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Greetings Chess Players. My name is Chris Torres and this is my daily chess musing for Thursday, April 22 2021.

Another day of the fight to challenge Magnus Carlsen concludes! Ian Nepomniachtchi continues to dominate the standings with Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, and Anish Giri all sharing second place behind him by a point. Let’s take a look at today’s games!

The two Russians battled it out, ending with Nepo defeating Aleeksenko with good opening strategies. ( A bit of gossip if that’s your thing) Aleeksenko has been accused, by some in the chess community, of losing the game on purpose since Nepo is at the top of the tournament. They claim that the two Russians want a Russian playing Magnus Carlsen, so they are working together in this way.

Currently the standings are: 1 Ian Nepomniachtchi 2 Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Anish Giri 5 Wang Hao, Alexander Grischuk 7 Ding Liren, Kirill Alekseenko Tomorrow Nepo will play Caruana in a crucial pairing. There are just 4 more rounds left!


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All pictures of the players and games are from the FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020-2021 website @ https://en.candidates-2020.com/

[Event “FIDE Candidates 2020”]
[Site “Yekaterinburg RUS”]
[Date “2021.04.21”]
[Round “10.1”]
[White “Caruana, Fabiano”]
[Black “Ding, Liren”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2805”]
[BlackFideId “8603677”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “C88”]
[EventDate “2020.03.17”]
[Opening “Ruy Lopez”]
[Variation “closed, anti-Marshall 8.a4”]
[WhiteElo “2842”]
[WhiteFideId “2020009”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.a4 b4
9.a5 d6 10.d3 Be6 11.Bxe6 fxe6 12.c3 Rb8 13.Nbd2 Rb5 14.d4 bxc3 15.bxc3 exd4
16.cxd4 Qc8 17.Ba3 Nxa5 18.Qc2 c5 19.e5 dxe5 20.dxc5 Nc6 21.Ne4 Nxe4 22.Rxe4
Rd8 23.Rae1 Bf6 24.h4 h6 25.R4e3 Rd5 26.g4 Qe8 27.Kg2 h5 28.g5 Be7 29.Nxe5
Bxc5 30.Bxc5 Rbxc5 31.Qg6 Qxg6 32.Nxg6 e5 33.f4 Rd2+ 34.R3e2 Rxe2+ 35.Rxe2
Nd4 36.Re4 Rc2+ 37.Kf1 Rc1+ 38.Kf2 Rc2+ 39.Kf1 Rc1+ 40.Kf2 Rc2+ 1/2-1/2

[Event “FIDE Candidates 2020”]
[Site “Yekaterinburg RUS”]
[Date “2021.04.21”]
[Round “10.2”]
[White “Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime”]
[Black “Giri, Anish”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2763”]
[BlackFideId “24116068”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “B33”]
[EventDate “2020.03.17”]
[Opening “Sicilian”]
[Variation “Pelikan (Lasker/Sveshnikov) variation”]
[WhiteElo “2767”]
[WhiteFideId “623539”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Nd5 Nxd5 8.exd5
Nb8 9.c4 Be7 10.c5 Na6 11.cxd6 Bxd6 12.Bc4 O-O 13.O-O Nc7 14.Nxd6 Qxd6 15.Qf3
b6 16.Rd1 Bb7 17.Bg5 h6 18.Bh4 b5 19.Bb3 Na6 20.Qe2 Nc5 21.Qxb5 Nxb3 22.axb3
Rfb8 23.f3 a6 24.Qa5 Rc8 25.Qa3 Qb6+ 26.Bf2 Qb5 27.d6 Qd7 28.Qa4 Bc6 29.Qh4
Re8 30.Rac1 Rac8 31.Rc4 Re6 32.Bc5 Rg6 33.Qf2 Re8 34.Re1 e4 35.fxe4 Rg4 36.h3
Rgxe4 37.Rexe4 Rxe4 38.Rxe4 Bxe4 39.Qe2 Bb7 40.b4 Qc6 1/2-1/2

[Event “FIDE Candidates 2020”]
[Site “Yekaterinburg RUS”]
[Date “2021.04.21”]
[Round “10.3”]
[White “Wang, Hao”]
[Black “Grischuk, Alexander”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2777”]
[BlackFideId “4126025”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “C11”]
[EventDate “2020.03.17”]
[Opening “French”]
[Variation “Steinitz variation”]
[WhiteElo “2762”]
[WhiteFideId “8602883”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Nce2 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.f4 Be7 8.Nf3 f6
9.Be3 O-O 10.g3 Qb6 11.Qd2 cxd4 12.Nfxd4 Nc5 13.exf6 Bxf6 14.Nb3 Ne4 15.Qd3
Qc7 16.Bg2 Nd6 17.Bf2 Nc4 18.Qc2 Ne7 19.O-O e5
{ so we pick things up on move 20 for white. } 20.fxe5
{ Hao threatens Grischuk’s bishop. } 20…Bf5
{ Grischuk threatens Hao’s Queen. } 21.exf6
{ and Wang Hao takes the bishop anyways! } 21…Bxc2
{ Grischuk gobbles up the white queen. } 22.fxe7
{ Absolutely stunning play by Wang Hao. } 22…Rfe8
{ Grischuk could not play Qxe7 because: } ( 22…Qxe7 23.Bxd5+ Kh8 24.Bxc4
{ and white would actually have a material advantage. } ) 23.Nf4
{ Incredibly, at this point, Grischuk is only up by a point in material.
Magnus Carlsen commented, “I think having an extra queen is pretty nice.”
However, Wang Hao used his remaining pieces to full effect and finished with a most interesting draw against Alexander Grischuk. }
23…Nb6 24.Nxd5 Nxd5 25.Bxd5+ Kh8 26.Nd4 Qd7 27.c4 Bg6 28.Ne6 Rxe7 29.Rae1
Bf7 30.Nxg7 Bxd5 31.Rxe7 Qxe7 32.Nf5 Qf8 33.Bd4+ Kg8 34.cxd5 h5 35.d6 Kh7
36.Ne7 Qe8 37.Rf6 Rd8 38.Bc3 Rxd6 39.Rxd6 Qxe7 40.Rd4 Kg6 41.a3 Qe3+

