Blog Profile / Chess Skills

Filed Under:Hobbies / Chess
Posts on Regator:683
Posts / Week:2.3
Archived Since:August 3, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Manual of Chess Combinations

9 hours agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

In January, a young woman showed up at a youth chess tournament that I was running with an interesting book of chess combinations. She told me that this book had been recommended by her coach, who is a Russian master. She also said that...Show More Summary

The Critical Position

This position comes from my round two game against Bob Rajala in the 23rd annual Collyer Memorial. He played a Caro-Kann, and I struggled to find an advantage. We reached a position where I thought that I could be in trouble with a single inaccuracy. Show More Summary

Taking Care of Business

2 days agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

My friend John Julian always reminded me that high rated players must take care of business in the early rounds of a Swiss tournament. That is, players in the upper quarter will be paired against players that they are expected to beat. Show More Summary


5 days agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Morphy -- Lowenthal, London 1858 The fourteenth match game between Paul Morphy (1837-1884) and Johann Jacob Lowenthal (1810-1876) is an instructive game that highlights Morphy's positional understanding, which was decades ahead of his time. Show More Summary

Pawn Endings: The Key Position

5 days agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Lesson of the Week This diagram may be the single most import one for understanding elementary pawn endings. It is the key to understanding many complex pawn endings. If it is White's move, White wins.1.e7 Kf7 (only legal move) 2.Kd7 and the pawn promotes. Show More Summary


Working through a random set of combinations from the Anthology of Chess Combinations, third edition, I find that I need the patience to slow down and improve the accuracy of my calculations. Too much blitz and timed tactics solving has cultivated an expectation that I should see things instantly.This position is a case in point. Show More Summary


Black is ahead one pawn and has everything defended against White's threats. There is just one problem. Black must move. Every possible move produces weaknesses. Black to move From Morphy -- Lowenthal, London 1858.Two moves later, White was ahead a pawn.

Building a Foundation

My lessons with beginning chess students and with accomplished scholastic competitors are designed to build a foundation for a lifetime of chess. Most young chess enthusiasts play the game actively for a couple of years in elementary school, and then take up other activities. Show More Summary

Morphy's Immortal

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Game of the Week This week, I am working on the sixth match game between Louis Paulsen and Paul Morphy. Some commentators have called this game "Morphy's Immortal". The decisive combination that begins with a queen sacrifice is the first...Show More Summary

The New Informants

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Long a publication that crosses language barriers, in recent years Chess Informant has been expanding its front sections with articles written in English. These changes began with opening theory and expanded into articles on many topics.Informant 110 offered a new feature called CI Labs with five articles concerned with new trends in the openings. Show More Summary

Lesson of the Week

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

My clubs and several private students this week have examined a position from Thompson -- Morphy, 1857. This game was the third in Paul Morphy's first match during the First American Chess Congress, which he went on to win.As last week, we are anticipating threats and seeking to understand necessary defensive measures. Show More Summary

Correcting Errors

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Yesterday's post, "Game of the Week," offered a claim that I had mastered a particular position with clear evidence in the same paragraph that I have not. This post aims to correct that error.In a single pawn ending where one player's...Show More Summary

Game of the Week

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

I am going through one game each week with the intention of understanding it thoroughly. This labor is part of a study plan guided by Rashid Ziyatdinov, GM-RAM: Essential Grandmaster Knowledge (2000).There was an earlier, privately published version of this book. Show More Summary

The Rule of Four

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Chess sets with missing pieces are commonplace. As I take a dozen chess sets into many classrooms year after year in order to teach beginners, I have spent a bit of time looking for ways to prevent misplaced chess pieces.My system is...Show More Summary

Problem Solving Contest

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

At today's Groundhog's Shadow youth chess tournament, participants may attempt to win a chess book. One entry will be drawn from all those that submit answer sheets with all the answers correct.Begin with the endgame if you want to become a strong chess player. Show More Summary

Perceiving Threats

4 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Lesson of the Week Youth chess students in the after school clubs that I coach will be looking at a position from a game played by a young player who would go on to become World Champion. Many chess scholars regard Alexander Alexhine (1892-1946) as the best to ever play the game of chess. Show More Summary


4 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

One of the hallmarks of modern opening play is to aim for maximum flexibility. That is, you want to use the move order that will achieve a position where you have excellent choices of how to proceed.Edmar MednisMy study game this week is the second match game between Paul Morphy and Alexander Meek at the First American Chess Congress, 1857. Show More Summary

Training with Morphy

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Playing set positions against a computer develops technique. It is one thing to claim that Black has a decisive advantage, but quite another to demonstrate that advantage against an emotionless monster. During the wee hours of the morning earlier this week, I played out positions from Schulten -- Morphy against Hiarcs on the iPad. Show More Summary

Lesson of the Week

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

When I watch Grandmaster games live on the internet, I often play guess the move. I imagine that I am in the seat of the player to move and try to find the best move in the position. Watching the end of Aronian -- Ding in the last round...Show More Summary

Schulten -- Morphy 1857

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Game of the Week My training regimen varies. I use several tactics training resources, both print and electronic. I go through many games most weeks. I study classic games and sometimes follow Grandmaster games as they develop in real time (see "So -- Vachier-Lagrave"). Show More Summary

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