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Opening Chess Moves Overview

1. Open games start with 1.e4 e5


2. Half open games start with 1.e4 and Black answers not 1...e5 but plays other
opening moves
3. Closed games start NOT with e4 but with other chess opening moves

Ruy Lopez - popular Chess Opening Strategy

The Ruy Lopez opening is a well known chess opening strategy and very popular. It starts
with 1 e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 and has a lot of variations.
This opening was first developed by Ruy Lopez (1540 1580), a Spanish priest and a
bishop in segura, who wrote articles about chess. Black has various defenses now.
See chess position below:


The most popular chess move is 3...a6

There are other defences like:
3...Nge7 (Cozio)
3...Nd4 (Bird)
3...d6 (Steinitz)
3...f5!? (Schliemann)
3...g6 (Smyslov)
3...Nf6 (Berlin)
3...Bc5 (Classical or Cordel variation)

Study variations played with the most occurring 3...a6.
I personally like the Classical or Cordel Variation very much as the black bishop moves to
the strong square c5 and puts pressure on f2.

Ruy Lopez - popular Chess Opening Strategy
The Classical Defence is called sometimes Cordel Defence. It is characterized by the
move3...Bc5 which is a very old defence move in the Ruy Lopez (spanish opening).
It is not played very often, but this defence can be considered stable as the bishop on c5 is
very well placed in the center and pressures the square on f2.


White answers normally with 4.c3 or castles 4.0-0 first and plays 5.c3 later. The usual play
is 4.c3 Nf6 5.0-0 0-0 6.d4 Bb6 called the Benelux Variation.
Black should try the unusual 4...Qf6 instead of 4...Nf6 as 4...Qf6 is a move which has been
neglected in tournament play and is played rarely, but should not be underestimated at all.
I admit, that I am a fan of the Qf6 Variation
Unusual Chess Variation - Classical Qf6-Defence versus
Ruy Lopez
The chess variation Qf6-Defence is part of the Classical or Cordel Variation. It is very
seldom played among grandmasters. The reason is probably a general dislike to bring the
Queen out early in the game.
I tested this variation and like it very much. I find that if White trys to win by force he often
runs into a bad position himself and loses.
I tell you a secret. This move is an idea of the Fritz chess program so Qf6 can't be a bad
move. I played a lot of games in the internet with this opening but couldn't find a refutation.
There is one uncomfortable variation, but when you know how to handle it you should be
right.( Study the piece sacrifice in Game 2 move number 9 )

Basic position with c3 - White to move -
I call this the slow setup as White has
played a pawn move (c3) and not a piece
move (Nc3). This allows you to make the
protecting pawn move h6, after White has
played d3, to protect your queen from Bg5.
Basic position with Nc3 - White to move -
I call this the fast setup because White has
developed the knight to c3 and not played c3
(a pawn move).
White will play now d3. In this fast setup
(Nc3) you should not play h6 to stop the
bishop from attacking your Queen, but the
queen goes to d6 instead when attacked by
Bg5 (Qd6).
The philosophy behind this is that White has
developed a piece (Nc3) and has not played a
pawn move (c3) which is slow. So you should
develop a piece also, and not make a pawn
move (h6) after d3, which is losing valuable
development time. So after White has played
d3, you castle which is equivalent to a piece
move.
Qf6 Variation - Fast Setup

y Play Bb6, if the bishop is attacked by Be3 and keep the position closed until you have
castled.
y Watch out for Bg5, attacking your queen and play h6 to stop that, but only if you have to!
y Avoid playing a6 if you are not forced. You need this pawn to protect your Bishop, which
goes to b6 very often.
y Don't trade off your c5-bishop for the white e3-bishop as this will result in a change in the
pawn structure. The f-pawn will recapture and move to e3. This will stop your knight from
going to the important square f4!
y Don't play d6 before you have castled or you might lose a piece after the white pawn
moves d4 and d5. Castle first then play d6 if you can and complete development.
y Play your knight to g6 and then to f4. This will start a dangerous attack against the white
kingside. Study the following games and the typical attacking procedures and memorize
them!
Marshall Attack - active Chess Opening for
Black
The Marshall Attack is a variation of the Ruy Lopez chess opening (spanish) and originates
from Frank James Marshall. He was born 10th of August in 1877 in New York City, but lived
in Montreal, Canada from age 8 to 19, where he started playing chess at the age of 10. At
1890 he was one of the best chess players in Montreal. In 1904, 1906 and 1909 Marshall
won the U.S. Chess Championship.
The first moves of the Marshall Attack are:
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5
7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 d5
After Blacks Move 7...O-O White is suffering psychologically as he does not know if Black
will now play the Marshall Attack or not if White plays 8.c3 next. So often White avoids the
Marshall Attack for fear at this point and plays not 8.c3, but 8.d4 instead and ruins the
whole concept of the Ruy Lopez.
The Marshall Attack has a good reputation and many players who play the spanish opening
with the white pieces are fearful that Black employs the Marshall Attack and play the so-
called Anti-Marshall Lines to avoid this opening.
In the Marshall Attack Black sacrifices a pawn in return for the initiative and starts a very
sharp attack at the white kingside. White must defend and be careful not to run into
dangerous attacking lines.
Anti-Marshall lines are, when White does not play 8. c3 - which most players do - but plays
other moves instead:
8. a4!?
8. h3
8. d4 Nxd4

But this requires different studies. Go to the Anti-Marshall.
Anti Marshall - Opening Chess Tricks
One of the opening chess tricks is to avoid the dreaded Marshall Attack by playing 8.a4. But
Black can equalize without too may hassles if he plays accurately. When you play the white
pieces you should do this if you can safely assume, that your opponent is a specialist in
theMarshall-Attack
You don't want to run right into his home preparations, don't you? But on the other hand it
should be clear that you play like a whimp if you chose this emergency exit. Rather study
the Marshall Attack yourself and fight back with the white pieces. Hey! You are not a coward
are you?



