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Once
Member since May-19-08 · Last seen Sep-24-21
Have you tried Naked Chess yet?

I now have three chess books for sale:

"Naked Chess: How to Win" is aimed at club players who would like to improve their playing strength and win more often.

"Naked Chess: Learn from the Champions" is a collection of games played by world champions against much weaker players. This includes many games played in simultaneous displays against NN.

Naked Chess: Once upon a Chess Game is a collection of my posts on Chessgames.com when I was going through my story-telling phase.

To help promote the two new books, I am giving away my third book for free. All you need to do is to join my mailing list at www.will-once.com.

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

Chessgames.com Full Member

   Once has kibitzed 5858 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Sep-13-21 A Sandrin vs W Shipman, 1946 (replies)
 
Once: <Pony Benoni> And me. The white Queen and Rook are so far up the board ... and it's a Monday ... so surely we are looking for a win for white? Nope. It's black to play and don't call me Shirley.
 
   Aug-25-21 M Palac vs Agrest, 2008 (replies)
 
Once: It was the nearly knight fork I noticed first. I don't know why. These days my brain doesn't think in straight lines. So 35...Nf2 is a queencheck. What's that? A queencheck isn't a thing? Fair enough. If I can deflect the white king to h1 or h3 my nearly fork becomes a gotcha fork. And
 
   Aug-23-21 N Davies vs G Crawley, 1984 (replies)
 
Once: After 30. Kf2, the most elegant way is the mate with 30... Qe2+ 31. Kg3 Ng2# But I've been playing a lot of blitz recently, so I went for the material win with 30...Qxb3 31. ab Rxa1. Not as quick as the mate, but a clear rook up.
 
   Jul-26-21 T Bree vs V Krutti, 1999 (replies)
 
Once: With the black king on e8 and only one kingside pawn remaining. who would have thought that Black would be vulnerable to a back ranker? Not Bree, it seems.
 
   Jun-23-21 Vidmar vs Przepiorka, 1906 (replies)
 
Once: I thought this one looked familiar.
 
   Jun-12-21 Matthew Tan vs Ulibin, 2008 (replies)
 
Once: I often think that the exchange is worth two pawns or one pawn and a "reason to be cheerful". With 19... Rxf3 and 20...Qxd4 we get a pawn and we muss up white's pawn structure for our bishop pair to exploit. But I can't say I was entirely convinced that it was worth it. Having seen the
 
   Jun-12-21 C Picard vs Q Burri, 2015 (replies)
 
Once: The pun? I know this one! I know it, I tell you! It's Star Trek Next Generation, when an omnipotent being called Q transports the Enterprise to a distant part of space where they encounter a new enemy called the Borg. Captain Picard calls on Q to "end this". That much I remembered. ...
 
   Jun-07-21 Bronstein vs I Rudakovsky, 1945 (replies)
 
Once: Sometimes I think the internet is a great idea because it preserves conversations from long ago. And then there are times when I think the internet is an awful idea because it preserves conversations from long ago. Enjoyable attack, though possibly not sound. And the game was good ...
 
   Jun-07-21 Khalifman vs V Popov, 1997 (replies)
 
Once: Now that was fun. We have at least two winning moves. I was torn between the obvious 33. Qxe8 and the slightly less obvious 33. Rxb8+ 33. Rxb8 appeals because 33...Kxb8 runs into 34. Qxe8+ and we have won a piece. Or 33...Nxb8 34. Qxe8! Qxe8 35. Nc7+ Kb7 36. Nxe8 and again we've won a ...
 
   Jun-02-21 Smagin vs N Vlassov, 1995 (replies)
 
Once: Is this easy? Well, yes and no. It's easy if we have internalised a number of key concepts. The Bd4 pins the f2 pawn, which in turn means that the g3 pawn is only protected once and not twice. Because g3 is protected once and we have two pieces attacking it, we can exchange twice on ...
 
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The story shop

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May-18-14
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.

May-18-14  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.

*****

May-18-14
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 :)

Jul-22-14
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!

Jul-22-14  hms123: <Once> It is still your birthday here in the USA. Happy Birthday!
Jul-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Thanks!
Aug-08-14  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?

Aug-08-14
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.

Aug-09-14  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

Aug-09-14
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 chessgames.com 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.

Aug-12-14  sevenseaman: Hello <Once>. Liked your powerful, well-worded (no wastages)comment in the POTD today.
Aug-12-14
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.

Aug-12-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <sevenseaman> Good to hear from you again! How have you been?
Aug-12-14
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.
Sep-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Announcement!>

I'm making my first book "Love, Death and Tea" free on Kindle for the next five days - 17 September to 21 September 2014.

There is no chess in it - sorry! - but a lot of my trademark off the wall humour.

And it's free. Did I mention that?

Follow the link above for Love, Death and Tea.

Sep-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Or get it from here:

UK:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Death-...

US:
http://www.amazon.com/Love-Death-Te...

Sep-21-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: It's the last day of my free promotion for Love, Death and Tea.

So far I have had 240 downloads of the book, which I think is pretty good.

Sep-21-14  Shams: <Once><[L]ast day of my free promotion for Love, Death and Tea.>

I tried to get in on that action! Alas, UK only. 1776 was a long time ago; can we put an end to the spite at last??

Sep-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Shams> Sorry!

It was available for free all round the world - but Amazon have this funny thing about only letting you buy it from your own regional version of their website. So people in the States have to use Amazon.com, the UK has to use Amazon.co.uk and so on.

If you had clicked on the second of the links it should have taken you to the .com website where it was free. I had more than 100 downloads from the former colonies, so it should have worked.

But the link I gave in my profile was for amazon.co.uk only. So, my bad. I'll change the link.

You can buy it from Amazon.com, but I'm afraid the free promotion period is over. You're only allowed one five day free period in every three months.

I am thinking of dropping the price to 99 cents in a couple of weeks time when I bring out my third book.

Oct-04-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I have two new books out! Details in my profile.
Dec-19-14  alexrawlings: Hi <Once>, just wanted to let you know I really liked your comment on the POTD today. I love how you draw out the salient points using minimal and concise chess move annotations, and your use of diagrams.
Dec-19-14  alexrawlings: Also, I bought your puzzle book on amazon a while back and I love it! As on the website I generally can't get puzzles harder than a Friday difficulty level (maybe 1 in 3 I'll find the right initial move) but love your little stories.

I've recently (5 days ago) had a little girl (my first child!) and I hope I will one day impart my love of the game to her. I will most probably use your book at some point to see if I can stoke the fire in her!

Cheers,
Alex

Dec-25-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Alex

Happy Christmas.

Congratulations on your new arrival! It's a wonderful experience to watch them grow. My boy is now 14 - leaving childhood behind and becoming a man. Those have been 14 magical years. I would not have swapped them for the world.

One thing I have found is that it is very hard to predict how they will develop. My boy knows how to play chess but he has no interest in the game. I tried a few times to interest him but it didn't stick. Science and computers are his thing.

I'm about to start a second chess book which might be more relevant for your girl. I'm aiming it at new players who know the moves but want to win more often. It will also have stories and jokes - a mixture of my serious posts (with diagrams) and my digressions.

I'll send you a copy when it's written.

Dec-25-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: <Once> Merry Christmas!
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