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Spraggett on Chess

Kevin Spraggett, to whose blog I have a permanent link which you’ll find at the right side of each one of my post, is a unique chess and human phenomenon.

One of the strongest chess grandmasters to have ever come out of Canada, Spraggett now resides in Portugal, where he leads a rich life of coaching and participating in strong tournaments, always a fierce opponent to contend with.

On two occasions, in 1985 and 1988, he was battling it out for the World Championships in chess, reaching all the way (on both occasions) to the prestigious Candidates stage, where the world’s leading players exchange chess blows, one against the other, in order to determine which one of them will challenge the sitting champion.

Close to three decades later, he keeps proving time and time again, that even elite players, from the top of the world rankings, are still not safe from his chess wrath…

The following game, where he beats the (then) world no. 3 player, Andrey Sokolov in their 1988 Candidates match (which Kevin won, after a long and heavy duel, on tie-breaks), is a classical game of patiently ‘squeezing’ a win out of an opponent who thought that he had it all sorted out – slowly and gradually. You can play through the game as presented in this link. I’ve sprinkled it with some notes, here and there, to facilitate understanding of what’s going on – please note, that you may have to scroll down the chessboard in order to see my commentary. 

Andrey Sokolov was right up there, topping the chess grandmaster world ratings, at number three – right after the undisputed kings of the game, Kasparov and Karpov! Watch this link as Grandmaster Spraggett reduces his game to a shaking mess! 

Here’s a funny critique of another chess publication, straight from kevin’s blog,

I always get a  chuckle from  Streatham Brixton Chess blog whenever the topic is horrible book covers for chess books.

I know you should never judge a book by its cover, but  what is a rational person supposed to do when faced with some glaring flight of the designer’s imagination?

You would think that chess books–being conservative by nature–would limit the artist’s imagination.  Apparently not always…

An old Streatham blog entry is a real killer:

Where do people get their ideas from for book covers like this? What happened to finesse and elegance?  It is supposed to be chess, right…?!
….and back to this current blog entry.

Kevin is a very dangerous chess grandmaster, with a sharp style – if not always in his games (which are often characterized by subtle maneuvers, expertly utilizing some subtleties of the chess board and pieces to gain certain advantages which are hard to neutralize), then certainly in his writing.

For those of you who love chess (as I do), I heartily recommend his blog, http://kevinspraggettonchess.wordpress.com/, to you.

In his blog, Kevin alternates between news updates from the chess world, opinions about players and events, criticism on the way chess is being administrated (or rather, neglected) in his home country, vivid analysis, with diagrams and commentary, of interesting games from the past and the present, chess puzzles, jokes, fun videos – and provocative female photos – always coupled with interesting philosophical insights. The blog is very varied and entertaining every time.

If you love great chess attacks and clever commentary that goes right to the heart of things – you will enjoy THIS. I just love, how Kevin has this unique ability to draw you, the reader, into his world of chess, and make you experience how much love and enthusiasm he has for the game. If you’re not careful, it’s going to be contagious!

and last, but not least – here is one of the more moderate examples of provocations mentioned above (under “today’s winning smile”):

A moderate example

We are now linking to each other’s blogs (see the permalink to his blog in the widget on the right, below my Facebook “like” button.