Saturday, December 29, 2007
I found this page very interesting - it basically shows how the computer processes chess information in a visual manner.
You can click here to visit Thinking Machine 4.
Also some quick site news, I have added a java chess game to www.jrobichess.com so when you visit to look over GM games or tournaments you can have a quick game against the computer.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Chess Endgame Study: 3vs3 Pawn Breakthrough Technique
Grandmaster Chess Tactics #1: Can you see the line?
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
The importance of knowing about pawn centres ought to be evident. Pawn centres are an essential -- if not the most important -- factor in determining the course of a game. You probably know what style of play you enjoy (aggressive, tactical, positional, flank attacks, centre attacks, ...) -- but do you also know how to bring about the positions you excel at? This is where knowledge of pawn centres comes in handy!
The open centre, as you might have guessed, favours aggressive, tactical play. The defining feature of an open centre is the absence of pawns: no pawns (or one at most) occupy the central files.
An open centre guarantees free passage for the pieces -- your own and your enemy's -- so speed is paramount. Fast development and an aggressive attack are key. If your opponent offers you a pawn or even an exchange, beware! The time it takes to snatch that pawn could easily give your opponent an opportunity to mate your king on the other side of the board. So don't be materialistic and keep your king safety in mind! Castle early, for a king on an open e-file is a sitting duck.
The game (with annotations) between Spielmann and Tartakower, Munich 1909 illustrates the nature of open centre play very well, I think; both players play aggressively, but in the end Spielmann is one notch faster than his opponent, forcing him into the defence and finishing him off with a powerful attack.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Today I added match databases for Anand and Kramnik. If you would like to see a grandmaster on the list, please let me know and I will get it up there and if you haven't signed up for the forums yet, pop on over and sign up. Registration is simple and secure.
Hope your weekend is going great, and Christmas is only 9 days away!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I definitely hope his efforts on YouTube helps his chess goals!
I have nothing but completely positive things to say about YouTube and technology in general when it comes to chess, and hopefully many of you out there are finding that to be true for your game as well.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
On occassion I get a message from a YouTube subscriber or blog visitor asking about frustration at certain development stages in chess. Often the question is along the lines "Is this normal?" or "How long will it last?" and both questions are very legitimate.
From my experience so far, it is very natural, and very healthy to be frustrated as one learns new concepts and skills. Learning new things is always challenging, especially when you consider the complicated and life-long pursuit of chess. What I have noticed since I started exploring chess, is that there is a degree of frustration before reaching a new high in personal skill. It's as if new skills are in place, but not quite settled in yet. Deep down you know they are there, as you learned them and worked on them, but the "magical" switch hasn't turned on yet, which causes the frustration.
Achieving new highs in chess skill seems to happen in subtle yet very noticeable ways. One day you are still in the 1350's range with rating. That rating might have taken some time to work towards, and people rated 1500-1600 seemed to have it all together compared to you. Then, as if by explosion, you start to win consistently against people rated 1400-1450 and your rating increases steadily until yet again it levels out. You can insert any rating here and it will make sense.
From my experience, the frustration comes just before the surge. You know you have new skills, you know you have new abilities, but it's the period in-between learning them and putting them to natural practice which causes the frustration. And if there is one message I would like to put out to everyone is that is completely normal, and to be expected. It's like a race horse ready to start the race but the stupid humans haven't opened the gate yet.
The results were very close - one of the closest polls ever on the blog:
Make sure to check in on this week's poll: More attention should be given to current Grandmasters (Anand, Kramnik, Carlsen, etc) as opposed to people mainly focusing on the legends of chess (Fischer, Alekhine, Kasparov, etc).
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
A video that explores the Lucena Position, one of the most important endgame techniques for any serious chess player to learn. This video includes the basics of the Lucena position, along with variations including black moving first, and how black can work towards a draw if the Lucena Position has the pawn on the A or H file.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Putin's government apperantly had a major victory, and Gary Kasparov finished his 5 day sentence in jail and was released. For more information about his release, please visit CNN which posted the article.
There can be no doubt that Kasparov tried his best to bring about change, and that since his accomplishments in the chess world he has been trying hard to make the world around him better through giving his time and energy to other people.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
The blog community voted the following on the question:
His amazing chess ability (85%)
His racial comments (0%)
How he let chess down (5%)
How people let him down (0%)
Wont be talked about much (10%)
Thanks for contributing to the voting, and make sure to cast your vote on this week's question: Josh Waitzkin's claim that end-game study trumps all other forms of study when it comes to improving chess is definitely sound advice for aspiring chess amateurs.
