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Archive for the ‘Chess’ Category

Here’s How to Play Chess by Mail, and What Movies to Watch to Get Your Game Going – Willamette Week

Posted: November 22, 2020 at 7:56 am

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A longtime tradition in my family is fully underway: chess by mail.

There's a chessboard on our dining room table. It's been there for months. This board mimics the one that's on the coffee table at my parent's house. These two separate chessboards are the same game, connected through mail.

It all started when my dad was telling stories of how his dad would play multiple games of chess this way. Recently, my wife and dad started a chess game via snail mail. My family really gets into picking the right postcard for the upcoming chess move. You jot your note, add your chess move like, "b8 to a6," slap a stamp on it, raise the flag on your mailbox, and wait for your opponent's return move to arrive in your mailbox. It's a fun way of keeping in touch while supporting our postal service.

1. Contact someone you want to start a chess game with.

2. Make sure you both have chessboards and all the pieces.

3. Study up on chess if need be and learn all the move notations. There's plenty of how-to's online to get you going.

4. Get some postcards and stamps. We love getting antique postcards from thrift shops.

Chess Viewing to Get You Going

The Queen's Gambit (streaming now on Netflix) Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993) Magnus (2016) Brooklyn Castle (2012) Queen of Katwe (2016)

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Here's How to Play Chess by Mail, and What Movies to Watch to Get Your Game Going - Willamette Week

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November 22nd, 2020 at 7:56 am

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So Defeats Duda With Incredible 3|1 Performance In Speed Chess –

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GM Wesley So defeated GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda in a Speed Chess Championship match that was tight in the beginning and tight in the end, but it was a tour de force by So in the middle. With the exception of World Champion Magnus Carlsen and GM Hikaru Nakamura, So is the most accomplished player in Speed Chess Championship history, and with this victory, he has advanced to the semifinals where he will face the winner of the match between Nakamura and GM Vladimir Fedoseev.

How to watch?The games of the Speed Chess Championship Main Event are played on the live server. They are also available on our platform for watching live games at and on our apps under "Watch." Expert commentary can be enjoyed at

So and Duda had played one previous Speed Chess Championship match in 2018, and So won convincingly, 20-7. Two years later, Duda is a considerably more accomplished player and no longer a junior. Would his performance against the reigning U.S. champion be superior this time around?

In general, yes, Duda performed much better. The final score of 16-10 was certainly closer, and Duda even leaped out to an early lead of 2.5-0.5. He ultimately drew the 5|1 time control (4-4) and won the 1|1 time control 5-4, but in the 3|1 time control, So was simply untouchable. He won 7 games and drew only two for a point total of 8-1. After the match, commentator GM Robert Hess said that So was "the best player in the entire world in the 3|1 time control." Given that So has defeated both Carlsen and Nakamura in this time control, Hess has good supporting evidence for this bold claim.

The high-water mark in the match for Duda came after games two and three when Duda first won an excellent game two in a smooth and convincing fashion.

He then defended a dangerous attack in game three with accurate play.

So's first win came in game four when he won an instructive endgame thanks to his dominant knight. So has consistently shown himself to be one of the most accurate and unperturbable blitz chess players in the world. He's incredibly hard to tilt, and if his opponent starts tilting, things can quickly go downhill.

Duda scored the next full point in an opposite-colored bishops endgame where the outside passed pawn on the a-file gave him excellent chances. So then won game seven below in a remarkable time scramble before collecting a full point with a nice attack in game eight to close out the 5|1 time control in a 4-4 tie.

Amazingly, Duda was only able to draw the third and fourth games in the 3|1 time control. So won all other games, and his win in the fifth game was a real blitz chess masterpiece. He sacrificed a piece early and carried the pressure through to the endgame where his rook tied down Duda's forces. When Duda missed the chance to give the piece back and achieve balance in the rook endgame, So pushed his pawns forward on the kingside and Duda's extra knight could only spectate.

As the match advanced to 1|1, Duda was almost mathematically out of contention, but he did start well with a victory. After the two grandmasters exchanged a series of victories, Duda's consecutive wins in games five and six gave him the edge in the time control, and he ultimately won it 5-4. The most insane moment came when Duda hung his queen in the second game, but So missed the opportunity to take it!

In fact, the final game was declared a draw as after time ran out, the server temporarily went offline due to high traffic to play the newly released Beth Harmon bots. As this game did not affect the match outcome, the players agreed to adjudication of the game rather than wait for the match to be restored after a server restart.

