About The Author and Chess
The author PETER HOBBS is not a chess expert, and quite content with that! But he'd often wondered about proper, serious chess-play ever since learning rudimentary "chess for fun" at school. The problem always seemed to be how to play and learn (or how to learn and play). Most theory books were (and still are!) just too full of theory to dip into for pointers, and when you're involved in an actual game you can't ask an opponent to comment on his every move!
Then in mid-1996 Peter was teaching English in Slovenia for a few months and sharing an apartment with a French language teacher named Guy Frelon who played very, very good chess...
And after being seriously badly beaten a couple of dozen times, Peter began to appreciate how a basic knowledge of openings is essential for a good chess game - not just so as to avoid being beaten (though it helps!), but so as to reach a better position from which to appreciate and enjoy the remaining game regardless of outcome. His French opponent always seemed to have a strategy in play or a tactic in mind, and a general awareness of the better types of opening to play against this or that opponent. And yet, rather than an easy victory, Guy was always more interested in the hard fought game and would often discuss brief tactical lines during games.
So thanks to Guy's chess-sharing, Peter returned to the UK in 1996 with a renewed interest in the game, and upon learning basic HTML skills he got the sudden idea for this interactive website which, like chess itself, is (or can be) fairly limitless. Since building the basic site in 1997 with about 300 positions, more variations have been added from time to time as the author has learnt more about strategy and transpositions for example. The author hopes that users will find it as useful as he has, for honing basic skills and for learning more about the remarkable variety of opening variations developed by great players over the years to make chess what it is - the best board game on the planet.
Woking, Surrey UK
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