’t it be great if such a rule existed. Any pawn next to
a King can be knighted and it immediately becomes a Knight.

I did find an RHP game with the bones of the same mating pattern...

Missing the Morphy Pattern.

I pick this up on my travels around the various chess sites.

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green pawns

What game is this final position from?

1n1Rkb1r/p4ppp/4q3/4p1B1/4P3/8/PPP2PPP/2K5 b k - 0 17
{imgblock=/imgu/blog/1/b4u437199-1601847522.png}Title here{/imgblock...

Spurious Chess.

Recently I had the pleasure of reading this:

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You will understand that a nutshell review is all I can offer because
it is a murder mystery with a strong chess theme running though it
and going in too deep may spoil potential readers enjoyment of it.

{imgblock=/imgu/blog/1/b4u437199-1600882259.png}Title here{/imgblock...

Chess and Bonnie Prince Charlie


This virus thingy has sunk my plans for touring the Scottish Highlands
where I hoped to finally unearth the treasure of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

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The map, I bought it from a Nigerian Prince, is marked with a bright red ‘X ‘.
It is going to make me richer than rich . I shall buy a small country and pick
myself to represent my country ‘Green Pawn Land’ in the Chess Olympiad...

Chess Authors and the Gremlins.

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(photo from chessbase)
Mr. Leonard Barden, the record breaking Guardian Chess columnist
(64+ years and counting) celebrated his 91st birthday a few days ago.

I cannot stress enough the importance of a good chess column in the
pre-digital age. In the UK chess did not warrant T.V. or radio coverage
unless there was some other ‘non-chess’ news attached, for Instance;...

Chess and The Double 'G'.


At last I have ‘The Book’ this is the book that will reveal the secrets of 6.Bg5
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Recap: We first saw this line mentioned in an old chess magazine by Robert Bellin.

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And to save going back a few blogs this is what I wrote: ...

Chess Openings - By Number of Moves

This time, I've classified each of the openings by the first white move only. So, twenty entrants in the race - does the Queen's Pawn opening ever catch up, and if so, in what year?

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scN947wZSeo

Posted to Rival Revival

Chess Openings - A Deeper Dive

As @byedidia pointed out in the comments of my previous post, the groupings of the openings can be improved upon.

Here is my first attempt at a deeper dive and more specific categorisation.

I would be very interested in further thoughts on how these groupings can be improved, in particular the "miscellaneous" categories are somewhat annoying.

vhuor680pLA

Posted to Rival Revival

Most Popular Chess Openings From Grandmaster Games

Thanks to everyone who checked out my little YouTube video on the genetic algorithm.

I enjoyed making that, so I've done something similar, this time looking at the popularity of chess openings over time.

I sourced the information from pgnmentor.com.

cjeXaq3hKxo

Posted to Rival Revival

A Genetic Algorithm to Find The Value of Chess Pieces

A Brief History
Almost 30 years ago, @Russ, AKA 1, and I created Rival Chess.

This collaboration mostly involved us sending floppy disks back and forth across the country through the Royal Mail.

Rival for DOS


At university, again with @Russ, we rewrote Rival to make use of this thing called Windows....

Posted to Rival Revival

Chess Knock-Knock Jokes.


I like most of you at Red Hot Pawn so I am a bit wary about showing you this.
It was sent to me by a greenpawn (that’s me) blog fan. I am chuffed to tea breaks.

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I know the severe pangs of jealousy this will invoke amongst you all.

It was made for me by Lyonola Ashkova, a female RHP member wh...

Chess Street Signs (part III)


I finally took a trip across town to see the street sign put up in my honour.
(See 448 for more details how this happnened.)

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Then passing ‘my street' just a few days ago I notice it had been nicked!

{imgblock=/imgu/blog/1/b4u437199-1595317048.png}Title here{/imgblock...

An Opening Chess Trap with 2,399 Victims


Recreating famous book covers No. 84 and No.85.

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Greasy Trap

This opening trap has caught 2,399 players on Red Hot Pawn...

Chess in December 1983 (Oh What a Night)

what a night

On the 21st December 1983 Garry Kasparov gave a simultaneous display
against ten junior players at the London headquarters of Acorn computers.

This was not your usual board and pieces affair, it was a computer simul.
Each player had a BBC computer running an Acorn chess playing program.
The juniors keyed in their moves and Gary would appear to key in his reply. ...

