Wednesday, November 29, 2017


At the start of this blog in February 2012, many were convinced this wouldn't last long. It is not so surprising as the span of a blog is averagely 100 days see e.g. scribblrs. Today people don't ask me anymore if I will still continue the blog but rather how much money I make with the blog. It is obvious that there is a readership and writing is something you only do if it also benefits yourself.

Astonishment and even incomprehension are common reactions when I respond that I don't earn anything with this blog. Somebody even joked by calling me an idiot. Nonetheless it is quite easy to get some revenues by adding a couple of advertisements to the blog. However I deliberately chose not to do so. I think this would only distract the readers and lower the overall quality of the blog. I want to show that chess is an incredible rich and interesting game via my blog. I believe that in the past years my many articles were a successful reflection of this view.

Apparently many readers agree as together with my Dutch main-site we have passed already some time ago the mark of 400.000 individual visits. If you know that the Flemish chess federation only has 3000 members than I think that this can be considered a success. In fact I am proud of this achievement. Today we have 300 articles all containing their own individual story. Besides as the blog is not another news-site, many of the articles are also timeless. Nowadays it happens often that I check one of my older articles myself just to refresh my knowledge of a subject.

Also when I correspond to other players I regularly use the blog by simply adding chess-links to specific articles. Before people told me sometimes that my answers are too tedious to read. By using chess-links I kill two birds with 1 stone. I don't lose time at chit-chat and at the same time I can share a lot of information with people really interested in the subject. Especially when you react at articles of others site this is very useful. You are not annoyed anymore by trolls.

However not every site likes to see such links. It is understandable as such links very often are undesirable with some very fishy content. The Captcha is not very popular but sometimes necessary to avoid being drowned into spam see e.g. the sleeping site of Alina L'Ami. Therefore some sites simply forbid all links. Without moderators it is often the only way to keep the site clean. Meanwhile even if there are moderators then still links are not always appreciated. After a couple of discussions with the very temperamentful Jacob Aagard which didn't go the way he wanted, he got angry. Eventually he decided to censor my comments see quality chess blog. As I was at that time a very active reader, it probably does explain for some part why we see today, 3 years later a clear drop of activity.

Recently I was also requested by Kees Schrijvers, the owner of schaaksite not to use links anymore in my reactions. He considered this spam. Even when I explained that all my links were always on-topic then still I got no permission anymore to use links. His argument was that my blog can be found via google. He didn't want to hear my counter-argument that it is often very difficult to find something in a blog when there are already 300 articles published. Just the other day one of my students told me that he got lost when searching something at my blog.

Meantime we are one month later and ever since I haven't made any new post despite I know quite some interesting additions to some of the newest articles. I am sorry for the readers using regularly my links at schaaksite to get more information about a topic (which is visible in the statistics of my blog). If the site-owner can not value properly my blog then it makes no sense to continue. It is rather clear that Kees does not have the time or does not want to spend time at investigating my blog.