In the above diagramm White has played the Anti-Marshall (8.a4) and avoided the
Marshall Attack. Other possible moves to avoid it are: 8.h3 or 8.d4. The replayable games
are organized. First you find games with 8.a4 then 8.h3 and after that 8.d4

The Scotch - Chess Opening Strategy

The Scotch chess opening strategy begins with the moves:
1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. d4
In 1824 there was a match between Edinburgh and London where this opening received its
name. The Scotch is not often played by top players because it releases the central tension
too early and Black can equalize without problems. But recently the Scotch has been
revived by players like Kasparov who has used it as a surprise weapon.
When you have Black then I recommend the following line.1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4
4.Nxd4Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8. c4 Ba6 9.b3 g6 10.f4 Bg7 11.Qf2 Nb6
which is very unpleasant to play for white as he has psychological difficulties finding the
best moves.
If White plays 4.Bc4 and not 4.Nxd4 the game can enter the Max-Lange-Attack which you
should study.
Please memorize Game 1 below for playing it with the black pieces. This will give you
guidance in a real game when you have to play the Scotch as Black.

Max Lange Attack - Strategies for Chess
The Max Lange Attack is one of the aggressive strategies for chess that leads to a position
with high tactical risks. This Gambit can be reached by changing the move order in the
Scotch Opening or other open games.
This Variation was researched 1854 by the german chess player Max Lange and became
quite popular until the 20th Century. Black can avoid this variation and play the Anti-Lange-
Variation.
The Max-Lange-Attack can be reached after:
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 and now 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d4 e5xd4 5. 0-0 Bc5 ( The move 5. Nf6xe4 is
the Anti-Lange-Variation.) 6. e5

Or is reached in the Italien Game after 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d4 exd4 (Black can play also 4.
Bc5xd4) 5. 0-0 Nf6 6. e5.

Or is reached in the Scotch Opening after 3.d4 e5xd4 4. Bc4 Bc5 5. 0-0 Nf6 6. e5.
White attacks the Knight on f6 and likes to open the e-file for his rooks. But Black is a pawn
up in the center and has more center control. Black should not be afraid of the Max-Lange-
Attack at all as White got no advantage. For that reason the Max-Lange-Attack is not very
popular among grandmasters.
The Italian Game - active chess opening

Giuoco Piano is italian and means -quiet game-. It is a very old opening.
The Italian Game starts with the moves:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 Bc5
This chess opening is well analysed since a few hundred years. It came to us from the 16th
century. As both chess players put their bishops on the most agressive square, White to c4
(Bc4) and Black to c5 (Bc5) - attacking the vulnerable f7 and f2 squares - an agressive
game can be expected.
When you play this opening expect high tactical risks. Not all arising complications can be
worked out over the board. Even more aggressive and risky is the Evans Gambit where
White sacrifices a pawn now with 4.b4.
Watch out as Black for the Max-Lange-Attack which is reached after 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d4
exd4(Black can play also 4. Bc5xd4) 5. 0-0 Nf6 6. e5.
Players who like a quiet positional game as Black should play 3...Be7 or 3...d6 instead of
3...Bc5. And positional players with the white pieces should choose the more positional
approach playing not Nc3 later on, but rather use the c3, d3 setup and play the knight to
d2.
When you are a beginner, then start playing the Italian-Game. This will help you to
understand important chess principles faster.

Evans Gambit - aggressive Opening Chess
Moves
The opening chess moves of the Evans Gambit are very active. It originates from Kapitn
Evans (1824) and belongs to the open games. Bobby Fischer and Garri Kasparow played
this opening a few times and it is considered playable but not often played among
grandmasters. Sometimes improvements for this chess opening are found and there is no
reason why it should not be played.
The first moves are:
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4!?

It's part of the Italian game. Black can reject the pawn sacrifice by 4...Bb6 but then White
will gain space advantage at the queenside playing 5.a4.
If Black accepts the pawn offer then White will gain the better development of his pieces.
But Black should not take the second pawn after 4...Bxb4 5.c3 Bc5? 6.d4 exd 7.0-
0 dxc? as after 8.Bxf7+ Kxf7 9.Qd5+ White recaptures the sacrificed piece and the black
king is exposed.
Hint: Dont't play 5...Bc5? (as Bishop will be attacked after d4 and this opens up the game
too early) but consider only 5...Ba5 or 5...Be7.
Hint: After 4...Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.d4 d6 (not 6...exd?) Black should keep the game
closed as White is better developed

Max Lange Attack - Strategies for Chess
The Max Lange Attack is one of the aggressive strategies for chess that leads to a position
with high tactical risks. This Gambit can be reached by changing the move order in the
Scotch Opening or other open games.
This Variation was researched 1854 by the german chess player Max Lange and became
quite popular until the 20th Century. Black can avoid this variation and play the Anti-Lange-
Variation.
The Max-Lange-Attack can be reached after:
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 and now 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d4 e5xd4 5. 0-0 Bc5 ( The move 5. Nf6xe4 is
the Anti-Lange-Variation.) 6. e5

Or is reached in the Italien Game after 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d4 exd4 (Black can play also 4.
Bc5xd4) 5. 0-0 Nf6 6. e5.

