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A Greco Miniature

Lesson of the Week Most of the games of Gioachino Greco (1600-1634) are miniatures (games lasting few moves, 20-25 moves being the longest that might be so labeled). What can a young chess player learn from such games? Are they of any value to players who are no longer beginners?Greco has been called the first chess master. Show More Summary

Two Sicilians

These games were played last Thursday and Monday, in rounds 4 of the respective tournaments. In both cases I had White and my opponents played Sicilian Defense. I didn’t find the right plan and made some tactical mistakes in both games. Thursday’s game – my opponent was an old former master, I had +1, -1 score […]

Playing Tired

3 days agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Who thinks well when they are sleep deprived? I certainly do not.This past week was the first of a two week event at the Spokane Chess Club. We are calling it Game 61, a dull name that has the merits of accurate description. The United States Chess Federation has several rating pools based on different time controls. Show More Summary

Tate’s bio “Triple Exclam” making moves

Fantastic, ‘magnificent’ product which will in time be duly recognized as a ‘magnum opus’! ~Ian Wilkinson, Jamaica Chess Federation Retail Price: $40.00 (full color, hard back)TO ORDER NOW… CLICK HERE! On March 11th, The Chess Drum announced the release of Emory Tate’s biography, Triple Exclam: The Life and Games of Emory Tate, Chess Warrior and […]

Checkers, Anyone? Plus, Problem Pieces

Last night I won a game against Shredder in very amusing but also instructive fashion. The computer’s rating was set to 2124. (I’ve found that this rating gives me the best blend of success and challenge; setting the machine to 2300 or 2400 makes me get too accustomed to losing.) Position after 27. … Nh7. White […]

Karel Traxler's Brilliancy

5 days agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Lesson of the Week My advanced students spent half an hour on the game that gave the Traxler Counter-Attack its name.Reinisch,J -- Traxler,Karel [C57]Hrána vs. Hostoun, Hostoun, 20.03.18901.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc54...d5 is...Show More Summary

Writing and Publishing

My First Kindle Book Yesterday, I published Essential Tactics: Building a Foundation for Chess Skill (2017) as a Kindle book. If it does well, I plan to update my pamphlet "A Checklist of Checkmates" and make it available in this manner as well. Show More Summary

Principle of Development: Early History

Morphy is sometimes credited with inventing the concept of development, or at least understanding it better than anyone else before those who followed him began to articulate it in their books and articles.James Stripes, "Chess at the...Show More Summary

Detroit chess champs prepare for 2017 Supernationals

Kevin Fite is preparing his chess players for Supernationals that is only months away. Fite coaches at University Preparatory Science and Math Middle School, but has had a hand in the development of most of the area players through the Detroit City Chess Club. He has also hosted a number of guests to provide inspiration […]

Emory Tate’s bio, “Triple Exclam” is here!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Daaim Shabazz, The Chess Drum P.O. Box 7663 Tallahassee, FL 32314-7663 USA (850) 296-9494 Tallahassee, USA – 11 March 2017 – Emory Tate’s biography Triple Exclam: The Life and Games of Emory Tate, Chess Warrior has finally arrived and is available for purchase. The book details the life of one […]

Thrills and Spills (Mostly Spills) in Playoffs

Yesterday I watched the PRO Chess League for the first time since week 2. (By the way, I finally found out that PRO is an abbreviation for Professional Rapid Online. That’s why it is obnoxiously capitalized all the time.) Naturally, I jinxed the team I was rooting for, the San Jose Hackers. In a match […]


2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

When I encountered this exercise at's Tactics Trainer, I spent nearly a minute calculating the knight forks and threatened decoys and skewers in order to win the enemy queen. But, I overlooked a critical nuance. White to move Maybe you can do better.

PRO Chess League Week 2 Playoffs

Second round of the playoffs for the PRO Chess League. The first week (which I didn’t watch) must have been incredibly exciting, with none of the matches decided by more than 9½-6½. The San Jose Hackers, our curious mix of local and Azerbaijani talent, pulled off an exciting upset. As the #6 seed, they defeated […]

Lesson Plan: Pawn Endings

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Some children have a tendency to push passed pawns too soon. In most pawn endings, the king must lead the pawn. This week, I plan to work with my young students to develop their understanding of opposition and outflanking, the meansShow More Summary

Chess finds its way to Gambian village

While the chess world has been occupied with world championship tournaments and elite players, there are many stories unfolding involving the ancient board game. There are different aspects of chess… the sporting aspect, the scientific aspect and the social aspect. The latter is found in stories such as “Queen of Katwe,” which was based on […]

Krasenkow -- Hammer, Stockholm 2016

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

A couple of days ago, I watched the video, "Fear the Bishops: Hammer vs. Krasenkow," by Jon Ludvig Hammer on In this recent video, Hammer shows a game that he played in the sixth round of the 45th Rilton Cup in Stockholm. After five rounds, Michel Krasenkow led the Rilton Cup with 5.0, while Hammer was half a point behind. Show More Summary

Minor Piece Endgame

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

This position appeared in a game in a youth tournament this afternoon. White to move Who stands better? How should each side proceed?

An Honor to Have Played You

Yesterday I found out on Facebook that Walter Shipman had died. I guess it’s not too much of a surprise, as he was 87 years old, but he is one of those few people who seem determined to keep on going forever. Somehow that plan never seems to work, but he gave it a good […]

Learn from Others' Errors

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

My students this week are seeing a series of positions from my games in the 25th Collyer Memorial Chess Tournament. From the same positions, the lessons vary due to skill levels of my students. These students can learn from my error in one game, and the errors of my opponents in others.In the first position, I erred and lost the game. Show More Summary

Taking Your Time

Here’s a position that I got to against the computer. What do you think about it? What is White’s plan? Should he attack on the kingside or the queenside or the center? Should he go fast or go slow? Position after 14. … b5. White to move. FEN: r4rk1/2pqbpp1/p1n1p2p/1p1nP3/3PN3/2PQ1N2/PP1B2PP/3R1RK1 w – - 0 15 Shredder […]

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