Chess.com - Play. Learn. Share. Online chess community where you can play chess, learn strategies and tactics, read chess news, see book reviews, find rules & tips, get free downloads, and more! https://www.chess.com/ 2007 Chess.com My Path to FM - Week 14More of the same this week.  Most likely I'm about 1 year away from the Zonal where I hope to pull off a GM level performance and earn my FM title.  It's probably safe to say I won't be able to score well against the Canadian GM's, but I already...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-14Tue, 03 May 2016 09:40:05 -0700https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-14My Path to FM - Week 12/13I'm slacking! Uhoh!  I played in a tournament last weekend, so I have some neat stuff to write about.  Let's get right into it...   There were a few critical positions that I think I handled pretty well, and one that I didn't handle well at ...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-12-13Tue, 26 Apr 2016 20:36:30 -0700https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-12-13Sudbury Open - Round 2Thought I'd share an instructive game I played today.  One way to play against an IQP is to turn it into weak 'hanging pawns' with Nxc3.  I hope you like the game and accompanying notes. https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/sudbury-open-round-2Sat, 16 Apr 2016 20:06:01 -0700https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/sudbury-open-round-2How To Be BetterBlack just played Rd4 with a Petrosian-esque exchange sacrifice.  Should white take it?  If so, how should both sides continue? Does black have enough compensation for the exchange?   https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/how-to-be-betterWed, 13 Apr 2016 08:42:53 -0700https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/how-to-be-betterMy Path to FM - Week 10/11This is a double whammy lol.  I didn't have much to write about last week so I figured I'd take a break.  This blog will take on a slightly different format because I haven't been training in exactly the same way.   I should start by mentioni...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-10-11Mon, 11 Apr 2016 20:37:12 -0700https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-10-11A Repertoire For The Aspiring MasterSo I'm thinking about writing a book.  "That's nice Matt, but you're not strong enough to write a book."  Good point, collective audience, but here's the thing.  Quite by accident, I've found myself interested in top correspondence games while ...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/a-repertoire-for-the-aspiring-masterWed, 06 Apr 2016 18:39:16 -0700https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/a-repertoire-for-the-aspiring-masterCalling Ontario Players!There's a tournament coming up on the April 16,17 weekend.     Here's the flyer!   Sudbury Spring OpenDate: April 16 - 17, 2016Venue: Laurentian University, Classroom Building, C-306Type: Five round swissTime control: 90 minutes plus 30s / ...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/calling-ontario-playersMon, 04 Apr 2016 13:21:27 -0700https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/calling-ontario-playersMy Path to FM - Week 9Well I didn't get any long training games in this week, but played a few 15 minute games that were quite serious.  There are two that I'd like to share with some notes this week.  I lost one, which I think I learned quite a lot from.  The one I...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-9Sun, 27 Mar 2016 11:39:30 -0700https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-9FAQ With ih8sensPretty much every day I get a message or two on here asking one of a small handful of questions.  I tend to ignore these messages because they're silly, but I decided to look a bunch over today and write a blog. Here are a few questions that I g...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/faq-with-ih8sensThu, 24 Mar 2016 07:32:47 -0700https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/faq-with-ih8sensMy Path to FM - Week 8Sorry I'm late! Life got crazy lol...   This week was pretty interesting.  I played a lot of training games and learned a bunch of new stuff.  It seems that against IM's and GM's, I do fine in openings that I'm familiar with.  I seem to get ...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-8Tue, 22 Mar 2016 19:35:43 -0700https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-82 GM's in 24 Hours!Another GM scalp! This was also a 15 minute game in ICC.  I've made a few notes.   https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/2-gm-s-in-24-hoursTue, 15 Mar 2016 11:39:54 -0700https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/2-gm-s-in-24-hoursTenacious DHad to share the game because it's not often I beat a GM in 15 minute play...  It's ugly, and I was dead lost, and frankly I didn't play well, but at least I got away with my poor play by defending well.  It's a nice addition to my recent pract...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/tenacious-dMon, 14 Mar 2016 15:30:49 -0700https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/tenacious-dCalculation vs. EvaluationAlthough they go hand-in-hand, it's been my experience that in a typical OTB game, often the result is decided by somebody underestimating or overestimating a certain line.  Both sides saw the variation, but the resulting position was a little bi...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/calculation-vs-evaluationSat, 12 Mar 2016 18:40:39 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/calculation-vs-evaluationMy Path to FM - Week 7Already on week 7! Crazy eh? For those who want to review "The Plan" feel free to click here.  And for those who have been reading a little more closely, you'll know that I've taken a small break from tactical problems and opening books and I've...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-7Fri, 11 Mar 2016 12:17:26 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-7Bad Bishops, IQP's, And Why Lower Rated Games Are InsructiveBack when I was coaching more frequently, I created a little database which I called the "Mismatch Files".  These were games where a GM wrecked a player in the 1800-2200 range.   I showed my students these games because they found it very instr...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/bad-bishops-iqp-s-and-why-lower-rated-games-are-insructiveThu, 10 Mar 2016 18:27:17 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/bad-bishops-iqp-s-and-why-lower-rated-games-are-insructiveWhy Everybody Is Stupid - A Factual Opinion PieceWith the Candidates starting in ... a couple hours... I thought I'd throw my two cents in and make a prediction about who is going to win the whole thing.   By the way, this really shouldn't surprise anybody.   Okay so for starters, I've hea...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/why-everybody-is-stupid-a-factual-opinion-pieceWed, 09 Mar 2016 22:59:00 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/why-everybody-is-stupid-a-factual-opinion-pieceMy Path to FM - Week 6Hey guys!  Can you believe we're on week 6 already?!  Am I an FM yet? Nope.   Am I playing like one? Maybe.  This week will be about Practical Play.     So okay, I played a training game and won.  I won't show it because it was pretty ...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-6Sat, 05 Mar 2016 15:35:21 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-6My Path to FM - Week 5 - UpdateSo my last post was pretty whiny because I was overtired and under-performing.  One of the FM's who often reads my blog (and has made some very instructive comments) suggested I take a little break.  Unfortunately I'm a raging chess addict and w...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-5-updateTue, 01 Mar 2016 20:50:01 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-5-updateDesperate DefenseAre we just lost here, or can black save the game somehow?   If it's just lost, how do we create the most problems? If it's drawn, how do we save it?   Black to move.https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/desperate-defenseTue, 01 Mar 2016 14:11:19 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/desperate-defenseMy Path to FM - Week 5This one will be short. By far the worst week I've had in a long time.     Openings I'll start with the area of my game where I made some progress.  I compared my current repertoire with some of the more recent Chess Informant articles.  Th...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-5Sun, 28 Feb 2016 17:14:52 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-5