Or is reached in the Scotch Opening after 3.d4 e5xd4 4. Bc4 Bc5 5. 0-0 Nf6 6. e5.
White attacks the Knight on f6 and likes to open the e-file for his rooks. But Black is a pawn
up in the center and has more center control. Black should not be afraid of the Max-Lange-
Attack at all as White got no advantage. For that reason the Max-Lange-Attack is not very
popular among grandmasters.
Two Knights Defence - active Counterplay for
Black

The Two Knights Defence is a chess opening that belongs to the open games. It begins as
follows:

1.e4 e5
2.Nf3 Nc6
3.Bc4 Nf6
Black's third move 3...Nf6 is more aggressive than the move 3...Bc5. It is a counterattack
and not a defense and was played by many aggressive players, for example: Tal, Spasski an
Keres. The theoretical body of this opening has been explored deeply and it is necessary to
study a lot of chess variations if you want to apply this opening with success.
The most challenging move for white is now 4.Ng5 which looks like an amateur move and
was considered "primitive" by Siegbert Tarrasch (5th march 1862 17th feb 1934), one of
the strongest players at his time. This move wins a pawn forcibly but Black gets
compensation in better piece development.
This move is considered for white as a good chance to go for a slight opening advantage
and was played by World Champions like Bobby Fischer, Karpov and Kasparov.
Other fourth moves for white are 4.d3 (most popular), 4.d4 which can lead to the Max-
Lange-Attackwhich you should study. Not often played is 4.Nc3 and 4.0-0 is very rarely
played. You can replay them a bit further down alltogether. But first replay the aggressive
variation (4.Ng5) and get the feel for it.

4.Ng5 - most aggressive
After 4.Ng5 d5 (to block the bishop or white is going to hit f7) follows 5.exd and now there
are various moves for black.

When you replay the games with 4.Ng5, you will notice, that Black does NOT
recapture the d5-pawn with 5...Nxd5?? This is a really bad move.
Never ever recapture with Black, because after that the black king must go into the center
to protect his knight. This position usually wins White. Don't play it with Black.
I recommend 5...b5!?
Replay 5...b5 Variation here but look first at the diagramms below to understand why
5...Nxd5 is bad.

1 2

3


Two Knights Defence - games
There are various >fourth moves< for white. You can replay them here in the following
order:
First 4.Ng5 / then 4.d3(starts at game 101, is most popular)/ 4.d4(from 883)
/ 4.Nc3(from 911, not popular) / 4.0-0(from 926, seldom played)
Petrov's Defense - Russian Chess Opening
Strategy

This chess opening strategy is not very popular because it appears to be not very inspiring.
Petrov's Defence is usually called -the Russian Defense- and starts like this.
1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nf6



The move 2...Nf6 was first investigated and brought to the attention of the chess playing
public by the russian chess player Alexander Petrov (1794-1867), who lived in Saint
Petersburg. He was the best chess player in Petersburg and has beaten the strongest
players there. Just aged 15 he became the Russian champion.
This opening has a reputation as a remis variation and being boring. You can avoid the
Petrov as White if you start your first moves like this:
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4! Nf6 3.d3
If you play the Petrov as Black you can avoid the Ruy Lopez (Spanish Opening), the Italian
Opening and the Scotch Opening.
The classical move for white is 3.Nxe5. After thatBlack has to chase the white knight back
with d6!, before he attacks himself and takes the white pawn on e4.
So, don't take the other pawn with 3...Nxe4? right away as this is bad as White will get the
superior position after 4.Qe2. This variation is explained below.


1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6
3
.
N
x
e
5

N
x
e
4
?
?

4
.
Q
e
2

Q
e
7

5.QxN d6 6.d4...
6
.
.
.
d
x
N
e
5

7
.
d
x
e


7...Nc6 8.Bb5 Bd7 9.Nc3 0-0-0 10.Bf4 and White is a pawn up

Kings Gambit - Surprize Weapon

The Kings Gambit belongs to the open games. It begins with the moves:
1.e4 e5
2.f4
White sacrifices the f-pawn to divert the black e-pawn away from the center and plans to
establish center control playing d4 afterwards when he has two pawns in the center on e4
and d4. This gives him more space to move his pieces around.