[Event “FIDE Candidates 2020”]
[Site “Yekaterinburg RUS”]
[Date “2021.04.21”]
[Round “10.4”]
[White “Nepomniachtchi, Ian”]
[Black “Alekseenko, Kirill”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “2698”]
[BlackFideId “4135539”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “A13”]
[EventDate “2020.03.17”]
[Opening “English”]
[Variation “Neo-Catalan accepted”]
[WhiteElo “2774”]
[WhiteFideId “4168119”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 e6 3.Bg2 d5 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.Qa4+ Nbd7 6.Qxc4 a6
{ [%cal Gb7b5,Gc8b7]Alekseenko plays a6 with a plan to follow with pawn to b5, pushing white’s queen and then placing his bishop on b7 to combat white’s bishop on g2. }
{ Nepo places the queen on c2 so black will not get to play pawn to b5 with
initiative. Now black will not be able to place his bishop on the important
h1-a8 diagonal. } 7…c5
{ So Alekseenko plays c5 instead. But what happens had he decided to
continue with pawn to b5? } ( 7…b5 8.Ne5
{ [%csl Rc8][%cal Gg2a8] Threatening to take black’s rook with the bishop. But also, this means that black’s bishop on c8 is stuck. }
) 8.Nc3 { [%csl Gd8,Yc8][%cal Gd8c7] } 8…Be7 $2
{ This seemingly innocent move seems to be the source of black’s later
troubles. Instead of playing Be7 here, I suggest that the player with the
black pieces should instead play Qc7 as the queen on c7 can support black’s light quared bishop on b7. }
( 8…Qc7 9.O-O b6 10.d4 Bb7
{ and black’s bishop is able to safely be posted on the important h1-a8
diagonal. Now if: } 11.Bf4 Bd6 12.dxc5 Qxc5 13.Be3 Qc7
{ results in a roughly equal position. } ) 9.O-O O-O 10.d4 cxd4 11.Nxd4 Qc7
12.Rd1 Rd8 13.Be3
{ This position is more tactical than it appears. For instance: } 13…Nb6 (
{ If nack plays Ng4 trying to exchange pieces white has a nasty surprise. }
14.Nd5 $1 Qxc2 15.Nxe7+ Kf8 16.Nxc2 Nxe3 17.Ng6+ hxg6 18.Nxe3
{ [%csl Gb7,Gd7][%cal Gg2a8,Gd1d8]and material may be even but white has a big advantage in force that can actually be used. Additioanlly black needs to specnd time solving problems asthe b7 pawn and d7 knight are pinned so there is no easy way to develop the bishop on c8. }
) 14.Rac1
{ all of white’s pieces are nicely deployed. The same can not be said about
black who bishop on c8 lacks purpose. } 14…e5 15.Nf5 Bxf5
{ With this necessary exchange, black gives up on contesting white’s
control of the h1-a8 diaganol. } 16.Qxf5 Nc4 17.Bg5 Rxd1+ 18.Nxd1
{ [%cal Gc1c7]Neop keeps the pin on the black knight. } 18…Rd8 19.Bxf6 Bxf6
20.Be4 { [%cal Ge4h7,Gc1c7] Adds signifigantly to blacks’s trouble. }
20…Qa5 21.Nc3 { [%cal Gf5h7]of course, Qxh7 would also win. } 21…Kf8
22.Nd5 b5 23.Qxh7 Rxd5 24.Bxd5 Qd2 25.Rxc4 bxc4 26.e4 Qxb2 27.Qh8+ Ke7 28.Qc8
Qb6 29.Qxc4 Qb5 30.Qc7+ Qd7 31.Qc5+ { Alekseenko resigns as, } 31…Qd6
32.Qa7+ Qd7 33.Qxa6
{ picks off the pawn on a6 and Nepomniachtchi has an easy path to victory.
But before we end the round 10 recap, let me show you my favorite play in
the tournament thus far contained in the game between Wang Hao and Alexander Grischuk. }


The FIDE Candidate Chess Tournament resumed on April 19th after a 389 day long! The winner of the tournament plays Magnus Carlsen for the World’s Chess Crown at the end of the year. When play resumed, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Ian Nepomniachtchi were in the lead with 4 and a half out of 7. Let’s take a look at key positions from the decisive games of rounds 8 and 9 and then how these results affected the leaderboard.  

With nine rounds completed, the current standings are:

First Place: Ian Nepomniachtchi with 5.5/9

Second through Fourth Place: Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, and Anish Giri are tied with 5/9

Fifth through Seventh Place: Kirill Alekseenko, Alexander Grischuk, and Wang Hao are tied with 4/9

Eighth PlaceDing Liren with 3.5/9

Tomorrow, the fight continues in the cold Russian city of Yekaterinburg with Round 10.

Of course, I recommend visiting FIDE’s official tournament site for more information and live broadcast links of the 2020-2021 FIDE Candidates. However, if you’re schedule doesn’t allow you to stay up all night watching the event live, I humbly advocate coming to this YouTube channel to see recaps of the days excitement in my daily chess musings. 


Website: https://dailychessmusings.com/

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Email: DailyChessMusings@gmail.com

All pictures of the players and games are from the FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020-2021 website @ https://en.candidates-2020.com/