Fortunately there are also positive sounds about this blog. Otherwise it would really be silly to continue this blog for so many years. I know at least 2 players that already picked up something of this blog to implement it successfully in their games. One example is an idea used by an expert of Bruges: Linton Donovan which I recommended in my article "tactics" published in January 2013.
[Event "BEL-chT 1314"] [Site "Belgium"] [Date "2013.12.15"] [Round "6.6"] [White "Ahn, Martin"] [Black "Donovan, Linton"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C18"] [WhiteElo "2273"] [BlackElo "2261"] [PlyCount "102"] [EventDate "2013.09.22"] [Eventtype "team-tourn"] [Eventrounds "11"] [Eventcountry "BEL"] 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Ba5 6.b4 cxd4 7.Qg4 Ne7 8.bxa5 dxc3 9.Qxg7 Rg8 10.Qxh7 Nbc6 11.f4 Qxa5 12.Nf3 Bd7 13.Rb1 O-O-O 14.Qd3 d4 { (In 2 earlier games Linton played Nf5. This is an improvement which I recommended at my blog.) } 15.g3 a6 16.Qc4 Be8 17.a4 Qd5 18.Kf2 Nf5 19.Bd3 Qxc4 20.Bxc4 Na5 21.Bd3 Bxa4 22.Ra1 b5 23.Ng5 Nh6 24.Ne4 Nc6 25.Nc5 Nb4 26.Nxa4 Nxd3+ 27.cxd3 bxa4 28.Rxa4 Kb7 29.Ba3 Rd5 30.Rb1+ Rb5 31.Rxb5+ axb5 32.Rxd4 Ra8 33.Bc1 Ra1 34.Be3 c2 35.Bd2 c1=Q 36.Bxc1 Rxc1 37.h3 Rb1 38.g4 Kc7 39.Kg2 b4 40.Rc4+ Kd7 41.d4 b3 42.d5 exd5 43.Rc5 b2 44.Rxd5+ Kc6 45.Rd2 Rg1+ 46.Kxg1 b1=Q+ 47.Kh2 Qe1 48.Rd6+ Kc5 49.Rf6 Kd4 50.g5 Ke3 51.e6 Kf2 0-1
The other example happened more recently. One of my students an expert of Mechelen, Deon Lee told me that he successfully used some analysis of the Fraser-defense in the Ponziani-opening see my article "computers achieve autonomy" published in July 2015.
[Event "BK 2017"] [Date "2017.07.09"] [Round "9"] [White "Oleg, Iolis"] [Black "Lee, Deon"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C44"] [WhiteElo "2111"] [BlackElo "2122"] [PlyCount "44"] [Site "?"] [CurrentPosition "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 Nf6 4.d4 Nxe4 5.d5 Bc5 { (The Fraser-defense in the Ponziani.) } 6.dxc6 Bxf2+ 7.Ke2 Bb6 8.Qd5 Nf2 9.cxb7 Bxb7 10.Qxb7 Nxh1 11.Bg5 { (At my blog I still had analyzed Qe4 which is not so easy to refute.) } 11...f6 12.Be3 O-O 13.Bxb6 axb6 14.Qd5+ Kh8 15.g3 Ra5 16.Qd2 e4 17.Nd4 Rh5 18.Kd1 e3 19.Qxe3 Rxh2 20.Qg1 Nf2+ 21.Kc1 Qe7 22.Be2 Rh1 0-1
Anyway this blog is of course much more than just a bunch of analysis of openings. In one of my classes I was really shocked to find out that my students never heard about tablebases never mind Lomonosov. At that moment I realized that a lot of stuff discussed on this blog is likely new for them and can help them to develop as player not only technically but also teach a few things about chess-culture. From then onwards I started to recommend them reading all the articles on this blog so even the very first ones. If you read 1 per day then in 1 year you have read all articles of this blog. What applies for my students, most likely is also valid for a much bigger audience. Call me arrogant but I think any ambitious (Flemish) +1800 player should be subscribed to this blog. It is nice to see that already several Flemish clubs have put a link on their site to this blog but I still welcome any extra publicity.



  1. Hi Brabo,

    Thanks for taking the time to continue writing the blog. A lot of fascinating articles here.

    I've often wondered why you dont start a thread on ChessPub, to update people on when you have added a new entry like Proustiskeen does for his book reviews?

    Best wishes,

    1. Hi RoleyPoley,

      Chesspub is focused at openings and book reviews are very closely related to that. Openings play a much smaller role here so I am not sure Chesspub would like me to create such thread.

      Besides people wishing to get updated of this blog, can subscribe themselves via my Dutch blog which includes a special box to subscribe. You just insert your email and automatically you get a message when there is a new article. Normally a couple of days later the translation is done at this English spin-off.

      RSS-feed should also work which I believe some people do.

      Thanks for the compliment!