After that he puts pressure on f7 playing Bc4 and recapturing the weak f-pawn later on to
put additional pressure on f7 along the f-file. (with rooks)
The Kings-Gambit was very popular in the 18th and 19th century. But later on this opening
was researched further and good defense methods were found for Black. From then on this
opening lost its popularity. As general chess knowledge evolved further improvements
were made for both sides.
In some variations Black just returns the pawn and achieves a solid and defendable
position. This opening is nowadays seldom played among grandmasters, but is used
sometimes as a surprise weapon.
Nigel Short used it in the world championship 1993 against Garry Kasparov. It is played
sometimes in open tournaments. If White has the edge as usual is doubtful but Black
should not underestimate this opening.
2...exf4 It is quite allright to accept it and capture the pawn.
3. Nf3 d6! This is Bobby Fischers Defense Move, invented and researched by him. It
controls e5. 4. Bc4 h6 This stops the knight to go to g5 and attack the weak point f7. 5. d4
g5 etc. with equal chances.
GM Roman Dzindzihashvilli favorizes the following moves for Black and maintains that the
Kings Gambit is not a good opening for White. This is the opinion of quite a few
grandmasters in the meantime.
1.e4 e5
2.f4 exf4
3.Nf3 Be7
I suggest you better invest your time learning a serious opening as White and just use the
Kings Gambit very seldom as a surprize weapon.
But if you are a young player and just started playing chess then you can use this active
opening to get practical experience in tactical play and learn combinations. You need to
learn a lot of tactics first before you play positional chess later on. So dive into the wild
lines of the Kings Gambit.

For Black
If you play 1...e5 as Black, you should know how to play the right setup against White's
different opening lines. To cover all that knowledge I recommend Play the open games as
Black by GM John Emms.
For White
If Black plays not e5 but something else...If you have the white pieces and start with
1.e4 and Black does not answer 1..e5 this is no problem as he must play a system, right?
And you can study all the systems that are available to the black pieces.

After some time you will know how to handle each system that is known unto man. There
are different opening systems to be learned. But to penetrate deeper into the spirit of any
particular chess openings you have to buy some good chess books/DVD's about the
openings you like and begin to specialize. This saves time and effort.

So, if Black plays not 1..e5 - so what, after a while you will know the system he has
selected and you know the correct set up for white. You will be prepared. It takes time to
learn all this but you will get there eventually, don't worry.

Start with the Sicilian Defense and the French Defense, after you have studied first the
open games above where black answers 1...e5.

The Sicilian and French chess openings are very popular and occur quite often. Here you
can study many games in detail. Just click on the link below under the image. (Please wait
until the games are loaded!)

The French Defense - good Chess Opening
for Black

The French defense is a solid and hard to beat chess opening, but Black can feel locked in as the game takes on a
blocked character at times, especially in the early phase of the opening.
Black has to play on the queenside while White usually plays on the kingside. This opening was not popular in the 19th
century as e5 was the usual answer to e4.
Wilhelm Steinitz, first chess world champion, considered the French a boring opening and never played it. But the old
times are over and this chess opening has gained a lot in popularity since then and is quite popular and has a reputation
as being solid.
The French starts with 1.e4 e6 and continues 2.d4 d5.
White can trade off pawns with 3. exd5 or he pushes the pawn forward and plays 3.e5 or defends it with 3.Nd2 or 3.Nc3.
If you look for something solid then play this opening.
Caro-Kann - solid Chess Defense



The Caro-Kann chess defense was analyzed and published 1886 by Horatio Caro and Marcus Kann but the first game was
played 1847. The famous chessmaster Aaron Nimzowitsch used it frequently. For that reason it became popular. This
opening was used for the first time in a world championship 1958 by chess grandmaster Michail Botwinnik.
The Caro-Kann is number 4 of black's response to white's most popular opening move e4.
First comes 1... c7-c5 (Sicilian) second 1... e7-e5 (open games) and third 1. ... e7-e6 (French Defense) and then 1... c6
(Caro Kann).
Caro-Kann was used by former world champion Anatoli Karpow, who was known for theSmyslov-Karpov Variation.
Caro Kann was also played by Grandmaster Evgeny Bareev and World champion Viswanathan Anand uses it sometimes
Caro Kann Defence - Smyslov Karpov
Variation
The Caro Kann Defence - Smyslov-Karpov Variation begins as follows:
1. e4 c6
2. d4 d5
3. Nc3 (or 3.Nd2) dxe4
4. Nxe4 Nd7

Smyslov-Karpov Variation: 4. ... Nd7 intending Ngf6
This is a solid system played often by Vasily Smyslov and Anatoly Karpov. The idea is playing the kingside knight to f6
(Ngf6) and to attack the white knight at e4. If White exchanges knights then the black knight at d7 recaptures.
This avoids damaging the pawn structure which would occur if Black plays the kingside knight to f6 right away, without
playing Nd7 first. In this case White would capture the knight and create double pawns as Black has to recapture with a
pawn.
But White can prepare a knight sacrifice on f7 or e6, playing 5. Ng5 followed by Bd3, Nf3 and Qe2. This has to be kept in
mind if you play this variation with Black. Be prepared and nothing will happen as this is still a solid opening for Black.
Unfortunately Kasparov lost his last game and the match with this variation against the computer Deep Blue 1997,
playing the black pieces. Deep Blue sacrificed his knight on e6 and won the match.
However Black can play better and avoid this sacrifice and achieve a solid game. The advantage is that you avoid that
your bishop gets chased around, which would happen when you play 4...Bf5 instead. (ex: 4...Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4) The
Smyslov Karpov variation gives Black the freedom to play his bishop somewhere else later on and not necessarily to f5
where it can be chased by the white moves Ng3, h4 and h5.
Scandinavian Opening - Chess Games
Chess games with the Scandinavian opening are very interesting as this set-up is unusual and leads to unfamiliar
middle game structures.
This opening was already played 1858 by Adolf Anderssen in his match against the american chess genius Paul Morphy.
This opening starts with the moves:
1.e4 d5 2.exd Qxd
The Scandinavian is not considered a good opening as the queen participates too early in the game and is chased away
by white's knight losing valuable time for black. Matthias Wahls researched this opening 1997 further and modernized it.
This made this opening more popular than it was before.
I don't believe in a setup where the black queen goes to d6 or back to d8 when attacked by the knight. I am convinced
that the Wahls setup, where the queen is placed at a5, is the best setup for Black. If you move the queen back to d6
you block the development of the bishop on f8. This does not make sense to me.
The first moves according to M.Wahls are:1.e4 d5 2.exd Qxd 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bf5 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bd2 c6
White standard set-up for long castling.
A typical situation where white gets aktiv right away and
chases the black bishop to increase his influence.

