A New Junction

Hello readers,

Last time around I went in hard on the introduction. This week I’ll only mention that one of my favorite tournaments, the London Chess Classic, is currently being played, and you should check it out. The format is a knockout this year, unfortunately, but games between Caruana, Nakamura, Karjakin, Aronian (at least, from three of them) aren’t ones you’ll want to miss.

With that housekeeping completed, let’s dive into what you’re (presumably) here to see: the games from the second day of the tournament weekend. (The first day’s, you ask? 404 Look no further.)

Orion LE (1713) – Craig B Roll (2257) MCC Open
1. e4 c5 2. d4 {I respond to Craig’s Sicilian with my trademark (or, soon to be, anyway) Smith-Morra Gambit.} cxd4 3. c3 dxc3 {He accepts.} 4. Nxc3 {The speedy d...

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2018 RHP Christmas Chess Quiz

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A Merry Christmas to all and what would Christmas be without Charades.
All you have to do is spot the chess link from the charade. The first one is easy.
The answers are right under each picture, just click on the ‘hidden’ button.

A Famous Opening ...

Return of the Junction

Hello all,

Magnus Carlsen’s back, and so, apparently, am I. What is it that I usually do here? Claim I’m the only chess blog on the internet that does something? Apparently, I’m the only chess blogger that routinely loses a train of thought, since I wrote “I’m working on a bigger project for next week” in an introduction three months ago, and have since completely forgotten what that could have been.

I do have a new thing I’m working on now, though, and that brings me to my next point: In my absence, I’ve tried to re-evaluate my attitude towards chess. For some time, I’ve been a little discouraged, I think, partially because of the below rating graph.

last few years

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The 2018 World Chess Championship...BOO!

Well that was fun.
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After 12 games, 12 draws and 3 rapid 25 minutes games Magnus Carlsen is still
the World Champion, the challenger Fabiano Caruana is now $510,000 richer and
we are all standing about, scratching our heads and wondering what just happened.

Punters on Chess Forums all over the net are coming up with suggestion...

Caruana - Carlsen, Game 5 and I was there.

I went down to London for game 5 of the Carlsen - Caruana Match.
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This is me outside the venue with people queuing up to get in.
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And what was it like inside....
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...I’ve no idea because you could not buy a ticket at the door and...

Back Rank Mates and Chess Stamps

“There are two kinds of chess player - those that have been back rank
mated and those that are going to be back rank mated.” Russian proverb.

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No amount of reading, studying or prior warnings will suffice. You
will only learn the Back Rank lesson when it has happened to you. ...

On The Trail Of The Lone Bishop Mate.

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I drew that at work. My skill in all fields has no known boundaries.

I was on Edward Winter’s Chess Notes site looking for something else,
whilst there I stumbled across a section on single Bishop Checkmates.

Mr Winter gives some nice examples a few of which I will use to set us off...

2018 Chess Olympiad and a Cardboard Box

A picture of a cardboard box with the word CHESS on it.
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...er....that’s it.
green pawns

This charming wee book dropped into my lap a few days ago.
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page 40 has this to chapter...

October 2018 update

The update scheduled for release October 3rd has a few changes that will be unfamiliar.

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Every large board will now consistently have the flip board button/icon in the top right hand corner.

Board settings includes set and piece options, as well as "after move preferences". It also includes options to prioritize different games when moving to the next game. ...

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A Unicorn playing with a Cyclops is an accident waiting to happen.

The Unicorn and Cyclops syndrome in Chess is a Rook and King.
Often in Rook endings the worse thing you can do is have them
playing together on adjoining squares. Accidents waiting to happen. ...

Writing Chess in Fiction

Hello, and welcome to the only chess blog on the internet that’s written in the school library.

Still working on some other stuff, and since it’s post-Labor Day here in the States, it’s been a little busy. As I think I’ve mentioned on here, I’m an amateur writer, and this week I thought I’d put up a post I originally wrote elsewhere on writing fictional scenes with chess in them.


