Chess.com - Play. Learn. Share. Online chess community where you can play chess, learn strategies and tactics, read chess news, see book reviews, find rules & tips, get free downloads, and more! http://www.chess.com/ 2007 Chess.com What separates strong amateurs from weak ones?Speaking as an amateur of medium strength, I find it interesting playing comparatively weak players just to see what they lack. Here are two 5/0 games against a 1275-rated player, one a win and one a loss. Can you tell which is my win and which is...http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/what-separates-strong-amateurs-from-weak-onesSat, 01 Jun 2013 17:47:45 -0700http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/what-separates-strong-amateurs-from-weak-onesSo you're being attacked by a troll ... In the above game, I was torn apart by one of chess.com's knuckle-draggers, the horrible combination of troll and patzer who play silly openings (sometimes even Bxf7+), insult you and ask for a rematch. Here is how to survive a troll attack. ...http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/how-to-survive-the-h-pawn-hackSat, 30 Mar 2013 08:05:01 -0700http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/how-to-survive-the-h-pawn-hackDisaster in the KIDToday I'm going to focus on a game where I got pulverized in my pet opening, the classical KID, by a 2130-rated player (happily, I came second to him in the tournament): I should have preferred G5 to NF6, which allows C5 too soon. Again, I shoul...http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/disaster-in-the-kidSun, 24 Mar 2013 16:44:29 -0700http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/disaster-in-the-kidBad openingsToday and yesterday I learned playing Jeremy and Carson how playing openings like ... A5 aren't necessarily too terrible -- I always remember my irritation when people played what I would call "silly" openings, and apart from the Bxf7 tactic, whic...http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/bad-openingsMon, 18 Mar 2013 16:02:26 -0700http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/bad-openingsRensch's training tips1. Know the colour of every square (d6=black, etc): get to the point where you can reel off 25 in a row instantly. 2. Be able to reel off the "brother square" instantly (a1/h8). 3. Know the diagonal and the colour of every diagonal. 4. Practice...http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/renschs-training-tipsSun, 17 Mar 2013 05:08:27 -0700http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/renschs-training-tipsOpening theoryI have a theory that your winning percentages will rocket if you take the time to memorize the first five moves of every significant opening. After five moves, the "plan" of each opening is clear, and so with careful play you will mostly reach equ...http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/opening-theoryThu, 14 Mar 2013 07:17:48 -0700http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/opening-theoryFinding the right move My diet of tactics trainer and standard has gotten me to my highest rating ever in standard and correspondence, so things are going well. The game above is interesting to me in terms of the things I get wrong -- and thinking why. My five inaccur...http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/finding-the-right-moveSat, 02 Mar 2013 13:30:04 -0800http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/finding-the-right-moveThe Berliner System Here's a way to evaluate your position, copied from wikipedia: pawn = 1 knight = 3.2 bishop = 3.33 rook = 5.1 queen = 8.8 There are adjustments for the rank and file of a pawn and adjustments for the pieces depending on how open or closed the po...http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/the-berliner-systemFri, 22 Feb 2013 09:00:59 -0800http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/the-berliner-systemThe Double Bishop Advantage I've heard it said that double Bs are worth an extra pawn. Of course it depends on how open the game is, but the above game, in which I use the threat of doubled bishops to eventually win a rook, is a good example. B5 and b4 aren't the best move...http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/the-double-bishop-advantageThu, 21 Feb 2013 17:54:18 -0800http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/the-double-bishop-advantagePattern recognition This game today was all about pattern recognition. I think it's the best way to improve ... just get an app and practice until you're familiar with all of the main tactical motifs ... http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/pattern-recognitionSat, 09 Feb 2013 17:51:08 -0800http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/pattern-recognitionThe Power of the Double Check Analysis below ... http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/the-power-of-the-double-checkTue, 05 Feb 2013 14:13:53 -0800http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/the-power-of-the-double-checkWhat to do when your opponent blundershttp://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/what-to-do-when-your-opponent-blundersMon, 04 Feb 2013 16:58:29 -0800http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/what-to-do-when-your-opponent-blundersChess diary 23/1So I have finally entered the top 2% of players in something, having achieved a rating of 1959 in online chess. My live ratings are really terrible, though, and I'm going to have to put some serious work into turning them around. Remember: it's fa...http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/chess-diary-231Tue, 22 Jan 2013 19:06:25 -0800http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/chess-diary-231Chess diary 17/1 (+1)Although two of those victories were defaults, so really it's -1. I've decided to divide my losses, with "amber" mistakes meaning missing a two-move combo and "red" mistakes meaning a one-move oversight. Of my five losses, one was an amber (knig...http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/chess-diary-171-1Thu, 17 Jan 2013 16:17:17 -0800http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/chess-diary-171-1Chess Diary 16/1/13http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/chess-diary-16113Tue, 15 Jan 2013 16:53:54 -0800http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/chess-diary-16113Chess diary 10/1 (-1)OK, so the bad part is, my overall rating is at its lowest since October. To be honest, I never thought I'd see the 1300s again. I played 19 games today, winning 9 and losing 10. I lost on time only once, the final game of the day, when two minor...http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/chess-diary-101--1Thu, 10 Jan 2013 12:34:00 -0800http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/chess-diary-101--1Chess Diary 9/1/12 -3Lost 3 on the bounce today. Perhaps it's time to do what other players do -- obscure, trap-heavy openings. It won't improve my chess, but then, will any aspect of Bullet? http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/chess-diary-9112--3Wed, 09 Jan 2013 09:19:13 -0800http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/chess-diary-9112--3Chess diary 7/1 (-1)I practiced tactics and mating nets for 15 minutes, crushed a 1400 in Standard and did a lesson on drawing in Chess Mentor. I then spent 15 minutes re-hashing the French and KID openings and the anti-Sicilian, another 15 on tactics and then went i...http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/chess-diary-71--1Mon, 07 Jan 2013 06:15:53 -0800http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/chess-diary-71--1Chess diary 6/1 (0) Today I analysed one of Jeremy's games and annotated it. I "played" an opening-theory heavy game mostly from a database in 15/10 (see above). In 2/1 I got into trouble with a pin again in the Modern Steinitz -- my opponent missed a well-known mat...http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/chess-diary-61-0Sat, 05 Jan 2013 18:00:06 -0800http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/chess-diary-61-0Chess diary 5/1 (+1) Today I did a bit of tactics, reviewed the Tarrasch and KID variations, and played several interesting games against Carson. I've decided to adopt a system of five games a day, three rated and two unrated, the three rated in a single live categor...http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/chess-diary-51-1Fri, 04 Jan 2013 16:31:57 -0800http://www.chess.com/blog/standing_tal/chess-diary-51-1