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  • Mailbag: How To Improve Your Game

    Chess.com member Nietsoj wrote: “I read your recent post where you answered a question about aiming for a 2000 rating. Just as so many other amateur players, I have the same goal, and I am wondering what a realistic training program would look ... | Read More

  • The Weird And Wonderful Empty Square Sacrifice

    I will not hide the fact that I love to hear the spectators react after a sacrifice of a piece or pawn. I dont think that there is anything bad in such a feeling; no artist or musician is indifferent to the reactions of the public.  -- Mikh... | Read More

  • Saving Chess With The a-Pawn

    The first part of this article has brought a great response and many reader suggestions. But I have a confession to make. It was a totally tongue-in-cheek article and I am surprised that the majority of our readers took it for face ... | Read More

  • How To Play Plus-Equals Mode

    In his excellent work The Seven Deadly Chess Sins (Gambit 2000), Scottish GM Jonathan Rowson introduces a fascinating concept that GM Jonathan Speelman terms plus-equals mode:  If properly understood, the idea of playing only... | Read More

  • Alekhine's Defense: World Championship Openings

    Alexander Alekhine won the title from Jose Raul Capablanca in their 1927 match. The Franco-Russian master had an unusually wide opening repertoire compared to the earlier champions, and he loved to experiment with different openings. So while A... | Read More

  • Shadow Pictures of the Vienna Players

         The Vienna Chess Tournament of 1898, one of many tournaments sponsored by Albert von Rothschild, ran from May 31 to July 25 and was played at the Vienna Chess Club.  It attracted many strong and now-famous masters. Tarrasch and Pillsb... | Read More

  • Why Do Grandmasters Blunder?

    Over the years I’ve noticed that whenever a grandmaster hangs his face, the masses of fake names go berserk and not only berate the unfortunate player but toss sick (and completely ignorant) accusations his way: “He lost on purpose! It’s a ... | Read More

  • Pete's Pathetic Chess: 'Never Good'

    Chess.com fans have marveled at my uncanny ability to play pathetic chess, and yet win all the same. That won’t be the case today. Unlike the first two games featured in this column, this next game boasts the logical and just conclusion of... | Read More

  • Bishops Do Not Retreat!

    Some time ago, I wrote an article with a similar title where we discussed a sacrifice that happens when Black plays h7-h6 and attacks White's Ng5, but instead of moving the knight back, White plays Ng5xf7! starting an attack. Today we'll analyze... | Read More

  • The Rubinstein Maneuver

    "A master cogitates carefully, perhaps a half-hour on a move. Finally, he chooses the correct square for the correct piece and places it there. A grand master is much more skillful. He hardly thinks at all; he throws the piece into the air and it ... | Read More

  • Capablanca's Nimzo-Indian: World Champion Openings

    Like Emanuel Lasker, his successor, Jose Raul Capablanca, was less of a theoretician and more of a keen practical player. Lasker utilized his great psychological understanding and clever trickiness, while Capablanca's skill rested in his innate un... | Read More

  • The Killer Instinct

         There are many definitions for the concept, "killer instinct."  One of the better ones I found, from Dictionary.com, tell us it's "an aggressive and ruthless determination to win or attain a goal."       Maybe it was an eventual p... | Read More

  • Chess Tactics And The Hookah

    A Superior Tactician Chess.com member Mzeekimaro wrote: “I am a big fan of you and your chess books. I am rated 1581 by FIDE. I want to be very good at tactics. What do you recommend I do? I want to be labeled as a superior tactician.&rdqu... | Read More

  • How To Learn An Opening And More

    Chess.com member Mahilewetsll asked: “Hello. I’m almost 17 years old. What can I reach in chess? How long will I need to do it?” Dear Mr. Mahilewetsll, I get this kind of question a lot (from people 10 to 60). Think about this in a logical ... | Read More

  • 10 Tips To Stream Your Chess Games

    Streaming competitive gaming has exploded in popularity the past few years, and many of the biggest chess celebrities on the Internet are not super-GMs but super streamers. Chess.com is hosting a $3,000-prize pool streamers tournament on Se... | Read More

  • Opening Or Endgame? You Decide

    In studying chess, which of the two phases should students focus on most? Or should they concentrate on another aspect of chess altogether? It reminds us of other eternal questions, like what is the meaning of life, why is there something rather... | Read More

  • The Hardest Move To Make

    The inspiration for today's article was rather unusual.  Recently, I was lying in bed when a peculiar memory invaded the sleepy recesses of my mind. I recalled an unusual and astute piece of advice given to me by GM Alexander Kali... | Read More

  • Steinitz Defense: World Champion Openings

    Opening choice is a very complicated subject, bound up not just in questions of chess theory and principles, but also in individual personality and style, and even the current state of society. When picking an opening today you need to consider ... | Read More

  • Mementos of Morphy

    Paul Morphy circa 1858      I had come across this blurb in an 1886 edition of the "British Chess Magazine" under the sub-title, "Foreign News" :      The estate of the late Paul Morphy was sold by auction on July 24th, and among th... | Read More

  • Could A Chess Computer Take Over The World?

    Chess-playing computers are almost unfathomably strong, and they are improving faster than even the best human players. Three months ago, we took a look at the top five computer chess engines, and today the best two programs on that li... | Read More