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Member since May-19-08 · Last seen Aug-27-14
I now have a blog!

Not much chess in it so far, but there are some mad musings about life, the universe and everything.

Then there are the two books...

"Once upon a chess game" has 40 puzzles and 40 stories drawn from our very own puzzle of the day.

More details here:

It's priced at $5 / 3.22.

I also have a comic novel available as an e-book. This one is called "Love, Death and Tea". There is no chess in it (sorry about that) but as compensation there is the world's friendliest zombie, the end of civilization as we know it, revolution, a timeless love story and more than one William Wallace.

You can find it here ...

Project #3 is coming soon. A James Bond spoof where the bad guy is the hero. I thought of calling it "A View from a Volcano", but settled for "Global Domination: a Beginner's Guide."

That one has been delayed for domestic reasons, but it's fully written and should be out soon. September 2014. Maybe.

>> Click here to see Once's game collections. Full Member

   Once has kibitzed 5117 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Aug-27-14 Shirov vs S Kristjansson, 2004 (replies)
Once: We have been here many times before. Grandmaster calculates a forced mate in X, where X is a larger number than I am capable of calculating. Grandmaster plays this mate, gently whistling the Queen song "Another one bites the dust". Baba dum dum dum, another bites the dust. And another
   Aug-26-14 Botvinnik vs N Sorokin, 1933 (replies)
Once: <patzer2> That's a great spot. With best play, black doesn't lose a piece in today's puzzle. White still wins, but not in the simple Tuesdayesque fashion that we might imagine. Picking up your line after 12...Qb6 13. Bb5+ Bd7 14. Bxd7+ Kxd7 15. Qxd5+ Kc8, we get to here: ...
   Aug-26-14 I Cheparinov vs Sutovsky, 2013 (replies)
Once: And you can't mention this game without thinking of ... Short vs Timman, 1991 Both great games. But not a tactic to try at home, at least until more of the pieces are off the board.
   Aug-25-14 J D Turner vs I Ponter, 2004 (replies)
Once: <patzer2> That's a great piece about how to get out of checks. I wonder if we can elaborate on it? How do we find the move 29. Rxh7+ in the first place? One way to think about it is that chess isn't only a game about 64 squares. When it comes to giving checkmate, it reduces down ...
   Aug-21-14 Lasker vs Nimzowitsch, 1934 (replies)
Once: <playground player> You guess is as good as mine! I was hunting for the chessbase lecture on this game and looked in yoofchoob to see if was there. And that's when I stumbled on this musical ... er ... thing. And I know absolutely nothing else about it apart from that.
   Aug-21-14 G Meins vs L Gutman, 2004 (replies)
Once: <Cheapo by the Dozen> It is certainly not easy! I had to turn to Fritzie for a finish in the 27. Rxf2 line: 27. Rxf2 Qxg3+ 28. Kh1 Rxf2 29. Qe8+ Rf8 30. Qxe6+ Kh8 [DIAGRAM] Material is level but white has the draughtier king. Black has threats of Qxh4+ and/or Qf3+ winning the ...
   Aug-20-14 A Dimitrijevic vs M Sebag, 2004 (replies)
Once: 21. Bf1 does not prevent Be5. I know you like to pick fault with other people's posts, particularly mine. But please do try to make it relevant. Or come up with something positive to say for a change. Now you might have said that 21. Nf3 makes it harder for black to achieve Be5. That ...
   Aug-20-14 Fine vs Dake, 1933 (replies)
Once: We may be in danger of over-eulogising the victor here. As far as I can see, Fine's manoeuvre of Qa1-Qc1 is not the start of a combination. He is finding a way to bring his queen into the action, as she is surely not going to amount to much on the queenside. It is ingenious, but hardly
   Aug-19-14 Capablanca vs B H Villegas, 1914 (replies)
Once: Champagne chess. Capa makes it look so easy. The move I'm geeking about is the sly 28. Qe4 [DIAGRAM] The black c5 pawn isn't going anywhere, so Capa doesn't rush to recapture it. Meanwhile his queen spreads its influence on both sides of the board. Fritzie doesn't get too interested
   Aug-19-14 Kotov vs Botvinnik, 1939 (replies)
Once: There is a fantastic piece of Botvinnik magic earlier in the game. He prepares for this material winning combination more than 20 moves in advance. This is the position after 16...Nxc4 [DIAGRAM] Black offers either of his knights, but in return white has to part with his light squared
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  juan31: Once; Thank you for the answer, was complete.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Glad I could help.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mating Net: Saw your comment on today's GOTD that you are writing a book about simuls.

In case you don't have it already, please check out my all time favorite simul game. Tal vs Miller, 1988

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: That's a fabulous game - Tal at his most aggressive and creative!

I'm thinking of at least three different sections for the book. The first will be when the master steamrollers the NN easily with better technique. My personal opinion is that we can sometimes learn more from one-sided master v NN contests than we can from GM v GM games. If nothing else, the games are more straightforward and easier to follow.

The second section will be about those games when the GM really lets rip and produces a masterpiece. I think your Tal game would fit well into that category.

The third section will be when the NN bites back and nearly or actually defeats the better player.

Sounds like unexplored territory, I think. Most simul games tend to get overlooked or stuck at the back of game collections almost as an afterthought.

Many thanks for pointing this one out. I think it deserves a place. I'll try to do justice to it in the annotations.

Premium Chessgames Member
  crawfb5: I don't have a specific game to recommend, but John Donaldson has two books out on Alekhine simuls <Alekhine in the Americas, Alekhine in Europe and Asia> and one out on Fischer simuls <A legend on the road>. Nick Pope includes quite a few simul games in his book on Pillsbury. Also, a number of newer game collections try to be exhaustive, including as many simul games as can be found (for example, Gordon's book on Reshevsky).