[Event “FIDE Candidates 2020”]
[Site “Yekaterinburg RUS”]
[Date “2021.04.19”]
[Round “8.1”]
[White “Caruana, Fabiano”]
[Black “Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “2767”]
[BlackFideId “623539”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “B97”]
[EventDate “2020.03.17”]
[Opening “Sicilian”]
[Variation “Najdorf, Poisoned pawn variation”]
[WhiteElo “2842”]
[WhiteFideId “2020009”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6
{ The Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defence is a specialty of MVL. }
6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6
{ Maxime is going for the poisonecd pawn variation despite the trouble it
caused him at the Tata Steel Tournament. } 8.Qd2 Qxb2
{ The old addage states “never take the queen’s knight pawn with your
queen.” Taking this poisoned pawn can lead to a lot of trouble unless you
have a lot of specialist knowledge of the ensuing positions like MVL does. Even then, as we’ve seen recently, it’s a dangerous move. }
9.Rb1 Qa3 10.e5 h6 11.Bh4 dxe5 12.fxe5 Nfd7 13.Ne4
{ White has a lot of piece activity but has given up material. Black has a
material advantage but must tread very carefully. } 13…Qxa2
{ That’s the usual move. But hat if black grabs the hanging pawn on e5? } (
13…Nxe5 14.Nb5
{ [%cal Gb5a3,Gd2d8] Kapow! After Knight to b5, the white knight is threatening black’s queen while the white queen threatens checkmate. }
) 14.Rd1 Qd5 15.Qe3 Qxe5 16.c3
{ Interesting that Crauana choses a move from high level correspondence
play rather than the usual Be2. } 16…Bc5 17.Bg3 Qd5 18.Bc4
{ A shocking novelty and a bit of a gamble as strong engines now favor
black. However, it’s worth noting that after playing the computer’s
suggestion of Bd6… } ( 18.Bd6 Bxd6 19.Nb5 Qxd1+ 20.Kxd1 axb5 21.Nxd6+ Ke7
{ and now, despite the imbalances, the engines view this position as dead
even. } ) 18…Qxc4 19.Bd6
{ white is signifigantly down in material but with a very dangerous attack.
} 19…Nf6
{ In the post game interview, Caruana revealed that this was in fact part
of his opening preparation and was conceived by Fabiano’s second, Rustam
Kasimdzhanov. In that interview, Carauana said, “Most of these ideas, it’s a one time thing. Then you can’t play it again. Like this one, firstly
black has many ways to play it. Actually, Maxime played the best way. I was kind of upset that he played this because I thought 19… Nf6 is a very difficult move to find.” }
20.Nxc5 Nd5 21.Qe5 Rg8
{ Caruana may have a dangerous attack, but MVL is definately up to the
challenge. His inpenetrable defensive skills leads Caruana to trading
queens. } 22.Ndxe6 fxe6 23.Nxe6 Qxc3+ 24.Qxc3 Nxc3 25.Nc7+ Kf7 26.Rd3 Ne4
{ Fabiano appeared to still be in his opening preparation and MVL made his
first innacuracy. Better was Ra7. } ( 26…Ra7 27.O-O+ Kg6 28.Rxc3 Kh7 29.Nd5
Be6 { which at, such a high level of play, should lead to a draw. } 30.Nc7 )
{ Caruana capitalizes on that mistake and claims a small edge. An edge that
he eventually converts to a win with ultra precise play Fabiano gamble in
the opening paid off in a jackpot. In a future video, we will look more closely at the incredible endgame play by Caruana in round 8 of the 2020-2021
FIDE Candidates Tournament. But now, let’s take a quick look at Alekseenko’s first win in the tournament. Grischuk is black. }
27…Kg6 28.Nxa8 Nc6 29.Nb6 Rd8 30.Nxc8 Rxc8 31.Ba3 Rc7 32.Rf4 Nf6 33.Bb2 Ne7
34.Bxf6 gxf6 35.h4 h5 36.Rg3+ Kf7 37.Rg5 Rc1+ 38.Kh2 Ng6 39.Rf2 Nxh4 40.Rxh5
Ng6 41.Rh7+ Ke6 42.Rxb7 Ne5 43.Rb6+ Rc6 44.Rxc6+ Nxc6 45.Kg3 Kf7 46.Rc2 Nb4
47.Rd2 Nc6 48.Kf4 Kg6 49.Rd6 Ne5 50.Rxa6 Nf7 51.Ke4 Nh6 52.Ra5 Nf7 53.Ra3
Nd6+ 54.Kf4 Nf5 55.Rd3 Nh6 56.Rg3+ Kf7 57.Ke4 Ng8 58.Kf5 Ne7+ 59.Kf4 Nd5+
60.Kg4 Kg6 61.Kf3+ Kf7 62.Ke4 Ne7 63.Kf4 Nd5+ 64.Kf5 Ne7+ 65.Ke4 Ng8 66.Rh3
Kg6 67.Ra3 Kf7 68.Kf4 Nh6 69.Rg3 Ng8 70.Kg4 Ne7 71.Kh5 Nd5 72.Rf3 Ke6 73.g4
Ke5 74.Kg6 1-0

[Event “FIDE Candidates 2020”]
[Site “Yekaterinburg RUS”]
[Date “2021.04.19”]
[Round “8.2”]
[White “Wang, Hao”]
[Black “Ding, Liren”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2805”]
[BlackFideId “8603677”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “C45”]
[EventDate “2020.03.17”]
[Opening “Scotch”]
[Variation “Mieses variation”]
[WhiteElo “2762”]
[WhiteFideId “8602883”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4
Ba6 9.b3 g6 10.Ba3 Nb4 11.Bb2 Bg7 12.a3 Nd5 13.Nd2 O-O 14.O-O-O Rfe8 15.Qf3
Nb6 16.Ne4 Bxe5 17.Bxe5 Qxe5 18.Nf6+ Kf8 19.Nxe8 Qa1+ 20.Kc2 Qa2+ 21.Kc1
Qxa3+ 22.Kb1 Na4 23.Qf6 Qxb3+ 24.Kc1 Qa3+ 25.Kc2 Qa2+ 26.Kc1 Qa3+ 27.Kc2 Qa2+
28.Kc1 1/2-1/2

[Event “FIDE Candidates 2020”]
[Site “Yekaterinburg RUS”]
[Date “2021.04.19”]
[Round “8.3”]
[White “Nepomniachtchi, Ian”]
[Black “Giri, Anish”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2763”]
[BlackFideId “24116068”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “B33”]
[EventDate “2020.03.17”]
[Opening “Sicilian”]
[Variation “Pelikan, Chelyabinsk variation”]
[WhiteElo “2774”]
[WhiteFideId “4168119”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5
9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3 Rb8 12.Nc2 Bg5 13.g3 O-O 14.h4 Bh6 15.a3 a5
16.Qd3 Ne7 17.Nce3 Bxe3 18.Nxe3 Be6 19.Rd1 Rb6 20.Bh3 Bb3 21.Rd2 Qc7 22.O-O
Rfb8 23.Rc1 Rc6 24.Bg4 h6 25.Bd1 Be6 26.Bg4 Bb3 27.Bd1 Be6 28.Bg4 1/2-1/2

