Last Thursday’s pics + We are on AirBNB!

Hey y’all,

Sorry we haven’t been diligent with the website lately, but we’ve been going strong every week with this chessnessness. Additionally, I made some calls and filled out some applications, and Airbnb is now letting us host a chess experience on their website! They’re not taking any money for letting us host, and we currently have the cheapest experience in Toronto on there. Also, to keep things fair, guests who pay the $5 experience fee will have a coffee/tea for under $5 given to them and their change returned to them when they enter. This way, they’re not paying for the club, they’re paying for the coffee product from Second cup, which is what all of us at the club have to do anyway. It’s obviously not booming since it started, but one person from Montreal and two people from Australia have booked for December and January respectively, so that’s good.

Pics from last week are below:




Fun times last week at the ECC!

Despite the torrential downpour last Thursday, we still had a good 16-18 total people attend chess club and there were some hotly contested games. I had Matthew Farahat take over hosting for a short while, so I played Gabe, Matthew F, Sadhat, Rain, and then Gabe again. 5 games! That’s a lot for me. Then my two co directors and I went to Arizona’s, and had a bunch of nine-ball games. The amount of sheer luck I witness over the billiards table gave me new appreciation for chess. Anyway pics are above, we didn’t take many because whatever, every now and then we like to have a day off from obsessing about the club. Healthy, don’t you think? Hehehe, have a good weekend everyone.


Chess this Thursday!! And tactics puzzuzzle


This Thursday, there will be chess at our usual hangout, Second Cup at 265 Wincott Drive, Etobicoke, 630 – 10 pm. All are welcome, for free. We ask for donations at 8-830 pm but you are not required to donate, and you do have to buy something from the Second Cup so we can continue to use the space rent-free, thanks to the very generous manager.

This week, I have been struggling with 2 AM tactics ruining my rating, and in an effort to get back to my former glorious 2050 rating, I have been diligently working at tactics puzzles before midnight. This one is rated for a player with a 1734 tactics rating. Black to move and create an advantage in a few moves. The main themes here are “Credible threat” and “pressure”. Enjoy.

Chess this Thursday!!



Chess returns this Thursday (and every Thursday, duh) at the Etobicoke Chess Club! Word on the street is that the Mississauga Chess Club has closed down (don’t shoot the messenger, I heard it from someone who e-mailed me asking about our club. If you are part of the Mississauga chess club and it hasn’t closed down, just e-mail me and let me know and I’ll amend the article. If it has indeed closed down and you are able to, come say Hi 🙂 ) so we might be getting a healthy influx of new players this week. Come one come all and welcome all our pony-jumping counterparts to the west!

In other news, I have very unofficially started our youtube channel and very unofficially have posted two videos of me doing tactics. These are recorded on a cheap phone, with terrible lighting conditions, and in one of them I’m sick, like physically ill. Anyway if you can find the youtube channel (just google it) you’ll get to see the videos. Otherwise, I’ll officially announce our youtube channel once we have some more content on there.


Chess today ! Plus early morning tactics

Free chess today! 630 – 10 15 pm @ 265 Wincott Drive, Etobicoke, Second Cup. Come out!

Sick with a cough that’s keeping me up at night, I decided to tire myself out by trying to do chess tactics puzzles. They hadn’t been going that well, at least not recently. My highest rating ever was 2050 for tactics puzzles, and then I started doing stupid things like doing them in the bathroom, doing puzzles while lying in bed, doing them in the car while riding around with someone, doing them while in line … some people can work through puzzles quickly this way, but at the current rating level where I’m at with these things, the only way I’m gonna be able to advance is to think super carefully through each one.

Lots of tactics teachers teach to think for 30 seconds, get the puzzle wrong and then memorize the patterns by replaying the tactic a few times. I think there’s some merit to that, but I take my time with the puzzles because taking time teaches thought. It teaches me to pick candidate moves in a position (one where, in the case of puzzles, there is a clear and present advantage to be gained by a single best move) and to analyze variations of those moves. Taking time trains calculation abilities, which one can easily lose (in my opinion) by not-trying for a bunch of puzzles in a row (this was responsible for my fall from grace, from 2050 all the way down to 1500). Some puzzles are rated lower than my tactics rating, so I only get one or two points for getting these right. If I do get them right, however, then I get rewarded with higher-rated puzzles that are sometimes super tough and sometimes straightforward, like the one below. Straightforward in my mind because I’ve trained my board vision to get me this far with tactics. High rated because idk, I guess most people don’t solve this one in 20 seconds. I lined up a few of these and got them right, boosted my rating today by another 63 points which, on, isn’t the easiest thing to do.


White to move, either checkmate or win the queen or win a piece. You decide which is possible, and suggest the series of moves that would follow accordingly.

Chess on Thursday!

Our usual, unique brand of chess shenanigans continues on Thursday October 12th starting at 6 30 pm and finishing around 10 15 pm, for free, just buy something from the coffee shop as uge.

Below is a chess tactic, white to move and win some material (or checkmate) in an unspecified number of moves. If you think you know the answer, please comment! If it’s killing you and you really need to know ?! Either ask here or come to club and I’ll show you.