This position of Black can be considered as the basic Wahls setup. Look where the black pieces are placed in both
diagramms. The position of Black's queens-bishop is adjustable. Just the same applies for Black's kingside-bishop, which
is positioned according to the requirements of the position. As Black you got to know the Scandinavian well to survive.
You have to study typical middle game positions and techniques.
If I would play the Scandinavian I would specialize on the Wahls setup (Qa5 and Bf5). I have played it for many years.
This opening is pretty tough to beat, but you have to know it well. I suggest that you use it just as a surprise weapon.
But I will not recommend the Scandinavian to you, as I don't want, that you waste a lot of time learning and playing an
inferior opening system, like I did. White is scoring very well in the Scandinavian and this opening is not played in top
level chess. Play the Sicilian or play 1...e5 instead.
Pirc Defense - Positional Chess


The Pirc Defense is called Ufimtsev Defence or Yugoslav Defence and originates from Vasja Pirc. Black answers 1.e4
with d6 then 2....Nf6 3....g6 and 4....Bg7.
In the meantime White establishes a pawn center with e4 and d4. In earlier times around 1930 this chess opening had a
bad reputation. Nowadays it is considered playable. The Pirc is difficult to play and if you are learning chess you should
rather play 1...e5 and not 1...d6.
The main variation goes 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 ...
Possible is 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 (instead of g6).
If White exchanges queens now with 4.dxe5 dxe5 5.Qxd8+ Kxd8 6.Bc4 Be6 7.Bxe6 fxe6 he has gained nothing. Instead
he should continue to develop his pieces with 4.Nf3 (instead of 4.dxe5) and not exchanging queens
Alekhine Defense - Black's Answer to 1.e4

The Alekhine Defense is a chess opening which belongs to the half open games and begins with the moves:
1.e4 Nf6
It originates from chess world champion Alexander Alekhine who used it 1921 in a tournament in Budapest. This chess
opening is quite bizarre and ignores chess principles of the old school as Black allows the opponent to chase his knight
around as he pleases right after the first move. White builds up an impressing pawn formation in the center which will be
attacked later by Black. The balance and symmetry of the position is completely disturbed and only good players will be
able to cope with the complexities of the position.
The Alekhine Defense has a respectable reputation and was played by Robert Fischer, Victor Korchnoi, Vassily Ivanchuk,
Shabalov, Minasian, Lev Alburt, Aronian, Adams and Nakamura. At the moment it is not very popular but this is just a
matter of fashion.
Main variations are the Chase-Variation, Modern Variation, Exchange Variation and the Four Pawns Attack.
The next moves are usually:
2.e5 Nd5

Chase-Variation (Lasker Attack): 3.c4 Nb6 4.c5
The Modern Variation: 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3
The Exchange Variation: 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.exd6 gives White some space advantage. Black plays ...g6 followed by
...Bg7 and ...Bg4
The Four Pawns Attack: 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4 gives White even more space. Black can play ...Qd7 followed ...0-0-0
and ...f6 pressures the pawn formation. Or Black plays ...Nb4 followed by ...c5
White tries to secure his space advantage and Black tries to undermine and destroy the pawn formation using his pieces.
Black must play active or his position will deteriorate due to the white center control.
A further disadvantage is that the kingside of Black is not properly defended anymore, as the king-knight has moved to
the queenside. This can lead to insufficient protection of the black king.
The Modern Defense - flexible Chess Opening

The Modern Defense is a chess opening against e4 and begins normally with the moves 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7. This opening
is related to the Pirc Defense. The difference is that in the Pirc-Defense Black develops his king-knight to f6. But in the
Modern, it is not quite sure if the knight will go there at all. In fact nothing seems to sure here. Remarkable is that the
bishop on g7 exercises pressure at the d4-pawn which will be enforced by the pawn-move c5 later on.
Black does nothing to stop White from occupying the center with pawns. He will later on undermine and attack the pawn
formation in the center. This is a more positional play where you don't have to be afraid to run into prepared opening
variations from White. The opening is very flexible and leaves room for maneuvers of all kinds.
If you are Black and don't like to learn much chess theorie in general this opening will be right for you. You just learn
certain patterns and maneuvers that occur frequently in this opening and in the middle game. The Modern is hard to beat
because it is pretty tough and extreme flexible
Smith Morra Gambit - active Amateur
Opening
The Smith Morra gambit is a variation of the Sicilian defence in which White sacrifices a pawn right in the opening to get
a small long term positional advantage.
It is questionable if this slight edge justifies to sacrifice an important center pawn, the c-pawn.
This opening is very seldom played at grandmaster level. After all White has already a small edge as he has the first
move, why should he sacrifice a valuable center pawn?
Nonetheless Amateur players believe that this is the true way to avoid the dangerous waters of the Sicilian defence,
which is the best defence for Black as it has the best records.
The moves are:
1.e4 c5
2.d4 cxd
3.c3