Chess and Mary Queen of Scots


I first heard the rumour in 1971 when a stranger slid up next to me in a
bar and whispered in my ear that there was a chessboard in The Meadows.

The Edinburgh Meadows is where Mary the Queen of Scots played golf.

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Me playing peek-a-boo behind a statue of Mary in Linlithgow....

There was a fight at the Chess Club last night.


There was a fight at the Chess Club last night.

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Big Frank Clark and Mike McGuire were playing and....I’ll show the position.

6RK/8/7k/8/7p/7P/6P1/8 w - - 0 1
Big Frank was White and played g2-g4. Mike then declared ’Stalemate!...

Chess Records and Queen Sacrifices


You have heard of the face that launched a thousand ships...

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...well this is the face that sent them back again.

Magnus has just been caught with an expected Queen sacrifice.
His reaction was pulling that face and “Wow!...Wow!....Wow!”...

Gibraltar! 6.Bg5 and a Chess Rule of Thumb.


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Well it would appear that last week I was totally distracted from
actually looking at White playing 6.Bg5 in the following position.

r1bqkbnr/pp3ppp/2np4/1N2p3/4P3/8/PPP2PPP/RNBQKB1R w KQkq - 0 6
And as we got to print I still do not know if this move is covered in... ...

Chess and the Russian Rifle.


I do not actually have a copy of this book. I googled it and nicked the image.

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I am using the cover because it is the only way for me to spell it correctly and I want
to do a blog about a variation in this opening. ( I do not even know if it is in the book.)

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6...

Chess Mug and Mouse Mat


My Edinburgh Chess Club Mug and Mouse Mat has arrived.

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I sent off the picture to E-Bay and within a few days...Yippee!
My tea tastes sweeter and my mouse glides like a hovercraft.

{imgblock=/imgu/blog/1/b4u437199-1490275699.png}green pawns{/imgblock...

Playing Chess with the Devil (part 2)


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Many years ago for an experiment I places a mirror behind my chess set.
I’m not too sure why I would wish to do such a thing, but I tell you this.

mirror start

I’ll never do it again! ...

Magnus Carlsen Question and Answer Session


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What a scoop for Red Hot Pawn. We can ask the current World Chess Champion
questions, hopefully if he reads this and joins Red Hot Pawn he can answer them.

The first question comes from Mrs. B. Knight on the Rim.

{imgblock=/imgu/blog/1/b4u437199-1585436011.png}Title here{/imgblock...

Chess Merchandising


I have decided to go into Chess Merchandising.

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Print this out, glue it too a piece of stiff cardboard and pin it to your chest.

Or wear one of these. A Sock (£19.00) ...

I've Got A Chess Biscuit Tin!


I bought a Biscuit Tin! Not any common seen in your granny’s parlour
every day type of biscuit tin, but a genuine 100% Chess Biscuit Tin.

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Here is a better picture of the lid.

{imgblock=/imgu/blog/1/b4u437199-1583886118.png}Title here{/imgblock...

The Rook and Knight Epaulette Mate

When I was having my massive clear out (see the previous blog)
I found a few decades worth of CHESS magazine so we kick off
this weeks blog with four covers. You have the guess the year
the Chess event on the cover took place. (the last one is hard.)

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(Magnus Carlsen sensational winner of the Grandmaster Tournament at Wijk aan Zee...

The Hunt for a 1990 Chess Magazine

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I have been clearing out my wee study, actually that is a lie. I was looking for
something else and became amazed at all the junk I have that I no longer need.

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Loads of notebooks full of master games from the 70’s. I used to copy them
out from library books, now days of course we have home computer databases.
I bravely binned the lot along with old tatty/torn football/speedway programmes...

The Ghosts of Old Chess Masters.


It was Thomas Alva Edison who wiped out more ghosts, ghouls and goblins
than Van Helsing when he invented the electric light bulb in the year 1879

Before we all saw the light we had to make do with wax candles and these things
were not to good at lighting up rooms or corridors. They shimmered with the any
soft breeze causing moving shadows on the walls and our imaginations did the rest. ...

1,000 Wins = 1,000 Chess Traps


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Outside Sandy Bells in Edinburgh. The position was mean to be this:

k1B5/p3R3/1p6/1K6/8/8/8/7q w - - 0 1
But someone came out when I was setting it up and a dog ate some of the pieces.
A study by A. S. Kakovin It is White to play and draw (solution at the bottom)
{imgblock=/imgu/blog/1/b4u437199-1490275699.png}green pawns{/imgblock...

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