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  • Mikhail Tal And The Modern Benoni

    Botvinnik had regained the title from Smyslov in their 1958 rematch, but soon he had a new challenger: the fiery Latvian player Mikhail Tal. Tal had appeared out of nowhere, and within a few years went from an unknown young player to a challenge... | 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

  • Can You Still Specialize In An Opening?

    In today's world of competitive chess, it is easy to imagine that you have to surprise your opponent every time. That you have to continually rotate your openings to avoid preparation. That you cannot develop a deep understanding of an opening wit... | Read More

  • Another Crazy Pawn Lunge By Shirov

    The article I wrote last week, "The Shabalov-Shirov Gambit" reminded me of another, more radical g2-g4 move, also largely developed by the aggressive Latvian player Alexei Shirov. 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.g4!? The so-called "Li... | Read More

  • How To Play The Shabalov-Shirov Gambit

    The 90s were a decade of complex openings:  in particular, the King's Indian and the Semi-Slav. In 1992, a peculiar attacking idea came out of Latvia to combat the Semi-Slav, Meran Variation. 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6... | Read More

    • Chess Openings

      Preface: The very first opening that I used was the King's Knight Opening (includes Gunderam Defence, Greco Defence, Damiano Defence, Elephant Gambit, and Latvian Gambit.) Constant practice and understanding the basics really help me a lot to know... | Read More

    • Shirov Swimming in the Boiling Waters of Iceland

      Latvia is represented in the Open European Team Championship currently taking place in Iceland by a women's team featuring Mrs Reizniece-Ozola, the current Latvian Minister for Economics, and a men's team featuring Latvia's top seed Mr Shirov.  ... | Read More

    • Checkmates of the day 23

      Russian Grandmaster Peter Svidler won against Peter Heine Nielsen in Copenhagen in 2010. White to move and checkmates in 1: Russian talent Sergey Karjakin beat Top latvian player Alexei Shirov in the World Cup in 2010. White to move and check... | Read More

    • Checkmates of the day 22

      The best latvian player Alexei Shirov beat Top french player Etienne Bacrot in the Rapid World Cup in 2010. White to move and checkmates in 1: "Fire on the board" Alexei Shirov won against French grandmaster Etienne Bacrot in Odessa in 2010. ... | Read More

    • The Ruy Lopez Q & A

      Member Chicken_Monster sent the following questions to me regarding the Ruy Lopez Opening: Please go over the following if appropriate. Thanks Robert. (1) What do you recommend playing in the Ruy Lopezas White and as Black? Please explain the i... | Read More

      • Robert0905
      • | Nov 4, 2015

Video Lessons

  • Englund Gambit

    • 0 Reads
    • | 0 Reads

    The Englund Gambit is a rarely played chess opening that starts with the moves: 1. d4 e5?!Black's idea is to avoid the traditional closed queen's pawn games and create an open game with tactical chances, but at the cost of a pawn. The gambi... Read More »

  • Latvian Gambit

    • 0 Reads
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    The Latvian gambit would begin 1.e4-e5 2.Nf3-f5 creating a kind of reverse King's Gambit as Black. It is generally a less used gambit for its potential difficulties with king's side attacks from White, as well as its conflicts with some theoretic... Read More »

  • Bagirov, Vladimir

    • 15 Reads
    • | 15 Reads

    Vladimir Konstantinovich Bagirov was born to an Armenian father and a Ukrainian mother in Baku on August 16, 1936. He was a Soviet-Azerbajani-Latvian Grandmaster who competed in nine Soviet championships between 1960 and 1978.  His chess coac... Read More »

  • Mednis, Edmar

    • 1 Read
    • | 1 Read

    Edmar John Mednis (1937-2002) was a Latvian-born American grandmaster (1980) who took 2nd place in the 1955 World Junior Championship, behind Boris Spassky.   He wrote 26 chess books and hundreds of chess articles.  He was trained a... Read More »

  • Gipslis, Aivars

    • 14 Reads
    • | 14 Reads

    Aivars Gipslis (1937-2000) was a Latvian grandmaster (1967).   He won the Latvian championship 8 times (1955, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1966).  He took 3rd place in the USSR chess championship in 1966/67.  At the Sousse Int... Read More »