Author Archives: Nick Barnett

About Nick Barnett

Nick Barnett is a South African chess columnist writing a column for a Cape Town newspaper since 1972. He has observed and written about chess personalities, events, politics and developments in software. His views are reflected both in print and on his blog thechessnik.com

South African Chess

My Part in Shaping SA Chess

I was recently honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award in South African Chess. It is the kind of thing that leads to reminiscences for which a blog is the ideal vehicle. I won't go back to my early years (it can be summed up as: Chess Fanatic from the age of 9) but two things that changed my life were: the Fischer-Spassky match in 1972. I covered the match for the Cape Times and through that became well known in Cape Town (and in the Independent Group of newspapers, as it turned out later). Being Read more [...]
Magnus Carlsen

It’s not drugs that cheats use

Magnus Carlsen, 21, has never been drug tested in his career. Now the International Chess Federation Fidé has sent Carlsen a letter stating that he will be involved in a pilot project of drug testing. "I think it's not so much about drug testing in chess," said Carlsen. "However,  I submit to it.”   The Norwegian GM is on track to break Garry Kasparov's record in the world rankings. Fidé would like chess to be considered an Olympic sport by the IOC in the future, and Read more [...]
Falko Bindrich

Cheating is the downside of Chess

Cheating dominates the world of sport, and the scourge has not left chess untouched. The Chessbase web site has covered cheating over the years extensively. It’s an essential read for arbiters and anyone interested in eliminating this scourge. Now that cycling is losing its sponsors one by one as a result of the Lance Armstrong case, one can't help wondering if some of these companies could be interested in chess. A new story about cheating – in this case suspected cheating – doesn't really Read more [...]
Olafsson, Koneru, Dvoretsky, Timman, Spassky

To Coach or Mentor

You don’t need a coach to teach you the moves. There are many initiatives to improve the level of coaching in South Africa with the lure of coaches being awarded titles — an obsession in chess, but this will be the subject of another article. These initiatives have done a wonderful job at increasing the chess-playing skills of the coaches, but how to apply these skills to the players you are supposed to coach, that is the question. Take Mark Dvoretsky. At the height of his playing career Read more [...]

Awards for 2012 in the Western Cape

The Western Province Awards Ceremony featured Ronel Pieterse as an action woman. She was the moving force behind the annual event held last Saturday at the Dimension Data auditorium in Black River Park. Ronel is the vice-president of Chess WP and her job was to muster scores of school children (and their parents) for the junior half of the afternoon in which each child was presented with a certificate stating which board number and in which team they were to play in at the end of Read more [...]

Homer Nods

Even the world's best overlook the obvious. From the first round of the 4th London Chess Classic. The game began Black: Nakamura White: Aronian — to play White admitted he overlooked the consequences of 26. Rd2 — what happens next?   Solution (Click a move below the board to jump to that move) Interactive chess board brought to you by PGN for Web Please give the board a few seconds to load. Not loading? Refresh the page ⌘R (Mac) or ctrl R (PC) Read more [...]