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Chess Articles


  • The Art of Setting Traps

    Most tournament players scoff at the notion of Coffeehouse Chess. Even so, some of the most famous brilliancies in chess history were produced under dubious, non-tournament circumstances: The Immortal Game (Anderssen-Kieseritzky) was played at the... | Read More

  • How two Icelandic DJ's saved my life

    For the second time in two years I decided to visit the Reykjavik Open tournament in Iceland – not to play chess, but to watch it, and enjoy the country’s hospitality and natural wonders. Last year, I didn’t have enough time to see any glac... | Read More

  • Pandolfini's Puzzler #34 - Around the Chessboard

    Professor: Hey, class, welcome to our circle of chess friends. Zephyr: Welcome to you as well, Professor. Lucian: We’re happy to arc across your day. Professor: And I’m pleased to hear that I’m surrounded by such good cheer. Luc... | Read More

  • Q&A with Coach Heisman Mar 21, 2014

    "How can I tell if a chess book is too advanced for me?" Excellent question. Often you can't! Even books' suggested reading levels (eg by rating) are often misleading, partly because the publisher wants to sell books, not exclude readers who migh... | Read More

  • Surprising results between titled players: lost half points

    If someone knows surprising results of chess games I would be interested to read. Here are some of them from Finnish championship tournament that was played last year 10th-18th June. To just keep the article shorter I mostly just added Houdini 3 e... | Read More

  • Double Dutch at Death Match 22

    You might think that two boys from the Netherlands, born on exactly the same day and both reaching the upper echelons of chess, would have met even earlier. It took them about a decade, and by the time they did, they weren't equals. "I think we ... | Read More

  • Gain 100+ rating points quickly and start improving your chess

    Having been a chess master since 1981 my goal is to give back to the chess community everything I possibly can. I wish to share all my knowledge and enjoyment of chess with the world. You will be able to take the knowledge my simple teaching offer... | Read More

  • The Master's Bulletin, March 2014

    SUBSCRIBE HERE --> (You can find the Master's Bulletin archive here) Peter’s Chess Vibes Witnessing a historic moment “For the third year in a row I was lucky enough to work at the Reykjavik Open. In the first (lon... | Read More

  • Riding the Winds of Fashion, Part 2

    In Part One of Riding The Winds Of Fashion, I talked about the Hübner Variation of the Nimzo-Indian and how, at one time, it was one of the most fashionable openings in the world. In the main example (Bruce Leverett – Silman, National O... | Read More

  • The Endgame Cunning of Emanuel Lasker, Part 2

    In the first part of my series on Emanuel Lasker's endgame play, we saw how he began the St. Petersburg 1914 tournament rather poorly, nearly failing to qualify for the finals. Even in the finals he was still playing catch-up to José C... | Read More

  • The Art of Doing Nothing

    I cannot tell you, my dear readers, how many times I've had this conversation with my younger students while we analyze their games: "What did you try to accomplish with your last move?" "Nothing!" "Then why did you play it?" "I don't know... | Read More

  • Surprise Me!

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

  • Punishing Unsound Openings

    Unsurprisingly, one of my favorite movies of all time is Searching for Bobby Fischer (I know - the things you find out about me!). Hollywood-style dramatizations of chess games aside, the film is extremely well-made, featuring a thoughtful ex... | Read More

  • Positional Combinations

    I will begin by affirming that the title of this article is deliberately oxymoronic. According to David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld's The Oxford Companion to Chess (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), a combination is "a series of forci... | Read More

  • Pandolfini's Puzzler #33 - Knights to Remember

    Professor: Class, how special it is to see you. Zephyr & Lucian: Hello, Professor. We do feel pretty special. Professor: Don’t let it go to your heads, but I’d like to start off with a question, if you don’t mind. Zephyr: I don... | Read More

  • A Chess Player's Best Friend, Part 2: Check Your Discovered Checks!

    Last week we discussed one of the most powerful chess weapons: a discovered check. Today you can hone your tactical skills by solving our big test. These puzzles have many different tactical themes, but all of the combinations are based on discove... | Read More

  • Riding the Winds of Fashion, Part 1

    When choosing an opening system, it’s important to pick something that is within your skill set, suits your style, and makes you feel excited whenever it appears on the board. You can pick an all-gambit repertoire (it might not be completely... | Read More

  • The Endgame Cunning of Emanuel Lasker, Part 1

    It has been said that the second World Champion, Emanuel Lasker, was unique among the top players of his time period in that he didn't create a chess school of thought. Others have said that he did create a school - the "psychological school." It ... | Read More

  • Mysterious GM Moves

    When you hear the word "brilliancy," what comes to mind? A dazzling combination with multiple sacrifices? A captivating tactical melee in which both players display their calculational expertise? Without a doubt, brilliancy has a tactical connotat... | Read More

  • A Chess Player's Best Friend

    Let me start today's article with a little brain teaser. What can every single chess piece (that is king, rook, bishop, knight or pawn) do that a queen can't? You'll find an answer to this question at the end of the article. Today we'll talk abo... | Read More

  • How to Ruin Your Pawn Structure

    "Pawns are the soul of chess." In general, I loathe chess clichés, but some statements are so true, so deep, that they defy the notion of banality. Think about it. An inveterate patron of the Café de la Régence, an eighte... | Read More

  • Cutting the Gordian Knot

    There often comes a time in a chess game when decisive action is needed. One must change the status quo or find a sudden solution to a long-standing problem. It is funny how this works out - chess is an equation, and decisive changes in the positi... | Read More

  • Pandolfini's Puzzler #32 - Seeing the Large in the Small

    Professor: Hello, Class. I hope you’re having a wonderful day. Zephyr & Lucian: Thank you, Professor. We hope you’re having a wonderful day, too. Professor: I am, especially now that I’m wearing my new jacket with its checkerboard ... | Read More

  • Q&A with Coach Heisman Mar 7, 2014

    "If I play for a legal trap and it doesn't work, can I still have a good game?" Sounds like you might be a lawyer (or need to consult one)!  This is also a good example of how I need to "interpret" questions on my Q&A show. Since the questi... | Read More

  • Ask a Chess Openings Expert!

    Dear Ask-a-Chess-Openings-Expert, My husband and I were planning on taking a trip next month to Hawaii for our 25th wedding anniversary, but my mother refuses to watch the kids ever since Timmy put her cat in the refrigerator.  Bill, my husban... | Read More

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