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  • Pandolfini's Puzzler #12 - Put the King Back

    “A while back,” Professor Pando began, “I came upon the following interesting position. Oh, by the way, it was created by a very famous chess player, who was best known for the puzzles he made. His name was Sam Loyd.” --- “It’s a... | Read More

  • Heritage in Modern Play, Part 2

    Last week was the first installment of the series Heritage in Modern Play. Just to remind you, since the topic is still fresh this series aim at systematically studying some of the methods of play and ideas that were invented long ago but still ar... | Read More

  • Endgames and Endgames

    What is an endgame? We have discussed this before. In chess we might define the endgame as a position without queens, or with only queens, or something like that. But in popular culture the word "endgame" is also used. For example, "the endgame of... | Read More

  • Rudolf Spielmann, the Lethal Gentleman!

    Rudolf Spielmann was born in Vienna on May 5, 1883, and he learned how to play chess at a very young age. Reti, in his classic book Masters of the Chessboard, said this: “He learned to play while still a boy and was exhibited in public as ... | Read More

  • The Butterfly Effect, Part 2

    Some time ago we discussed the chess version of the well known phenomenon called the butterfly effect. We could see how a piece or a pawn sitting at one part of the board could affect the outcome of the whole battle on the opposite part of the boa... | Read More

  • Rook and Pawn Ending

    If you have an outside passed pawn in the ending, you want your Rook behind it, and your opponent’s Rook blocking it. This allows you to move your Rook up and down the file to gain or lose temps and the enemy can’t move his Rook else your pawn... | Read More

  • Chess Cartoonist José Diaz Joins Chess.com

    One of the results of Chess.com's acquisition of ChessVibes is that from now on, José Diaz will be posting his cartoons here as well! José is the best chess cartoonist we know, and so we're very happy that he's joining. Many years ago José Dia... | Read More

  • Heritage in Modern Play, Part 1

    We are starting new series of articles that will cover the theme of classical chess heritage in the modern play. Most good chess players had to study the games of classics and former world champions to learn the tactical and strategic ideas. These... | Read More

  • Pandolfini's Puzzler #11 - All the King's Knights

    “I’ve been thinking a lot about knights recently,” said Professor Pando to an attentive Zephyr.  --- “The other day I came upon an interesting problem in a math book.  It asked the reader to calculate the number of knights that could be ... | Read More

  • Q&A with Coach Heisman Oct 11, 2013

    "Should I continue playing a weak opening if I know it well?" This is one of those questions that depends on more information, such as: "How weak is the opening?"  "Who considers it weak?"  "Who are you playing", etc. I gave the example of the ... | Read More

  • How the Ending Slips Away

    It's not an unusual event for a stronger player — or, let's say, a better endgame player — to outplay a weaker one from an equal endgame. But what does this "outplay" really mean? To simply play stronger? I don't think this quite ill... | Read More

  • Johannes Zukertort, Master of Dynamics

    Johannes Zukertort was born September 7th, 1842 in Lublin, Poland. It’s always interesting to wonder what a person will eventually become — a life in the military perhaps, a businessman, will he struggle to survive, a doctor or lawyer, or will... | Read More

  • Mouret

          During the first quarter of the 18th century when Deschapelles and Labourdonnais reigned supreme at the highest level of French chess, it's said that the next level was occupied by Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant, Hyacinthe Henr... | Read More

  • Two Criminals, Part Three

    The typical idea of trading the fianchettoed bishop by playing Be3,Qd2 and Bh6 is so common that many chess players execute it almost automatically. Indeed, how can you argue with a game like this: It is the games like this firmly engraved... | Read More

  • Chess.com Player Profiles: GM smurfo

    David Smerdon from Brisbane, Australia is the fourth Australian to become a grandmaster. Smerdon became an International Master at age 14, won the Australian Junior Championship in 1999, and won both his Grandmaster title and the Australian Grand ... | Read More

  • Pandolfini's Puzzler #10 - E for Excellent

    “You’re doing very well,” Professor Pando said to Lucian. “Come grading time, I may even give you an E for excellent!” --- “But first you must “play detective.” Consider the following position, with the pieces outlining a capit... | Read More

  • Blunders in Modern Play, The End

    Today we will wrap-up the topic of blunders in modern play with three endgame examples from the recent Topalov vs. Laznicka match. The traditional Sachova Corrida Novoborska match, which took place in Prague, featured six games between these two t... | Read More

  • An Intricate Endgame

    This week I will show a very complicated endgame I played many years ago, in the 2001 World Open. My opponent was GM Pavel Blatny. This ending contains many exciting characteristics - passed pawns on both sides, mating threats, Zugzwangs. Through ... | Read More

  • Puzzle Potpourri, Part 2

    Since the beginning of time everyone had an opinion, whether or not they had a clue about the subject being discussed. However, in the past opinions usually stayed in one’s own mind or went no further than your friends or acquaintances. Now that... | Read More

  • The Master's Bulletin October 2013

    DOWNLOADS: BULLETIN (PDF)  | PGN (You can find the Master's Bulletin archive here) In the Spotlight Kramnik Triumphs in Tromsø by Alex Yermolinsky Without losing a single game, Vladimir Kramnik won the World Cup ... | Read More

  • Carl Friedrich Andreyevich von Jaenisch

         Tschigorin had written in 1880:  "In the chess world there are not a lot of names with such a wide and well-deserved reputation as the that of our compatriot Carl A. Jaenisch."  Carl von Jaenisch (1813-1872)      Jaenish, a rai... | Read More

  • Two Criminals, Part Two

    Last week we analyzed the games where great world champions (Fischer, Petrosian, Smyslov) happily parted with their fianchettoed bishops to isolate and double their opponent's pawns, turning them into long-term weaknesses. Another famous world cha... | Read More

  • Pandolfini's Puzzler #9 - Six Hard Moves

    “Occasionally,” Professor Pando began, “I lighten up and pose easy problems anyone can solve, even a novice. Cast your eyes on the following position.”  ---- ---- White to move ---- Question: How can White checkmate Black in six mo... | Read More

  • Blunders in Modern Play, Part 6

    We continue with the topic of blunders in modern play and today's article features games from the World Junior Chess Championship 2013, which was held in Turkey and has just finished. (GM Yu Yangyi won!) The three examples featured today are about... | Read More

  • French Poisoned Pawn (part three)

    The final installment, taken from my forthcoming book for Ishi Press. | Read More

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