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Tactics: Basic and Advanced

2 days agoHobbies / 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

“Triple Exclam” @ U.S. Championships!

Triple Exclam was announced to the public March 11th and the reception has been very enthusiastic. The biography of International Master Emory Tate has won some plaudits around the country and slowly making its way around the world. It has been introduced at book parties and will be featured in upcoming book signings. The book […]

Creating the 300

3 days agoHobbies / 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

4 days agoHobbies / 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

FM Colas earns 3rd and final IM norm!

Colas showing final position against GM Vladimir Georgiev.Photo by Jon Winick. FM Josh Colas has been on a mission to reach his goal as a Grandmaster of chess. He took another step over the weekend in earning his 3rd IM norm at the Clark Street GM Invitational in Chicago. He ended up with 5/9 against […]

Championship shows changing face of U.S. Chess

The recently-ended 2017 U.S. Championship was quite an exciting affair with Wesley So and Sabina Foisor winning their respective titles. There were quite a number of unexpected results as veterans Alexander Onischuk and Varuzhan Akobian scored some crucial victories to put themselves in position to win the tournament. Akobian lost the last round to Hikaru […]

2017 Africa Tour with IM Makoto

IM Rodwell Makotoaddresses students in Nairobi, Kenya IM Rodwell Makoto is the latest Master to participate in the African Tour sponsored by the Paul Allen Foundation and organized by the Kasparov Chess Foundation and MiniChess Kenya. He follows GM Kenny Solomon who visited Kenya in February. GM Pontus Carlsson and IM Daniel Jere also conducted […]

Lesson of the Week

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

Anand to visit Kenya during 4.2 subzonal

Viswanathan Anand remains one of the few world champions in history and perhaps the only sitting champion, to visit the continent of Africa. “Vishy” Anand visited South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania in the past and he will return to Africa when he visits Kenya next week for a gala dinner during the Zone 4.2 championship. He […]

Botvinnik -- Capablanca, AVRO 1938

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


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

A wonderful, awful idea

Hey, I won another cool game against Shredder! Even though I know it doesn’t mean anything, I still feel like sharing. I was White in the position below: Position after 31. … Re5. White to move. FEN: 3q2k1/1p1n1p2/r2p1Pp1/p1p1r1N1/P1P1PQP1/3P4/1P3R2/R6K w – - 0 32 Here, believe it or not, I was feeling just a bit frustrated. […]

Infinite Resistance, Part 2

In my last entry I wrote about how exciting it is to win a game that you were just hoping to draw. The outcome of this year’s U.S. Championship might end up being determined by just such a game. Round nine. Varuzhan Akobian versus Fabiano Caruana. Akobian sacrificed two pawns for a nonexistent attack, and […]

Bogoljubov -- Alekhine, Hastings 1922

2 weeks agoHobbies / 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

2017 U.S. Chess Championship (St. Louis)

The U.S. Championship is set for its 9th edition at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis. With three of the world’s top ten players, five-time champion Gata Kamsky, three-time champion Alexander Shabalov, 2006 champion Alexander Onischuk and the reigning World Junior Champion, Jeffrey Xiong, the tournament continues to get stronger. The women’s […]

Blitz Battles at Chicago’s Lion’s Paw!

Chess is poppin’ in the Windy City. Despite the negative media attention surrounding crime in the city, chess is creating positive vibes on the south side. While the Chicago groups frequents the McDonald’s on 95th and Halsted, they also host other events at the Lions Paws Martial Arts School. Daniel X Jones, a 2100-rated player […]

Philly hosts “Triple Exclam” book party

Showing brotherly love for “ET” by Bruce Cox The Moon shone bright on a cold night in North Philadelphia. A lonely light cast a long shadow on the corner of 21st and Cambria, as the icy wind cut to the bone. Inside though, it was heated, as battle raged. WAR had been declared, as Philadelphia […]

When It Pays to Play Bad Moves

Chess is a weird game. Sometimes the way to win is to play almost, but not quite, badly enough to lose. Then your opponent gets sucked into trying too hard, and then you can catch them on the rebound. But good luck trying to win that way. It has to be unintentional, or it won’t […]

The Best Chess Game Ever Played

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

What is the best chess game ever played? What criteria determines this choice? Do we favor players whom we like?At Inland Chess Academy's Spring Break Camp today, I am presenting a class called the "best chess game ever played." But, I do not have an answer to my questions.My students will receive a list with ten candidates. Show More Summary


For the last six months I haven’t been posting as much as usual to my blog, because I’ve been working on a (non-chess) book. I’m glad to say that I sent the first draft of the book to my editor today. Though there is still a lot to do, I feel as if I can […]

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