What Could Have Been?!

What Could Have Been?!

NM CraiggoryC
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Nov 6, 2016

Could've Would've Should've A big part of chess improvement is going over your games. My preferred way of going over my games is to first talk it over with my opponent (if he/she is willing). After talking it over with my opponent I'll try to p...

Tactics: The Final Frontier

Tactics: The Final Frontier

NM CraiggoryC
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Oct 16, 2016

Many people ask the question, how long will it take to become a master if I started studying right now? Unfortunately, I don't know the answer to this question; there are way too many variables to consider. Fortunately, I do have the answer that w...

The (Oft Butchered) Art of Exchanging

The (Oft Butchered) Art of Exchanging

NM CraiggoryC
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Oct 6, 2016

The (Oft Butchered) Art of Exchanging  One reason why chess is such a hard game to master is that aspiring student constantly needs to learn things and then unlearn them over and over. What I mean is that the beginner should be concentrating on n...

To the Victor Goes the Spoils: RIP Dvoretsky

To the Victor Goes the Spoils: RIP Dvoretsky

NM CraiggoryC
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Sep 27, 2016

Many people have been seduced by the play of the winner. Sometimes to the point of recommending that the victor played perfectly and to emulate this person's play. This is all well and good, until you find out that many an annotator has been misle...

Paralaysis by Analysis

Paralaysis by Analysis

NM CraiggoryC
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Sep 22, 2016

I got flagged (for only the 2nd time ever in 1200+ games!) in my round 2 game of the Leigh Hunt Memorial. I could easily blame it on the fact that were using an analog clock and I thought I still had 3 minutes left, while thinking my opponent only...

Pro Chess League: Southern California FTW

Pro Chess League: Southern California FTW

NM CraiggoryC
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Sep 18, 2016

Many people want to make their way out to Southern California for the beaches, the celebrities, the weather, or even (as popularized by the Beach Boys) the California girls.  But what people don't know is that the chess scene is also quite strong...

Fake It, 'Til You Make It

Fake It, 'Til You Make It

NM CraiggoryC
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Sep 8, 2016

Fake It, 'Til You Make It  “I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right.” ― Albert Einstein Last Friday, 9/2/16 I played round 1 of a 7 round tournament held at a local chess club. I'm excited that I now live close to a club,...

Why Do We Lose: The 3 Phases

Why Do We Lose: The 3 Phases

NM CraiggoryC
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Aug 28, 2016

Why does a person with the rating of 800 (a beginner) lose, what about a 1600 (intermediate player) what about a Master (2200 rating/advanced player) and above? We know they all lose, some less than others, but they do all lose. Do they lose the s...

How to Make Watching Chess More Fun

How to Make Watching Chess More Fun

NM CraiggoryC
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Aug 19, 2016

While I was eating a fish burrito for lunch (so So Cal), I got a text from a friend who is an 1800 USCF rated player himself. I had told him to check out the Sinquefield Cup coverage; that I had thought that it had a lot of very interesting games....

HOW to Build an Opening Repertoire

HOW to Build an Opening Repertoire

NM CraiggoryC
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Aug 15, 2016

I recently viewed a blog titled "Build Your Opening Repertoire" <--click on the link to view the excellent video with a bunch of advice about building an opening repertoire. Which gave me the idea for this blog about HOW to build an opening rep...

The "Win a Piece" Variation

The "Win a Piece" Variation

NM CraiggoryC
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Jul 29, 2016

One of the trickiest openings I know, is what I call the "Win a Piece" variation of the Caro-Kann. Full credit for developing the opening should be given to Colorado's infamous NM Brian Wall; developer of such crazy openings as the "Fishing Pole" ...

Put 10 Minutes on the Clock and Try to Solve!

Put 10 Minutes on the Clock and Try to Solve!

NM CraiggoryC
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Jul 23, 2016

One of the best ways to keep yourself honest when going over chess puzzles, is to set a timer and write down everything you were thinking. At the end compare to the correct answer. If you have a coach/teacher this information will be invaluable to...

2016 Southern California State Chess Championships

2016 Southern California State Chess Championships

NM CraiggoryC
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Jul 12, 2016

28th Southern California Championship July 7-10, 2016 The 2016 So Cal State Chess Champs were held in Temecula, CA. This year's cowinners were John Daniel Bryant and Keaton Kiewra, congrats to both! This was a very strong tournament with an averag...

What You Should Know: Endgames (Ratings 1600-1799)

What You Should Know: Endgames (Ratings 1600-1799)

NM CraiggoryC
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Jun 26, 2016

When you reach the rating of 1600, you are considered a club player. You may not think this means anything, but in actuality it really means you can walk into 100 American coffeeshops, and at least 90 times you'll be, by far, the best player there...

What You Should Know: Endgames (Ratings 1400-1599)

What You Should Know: Endgames (Ratings 1400-1599)

NM CraiggoryC
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Jun 20, 2016

I hope it goes without saying that we are building upon previous blogs. So until you feel comfortable with the previous blog (click here to review) I wouldn't touch this blog. But if you are ready to move on to a new level of endgame understanding...

What You Should Know: Endgames (ratings 1000-1399)

What You Should Know: Endgames (ratings 1000-1399)

NM CraiggoryC
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Jun 15, 2016

In this endgame series we will be going over what I believe each rating level should know. As I said in the introduction to this endgame series, it's important to study endgames that happen in your games and the endgames that you should be able to...

Adventures in my First Ever Tiebreak!

Adventures in my First Ever Tiebreak!

NM CraiggoryC
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Jun 13, 2016

On June 11th and 12th I played in a 4 game tournament designed to qualify 3 people for the Southern California State Champs. I had to win my final game with the Black pieces (which I did, barely, after 5+ grueling hours) in order to get to 2.5/4 w...

"My Games Don't Get To Endgames Anyways"

"My Games Don't Get To Endgames Anyways"

NM CraiggoryC
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Jun 8, 2016

Over all my years of teaching I've heard all the excuses: "My games don't get to endgames anyways." "What's the use of being good at endgames, if I just killed in opening or by some devastating tactic?" "Everyone says studying tactics is the quic...

US Women's 2016 Chess Championships

US Women's 2016 Chess Championships

NM CraiggoryC
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Apr 19, 2016

Chessbase is doing a great job, analyzing and going over the US 2016 Chess Championships. Click here for their latest coverage (as of 04/19/2016). However, running concurrently with the US Chess Championships is the US Women's Championships! IMO ...

Pop Quiz on 1. e4 e5 (for Black)

Pop Quiz on 1. e4 e5 (for Black)

NM CraiggoryC
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Apr 12, 2016

So you think you know all about defending against 1. e4 with 1...e5!? Let's test out your skills with some puzzles below. This will test out your opening knowledge along with some tactics that developed from games that started 1. e4 e5. Good luck!...

For All You "Crazy" Craig's Out There...

For All You "Crazy" Craig's Out There...

NM CraiggoryC
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Apr 10, 2016

If you have no clue what the title of this blog is about, please click here If you don't know what the image is about, please do yourself a favor and watch Parks and Rec and/or click here Now that we have that out of the way, how do we get bette...

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