[Event “FIDE Candidates 2020”]
[Site “Yekaterinburg RUS”]
[Date “2021.04.19”]
[Round “8.4”]
[White “Alekseenko, Kirill”]
[Black “Grischuk, Alexander”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “2777”]
[BlackFideId “4126025”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “C11”]
[EventDate “2020.03.17”]
[Opening “French”]
[Variation “Steinitz, Boleslavsky variation”]
[WhiteElo “2698”]
[WhiteFideId “4135539”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Qb6
9.Qd2 Qxb2 10.Rb1 Qa3 11.Bb5 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 a6 13.Bxd7+ Bxd7 14.Rb3 Qe7 15.Rxb7
Qh4+ 16.Qf2 Qxf2+ 17.Kxf2 Be7 18.Nd1 Bd8 19.Ne3 Bc6 20.Rb2 O-O 21.Bc5 Re8
22.c4 f6 23.cxd5 exd5 24.Bd6 fxe5 25.fxe5 d4 26.Nf5 d3 27.Ke3 Bb5 28.Ke4 Rc8
29.Nd4 Bc4 30.Rd1 a5 31.a3 g6 32.Rb7 Bf6 33.Nf3 Bg7 34.Ra7 Rcd8 35.Kd4 Bb3
{ At move 36, Alekseenko exchanges a rook for a bishop since white’s bishop
is very solid on d6 and he doesn’t want Grishcuk contesting it with his own
dark squared bishop. White’s dark squared bishop is a star piece in this sitaution as it defends both the pawn on e5 and a3. Now, let’s fast forward to
move 56. } 36…Kxg7 { [%csl Gd6][%cal Gd6e5,Gd6a3] } 37.Rxd3 a4 38.Nd2 Be6
39.Ne4 Bf5 40.Re3 Bxe4 41.Rxe4 Rf8 42.Ke3 Rfe8 43.Kf4 Ra8 44.Rb4 Ra7 45.Ke4
Kf7 46.Rb6 Rc8 47.Bb4 Rac7 48.Kd5 Rc2 49.e6+ Kf6 50.Rb7 g5 51.Rxh7 Rxg2
52.Kd6 Kg6 53.Rh3 g4 54.Re3 Rxh2 55.Kd7 Rhh8 56.e7 Rce8
{ At this moment, the players were playing fast in order to get more bonus
time. } 57.Bd6
{ [%cal Gd6c7,Gc7d8]Bd6 is a very good move because the bishop threatens to go to c7 and then d8 where it could glue itself to the pawn. }
57…Ra8 58.Bc7 Rag8 $2
{ Grischuk plays a blunder. He obviously didn’t want his rooks split up but
now he is locked out and leaves two pawns hanging. Better was, } ( 58…Rh7
59.Bd8 { which should lead to a draw. } ) 59.Re4 Kf5 60.Rf4+ Kg5 61.Rxa4 Kh4
62.Re4 Ra8 63.a4 Kg5 64.a5 Rh7 65.Kc6 Rhh8 66.Kd7 Rh7 67.Kc6 Rhh8 68.Re3 Rhe8
{ and under pressure, Grischuk plays another innacuracy which wfurther
deteriorates his position. Better was: } ( 68…Kf5 69.Kd7 Rh7 70.Re5+ Kf6 )
{ Alekseenko punished the crime and quickly proceeds to collect a full
point in round 8. } 69…Kf6 70.Re6+ Kf7 71.Re4 Kf6 72.Bd8 Kf5 73.Kxe8 Kxe4
74.Kf8 1-0

[Event “FIDE Candidates 2020”]
[Site “Yekaterinburg RUS”]
[Date “2021.04.20”]
[Round “9.1”]
[White “Alekseenko, Kirill”]
[Black “Caruana, Fabiano”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2842”]
[BlackFideId “2020009”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “C50”]
[EventDate “2020.03.17”]
[Opening “Giuoco Pianissimo”]
[WhiteElo “2698”]
[WhiteFideId “4135539”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.c3 h6 6.O-O d6 7.Re1 O-O 8.h3 Bb6
9.Nbd2 Ne7 10.d4 Nc6 11.a4 a5 12.Ba2 exd4 13.Nc4 dxc3 14.Nxb6 c2 15.Qxc2 cxb6
16.Bd2 Be6 17.Bxe6 fxe6 18.Qb3 Qe8 19.Qxb6 Nd7 20.Qe3 e5 21.Qd3 Qe6 22.Nh4
Nc5 23.Qg3 Kh7 24.Rad1 g5 25.Nf3 Rf7 26.Bc1 Raf8 27.Qg4 Qxg4 28.hxg4 Rf6
29.Be3 Nxa4 30.Rd5 Nxb2 31.Rc1 R8f7 32.Rc2 Na4 33.Rc4 Nb2 34.Rc2 Na4 35.Rc4
Nc5 36.Bxc5 dxc5 37.Rcxc5 Re7 38.Nxe5 Nxe5 39.Rxe5 Rxe5 40.Rxe5 Ra6 41.Re7+
Kg6 42.Rxb7 a4 43.f3 a3 44.Rb1 a2 45.Ra1 Kf6 46.Kf2 Ke5 47.Ke3 Ra8 48.Kd3 Kf4
49.Kc4 Kg3 50.e5 Kxg2 51.e6 Kxf3 52.Kd5 Kxg4 53.e7 Kf3 54.Rxa2 Re8 55.Ke6 g4
56.Kf7 Rxe7+ 57.Kxe7 g3 58.Kf6 g2 59.Rxg2 Kxg2 1/2-1/2