If Black captures the pawn 3...dxc then White recaptures with the knight and develops a piece. After that he sets himself
up as follows: Nf3, Bc4, 0-0, Qe2, Rfd1 pushes the e-pawn to e5 and controls both the c and d files with his rooks.
White gets pressure along the d-file and is slightly better developed. This setup leads to a small long-term positional
compensation for White, but he has to keep the flame burning or his slight edge will simply disappear and he is a pawn
down

The Sicilian Defence - Fight back and get
your Counter Chance!

After the moves 1. e4 c5 Black enters the dangerous waters of the Sicilian Defence, which is probably the best answer
for Black against e4 and is one of the best chess openings available for Black.

In chess games Black scores very well with the Sicilian and it is advisable that you study this active chess defense in any
case as you gain valuable chess knowledge.
You will definitely need this chess opening in the future, I promise. The Sicilian is a sharp weapon for Black with lots of
chances and active play.


This dynamic chess defence creates a chess position of imbalance after the pawn on d4 is exchanged (cxd4). Black gets
the half-open c-file and chances at the queenside to expand and White has chances in the center and at the kingside.
This eventually leads to sharp tactical chess variations.
Get Counter Chances
The Sicilian Defence is a two-edged sword and needs to be handled carefully, but if you need a win you should try your
luck with it as you have sufficient chances and it is unlikely that your game will end in a boring draw.
Chess Books/DVD
Drawback
But there is a drawback as White can avoid the Open Sicilian to play a quiet positional game of chess. This can be done if
he doesn't play d4 at all. In this case Black can't exchange the pawn on d4 against his c-pawn (cxd4) and does not
receive the half-open c-file.
White plays d3 later on instead of d4 and will enter a totally different (closed) game all together.
If White does that, you may get a position with the black pieces which you may not like at all and you might run right
into the dangerous Grand-Prix-Attack and lose because you get overrun at the kingside.
Look here how White can avoid the Open Sicilian: (in not playing d4 later)
1.e4 c5 2.c3
Other Variations - avoiding d4
1.e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 - The Grand-Prix-Attack
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 - Closed Sicilian Books/DVD
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 or 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ - the Bb5 Variation
1 e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 - the Kopec System

Or play 2.d4 right away - the Smith Morra Gambit
1.e4 c5 2. d4 cxd 3.c3 enters the Smith Morra Gambit
If you are White and want to avoid the Open Sicilian Defence I recommend playing the The Grand-Prix-Attack
(1.e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3.f4) This is very dangerous for Black if he doesn't know it well enough. But you should study it first,
of course.
And here you finally see the variations of the Open Sicilian where d4 is played by White and Black exchanges cxd4 and
gets the half-open c-file.
Sicilian Defence - most important variations:
2...d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3
1. Najdorf Variation: 5...a6 Get Books/DVD
2. Classical Variation: 5...Nc6 Get Books/DVD
3. Scheveningen Variation: 5...e6 Get Books/DVD
4. Dragon Variation: 5...g6 Get Books/DVD
Yugoslav Attack
2...Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4
1. Sveshnikov Variation: 4...Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 Get Books/DVD
2. Accelerated Dragon: 4...g6 Get Books/DVD
3. Kalashnikov Variation: 4...e5
2...e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4
1. Taimanov Variation: 4...Nc6 Get Books/DVD
2. Kan Variation: 4...a6
3. Four Knights Variation: 4...Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6
4. The Ga-Pa Variation: 4...Nf6 5.Nc3 Qb6
Najdorf Sicilian Defense
The Najdorf Sicilian is a chess variation of the Sicilian Defense. It has a good reputation, is very popular and is very
complex. It got its name from chess grandmaster Miguel Najdorf (1919-1997), who played it first time in 1939.