Just a few ideas. Good luck with the project.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mating Net: Glad you liked that Tal game. If I run across another interesting simul, I'll be sure to let you know.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Thanks, guys. My plan is to cherry pick the most interesting or instructive games. I'm particularly interested in the "lazy" games where a strong player wins almost without any calculation.

I think we can learn a lot from games like those.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mating Net: Here are two simuls for your consideration.

The first one is an effortless GM crush that is quite pleasing to the eye. It clearly fits into your first category.

The second one, shows that even a World Champion can fall for a simple tactic and lose a piece. Granted it was a blindfold simul, but it may fit into your third category.

Bronstein vs NN, 1950

Alekhine vs NN, 1925

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Many thanks - both seem like excellent examples. The idea of a 28 board blindfold simul boggles the mind!
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: If I remembered I forgot my anniversary, does that count as remembering the anniversary?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I suspect that there is a sliding scale of anniversary-remembering.

At one end of the scale, there is the gold-plated "hit it out of the park" memory trick. That's where you spend months before your anniversary planning exactly how to surprise your significant other. A surprise weekend break in Venice or Paris, tickets to that Abba tribute band concert that she's always wanted to go to, a moonlight hot air balloon ride over the plains of the Serengeti.

We might call that the gold standard. Almost guaranteed to get you a lot of bedroom action as a reward with a freedom pass to the dressing up box.

Then we have the silver standard. You remember a few days before and buy her a nice thoughtful card plus a decent bunch of flowers. That still earns a visit to the bedroom but the extras are a little harder to negotiate.

Slipping further down the scale, you remember but only the evening before on the way back from work. The card says "happy birthday" with the birthday crossed out and replaced with "anniversary" and the flowers came from the local petrol station. I guess that means that you'll be watching the television on your own, but at least you're still married.

Down, down, down we go. Next comes the awkward early morning conversation on the day of your anniversary when she says "haven't you forgotten something?" and you gradually realise that ... OMG, you have.

A little bit below that is the same situation but where you don't remember what you have forgotten.

And I guess in both those situations the real question is how long the bedroom ban will last for until you are forgiven.

Coincidentally, the thing that you hope for is where you remember and she doesn't. Because then her forgetting comes with a price that somehow doesn't transfer when the situation is reversed.

Me? The Mem and I found a way to get around the problem by getting married on the 12 February 2000. That means that you never forget the anniversary itself. As soon as the card shops are full of Valentine's Day cards you know it's time to arrange something for the anniversary.

And you always know how many years you have been married by looking at the date.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Once> That was a way too generous response. Your scale made my day, especially the petrol-station level.

I too thought I had a fail-safe mechanism in place: Our anniversary is 12 April, the same day Lee surrendered at Appomattox in 1865, effectively ending the Civil War. I enjoy reading and writing about the Civil War, so my reasoning was I couldn't possibly forget since I surrendered on the same day that Lee did.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I must confess that I would not have known the significance of 12 April if you hadn't told me! Happy Anniversary for about a month ago.

Don't tell me that you forgot....

Jul-22-14  mworld: Happy Birthday Once!

I hope the lovely lady brings you a nice bottle of something - if not that then at least an HP 15yo :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Cheers!

Funnily enough, this morning's festivities did involve the presentation of a bottle of 10 year old Laphroaig.

And this evening's merriment necessitated the sharing of a cheeky little prosecco.

It's a hard life being 50!

Premium Chessgames Member
  hms123: <Once> It is still your birthday here in the USA. Happy Birthday!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Thanks!
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Once> Yes, <PhonyBenoni> has a point about combining a good pun with a good game. With that said, I want your opinion about a pun I submitted some time ago: "Adnoy Taken Out" for this game: L E Johannessen vs H Adnoy, 2001

As you can see, I've posted twice trying to sell it, with no luck :(

Does it fail because the game is not good enough? Or because most people don't know what an adnoid is?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Um ... if I'm being perfectly honest, that's a bit of a stretch. I'm not a medical expert, but I think they are called adenoids, not adnoids. So that's a fair way away from Adnoy.

The game itself? It seemed pretty level until black played 35. Qg7 leaving the c6 pawn en prise. As a general rule, folk don't like games which hang on a single blunder unless there is some other reason for the game to be noteworthy.

That pun may be a long shot, methinks.

But anyway, how are you? We've not "spoken" in a while.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: I like perfect honesty! I'm doing fine, very kind of you to ask! Reading between the lines, you sound like you are doing great...I hope so

I have to say your short stories have been just great lately, gems all the way around. Of course, these have always been superb.

I guess you play games with us when you disappear for a day or two, just long enough for us to realize how spoiled we are, then you return and all the good memories come flooding back

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Aw, that's kind!

Life is unbelievably hectic at the moment, which means that I don't get as much time for as I used to. There are all sorts of things happening at once (if you'll forgive the pun). New job, writing fiction, that sort of thing.

So it's not playing games - honest! I'm just trying to spread myself between dozens of things that I'm trying to do at the same time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: Hello <Once>. Liked your powerful, well-worded (no wastages)comment in the POTD today.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Once: <Fusilli> Nicely played game! I salute you from over the pond.

Your opponent must have fallen off his chair when he played 29. h4 to "protect" his knight, but you captured it anyway.>

Thank you! He didn't expect the queen sac (should have played Bxf4 but the position is lost anyway) but reacted calmly.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <sevenseaman> Good to hear from you again! How have you been?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Fusilli> I ran the game through Fritz who confirms that you were winning comfortably whatever he played. 28...Nf4 was an excellent move - really enjoyed that.
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