Where to Find Thousands of Free Chess Lessons

This video will tell you how to use the Daily Chess Musings Website and Blog to the utmost.

Winning Chess Moves: Nakamura vs Shankland, 9/9/2021

The Champions Showdown 9LX is a rapid Fischer Random/Chess960 chess tournament that is currently taking place in Saint Louis, USA. Today’s winning chess move comes from the round 2 game between Grandmasters Hikaru Nakamura and Sam Shankland. White (Nakamura) has just recaptured with Rxe5. What is black’s (Sam Shankland’s) winning move?

What is black’s winning move?

So I was just playing a game of #chess and then this happened! 42

This evening’s position is from a training game I played with a student earlier today. My young opponent just blocked my rook’s check with Bd3 so as to avoid losing his queen on d1. Does this work?

What is black’s best move?

Sign up for a private chess lesson with Chris Torres and maybe a position from your game will be featured in a future post!

#Chess Position Worth Sharing 137

In round 4 of the 2003 Corus Chess Tournament, Michal Vladimirovich Krasenkow fought admirably for 79 moves before allowing Vladimir Kramnik to end the game with a cute one-two combination. Can you spot Kramnik’s mating maneuver?

White to move and mate in 2 (Kramnik vs. Krasenkow, 2003 Corus Tournament in Wijk aan Zee, Ned.).

#Chess Position Worth Sharing 136

Great chess players have a way of making it look easy. However, making it look easy requires a lot of work. For instance, just to get to the feature position in today’s puzzle, Boris Spassky had to spend hours grinding out a winning position. (Not to mention the years of hard work to become an elite Grandmaster in the first place!) So why today’s position isn’t overly difficult, the process of its creation was.

White to move and mate in 2 (Spassky vs. Kakageldyev, 13th Soviet Team Championship, Riga 1975).

Facilitative Ball Sharing in Chess

Basketball fans throw around terms like “ball hogs” and “facilitators”. A poor point guard, for example, will “hog the ball” attempting to be the star to the detriment of the team. A good point guard is a facilitator for the entire team setting the plays and passing the ball to a teammate with the best opportunity to score. After the game, a ball hog might attribute a loss to a couple of bad calls in a cruel game. A facilitator, on the other hand, makes no excuses for losses other than failing to execute. Sometimes the league MVP award doesn’t go to the guard with the most assists but teams don’t win championships without a good facilitator.

Over the years, I have played all of the positions in the chess community from player, to tournament director, to coach, to organizer and to Chess Dad. The majority of my fans remember me as the hotshot coach whose students win all the championships. Honestly, though, my favorite moments of my chess career are quietly providing assistance and then watching the people I helped achieve great things.

In the past, I was very much in a competitive mindset running a chess nonprofit in a dog-eat-dog environment. The most enjoyable times of my weekly routine were always just teaching chess but surviving in the fierce nonprofit sector consumed the majority of my focus. Suddenly, in 2020, I became very ill which forced me to step back from my daily grind and gain greater perspective on what really matters in life. For me that was just being a facilitator.

After shuttering my nonprofit, I spent the better part of this last year passing my knowledge to future stars while quietly working to facilitate opportunities and chance meetings that will have long lasting impacts on scholastic chess in the United States. I may not be in the public eye as often, but I am much happier quietly facilitating others in the chess community behind the scenes.

Some say games like basketball or chess, and even the entire world can be cruel. The “ball hog” chess personalities who blame their failures on a cruel world will likely never learn why they continually fail to execute. Chess like basketball can be harsh, so it is important to be honest with yourself as to how your mistakes factored into a bad result. When outcomes become too harsh, try switching gears to facilitate others. Simply put, assisting others has the direct benefit of making your reality kinder.

Betcha Can’t Solve This #Chess Puzzle! 59

Considering that the black king is utterly alone in a forest of white pieces, this mate in two puzzle is rather tricky. Can you find the only two move checkmating line for white?

White to move and mate in 2 (composed by Nils Adrian Bakke, 2006).

