Thursday, July 11, 2013

Amazing Online Resource

Yesterday, I tried my hand at opening writing which went pretty well besides putting an apostrophe on the wrong place. I guess like anything else the more one practices, the better one will get, so I'll keep taking a look at openings in the future. One thing I am determined to do is get to grips with the Najdorf. It's an opening that I used to play, and I have tried to play on the white side, though certainly not from a critical perspective. To be honest, I'm not that interested in the Najdorf (or any other opening for that matter) to buy a book on the subject. I prefer to learn openings from playing, and analysing games. I might then use a monograph as a reference once I have some ideas of my own. I've always believed that this method avoids the hype and dogma that opening books invariably contain, and keep me thinking for myself and looking for positions that attract me, rather than positions which are supposed to be theoretically preferred. This is important as a good position and a comfortable position are not the same thing. Some players prefer static advantages, whereas others look for dynamic features in positions.

One person who is putting a lot of work into their chess is Canadian Michael Yip. Yip lives in Budapest and writes his fantastic blog, Budapest Chess News (BCN). If you haven't checked it out yet, then definitely take a look. Yip writes mainly about chess in his native Canada, and his residence of Hungary. But there is so much more than that. He produces a monthly file with heavily analysed games, that can be downloaded from Kevin Spraggett's site. He also has 3 other blogs, all about opening theory which he updates almost daily. These blogs cover 1.e4, 1.d4, and other openings. This tremendous work is absolutely free, and is well worth a look for anyone wanting to start out with some theoretical knowledge. I, for instance, will be using Yip's coverage of the Najdorf as my basis for studying this opening.

So today, I downloaded the July issue of BCN and haven't yet had a good look through it. There are about 120 heavily analysed games in the file that is stored in chessbase format. Take a look at Yip's coverage of the Najdorf between Caruana and Nakamura from the recently concluded Tal Memorial.

This is an amazing dedication to chess and chess writing, which inspires me to do more as well. I doubt that I will be able to put as much into studying the opening of the game as Michael Yip has, but I still intend to do more than I was previously doing. Watch this space!


  1. Hi Carl.
    Thanks for the plug. I added your blog to my BCN blog list(right menu). May I ask what's your elo?

  2. Hi Michael,

    No worries about the plug, you are doing amazing stuff. My strength is around the 2150-2200 level, but certainly opening study has been my achilles heel over the years.

  3. Mine too. Unlimited time is a curse. But now I am more focused...sort of. Problem is everyone gets a copy of my work :)