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Swashbuckling Chess in Wijk aan Zee

Perhaps you are following the action at the Tata Steel Chess Masters Tournament closely but did you know that the annual Tate Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee also includes a Challengers section full of exciting talent? A step below the Tata Steel Challengers is the Tata Steel Qualifiers tournament which also features highContinue reading “Swashbuckling Chess in Wijk aan Zee”

Get Inspired to Play Better Chess!

Napoleon Hill famously stated “To be inspired is great, to inspire is incredible!” This is especially true in terms of chess. Most days I spend quality time searching through chess databases for sources of inspiration. Some days produce less than stellar results while on rare occasions I discover real hidden gems in the form ofContinue reading “Get Inspired to Play Better Chess!”

Watch and Learn Chess

Breaking through a castled king’s defenses is an important skill and one we can improve by studying illustrative examples. GM Vadim Zvjaginsev played a beautiful mating combination against a castled king during the second round of the 2022 Dvoretsky Memorial chess tournament. In the position below, IM Aleksey Grebnev (black) has just played 42… Nc6Continue reading “Watch and Learn Chess”

Playing Chess with a Student 1/5/2023

In tonight’s live chess stream, California chess coach Chris Torres uses the infamous “center fork trick” in a training game against a talented student. The chess game takes on a surprisingly tactical flavor and both players are forced to avoid threats of checkmate while in time trouble.

Chess Position Worth Sharing 149!

Samuel Loyd was one of the greatest creative geniuses of nineteenth century puzzles, both on and off of the chess board. Born on January 30th of 1841, Samuel (Sam) Loyd was a contemporary of Paul Morphy (1837-1884). In fact, Loyd moved from Philadelphia to New York City which means he was occupying the same spaceContinue reading “Chess Position Worth Sharing 149!”

Born on this Day in 1958: International Master Emory Tate

Today is the late IM Emory Tate’s Birthday. If still alive today, Emory Tate would be turning that most special age for chess players: 64. Born on December 27th means that Emory shares his birthday with the second day of Kwanzaa. (Kwanzaa is a yearly celebration of African-American Culture from December 26 to January 1.)Continue reading “Born on this Day in 1958: International Master Emory Tate”

Birthday Simul 2022 + Special Emory Tate Chess Lesson

As is my annual tradition, I took an opportunity to play several young chess players in a simultaneous exhibition to celebrate my birthday. This year’s Birthday Simul took place on December 20th (not December 18th) so as not to conflict with The Calchess Grade Level Championships which took place on my actual birthday. The eventContinue reading “Birthday Simul 2022 + Special Emory Tate Chess Lesson”

Chess Memories of Birthdays Past

When I was a younger man, I didn’t need to take a day off to rest on my birthday (December 18th). I much preferred going to work, which for most of my adult life, means playing chess with young people. I turned 35 on December 18th 2012 and went to my after school chess classContinue reading “Chess Memories of Birthdays Past”

Viewer Requests: Position of the Week 2

This week’s submission comes from a student in Fremont California and deals with the age old question of which is better, a queen or two rooks. Generally a queen is stronger against uncoordinated rooks and especially so with pawns on both sides of the board. However, in our feature position, black’s rooks are already workingContinue reading “Viewer Requests: Position of the Week 2”

Viewer Requests: Position of the Week 1

Chess Dad & Coach Arun from Fremont California asked me to break this complex endgame down for his students. Watch below to see how this position plays out.

Puzzle Worthy Position 44

Since it’s inception in 2018, the Tata Steel Chess India tournament has invited five of the most talented Indian Grandmasters to compete in their home country against an equal number of top international competitors. The annual event features the strongest rapid and blitz chess on the subcontinent. For 2022, the Tata Steel Chess India eventContinue reading “Puzzle Worthy Position 44”

Winning Chess Moves: Caruana vs. Lenderman, 2018

The 2018 US Championship was an action packed event. The San Francisco Bay Area’s own Grandmaster Sam Shankland stole the spotlight by taking first place over such pre-tournament favorites such as Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So and Hikaru Nakamura. Norcal chess enthusiasts weren’t exactly shocked by GM Shankland’s championship run as we have long since grownContinue reading “Winning Chess Moves: Caruana vs. Lenderman, 2018”

Winning Chess Moves: Karpov vs. Mickiewicz, 1997

Former World Champion Anatoly Karpov is an incredible chess player who dominated the international chess scene for a decade beginning in the mid-seventies. Anatoly wasn’t the flashiest World Champion but his games are very approachable and I often recommend that fans of Capablanca also study the games of Karpov. For today’s Winning Chess Move puzzle,Continue reading “Winning Chess Moves: Karpov vs. Mickiewicz, 1997”

Francisco Friday for 7/1/2022

German chess master Alexander Fritz (1857–1932) suggested 5…Nd4 in the Italian: Two Knights Defense (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nd4) to Carl Schlechter who publicized the line in a 1904 issue of Deutsche Schachzeitung. Sixty years later, the Fritz Variation famously re-emerged during Bobby Fischer’s crushing loss to Robert Eugene BurgerContinue reading “Francisco Friday for 7/1/2022”

Puzzle Worthy Position 38

This puzzle worthy position has long been one of my favorite instructive combinations to use as a part of beginner classes on checkmating. The player with the white pieces is none other than the fifth World Champion Max Euwe but our feature position occurs twelve years before Max famously defeated Alexander Alekhine in a closeContinue reading “Puzzle Worthy Position 38”

Winning Chess Moves: Yates vs Capablanca, Moscow 1925

In today’s feature position, Fred Dewhirst Yates (white) has just played 38. Ka1 leaving Jose Raul Capablanca (black) with a decisive advantage in king safety, material, space and force. Capablanca puts the final nail in the coffin with a brilliant 38th move after which Yates (white) immediately resigns. What is black’s winning move?

Francisco Friday for 6/10/2022

When it comes to attacking in chess, the stronger, the faster and the more difficult to deal with, the better. In today’s game, attacking maestro Francisco Anchondo uses a well conducted early pawn storm to penetrate his opponent’s defenses with brute force. [Event “Casual Blitz game”] [Date “2022.03.12”] [White “Anonymous”] [Black “Francisco Anchondo”] [Result “0-1”]Continue reading “Francisco Friday for 6/10/2022”

Francisco Friday for 6/3/2022

Popular with beginners who strictly follow the time honored opening principles they have been taught, The Four Knights Opening has a reputation of leading to a rather dull positional game. However, Francisco Anchondo makes a habit of taking an opening with a dull reputation and running it through a metaphoric knife sharpener until it canContinue reading “Francisco Friday for 6/3/2022”

Better Notate Your Chess Games

Because, once the game is over, the King and the pawn go back in the same box. The queen, and the bishops who serve her, will experience the same fate. Don’t worry about the horses, they’re going away too. Even the castles will disappear. Better notate your game. So when your own time at theContinue reading “Better Notate Your Chess Games”

Francisco Friday for 5/20/2022

First debuted by Adolf Albin against Emanuel Lasker in 1893, the Albin Counter Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5) is a good surprise weapon for attacking chess players who seek to take a Queen’s Gambit player out of their prep. Decades ago, Francisco Anchondo taught a masterclass in the San Francisco Bay Area on this hyperContinue reading “Francisco Friday for 5/20/2022”