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Sam Copeland's Blog

Just a guy who likes a good game of chess and plays a mediocre game of chess Smile


    • SC Players at the Denker, National Girls Invitational, and Barber - Round 1

      For non-US players, the Denker, National Girls Invitational, and Barber are tournaments to which the top K-12, K-8, and top female players, respectively, from each state are invited. Usually, they win their spot at their respective state scholasti... | Read More

    • How to Cheat at Chess

      Cheating in chess is widely deemed to be the greatest threat to the future of chess. Many amateurs and even many professionals regularly state that cheating is rampant. Accusations pervade every level of chess from the lowest levels of online ches... | Read More

    • Capablanca in the Movies: Chess Fever (1925)

      Like many, I'm a huge fan of cinema. Last year, I completed a personal challenge to watch all of the Best Picture winners from 1927-today  The best? I unoriginally stand by "The Godfather". The worst? Unquestionably 1933's "Cavalcade" - there is ... | Read More

    • At Their Best: Mir Sultan Khan's Centralized King

      I'm a big fan of Mihail Marin's book "Learn from the Legends." Marin takes some of the greatest chess players and showcases them in their element. Chapters are dedicated to Rubinstein's famous rook endgame wins, Karpov's opposite colored bishop en... | Read More

    • Stalemate! The Most Aesthetic Swindle

      I am constantly asked by students why stalemate is a draw and not a win. My answer (rightly or wrongly) is that chess is a better game because stalemate is a draw. Narrowly superior positions such as pawn up endings and even equal pawn endings oft... | Read More

    • Part 2 - King Hunts: Mating on the Opposite Rank

      Last week I shared 7 king hunts in which the opposing king was driven all the way to his opponent's home rank. This week I have another 7 I've come across. These games are somewhat more recent than the first 7 so there may be a touch more sophisti... | Read More

    • King Hunts: Mating on the Opposite Rank - Part 1

      There is probably nothing more exciting in chess than king hunts. Usually a king hunt involves sacrificing material (often a lot) to extract the opponent's king. Personally, I think it's only really a king hunt if the king is forced out in front o... | Read More

    • The Good Name of Lasker: Berthold, Emanuel, and Edward

      What is the greatest chess playing family in history? I cannot argue against the Polgars, but I would like to make a case for the Laskers as strong contenders. It is impossible to be a serious chess player and not know of Emanuel, but what about h... | Read More

    • A Stunning Anastasia's Mate

      Yesterday, Magnus Carlsen posted a nice chess problem on his youtube page. The problem is taken from a game against Norway's number 2, Jon Ludvig Hammer (great name).   The problem features a nice Anastasia's Mate. My personal favorite versio... | Read More

    • Inspiration #6: Winning an "Equal" Endgame

      GM Ernesto Inarkiev won this year's Moscow Open with a remarkable 8/9 score. Inarkiev is one of those many players who have been playing incredible fighting chess at a high level for many years. These days, we are so blessed in the chess world tha... | Read More