Winning Chess Moves: Mieses vs Von Bardeleben, 1905

Curt Carl Alfred von Bardeleben

Curt von Bardeleben was a most interesting chess personality and managed to lose in some of the most beautiful ways possible. Of course, many students of chess are quite familiar with the triumph Wilhelm Steinitz played over Curt Carl Alfred von Bardeleben at Hastings in 1895, but also of note is Jacques Mieses exciting victory over von Bardeleben in 1905. Our tactical study today was plucked from Mieses’ brilliance.

White to move and force a mating combination (Jacques Mieses vs Curt von Bardeleben, Barmen 1905.)

A California Chess Tradition Returns: The People’s Tournament

Chess players in California are flocking to Santa Clara, California to play in the upcoming People’s Tournament, Young People’s Championship and People’s Blitz. The People’s Tournament is a prestigious annual chess tournament with a storied history. This year’s event continues an important 45 year California chess tradition. Don’t miss out on your chance to compete in this important event and be sure to watch this blog for updates and reports on the People’s Tournament.

45th People’s Tournament

A National Heritage Event!


Sun, September 5, 9am – 10pm


Hyatt Regency Great America, 5101 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, CA 95054, USA (map)

Note: New Location 

Register at https://bayareachess.com/my/ppl

Info at https://bayareachess.com/ppl

Rounds: 7

Time Control: G/90 +30 (90 mins/game +30 secs/move for both players)

Young People’s Championship


Sat, September 4, 9:00am – 4:20pm


Hyatt Regency Great America, 5101 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, CA 95054, USA (map)

Register at https://bayareachess.com/my/ppl

Info at https://bayareachess.com/ppl

Rounds: 5

Time Control: G/30 d5 (30 mins/game & a delay of 5 secs/move for both players)

People’s Blitz


Mon, September 6, 7pm – 9pm


Hyatt Regency Great America, 5101 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, CA 95054, USA (map)

Note: New Location

Register at https://bayareachess.com/my/ppl

Info at https://bayareachess.com/ppl

Rounds: 10

Time Control: G/5 d1 (5 mins/game & a delay of 1 secs/move for both players)

Please send any questions about these tournaments to: events@bayareachess.com

Available Now: Private Lessons with Chess Coach Chris Torres

Dramatic checkmating combinations and vast tactical complications, a thick forest of opening trees and the esoteric plans of the ancient masters – the chessboard is a place of stunning creativity and eternal curiosity. Through it we can escape into a world of untamed gambits, beautiful sacrifices and fascinating storylines. Sign up for a customized one hour lesson and I will be your personal guide in the magical realm of chess.

Book your private online chess lesson with Chris Torres today: https://www.wyzant.com/match/tutor/87501681/contact?onlineOnly=false

Don’t have time for a private chess lessons? Submit your games to Chris Torres for personalized analysis here:


Chess Chat: Q&A With Michael Buss, America’s Preeminent Correspondence Chess Master

Michael Buss is currently the number one ranked correspondence chess player in the United States and further separates himself from the pack by having won the prestigious Golden Knights championship on multiple occasions. Some of his success in correspondence chess can be attributed to his “press on” attitude which he developed in his distinguished career in the United States Navy.

For his 20 years of service as a Surface Warfare Officer  professor of Naval Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Mike was was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, the Saint Barbara Field Artillery Association Medal. In 1993, he transitioned to the Naval Reserve Force where he served an additional eleven years.

In 1995 Mike also began a 24 – year career at The American Legion National Headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana serving as an Assistant Director and Deputy Director of Youth Programs. From 2010 until his retirement at the end of 2017, Mike managed the American Legion Boys State and Boys Nation programs and American Legion Baseball. Throughout his 24 years he also managed the Legion’s flag education programs, where he was recognized as the Legion’s “flag guru” answering numerous questions on how to properly display and honor the United States flag. Besides his numerous correspondence chess games, he keeps busy in retirement by volunteering for his church and working part-time as a patient transportation driver for a major cataract surgery center in Indianapolis.