This match has me playing against the Alekhine's Defence. As my opponent was rated significantly higher than me I tried something a little risky in the beginning with a bishop sack. My opponent probably should have been able to win, but I think the sack through him off guard and probably made him feel like this would be an easy win, which caused him to make some positional mistakes that I was able to capitalize on.
The video also has a new intro I have been playing around with.
Monday, December 3, 2007
As a person who started their chess journey with technology, I know how powerful and helpful it can be. I am often asked at how I have progressed so quickly since July of this past summer, and the meat and bones of my answer is always technology. Whether it is going over grandmaster games on my computer, playing chess online, making chess videos, using Fritz or Chessbase, or researching opening lines amongst a variety of other technology-related chess resources, the fact of the matter is that I have used tools that people in previous generations did not have access to, and it has been extremely helpful!
But I am just slightly older than your standard high school or college student (okay fine ... by a decade and a small bit!) so to me technology is a tool to use to achieve things. That being said, I also find it a useful social tool. However, the new generations seem to emphasize the social aspects almost to the exclusion of the other benefits of technology.
I hope you find this video interesting, and am looking forward to your thoughts on the issue of technology and how it is being used. Moreover, what needs to change when it comes to the implementation of technology by professional educators?
Does this video highlight the need for students themselves to make changes with how they use technology, or does it emphasize the fact that schools of all levels need to do better in helping students understand just how to make their technology do more things for their education.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
I have started a thread on the forums about "Christmas and Chess" here for a place to post good chess christmas ideas. I know a lot of visitors have kids, and I am also looking at getting something chess-related for my son so if you have any cool ideas or come across something you can post a link in the thread. Hope your weekend was great!
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
He has a positive score vs kasparov, anand, ivanchuk, topalov, svidler...Has wonI found the question interesting, and looked into a few GM's overall records. This was my response, and I am interested in your thoughts on the question as well:
long matches vs kasparov, topalov (3-2) and i think he will have no difficulties
to beat anand too.Has won a number of big tourneys, although he is only 32.His
understanding of the positional factors and his endgame technique are really
outstanding, not only nowadays but in the whole history of chess.Somebody can
argue that players like kasparov or fischer had higher %, and this is partially
true but, that is caused mostly by kramnik's lack of ferocious wish to win.In
terms of pure chess talent, beauty of play, harmony of ideas i think kramnik is
really beyond all other champions of all ages; and i have studied about 6000
games in my life so i have "seen" all the bigs in action...Waiting for opinions!
Kramnik has a lot of work to do if he is to be considered as the best ever, as he has an overall win percentage that is lower than just comparing to Fischer and Kasparov.
Robert James Fischer Win percentage (72.6%)*
Garry Kasparov Win
Jose Raul Capablanca Win percentage (72.1%)*
Alexander Alekhine Win
Vladimir Kramnik's (63.0%) needs a fair amount of improvement. But as you said, the man is still young. He is also playing in the forefront of an accelerated technological generation that is producing chess tools never before available.
Over time he could rise to the level you currently hold him at, but he still has a fair amount to prove. Plus as time rolls on he will be facing younger and stronger players raised and immersed in technology and the benefits that has to improving their chess skills. Time will tell, and I will be very interested to see how things shape up over the next few decades.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
One of the main hurdles currently is obtaining the ability to generate tactical positions on the site server for image linking on the forums. We are experiencing challenges getting the forums to display java-related information. An alternative is to have a tool on the site that will allow visitors to enter positional data and then have the server generate an image which can be placed into the forum posts. In the long-run I would like to be able to have visitors upload entire PGNs with annotations which can be displayed in the forums as well in a graphical manner.
This stuff is all new to me, and I would like to thank Christian for helping me out in this endevour. Hopefully sooner rather than later we will have something up that meets one or both of our goals. If you know of a solution, we would absolutely love to hear about it!
If you visit the site you will see how construction is coming along.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Depends on Club (20%)
Not a big surprise there at all - but personally I think a couple things are important. First, the atmosphere. Is it a friendly club or a "kill or be killed" club? It's an important question. My personal opinion is that if you can't learn at a club, then it's not really a club but a meeting place for competition. Now that's not a bad thing, but learning needs to be a big emphasis if a person wants to improve their game.