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The Backward Facing Knight and Lolli

Picked this book up on the 1986 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship
by Wade, Miles, Bronstein, Hartston....(phew!).... Blackstock, Martin....

Here is a picture of the cover listing all the names.
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It’s OK, reasonable notes, nice bit of background chit chat and the book is built
to last (a lot of my books fall to pieces during study), but.....there is always a but...

Bronstein and Chris de Burgh

Did You Know No.182.

That Chris de Burgh brought out a CD called ‘Best Moves’
and on the cover is a famous position from a Bronstein game.
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{imgblock=/imgu/blog/1/b4u437199-1535419861.png}Title here{/imgblock...


Hello all, and welcome to Hikaru Junction, the only chess blog on the internet that must have missed 60 Minutes. I’m working on a bigger project for next week, but for the sake of consistency I’ve dug up the games from my most recent tournament.

For those diehard fans among you, I’ll have to apologize and defer the topic to a later date, leaving you instead with


Now, then, I could talk about industrialization and men's fashion all day, but I'm afraid work must intrude… ...

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Four Chess Books (what a naff blog title)

The Edinburgh Festival is in full swing so to avoid it I visited an out of
town book shop I had not been to for a while. Oh Joy. I picked up four
books all for £1.00 or £2.00 each. So a quick review and the challenge
of finding an RHP game I can link too. I find two out of four...Not bad.

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The first thing I noticed was that of the 60 pages 27 were devoted to Draughts and...

Aronian: Turn Off the Dark

Hello all, and welcome to Hikaru Junction,

the only chess blog on the internet whose author produced the startlingly insightful commentary “I think most likely is Aronian, for experience, consistency, and his recent superb form…Caruana is one of the stronger contenders, but he doesn't seem to play as aggressively, which I think will hurt him.” (176208)

As I’m sure you know, Aronian then proceeded to make me look like a fool by scoring 4.5/14, and Caruana doubled Aronian’s score to win the tournament.

In this handy-dandy graph I made, Aronian is the line far below everyone else’s. ...

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Chess for Dummies and a Pop-Up Book

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This is the painting ‘Cornered’ by G.C. Hindley circa 1900
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A large copy of this painting hangs on the wall of the Edinburgh Chess Club.
We have on some evenings re-created the position in the painting on the board

1R4K1/6PP/8/3q2n1/8/Q7/2R5/4k3 w - - 0 ...

Tournament (Redux)

Hello all, and welcome to the only chess blog on the internet that saw that ludicrous display last night– the blog I had been back-burner-ing was scuppered by the necessity to get my computer fixed. Regular service should be resumed next week, but instead this week we’ll take a look at a tournament I played during my last long absence.

I started off the tournament paired against a stronger opponent, and although it didn’t show in my play, it did in my scorekeeping– deciphering what I had meant by the following scoresheet, four months after the fact, proved immensely difficult.

Bad scorekeeping

Look at this mess! Not only did I make several scorekeeping mistakes in the first few moves, I marked down which color I was to pl...

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Chess, The Camel and Zwischenzug

This advert appeared after Arnold Denker won the USA Championship in 1944.
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I have resized each pic to save your weary old eyes from squinting.
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{imgblock=/imgu/blog/1/b4u437199-1531386541.png}Title here{/imgblock...

Taking On the Traxler

Hello everyone, and welcome to the only chess blog on the internet that speaks to clients on the phone about quantities and type of copier paper. As I mentioned several posts ago, I’ve been re-watching episodes of The Office, set in Pennsylvania, and there’s a scene where one of the main characters (Jim, played by John Krasinski) plays a game against one of the other office workers.

To make a long story short, if you google: (“wilkes-barre” “krasinski” “chess” ) the first result is the following delightful little minature:

Krasinski–Yakov Estrin Istra 1947
1. e4 e5 2. f4 d5 {Estrin, as usual, seeks to control the game, and countergambits a pawn.} 3. exd5 e4 4. d3 Nf6 {If 5. dxe4 now, Nxe4 is uncomfortable for white: Qh4 is an immediate threat, and the knight is positioned well.}...