[Event “FIDE Candidates 2020”]
[Site “Yekaterinburg RUS”]
[Date “2021.04.20”]
[Round “9.2”]
[White “Grischuk, Alexander”]
[Black “Nepomniachtchi, Ian”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2774”]
[BlackFideId “4168119”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “D85”]
[EventDate “2020.03.17”]
[Opening “Gruenfeld”]
[Variation “modern exchange variation”]
[WhiteElo “2777”]
[WhiteFideId “4126025”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Nf3 c5 8.Rb1 O-O
9.h3 Nc6 10.d5 Bxc3+ 11.Bd2 Bxd2+ 12.Qxd2 Nd4 13.Nxd4 cxd4 14.Bc4 e5 15.O-O
Qd6 16.f4 Rb8 17.fxe5 Qxe5 18.Qf4 Qxf4 19.Rxf4 Re8 20.Bb5 Rd8 21.Rbf1 Bd7
22.Bc4 Rbc8 23.Bb3 Bb5 24.R1f2 a5 25.d6 Bc4 26.Rxf7 Bxb3 27.axb3 Rxd6 28.e5
Rb6 29.Rd7 Rf8 30.Ra2 Rxb3 31.Rxa5 Re3 32.Rb5 Re1+ 33.Kh2 Rf7 34.Rbxb7 Rxd7
35.Rxd7 Rxe5 36.Rxd4 Re7 37.Kg1 Kg7 38.Kh2 Rf7 39.Kg1 Re7 40.Kh2 Rf7

[Event “FIDE Candidates 2020”]
[Site “Yekaterinburg RUS”]
[Date “2021.04.20”]
[Round “9.3”]
[White “Giri, Anish”]
[Black “Wang, Hao”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “2762”]
[BlackFideId “8602883”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “E05”]
[EventDate “2020.03.17”]
[Opening “Catalan”]
[Variation “closed, 5.Nf3”]
[WhiteElo “2763”]
[WhiteFideId “24116068”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 O-O 6.O-O dxc4 7.Qc2 a6 8.a4 Bd7
9.Qxc4 Bc6 10.Bf4 Bd6
{ Our first key moment. Hao Wang threatens to exchange dark bishops and
expose white’s king. } 11.Nc3
{ Giri ignores black’s bishop on d6 and instead plays Nc3 giving his
opponent permission to play Bxf4. } 11…Bxf4 { Wang oblidges. } 12.gxf4
{ Usually you wouldn’t want your pawns to be split in such a manner, but
not in this case, since white’s plan involves kingside action, Giri is fine
with the opening up of his g-file. } 12…a5 13.e3 Na6 14.Ne5 Bxg2 15.Kxg2 c6
{ This is a very subtle move. Giri is planning on moving his king to h2
which is safer than h1 since white won’t have to worry about black’s queen
checks on the a8-h1 diagonal. in addition, now Giri’s rook can move to g1 to stare down black’s king. }
16…Qb6 17.Qe2 c5 18.Rfd1 cxd4 19.Rxd4 Rad8 20.Rxd8 Qxd8 21.Rd1 Qa8 22.Kg1
Nb4 23.Qb5 Nbd5 24.Nxd5 Nxd5 25.Rc1 h6 26.Qd7 Nf6 27.Qd6 g6 $2
{ Wang was a bit short on time and and subsequently makes a mistake here by
weakening his kingside. After the game, Hao Wang said of his choice, “Very
bad, but I couldn’t find a move.” Qe8 appears to be the move he couldn’t find. Not perfect but also not “very bad.” }
{ Giri doesn’t attack staright away since he is a very careful player.
Instead, he wisely plays b3, carefully protecting everything. } 28…h5
{ A good prophylactic move as he preventing a future Ng4. } 29.Kh2
{ Giri moves his king to h2 as predicted earlier. } 29…Kg7 30.Qd4
{ Giri creates a mean discovered check on the diagonal if black’s knight is
moved. } 30…Rd8 31.Qb2 Qb8 32.b4
{ Giri pushes his b-pawn to create a second weakness for black to deal
with. } 32…axb4 33.Rc4
{ preparing to win black’s pawn while creating a battery in the b-file. }
33…b3 34.Rb4
{ Giri is ok capturing the pawn on b3 as well. Although, I think Rc3 is
more accurate as it then move to d3 should black form a battery of his own
with Qd6. } ( 34.Rc3 Qd6 35.Rd3 ) 34…Qa7 35.Rxb3
{ and if it wasn’t clear before, it is now. White is winning. } 35…Qxa4
36.Rxb7 Qe8 37.Ra7 Rd5 38.Qb7 Ne4 39.Nxf7 1-0

[Event “FIDE Candidates 2020”]
[Site “Yekaterinburg RUS”]
[Date “2021.04.20”]
[Round “9.4”]
[White “Ding, Liren”]
[Black “Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2767”]
[BlackFideId “623539”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “E60”]
[EventDate “2020.03.17”]
[Opening “King’s Indian defence”]
[WhiteElo “2805”]
[WhiteFideId “8603677”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.h4 Bg7 4.Nc3 c5 5.d5 d6 6.e4 e6 7.Be2 exd5 8.exd5 Nbd7
9.Nf3 Ng4 10.h5 Qe7 11.Bg5 Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 f6 13.Bd2 g5 14.O-O Nge5 15.Nd4 cxd4
16.cxd4 O-O 17.dxe5 fxe5 18.Be3 b6 19.a4 Nc5 20.a5 Rb8 21.Ra3 h6 22.Qd2 Bf5
23.axb6 axb6 24.Rfa1 Rb7 25.Qd1 Kg7 26.R1a2 Ne4 27.Bd3 Qf7 28.Rb2 Nc5 29.Bxf5
Qxf5 30.Bxc5 dxc5 31.Qe2 e4 32.Re3 Re8 33.Rb5 Qe5 34.g3 Qd4 35.Rb1 Rf7 36.Rd1
Qf6 37.d6 Re6 38.d7 Rd6 39.Rxd6 Qxd6 40.Rxe4 Rxd7 41.Kg2 Qc6 42.Kh2 Qf6
43.Kh3 Qf5+ 44.g4 Qf6 45.Re5 Qd6 46.Kg2 Qc6+ 47.f3 Qd6 48.Qe4 Ra7 49.Qe2 Rd7
50.Qe4 Ra7 51.Kh3 Rf7 52.Re8 Qf6 53.Kg2 Qb2+ 54.Kh3 Qf6 55.Kg2 Qb2+ 56.Kg3
Qf6 57.Qd3 Qf4+ 58.Kg2 Qf6 59.Kg3 Qf4+ 60.Kg2 Qf6 61.Qe2 Rd7 62.Qe4 Rd2+
63.Kh3 Qd6 64.Re5 Kf6 65.Rf5+ Kg7 66.Re5 Kf6 67.Rf5+ Kg7 68.Qb7+ Kh8 69.Qa8+
Kg7 70.Qa7+ Kh8 71.Qa1+ Kg8 72.Qa8+ Kg7 73.Qa1+ Kg8 74.Re5 Qf8 75.Qa3 Rf2
76.Kg3 Qf4+ 77.Kxf2 Qxe5 78.Qa8+ Kf7 79.Qb7+ Kf8 80.Qc8+ Ke7 81.Qb7+ Kf8
82.Qxb6 Qh2+ 83.Kf1 Qh1+ 84.Ke2 Qg2+ 85.Ke3 Qg1+ 86.Ke2 Qg2+ 87.Ke3 Qg1+
88.Ke2 1/2-1/2