5...a6
In the beginning (in the 50th) the Najdorf Sicilian was played only by Pilnik, Petrosjan und Najdorf, but was played later
on by famous players like Michail Tal and Bobby Fischer and in the 80th by Garri Kasparow, who used it as a main
weapon for Black.
Books/DVD
The Najdorf Variation can be a two-edged sword depending which variation you choose. Black attacks usually on the
queenside and White on the kingside. There are positions in which Black castles long and White short.
The first Najdorf move is 5...a6 and appears to be not very strong, as it doesn't develop a piece, but it is more flexible
than 5...Sc6 and controls the square b5. This keeps away the white knights and the bishop. In addition Black can play
moves like e5 and b5 later on or Black can play e6 and reach the Schevening Variation.
Black's usually puts pressure on the white pawn on e4 with Bb7 and starts a minority pawn attack on the queenside with
b5.
6. Bg5
White can choose the sharp 6.Bg5 followed by f4.
A very popular response for Black is 7...Qb6!? which leads to the very complex Poisoned Pawn Variation 8.Qd2 Qxb2
9.Rb1 (9.Nb3) Qa3. As the white bishop on g5 is locked out in respect to the queenside the pawn b2 has become weak.
White sacrifices this pawn for better development, but Black can catch up fast as his pieces can be developed quickly.
This position is not easy for White to handle at all.
If Black does not like the poisoned pawn variation he can play 7...Qc7, 7...Nbd7, 7...Nc6!? or 7...b5 (Polugaevsky).
6. Be2
If White likes to play it quietly he can play 6.Be2 (instead of 6.Bg5) the game will be more positional then and Black can
branch out with 6...e6 to the Scheveningen Variation or stay in the Najdorf playing 6...e5.
6. Be3
Black should study the English Attack 6.Be3 (instead of Be2) followed by f3, g4, Qd2 and 0-0-0.
This variation is popular and well analysed and the black answer 6...Ng4!? by Garry Kasparov seems to be a good anwer.
To avoid 6...Ng4!? White can play 6.f3 (instead of 6.Be3) which is a transpositon to the English Attack.
6. Bc4 - Fischer-Sozin Attack
Highly respected is 6.Bc4 controlling the diagonal a2-g8 and the d5 square. If Black plays now 6... e5 then d5 becomes
weak so Black usually plays 6... e6 to block the bishop on c4. The move 6.Bc4 is well respected and originates from
Bobby Fischer who played it against all sorts of Sicilians. This move leads to a very tactical game.
However, the Najdorf Sicilian is a double-edged sword and you should study this chess opening first before you play it in
serious games to get the feel for it
Classical Variation - Sicilian Defense
The Classical Variation is a chess variation of the Sicilian Defense.
It starts with the following moves:
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6


5...Nc6

Black does not play 5...a6 as in the Najdorf variation but rather develops a piece instead and brings his knight out to its
most effective square c6. As both black knights are placed "classical" on f6 and on c6, it is called the Classical-Variation.
Books/DVD
Popular now is the Richter-Rauzer Attack where White can now answer with 6.Bg5 (threatens to double Black's pawns)
or the active move 6.Bc4 which was used often by Bobby Fischer against all kinds of sicilians, because the bishop is
quite aggressively placed here. This is usually answered with 6...e6 to limit the scope of the bishop. But White plans to
push now his f-pawn to f5 and puts pressure on the e6-pawn. After the moves 7.Be3 Be7 and short castle it is called
Sozin Attack and if he castles long with 8.Qe2 followed by 9.0-0-0, it is called: the Velimirovi Attack.
However, other possible chess moves are 6.Be2, 6.g3, 6.Be3, 6.f3 und 6.f4. It is almost a just-play-what-you-like
situation.
6.Be2 e6 leads to the Scheveningen-Variation and 6.Be2 g6 to the Dragon-Variation and 6.Be2 e5 to the Boleslawski-
Variation.
Scheveningen Variation - Sicilian Defence
The Scheveningen Variation is a chess variation of the Sicilian Defence.
The moves are:
1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 d6
3. d4 cxd4
4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 e6

Keep in mind that Black does play sometimes first 2...e6 (not d6) and later on d6 which reaches the same chess position
by transition.
Black has the center-pawn-formation e6 and d6, which controls vital center squares on d5 and e5 and has the half-open
c-file. He initiates active play on the queenside and along the c-file against the backward c-pawn of white. At the right
moment he can make a break in the center with moves like ...e5 or...d5 changing the character of play in the center.
Books/DVD
The most aggressiv line is the Keres-Attack which starts a kingside attack with 6. g4. However, other possible moves for
white are: 6.Be2, 6.f4, 6.Be3, 6.Bc4, 6.g3 and 6.f3.(f3-prepares the English Attack with Be3, Qd2 and g4)
The usual classical moves of White are Be2, O-O, f4, Kh1 and now the plan, Qe1 followed by Qg3, activating the queen.
This opening is very complex and gives Black very good counter chances and creative play. It has been played by many
chess grandmasters.
Dragon Variation - Sicilian Defense
The Dragon Variation is a well analysed chess opening line in the Sicilian Defense.
It begins with the moves:
1.e4 c5
2.Nf3 d6
3.d4 cxd4
4.Nxd4 Nf6
5.Nc3 g6


Black will develop his bishop to g7. This is called a Fianchetto. White often tries to trade off this active bishop as it
exercises great pressure along the h8-a1 diagonal. The exchange of this bishop will weaken the kingside squares h6 and
f6 as the move 5...g6 has already weakened this area to a certain extent.
Chessmaster Fyodor Dus-Chotimirski called it (1901)- the dragon - as he found a resemblance of the pawn structure d6-
e7-f7-g6-h7 and the stars of the Draco Constellation.
Books/DVD
It is most dangerous for Black if White plays now the Yugoslav Attack:
6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0 (or 9.Bc4)
The Yugoslav Attack is extremely sharp as White has castled long and starts an attack on the kingside right away with
his pawns.
It requires a lot of theoretical knowledge as it is a two-edged sword. Every move counts and Black can't afford to make
serious mistakes or he will get run over on the kingside in no time at all. The question is, which attacks comes in first,
White's attack or Black's counterattack.
I have not much faith in the Dragon when playing the black pieces because White can choose to play the Yugoslav Attack
as above, which in my view favors White. There are sufficient other good sicilian variations around to be played which
give better chances for Black than the Dragon, so why should I play it then? Play a few games yourself with the Dragon
as Black then you know what I mean.
Alternative Moves to the Yugoslav Attack for White are:

Lwenfisch-Variation: 6.f4 Nc6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Nd7 9.exd6 exd6 10.Be2 Be7
Positional Fianchetto: 6.g2-g3
Classical Variation: 6.Be2 Bg7 7.Be3 Nc6 8.Nb3 Be6 9.f4 0-0 10.g2-g4?!
The Yugoslav Attack - Dragon Variation
The Yugoslav Attack is a chess variation of the Dragon Variation which is a variation of the Sicilian Defence. The basic
position of this chess opening is shown in the diagramm below.