All Games

The 2020 Speed Chess Championship Main Event is a knockout tournament among 16 of the best grandmasters in the world who will play for a $100,000 prize fund, double the amount of last year. The tournament will run November 1-December 13, 2020 on Each individual match will feature 90 minutes of 5+1 blitz, 60 minutes of 3+1 blitz, and 30 minutes of 1+1 bullet chess.

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So Defeats Duda With Incredible 3|1 Performance In Speed Chess -

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November 22nd, 2020 at 7:56 am

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The art of chess: a brief history of the World Championship – TheArticle

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Last week Barry Martin, along with Patrick Hughes, one of the worlds top chess playing artists, asked me to identify the most significant happenings in the chess world over the past ten years. Barry and Patrick used to meet in the final of the Chelsea Arts Club Championship and Barry writes an excellent monthly column in Kensington, Westminster and Chelsea Today(KWC). The point of the question was to celebrate ten years ofKWCand ten years of Barrys column, many of which have been gathered together in the anthology,Chess, Problems, Play and Personalities(Filament Publishing).

Of those significant developments, which define the contemporary chess scene, I have already covered the phenomenon of the new Netflix chess-based TV series,Queens Gambit, in last weeks column. The combination of brilliance and beauty, exemplified in the persona of the chess champion heroine, Beth Harmon, has proved irresistible to record-breaking audiences around the world. Sales of chess sets alone, a key indicator of a new-found enthusiasm, have soared by 300 per cent since Beth first appeared on our screens.

A second vital element has been the creation of the AlphaZero chess-playing engine, with its amazing abilities, including an almost vertical learning curve, resulting in the strongest chess-playing entity the world has ever seen. The science has primarily been the work of Demis Hassabis, rewarded with the CBE for his efforts, and a $400 million sale to Google of his company, Deep Mind. The achievements of Demis, and the brilliantly paradoxical strategies and tactics of AlphaZero, were likewise already covered in my column Arise Sir Demis The games were contested against the most powerful available commercial chess programme, called Stockfish itself many times stronger than the IBM Deep Blue programme which defeated Garry Kasparov in 1997.

The 1993 World Title Challenger, the British Grandmaster Nigel Short,described the AlphaZero games as being of such beauty that he felt he was in the presence of God. Demis himself explained that his self-taught programme, which had already mastered the quasi-infinite complexities of the oriental games of Shogi (Japanese Chess) and Go, was the key to understanding intelligence.

This week I turn to the third most decisive development of the past ten years, the meteoric rise and lasting domination of the Norwegian World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen. Carlsen is the culmination of a line of champions which stretches back into the 18th century, yet he is also a uniquely talented representative of the modern era. Magnus has attained the highest ever chess rating ever recorded, outclassing even the mighty Garry Kasparov. Magnus wins virtually every competition which he enters, and has adapted seamlessly to the current coronavirus crisis, which has obliged chess to migrate online to a huge extent. Magnus has prudently avoided the damage to his reputation occasioned by suffering defeats against chess computers, a fate which overtook both Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik.Finally, Magnus has leveraged all the opportunities afforded by his title of World Chess Champion, adapting perfectly to the modern environment, even to the extent of floating his online chess company, Play Magnus, for $85 million dollars, while simultaneously earning a fortune as a trendy ambassador for the fashion line G-Star Raw, often appearing alongside Hollywood superstar, Liv Tyler.

The title of World Chess Champion dates to no later than 1886, when Wilhelm Steinitz defeated Johannes Zukertort in a gladiatorial contest, specifically designed to resolve the question of who was the strongest player in the world after Paul Morphys death in 1884, though Steinitz had claimed that status since 1866. Less clear is whether the great predecessors of Steinitz also merited that proud title. Part of the difficulty of authentication is lack of evidence of important contests and gaps in the record.

The story begins in the 18th century, when the French chess expertFranois-Andr Danican Philidorwon an important match in 1747 against the erudite Philip Stamma, translator of oriental languages to the court of King George II. Sadly, none of those games has survived. Following Philidor, who died in 1795, there comes a hiatus, until the brief flourishing of La Bourdonnais during the 1830s. After this, there is a further gap in the record until the 1840s, when French heir to the Philidor tradition, Saint-Amant, was overthrown in Paris, the epicentre of European chess life at that time, by the English champion Howard Staunton.

Fortunately, from Staunton onwards, there is a relatively unbroken line of succession, with each champion being dethroned by the next in line. The exceptions are the trinity of Morphy, Fischer (who simply downed tools), and Alekhine who died in office, thus permanently preserving their hallowed nimbus of invincibility.

