Blog Profile / Chess Skills

Filed Under:Hobbies / Chess
Posts on Regator:684
Posts / Week:2.2
Archived Since:August 3, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Training with Karjakin

2 days agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

While working to shore up some weaknesses in my French Defense, I became interested in Svidler -- Karjakin, Khanty-Mansiysk 2014 from last year's Candidates Tournament. The game was annotated by Suat Atalik for Chess Informant 120/98. Show More Summary


I am working through a book that had been collecting dust on my shelf for a few years. Nikolay Minev, A Practical Guide to Rook Endgames (2004) offers an informative discussion of tactical elements and strategic elements in the first chapter, which comprises half of the book. Show More Summary


Several years ago, a high school sophomore who attended a school's satellite program showed up at at a high school chess club where I was the coach. He wanted to know whether he could join the club. He could and did.Kevin Baker had an odd opening that he cherished, but that I did not think was very good. Show More Summary

Winning an Open

I won the Spokane Falls Open with a score of 4.5/5. It was my first win of an open Swiss, although I have won club tournaments, quads, and a few invitationals. I also tied for first in the reserve section of the 2006 Washington Challenger's Cup. Show More Summary

Chigorin -- Davidov 1874

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Early this summer, I faltered in my 2015 goal to work through one game each week from the selection in GM-RAM: Essential Grandmaster Knowledge (2000) by Rashid Ziyatdinov. To some extent my training shifted when Chess Informant 124 arrived, but I also have wasted far too much time playing bullet and blitz. Show More Summary

Knight versus Pawns

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

In round two of the Spokane Falls Open this afternoon, I had Black in this position. The first move that I considered was the right one, according to Stockfish 6. I did not play it, but went on to win anyway. Black to move


3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

This problem was posted on Facebook with "Black to move, mate in two." There are two simple checkmate patterns and it seemed that both could be easily refuted. After I failed, as did many others, even arguing that the correct solution was impossible, a question was posed. What was White's prior move? Black to move

Thinking about Development

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Ever since reading Elements of Positional Evaluation, rev. ed. (1999) by Dan Heisman fifteen years ago, I have thought a little differently about development. Before reading this book, I had been content to get my pieces out, hopefully to good squares. Show More Summary

Why Play Bullet?

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Most of the time that I'm playing bullet chess, I'm unhappy. I lose completely winning positions because my opponent shuffles pieces almost randomly with enough speed that I cannot execute the win before my clock expires. Other times,...Show More Summary

Counting Tempi

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

During a lesson with one of my top students last week, he observed that a particular candidate move lost a tempo. I opined that tempi did not seem as vital in this variation of the Pirc Defense as in certain open positions. The conversation...Show More Summary

The Pride of the Family

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

This position arose in a game between Aron Nimzowitsch and Semion Alapin. When the game took place and where has not been established (see "Nimzowitsch v Alapin" by Edward Winter [updated 1 January 2014]). Suggested dates have ranged from 1911 to 1914. White to move Nimzowitsch played the best move from this position and won a nice miniature.

Side Checks

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Even when down to a few seconds on the clock, I have drawn many rook endgames a pawn down. Because I teach the Philidor Position to young chess players, executing it in play is a simple matter. But sometimes checks from the rear fail and yet a similar idea succeeds.White can draw this position. Show More Summary

King's Gambit Lunacy

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

This was a blitz game with three minutes per game for each player. The game ended in less than half of that time.Stripes,J (1728) -- Internet Opponent (2010) [C25]Online Blitz 14.07.20151.e4 e5 2.f4 Nc6 3.Nf3 exf4 4.Bc4 g5 Black hasShow More Summary

Giuoco Fortissimo

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

In Chess Informant 124, Mihail Marin examines the ancient history and recent practice in the so-called quiet game, or Giuoco Piano ("Old Wine in New Bottles," 82-94). He suggests that in the games of Gioachino Greco and in some recent games, the term fortissimo might be more appropriate than piano or pianissimo. Show More Summary

The Spirit of Greco

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Should aspiring chess players study the games of players who have been dead for more than a century? In an interview conducted while he was World Champion, Vladimir Kramnik answered in the affirmative.I think that if a player wants to achieve much, he should live through the entire history of chess in his thoughts. Show More Summary

Solve This

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

As I am working through Anderssen -- Paulsen, Vienna 1873, which is in GM-RAM: Essential Grandmaster Knowledge, I came across a reference game from a simul conducted by Alexander Alekhine in 1933. White to move Alekhine found the winning tactical shot here.

Overworked Defenders

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Adolf Anderssen found that Black's pieces were stretched thin in their efforts to hold everything together. White to move From Anderssen -- Paulsen, Vienna 1873.

Pawn Wars?

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Is it time to exchange rooks and go into a game of pawn wars? Black to move

Securing the Advantage

3 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Black is a pawn ahead, but his position has some problems. How can Black secure the advantage? Black to move I failed to play this position correctly, but won anyway. Such is the "nature of bullet" chess.

Applied Study

3 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Correspondence Chess Research is a central pleasure of correspondence chess. Using opening books, databases, and both print and electronic versions of Chess Informant elevates my play in the short run and expands my over the board repertoire in the long run. Show More Summary

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