Chess Articles

  • Do Chess Players Cheat?

    There’s cheating in chess? What a silly question. Of course there is, and the transgressions are many and varied. But when I came to the game as a callow youth, I didn't pay much attention to it. Naturally, I knew certain practices were i... | Read More

  • Knights On The Rim Are Amazing

    As beginners, we learn myriad principles that guide our chess development and steer us away from common positional vices: Develop knights before bishops. Do not move a piece twice in the opening unless strictly necessary. Knights on the rim ... | Read More

  • Max Euwe And The Slav Defense

    In 1935 a surprising thing happened. The fourth world champion, Alexander Alekhine, widely considered a genius, lost a match to the Dutch master, Max Euwe. Euwe was unique among world champions for several reasons. First, he was the only one who... | Read More

  • Goose-Stepping Down Under

         This is the story of Kārlis Ozols that should be called, "When Chess Players Go Bad."   The story is one of amazement, puzzlement and disgust.      Kārlis Ozols had been a chess player in his native Latvia.  Like Tal, Ozols was... | Read More

  • Mailbag: How To Improve Your Game member Nietsoj wrote: “I read your recent post where you answered a question about aiming for a 2000 rating. Just as so many other amateur players, I have the same goal, and I am wondering what a realistic training program would look ... | Read More

  • The Weird And Wonderful Empty Square Sacrifice

    I will not hide the fact that I love to hear the spectators react after a sacrifice of a piece or pawn. I dont think that there is anything bad in such a feeling; no artist or musician is indifferent to the reactions of the public.  -- Mikh... | Read More

  • Saving Chess With The a-Pawn

    The first part of this article has brought a great response and many reader suggestions. But I have a confession to make. It was a totally tongue-in-cheek article and I am surprised that the majority of our readers took it for face ... | Read More

  • Doing A Caruana

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

  • How To Play Plus-Equals Mode

    In his excellent work The Seven Deadly Chess Sins (Gambit 2000), Scottish GM Jonathan Rowson introduces a fascinating concept that GM Jonathan Speelman terms plus-equals mode:  If properly understood, the idea of playing only... | Read More

  • Alekhine's Defense: World Champion Openings

    Alexander Alekhine won the title from Jose Raul Capablanca in their 1927 match. The Franco-Russian master had an unusually wide opening repertoire compared to the earlier champions, and he loved to experiment with different openings. So while A... | Read More

  • Shadow Pictures of the Vienna Players

         The Vienna Chess Tournament of 1898, one of many tournaments sponsored by Albert von Rothschild, ran from May 31 to July 25 and was played at the Vienna Chess Club.  It attracted many strong and now-famous masters. Tarrasch and Pillsb... | Read More

  • Why Do Grandmasters Blunder?

    Over the years I’ve noticed that whenever a grandmaster hangs his face, the masses of fake names go berserk and not only berate the unfortunate player but toss sick (and completely ignorant) accusations his way: “He lost on purpose! It’s a ... | Read More

  • Pete's Pathetic Chess: 'Never Good' fans have marveled at my uncanny ability to play pathetic chess, and yet win all the same. That won’t be the case today. Unlike the first two games featured in this column, this next game boasts the logical and just conclusion of... | Read More

  • Bishops Do Not Retreat!

    Some time ago, I wrote an article with a similar title where we discussed a sacrifice that happens when Black plays h7-h6 and attacks White's Ng5, but instead of moving the knight back, White plays Ng5xf7! starting an attack. Today we'll analyze... | Read More

  • The Rubinstein Maneuver

    "A master cogitates carefully, perhaps a half-hour on a move. Finally, he chooses the correct square for the correct piece and places it there. A grand master is much more skillful. He hardly thinks at all; he throws the piece into the air and it ... | Read More

  • Capablanca's Nimzo-Indian: World Champion Openings

    Like Emanuel Lasker, his successor, Jose Raul Capablanca, was less of a theoretician and more of a keen practical player. Lasker utilized his great psychological understanding and clever trickiness, while Capablanca's skill rested in his innate un... | Read More

  • The Killer Instinct

         There are many definitions for the concept, "killer instinct."  One of the better ones I found, from, tell us it's "an aggressive and ruthless determination to win or attain a goal."       Maybe it was an eventual p... | Read More

  • Chess Tactics And The Hookah

    A Superior Tactician member Mzeekimaro wrote: “I am a big fan of you and your chess books. I am rated 1581 by FIDE. I want to be very good at tactics. What do you recommend I do? I want to be labeled as a superior tactician.&rdqu... | Read More

  • What is Hikaru Nakamura's Favorite Food? recently sent an e-mail survey to its titled players to find out their preferences on a wide variety of subjects, including blitz chess, music, television, schedules, food, and drinks. Some 71 chess masters filled out th... | Read More

  • How To Save Chess

    In 1920s, the world chess champion Jose Raul Capablanca was at the height of his career. He was so much better than anyone else that he was called "the chess machine" due to the merciless precision of his play. So when Capablanca predicted ... | Read More

  • The NeverEnding Chess Story

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

  • Lasker's Queen's Gambit Declined

    The second world champion, Emanuel Lasker, is a difficult one to include in this series, but it must be done. There is hardly any opening to which he is closely attached. He played a wide variety of solid, "common-sense" openings, w... | Read More

  • The Modern Immortal By Wei Yi

    On March 1, 2013, at the age of 13 years and 8 months, Chinese super-talent Wei Yi earned his final grandmaster norm at the Reykjavik Open. I was deeply impressed by his games from the event, especially by his 33-move victory against Maxime Vachie... | Read More

  • Buckle

    If Buckle had entered the Tournament list [in 1851], and been pitted against Staunton, I think he would have proved victor, as the fine edge of Staunton's play was then taken off, a fact amply demonstrated in his matches with Anderssen and Willia... | Read More

  • How To Learn An Opening And More member Mahilewetsll asked: “Hello. I’m almost 17 years old. What can I reach in chess? How long will I need to do it?” Dear Mr. Mahilewetsll, I get this kind of question a lot (from people 10 to 60). Think about this in a logical ... | Read More

Back to Top