Also worthy of mention are various champions who have won the FID title (FID is the International Chess Federation, the governing body of chess competitions), without gaining universal recognition from the global chess community. These include Max Euwe, Efim Bogolyubov, Vesselin Topalov and Viswanathan Anand. A common outcome is that such FID champions have gone on to contest matches against the universally recognised laureate, and in two such cases (Euwe and Anand) have emerged victorious to become undisputed champions themselves.

The most recent world championship match, staged in London 2018, was run entirely under the auspices of FID, the authority of which is now universally accepted under the reliable new Presidency of Russian Arkady Dvorkovich, and his English Vice President, Nigel Short.

The first great player who could be considered a World Champion was Philidor, whodominatedthe chess scene of his day. The term World Champion was not used when describing him, with commentators preferring to employ such metaphors as wielding the sceptre. There is also the problem that very few of Philidors games on level terms have survived, his reputation largely being constructed on his blindfold simultaneous displays, which so electrified London chess enthusiasts. Philidor was able to conduct three games blindfold at once, a feat that led to a letter of admonishment from the French encyclopaedist, Denis Diderot, warning Philidor that such exploits might lead to brain damage.

It is interesting to note that Philidor was the first great apostle of pawn power in chess. According to Philidor, pawns determined the structure of the game, they were in fact the soul of chess not mere cannon fodder, whose sole task was to make way for the power of the pieces. In this respect his chess teachings paralleled the rise of the masses embodied in the French Revolution of 1789.

France was the dominant chess nation at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, and the next player after Philidorwho couldbe considered an early world champion was the 19th-century French master Louis-Charles Mah de La Bourdonnais. La Bourdonnais claim to fame rests primarily on his mammoth series of matches against Alexander McDonnell, contested in London in 1834. This represented the finest corpus of games ever created up to that time and numerous generations of chess devotees learned their basic chess strategies and tactics from these ingenious and well contested battles. Both protagonists appear to have become mentally exhausted by their efforts and died shortly after their epic series.

In the panoply of proto-champions, Howard Staunton, the Victorian polymath, Shakespearean scholar, and assiduous chronicler of the English schools system, is the only English player who could legitimately be considered as world champion. In a series of matches between 1843 and 1846, Staunton defeated the French master Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant, followed closely by victories against the German master Bernhard Horwitz and Daniel Harrwitz, originally from Poland. Stauntons match against Saint-Amant was the first contest at the highest level that closely resembled the template for modern World Championship competitions. The chess pieces in regular use for important competitions, including the2018 Londoncontest between Carlsen and his challenger, Fabiano Caruana, are named the Staunton pattern, after Howard Staunton.

The German master Adolf Anderssen seized the sceptre from Howard Staunton when he decisively defeated the English champion in the very first international tournament in London 1851. Anderssen was one of that select group, which includes Mikhail Botvinnik and Viswanathan Anand, who initially assumed the accolade of supreme chess master from a tournament rather than a match. The London event was in fact put together by Staunton, who thereby created a perfect pretext for losing out to Anderssen in their knockout match, it being notoriously difficult to compete in an event, whilst simultaneously organising it.

Anderssen can claim to be one of the supreme tacticians of all time. Three of his wins are of imperishable beauty. On their own they would justify anyones devotion to chess. They are his Immortal Game against Kieseritsky (played at Simpsons-in-the-Strand, not the tournament) of London, 1851; his Evergreen game against the pseudonymous Dufresne (in reality the German player E. S. Freund) of Berlin 1856, and his majestic sacrificial masterpiece against Zukertort of Breslau 1869.

Paul Morphy was the American meteor who took the world by storm over thetwo momentous, whirlwind years of 1857 and 1858. His grand tour of Europe culminated in a match victory against Adolf Anderssen, after which Morphy was universally acknowledged as the worlds greatest player. Thereafter Morphy issued a challenge to anyone in the world to take him on at odds (Morphy starting the game with a pawn handicap) but no one accepted. At this point the meteor had burnt itself out and Morphy, tragically, retired from chess, a curious forerunner of Bobby Fischers behaviour following his famous 1972 World Championship victory against Boris Spassky.

Morphy understood the principles of chess better than anyone who came before him. Anderssens tactical brilliance sprang like Athene from the head of Zeus, without necessarily having grown from regular organic pre-conditions. Morphy, on the other hand, constructed his positions along sound strategic and positional lines, before unleashing his devastating arsenal of tactical weaponry.On Morphys retirement, Anderssen resumed the position of world leadership which had belonged so fleetingly to the first great genius of American chess. Anderssen lost a match in 1866 toWilhelm Steinitz, the first player who could definitively be describedas an official World Champion. The previous wielders of the sceptre, Philidor, La Bourdonnais, Staunton, Anderssen and Morphy, were all, at the time, acknowledged as the leading chess practitioner of their day, but it is less clear that the title world champion had been universally accepted. Steinitz, on the other hand, insisted on this description and he himself dated his tenure from his 1866 match victory, also in London, against Anderssen. Steinitzs pre-eminence wasconfirmed 20 years later when he demolished Johannes Zukertort in their 1886 match in the US, which was specifically described as a World Championship contest.

