how to avoid blunders

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  • Tal's Sacrifices Explained

    "When I asked Fischer why he had not played a certain move in our game, he replied: 'Well, you laughed when I wrote it down.'" -Mikhail Tal (1936-1992)  Neither Mikhail Tal's life, nor his personality, nor his playing style, nor his ailments can... | Read More

  • Never Resign Prematurely!

    Throughout my chess career, I have resigned in several different ways. During my very first games with my brother, I - well, I resigned by knocking the pieces over in disgust. In my first tournaments, I flicked the king over, old style. Then, for ... | Read More

  • Desperado Defense

    "Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before," quipped American actress Mae West in 1936. So it is with defending bad positions in chess. One cannot deny that in the majority of cases, the best way to test your opponent's techniq... | Read More

  • How to Avoid Blunders, Part 2

    Last week, I discussed a three-step method which you can (and should) apply to every move you are planning to make in a complex position to diminish the risk of blundering. As promised, today, we will actually test this method out and determine if... | Read More

  • How to Avoid Blunders, Part 1

    A few weeks ago, I was surfing through some of my earliest games, played in 2003 and 2004 and recorded in a tattered blue scorebook that has been gathering dust in my closet forever. As I expected, positional blunders appeared in alarming quantiti... | Read More


  • Tempo

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    In chess, tresesponded to. In this case, since both players have "lost" a tempo, the net result in terms of time is nil, but the change brought about in the position may favor one player more than the other.   Gaining tempo may be achieved, for... Read More »

  • Bongcloud Attack

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    The Bongcloud Attack is a dubious opening invented by Graw81, characterised by the moves 1. e4 e5 2. Ke2?!. It aims to either develop the king for an early endgame or get the white king to the other side of the board. It can also be played after o... Read More »

  • The Stare

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    In chess, as in other games that promote gamesmanship, "The Stare" is a common tactic used by players to intimidate, annoy, confuse and otherwise put an opponant out of his or her comfort zone. It is generally done when a player is trying to thi... Read More »

  • Coiled Spring Effect

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    The coiled spring effect in chess is related to how a players pieces will start out from a fairly compact and/or cramped opening position, and how they will "unwind" the spring and start attacking with the dynamic energy pent up in the position. A... Read More »

  • Prophylaxis

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    In chess, Prophylaxis means guarding or preventing a move before it is made. A prophylactic move usually haults the opponent from taking action in an area. One example of prophylaxis is, when the king is buried behind a wall of pawns, moving a paw... Read More »