This week's poll focuses on one of the chess world's largest icons, Bobby Fischer. If Bobby Fischer, due to his health problems, were to pass on, what would he be remembered by most in future generations?
Looking forward to the results.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
However, the hunter still has to find the right moves to make the most out of an exposed king. In calculating a position such as the one below, we're prone to think along forced lines: "I check, he has to go there, then I check here, he goes there, I check here, he goes there, etc. etc.". The challenge is to find the one move that does not immediately force things, but rather paves the way for a forced win. Look at the board. White to move -- do you see the rabbit trap?
Bd5 was my original plan (the rook at a8 is trapped). Then I started pondering f4+, luring the king into a mating net. I began calculating -- f4+, Kxe4, Re1+, Kf5, Bd3+, Kg4, ... at that point, I more or less convinced myself that after Kg4, there had to be a winning continuation (even though I didn't bother calculating things out).
What I should have considered in my calculation, however, is the one quiet move that seals the deal! After 1. f4+ Kxe4, White has the move 2. f5! -- the king cannot escape, and Black cannot bring in any defenders, either. 2. ... Bxf5 3. Re1#!
Lesson learned: in calculating forced variations, watch out for quiet moves as well.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
This week's poll focuses on the importance of participating in real over-the-board chess clubs.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Here is the video of 4 Canadian RCMP members ending the life of an innocent man who spoke no English, and was just waiting to meet his mom at the airport. It turns out he was at the wrong area to meet her and was waiting for 10 hours, but that mistake cost him his life, and for what? Absolutely nothing. The police involved need to stand trial for manslaughter. Don't get me wrong, I support the police usually 110% but this was not police work, this was murder. As horrible as the event was, I am glad that a citizen caught it on video tape, and fought for the right to obtain his video after the police confiscated it to make it public for people to see what really happened.
Yes the man was upset and agitated, but he did not need to get tasered, and then have someone sit on his neck with their knee while tasered again. This man made no aggressive move to the cops whatsoever, and was outnumbered 4-1. The cops made the decision to use violent force, and they did not need to do that.
I support our police in general, but these cops need to be held responsible for killing this man. They didn't even try CPR when they realized he was not breathing. Pathetic.
A Polish Man's Trip to Canada
Where has my mother gone?
She said she would be here.
2 hours now completely alone,
People staring as if I were queer;
I don't understand anyone here,
Their chatter is like a busted T.V.;
4 hours alone, no one but me,
Mother might be lost I fear;
I just want to see her face,
To hug her and get away;
6 hours alone is a very long day
In this god-forsaken place.
I am getting a bit annoyed,
The flight was more than enough;
8 hours now watching bags deployed
Will cause anyone to get in a huff.
Something must be really wrong
Can't they see I need to talk?
10 hours here is far too long,
This day just needs to stop.
Finally! Here comes some cops!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
My opponent and I had already been mumbling about a draw, but I insisted we play on for a couple more moves. Turns out that Black is winning, thanks to zugzwang! Once the pawns on the kingside are stuck, the White king will have to relinquish the protection of the c5-pawn. Black can then take the pawn and proceed into a winning endgame.
Lesson learned: if a situation looks hopelessly stuck and drawish, check again, and see if the position's got zugzwang.
Here are two illustrative positions from Bruce Pandolfini's Weapons of Chess:
In the first example, White is winning regardless of whose move it is; in the second example, whoever moves first wins.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I have found this site to be very good for positional analysis, and an excellent addition to live online play. Of course I will continue to play live servers online just as much as before, but this site helps one analyze the position without the worry of time controls, leading to better positional play in timed online games.
This video explores some of the features that I like, and is a general introduction. I plan on making an advanced features video at some point when I get more comfortable with the options available. To set up your account, visit this link and register. You can decide if you want to pay the low annual fee or if you just want to try a guest account at no charge.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
A little (0%)
A fair amount (20%)
Definitely a lot (70%)
What's online mean? (10%)
I am very excited to see how technology shapes the coming generation of competitive chess players! With software that performs and helps train at Grandmaster levels, coupled with the rising popularity of chess videos and online resources, it's a very exciting time for chess!