2020-2021 FIDE Candidates Tournament: Who Are You Rooting For?

The winner of the 2020-2021 FIDE Candidates Tournament will earn the right to challenge Magnus Carlsen in the next FIDE World Championship Match. Who will you be rooting for? Pick your Top 3
70 votes · 113 answers


On April 19th, the FIDE Candidates’ Tournament is set to resume in Yekaterinburg, Russia The first half of the tournament was held there from March 17 to 25, 2020, but FIDE was forced to call it off halfway due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, after a 389 day long break, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Ian Nepomniachtchi, (Russia), Kirill Alekseenko (Russia), Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Fabiano Caruana (USA), Anish Giri (Netherlands), Wang Hao (China) and Ding Liren (China) will finally return to the tournament hall to finish the event. The stakes couldn’t be higher for these elite grandmasters as the winner of the 2020-2021 FIDE Candidates will challenge Magnus Carlsen for the title of Word Champion this November.

When play resumes on April 19th, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Ian Nepomniachtchi will start the eighth round tied for first place with 4.5 points. The formidable pack of Fabiano Caruana , Anish Giri, Wang Hao, and Alexander Grischuk are close behind the tournament leaders all with 3.5 points. With such a talented group breathing down the leaders necks, I fully expect a thrilling second half of the 2020-2021 FIDE Candidates. 

Round eight will quickly set the tone for an intense second half of the 2020-2021 FIDE Candidates Tournament. When play resumes on April 19, both of the tournament leaders will be pitted against one of the challengers who are just a point back. GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave will have the black pieces against pre-tournament favorite GM Fabiano Caruana while GM Ian Nepomniachtchi will be playing white against GM Anish Giri. Add to the intrigue that Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is coming off a bad tournament at Tata Steel where Fabiano Caruana used the white pieces to utterly destroy MVL in the Frenchman’s beloved Najdorf Defense. While MVL was struggling at Tata Steel, Anish Giri played at his absolute best winning the event which should be a major confidence booster for Giri. after just seven more rounds, we will know who will face Magnus Carlsen in the Nest FIDE World Championship Match.

With a an invitation to the World Championship Match at stake, the conclusion of the 2020-2021 FIDE Candidates Tournament will be must watch chess. I recommend visiting https://en.candidates-2020.com/about for more information and live broadcast links of this year’s tournament. However, if your schedule doesn’t allow you to stay up all night watching the event live, I humbly advocate coming to this YouTube channel to see recaps of the days excitement in my daily chess musings. 


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Chess Think

If a picture can be worth a thousand words than I suppose it’s justifiable that I used two YouTube videos to explain a single chess position. These two episodes are part of a series dedicated to describing thought processes that will lead you to making better decisions during your chess games.

Black to move (Hermanis Karlovich Mattison vs Vladimir Vukovic, Debrecen 1925).

Episode One and Two of Chess Think feature a single position from move 20 of the 1925 game between Hermanis Karlovich Mattison and Vladimir Vukovic. In episode one, we visualize a candidate move for black and then analyze all of the checks, captures and threats white can respond with. I consider to be the best thought process to avoid playing tactically unsound moves including the very tempting capture featured in episode One. In Episode Two, we use the checks, captures and threats method to locate a new candidate move and then to determine if our new move is winning.

Together, the first two videos of Chess Think launch an important series dedicated to the thought processes needed to excel in chess. If you are serious about improving at chess, start using the checks, captures and threats method of analysis described thoroughly in the two videos below. This method takes time and effort but the payoff is that you will immediately play better chess.

Chess Chat: Q&A with Lauren Goodkind, Chess Educator Extraordinaire

I first me Lauren around in the Spring of 2000 as I was an assistant tournament director assigned to help out in the High School room for the CalChess Scholastic Championship. Since then, we’ve crossed paths numerous times at tournaments I worked at in Fremont, California, then at the Sojourner Truth Tournaments in Menlo Park, California and finally at the U.S. Amateur Team West Events. Lauren has always been one of the nicest people you could possibly run into a chess tournament and even back in the day, I always felt she would become a success story through chess. And did she ever!

Now in her mid thirties, Lauren is one of the top chess teachers in Northern California, a rising YouTube star and the author of three popular chess books. So it is my pleasure to present a written interview with Lauren Goodkind as part of a running series I call Chess Chats.

Lauren, Thank you so much for your time today. How old were you when you first learned how to play chess? Who taught you?

I learned the game from my mom when I was about 8 years old. My mom is just a casual chess player so she didn’t know all the rules of chess .  She thought that stalemate was checkmate and she didn’t even know what en passant was.   At this time, chess was just like  any other board game, such as checkers and Monopoly.  A long time ago, I remembered that I “checkmated” my mom, when it was really a stalemate.

I didn’t take chess seriously when I first learned. I only played chess from time to time since I was more into playing with Barbie dolls. I remember that I sometimes just casually played with my sister, my brother, and our babysitter.  We didn’t know any real chess strategy. My brother had a crazy “killer king” strategy at the beginner of the game. I used to move up the rook pawn two spaces for the very first move since I didn’t know anything about controlling the center.