Finally, Mike is a family man having been married to his wife Marie for 41 years and they are the proud parents of four children, grandparents to sixteen grandchildren and even great grandparents to seven great grandchildren.

40th Wedding Anniversary

How old were you when you first learned how to play chess? Who taught you?

I was 10. A friend (my same age) and his older brother taught me to play. They lived next door to my grandmother. My goal was to beat them and another friend who lived down the street from my grandmother!


Which branch of the military did you join and what prompted you to sign up? 

I served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy. I was able to attend Iowa State University on a 4-year full ride Navy ROTC scholarship. This was how a poor Iowa farm boy was able to go to school.


Could you please tell us a little about your military career?

I was an officer in the U.S. Navy for 23 years, having served at sea on five different ships mainly in engineering jobs. I was also assigned to the Navy ROTC unit at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1983-86 where I taught the engineering and weapons systems courses. I am a BIG Nebraska football fan!

I also served two and one-half years as a fire support officer for a U.S. Marine Corps Brigade in Kaneohe, Hawaii and an additional two and one-half years on staff at the Marine Corps Fleet Marine Force Atlantic Headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia. I elected to transition from active duty in 1993 and kept a reserve commission for eight years. I ended my service as a Lieutenant Commander.

Boys Nation director Mike Buss in the studio on Thursday, May 12, 2016.

Were you able to still enjoy chess while serving in the military? If so, who did you play against? Beyond casual games, were there organized competitions available to service members at the time?

I would play the occasional game, that was about it. I really was not aware of any service-related tournaments at the time.

I was able to continue my correspondence games while on active duty.


When did you start playing correspondence chess? 

While on temporary duty at the Naval Station, Subic Bay, Philippines during the summer of 1984, I came across Walter Tevis’ novel The Queen’s Gambit. My interest in chess was reinvigorated! But it would have to be correspondence chess to accommodate my time what with the demands of the Navy and a young family. So, I “re-joined” US Chess, entering some postal chess “Class” and “Prize” tournaments. My game was steadily improving.  I boldly ventured further, entering a Golden Knights section in the late 1980’s and the Electronic Knights in 2006.


How has correspondence chess benefited you personally?

Correspondence chess has allowed me to meet many wonderful, interesting people! As a practicing Roman Catholic, I have had the wonderful opportunity to play Father Joe Farrell of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania twice. We would exchange a thought or two about our Catholic faith with our moves. This allowed for me to further grow in my faith.

From time to time, I would also play an opponent from Iowa or Nebraska. I was able to keep tabs on Nebraska football and whatever else might be happening back “home.”


How do you feel correspondence chess could benefit current members of our armed forces?

I think if we can expand correspondence chess tournament opportunities for our members of the armed forces, especially with electronic communications, it is a win-win for all.


What does it mean to you, as a veteran, to represent the United States in international correspondence chess events?

I always send a biographical sketch with my first move which includes my Navy experience. I am proud to have served my country and proud to let others know that!

Wife and I

What roles at the American Legion have you held or are currently holding?

I retired from The American Legion National Headquarters here in Indianapolis, Indiana. on December 1, 2017, where I worked for 24 years. During my entire time with the Legion, I had the wonderful opportunity to manage the various youth programs offered by the National Organization.

In 1995, I started as the Assistant Director where I was responsible for our United State Constitution speech contest, our involvement with the Boys Scouts of America, and an air rifle marksmanship program. In 2010 I was promoted to deputy director, where I was responsible for our Boys State and Boys Nation program and American Legion Baseball.

Phil 1

Throughout my entire time at National Headquarters, I also oversaw our flag education and etiquette program. The American Legion is considered one of the preeminent sources on how to fly the United States flag. We answered thousands of questions!

I would encourage your readers to check out the Legion website www.legion.org!

I continue my membership with Merle Hay Post 386 back “home” in Glidden, Iowa. I also go back “home” each summer to serve on the staff of Iowa American Legion Boys State.


What inspired you to dive into this aspect of the veterans community?

I attended Hawkeye Boys State in 1973. It made me aware of the NROTC scholarship program, thus opening a big door for me.

