Under construction


Analysis in Wijk aan Zee 2015 (Photo by Alina l’Ami)


This is a new chess site – or rather an offspring of the existing German Schachticker. Content will gradually appear – primarily edited/abridged translations of selected articles previously published in German. The reader shouldn’t expect very frequent updates: for the time being, there is only one author – an amateur with a regular paid job who does this in his spare time next to other chess writing! The first article, to appear soonish, will be “Wijk aan Zee in quotes”, one outcome of six days in Wijk aan Zee with access to the press area.

The title photo shows the author (jeans, black jackett and red shirt) “at work”, together with some other people he brings down the Elo average in the analysis room. Readers may find out on their own how many people they recognize on the photo. Just two hints: the grey-haired person at the very left is not Jan Timman who was still playing when the photo was taken. The hidden person at the very right is IM Robert Ris – briefly more clearly visible in one of the tournament videos on round 11. For today, just a few words on the author:



As a chess player, I started playing for SC Gross-Zimmern (near Darmstadt which is near Frankfurt/Main). Over the years, I moved on for professional reasons, playing in northern Germany (Kiel), France (Brest and Bordeaux) and since 1999 for a small club on the Dutch island of Texel. To people who know very little or nothing about chess, I describe my level as “roughly halfway between beginner and world champion”. On the Elo scale, this corresponds to 1900-2000, a bit higher at some stage of my ‘career’. My age? Some grey hairs start to appear, *1967 I am slightly older than Anand, Gelfand and Ivanchuk.


How I became a chess writer (to avoid the term journalist, Wikipedia in various languages says that journalism is a profession, hence only people who earn [a significant part of their] living with it can call themselves journalists)? It started by regularly commenting on various chess forums, then I wrote briefly for Chessvibes, subsequently for various German chess sites. It isn’t really my task to describe my writing style, just three points: 1) I would characterize it as “informal” – arguably a bit inspired by ‘the late’ Mig Greengard, but my own style. 2) I am an amateur and amateurs are the main intended audience. I refrain from very detailed game analyses as I cannot compete with others who are more qualified. In Wijk aan Zee, I also kept an eye on the amateur events – be it only because I know several people who played in various groups, from the top group to group 9 but not every group in between. 3) If applicable, I include (obviously with due credit) material from the Web originally in various languages: German, Dutch and French are the ones I know myself, for Russian I have to rely on Google and sometimes a little help from people fluent in this major chess language.


Thomas Richter

September 2017
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