05 July, 2014

Return of Chess Cafe

Finally, after a number of delays, Chess Cafe is back !

I have no idea what the makeover was about, since to my eyes the website has the same layout, and has exactly the same columnists ( saying more-or-less the same things as 6 months ago ! ) but maybe the important changes are "under the bonnet" .

The column I enjoy the most ( Tim Harding's ' The Kibitzer' ) has been continued at his own site during the break, so I didn't suffer too much from the enforced break !

I love his combination of chess + history, and the fact that he displays older games ( often played in a simpler and more understandable style ) from which you can learn. His writing is also fluid,and his chess analysis easy to follow.

The first-returning columns include those of the the two Opening experts ( Abby Marshall and Gary Lane) , both of which hold very little interest for me. Occasionally, I will take a peek, but not that often.

Another I avoid is the ' Chess Evoloution' by Arkadij Naiditsch : far too advanced for this patzer !

I will be eagerly awaiting Karsten Mullers'  " Endgame Corner" . Not so much fun as seeing him on his Endgame DVDs, where his style is incredibly educative, as well as highly amusing, but well worthwhile.

Similarly, Dan Heiseman's "Novice Nook"  will be good to read again. Homely and informative.

The book and product reviews are welcome and interesting to read, but I admit that the Chessbase and sometimes the Convekta/Aquarium section ( when it was there ) were largely not for me .

Although they gave some interesting information ( particularly in Aquarium , as it developed its new ideas on Interactive Deep Analysis ) most of the time I could not comprehend why these columns wrote about such basic usage of the product. Does no-one read a manual any more ?

One column ( or perhaps more correctly, author ) I will undoubtedly still miss is Nigel Davies, whose "Middlegame Motifs'  and "Let's take a look" columns were wonderful, but have not been seen on Chess Cafe for some time.

Luckily, the Archives section at Chess Cafe is still available so if you navigate to here and here, all those instructive middlegame columns are still available to enjoy.

You never know, maybe as July unfolds and more columns are published, new columnists or ideas will be revealed : just have to wait and see !


ChessAdmin said...

I've been wondering what the big deal was too, since the site looks exactly the same. Good to see (most) of the columnists back up and running, though.

Although it's a matter of personal taste, I always find Gary Lane's column amusing due to the lighthearted yet analytically serious way he takes on some of the wackier openings. Abby Marshall's opening analysis is strictly serious and I think is an excellent example (one of the few public ones) of how openings should be studied and learned at a higher level.

Signalman said...

I can't disagree with you... I no longer look at these columns regularly as I've more or less fixed a repertoire for the moment, and don't want to be distracted into change :)

I last looked at an " Abby" column a few weeks ago, as I found a 2011 column of her's that looked at the French Exchange with 4.Bf4, something my prospective TL opponent was likely to play.
I'd agree she gave some good information, but it wasn't as clear or consistent as it should be. ( That was 2100, so maybe she's improved :)

Just looked at the latest Gary Lane column.

A bit too cluttered for my liking, but perfectly acceptable !