Don't Worry About Your Rating

The rating system is very accurate. That's obviously good... ...but it's also potentially bad. Humans can't help but be affected by perceptions. When players first start rated play, they are often unaware of ratings, but that all quickly changes. Once these new players realize how accurate the rating system is (assuming one plays enough games obtain that accurate rating), the focus on their chess often shifts from "What can I learn?" to "How can I improve my rating?" This is a very dangerous...

Baden-Baden's Title Hunt: Anand, Caruana, MVL On Top Boards

Baden-Baden's Title Hunt: Anand, Caruana, MVL On Top Boards

Last weekend, OSC Baden-Baden made its intentions clear: It wants to win back the title in the German league. For its matches on Saturday and Sunday, it had Viswanathan Anand, Fabiano Caruana, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave on the top boards. Last year, the unthinkable happened: For the first time in a decade, Baden-Baden did not win the Schachbundesliga. It was SG Solingen that finished first instead. But Baden-Baden is ambitious as ever as became clear last weekend in (and against) Hockenheim....

The Perfect Opening For The Lazy Student

The Perfect Opening For The Lazy Student

During the last five years or so, most of the time that I have spent on chess has been devoted to creating things that have helped other players improve: videos, books, articles, courses and whatever else comes along. Undertaking this direction in life has left me with little or no time (or inclination) to study and improve my own game. I am not complaining as I must admit that studying the latest chess theory can be an incredibly incredibly boring pastime. Who wants to be in front of...

How To Calculate With Precision

How To Calculate With Precision

What chess player hasn't miscalculated in a critical moment? GM Melik Khachiyan shows you how to minimize such errors with several puzzles from his recent play. Melik highlights the importance of several zwischenzugs, the hardest chess move to spot!

Timur Gareyev Plays Record 48 Games Blindfolded

Timur Gareyev Plays Record 48 Games Blindfolded

GM Timur Gareyev played 48 chess games blindfolded simultaneously from Saturday to Sunday in Las Vegas. The grandmaster from Uzbekistan, who now represents the United States, improved upon previous simuls by FM Marc Lang (46) and GM Miguel Najdorf (45) and hopes that his record will be internationally recognized. Gareyev in deep concentration. | Photo: Lennart Ootes. Throughout Saturday, December 3 and a bit of Sunday, December 4, Gareyev played chess simultaneously against...

When A Chess Pattern Backfires

When A Chess Pattern Backfires

Everyone agrees that knowledge of typical chess patterns is one of the main requirements for a chess player to become really strong. In our weekly column, we regularly analyze typical positional and tactical patterns. But imagine a position where you just "caught" your opponent in one of those patterns and are ready to enjoy what's supposed to be a highly favorable situation for you. Instead your position is getting worse with every move. Sounds improbable? Well, situations like this...

Ju Wenjun Wins GP, Becomes 2017 Challenger For World Crown

Ju Wenjun Wins GP, Becomes 2017 Challenger For World Crown

Ju Wenjun of China won the grand prix tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk, and with it, the overall women's grand prix. In doing so, she earned the right to challenge the winner of the 2017 Knockout World Championship in a title match. Recap:  At the halfway point of the Women’s Grand Prix, a real western-style gunfight had occurred. The type of shoot-out where everyone in the film gets shot down. In round six, Georgian International Master Nino Batsiashvili had taken a narrow lead. The...

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