Mastery: Strategy

Improve your Chess

Improve your Chess

Improve your chess with a US Champion!

Want to learn from a national champion? Grandmaster and 2018 US Champion, Sam Shankland, will guide you through tricky scenarios from his own games. In some of the positions, he found the right path and in others, he tripped up. Can you do better? Analyzing his own play helped Sam win the national title ahead of Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, and Fabiano Caruana! Imagine what these lessons can do for you. Start improving with a national champion today!

Here is what you will learn:

  • Practice tricky positions from GM Shankland’s own games!
  • Learn tactical, positional, and prophylactic ideas!
  • Test yourself against the games of a Super-GM!
  • Centralized king with rooks onboard

    The goal in this position, as in the rest of this course, is to find the most accurate move. I won't be telling you if that means checkmate in 2 moves or somehow force a barely drawn endgame.

    • 3 challenges
  • A dream Catalan

    This position is every Catalan player's dream. How should White continue?

    • 4 challenges
  • A Multi-Purpose Plan

    Both sides have their obvious trumps. How should Black continue?

    • 1 challenge
  • Outposts

    In a Ruy Lopez, both sides have ended up with symmetrical pawn structures, save the fact that black has a weak d5 square. How should he proceed?

    • 1 challenge
  • Holding on

    18 moves into the game I had White in a tough position. Can you survive?

    • 6 challenges
  • To draw or not to draw?

    Black faces a difficult decision.

    • 2 challenges
  • Active defense

    Try to find White's best defense.

    • 1 challenge
  • An unexpected tactic

    Find the best way for White to continue.

    • 2 challenges
  • Prophylaxis and attack

    White enjoys the bishop pair and a better pawn structure, but it is not so obvious how to continue.

    • 3 challenges
  • White king in the center on move 25?!

    Black looks to have a big advantage, but how can you convert it?

    • 3 challenges
  • A tough rook ending

    White has only one winning plan, what is it?

    • 7 challenges
  • A Grunfeld theme

    Try to find Black's most accurate move.

    • 1 challenge
  • Breaking the barrier

    White is up a pawn but Black has good piece play.

    • 4 challenges
  • The finale

    None other than the greatest player or all time, Garry Kasparov, misjudged the position, claiming it was a dead draw. I do not think I have ever seen a more complex position with so few pieces on the board. This game is from the U18 World Championship.

    • 6 challenges
  • A nasty shock

    Find White's best play.

    • 1 challenge
  • An unbalanced ending

    Black just refused a draw offer and played Be4. How should White continue?

    • 2 challenges
  • A sharp Sicilian

    I played poorly this game on the black side of a Keres attack in the Sicilian defense.

    • 3 challenges
  • Technical play

    White is up an exchange, but Black has annoying pressure. How should White consolidate?

    • 2 challenges
  • Defend the king

    White is up a piece, but the king is in dire straits. Try to defend.

    • 3 challenges
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