Thus far I have described the early years of the World Championship and now I return to Magnus Carlsens defence of his title, which he has held since 2013. The 2018 Championship match in London was fought out between the Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, the highest ever rated chess grandmaster, and the previously unexpected challenger, Fabiano Caruana, who had been considered somewhat vulnerable and fragile.

Caruana originated from Italy but became an American citizen. With energy and vigour, he decimated his rivals amongthe top ten Grandmasters. In order toqualify,the winner had to exhibit strength, agility, power, alertness, incredible persistence, stamina, and the power of the will to win.From this shark pool, Fabiano became the number one contender, and number two ranked player in the world. Throughout all the complications of selecting the challenger to the World Chess Champion, the pairing was ideal: a battle between the two best in the world fighting for the world title.

The implication is thatchess at this exalted level is a sport, both mentalandphysical an appropriately termed Mind Sport. As the Championship was in process a wonderful flash of confirmatory news emerged from the media: Magnus Carlsen was nominated, in Norway, to win the Sports Personality of the Year. This Championship had emerged as a realBattle of the Titans. Magnus had now won four world title bouts, twice versus Anand and once each against Karjakin and Caruana. The latter two ended with the tie-breaks, at which Magnus excels. On this occasion, Magnus praised Fabiano, as being his most difficult opponent of the three.

Magnus has secured his tenure as World Champion until at least 2021. He will then have held the title for 8 years thus moves into an equal category of championship longevity with such greats as Capablanca, Petrosian, Kramnik and Anand, ahead of Euwe, Smyslov, Tal, Spassky and Fischer. Only Steinitz, Lasker, Alekhine, Botvinnik, Karpov and Kasparov held the title for significantly longer periods. In the modern world, where everything has speeded up, can Carlsen go on to outperform all these titans?

If his ambition had seemed to wane during the classical phase of the London contest, it certainly flared up, as Carlsens predator instincts flashed on for the tiebreak.Like the Terminator, Magnus would be back.In every boxing match and in every tennis set, each minute encapsulates a real battle. Every move in chess is the same. The draws were magnificent mini-battles in every one of the often 65+ moves over the duration of as much as six hours of non-stop sport. And then it came down to speed.Only in the speed play-off did Carlsen finally overcome the onslaught of Caruana, with the World Champion taking the accelerated shoot out by three wins to zero.

I have tried to distil the quintessential elements of Magnus success. Remember that, in Latin Magnus was a title meaning Great, as in Alexander Magnus (Alexander the Great), or Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great), Julius Caesars senatorial rival, as noted in ShakespearesJulius Caesar, Act I, Scene One:

You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!

O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome.

Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft

Have you climbd up to walks and battlements,

To towrs and windows, yea, to chimney tops,

Your infants in your arms, and there have sat

The live long day, with patient expectation.

To see Great Pompey pass the streets of Rome.

I have reduced the formula to seven memorable M principles for Magnus:








And this weeks game exemplifies these key ingredients of a Magnus triumph. The game was the decisive win which clinched Magnus World Title defence against the former World Champion, The Tiger of Madras: Viswanathan Anand.

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The art of chess: a brief history of the World Championship - TheArticle

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November 22nd, 2020 at 7:56 am

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Humpys Gambit: How Koneru disturbed the male-dominated status quo in chess – The Indian Express

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Written by Shashank Nair | New Delhi | Updated: November 22, 2020 1:30:25 pm Koneru Humpy started her chess journey at the age of six. (File)

Koneru Humpy has yet to watch The Queens Gambit. She has been receiving numerous phone calls about the Netflix mini-series but has not got around to having a look at the show that has put forth questions on womens chess and the treatment meted out to it over the years. But despite not having watched the series, Humpy is all too familiar with its premise a young woman participating in a male-dominated arena, starting to change the power dynamics by winning, and the change in equations not taken too kindly.

The girl from Andhra Pradesh started her chess journey at the age of six and when she became the youngest woman Grandmaster in the world (at that time) at the age of 15, she was marked for greatness. But by winning open tournaments and becoming a force in chess, Humpy also disturbed the status quo which resulted in several insinuations on her credentials.

