Thank you for your interest in Hot Off The Chess — welcome!


I’m John Lee Shaw and I love everything chess! Playing and following this great game has been a passion of mine for over a quarter of a century! Hot Off The Chess (or my pet-name for it, ‘HOTCH‘) is where I share that passion with like-minded people, like you.

What really excites me about our wonderful game, is the psychology of competition — the battle of minds. Nerves, ego, pride, rivalry, pressure, fatigue, are just a few considerations that are often going on around the board. These aspects can play just as big a part in a game as the moves. Sometimes even more so.

Here on the blog, I look at this along with some analysis of games. My analysis tends to be from a human’s perspective. I don’t use engines much, preferring to use my own brain … such as it is … and give my own thoughts, interpretations and opinions. Humans being humans, this means that you will disagree with me at times and that I will miss stuff and mess up here and there. Feel free to use the comments section and let me know!

Along with my take on chess tournaments and other topical blog pieces, there will be some classic games and other relevant material that I hope you will find interesting. I really hope that the blog will become an enjoyable and reliable place for you to include among your chess stops.

If you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!


Can I write for your site?
It is really nice of you to be interested, but at the moment I am not looking for other writers. I don’t rule out guest blogging in the future, but this will be by invitation only.

Do You Do Link Exchange?
No, sorry.

If I send you stuff, will you blog about it?
Sorry, but I can’t promise. I like free stuff as much as the next guy, but I am one of those rare bloggers who is not in it for that. I wont compromise or undermine the trust I have with my readers by making recommendations that I don’t believe in. If you would like to send me something, it is at your own risk. I will only consider blogging about it if it is relevant and would benefit my readers.

Can I Advertise / Sponsor A Post?
Of course! However, the aim is not to fill the website with advertisements (hence no Google ads!) so they are limited and very carefully chosen. Any sponsored posts (which will be clearly indicated) will also be undertaken very carefully, in line with the answer to the previous question. My main motivation with the website is passion for chess rather than commercial interests, so the focus will always be on the relevance to my visitors and concern for their well being.

Do you have any interesting bits of trivia about yourself?
Not really, I am quite normal and boring. However, I did once help Vassily Ivanchuk eat some spare ribs — does that count?

Who is the best chess player ever?
In my opinion, Magnus Carlsen. There is something about his creativity and vision that I don’t think any player quite matches at this time.

What chess books would you recommend?
Alexander Kotov’s ‘…Like A Grandmaster’ books changed my chess life.