This image is used under Creative Commons terms and sourced from Remo Cassella's Flickr photostream

Travail Pursuit #58: Disturbing the peace

Today I bring you part two of my four part series on the 9.Nf4 variation of the French Tarrasch, Closed Variation. In the first part published in June I looked at early deviations ... Continue Reading →
This image is used under Creative Commons terms and sourced from Thomas Hawk's Flickr photostream

Travail Pursuit #57: Lighting the fuse

Today I’m starting what will be a series of four posts on the variation any regular readers of this series will be pretty familiar with. It’s the so-called ‘closed’ line ... Continue Reading →

Travail Pursuit #56: Open wounds are painful

‘Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan’ – John F. Kennedy Just over twelve months ago I started this series of posts by saying that the reason I wanted to write ... Continue Reading →
If Muhammad Ali was a chess player what openings would he play? I'm suggesting he'd be a hypermodernist and would certainly have Alekhine's Defence in his repertoire. It would suit his rope-a-dope style.

Travail Pursuit #55: Fighting the rope-a-dope

Today I offer readers a very rare bird in my collection. A game featuring a positional exchange sacrifice for a long term strategic advantage rather than an immediate tactical benefit ... Continue Reading →
In military terms the nuclear bomb is about as 'shock and awe' as it gets. Would it be too much to suggest that the Traxler variation of the Two Knights Defence is the nuclear bomb of the chess board? This image is used under Creative Commons terms and sourced from Pierre J's Flickr photo stream.

Travail Pursuit #54: Shock and awe

Having recently covered a couple of games that I’ve played in the last twelve months today it’s time to delve back a little bit further into my archive as this game was played ... Continue Reading →
Tooley vs. Shapland. Black has just played Qf7 and White must now chose whether to exchange queens, take the gambit pawn on b7, or do something else. What would you do?

Travail Pursuit #53: What result are you playing for?

I mentioned in a recent post that I had something of a purple patch towards the end of the season this time last year. As a result I have a number of interesting games in my file that ... Continue Reading →
Shapland vs.Heron

Travail Pursuit #52: Brain buster

Here’s a game I played on March the 17th all the way back in 1998 when I was living up in Edinburgh. It’s one of the first games I ever played on the White side of the French Tarrasch ... Continue Reading →
white knight

Travail Pursuit #51: Arise Sir Knight!

We’re getting into the final six weeks or so of the twelve month series I planned at the outset of this project and as I look ahead I realise that I have a number of ‘young’ ... Continue Reading →
Today is the 50th Travail Pursuit post in this series. You bored yet?

Travail Pursuit #50: Adding the flourish

‘The game is about glory, it is about doing things in style and with a flourish, about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom’ – Danny Blanchflower, ... Continue Reading →
Whether they are sound or not, the humble exchange sacrifice is one of the most straightforward ways of bringing imbalance into a chess game. This image is used under Creative Commons terms and sourced from Jeremy Brook's Flickr photo stream.

Travail Pursuit #49: Exchange rate

Today’s games both feature a surprisingly prominent tactic in the games I’ve posted in this column: the exchange sacrifice. I suppose this isn’t exactly an earth shattering revelation ... Continue Reading →