I was also able to umpire American Legion baseball from time to time during my military and civilian time.

This is my opportunity to give back to a great organization which does SO MUCH for our veterans and the youth of this great country!


What is one of the most interesting things you have learned while working on behalf of the American Legion?

There are so many great things about the American Legion, it is hard to come up with a specific example!


What advice can you offer to other veterans thinking of picking up the game of chess?

Go for it!


Through your leadership in the Correspondence Chess Working Group, you have helped to establish the changes necessary for correspondence chess to, once again, thrive in the United States. Could you please take a moment to highlight the changes that have been instituted during your tenure and the lasting affects you feel it will have on correspondence chess in the U.S.A.?

The proposal allowing certified Tournament Directors, and utilization of the current US Chess affiliate system to allow affiliates to conduct US Chess rated CC tournaments. Although this concept is still in the “pilot mode” I am very optimistic that this will be fully implemented thus expanding the realm of correspondence chess tournaments beyond US Chess headquarters.

A thorough updating of the rules, which will be published in the very near future.

Revised US Chess correspondence chess events.



What is the proudest accomplishment in your impressive correspondence chess career?

When I broke the 2000 correspondence chess rating plateau.


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

To quote from the chess blog website Tartajubow on Chess: “To win a won game is most important (whether it is OTB or correspondence chess)! Devote more time to your won positions than your lost ones. A mistake in a lost position counts for very little, but you lose a full point if you blunder in a won position and losing half the point is easier still.” Ain’t that the truth!

Want to try correspondence chess? Click below to join the Daily Chess Musings Rated Correspondence Pyramid.



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

The chess world is mourning the loss of Grandmaster Evgeny Sveshnikov who passed away on August 18th at the age of 71. Chess players have probably heard his name in relation to the popular Sveshnikov Variation of the Sicilian Defense, a one popular line championed by Emanuel Lasker that had fallen out of favor until Evgeny Sveshnikov revitalized it in the 1970’s. However, Sveshnikov’s influence as a theoretician extended into several other important openings such as the Alapin Sicilian and the French Advance. Beyond openings, Grandmaster Evgeny Sveshnikov will be forever remembered as a member of Russia’s gold medal winning Olympiad Teams, a very influential chess coach during the late Soviet hegemony of top level chess, a dangerous opponent who scored victories over scores of top grandmasters and becoming the World Senior Chess Champion in 2017. 

Here is a puzzle worthy conclusion from Sveshnikov vs Ivanov, 1976 that I presented to a class just three months ago. Enjoy…

Summer Games Winners!

Greetings Chess Players. My name is Chris Torres and this is my daily chess musing for Saturday, August 21, 2021.

The Daily Chess Musings Summer Games took place on chess.com from August 2 – 6. Over the five days, scores of chess players who are members of the Daily Chess Musings chess club competed in various online chess events. To certify FairPlay, I played through (much to my enjoyment) all of the chess games from this exciting event. Congratulations to all who competed in the DCM Summer Games, and especially to all those who medaled.  If you placed in the top three, I will be contacting you via email or messaging on chess.com to arrange prize distribution.

Emotional Weakness in Chess

As compared to emotionless computers, human chess is inconsistent. Computers may lose at chess but they don’t have “bad days” where their performance is inexplicably poor. Emotional thinking, therefore, appears to present a weakness for decision making in humans.

Chess Scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Obviously, we are biological creatures and emotions have by and large served the human race well which is why there are over seven billion of us alive right now on earth. However, the biological advantages of emotions on a macro level seem to be disadvantageous to decision making on a micro level. Thus it is vitally important for humans to recognize that emotions, both good and bad, distort our perception of reality.

In chess, to avoid making mistakes caused by this distorted view of reality, we must first be cognizant of our emotions. As emotional creatures, we must strive not to react to a chess position based on feelings but rather respond to the task at hand with a logical approach. If our current line of thinking creates an emotional response, then we must reevaluate our conclusions. Finally, chess players, as much as possible, need to refrain from making major decisions when emotions are running high as this is when mistakes are most likely.

