News and Notes: Chess Comeback after 25 years, Broken Pawn, CJA

  • I played in the Loveland Open this past weekend which was a lot of fun! There were 60 players, from 6 different states:
    • Colorado
    • Wyoming
    • Arizona
    • North Carolina
    • California
    • Alaska!


    Wow! Nice! Here is a nice tactic from one of my games.

    White to Move, Zach Bekkendahl - Tim Brennan

    Answer Below.

    Randy Reynolds did a great job as the TD, and rated the event already.

    My friend Francisco Baltier came up from Arizona for a long weekend. We went skiing at Copper Mountain on Thursday and Friday, and then pushed some wood on Saturday and Sunday, which was a nice balance of the physical and mental!

    Francisco is known for his dramatic come from behind victories, and this weekend was no exception. He forced resignation of one opponent while down 3 pawns, and came back to draw in another game in a 100 move game where he was down 2 pawns. Nice work Francisco!

    My favorite part of the weekend though, was making a new friend with Clarence Buckholtz. Clarence had purchased my Tactics Time Training Database Product a few weeks ago, and told me that he has been working with it almost every day to get back into “game shape”. This weekend at the Loveland Open was his first over the board rated USCF tournament in 25 years! He finished with a very respectable 2 wins, and had a great time!

    I also got a lot of nice complements and comments from people at the tournament who enjoy my e-mail newsletters, podcasts and blog. That was really nice to hear! Larry Wutt told me that he really enjoys the stories the most, and had some tactics he could send me from his games. Tom Mullikin told me that he has gained 200 rating points since he started getting the newsletters, although correlation does not imply causation :-)


  • I recently joined the “Chess Journalists of America” (CJA).  I had been a member before, when I was editor of the Colorado Chess Informant.  I don’t really consider myself a “journalist”, but enjoy blogging about chess, making podcasts, writing chess tactics e-mail newsletters, etc.  I have already been in contact with two of the people who wrote really interesting articles in the last issue, which I really enjoyed.  I got nice responses from both of them.


  • Tactics Time was mentioned in this article, “In the Land of the Blind”, by Hank Anzis of Iowa.  Hank won “Chess Blog of the Year” in 2011 by the “Chess Journalists of America” (CJA), and wrote a recent article on blogging about chess.  I really enjoyed his article, and gave him some feedback and tips and tricks that I have learned about blogging.  I try to avoid “blogging about blogging”, but I do find it to be an interesting topic, and was glad to see someone writing about it.  We have a mutual friend in Klaus Johnson, who I did a chess podcastwith a few months ago.


  • The latest CJA publication also had an interesting article about publishing online versus print magazines, and thoughts on the differences between newsletters and magazines (and journals as well).


  • I received a lot of great questions for GM Alexandra Kosteniuk from literally all over the world.  I picked the best ones, and submitted them to her, and will post the responses soon!


  • I just passed over 400 subscribers for my newsletter!

    Thank you for helping me spread the word! I used to try to have the goal of getting at least one new subscriber per day, and now I am getting multiple per day without much effort on my part to promote it!


  • I am going to be writing the chess column for the Colorado Springs Independent newspaper, which I am excited about :-) 



Tactics Answer:  12.Nd6+!! got a double exclam from Fritz 13. This move checks the King, and will win the Queen. If 12…Kf8 to get out of check, white mates with 13. Qxf7#. The only other way to get out of check is 12…Bxd6, which allows 13. Bxd8 winning the Queen for a knight and a bishop. White ends up with a nice material advantage. From the game Zach Bekkedahl – Tim Brennan, Loveland Open, February 12, 2012

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One thought on “News and Notes: Chess Comeback after 25 years, Broken Pawn, CJA

  1. Dear Timmy!

    Your efforts should be promoted among all the amateurs and passionate players! I am absolutely convinced that your chess tactics newsletter and articles on the website give US all of the value that cannot be underestimated. I love your newsletter and podcasts (especially with Joel Johnson) and I am looking here to read your thought (once a week). You should think about publishing a book about training tactics and what elements are very important and how to deal with them. You have great experience and with little help (of editor and draft critics) you can do it! If you want to write it with me (as your helper) or want some pieces of advice… just say one word :).

    Keep up the great work! Tom

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