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  • The "Simplest" Thing in Chess (Part Three)

    I would like to start today's installment of my column with a basic position somebody posted in the comments, which surprisingly was difficult for some of you. You should remember this simple rule: once the King gets to the sixth rank (th... | Read More

  • SOS - Secrets of Opening Surprises - April 2013

    No time to study opening theory? Shock your opponent with an SOS! With an SOS you deviate early (usually before move 6!) from regular lines in mainstream openings. So you will reach positions you have actually studied without having memorized tons... | Read More

  • How To Play Against Old Guys, Pt. 2

    In Part One of How To Play Against Old Guys, I gave the weaknesses and strengths of older players. I’ll repeat them here: WEAKNESSES * Old players get tired. Really tired. Often really fast. * Old players can (and do!) easily lose c... | Read More

  • Chess.com Player Profiles: GM Magesh Chandran Panchanathan

    He didn´t like school but has a masters degree in computer science,  his nickname is "Captain Mag-Pan" (according to IM Danny Rensch) and he happens to be a fan of Gandhi... Meet Grandmaster Magesh Chandran Panchanathan from Madurai in India, ... | Read More

  • Typical Positions. Part 4.

    Not all openings require knowledge of specific lines; this is especially true for 1.d4 openings. I have been playing 1.d4 for many years now and with minimum energy spent on openings, I manage to get high scores vs like-rated opponents. This is pr... | Read More

  • The "Simplest" Thing in Chess (Part Two)

    If you read the first part of this article, then you already know that, despite popular belief to the contrary, King and pawn endgames can be very tricky. Even the most basic position, with just one pawn on the board, is impossible to play well if... | Read More

  • Chess.com Player Profiles: Roman Yakovlevich Dzindzichasvili

    The media-shy grandmaster Roman Yakovlevich Dzindzichasvili, once the number four player in the world, has rarely if ever given an interview before. We learn about his meetings with some of the true giants and geniuses of chess - Fischer, Botvinn... | Read More

  • "200 Open Games" by David Bronstein

    This week I will be reviewing a unique book - 200 Open Games, by the former "Vice-World Champion", David Bronstein. Rather than fully annotated games, this book presents 200 short vignettes, each followed by an un-annotated game, with one diagram.... | Read More

  • How to Play Against Old Guys, Pt. 1

    I’ve been retired from over-the-board combat since the end of 1999. Though I probably will never play again, I have (from time to time) toyed with the idea of competing in the World Senior Championship, which (if you win) not only makes you ... | Read More

  • Typical Positions: Part 3

    Today we will review typical positions where one side varied their move order and combined some well-known ideas to reach a new, completely fresh position. When you are familiar with plans and typical ideas, sometimes you don't need to exactl... | Read More

  • Isolani strategy: Striving for a better Endgame by Simplification

    Today I will show a typical Isolani-game, when  there is no real compensation for the Isolani. It will go slowly downwards with the position. Compensation is the keyword when playing with the Isolani. Otherwise the opponent, as Lasker in the f... | Read More

  • Q&A with Coach Heisman Apr 12, 2013

    Chess is a game of knowledge and skill. Yet many players - as evidenced from the majority of questions I get on the show - seem to think improvement initiatives lean toward the knowledge side, typical questions being "Where can I learn more about ... | Read More

  • "100 Soviet Chess Miniatures" by P.H. Clarke

    This week I will be covering a very interesting old book called 100 Soviet Chess Miniatures. The games were selected and annotated by P.H. Clarke. This book is particularly unique because the games are entirely by unknown players, and the games ar... | Read More

  • The "simplest" thing in chess.

    Many chess players consider a King and pawn ending the simplest form of an endgame. It explains why one of the most popular ways to convert a material or positional advantage is to go straight to the King and pawn endgame. Here is a classical exam... | Read More

  • Slow Chess and more on Chess.com at the Dan Heisman Learning Center

    Just as my "Novice Nook" column at Chess Cafe quickly became a misnomer because the 6-time "Best Instruction" winner is aimed at improving players of all levels, so has the Dan Heisman Learning Center (DHLC) here at Chess.com quickly become more... | Read More

  • Brutal Tactics and Positional Tactics

    The year was 1969, I was 15 years old and had just made the trip from San Diego to beautiful Santa Monica to participate in the American Open (which, at that time, was held in the luxurious Miramar Hotel). I got there early, checked out the playin... | Read More

  • Typical Positions (Part 2)

    Today we will continue with typical plans arising from the Queens Gambit Declined. I had a chance to experience the lack of knowledge in one critical and very popular line last weekend, while playing in the Philadelphia Open. The game ended favora... | Read More

  • Third Brilliancy Prize

    Here is something you don't see very often... On the 17th move of the game, Tartakower decides to sacrifice his rook for a few pawns. Although his attack seems to go nowhere, he then calmly completes his development. Eventually, he is able to use... | Read More

  • The Queen's "Hidden Passage"

    A Queen is by far the most powerful chess piece and whenever we attack we are usually trying to bring our Queen to the action ASAP. But what if a chess player moves his Queen in the opposite direction? Is he insane? As the saying goes, there is a ... | Read More

  • Typical Positions

    Today we start a new series that will show how modern players understand positions through the lenses of typical strategic plans. The series will span 4-5 articles and cover a range of positions. We will learn to differentiate ideas found at the b... | Read More

  • Q&A with Coach Heisman Mar 29, 2013

    I opened the show by randomly selecting a position from one of my Chess.com friend's slow games: I spent about the first 15 minutes of the show analyzing the position. My general considerations were that White was slightly better due to the act... | Read More

  • How to evaluate a position?

    How to evaluate a position? In this article I would like to cover a topic or even a skill which is very important for practically every chess player. I really like asking my students one little question: "How do you evaluate a position?". In many... | Read More

  • Decisive Games

    Few games test a player psychologically as much as the last-round game of a tournament (or the decisive game of a match). When the prize money, championship, or norm is on the line, the tension becomes extremely high. In this situation you can fin... | Read More

  • The Butterfly Effect

    "Knowledge is power" famously pronounced Francis Bacon in 16th century. I doubt many people would argue with this statement since the more knowledge you have, the better for you, right? Well, almost. Today we'll discuss a very unusual situation wh... | Read More

  • The Advance of the Isolated Pawn as a decisive Action!

    Playing against an Isolated Pawn you should know the  main rule: Never allow its advance! So a blockade and attack-strategy should be your aim, as you can see in the following example: Normally the Player with the Isolated Pawn has to... | Read More

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