Of course, it is really easy to speak of making emotionless decisions in chess but to play emotionless chess is far more difficult. Personally, I have managed to play correspondence chess consistently at a relatively high level by never deciding a move based on feelings. I also am applying this strategy to tense situations off of the chessboard and trust me it has helped me deal with life’s up and downs. Of course, this didn’t happen overnight but I have discovered that practicing calm decision making in chess directly benefits my everyday life and now I try and share this finding with my students.

July Camp Points & Prizes

Hello Chess Players!

First place shirt + private lesson with Coach Torres + entry to pyramid 

Second place shirt + entry to pyramid 

Third place shirt

Fourth & Fifth place button

6-10 sticker

Absolute Beginners

1Isaiah Ndukubazaythundersmash8179
2Luca AeberhardLucaSwiss1381
3Mia Mooredot202156
4Srini KaSrini_Ka25
5Samuel Huangmehuman121
6Chris HuangFalconyChris3


1Jayden Ndukubajayndukuba210
2Philip TullisPhilipTullis77
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5Jason YuanJyxz57543
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8Eayon HsuEa218122
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10Solomon BreimhorstMakingMovesA1111
11Menna MohamedLavender_blu5
12Katherine LinKathiscool3
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1Aahna Kaisthaknightingale0720241
2Vaibhav Kamepallivkamepalli137
3Henry Buckhanlinbuck127
4Matthew Tian16796572127
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11Aram SkopeSkopeAram29
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14Suhas KudithipudiAquatic_SK23
15Robin Subashrobin_subash18
16Tariq Cissetariqac16
17Aidan BellAidanDBell12
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27Vyas ChariVYAS1


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3Ashwin MathimaranAshwinMathimaran145
4Troy TianMrEagerMcBeaver137
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6Daniel TongSkuemr108
7Caleb Jaocaljao21596
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11Hyden Zhanghydenzhang39
12Christopher RuzickaChrisRuzicka29
13Kieran Chalkpred1c4ment28
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16Saswin MaheswaranSaswinmahesh9
17Jordan LaiCheese-1238
18Brayan Amayaroyalknight1016
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5Benjamin ChamieProgrammer57beater208
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9William CondronBluePeopleRE127
10Sarah DavisLushChild122
11Jin ShaoMiniLightBaboon117
12Edmund TsouCRpro1102
13Yogi PatelYoginpatel102
14Likhith Bomminenilikhith31101
15Justin Mathewannieg00160
16Henry KlassenHenryGKlassen44
17Patrick Wangpatrickwang733
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19Sarat ChandrapatyLlyod200928
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21Chaaruhaas Kandregulachaas217819
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23Amane KumamotoAmaneKitty11
24Pema McAlisterVibrantDiamond1008
25Darsh Rajaalertf7
26Jerryl TongXchraQeLymePi6
27Isaac Chan-OsbornPythGoram4
28Tara McAlisterQueenBunny14
29Eric LiEric12264


1Ayaansh KaisthaKoolking0727233
2Sophia HuangSophiafeifei0233
3William ChuiChess1William212
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8Darsh Maheshwarismjuniorgm170
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11Darren PalmerFurbidfurball106
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26Aakash PraveenJivashProdigy15
27Vineel Uppadavinupp97214
28Raghav MangudiPoochi113
29Aditya KanadeBishopSnipe94512
30Raghav Rameshrrrocks9
31Daniel MedvedDanielM80278
32FNU Diganthsooki20116
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36Inay velloreRapidflashlight4
37Noah Zhangnoahzhang3242
38Eli Songelite_mover2
39Lydia XiongXiongly1


If you are on this list it’s because we didn’t have all your information

1Kshitij GoyalBlabberboy2156
2Sam CIamsamthechessman66
3Mary MikitishBeauty 9,00064
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7Lara AeberhardLaraSwiss1535
8Maria MikitishLovesdogs 100032
11xavier mikitishlovesoutside29
13Arya Kunisettyhydroheat22
18Amogh ChauhanCoolkid100816
21Karthik Subramanianwinnerkarthik0715

Correspondence Chess is Making News!

