There were a few 19th century London chess players who, although they weren't quite on par with the best, were by no means second-rate players and made names for themselves both locally and abroad.
One such player was the pr... | Read More
In part one, I discussed a game that I feel is extremely instructive. There were opening nuances, tactics, and the usual highs and lows. But the main thing that fueled the game’s soul was the existence of two potentially weak squares on e5 a... | Read More
The idea of a “bucket list” is not a new one. It’s an age-old concept to compile a list of things you’d like to do before you “kick the bucket,” or pass away.
Unlike traveling the world or buying your dream ho... | Read More
The game we are going to analyze today is quite typical for the style of Mikhail Tal. It features sacrifices, crazy attack and a lot of fun!
Also, as it happened to many Tal's sacrifices, it was proven incorrect. Of course it took "only" a... | Read More
For this week's edition of my column on the histories of openings, I have chosen the Smith-Morra Gambit -- a selection that might excite many readers.
Most grandmasters have a low opinion of the Smith-Morra, while at the same time it is a favo... | Read More
It's a curious fact that the informal title of "Master" ("Mаэстро"), the equivalent of today's International Grandmaster that was used in Russia during the late 19th-early twenieth century, was based upon ... | Read More
Chess is well known as a game of strategy. This is why it is prominently pictured in all kinds of television commercials that have to showcase long-term planning (e.g. insurance, banking, etc.).
It is a popular myth among people who don't play c... | Read More
Lately I’ve gotten several letters from chess fans who want to know what kind of chess books I like, and what books I consider to be the best of all time.
That kind of “best-ever” list is very much a matter of taste, and a small list is imp... | Read More
Almost everyone knows of Blackburne's quick assimilation of chess, of his simultaneous exhibitions and of his blindfold skill, but less well known is his talent at both problem solving and problem creating.
Joseph Henry Blackbu... | Read More
A new calendar year, for many people, means a chance for a new beginning.
January is a month to consider new possibilities, to improve yourself, and to make a fresh plan for the upcoming year.
In many ways, a new year is like a chessboard in t... | Read More
If the title of the article sounds ridiculous, don't rush to a conclusion.
I'll try to prove that sometimes even very strong chess players forget the basic rules of chess.
Let's talk about castling. Do you remember when it is legal and when it... | Read More
The Chigorin Defense is one opening whose history -- unlike some of others we have examined in previous weeks -- revolves around one man. And of course this is its namesake, Mikhail Chigorin.
Chigorin was born in 1850 near St. Peterburg, where h... | Read More
A long, long time ago. . . in September of 1706 in Amsterdam to be exact, a man named Mr. Caze dated his manuscript on chess, "Instruction pour ce livre d'échecs : contenant les diverses manieres de jouer le gambit," in a letter of ... | Read More
“I would like to understand the type of games I am interested in playing. I am a beginner, and I thought that maybe I might make a database of every game certain people played with a certain opening. My idea is ... | Read More
We've kicked off a new year, but beginning chess players still play the same unsound chess ideas that have been tried by inexperienced players for decades.
Unless their opponents are similarly new to the game, players relying on these unsophisti... | Read More
There are many basic endgame rules you can find in any chess manual:
Centralize your king!
Create an outside passed pawn!
Rooks should be placed behind passed pawns!
...I bet you've heard them dozens of times. And yet one very... | Read More
As beginners, we are invariably warned that pawn grabbing in the opening is a cardinal sin.
Indeed, what could be more incautious than throwing your development to the wind and setting yourself up for tactical calamity?
Pawn grabbing usually s... | Read More
Last week, we learned about the pre-war origins of the opening that would become the Modern Defense.
Thus far, the Modern Defense did not have a real name, nor any kind of reputation. It was a curiosity which had been played a few time... | Read More
I had a brief, though quite interesting, exchange with a gentleman not long ago. It started with a query concerning Louisa Matilda Ballard Fagan, the Italian born English chess player who scored 2nd in the Ladies' International Chess Co... | Read More
I think about chess a lot. I think about chess news, chess history, chess openings and endgames, my chess friends (living and dead), beautiful chess games, and how my 4,000 chess books are pushing me out of my home.
But my main chess thoughts ar... | Read More