how to avoid blunders

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  • Tal's Sacrifices Explained

    "When I asked Fischer why he had not played a certain move in our game, he replied: 'Well, you laughed when I wrote it down.'" -Mikhail Tal (1936-1992)  Neither Mikhail Tal's life, nor his personality, nor his playing style, nor his ailments can... | Read More

  • Never Resign Prematurely!

    Throughout my chess career, I have resigned in several different ways. During my very first games with my brother, I - well, I resigned by knocking the pieces over in disgust. In my first tournaments, I flicked the king over, old style. Then, for ... | Read More

  • Desperado Defense

    "Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before," quipped American actress Mae West in 1936. So it is with defending bad positions in chess. One cannot deny that in the majority of cases, the best way to test your opponent's techniq... | Read More

  • How to Avoid Blunders, Part 2

    Last week, I discussed a three-step method which you can (and should) apply to every move you are planning to make in a complex position to diminish the risk of blundering. As promised, today, we will actually test this method out and determine if... | Read More

  • How to Avoid Blunders, Part 1

    A few weeks ago, I was surfing through some of my earliest games, played in 2003 and 2004 and recorded in a tattered blue scorebook that has been gathering dust in my closet forever. As I expected, positional blunders appeared in alarming quantiti... | Read More


    • Creating a Plan?

         I have always found that "thinking of a plan" comes hard in chess. How do I know what's a good move and what's not? How do I know I'm not going to get forked?      Well, lets think about it. I know I'm a beginner, but I have a couple ide... | Read More


  • Soltis, Andrew

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    Andrew (andy) Solits is an American grandmaster.  In 1979, Soltis began writing a monthly column called “Chess to Enjoy” for Chess Life magazine.  It is the longest running column in that magazine.  In 1980, Soltis was awarded the G... Read More »

  • The Four Knights Opening

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    The Four Knights is one of the most popular openings in the world. It has been used millions of times by amateurs and grandmasters alike. The Four Knights opening is fairly simple, starting with 1. e4 e5, then bringing the four knights out onto th... Read More »

  • Englund Gambit

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    The Englund Gambit is a rarely played chess opening that starts with the moves: 1. d4 e5?!Black's idea is to avoid the traditional closed queen's pawn games and create an open game with tactical chances, but at the cost of a pawn. The gambi... Read More »

  • Old Indian Defense

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    The Old Indian Defense is a chess opening defined by the moves: 1. d4 Nf62. c4 d6This opening is distinguished from the King's Indian Defense by Black developing his king's bishop on e7 rather than the fianchetto at g7. Mikhail Chigo... Read More »

  • Bird's Opening

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    Bird's Opening (or the Dutch Attack) is a chess opening characterised by the move: 1. f4Bird's is a standard but never popular flank opening. White's strategic ideas involve control of the e5-square without occupying it, but his first move ... Read More »