Make sure to weigh in on this week's poll which deals with the impact of online game time limits on chess learning potential.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
After watching, I played a few blitz games using this opening and have found the games to be a fun departure from the typical 1 e4 e5 games, which sometimes can result in symmetrical positions that are less interesting. The Gambit actually seems to have a fairly high success rate. I have noticed in my games that the system allows for:
1. White to take control of the center
2. Wild and Sharp play for both sides
3. and it has something of surprise value since it is infrequently played.
I have actually found this opening both fun and useful!
Although I do not offer my analysis as masterful, I have put up a couple of games that have some useful tips and ideas.
Check out video #1
Here you can watch Video #2, which I think may be more instructive (at least on how NOT to play against the gambit):
Friday, November 9, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
This is an interesting issue and debate that is being discussed on a number of online sources, including Susan Polgar's chess forums. I will post another poll in 6 months or so and see if the results change or if they stay around the same percentage.
Hope everyone's weekend was a good one!
In a recent interview, Jeremy Silman (author of a number of good chess books) made the following training recommendations for players ranked under 1900:
Tactical puzzles: 15% of study time.
Studying Positional Concepts: 15% of study time.
Analyzing/deconstructing your own Games: 30% of study time.
Analyzing Master Games: 30% of study time.
Openings: 10% of study time.
He also recommended purchasing his book "SILMAN'S COMPLETE ENDGAME COURSE" which I have purchased personally and am finding to be very good so far.
Jeremy Silman's web site can be accessed here.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
What does this have to do with chess you might be thinking? Well, consider the following scenario:
A group of Grandmaster competitors converge on a highly anticipated tournament. 3 GM's of a field of 12 play their hearts out, with their supporters keeping track on internet blogs and chess servers of their progress. One GM has a score of 11-0, one has 10-1 and the other has 10 and 2. The GM with the score of 11-0 offers the GM with 10-1 a draw fairly early in the match. The GM being offered the draw has lost against the current leader 4 out of their last 5 encounters, and does not want to split the prize fund for second place if he drops to 10-2. Or in some formats, he might simply want to avoid having to fight for second place. He accepts the draw.
The winner claims the prize with a 11.5 point total. Second place claims the prize with a 10.5 point total, and the last GM finished 3rd with 10 points.
Who loses out in this example? The GM's? Maybe the 3rd place GM if it was a format where he would have had a chance at playing to win second place. But honestly, it's the fans of chess that lost out the most along with the credibility of the competition in general.
Now let me say this: Draws and Stalemates are extremely important to chess. But I question their importance in competitive play. If tournament participants reach a draw or stalemate, it should be at the credit of their good play, but it should not end there. There should be a rematch until a clear winner of that 1 point is determined. If someone can force a stalemate or draw, good for them. They might very well have salvaged a losing position. However, their only reward should be another shot at that 1 point against the same player.
Would it make tournaments longer? Sure! Just like overtime in any other professional sports. Fans love it! The media loves it! Everyone is waiting with baited breath to see who will rise above their competitor and finally secure the win!
I believe this is where chess needs to go. There can be no doubts, chess is really suffering from a lack of media coverage and exposure. How many newspapers covered the results of the recent championships in Mexico? None around my area, and from what I am reading very few in North America in general. Questionable draws and tournament results over the years have turned many media organizations and people in general away from the sport of chess. Many believe that results are rigged when draws end up altering the outcome of tournament results - and can we blame them?
If chess is going to gain popularity and media coverage, things have to change. The issue of draws is just one thing, the overall organization of how world champions are selected is another. In its current form, Chess has too many things working against it that is stopping it from reaching a mass audience and an equal share of coverage that chess enthusiasts like us know that it definitely DESERVES!
I am looking forward to your thoughts on this discussion.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Taken from a recent Blitz game. White played 50. Qxf3 and eventually lost. What do you think, was his decision to take Black's queen correct? If your answer is yes, how should he have continued after 50. ... exf3?
It turns out that White's decision to trade queens was correct. In fact, after 50. ... exf3, White is winning! But White must be careful, because after 51. Se3 a4 52. Sc2?, Black wins!
