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  • The Modern Defense: A History

    Like the Kan/Paulsen, the so-called "Modern Defense" is an opening with many names. When I first met it, as a beginning chess player, I knew it as the "Robatsch Defense." It has also been called the Ufimtsev Defense, the Kotov Defense, the Pi... | Read More

  • Reaping The Whirlwind!

    When I was still playing in tournaments I answered 1.e4 with various Sicilian lines (Richter-Rauzer, Accelerated Dragon, Paulsen and Taimanov systems, etc.) and the Caro-Kann. I always loved the Caro-Kann, and at the end of my career it became m... | Read More

  • Serendipity Leads to Fischer and Beyond

          I had stumbled across the archived "New York Times" obituary notice for Edmar Mednis (February 22, 2002, by Dylan Loeb McClain).  The obit, of course, reviews his life, but pivots on the point that, although Mednis (pictured left in 19... | Read More

  • Can You Solve Our 2014 Holiday Puzzler?

    Your favorite holiday chess tradition is back!  Chess.com is proud to celebrate the holiday season with an all-new puzzler quiz for 2014. UPDATE:  The 2014 Holiday Puzzler has ended. Thanks to all who played and commented.  O... | Read More

  • Black Tie Breaker

    © 2014, José Diaz   Links Interview with José Diaz José Diaz Official Website | Read More

  • The Amazing Chess Illusion

    Most people are fascinated by optical illusions. Indeed it is a very strange feeling that what you see with your own eyes is not exactly what it is. This reminds me of the punchline to the old joke that I already mentioned in this article: "who ... | Read More

  • Pandolfini's Puzzler #73: Three vs. Two

    Professor: It's good to see you, class.  The kids didn't say much. A few of them even looked sad.  Professor: Why so pale and wan, if I may ask? Rachel: Well, the semester's coming to an end.  Professor: That's true. But you've all learned... | Read More

  • Overprotection, Decoded

    The concept of overprotection, invented and verbalized by Nimzowitsch in My System, is defined by IM Jeremy Silman as "a strategically important pawn or square that is given more protection than it seemingly needs. Essentially a prophylactic ... | Read More

  • The Paulsen Sicilian: A History, Part 2

    Last week, we looked at the history of the Paulsen Sicilian until the late 1950s.  Around this time, it was accepted that the c2-c4 plan was not terribly dangerous for Black, whose dark-squared bishop was still unimpeded by the pawn. The li... | Read More

  • A Potpourri of Traps

    Why study traps?      There are several good reasons why studying traps might be considered important. First, of course, to avoid becoming a victim of one.  Second is to recognize when the opportunity of gaining a quick victory appears.  B... | Read More

  • A Chess Engine Is NOT Your Friend!

    Several years ago I was visiting a friend and he was online looking at live games in a team match event. One game was between a grandmaster (who had the Black pieces) and an international master. A zillion people were using a zillion chess engin... | Read More

  • The Master’s Bulletin, December 2014

    SUBSCRIBE HERE --> (You can find the Master's Bulletin archive here) Peter’s Chess Vibes Carlsen-Anand “This Bulletin focuses on the World Championship — especially the featured article and the opening articl... | Read More

  • Chess.com: 1 Billion Games Served

    How many games have been played on Chess.com? OK, so maybe Dr. Evil asked for 100 billion, but we're getting there. A billion is a big number. If one game started every second, 24 hours a day, it would take nearly 32 years to get to a billio... | Read More

  • Review: The Sicilian Najdorf 6 Bg5

    If you were to ask a hundred grandmasters to name the most difficult chess variation about which to write an opening book, my guess is that the 6 Bg5 Najdorf would be the frontrunner. It is perhaps the most analysed line in chess history, the pi&e... | Read More

  • The Four Most Amazing World Championship Blunders

    The chess world gasped when in game six of this year's world championship match, both Carlsen and Anand missed a simple tactical shot 26...Nxe5! (see #10 in the second part of this series). Some reporters even rushed to call it "the bi... | Read More

  • Eight Is Enough

    Professor: Good afternoon, class. Are you ready for some chess? Three quarters of the students expressed a certain readiness. One quarter didn't. Rachel: I think all eight of us are ready, professor. Zephyr: Eight? Are there really that many... | Read More

  • The Double Attack

    The double attack is a devastating tactical weapon. A double attack can come out of nowhere, instantly winning the game in a complex position. Combinations and tactical shots are usually made possible by a certain aspect of the position -- a vul... | Read More

  • The Paulsen Sicilian: A History

    The Open Sicilian can be broken down into four basic systems. In one, the Dragon, the black bishop is fianchettoed on g7. In the Scheveningen, it is developed on e7 while Black adopts a "little center" of pawns on d6 and e6. In a third, t... | Read More

  • Pfc. Seidman

              Despite the War, the 1940s were an exciting time in American chess, especially in New York.  The USCF, newly formed, still seemed vibrant and "Chess Review,"  Horowitz' somewhat self-serving periodical, reflected the vivacious... | Read More

  • My Favorite Classic Games, Part 13

    These games might or might not be masterpieces; the criterion for this series is that they taught me an extremely important lesson(s) that made me well rounded and much stronger. I’m hoping that these games will teach you the same lessons, t... | Read More

  • 6 Ways To Beat Magnus Carlsen

    This Sunday (Dec. 14), "10 fortunate Chess.com members will earn the right to challenge World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen in an online simultaneous exhibition," according to FM Mike Klein's press release. But I wouldn't call them "fortu... | Read More

  • 14 Amazing World Championship Blunders, Part 3

    Before we continue our "hit parade" of blunders, I'd like to thank our readers (and especially FritsFritschy) for their active participation in our discussion about the historic "blunder" in the first game of the Spassky-Fischer match that we... | Read More

  • On Shoulders of the Giant

    © 2014, José Diaz   Links Interview with José Diaz José Diaz Official Website | Read More

  • How to Mate Your Opponent

    How to Mate Your Opponent   "Winning Chess" by Irving Chernev and Fred Reinfeld gave the following three quotes that inspired this presentation: As soon as a true thought has entered our mind, it gives a light which makes us see a crowd of o... | Read More

  • The Extra Knight

    Professor: Hello, class. Idris: Hello, professor. A number of people were smiling. Rachel: So, is there a plan for today? Wei: What kind of chess player plays without a plan? Zephyr: I never thought of the professor as being a player. Lucian... | Read More

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