4 Steps to Converting a Strategic Advantage

4 Steps to Converting a Strategic Advantage

GM Illingworth
|
4 days ago

How does it feel to let another winning position slip through your fingers? You knew you were much better, and yet, you had no idea how to turn that advantage into a win. Not only are you frustrated, but you feel incompetent and weak, and ...

A Scrappy King's Indian Battle

A Scrappy King's Indian Battle

GM Illingworth
|
13 days ago

Just like in yesterday's post, I have analysed a nice attacking win from a very recent Grandmaster game. However, this one has some puzzles for you to solve! Let's get right into them, and see if you can play as well as a Grandmaster! ...

Hackin' the Dragon!

Hackin' the Dragon!

GM Illingworth
|
13 days ago

I recently asked my audience: what openings are the most difficult to meet in their own games? One of the main trends I noticed was that club players seem to have a harder time dealing with king's fianchetto systems, such as the Dragon, King's...

Afek's Trademark Endgame Study

Afek's Trademark Endgame Study

GM Illingworth
|
17 days ago

Hey everyone! For today's blog post, I have gone with a very nice endgame study by one of the most famous endgame study composers in the world - Yochanan Afek. It is White to play and win in his study below: Let me know your answ...

Move Order Tricks in the 2.Nc3 Sicilian!

Move Order Tricks in the 2.Nc3 Sicilian!

GM Illingworth
|
20 days ago

In this post, I will share some move order tricks that White can employ to try to throw Black off in the Sicilian Defence, based on 2.Nc3.  Most players play 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 with some specific system in mind - such as the Grand P...

Mastering Pawn Structures: Modern Benoni

Mastering Pawn Structures: Modern Benoni

GM Illingworth
|
21 days ago

How do you become an expert in a pawn structure, so that you can understand the position and the key plans and motifs?  There have already been some books written on the subject of pawn structure - starting with Philidor's 'Analy...

Dangerous Chess Openings: The Vienna Gambit

Dangerous Chess Openings: The Vienna Gambit

GM Illingworth
|
22 days ago

In this post, I will share with you an unusual and aggressive answer to the solid 1.e4 e5, which club players very often struggle to defend against in practice. Recently, even some strong Grandmasters have had a hard time dealing with the Vie...

The Modern Caro-Kann Antidote to 3.Nc3

The Modern Caro-Kann Antidote to 3.Nc3

GM Illingworth
|
24 days ago

In this post, I will share with you an interesting idea against the Caro-Kann, which was first played in a Grandmaster game in 2017 (and once before that in 2014), but is now a quite trendy answer to the old main line of the Caro-Kann, with 1...

A Quick Tactical Puzzle

A Quick Tactical Puzzle

GM Illingworth
|
24 days ago

Hello chess friends! I am pretty busy for the next 5 days, so this blog post will be brief. What would you play in the position below? Try and solve it for yourself: If you want to see more chess puzzles, dai...

More Quick Puzzles

More Quick Puzzles

GM Illingworth
|
25 days ago

Hello everyone! I have been busy lately, so here are a few more puzzles to keep you tactically sharp for your games Puzzle #1 Puzzle #2 Were the first two puzzles too easy? Then here is a tougher one ...

A Few World Cup Round 3 Puzzles

A Few World Cup Round 3 Puzzles

GM Illingworth
|
27 days ago

Hello chess friends! Here are a few puzzles from Round 3, Game 1 of the FIDE World Cup. Good luck! Vitiugov vs. Karjakin So vs. Vidit Now for my favourite, from Duda vs. Andreikin: ...

Firouzja's Super Knight Sacrifice

Firouzja's Super Knight Sacrifice

GM Illingworth
|
28 days ago

Which move was the highlight of the 2019 FIDE World Cup thus far?  There are quite a few candidates, but many are already saying that Firouzja's 37th move, in his Round 2 World Cup game against 2018 World Rapid Champion Dubov, is the...

Whose Doubled Pawns are Better?

Whose Doubled Pawns are Better?

GM Illingworth
|
29 days ago

Hello chess friends! How do you determine whether doubled pawns are a strength or a weakness?  It is not so often that you see a position where both sides have doubled pawns, but that's what happened in the game I've annotated for tod...

Why Do Different People Have Different Results?

Why Do Different People Have Different Results?

GM Illingworth
|
Sep 14, 2019

If you aren't getting the same results as someone else, it only means that they know some things you don't - and are doing things you aren't. Therefore, in addition to working hard toward our dreams, we should also reflect on our efforts, and ...

Sense of Danger

Sense of Danger

GM Illingworth
|
Sep 13, 2019

What is the main challenge that young children face in their chess games? There are many possible answers, but at least for me, in the early years of my chess 'career' (up to around the 1400 level), my main weakness was that I lacked a se...

Learning from Our Questions

Learning from Our Questions

GM Illingworth
|
Sep 12, 2019

One of the principles of my teaching is that of active learning - where one actively participates and interacts with the material, as opposed to passively receiving it. Quite a few readers have taken that on board, and asked me questions, either h...

The Road Less Travelled

The Road Less Travelled

GM Illingworth
|
Sep 11, 2019

When it comes to choosing our opening moves, should we choose the main moves, or 'take the road less travelled'?  This phrase 'road less travelled' is quite well known in Western culture, but for those who don't understand it, here is the...

How to Use Engines Effectively

How to Use Engines Effectively

GM Illingworth
|
Sep 8, 2019

A common discussion point in chess circles is: What can we learn from chess engines? I have already shared some ideas on this in my recent post on How to Find the Best Opening Moves. However, because this was quite a specific theme, I want...

How to Quickly Understand an Opening

How to Quickly Understand an Opening

GM Illingworth
|
Sep 6, 2019

Many strong players, coaches and writers talk about the importance of 'understanding' the opening...but how exactly how we build a good understanding of our openings? In the thumbnail, you can see the 'Five Ws', which you probably learned in s...

How to Find the Best Opening Moves

How to Find the Best Opening Moves

GM Illingworth
|
Sep 4, 2019

How do you find the best moves when studying the opening? This is a question I am asked quite often, since everyone has a natural desire to have a good opening, and this phase only increases in importance as you become stronger.  ...

Think Like a Beginner

Think Like a Beginner

GM Illingworth
|
Sep 3, 2019

It is a well-known truism that every master was once a beginner...but how many masters remember what it was like for them, as a beginner? Day 8 in Vietnam - by GM Max Illingworth During my stay in Vietnam, I met some of my fiancee's cou...

Get Listed