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  • The Smith-Morra Gambit: A History, Part 2

    Last week, we examined the origins of the Smith-Morra Gambit.  As the Smith-Morra began to encounter strong players, a variety of different responses developed. In the early days, declining the gambit was actually quite popular. In fact, ... | Read More

  • Let's Get Physickal

         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

  • Mastering Squares, Part 2

    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

  • 6 Chess Moves You Have To Play Before You Die

    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

  • Mikhail Tal's Chess Boomerang

    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

  • The Two-Knight Advantage

    Two active bishops working in tandem are a mighty force. Indeed, the bishop's long range enables it to dominate vast swaths of the board, and to simultaneously play both a defensive and an attacking role. While the power of two bishops is... | Read More

  • The Smith-Morra Gambit: A History

    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

  • Levitsky

         Meisterdrittel.      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

  • Mastering Squares, Part 1

    When I have lessons with students, we usually go over their games. Invariably, the student comes to me thinking that the errors in the game are based on blunders, missed tactics, a bad opening, or some form of positional atrocity. Of course, thes... | Read More

  • 13 Songs With Chess Lyrics

    Chess and music have been linked throughout history. Both of these cerebral pursuits live at the intersection of science and art, and both are breeding grounds for amazing geniuses and prodigies. The logic, structure, and meaning of music can ... | Read More

  • The Longest Plan In Chess

    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

  • Taking It Step By Step

    © 2015, José Diaz   Links Interview with José Diaz José Diaz Official Website | Read More

  • Garry Kasparov's Best Attacks, Part 2

    Last week, we deconstructed the elements of a successful attack through the lens of Garry Kasparov's magisterial attacking displays. Simply put, his tactical vision, calculation, and imagination were second to none. Garry would pounce on the sli... | Read More

  • The Master's Bulletin, January 2015

    SUBSCRIBE HERE --> (You can find the Master's Bulletin archive here) Peter’s Chess Vibes Another Year “Another year has gone by, and this Bulletin starts the second year of our magazine in this form. While the Tata... | Read More

  • The Chigorin Queen's Gambit: A History, Part 2

    Last week, we examined the origins of the Chigorin Defense at the end of the 19th century.  In the following years, Chigorin used his defense many times and demonstrated its basic themes. Let's look at some of them. Black's play on t... | Read More

  • The Best Chess Books Ever

    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

  • Problems of the Black Death

         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

  • 5 Openings To Learn In 2015

    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

  • Do Grandmasters Know The Rules Of Chess?

    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

  • Garry Kasparov's Best Attacks

    I clearly remember that day in March 2005 when Garry Kasparov announced his retirement from professional chess. I was convinced that it was all a misunderstanding, that my days of waking up at dawn to watch Garry massacre one super-GM after... | Read More

  • The Chigorin Queen's Gambit: A History

    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

  • The Lion of Chess

           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

  • Q&A: Opening Prep And Troll Attacks

    QUESTION: Taylor_chess85 asked: “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

  • 7 Dumb Chess Ideas To Avoid This Year

    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

  • You Must Know This Powerful Endgame Pattern

    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

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