If you want to flame me offline, you can email me. I live to the north of Washington DC and work in the National Institutes of Health. In 1975, I was rated about 1850 by the Canadian Chess Federation, but faced with a mutually exclusive choice between continuing my chess career or passing exams, I opted for the exams.

The most exciting game I ever played was a casual game against Nigel Fullbrook, then the Canadian Junior champion, and known informally as "Mad Dog", to reflect his style of play. The game in question was the only one against Nigel that I ever managed to draw, probably because I decided in advance not to fold under pressure. Nigel did indeed have a fierce attack against me for about 20 moves, before I counter-sacrificed a pawn to dissipate his maelstrom.

Thus, the greatest pleasure www.chessgames.com could ever have given me was the David vs. Goliath game of Fullbrook vs. Spraggett where Nigel (current rating 2185) won against Kevin Spraggett (current rating 2580). When I was young, I thought Irving Chernev's books were wonderful, and they are, but I learned an excessively safe style of chess from them. I am awe-struck at the courage shown in some of the games in the database. Obviously, my favorite player is Mikhail Tal, the magician from Riga. (You always want what you cannot have.) I also admire Rudolf Spielmann for his methodical romanticism and Aron Nimzovich for his fearless originality.

I look forward to my misspent youth catching up with me. If you are an old chess buddy (or a new one), feel free to email me.

Many thanks.

I do a lot of programming (alas! too much), so I was curious about freeware for chessplayers. In at least some cases, I believe the freeware to be better than commercial products for analysis.

I encourage people to use computers to analyze their questions about chess games, because computers can evaluate positions more accurately than most humans.

I analyze midgames with Toga II 1.3.1 chess engine and the Arena graphical interface, I analyze endgames with the Nalimov TABLEs, and I play chess with the Jester. You can make your own choice of chess engine by checking the chess engine tournament TABLE, and then downloading a compatible chess engine and a graphical interface.

At www.chessgames.com, David2002 has also set up some useful procedures for analyzing chess.

I have a collection of games ending in named mates.

My starting point for named mates was the kibitzing for H Hamdouchi vs M Bezold, 1999.

Thanks, dzechiel!

Any named mate below without a direct link can be found at one of the following links: Anastasia's, Anderssen's, Arabian, Back Rank, Bishop and Knight, Blackburne's, Blackburne's Opening, Boden's, Cozio's, Daimiano's, Daimiano's Bishop, Dovetail, Epaulette, Fool's, Greco's, Gueridon's, Ideal, Hook and Swing, Lawnmower, Legal's, Lolli's, Max Lange's, Minor Piece (Endgame), Minor Piece (Midgame), Model, Morphy's, Morphy's Concealed, Morphy's Deferred, Opera Box, Pedestal, Philidor's, Pillsbury's, Protection, Reti's, Rook Knight & Pawn, Sandwich, Scholar's, Smothered, Square, Suffocation, Swallow's Tail, Two Bishops, Walk

This is a collection of short quotes and corresponding links about unusual human calculating abilities, for the benefit of people claiming, "He must have peeked..." when presented with an extensive solution to a chess puzzle. Please feel free to use them liberally (but not as a personal attack, of course).

Blindfold Chess

"One other notable blindfold record was set in 1960 by the blindfold specialist George Koltanowski in San Francisco, when he played 56 consecutive blindfold games at a rate of 10 seconds a move."

Calendar Calculation

"A Chinese calendar savant was investigated on his exceptional proficiency in calendar calculation and his culture-specific talent of converting the Gregorian calendar to the Chinese calendar."

Mathematical Calculation

"Tammet has been obsessed with counting. Now he is 26, and a mathematical genius who can figure out cube roots quicker than a calculator and recall pi to 22,514 decimal places."

"A remarkable record was set by the calculating prodigy Zacharias Dase, who in 1844 employed a Machin-like formula to calculate 200 decimals of π in his head."