Speelman's Agony #65

by Jonathan Speelman
11/26/2017 – Trefor relates a heart-felt love for our game, and does Jon a small Caïssaic mitzvah to boot! Fancy Jon taking a look at your games? Send them in! If you appear in the Agony column, not only will you get free detailed commentary of your games by one of chess’s great authors and instructors, and former world no. 4 player, but you also win a free three-month ChessBase Premium Account!

Fritz 16 - He just wants to play! Fritz 16 - He just wants to play!

Fritz 16 is looking forward to playing with you, and you're certain to have a great deal of fun with him too. Tense games and even well-fought victories await you with "Easy play" and "Assisted analysis" modes.


Violently chaotic fun

This week's games are by Trefor Owens, a good club player from Kent who about a year and a half ago initially contacted me about a book. He writes:

I am a 58 year old Granddad of six and try to fit as much chess into my schedule as possible. My current chess diet consists of books, online videos and, best of all, watching live commentary of tournaments and matches. I also play over-the-board when I can, representing Rainham in various Kent leagues. I caught the chess bug as a sporty ten-year-old when my football/rugby career was sidelined by a fracture (which meant a year on crutches), a friend introduced me to the 64 squares and my love of chess was ignited.

I seem to be stuck around my current rating level of 173 ECF (approximately 2000 FIDE) and like most club players have won many games from losing positions and, frustratingly, vice versa. I consider myself to be an attacking, tactical player but also acknowledge that this is just a polite way of admitting that my opening and endgame play is, shall we say, rather dubious.

As I approach retirement my enjoyment of chess is as strong as ever, however these days I appreciate the art and beauty in our game as much as the sporting element. Chess really is an amazing game and one that should be on the national curriculum and despite the frustrations created by my own inadequacies I am still, at heart, that ten-year-old who learnt a new exciting game.

Trefor's original email referred to a volume I had (as it turned out, foolishly) leant years earlier to a well known chess publisher after which it promptly went missing. It was a volume I'd had since childhood and Trefor had been told on a facebook forum that "unless he has since acquired it, Jon Speelman will give a kidney for xxx.” 

As it turned out, an organ transplant was unnecessary as Trefor very kindly exchanged the said volume for a couple of signed books from me and he also mentioned that he might send in some games for this column at some stage. Now he's done so and I'm delighted to feature some of his efforts, which, if not always entirely sound (but that's far from the point) are splendidly chaotic and violent.

We start with some “Agony” before two instances of “Ecstasy”. All notes are mine.


Click or tap the subsequent game in the list above for the "ecstasy"!

Submit your games — no bartering required!

Did you enjoy the column and instructive analysis by GM Jonathan Speelman? Do you wish you could have a world-renowned grandmaster analyzing your play? You can!

To submit your games just upload a PGN or ChessBase file, along with your name and e-mail address. Send one success story (Ecstasy) and one loss (Agony). Tell why you chose them, where or when they were played

If your game is selected Jon will contact you personally, and not only will you get free detailed commentary of your games by one of chess’s great authors and instructors, and former world no. 4 player, but you also win a free three-month ChessBase Premium Account!

ChessBase Account Premium annual subscription

At the airport, in the hotel or at home on your couch: with the new ChessBase you always have access to the whole ChessBase world: the new ChessBase video library, tactics server, opening training App, the live database with eight million games, Let’s Check and web access to playchess.com

A three-month Premium subscription to ChessBase Account means you get:

  • Premium access to the Playchess server with ratings, simuls, lectures, and live commentary of top games
  • Access to all Web apps with no restrictions, such as the Cloud database (MyGames.chessbase.com), and more!
  • Full access to the Video archive, which not only includes all the past lectures by Daniel King, Simon Williams and others, but also a large number of full ChessBase products you would normally need to buy in the ChessBase Shop, but that you can view for free as a Premium subscriber.

See also:

Jonathan Speelman, born in 1956, studied mathematics but became a professional chess player in 1977. He was a member of the English Olympic team from 1980–2006 and three times British Champion. He played twice in Candidates Tournaments, reaching the semi-final in 1989. He twice seconded a World Championship challenger: Nigel Short and then Viswanathan Anand against Garry Kasparov in London 1993 and New York 1995.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register