At 15, I became a GM but until then, the concept of gender barriers didnt really occur to me. I became a GM on the European circuit. In those days, we had very few international tournaments in India. To get exposure, my father took me on a trip to Europe for a few months and I would be playing continuously over there. I won a title and came back to India, Humpy told The Indian Express as she recounted the beginning of a turbulent phase in her career.

It was only when she started winning that the critics came out of the woodwork, and what they had to say was not very charitable. At that time, even though I was a GM, I wasnt performing in a stable manner. Its quite normal at that age to have highs and lows. Some of my peers started criticising me by saying that I didnt have the standard of a GM because I hadnt proven myself in India and that I had played in weaker tournaments in Europe to become a GM, said Humpy.

Comparisons with Judit Polgar seemed to always find their way into conversations and the womens chess circuit, which has historically been seen as inferior to the mens game, hoped that Humpy would bridge the gap between the two worlds. She could cope with the pressure of those expectations. But she wasnt prepared for the attack on her credentials.

This was a period when I was really mentally disturbed. Being a sportsperson, handling a win or a loss at a tournament was quite normal from childhood. But this kind of criticism was very new to me. It was a tough phase. I was down in many tournaments and suffered for six months to a year. It was then that my father and I came to the conclusion that I needed to play in Indian circuit tournaments, Humpy said, explaining her decision to take part in the National B in 2013 even though she could be a part of the National A in an attempt to quell any doubts about her deserving the GM status.

This then led to further grumbling. If she participated in the A category, she was deemed to be not good enough and her GM rating was said to have been awarded through some sleight of hand. If she participated in the National B set-up, it was decried as her taking an easy way out. There was no winning this battle of perception, but when Humpy finished second in the National B set-up, by her own admission, she felt like that quashed any doubts over her qualifications.

Humpys chess journey is replete with tales of men intentionally, or unintentionally, providing a platform for disrespect. Some of the stories range from outrightly wanting to defeat her (Even though there were some weaker players than me comparatively, being a woman, they tried harder to beat me) to unintentionally disrespecting her (Once I played an international tournament and had a disastrous performance in the event. Afterwards, I got a best womens prize). But despite the lack of respect, if there is one opinion of hers that has shock value, its her belief that men simply are better than women at chess.

ELO ratings seem to suggest the same especially when comparing the top male player in the world (Magnus Carlsen: 2862) and the top female player (Hou Yifan: 2658). Psychological journals and ex-players have attributed it to many factors, chief among them being the difference in mindset between men and women.


According to FIDE, theres an 84-16 ratio of male to female registered chess players. In total, there are 1,683 GMs who are men and 37 who are women.

The highest ELO rating ever achieved by a woman is 2735 by Polgar herself. She was, at one point, the eighth-best chess player in the world.

In 2002, Koneru Humpy became the youngest woman GM at the age of 15 years, one month and 27 days. Current womens world No. 1 Hou Yifan broke that record in 2008.


When asked what she felt was the difference between how the two genders play the sport, the reigning womens world rapid champion offered an interesting take. I have seen male players display a wider repertoire of moves. They shift between openings quite often and are quite aggressive in their style of play. When it comes to women, there are many top players who have limited opening moves, but the preparation behind those moves is deeper. A game between a woman and a woman is very different to a game between a man and a woman because psychologically men intend to try to make a point in that match. So, the game tends to become wilder.

For an across-the-board raise in ELO ratings for women, the 33-year-old believes that chess tournaments exclusively for women must cease to be a regular fixture because separate tournaments for both genders make it difficult for women to cope with the mens circuit. There should only be open tournaments so that women have to play with men and improve their game.

But Humpy acknowledges the problem such a system will bring, as an already skewered monetary gap might become even wider. The prize money for men is quite higher. Its tournaments like the World Championship and Candidates that help women professionals survive financially. Once they take off these tournaments, professionally itll be very difficult to survive with the mens circuit only. I think it makes sense for them to keep a special financial prize for women even in open tournaments.

Even before the Queens Gambit was made, plenty of pioneers in the world of chess have spoken out about why women arent at the top of the game, none more so than Judit Polgar, considered the greatest woman player of all time. In an interview with The Guardian last year, the Hungarian spoke on a wide variety of issues related to chess and women.

Polgar on needing to compete against men: Playing only among women would not have helped my development, as since I was 13, I was the clear number one among them. I needed to compete with the other leading (male) Grandmasters of my time.

Polgar on why coaching women needs a fresh perspective: Girls in chess are not treated the same way as boys. Coaches and officials are guided by potential successes in girls competitions, which are comparatively easier to achieve. Parents tend to follow what the experts advise.

Polgar on Nigel Shorts comments on womens chess inferiority: Shorts conclusion does not stand up to scrutiny, and the burden of proof is with him. Even if women do think and compete differently, we can attain the same achievements as men: be it in science, art or chess.