White's knight is tied to c2 to prevent the a-pawn from promotion, and White's king cannot attack Black's g&f pawn without moving out of the g-pawn's critical squares! While White's king is moving back and forth on the 1st rank, and White's knight is guarding the a-pawn's queening square from c2, Black's king has all the time in the world to take White's pawn on f4 and then move to h2 to escort the g-pawn to g1. White's king even has to watch out for a king&pawn mate!
Carlos mentioned the winning move for White: 52. Sxe5!
If Black takes on e5, he can do nothing to prevent the promotion of White's c-pawn, and his a-pawn is too slow (White will take with check!). If instead Black decides to advance his a-pawn right away, White moves his knight to b4, and now starts his pawn avalanche with his f-, d- and c-pawn! If Black choses not to push the a-pawn at all, moving in his king instead, the result is the same. Meanwhile, without the support of the Black king, the White king successfully holds Black's g/f pawns in check (if you forgive the pun).
So remember: do not hesitate to sacrifice your one remaining piece for the benefit of your pawn storm!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Here I played 25. Rg1, thinking I'd bring another piece closer to the attack with tempo. However, I missed a much more fierceful move that would have achieved the same. Therefore, when evaluating an advantageous position, perhaps one should stubbornly look at each of your attackers in turn and consider every legal move you have, including captures. You don't even need a deep calculation; simply place each attacking piece on the squares in your mind, one after the other.
This, of course, works only in longer games. As for a "sixth sense" of tactics -- the Knights Errant believe the Holy Grail of tactics recognition is Michael de la Maza's Circles.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
First, there are two chess live events happening at the moment, the Exhibition Rapid Chess Match between Peter Leko (Hungary, FIDE rating 2751) and Vasyl Ivanchuk (Ukraine, FIDE rating 2762), and the European Team Chess Championships 2007 in Crete, Greece. Both websites feature live broadcasts, but the games can also be observed on the FICS. Unfortunately for people in the New World, the games usually take place around 1300 GMT -- but what better way to start the day at 6am than having a steaming cup of morning coffee while watching some chess? ;)
Other than that, I'd be interested to hear whether any of you read other chess blogs that you would recommend. I stumbled upon Squirrel Chess and Confessions of a Chess Novice the other day, and both seem very much worth reading.
Last but not least, I was wondering if some of you are up for playing longer FICS games (30+ minutes) with post-mortem analysis in the chat? I find that people on FICS never discuss their games and tend to dislike long standard games, so I thought I'd drop my request here.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I think playing blitz can be a good way to practise openings and tactics, but if you play it too much you may get impatient with analysis in longer games. At least, it seems like that has been the case for me ;)
Friday, October 19, 2007
10 Moves Deep (0%)
15 Moves Deep (22%)
20 Moves Deep (55%)
25 Moves Deep (0%)
30+ Moves Deep(22%)
20 moves seems to have the most votes. Make sure to check the new poll and cast your vote!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Wednesday is almost over ... which means the weekend is soon upon us!
Saturday, October 13, 2007
All in all it was a great experience, and we are going to continue to pursue over-the-board events. I believe this tournament was using the Canadian Chess Federation "blitz" ratings, so no standard ratings were on the line. The event was run very smoothly from our organizer, and everyone involved had a lot of fun!
Friday, October 12, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Part I: Introduction
The Sicilian Defense is perhaps the most popular and dynamic response to the opening move e4. "The Sicilian Defense offers enormous scope to players of every style, since there are many quiet, positional lines in addition to the more notorious wild, attacking variations" (pg 2).
This is the very opening position of the Sicilian Defense and "with his very first move Black creates and unbalanced position and announces his intention of defending by means of counter-attack" (pg 2).
This simple position is a microcosm of the battle plans of both sides. White controls d5 and Black controls d4, two crucially important squares. White wants to occupy d4 with a piece (typically a Knight) and keep the d5 square under "careful observation, and if necessary restraint".
White's plan is to build up pressure on the King-side (as c5 makes Black's idea of "castling long" typically undesirable) and hold on to control of the center. Black's plan is that of counter-attack on the Queen-side and to slowly undermine White' central control, ultimately allowing for d5 after which "Black will normally be assured of at least equality" (pg 2).
After 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 we have a typical position (Najdorf variation of the Sicilian). The purpose of Black's second move (d6) is now clear: to prevent white from playing e5 to attack Black's Knight on f6.