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A Chess Coincidence and 1813

Hands up everyone who knows about Egerton Smith (1774-1842 ).
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1. 32-33 47-45
2. 22 -24 58-14
Is Fool’s Mate.

rnb1kbnr/pppp1ppp/8/4p3/6Pq/5P2/PPPPP2P/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 3...

The Curse of the Electronic Chessboard

Hello again and first question of the day is...What is this?
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It is infact the mascot for the 2018 Chess Olympiad which is being held
in Batumi, Georgia from the 23rd of September to the 6th of October.
I have not been able to find out the turtles name. All I can find is ‘The Turtle.’

The dates are important because the World title match between Carlsen and...

The ‘Game of the Century’

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Yes I know and also my quote from these pages way back on my 60th
blog when I was complaining about writers copying from each other ...

Chess and the Indian Navy

Found in a 50p box at the ‘Homes for the Homeless’ Charity shop.
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The 50p is the actual change I got from the £1.00 I handed over.

A solid gold chess bracelet. Well not actually solid gold but when
I give it to my newest girlfriend, Bald Flo Jones, I will tell her it is.
{imgblock=/imgu/blog/1/b4u437199-1490275699.png}green pawns{/imgblock...

The Milan Vidmar Trap

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Apparently 100's of these were on sale at a tournament in Florida in 2002.
The position is correct, so are the names and the place.........but the price?
red pawns

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At Hasting in 1926 Milan Vidmar (1885-1962) sprang a trap that with the...

Karpov was Jack the Ripper

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There is a moment in this film when Emma Prentiss (as played by
Jane Seymour) shows Inspector Frederick Abberline (as played by
Michael Caine) an artists impression of Jack the Ripper ( as played
by.....nobody really knows). She says she is selling the drawing to
The Stand Magazine but (and I’m sure most of you know this) the
grisly murders took place in London in 1888, the Strand Magazine...

Chess Junk and Russian Endings

And this is how badly I am afflicted by the chess bug...
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...I’m now buying broken china just because it has a chess theme.

My research, and here I remind my readers of my diligence in such matters,
took me to a small village in southern Italy called Polominto and it was here
I met with a one legged man called Luigi ‘He Who Hops’ who told me it wa...

Tournament: Part II

Hello all,

And welcome back to Hikaru Junction, the only chess blog on the internet that waves the flags that the robots made. Today we’ll be looking at the second half of the last tournament I played, in which I scored 0/3 due to some atrocious mistakes. Cheers to schadenfreude! After scoring 1/3, with a win and two draws, in the first half of the tournament, I was a little demoralized, but still took a positive attitude into the first game. I was wrong to do so, as it turned out.

Charles Hua–HikaruShindo Empire City Open 2017
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 {I played the opening as usual, developing my pieces in fairly standard fashion.} 5. d3 Be7 6. O-O b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 {The move weakens the d3 pawn– I generally prefer to only play c3-d4 as it’s more efficient if at...

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Tournament: Part I

Hello all–

Welcome to Hikaru Junction, the only chess blog on the internet with absolutely unimaginative titles. Today I thought I’d catch you all up on the last tournament I played in over the board, as a way of easing back into this blogging business. In any case, I last played at the Empire City Open in NYC, where I scored a rather pitiful 1/6. Hopefully my mistakes will prove instructive. Let’s get into it, then!

Mario Guevara-Rodriguez–HikaruShindo Empire City Open 2017
1. c4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 e6 4. e3 b6 {Since White hasn’t fianchettoed his bishop, Black can control the light squares.} 5. Be2 Be7 {b4 is a better location, since it discourages d4.} 6. O-O O-O 7. d4 d6 8. Qc2 {White prepares to push the e-pawn.} Bb7 {Black finally fianchettoes, preventing the advance.} 9....

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Chess with Tal, Nana and Frodo

This is Frodo from one of the many L.O.T.R. Chess sets
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Which gives me a great excuse to show the Frodo Game.

If any of you are coaching kids or just wanting a game to show
to your merry men down at the club then this is it. It's a classic. ...

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