How to play chess

I came across an instruction slip that must have come from a chess game I had at school.  I thought it might help someone learn how to become a great player, so I’m posting it here.  (Please note, if you look carefully, you might find a couple of typos.  They are not mine; I wanted to reproduce these instructions in all the glory of the original.)


Loc are drawn to estaohsh who has the while chessmen and thus, who can move first.  This player is then allowed the 16 black chess pieces.  The board is positioned so that each player has a dark corner square on his left.  The rooks are positioned on the two corner square to the left and right.  Next to these come the two corner square to the left and right.  Next to these come the two knights.  One on the left and one on the right.  Next to these, the two bis hops and in the center.  The queen and king, the white queen is always positioned on a light square and black queen on a dark square.  The eight pawns are then placed adjacently in the second row in frond of these chess’ pieces.  The pawns are then placed adjacently in the vance from its initial quare on the second rank, the pawnhas the option of moving one or Two-squa res.  The rook moves only on the ranks and files any distance and the bishop only on the diagonals.  The queen can move in any direction The knights are the only pieces which are able to change direction during the course of a move and “jump over” one’s own or one’s opponent’s pieces; a knight takes one step of one single square along the file or rank and then, still moving many from the square that it has left, takes one step along the diagonal.  The king may move in any direction, one step at a time.   Continue reading How to play chess

For openers….

How often is a novice chess player honored by having his analysis of an ongoing game published? As often as he likes … if he has a weblog….

The following are the opening moves of a game I’ve just started with an old college buddy who lives a long way away. We’re playing over email, allowing “infinite” time to play each move, and we’re allowed to consult computer chess programs to avoid blunders and generate some ideas. The game is not meant to be a masterpiece of strategy and tactics. The regular email moves are a conduit for us to pass along news and happenings to each other. It is a way for us to keep in touch.

Still, for anyone who might be interested, I submit the following analysis. By the way, should you come up with a great idea, that’s what the “comments” section is for. You should do the same for Bill. Oh yeah, that’s right. Bill doesn’t have a weblog. Too bad….

Todd Bill
1. e4 Nf6

Alekhine’s Defence. Not an opening I’m very comfortable with. Let’s see how it develops.

2. e5 Nd5
3. d4 d6
4. c4 Nb6
5. Nf3

Continue reading For openers….

Online play

When I was a young’un teaching myself the game of chess, I remember coming across a chess dictionary that mentioned something called postal or correspondence chess.  (Trivia:  the first postal chess match was played in 1824.)  What struck me about postal chess was that you could play with anyone, no matter how far away they lived.

This was before the Internet had entered my consciousness.  Since then, I’ve used the ‘net as a conduit to play turn-based games that lasted from half a year (Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri) to real time games that have lasted, well, nearly five years and counting (EverQuest).  The games I’ve chosen are themselves fun, but interacting with old college friends and relatives who live far away is the real excitement.

Now, it seems to me I’ve gone full circle.  Am I playing the latest, greatest new multiplayer game out there?  No, I’ve just started playing chess by email with my grad school chum.  Wish me luck!

T. S. Eliot. “Humor is also a way of saying something serious.” [Quotes of the Day]