Please help

Please help

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Oct 24, 2013

Please help IM Timothy Taylor if you can. This guy is a great author and a nice fellow. Thank you,   You can get in touch with Tim through his chess.com account. Even 5$ helps.   edit : I'm also happy to offer a free analyze or coaching sess...

You're so good !

You're so good !

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Jul 22, 2013

Having recently read a funny thread where this topic cropped up, I was wondering how much encouragement one should expect from his chess coach ? We all love to be cheered and admired don’t we ? Also, doesn’t it feel good when a (much) stronger pl...

So what are you trying to tell us, Mr. Computer ?

So what are you trying to tell us, Mr. Computer ?

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May 16, 2013

DISCLAIMER : this article is not a discussion about the relative chess powers of humans and engines. While listening to the very interesting show of GM Magesh last week, someone asked him why he wasn't using an engine to perform his analysis ? Wh...

Resources for systematic training

Resources for systematic training

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Mar 17, 2013

As my chess coach says, one book on the table induces work, but 20 create confusion. In our times of ‘Too Much (chess) Information’ (Soltis), I thought it would be useful for people who can’t afford a coach, or want to supplement his teachings, t...

Too much opening study ?

Too much opening study ?

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Mar 12, 2013

The question of whether you should spend time studying openings or not is the Nessie of chess improvement forums. Rather than take sides on this dangerous topic (I’m neither an integrist of the “thou shalt not study openings” dogma, nor an openin...

Chess Maturity

Chess Maturity

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Feb 26, 2013

Where do you stand on the chess maturity ladder ?     1.       Not putting pieces en prise 2.       Setting up simple traps 3.       Focusing to avoid simple traps ("what does he want to do ?") 4.       Knowing your chosen openings basic i...

Calculation training...Russian style !

Calculation training...Russian style !

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Dec 17, 2012

When I was younger, I took some correspondence chess classes where the author claimed that Russians used to practice calculation with positions that were just too hard to be fully calculated. The point wasn't to find the truth of the position, but...

Can you help me ?

Can you help me ?

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Oct 6, 2012

Now for something completely different. Though I'm usually no big fan of chess variants and unorthodox problems, I can't resist sharing the very entertaining and puzzling problem a chess friend has shown us at the club today. Normal chess rules ...

Moving...

Moving...

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Sep 22, 2012

GM Nigel Davies kindly invited me to write articles for his blog, the Chess Improver. My first post relates Mamedyarov's fantastic performance at the Istambul Olympiad and includes an annotated game where he shows the power of the passed pawn ! ...

Practical decisions

Practical decisions

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Aug 3, 2012

This is from an OTB tournament game, where after ~5 hrs. of play I had to make some important decision after my opponent's move 45...Bxf3. I had enough time on my clock and energy left, and I decided quickly enough. What would you have played as ...

2000+1 patterns

2000+1 patterns

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Mar 6, 2012

Patterns are extremely important in chess. Knowing them helps us generate candidate moves, dig deeper into the calculations of variations, and create beautiful combinations by literally speaking, combining various basic elements of our chess vocab...

Two steps down the road

Two steps down the road

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Feb 3, 2012

Before reading on, give yourself a few minutes to try and solve this problem :                                   If you found it, congratulations ! I didn't.  And I think this kind of position is extremely challenging, because ...

The Art of Studying

The Art of Studying

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Jul 4, 2011

Last week, I was browsing through some chess books in a famous Paris book store, looking for inspiration, when the shop owner offered his help. I politely declined, but when I looked up in his direction, I noticed an unusual position on the wall ...

"Pawn break in the center, stronger is !"

"Pawn break in the center, stronger is !"

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Jun 15, 2011

John was a bit nervous today. For the very first time, he was going to play a game against his mentor, a long game, with clocks and all the regular stuff. Of course, it wasn’t his first competitive game : since he had decided to take advantage of ...

Gambit world 5 - Beware of the 2nd pawn offer

Gambit world 5 - Beware of the 2nd pawn offer

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May 1, 2011

The first four articles of this series are available in the Learning with Fun group forum. A well-known chess recipe to fight against a gambit is to take the pawn on offer, and give it back sometimes later to complete development. The key idea he...

Classy or not classy ?

Classy or not classy ?

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Apr 5, 2011

Well, you know, sometimes you look at a game with friends, and you stop in front of a move. It's surprising, it's original, but it can't work, can it ? So you try to refute it, but you don't manage to. This is just a great move, a classy move...Go...

Interactive learning

Interactive learning

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Apr 3, 2011

One of the recreational past-times we enjoy at my club is to bring along interesting positions and games and analyze them together. It's always funny and instructive, because you can pit your ideas against those of your teammates, and you actually...

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