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November 22nd, 2020 at 7:56 am

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Cardinals QB Kyler Murray might be the best chess player in the NFL – Sporting News

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(Getty Images)

Playing quarterback is a lot like playing chess reading the whole field (board), knowing the capabilities of each player (piece), and seeing multiple moves into the future. It just so happens that Kyler Murray is good at both playing quarterback and playing chess.

The Cardinals' second-year quarterback picked up chess in the fourth grade, according to ESPN. It's a hobby hestill plays does now, mostly via an app on his phone. Murray's chess playing has gotten a bit more attention recently thanks to the streaming series, "The Queen's Gambit," which prompted the Week 10 CBS broadcast to put together a segment called "Kyler's Gambit" where he was pictured moving around on a chess board.

It's not just a recent hobby for Murray, though. He joined the chess club at Degan Elementary School in Lewisville, Texas. It took place from 3-3:45 p.m. on Thursdays in the school's library, according to ESPN, and Murray quickly became one of the best players among the 110 club members.

"I took pride in it, for sure, just because I take pride in everything I do," Murray told ESPN in 2019. "Most athletes probably aren't going to be that good at chess, so we were coming in, beating the guys that you would call I don't call them nerds, but the guys that are supposed to be smarter than us. So it was kind of funny to see us go to the chess club and run it."

MORE: How good was Kyler Murray at baseball?

Murray finished his elementary school career as the Degan Elementary chess champion, with his final game of chess as an elementary student a win in the club's single-elimination tournament. More than a decade later, Murray still plays games, most often on his phone these days in the appChess With Friends.

He told ESPN that his username isn't exactly disguised, although he declined to reveal it. That means someone could pick up Chess With Friends and potentially play against Murray. He'd probably win, though.

Murray almost always goes with the same move, per ESPN: Moving the pawn in front of his king two spaces. From there, it's just all about seeing into the future.

"I think just because of how I was born with the feel of just how to see things before they happen, I guess," Murray told ESPN, "which applies to a lot of things."

MORE: Kyler Murray's incredible high-school football stats

Before the 2020 season, Murray continued his chess-playing with a physical board between him and his future Hall of Fame receiver, Larry Fitzgerald.

Soon after Murray sent out another tweet which read: "1-0 fellas." Because of course he'd won. The top-10 MLB and NFL Draft selection probably would be good at anything he tried, and his long-time chess play is proof of that.

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Cardinals QB Kyler Murray might be the best chess player in the NFL - Sporting News

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November 22nd, 2020 at 7:56 am

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The Queen’s Gambit On Netflix – All The Info –

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Chess Mistakes

Even though the chess in "The Queen's Gambit" was done extremely well, the keenest eyes have found a few mistakes.

"The Queen's Gambit" mentions many, many chess terms. Here is a glossary of most of these chess terms:

Although Beth Harmon and the characters in "The Queen's Gambit" are fictional, there are many references to famous chess players. Here are some of the players mentioned in the show:






Nona Gaprindashvili became the Women's World Champion at the age of 20 and held the title for 16 years (from 1962-1978). She was the first woman to be awarded the grandmaster title in history. She is widely accepted as one of the strongest female chess players of all time.

There are many other famous chess players highlighted in "The Queen's Gambit" including

It is not only chess terms and players that are highlighted in the series

The Queen's Gambit is the opening that is most referenced in the show, and the opening that the miniseries gets its name from. The opening is an excellent metaphor for Beth's lifesacrifices and hardships lead her to the top. The show displays both the Queen's Gambit Accepted and the Queen's Gambit Declined.

After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 the starting position for the Queen's Gambit is reached:

Black accepts the gambit by capturing the c4-pawn with 2... dxc4, and can decline it by playing 2... e6. Here is a short

The Sicilian Defense is another heavily featured opening. Mr. Shaibel, the janitor, was the first to introduce this opening to Beth in the first episode. It is an aggressive opening that Beth adds to her opening repertoire immediately, and is still the most popular choice to meet 1.e4 today.

The Sicilian Defense is reached after the moves 1.e4 c5:

Although there are many variations of the Sicilian Defense in the show (Sicilian dragon, Levenfish attack, Rossolimo attack, Scheveningen, and more) the Najdorf variation is mentioned and displayed the most. Benny Watts plays the Najdorf against Beth in their first meeting and Beth plays it herself. It is a very difficult opening line to master because of its many subvariations and advanced themesa challenge that does not intimidate the eight-year-old Beth.

