Blog Profile / Chess Skills

Filed Under:Hobbies / Chess
Posts on Regator:865
Posts / Week:2.2
Archived Since:August 3, 2009

Blog Post Archive

A QID Miniature

3 days agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

The Queen's Indian Defense fascinates me. Due to my preparations for facing it from the White side, I have started employing it more often when I have the Black pieces. Last week, I played it in the first round of the Spokane Chess Club's Game 61, and was never at a disadvantage in the game (see "Playing Tired"). Show More Summary

A Greco Miniature

6 days agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Lesson of the Week Most of the games of Gioachino Greco (1600-1634) are miniatures (games lasting few moves, 20-25 moves being the longest that might be so labeled). What can a young chess player learn from such games? Are they of any value to players who are no longer beginners?Greco has been called the first chess master. Show More Summary

Playing Tired

Who thinks well when they are sleep deprived? I certainly do not.This past week was the first of a two week event at the Spokane Chess Club. We are calling it Game 61, a dull name that has the merits of accurate description. The United States Chess Federation has several rating pools based on different time controls. Show More Summary

Karel Traxler's Brilliancy

Lesson of the Week My advanced students spent half an hour on the game that gave the Traxler Counter-Attack its name.Reinisch,J -- Traxler,Karel [C57]Hrána vs. Hostoun, Hostoun, 20.03.18901.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc54...d5 is...Show More Summary

Writing and Publishing

My First Kindle Book Yesterday, I published Essential Tactics: Building a Foundation for Chess Skill (2017) as a Kindle book. If it does well, I plan to update my pamphlet "A Checklist of Checkmates" and make it available in this manner as well. Show More Summary

Principle of Development: Early History

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Morphy is sometimes credited with inventing the concept of development, or at least understanding it better than anyone else before those who followed him began to articulate it in their books and articles.James Stripes, "Chess at the...Show More Summary


2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

When I encountered this exercise at's Tactics Trainer, I spent nearly a minute calculating the knight forks and threatened decoys and skewers in order to win the enemy queen. But, I overlooked a critical nuance. White to move Maybe you can do better.

Lesson Plan: Pawn Endings

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Some children have a tendency to push passed pawns too soon. In most pawn endings, the king must lead the pawn. This week, I plan to work with my young students to develop their understanding of opposition and outflanking, the meansShow More Summary

Krasenkow -- Hammer, Stockholm 2016

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

A couple of days ago, I watched the video, "Fear the Bishops: Hammer vs. Krasenkow," by Jon Ludvig Hammer on In this recent video, Hammer shows a game that he played in the sixth round of the 45th Rilton Cup in Stockholm. After five rounds, Michel Krasenkow led the Rilton Cup with 5.0, while Hammer was half a point behind. Show More Summary

Minor Piece Endgame

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

This position appeared in a game in a youth tournament this afternoon. White to move Who stands better? How should each side proceed?

Learn from Others' Errors

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

My students this week are seeing a series of positions from my games in the 25th Collyer Memorial Chess Tournament. From the same positions, the lessons vary due to skill levels of my students. These students can learn from my error in one game, and the errors of my opponents in others.In the first position, I erred and lost the game. Show More Summary

Falkbeer Counter-gambit

4 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Ernst Karl Falkbeer (1819-1885) founded Austria's first chess magazine, Wiener Schachzeitung, but is remembered today mostly for the response to the King's Gambit that bears his name. He published an article analyzing Black's third move...Show More Summary

Stronger King

4 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

At the Eastern Washington Open last October, I lost to a former student on Sunday morning. My next loss in standard rated USCF tournament games came yesterday afternoon. In between, I played ten games. I was clearly worse at some point...Show More Summary

Bishop versus Knight

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

The 25th annual Dave Collyer Memorial chess tournament is this weekend. I have played in more than half of them, perhaps fifteen. My best year was 2012 when I finished in second place, winning four games and taking a third round bye....Show More Summary


last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Win with grace. Lose with dignity.Susan PolgarDuring morning coffee today, I reviewed three games on, then played a single blitz game. When the blitz game began, I spoke my opponent's name, DarklordCOBRA, and then said, "this could be loss number 10,000." My wife can attest that I was calm and ready to accept defeat. Show More Summary

Cultivating Youth Skills

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

My chess students range from absolute beginners who have just learned how the pieces move and are beginning to discover forks and pins to some of the perennial trophy winners at local scholastic events. Students who meet with me one-on-one get tailored instruction that includes analysis of their tournament games. Show More Summary

Black to Move

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

I failed this problem on tactics trainer, but found the first two moves. Black to move


last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Mental discipline and hard work improves luck.James StripesMy success finally winning a club championship at the Spokane Chess Club included a lot of luck. I was strategically lost in the first round, but my opponent failed to find the correct plan (see "Fiddling with the London System"). Show More Summary

The Whole Board

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

This position has occurred in at least 21 games, including Ree,H -- Piket,J, Breda 2001, which appears in Encyclopedia of Chess Miniatures (2015). White to move The best move, which has been played in 19 of those 21 games, is quite elegant.

Basic Tactics: Pins and Forks

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Yesterday, my beginning chess club saw an obscure miniature and then completed the worksheet Beginning Tactics 3.Beginning Tactics 3Find the correct move for White in each diagram. Draw an arrow showing the correct move. These positions...Show More Summary

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