I took chess seriously  when I started playing in United States Chess Federation tournaments when I was 15 years old. I was still a beginner at age 15. I didn’t even know how to checkmate with a lone rook and king. After two years of playing in USCF chess tournaments, my rating was in the 1500s.

Off the board, has chess helped you succeed in life? If so how?

Yes, chess has helped me succeed in life. If I didn’t play chess, I wouldn’t have met interesting people. Through chess, I am happy to meet interesting people of all ages, including a former tennis player, a Rubik’s cube expert, and more! I value the friendships that I make and I hope to be in touch with these people for many years.

Teaching chess has helped me a lot, financially, too. Chess has given me a big purpose in life and I enjoy sharing my chess knowledge and experience with others. I have learned about world cultures by teaching at people’s homes and apartments. For example, I know what a dosa is!  A dosa is a type of thin pancake food that comes from Indian cuisine.

When did you realize that chess would become your career?

Here’s my story:  To be honest, I don’t know really when I realized chess would become my career. I just fell into teaching one-on-one chess privately, after a frustrating job search that lasted several years. My life coach at the time encouraged me to teach chess privately since she knew that I was a good chess player. I am so thankful that she encouraged me!

I got my first two local students by responding to a mother’s email from a local email chess club list. Eventually, I got more students by word-by-mouth referrals. Since I got more referrals, I knew that I was good at teaching chess, one-on-one and I wanted to keep going. I’ve been teaching chess privately for over eight years and I’m still  enjoy it! I teach kids and adults. Some of my students live in different states.

How would you describe your style as a chess player? As a coach?

As a chess player, I consider myself as a well-rounded chess player. I like to attack if the opportunity arises. For the most part, I am not afraid to sacrifice pawns for an attack.  I love to attack with my queen since she is the most powerful piece in chess. As white, I like to open up with e4 and my one of my favorite openings is the Ponziani. I will not play the Danish Gambit or any sharp openings since those openings are too aggressive for my style of play.

As a coach, I am an easy-going coach, yet serious. I care about my students and their success as a chess player.  I want my students to enjoy learning chess, so I try to make the lessons fun for them. I teach people of all ages and I am patient with my students.

I teach all aspects of the game, including tactics, strategy, endgames, good sportsmanship, how to play in a chess tournament, and more.  Overall, I enjoy giving puzzles and exercises to the student.  I like to ask questions to get her or him to think. If I’m teaching specific endgame positions, then from time to time, I’ll review those specific endgame positions with the student to make sure they remembered what they  learned.

I encourage my students to play in chess tournaments, but this isn’t a requirement. Some of my students are serious and play in USCF rated tournaments.  If my students play in a big and local chess tournament, then I’ll go to that chess tournament to support my students between rounds.  I analyze my students’ games between rounds.  I have done this several times. Of course, this was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some students don’t play in tournaments and that’s perfectly fine with me.  I understand that some people simply don’t like to compete and I’m okay with this. Those people enjoy playing chess on a casual level.

My lessons vary with the individual student.  In one lesson, I might be going over my student’s games that they played from a tournament.  Or I might be talking about the world’s top chess players, such as Grandmaster Wesley So.  Since chess is played all over the world, my students get to learn geography too.  For example, since GM Wesley So is from the Philippines, then I show the student where the Philippines is on a map  Since Bobby Fischer was born in Chicago, then I show my students where Chicago is on the map.

When did you first decide to write a chess book? What prompted you into that direction?

I believed I first decided to write a chess book around year 2014 because  I wanted to expand my chess business. By writing my first chess book, “How To Win at Chess By Answering Questions”, that enabled me to help grow my email list.  Earlier this year, I updated the book and the book is free to download on my website, www.ChessByLauren.com. This book is for beginners.

How long did it take you to write, “How to Win at Chess by Answering Questions”? What was the writing process like?

I forgot how long it took me to write, “How to Win at Chess By Answering Questions?”.  Maybe a several months to a year?

The writing process takes a lot of time. I wrote the manuscript in Microsoft Word. After writing the manuscript, I hired an editor to ensure that the manuscript is in perfect shape. Then after more proofreading, I did the layout on the computer. Then the e-book was finished!

What type of chess players would benefit the most from studying from your second book, 50 Poison Pieces?

I estimate that players who are rated under 1000 would benefit from reading “50 Poison Pieces”.  I noticed that beginner chess players tend to move without thinking and that’s a bad thing.  To solve the puzzles in this book, you have to think at least one move ahead.  The puzzles will help beginner players recognize basic tactics, such as fork, skewer, pin, and more.

Your “Chess by Lauren” YouTube Channel is fantastic. What inspired you to make chess videos?

Thank you!  To grow my chess business, I want to establish a strong and global online presence. I strongly believe that making YouTube chess videos is a great way to do that! At this time, I publish a chess video once a week on Wednesday.  On my channel, I play the chess.com bots, play blitz games, and more. I hope that my channel will help beginners get better at chess.

Here’s the link to my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP5SPSG_sWSYPjqJYMNwL_Q

Also, I hope that my channel inspires more girls and women to play chess.

My YouTube chess channel is actually not my first major video chess project.  For your information, a long time ago  from January 2007 to April 2012, my twin sister and I produced nine chess TV episodes at the local TV station in Palo Alto. Several of the episodes was sponsored by CalChess organization. We interviewed top chess players, taught chess strategy, and more. Some top players we interviewed were Daniel Naroditsky (before he was a Grandmaster), Chess master Amanda Mateer, and more.

Here’s the website: http://chessdiva.show.tripod.com/index.html .  The website is really outdated by the way.

Here’s a highlight video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvMwCjmZnqA

Other videos of “Chess Diva” :

1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otRKcuVVyx4&t=393s

2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rzRK3g3SW0

3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbSeo4fneEU&t=290s  (Interview with Daniel Naroditsky when he was kid).

Another huge chess project that I did was creating 500 interactive two-choice chess puzzles for the beginner.  Here’s the URL: http://chessbylauren.com/two-choice-puzzles.php . I worked hard on this project and this project probably took more than one to two years to complete. My puzzles are endorsed by FM James Eade and other respected chess professionals.

What is your favorite aspect of creating chess videos?

I enjoy explaining my moves in my videos. I hope that my explanations help players get better in chess!