The Najdorf variation of the Sicilian Defense is reached after the moves 1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6:

Here is a short

The Caro-Kann Defense is another mainstream opening that appears in the miniseries. Beth's friend and opponent in the final round of the 1963 Kentucky State Championship, Harry Beltik, plays this defense against her, and Benny Watts is talking about this opening with a small crowd when Beth first meets him. Unlike the Sicilian Defense, the Caro-Kann is not aggressive and has a very solid reputation. It is reached after the moves 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5:

Here is a short

This hypermodern opening for White was played by Beth against Mr. Ganz, Duncan High School's chess coach. Unlike the popular openings 1. e4 and 1. d4, the Reti opening does not begin the game with a pawn move. Instead, it develops a knight to control the center and begins with 1. Nf3:

You can learn more about the Reti opening

Shirley Munson, one of Mr. Ganz's students and treasurer of the chess club, asks Beth if she plays the King's Gambit. This dialogue occurs when both girls are on their way to Beth's simul in Duncan High School's chess club. The King's Gambit is a romantic attacking opening and was one of the most popular openings of the 19th century, though it has fallen out of favor in more recent times. It begins with moves 1. e4 e5 2.f4:

Here is an

Beth mentions that she played "the Marshall" when talking to her mother while playing in the US Open. She is referring to the Marshall Attack, an aggressive and advanced variation for Black in the very popular Ruy Lopez opening. After the moves 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 the Ruy Lopez' starting position is reached:

The Marshall Attack occurs after the moves 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. 0-0 Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 0-0 8. c3 d5:

This advanced line is covered in great detail in a

Do you need a refresher on what happened in each episode? Then read these episode summaries for each episode below:

Elizabeth "Beth" Harmon goes to an orphanage after her mother dies when she is only eight-years-old. She soon develops an obsession with chess after seeing the janitor, Mr. Shaibel, playing it in the basement. She also becomes addicted to tranquilizers that the staff gives to all of the orphans.

Teenage Beth gets adopted and moves to a house in the suburbs. As she struggles to adapt to her new life, she devises a plan to enter a chess tournament.

Beth goes to Cincinnati to play in a tournament and her performance puts her in the limelight. Many tournaments and media appearances later, Beth sets her eyes on the US Open.

Beth takes Russian classes and widens her social circle. She goes to Mexico City to play in an invitational tournament where she faces Grandmaster Borgov for the first time. Beth's mother comes along to meet an old friend.

Beth is back in Kentucky and reconnects with an old opponent who offers to help her prepare for the US Championship.

After training with Benny Watts in New York, Beth goes to a tournament in Paris where she will face Borgov again. However, a crazy night sends Beth on a self-destructive streak.

Beth gets reunited with an old friend and comes to terms with her past and priorities. She goes to Russia to play the biggest match of her life.

We hope you enjoyed this article and the miniseries. Keep an eye on this article, as we will be expanding on it as more content is created! Let us know your favorite part of the show in the comments below.

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The Queen's Gambit On Netflix - All The Info -

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November 22nd, 2020 at 7:56 am

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Washington state team crowned national chess champions –

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The Washington State Chess Team won the first State Chess Cup after competing against 30 teams over the past few months - and all of it was done virtually.

REDMOND, Wash. Did you know Washington state is home to the newest national champions? The chess champions, that is -- checkmate!

The Washington State Chess Team has officially won the first State Chess Cup. They competed against 30 teams over the past few months and earned the championship cup after knocking out Team Michigan in the finals.

"This is a big deal because Washington is just not on the national map for chess," said Team Captain Jacob Mayer.

The competition was organized to be virtual because of the coronavirus pandemic and organizers said that boosted the number of participants because there was no travel barrier.

The chess matches all took place online and players had to also connect on Zoom to provide an alternate view to avoid cheating.

Spectators watched online and Seattle Twitch host Tim Moroney streamed all four games in each round to provide commentary and strategy analysis.

Team Washington state is comprised of a up to eight people with four competing as a roster team.

The championship team featured Kyle Haining, Derek Zhang, Rushaan Mahajan and Advaith Vijayakumar.

The competitors admitted that chess is experiencing a boom thanks to the popularity of the Netflix series Queens Gambit.

Mayer said timing is everything and chess is growing by the day.

"The whole quarantine situation has also given people more time to stay home and take up a new hobby and chess is perfect for that," said Mayer.

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Washington state team crowned national chess champions -

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November 22nd, 2020 at 7:56 am

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On Chess: Mizzou’s Chess Team Proves Capable Of Winning Even In A Virtual Space – St. Louis Public Radio

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A collegiate chess competition isnt a typical excuse for a college student to pull an all-nighter.