In this position white would like to play c4 (the Maroczy Bind) because we know a substantial objective of Black is to play the freeing move d5 at some point. With pawns at c4 and e4, this objective is made much more difficult. However, since Black has now attacked the e4 pawn, White is drawn into playing Nc3, defending the pawn but also blocking the his c pawn. Some players may want to defend the pawn with the bishop (Bd3) but this relegates the bishop to a defensive position and after c4, it is blocked in by pawns.
Play along these lines (White attacking on the King-side and Black attacking on the Queen-side, both eyeing the center) may lead to a position like this. Black has placed his Bishop to attack the e4 pawn, which White has defended with f3, making e5 or f4 difficult. If White had not played f3, the e-pawn could be won easily. Moves like b4 could pester the c3 Knight from its defense. White will likely continue with h4 and g5 at the right moment and Black will likely put his rook on the c-file (with a potential exchange sacrifice on c3).
There are some excellent youTube videos discussing some of Kasparov's games played in the Sicilian:
Movsesian v Kasparov
Judith Polgar v Kasparov
Kasparov v Shirov
- Maintain control of d5 (which ensures space advantage)
- Attack on the King-side
- Set up a piece on d4
- Look for/play towards opportunities to play d5
- Expand and attack on Queen-side
- Undermine White's center by attacking e4 pawn
- If c-file opens (as in the Najdorf), put rook on the half-open c-file
"It is much more important to understand an opening than to know it (in the sense of rote learning of moves)" (preface). How to Play the Sicilian Defense is a guide with examples and ideas, and I am in no way exhausting the book's ideas and insights. In Part II the Maroczy Bind will be further discussed.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
And part 2 ...
Quite an interesting individual. Sadly, Vinnie died just before the movie was released from AIDS in 1993.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
My first youTube video. Hopefully it is interesting enough. I am working on the Sicilian defense, and although this is a somewhat unorthodox game in the Sicilian, I think it demonstrated some important themes that I will be discussing more in depth later.
Thanks for watching!
Mate in One (7%)
Mate in Two (15%)
Mate in Three (15%)
Pin Tactics (0%)
Fork Tactics (23%)
Skewer Tactics (0%)
All Equally! (38%)
Pretty clear results there - all tactics should be practiced equally even if time is limited.
This week's poll is: "For teaching young children chess, the most important thing to focus on is ..." Looking forward to your opinions on this one!
Friday, September 28, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
A large part of playing chess is being able to evaluate a position. Usually it is not the person who can calculate the deepest that has the advantage, it is the person who can better evaluate the positions that will arise from the calculation. In this position, from a game I recently played, the material is even, but both players have certain advantages.
Which side would you rather be, black or white? Why? What advantages and disadvantages does each side have? I will list them below, but try to think of them before looking.
If I have missed anything or have wrongly evaluated the position please let me know. With this knowledge, we can come up with reasonable plans for White and Black.
White should seek to exchange pieces to alleviate the cramped position. He may also, if he can secure a safe king, play for counter-attack on the queen side.
Black should seek to exploit White's weakened king and try to transform his spacial and quality advantages into material advantages for a winning end-game.
It is Black's move. Do you see a tactic that will accomplish this goal?
Monday, September 24, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Middle Game! (6%)
End Game! (17%)
Play lots of matches! (10%)
This week's poll focuses on what tactics should be a priority if time is limited. Looking forward to the results!
You can access her blog here, and participate in her new chess forums here.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Next week we have to start writing down our matches in preparation for our first over the board tournament, so I will most likely start a chess club video series to add to the ones I am already doing on the YouTube channel. Should be fun!
I will be registered with the chess federation along with my son here in Canada within the next couple weeks. I will keep you all up-to-date on our efforts in that front. Take care and enjoy the last day of the week before the weekend!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
You can read the post here on Susan's blog if you haven't visited yet today, and the link to her main blog is on the link menu to the right:
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
It's black to move. The move Nxd3+ should be immediately apparent. I don't know why white moved the king to b2 here, probably a case of time pressure and not expecting the knight check in the first place. But here you can see the absolute power of the Knight. A Knight can be interesting because when it attacks other non-Knight pieces the attack is never mutual. Here the Knight is forking every single kind of piece (other than another Knight) and they are all helpless against him!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
This week's poll concerns what you believe to be the most important training for an amateur to spend his or her time at. Looking forward to the results!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
I reached this position as black in which my opponent made a fundamental error. He let the center open up without castling. Not only that, but he put his Queen in front of his King. And if that isn't enough, I had a Rook gazing longing past a single enemy pawn that stood between him and a very lovely royal pin.
