Blog Profile / Chess Skills

Filed Under:Hobbies / Chess
Posts on Regator:829
Posts / Week:2.1
Archived Since:August 3, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Blowing the Ending

11 hours agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

This morning on, I beat NM Farzad Abdi in a three minute game. However, I completely blew the ending and won only because my opponent ran out of time in a dead drawn pawn ending. Black to move I played 55...Ra3+ and swapped rooks, which produced a pawn ending where my opponent easily seized the opposition and a dead draw. Show More Summary

Lessons with Yasser

2 days agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Yasser Seirawan is giving me free chess lessons, but they are not exclusive. Once again, he is the host in the broadcast booth for the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee. I have been enjoying Seirawan's commentary during Grand Master tournaments since the early '00s. Show More Summary

Teaching Endgames

5 days agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

My advanced group and a few from the beginning group met together this week becuase of a schedule change for another after school activity. They struggled to find the moves in a game played by Alexander Alekhine when he was a young man. Show More Summary

Patterns: Some Evidence

Working through a lesson series called "Advanced Tactics" on, I came across this problem. Black to move The diagram is upside down (Black on bottom).This lesson series was created for Chess Mentor by Thomas Wolski. It contains many lessons from the games of Wilhelm Steinitz. Show More Summary

Alekhine -- Levenfish 1912

Reading Alexander Alekhine's Best Games (1996) this morning, I became caught up studying a miniature. Alekhine -- Levenfish, St. Petersburg 1912 was decided in nineteen moves. Naturally, Levenfish's errors merit attention for anyone who plays the Benoni Defense, and perhaps also for players of the Modern. Show More Summary


Much of my time preparing chess lessons for young students is invested in the creation of worksheets. These can be photocopied and distributed to groups of students at minimal cost. The young chess players can then work on their own or with others to find the correct answers. Show More Summary

The Restricted Center

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Dutch versus the English My interest in the English Opening has been revived lately. As a consequence, I've been looking at some games in Anatoly Karpov, How to Play the English Opening (2007); Vladimir Kramnik, and Iakov Damsky, Kramnik: My Life and Games (2000); and S. Show More Summary

Empty Promises

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Year in Review 2016 was a rough year that dropped my USCF standard rating to 2009 levels. In 2007, my rating climbed over 1700 for the first time, albeit briefly. In 2008, it appeared that I would keep it over 1700, but then in the first event of 2009, it fell again to 1698. Show More Summary

Carlsen's Queen Sacrifice

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

I practice tactics with the computer and so on, in order to keep learning.Magnus CarlsenA few weeks ago, the director of Inland Chess Academy inquired whether the classes for this year's Holiday Chess Camp could be based upon the recent World Championship Match won by Magnus Carlsen over Sergey Karjakin. Show More Summary

Patterns and Calculation

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

There has been quite a bit of discussion concerning pattern recognition the past week on An article by a philosophy student, "Pattern Recognition: Fact or Fiction?", provoked several dozen comments, many challenging the author's analysis. Show More Summary

Twelve Blitz Games

4 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

A few days ago, I bemoaned my rating woes--the constant, often futile quest to maintain an online blitz rating above 1900. At the same time, I highlighted the need for an attitude adjustment. Chess should be fun (see "Attitude"). Serious chess play means not worrying about rating, but approaching each game as an eager learner. Show More Summary


last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

I will not worry about winning or losing rating points. I will only concern myself with learning from each game that I play.Paul Powell, The Fighting Dragon: How to Defeat the Yugoslav Attack (2016), 18.Before the end of the Seattle Seahawks historic loss to the Green Bay Packers last Sunday, I went online to play a few games of blitz. Show More Summary

Pattern Training

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

During the last sessions before the holiday break, I sought to impress upon my young students a benefit that comes from tactics training. Work enough problems and patterns from training start appearing in one's own games.The beginning students started with the Pawn Award: Checkmates and Tactics worksheet. Show More Summary


last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Lesson of the Week For reasons that are not entirely clear, rooks on the seventh rank (or second) are sometimes called pigs or swine. The term "blind swine" or "blind pigs" has been attributed to Dawid Janowsky (1868-1927) and Rudolf Spielmann (1883-1942) by several writers, but the origins remain unknown. Show More Summary

Lessons from the Championship

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

My advanced students this week saw several positions from the tie-break games of the World Chess Championship. White to move The first position is from the final game. I wanted my students to first understand Black's checkmate threats.The...Show More Summary

Karjakin -- Carlsen 2016: Critical Positions

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

The World Chess Championship is tied 5-5 after ten games. Today is a rest day. Before the match, many were predicting a victory for the reigning champion, Magnus Carlsen. Some even thought that Carlsen would retain his title in fewer than twelve games, regarding Sergey Karjakin as clearly the inferior player. Show More Summary

Beating the Italian

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Last night, I finished with a perfect 3-0 to win my section of the Turkey Quads. I had not played in this event since 2011, and then it started a nice run of wins (see "Eleven Consecutive Wins!"). That run propelled me to my lifetime peak USCF rating of 1982, so this year's success in the Turkey Quads could be a good omen. Show More Summary

Karjakin -- Carlsen Match

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Judit Polgar's commentary during the World Chess Championship, currently taking place in New York City, has been terrific! During game three, she assured her viewers that the game was likely to end in a draw, then later was quite certain that Magnus Carlsen would win, and then again that Sergey Karjakin could hold the draw. Show More Summary

The Drawn Game

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Chess games do not always end with a winner. In fact, as players become stronger, draws become more likely. In the World Championship match that is taking place right now in New York City, the first three games ended in a draw. Game four begins about the time that this post was published. Show More Summary

Good Blitz, Bad Blitz

2 months agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Blitz chess is popular and fun. It also can be useful as a training tool. On the other hand, blitz can reinforce bad habits by cultivating sloppy thinking and rewarding reckless play. Blitz chess is characterized by blunders.Today, while...Show More Summary

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