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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


    • 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

    • 25 Books Guaranteed to Improve Your Chess

      How to Improve The most common question I hear from chess students and friends is some version of "How can I improve?". Every strong player has heard this question countless times, and every aspiring player has asked it. My stock answer is to sol... | Read More

    • Ideas for Chess Resolutions for the New Year

      Despite a rather unsuccessful track record, I really enjoy New Year's resolutions. I've kept track of my New Year's resolutions for the past several years, and it's pretty cool to look back and see what I have and haven't achieved. 2012 Earn the ... | Read More

    • Inspiration #5: 10...Qxb3!

      It is a rare thing to see a strong GM fall prey to a queen sacrifice. It is far rarer to see a strong GM lose in 10 moves. Both of these sad fates befell GM Qun Ma against Danny Raznikov in the Groningen Open. This game is a wonderful reminder of... | Read More