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Project edit

Currently I am working on a project about chess. I have released (on Wikibooks, at least) my first book, Elements of chess strategy, on 31 May 2008. My next book is called Play the Najdorf and is about the most popular opening line at the tournament level.

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Journal edit

5 Sept 2008 edit

Sorry about the long hiatus. I was out on vacation without a computer, so no wikibooks for anyone during the period from 19 July to 30 Aug. I'm starting work immediately.

17 July 2008 edit

Part 3 of the ECO series is out on Wikibooks, the codes from C00 to C99. They are the third most-played group of openings in chess, after B00 to B99, which covers the semi-open games (the Sicilian Defence is covered, which would explain the section's popularity), and E00 to E99, which covers the Indian Defences (1.d4 Nf6). ECO is now 60% done.

15 July 2008 edit

The ECO index is now about 175,000 bytes of HTML long. This would probably be acceptable if it were finished. However, my math tells me that it is only 40%, or 2/5 finished. This means that the finished index will be over twice that size. Thus, I have moved the B section to a new page and split up the index. Then, I start work on C00--C99, which will also take up its own page.

12 July 2008 edit

Play the Najdorf (which as everyone by now knows is the next book) has again been postponed. In addition, some of the lines may be the main lines, or possibly even tactically sharper than the book lines. That's why I'm writing a book on tactics first, to give the readers of the book a tactical background before studying the opening. It is recommended that the student study both the principles of strategy and elementary and intermediate tactics before taking on the Najdorf Sicilian, one of the sharpest of openings.

27 June 2008 edit

An extra update on the ECO index--I've just finished typing in what may be the most important section in the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings. It's codes B00 to B99, and that encompasses a diverse variety of openings, such the likes of the Scandinavian Defence, the Pirc Defence, the Caro-Kann Defence, and of course, the Sicilian Defence. The page now has over 160,000 bytes of HTML, so some people with certain browsers may have trouble editing the page. It's becoming very long.

25 June 2008 edit

Today I have finished--and it's quite a large section--the ECO codes from A00-A99 in the ECO index. And let me tell you, I have learned a lot from typing all of this up. For example, there are more variations in the Dutch Defence than I ever would have expected. Also, the sheer number of opening variations, and how little progress we've made in the Wikibook on opening theory in chess. MCO-15, for example, analyzes the Modern Benoni, Taimanov Variation, to 18 moves in depth. Our Wikibook has only heard of the Modern Benoni in name, and does not even go to move nine in most variations! And if there's one thing that's clearly obvious from this, it's that we are not working hard enough. As the British say, "Let's get cracking!"

24 June 2008 edit

I have de-postponed working on the book--you know which one. It seems that the ECO index is longer than I expected (we've done less than 20% of all of the openings of chess theory), so I'm postponing that until after the book is finished. In fact, it is so long that users of older versions of Internet Explorer and Netscape may have problems editing the page (it's almost 50 kilobytes long).

Currently, in the book, I am trying to devise new lines and plans. These are to be strategically and tactically simpler than the "book" lines. For example, in the 6.g3 variation of the Najdorf Defence, I came up with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 a6 6.g3 e5 7.Nde2 Nbd7 8.Bg2 b5 9.h3 Bb7 10.g4 Nc5 11.Ng3 g6 12.O-O Ne6 13.a3 Rc8 14.Be3 Rc4!? The move played before was 14...h5?!, which doesn't look that sound in view of 15.g5 Nfd7 16.Nd5 Be7 17.h4, and White has a lot of space. The idea of my new move is to pressure c4 in a very direct manner. Now after 15.Qd2 h6 16.Rad1, Black has 16...Qa8 as part of his positional plan to target e4. Then, if 17.b3, then simply 17...Rc7, followed by doubling on the c-file, with pressure on c2, as opposed to e4. However, even after this Black may get pressure on e4, e.g. 18.Rdc1 Qc8 19.Nce2 Nc5 20.f3 Ncd7, with a good game.

That was just a sneak peek at some of the new stuff coming in, say, November? For more details, read the book when it comes out.

22 June 2008 edit

Currently I am postponing work on the next book, Play the Najdorf. This is in part due to the fact that I am currently working on the [[ECO index, which is finished only up to B10 or something. The ECO index encompasses all openings from A00 to E99, so there is still a lot of work to be done!

13 June 2008 edit

I have started work on an opening repertoire for the next book. This involves making a tree of variations. The criteria for the variations I choose are:

1. Objective soundness.
2. Ease of recollection.
3. Limits opponent's options.
4. Ability to transpose to other variations.

If there are any objections, please comment on my talk page. The variations listed for White will be grouped in this manner:

1. The classical 6.Be2
2. The positional 6.g3
3. The aggressive 6.Be3/6.f3
4. The traditional main line, 6.Bg5
5. The sharp 6.f4
6. The tactical 6.Bc4
7. The prophylactic 6.a4
8. The others: 6.h3, 6.Bd3 and 6.Rg1

6 June 2008 edit

Planning has been started on my next book, Play the Najdorf. The book will be about the strategic elements involved in playing the Najdorf Sicilian (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6) and the masses of theory involved in playing it. It is recommended that you read my other book, Elements of chess strategy, first, so that you will have a better grasp of the strategic ideas found in the book.

31 May 2008 edit

I've finished work on Elements of chess strategy! The book is about the various strategic elements (IM Jeremy Silman refers to them as imbalances) and how to formulate a plan based on them. It is ten pages long, including the intro page.