It is black to move. White just played Bxb5 (a pawn) attacking the rook at e8. It looks strong because it not only takes a pawn but does so with tempo. What is the best move for black in this position?Chess Principles at work:
(1) Important in the middle-game is king-safety. (2) Do not let the center "explode" or "open up" when your King is caught in the middle. In this situation with both black rooks on the e and d files white must be very careful about the tactics. The objective for white here should be to castle as soon as tactically possible.
Did you come up with the move? Hint: It may not spell the immediate end of the game, but after the dust settles white will only be able to struggle in a hard endgame for a draw.
Post the move if you see it!
As for the puzzle, here is a game I had today on FICS. I was black playing a Sicilian Defence. It is black to move. What do you think was possible from this position?
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
I took my boys to the chess club tonight, my youngest is the stronger of the two in chess, and the older son is showing interest in the game. There wasn't many people there tonight but it was still a fun night of chess. The picture here is a position I was in as black, which I won. I am posting the position to see what you guys might have played as white. In the image, it is white to move.
The match was won via promoting the A7 pawn after exchanging rooks. After moving rook to E1, and my opponent moving his knight, I took my rook down to D1, forcing the exchange, creating a knight vs. bishop end-game.
Monday, September 3, 2007
Sunday, September 2, 2007
One can try, that's for sure! (55%)
Most likely not. (11%)
You must be joking! (0%)
Interesting spread! I am definitely going to try hard to reach IM status over the next few years. Will I make it? I am not sure, but I know one thing: I will definitely enjoy the ride!
There is a new poll up - check it out and place your vote!
Saturday, September 1, 2007
These videos were very fun to watch - passing them along to you.
I enjoyed watching the series. I can only imagine the tension back then during that match that was sweeping the nation. Fischer at that time elevated chess to a level much like baseball and football.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
The difference between over-the-board and online chess is amazing, and I am glad that I purchased a tournament set for us a month ago so we could practice with the real thing. While definitely the same game, seeing lines and tactics is a bit different with the real pieces than a totally top-down perspective on a computer screen.
If anyone hasn't tried an over-the-board club but really enjoys playing chess online, I definitely recommend it! We are fortunate in that the club we are joining doesn't have any fee's other than tournaments, but from what I can gather most chess club fees are pretty low anyway, and I can tell you first-hand that it would be worth it!
I am going to start getting my son (and myself) transcribing out our over-the-board matches, and will share some of them on YouTube as we get comfortable with things.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
I encourage you to take some time to read his reflections on how chess helped him on his road to beating cancer. You can read his post on how chess saved his life here and he also has the following MySpace pages to check out:
Hugh is now on the road to recovery, and with all that chess study he has done over the course of his cancer treatment, I am sure he will be quite a force on the chess board! Congratulations on your successful fight against cancer Hugh, and I am glad you have found some good friends in the chess community to explore your new passion for the game with while you work hard at your music career! You are in my thoughts and prayers.
I have had a couple people recommend Fritz X to me from YouTube, and am considering getting that. There's so much stuff I would like to get to help with chess, the list keeps building up. I got a copy of Chessmaster 10 coming soon in the mail, and I think Fritz would be a good purchase. I am also interested in getting ChessBase Lite Premium, but depending on the functionality of Fritz X I might not need to.
Books are a completely different matter - there's so many out there it's hard to know which ones are worth getting! I am going to start compiling a list from the chess forums I frequent, and I will share that list when I get it together. If you know of any "must buy" books please don't hesitate to post a comment here.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Hopefully one day he will return to competitive chess. I think it would be a great goal to work towards achieving Grandmaster distinction, especially after a few years absence from competitive play, and the chess world would benefit in many ways.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
You can access the video here or from visiting my main YouTube page.
Through the help of my subscribers at YouTube, and self-study, I have been improving at the great game of chess, and hope to do so for quite some time. At my blog here, I plan on keeping track of my video updates on my YouTube channel, and making announcements of things happening in my chess life, along with news from the chess world that catches my interest.
Thank you for visiting my blog, and I look forward to hearing from you here through comments, and please feel free to explore my YouTube channel!