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 3 (Part 1)Click here for "the plan"   I'm doing this week's blog early and in two parts.  This part will focus on my training efforts for the week.  Part 2 will come out on Sunday and will cover the tournament I'm playing in on Saturday.   This will...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-3-part-1Thu, 11 Feb 2016 17:50:58 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-3-part-1My Path to FM - Week 2To see the plan click - here.   This was a busy non-chess week for me.  I still managed to get lots done though.   Tactics I managed to climb from 2021 to 2056.  At one point I had made 2070something but I failed three in a row trying to ...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-2Sun, 07 Feb 2016 10:20:21 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-2My Path to FM - Week 1I've decided to update you guys each weekend about how 'the plan' is going.  Along the way I can share a few neat ideas I learned.   Progress report time!   To start, I should mention that this was only a 4 day week for me.  Still, things ...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-1Sun, 31 Jan 2016 18:17:14 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-week-1My Path to FM - Part 3 - The Plan...The whole plan, and nothing but the plan.   Feel free to read part 1 and part 2 if you want to waste 10 minutes of your life on babble.     My Path to FM - Study Plan   Openings My openings have always been a strong point in my game....https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-part-3-the-planThu, 28 Jan 2016 11:31:05 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-part-3-the-planMy Path to FM - Part 2 - The MotivationIn part 1 I explained a little bit about my great year in 2013 that earned me the NM title.  After getting the title and not having much more to aspire to, I started playing 'just for fun', which is fine, but it means not studying that hard off ...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-part-2-the-motivationThu, 28 Jan 2016 10:12:34 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-part-2-the-motivationMy Path to FM - Part 1 - ReminiscenceI'll start by saying that (obviously) I'm not an FM yet.  One of my big goals when I started playing in tournaments was the NM title, and when I got it I lost a lot of motivation.     Why was I suddenly so unmotivated?  Well, a couple things...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-part-1-reminiscenceThu, 28 Jan 2016 09:41:05 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-path-to-fm-part-1-reminiscenceKwazy Kwazy CupcakesI hope you know where the title is from.  Great show.  Anyway, I just played a rather hilarious blitz game that I thought I'd share.  The King's knight went... kwazy.   https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/kwazy-kwazy-cupcakesTue, 26 Jan 2016 08:16:38 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/kwazy-kwazy-cupcakesThe Lone Queen SacI've never done this before, but I finally searched myself in the database.  I managed to find 47 unique games after a fairly thorough search.  And guess what?  In spite of my stupid crazy style as a Class player and expert, I've only sacrifice...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/the-lone-queen-sacThu, 21 Jan 2016 18:41:12 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/the-lone-queen-sacHighlights From My 2016 Guelph Pro-AmHaving not travelled to a Southern Ontario tournament for well over a year, I had an opportunity to make a bit of a comeback last weekend.   The Guelph Pro-Am runs 3 or 4 times a year, and attracts some of the best players in Canada.   This ti...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/highlights-from-my-2016-guelph-pro-amTue, 12 Jan 2016 07:48:27 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/highlights-from-my-2016-guelph-pro-amMy Titled Tuesday - Good, Bad, Mostly UglyYup. Played in my first Chess.com "Titled Tuesday".  A few thoughts about my performance before I show a couple games! The Good I started out crazy strong.  In the first round I was paired against a strong IM with black.  Scary stuff.  The I...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-titled-tuesday---good-bad-mostly-uglyTue, 05 Jan 2016 20:07:43 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-titled-tuesday---good-bad-mostly-uglyAnother Practical Endgame You Must Know!I actually got this position while studying on chesstempo, and was rather surprised to find I didn't remember what to do! Black has established what appears to be an ideal "long side" defense.  However, white actually wins this position. I'll g...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/another-practical-endgame-you-must-knowSun, 27 Dec 2015 17:08:56 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/another-practical-endgame-you-must-knowPrecision In A Won PositionOkay so this occurred in a blitz game, but the game was rather accurate.   After a long struggle, white managed to punish black for choosing an unorthodox line against the English opening by picking up a pawn.  Unfortunately, like any self resp...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/precision-in-a-won-positionMon, 21 Dec 2015 13:46:56 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/precision-in-a-won-positionWhen You Don't Know What To Play... Play the Queen's Gambit Declined! At least, I think that's what the Russians used to say lol. Another example of how harmonious the black position is in Lasker's variation of the QGD.  Everybody should have this as a 'solid' weapon. Edit:...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/when-you-dont-know-what-to-playMon, 21 Dec 2015 07:00:35 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/when-you-dont-know-what-to-playThe Best Way To TrainJust some personal musings.  I know this is debated all the time, and probably the real answer is that there is no right or wrong way to study.  On the other hand, I find it interesting to compare my results to my peers who started 'serious' che...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/the-best-way-to-trainWed, 09 Dec 2015 06:35:34 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/the-best-way-to-trainEndgame Is EverythingA little puzzle for everybody.  This is basic endgame theory that I would have expected everybody to know (or at least be able to figure out on increment).   In the real game, an FM messed this up and gave up a draw to an opponent 300 points we...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/endgame-is-everythingMon, 30 Nov 2015 16:21:57 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/endgame-is-everythingCalculation Trumps Understanding!Just a blitz game, so my talking about calculation is nonsense because there were tactical flaws, but it's a neat game. White makes huge concessions in exchange for a positional bind that makes kingside development difficult.  But the concrete f...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/calculation-trumps-understandingSun, 29 Nov 2015 19:31:55 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/calculation-trumps-understandingNever Forget Your Prep!I guess I have a pretty good memory.  My wife disagrees. The people who really matter though, the guys at the local chess club, agree with me and find themselves impressed with the way I remember opening lines, endgame theory, games I played 4 y...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/never-forget-your-prepThu, 26 Nov 2015 21:54:59 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/never-forget-your-prepMy First Chess Set (lol)Yup. Just bought my first regulation chess set. Nice wood set that will double as board one for each upcoming Sudbury Championship. The guy who sold it to me thought it was crazy I didn't already own a set. That is all. https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-first-chess-set-lolMon, 23 Nov 2015 09:43:59 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/my-first-chess-set-lolThose Pawns Tho...Set a new all time high blitz rating today.  Kind of a neat game. A non-critical Bf4 QGD where black sacs an exchange for strong pawns. https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/those-pawns-thoThu, 19 Nov 2015 20:58:12 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/those-pawns-thoDe La Villa on the EndgameThis is very likely the best quote regarding the endgame I've ever read.  It explains perfectly why studying the endgame is such a surefire way to improve your rating. (Entire essay can be found in the introduction to Jesus De La Villa's "100 En...https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/de-la-villa-on-the-endgameWed, 18 Nov 2015 05:56:14 -0800https://www.chess.com/blog/ih8sens/de-la-villa-on-the-endgame