However, for one student on the University of Missouri chess team, competing at the recent 2020 U.S. Online Collegiate Rapid and Blitz Championship, his last round didnt finish until around 4 a.m. local time in India. As the global coronavirus pandemic has caused life adjustments for many people around the globe, Mizzous chess team has also adjusted to competing in virtual chess tournaments while five team members are at Mizzou and the others are overseas in their home countries.

Mizzous coach, Cristian Chirila, a Romanian grandmaster, said accommodating all of the different time zones for his players was not a huge undertaking because the team had already hosted many meetings and practices online.

Weve been able to continue practicing normally, more or less, Chirila said. Were lucky as chess players, in that regard.

An unprecedented season

Grigory Oparin, the captain of the Mizzou chess team, is earning a graduate degree in Spanish while regularly participating in online chess competitions. The continuous journey of improvement inspires Oparin to keep playing, even during a pandemic that has changed the way the sport looks. Playing chess online, using online platforms and video conference apps has its added challenges fatigue from focusing intensely on a computer screen, potential internet connection issues and even the necessity to make quick moves on the virtual chessboard with a computer mouse.

Playing chess online is just a completely different experience than playing over the board, Oparin said. When youre playing over the board, you see your opponents emotions and the way hes handling the pressure. You cant do that when youre playing online, just staring at your screen, moving some virtual pieces.

However, playing online has not been a barrier to the teams success.

Grigory Oparin competes next to teammate Chris Repka during the 2020 U.S. Online Collegiate Rapid and Blitz Championship.

At the virtual 2020 U.S. Online Collegiate Rapid and Blitz Championships, the team placed fourth overall out of 25 teams for the rapid championship and earned a bronze award for the blitz championship. In addition, Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova and Olga Badelka took silver and bronze awards, respectively, in the womens section.

Collegiate chess is becoming increasingly competitive. Some of the teams Mizzou competed against had more than twice as many players as Mizzou did including top-level grandmasters. Oparin, a grandmaster himself, earned a fourth place individual finish in the blitz championship.

Coach Chirila looks forward to the opportunity to physically see all of his team members face-to-face, especially as some of the new players could not travel to Mizzou due to the pandemic.

We all miss touching the chess pieces by hand, Chirila said.

Chirilas ultimate goal for the Mizzou chess team remains to win a national championship, whether over the board or on a computer screen.

Eric Stann is a research news strategist at the University of Missouris News Bureau.

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On Chess: Mizzou's Chess Team Proves Capable Of Winning Even In A Virtual Space - St. Louis Public Radio

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November 22nd, 2020 at 7:56 am

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Outlawing heading would turn football into chess but game has to act to break dementia link – The Times

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Sunday November 22 2020, 12.01am, The Sunday Times

Football is facing the biggest crossroads since it was invented. The evidence is unequivocal heading a ball can lead to brain damage and dementia. Id be a dinosaur to suggest otherwise. If it can be proved that one person has dementia as a result of heading the ball, and it has been, then thats enough for me to accept we must do something to eliminate it.

What that is, I dont know yet, but I do know that it will change the game forever. Football will face a challenge to remain the worlds No 1 sport. The balancing act is to preserve the game we all love as much as possible while ensuring that nobody suffers brain damage playing it.

I have played with

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Outlawing heading would turn football into chess but game has to act to break dementia link - The Times

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November 22nd, 2020 at 7:56 am

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Understanding before Moving 2: How to improve the activity of my pieces – Chessbase News

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11/22/2020 Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In the second part of his new ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving" Herman explains how to find ways to improve the activity of your pieces. | Photo: Hans Hoornstra

ChessBase 16 - Mega package Edition 2021

Your key to fresh ideas, precise analyses and targeted training! Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


Lots of books have been written about strategic thinking in chess. In general, quite abstract theories are sometimes put forward on how a club player can master this essential part of the game of chess. This often turns out to be disappointing in practice.

Strong players often have the right orientation in a certain position quite quickly and then the question is of course how they do that. This episode looks very specifically at how a player can improve the activity of his pieces and possibly disrupt that of the opponent.

To do this, we first look at which side of the board the battle scene is located on. To determine which pieces are already active and which can still be improved, we use colors just to show the difference between the white and the black army. It is not surprising that in this game increasing activity leads to a ruthless attack. Have a look at this diagram for yourself.

At which side of the board do you think both players are looking now? And which pieces of White are already doing something there? Which pieces should preferably be activated even more? And how can White combine his plan of attack with increasing his own activity? In this episode, we look at how the white player manages to bring all his pieces into play to make his attack work at full speed.

This week's show (for Premium Members only)

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Understanding before Moving 2: How to improve the activity of my pieces - Chessbase News

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