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Blog Profile / Chess Skills

Filed Under:Hobbies / Chess
Posts on Regator:611
Posts / Week:2.2
Archived Since:August 3, 2009

Blog Post Archive


2 days agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

In the game of chess, a player is required when it is his or her turn. Sometimes a player would prefer to pass, but the rules do not permit it. This compulsion to move in a bad position is called zugzwang.The player to move in this position will lose a pawn. Show More Summary

Pawn Structure Chess

4 days agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

McDonnell -- La Bourdonnais 1834 Readers may find a note of irony in my reasons for the gap of time between this post and the previous one concerning the first match between Alexander McDonnell (1798-1835) and Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais (1795-1840). Show More Summary

Painful Memory

In 2005, I was playing an underrated elementary age youth late at night at the Spokane Chess Club. It was part of one of our summer quad events. A critical position was reached when he played 21.bxc3 and offered a draw. I was down an exchange plus a pawn. Show More Summary

Lesson of the Week

Essentials of Rook Endings My primary chess club had been divided into groups meeting on different days by age in years past. This year the division was changed to one based on skill. Consequently, my beginning group on Tuesdays receives different instruction than the advanced group on Thursdays. Show More Summary


When a tactical opportunity presents itself, seize it. Perhaps Black thought that he won a pawn with 33...Nxf2. This position arose in Miroshnichenko -- Rychagov, Sochi 2005. I found the game while exploring options for Black in the Catalan after 6.Qc2 dxc4 7.Nbd2, which scores very well for White. White to move

Knight Forks

When I get a new copy of Chess Informant, I play through all of the games published therein that are classified C00-C19. These are the Encyclopedia of Chess Openings (ECO) classifications for the French Defense. New on my computer are the download versions of CI 119, CI 120, and CI 121. Show More Summary

Superficial Analysis

Correcting Errors There is no substitute for calculation. Intuition can be helpful in chess and sometimes even helps humans see some things that computers miss. However, a quick glance and reliance upon intution can mislead.In yesterday's...Show More Summary

The Final Transition

While beginning to explore the exciting material in Chess Informant 121, I came across an ending of value to intermediate students. In this game from the recent Olympiad, Markos -- Leitao, Tromso 2014 (CI 121/82), White sacrificed his queen for the purpose of placing a dangerous pawn on the seventh rank. Show More Summary


3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Does White have compensation for the sacrificed pawn? How should Black proceed? Black to move

Top 100!

4 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

It never crossed my mind that I would be on any list of the Top 100 chess players, although it might have. When I reached my peak USCF rating slightly more than two years ago, I was in the top 60 active players in my state.But a Top 100 national list is another matter. Show More Summary

Playing all Night

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Sometimes I play online blitz or bullet all night long. Sometimes this reckless behavior stems from trying to swing my way through a slump. After I lose several games that I should have won, I keep playing until my performance improves. Show More Summary

Losing Time

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Time, that is, efficiency, is a central strategic and tactical element in the game of chess. A player who wastes time quickly finds him- or herself in a worse position even without material loss. Moving one piece repeatedly in the opening usually wastes time.Two games illustrate this problem. Show More Summary

Blitz Woes

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Over the last few weeks, I have blown many wins and draws in online blitz. I also have had a few games handed to me by similar errors by my opponents. Black to move Black should hold with 43...Ke7, but I played 43...Nc7 and after 44.Kd6 Nb5+ 45.Bxb5 axb5 we reached a pawn ending that was hopeless for me. Show More Summary

La Bourdonnais's Infantry

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

McDonnell -- La Bourdonnais 1834 In game 21 of their first match, Alexander McDonnell's knights prevailed (see "McDonnell's Cavalry"). In the next game,Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais gave a demonstration of principles set down eighty-five years earlier in L’analyze des échecs (1849) by François-André Danican Philidor. Show More Summary

McDonnell's Cavalry

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

McDonnell -- La Bourdonnais 1834 In the twenty-first game of their first match, Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais castled queenside and launched a kingside assault with pawns and heavy pieces. Alexander McDonnell responded with a thrust of his a-pawn and fine piece play in the center. Show More Summary

Back to School

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Elementary Instruction School has started for most young children in the United States. Soon, the scholastic chess season will be upon us. Parents, coaches, and players need to stress elementary skills until these become routine. This position from a recent online blitz game illustrates some of these skills. Show More Summary


2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

McDonnell -- La Bourdonnais 1834 In game twenty of their first match, Alexander McDonnell sacrificed development for material gain. Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais took advantage of this error to launch a decisive attack against White vulnerable king. Show More Summary

After a Long Drought ...

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

McDonnell Wins! McDonnell -- La Bourdonnais 1834Down eleven wins to two, Alexander McDonnell scored his third win in the match in game 19. McDonnell (1798-1835) agreed to play a match of twenty-one games, draws not counting, against Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais (1795-1840), the undisputed champion of France (and presumably of Europe). Show More Summary

Failure in the French

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Looking through my database, I found this abysmal failure in the classical French. I had begun the process of switching from the Sicilian to the French two or three years before this game, which was played in an online USCF rated tournament.Bennett,Thomas...Show More Summary

Sacrificial Breakthrough?

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

In the final round of the Spokane Falls Open, I was paired against an underrated child. Alex has been one of the strongest local scholastic players through the past two years, winning or finishing near the top of the K-12 section in nearly every event through third and fourth grade. Show More Summary

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