The Associated Press has a piece about the Daily Chess Musings Rated Correspondence Chess Pyramid. The article entitled, “Taking Time for Correspondence Chess in a Fast-Paced World” details the history of correspondence chess leading up to our US Chess rated correspondence chess tournament on chess.com.

Here is a screenshot of the feature article.

If you want to read the whole piece, here is the link: https://apnews.com/press-release/prodigy-news/lifestyle-sports-chess-0f72cc996d6dc3df3f008c1090b8ee93

The Daily Chess Musings Rated Correspondence Chess Pyramid is ongoing right now! To find out more information and sign up, please visit:


Lots of Chess Fun in August

Summer Vacation may be coming to a close, but we have a lot of fun activities in store for the final days of break. Coming up in just the next couple of weeks, we have the inaugural Daily Chess Musings Summer Games and our Free Online Summer Chess Camp for the month of August! The Daily Chess Musings Free Online Chess Camp will continue to meet on Wednesdays, and we will continue offering the Friday Frenzy Blitz Tournament, Super Saturday Swiss, and Sunday Beginner Brunch Tournaments every week!

The Summer Games have begun in Tokyo, and we are joining in the fun with our very own chess summer games August 2 – 6. See how your chess skills match up against other chess players in the Daily Chess Musings community. All the events are free, and we will be awarding some really awesome prizes to the top place finishers in every event. In addition, I will be live streaming all the events which include Rapid, Blitz, Bullet, Chess 960, and Bughouse on the Daily Chess Musings YouTube channel. Signing up is easy and more information is available at DailyChessMusings.com! So, sign up today, have fun and go for the gold!

Our Free Online Summer Chess Camps represent one of my proudest achievements as a chess educator.

Participants will earn points each day at camp by taking part in skill-appropriate classes, completing training tasks, and competing in fun camp chess matches against other chess students. During camp, the top point earners will win prizes, and all children who participate for the entire week will receive a camp certificate. Players of all ages and skill levels are welcome, however, those above the age of 21 are not eligible for rewards. Our final summer chess camp for 2021 will take place from August 9-13 and is tuition free. Signing up is easy at https://dailychessmusings.com/free-online-summer-camp-2021/

On a personal note, I will be representing Northern California as a delegate at the United States Chess Federation’s annual meeting on August 7th and 8th in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. If you are playing in this year’s US Open, please let me know so that we can meet up there. More importantly, if you have a concern or idea for US Chess that you would like me to mention to the USCF Board of Directors, please send it in an email to DailyChessMusings@gmail.com

Finally, with the new school year right around the corner, keep in mind that I will gladly arrange to help your school chess club either directly with a custom online chess club or indirectly by advising your chess club leaders in all aspects of club management. For more information on these services please visit https://dailychessmusings.com/free-online-chess-club/

And with that, I bid you adieu. Thanks for being a part of the Daily Chess Musings community and as FM James Eade likes to say, “If you are a part of a community, you are never alone.”

Chris Torres

Director of Daily Chess Musings

P.S. Speaking of James Eade, be sure to check out the last lesson we did together!

All Chess Masters Are Stoic

Not all stoics are chess players,

but all chess masters are stoic.

Knights who sacrifice themselves, contemplating truth,

baring their brains among the scholars of war.

Burning neurons like Tal’s cigarettes.


Listen to the whispering eyes in the room evaluate them.

Their positions busting along with their hearts.

Watch them!

Staring with disillusion at the board,

one last time,

before the swallowing of pride,

and tipping of a king.

Winning Chess Moves: Bronstein vs Geller, 1961

There have been many great chess players over the years, but only a small percentage of them manage to captivate the public imagination and receive considerable mainstream attention at any given time. David Bronstein never became a world champion, but there’s no denying that at the height of his career, he frequently captivated imaginations while defeating the world’s best. In today’s puzzle, David Bronstein is white against Efim Geller who has just played 19… Rxc3. What does Bronstein play as white?

White to move and mate in 3 from Bronstein – Geller, USSR Championship 1961.