Who are some of your favorite chess YouTubers and why?

I like IM Eric Rosen’s YouTube channel since he is  fun to watch.  He’s a great teacher and is good at explaining specific moves.  About two years ago, I used to get private chess lessons from him.  Recently, I managed to beat a WFM in a FIDE tournament earlier this year.   I probably would have drawn the game if Eric didn’t teach me a specific pawn/rook endgame.

I also like IM Levy Rozman’s chess channel (GothamChess) because I find his content to be instructional to watch.

How do you balance finding time to play chess, teach students, write books and create videos?

I keep a schedule on my iPhone and my computer’s calendar to keep track of time each day.  I teach six days a week.   Since my chess lesson schedule is pretty stable and consistent, I schedule making videos and doing other activities around the chess lessons that I give.

At this time, since there’s more to life than chess, I acknowledge that I don’t play a lot of tournament chess these days and pursuing other activities such as playing tennis and crocheting. I have crocheted some scarfs and gave them to several of my students, friends, and family members.

I do play a lot of casual online chess to get content for my social media posts. Since my books are already published, I am currently not writing a chess book now. I do plan on writing more chess books, but not anytime soon as I am focusing of working on my YouTube channel and other projects.

Overall, I believe in a healthy work-life balance.

I have heard rave reviews for your third book, Queen for a Day: The Girl’s Guide to Chess Mastery. What inspired you to write your third chess book?

First of all, chess is a male-dominated game. Therefore, I wrote this book to inspire more girls and women to play chess. Second of all, I wanted to reach out to a lot more people on a global level, so a book does a good job doing that. As I a mentioned before, I plan to write more chess books in the future, but not anytime soon.

What is one of the most interesting things you have learned while writing and publishing your books?

From start to finish, I learned that writing a major book is a huge project that takes much longer to finish than expected because of unexpected delays and waiting for people to respond to emails. It took me an average of  about two to three years to write “50 Poison pieces” and “Queen For A Day: The Girl’s Guide To Chess Mastery”. Since I self-published my three books, I also had to work with other people to make publishing the book possible, including grammar editors, chess master editors, graphic designers, and more. I learned that some people are easy to work with and some people are frustrating to work with.  Writing a book takes lots of proofreading which takes lots of time.  When the project gets frustrating, perseverance is important.

What’s the nicest comment you’ve received about one of your books or videos?

No particular comment comes to mind, but for my “Queen For A Day: The Girl’s Guide To Chess Mastery” book,  I am honored that I got nice endorsements from WGM Jennifer Shahade,  WGM Jennifer Yu, FIDE Chess Master James Eade and other respected chess professionals!  Even though I am not even a master and have been a  class A player for over 12 years, I am still making a positive difference in the chess community in my own unique way.

With three books, a growing YouTube channel and a successful teaching career, what advice can you offer to girls or young women thinking of making a career out of chess?

First of all, remember these things:

1) Be passionate about chess.

2) Be good with people. Understand that students have their own individual goals in chess.

3) As a self-employed teacher, you get to create your own schedule. Teaching days can be long.  Before the pandemic, I used to go from house to house to teach.  I did a lot of driving so I used to fill my gas tank in my car once a week.  Get a car with good gas mileage.

4) Show up several minutes early to the lesson, so you will be on-time.   Be punctual.

5) This is not a typical career.  Not a lot of women can teach chess, so be proud to be a woman chess teacher!

6) When teaching, you will have mostly good days and some frustrating days too.

7) Networking with other chess teachers, math tutors, and others is beneficial.

8) Teaching at a library or other public place is also another way to get new potential students.

Girls, young women, and others can always reach out to me anytime with questions about teaching chess.

Could you please leave us with a favorite piece of chess wisdom to conclude this interview?

Nobody likes to lose in chess, however, losing is part of the game.  I don’t even like to lose myself.  Therefore, if you did lose a game, accept it!  Then go over the game with your coach or a much stronger player to see what mistakes you did.  Hopefully, you can learn from the mistakes that you made in the game. Also, do not cheat in chess! Simply play your best and have fun!

The Eade Foundation’s Spring Scholastic Chess Classic

I am pleased to announce that registration is now open for The Eade Foundation’s Spring Scholastic Chess Classic. Scholastic chess players are encouraged to join me for a fun filled day of chess on May 22  in order to help raise awareness for The Eade Foundation’s goals of promoting chess literacy and chess excellence globally.  

The Eade Foundation’s Spring Scholastic Chess Classic is a 5 round Swiss style online chess tournament broken up by grade level into 4 sections (K-1, 2-5, 6-8, 9-12 .) Scholastic chess players from around the United States are invited to participate in this inaugural event and compete for one of the twenty chess plaques to be awarded in each section while doing their part to promote chess excellence globally. The entry fee is just $20 but, since this is a US Chess online rated event, all participants must be current members of the United States Chess Federation. Signing up is easy at DailyChessMusings.com and I have included a link in this video’s description to the tournament page. 

So, I cordially invite you to join James Eade, Jay Stallings and myself for the Eade Foundation’s Spring Scholastic Chess Classic. In addition to playing in the event, be sure tune into the Daily Chess Musings YouTube channel on May 22 to watch our livestream presentation of this prestigious event. 



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#Chess Position Worth Sharing 129

Part of the beauty of chess is that no one can predict the level of greatness which the two participants might create in any given game. You may not have heard much about the chess game played between Kekhayov and Petrov in 1964 but the magnificent mating combination at the end is definitely noteworthy. This game represents a master stroke of a relatively unknown chess player who, by every measure, created a timeless mate in four.

White to move and mate in four (Kekhayov – Petrov, Bulgaria, 1964).

Weekly Tournament Results March 26, 2021

Friday Frenzy


Super Saturday Swiss


Beginner Brunch

#Chess Position Worth Sharing 128

As chess players, we should always be trying to make improvements in our technique. For example, the player playing white in the position below should be able use good technique to win easily. Good technique may be good enough to win this endgame but with perfect technique white can checkmate in just four moves! So I challenge you to improve your technique by finding the perfect continuation for white.

White to move mate in 4 (puzzle by Валерий Резинкин from Задачи и этюды-48).