Blog Profile / Chess Skills

Filed Under:Hobbies / Chess
Posts on Regator:890
Posts / Week:2.2
Archived Since:August 3, 2009

Blog Post Archive


22 hours agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

In a blitz game this morning, I had an uh-oh moment. Either I was losing my queen or a bishop. I spent 21 seconds contemplating the position, and reasoned that I had compensation for the queen. Then, in the complications, my opponent faltered. Show More Summary


An appalling number of chess games are lost (and won) because a player puts a piece where it is free for the taking. Chess players use the term en prise, which no one in America pronounces correctly, when a piece is within grasp (see Edward Winter, "En Prise [Chess Term]," History Notes, updated 28 February 2015). Show More Summary

Develop Your King

5 days agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

In one of my many blitz games this morning, I had one of those many experiences when I realized that I was playing poorly and now seemed to be losing material. Stripes,J (1806) -- Internet Opponent (1852) [D06]Live Chess, 16.05.20171.d4...Show More Summary

Play as Philidor

As may be well-known, François-André Danican Philidor asserted, "pawns are the soul of chess." In Analysis of the Game of Chess (London, 1790), he developed this idea with a number of games showing pieces standing in the rear so as to support a group of pawns that decide the game. Show More Summary

Imbalances and Planning

Years ago, I read Jeremy Silman, How to Reassess Your Chess, 3rd ed. (1993). The book offers useful instruction concerning imbalances and planning. However, sometimes in blitz, I play as if I am in utter ignorance of how to assess a position. Show More Summary

Elementary Checkmate

There is nothing difficult about this checkmate in two, but it is notable. This position arose in a blitz game this morning. Much of that game resembled a correspondence game that I won two years ago (see "Beating a National Master"). Show More Summary

More of the Same

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

In my Knight Award exercises, I include a position from Horvath -- Vigus, Haarlem 1998. White to move This exercise was part of my lesson of the week just before the winter holiday last December, where it was paired with a similar position...Show More Summary

Breaking Down Tactics

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Some tactics training sessions are long; others short. Yesterday morning, I attempted three problems on Tactic Trainer on my iPad. This app, which sells for $2.99, is one that I have used off and on for several years. As the database of problems are stored on my device, it is useful when I go off the grid--away from internet service. Show More Summary

The Polgar Brick: eBook Edition

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

A Review Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations, and Games by László Polgár contains 306 checkmate in one, 3412 checkmate in two, 744 checkmate in three, and then 600 miniature studies. These miniatures (game of 25 moves or less) are sorted into six groups. Show More Summary

Watching Fireworks

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

A couple of evenings ago, I played a blitz game online that seemed as though it turned bad in a hurry. My assessment was wrong. At the very moment when my opponent opened up the center and initiated exchanges, causing me to feel helpless, I had a clear win. Show More Summary

The Final Lesson

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

My after school chess clubs meet from October through April. The end date varies from year to year, but corresponds with the Washington State Elementary Chess Championship. This year, the state championship is tomorrow in Tacoma. It has been in Spokane twice. Show More Summary

One from Greco

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

The oldest English language book that presents games from Gioachino Greco (c.1600 - c. 1634) is Francis Beale, The Royall Art of Chesse-Play (London 1656). This book contains 154 games attributed to Greco, as well as examples of Fool's Mate and Scholar's mate. Show More Summary

How Easy?

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

I created this exercise four years ago for my students. It is one of what I call "one-move worksheets". I create a single page of four to nine exercises that I am able to photocopy for my chess students. I have made some of these worksheets available to other coaches. Show More Summary

Tactics: Basic and Advanced

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Lesson of the Week Bobby Fischer has been my theme this week. Most of my students have seen various positions derived from his brilliant win against Donald Byrne at the Rosenwald Trophy Tournament in New York, 1956. The whole game is posted at "Byrne -- Fischer, New York 1956". Show More Summary

Creating the 300

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

In GM-RAM: Essential Grandmaster Knowledge (2000), Rashid Ziyatdinov offers his version of the legendary 300 positions that a player must know to become a strong chess player. I have written about this book on several prior occasions,...Show More Summary

Byrne -- Fischer, New York 1956

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

"Game of the Century" It was quite an experience to watch [Bobby Fischer] during the critical stage of the game. There he sat like a little Buddha, showing his moves with the calm regularity of an automaton.Hans Kmoch, "Game of the Century," Chess Review (December 1956)Hans Kmoch, as manager for the Manhattan Chess Club, directed tournaments there. Show More Summary

Lesson of the Week

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

All of my students this week saw this position with an opportunity to suggest the best move. Many succeeded. Some of my students saw the whole game, which is posted at "Botvinnik -- Capablanca, AVRO 1938". White to move

Botvinnik -- Capablanca, AVRO 1938

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

A Strategic Masterpiece As one of the most important games from one of the strongest tournaments ever held, it makes sense that Botvinnik -- Capablanca, AVRO 1938 should be highly regarded. The game is deceptively simple, which leads some critics to dismiss it as not worthy of consideration as one of the greatest games ever played. Show More Summary


last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Zwischenzug is also known as intermezzo. It is an in-between or intermediate move, often a check, thrown into the middle of a tactical sequence. Missing these can dramatically alter your calculation of variations.It is the last entry...Show More Summary

Bogoljubov -- Alekhine, Hastings 1922

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Alexander Alekhine gave up three queens to beat Efim Bogoljubow in their last round game at Hastings Six Masters in 1922. The game featured some spectacular tactics and a textbook finish with a near zugzwang position giving way to an elementary pawn ending. Show More Summary

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