All posts by Neil Berry

I was recently asked whether there was much of a chess community on twitter. If you are interested in the global game, or its’ history then there is plenty! I thought it worth sharing some accounts you can follow to get you started. You can see others through their interactions with the below accounts, and follow from there.

Super GM tournaments will generate a lot of interest. A number of sites will tweet about the games – @chesscom, @chess24com and @fide_chess are some good examples. If Magnus is playing then chess journalist Tarjei Svensen (@tarjeiJS) will invariably be tweeting about it, and Norwegian Grandmaster Jonathan Tisdall (@gmjtis). The players themselves aren’t usually very active during tournaments, with Anish Giri (@anish_giri) a notable exception.

The AI-inspired supercomputer AlphaZero has generated a huge amount of interest from non-chess players, and its influence is often debated on twitter. Google’s DeepMind created AlphaZero, and the company’s CEO Demis Hassabis (@demishassabis) is a former player who credits his creation with reigniting his love for the game!

Tweets about Scottish chess are much rarer! Honorary member and Scotland’s strongest player Jonathan Rowson (@jonathan_rowson) is active on twitter, though he tweets on a variety of subjects. For lovers of chess history, Scottish FM Douglas Griffin (@dgriffinchess) is a ‘must follow’, and he shares much of his writing on Soviet chess history here.

Finally, a word of warning from the second highest rated player of all time:
[Player seeking advice]: Hi Kasparov.. i have a chess tournament tomorrow can u help me with the strategy to win the game.
[@kasparov63]: Stay off twitter.

We lost narrowly in the Richardson Cup Final to Edinburgh West. Individual Results below:

Edinburgh 3.5 – 4.5 Edinburgh West

1. FM Calin Gheorghiu 0-1 GM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant
2. Calum Macqueen 1-0 IM Craig Pritchett
3. Petros Wallden 0-1 FM Joe Redpath
4. CM Andrew Green 1-0 Jonathan Grant
5. Alastair White 0-1 Neil Farrell
6. Graeme Kafka 0-1 George Neave
7. Willie Rutherford 1-0 Walter Buchanan
8. Robert Kane ½ – ½ Alan Bell

Games are available via

Well done to the Team for a great fight, and a good campaign with earlier convincing wins against Bellshill and Phones. As well as the Team above, David Sime, Raj Bhopal, Hugh Brechin and myself featured in earlier rounds.

Boris Spassky, 10th World Champion, had a highly developed feel for the initiative and produced many sharp attacking masterpieces. Current and 16th World Champion Magnus Carlsen is more known for squeezing the maximum from apparently lifeless positions but has recently taken his game to a new level with a series of astonishing attacking games. Is the influence of Alpha Zero making an impact to elite level chess?

This training event will cover typical attacking themes that should be known and how the initiative needs to be developed or lost. It is intended to provide an arsenal of attacking plans that can be incorporated into your own games.

Designed to support a wide range of abilities from club players up to titled level. Important examples to remember will be shown by the trainer followed by participants putting what they have learnt into practice e.g. by solving exercises and playing positions.

Former Scottish Champion Jonathan Grant, FIDE Trainer, will run the session in conjunction with Edinburgh Chess Club.

Entry: The fee, whether attending one or more sessions, is £49 for adults and £35 for juniors (U18).

Venue: Edinburgh Chess Club, 1 Alva Street, EDINBURGH EH2 4PH

Schedule: Saturday 8 June 2019 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm and Sunday 9 June 2019 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Entry and contact: Neil Berry E-mail: Phone: 07810-765-98

Use your Initiative! Training event 8_9 Jun 2019

Edinburgh 1 retained the Edinburgh League Premier League title this season. Our final tally of 6 wins, 3 draws and 1 defeat illustrates that this season the league was very competitive, with all teams capable of taking points off each other. Congratulations to the squad of Neil Berry, Hugh Brechin, Andrew Green, Paul Roberts, Graeme Kafka, Petros Wallden, David Sime, Calum MacQueen, Willie Rutherford and Andre Antunes!

On Tuesday 19th March Candidate Master Andrew Green gave a talk to the club members. Andrew works as a full time chess coach, and has lots of experience in coaching many Scottish junior internationalists.

Andrew explained a few topics with great clarity. He gave a simple method of evaluating positions (MAPS – material, activity, pawn structure, space), and explained the “Capablanca rule” of how to use your pawns to play against the enemy Bishop. This isn’t a particularly well known concept, and made an impression on me as I had recently seen the same idea in a Chess24 video from GM Laurent Fressinet:

This position comes from 2 computer games, Stockfish against Google’s Alpha Zero, famous for getting its strength from purely playing against itself millions of times. Alpha Zero has “taught” itself Capablanca’s rule, and was able to restrict the dark squared bishop by 1…f6! 2.c3 g5! 3.Bd2 a5!, and Black is fine.