This set-up leads to extremely sharp play because White is castling long and attacks the black kingside immediately with
a pawn storm.
Black has to get counter play at the queenside at all costs and uses the half-open c-file for its operations. Both sides
usually don't shy away from sacrifices of all kinds to keep the attack going.
Just look how many times Black gets slaughtered and then decide for yourself if you like to play the dragon with the
black pieces.
Especially consider the game number 347, which is played by world-champion Anand,V versus Carlsen,M where Black is
already losing after move 17.
Sveshnikov Sicilian Defense
The Sveshnikov Sicilian is a chess variation of the Sicilian Defense and starts as follows:
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5



This variation was originally called the Lasker-Pelikan Variation but was researched and revitalised from Evgeny
Sveshnikov and Gennadi Timoshchenko and is now named after Sveshnikov.
This opening was first played in the chess world championship 1910 by Emanuel Lasker against Carl Schlechter.
Black has a weak square on d5 which gave the opening in earlier times a bad reputation, but is nowadays a respected
and popular opening and was played by famous players like Wladimir Kramnik, Joel Lautier und Pter Lk.
Books/DVD

The modern line is:
6.Ndb5 (threatens Nd6+) (6.Nf5 allows 6...d5! 7.exd5 Bxf5 8.dxc6 bxc6 9.Qf3 Qd7) if the knight moves somewhere else
Black plays ...Bb4 and puts pressure on e4.
6...d6
Black should not allow 7.Nd6+ Bxd6 8.Qxd6 as White has a pair of bishops and therefore slight advantage.
7.Bg5
White likes to trade of the knight, as this will weaken the d5-square even more.
7...a6
Black drives the white knight back to a3.
8.Na3 b5!
The move b5 was invented by Sveshnikov, which controls c4 and threatens to fork the white knights.
The Accelerated Dragon Variation - Sicilian Defense
The Accelerated Dragon Variation is a chess variation of the Sicilian Defense.
It starts with the moves:
1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. d4 cxd4
4. Nxd4 g6


The difference between this chess opening and the Dragon is that Black does not want to play the move d6. He
intends to play d5 instead later on. Black also avoids the dangerousYugoslav Attack.
The drawback is that White must not play 5.Nc3 now (as the e4-pawn is not attacked), but can play 5.c4 instead (this is
called the Marczy Bind) which is uncomfortable to play and leads to a depressed game for Black.
For example: 5.c4 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Nc3 Ng4 8.Qxg4 Nxd4 9. Qd1 Ne6 10.Rc1.
In the Marczy Bind 5.c4 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Nc3 O-O 8.Be2 d6 9.O-O Bd7 10.Rc1 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Bc6 12.f3 a5 13.b3 Nd7
Black wants to exchange his Bishop g7 for White's good bishop. White's remaining bishop would then be blocked by his
own pawn structure.
Other moves are 5.c4 Bg7 6.Nc2(not 6.Be3), avoiding exchange of chess pieces as Black is restricted in space.
(Exchange of pieces would favor Black) 6...d6 7.Be2 Nf6 8.Nc3 O-O 9.O-O Nd7 10.Bd2 Nc5 11.b4 Bxc3 12.Bxc3 Nxe4
13.Bb2 (White sacrifices a pawn)
Books/DVD

Gurgenidse-Variation: 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Nxd4 7.Qxd4 d6
Usual play (No Maroczy Bind) is 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Be2 0-0 8.0-0 and now 8...d5 in one go (and not d6 and d5 - as
in some variations of the dragon, which uses up two moves)
But if White plays 8.Nb3 (not 8.0-0) Black must play 8...d6 and the game transposes into the Classical Dragon.
Why did Black lose? He didn't strike back in the center capturing the e-pawn with d5xe4. But he played e6 instead. After
that White closed the center playing e5. This stopped Black from getting active counterplay in the center and White just
overrun him at the kingside.
Taimanov Variation - the Flexible Defense
The Taimanov Variation is a chess variation of the Sicilian Defense and named after chess grandmaster Mark Taimanov.
It is a very solid opening for Black.
It starts as follows:
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6


Please observe that Black has played 2...e6! This flexible move keeps the diagonal for his bishop on f8 open as this
bishop will go either to c5 or b4! But this is not sure yet. Black keeps open all options where to place his pieces and
observes first what white is doing.

White usually continues with 5.Nb5 or 5.Nc3. If White plays 5.Nb5d6 and after that 6.c4, then we have reached a kind of
Maroczy-Setup. This would stop the black king's bishop on f8 from coming out to b4 or c5.
White can transpose with the usual 5.Nc3 d6 to the Scheveningen Variation and 5...Nf6 is called the Four-Knights-
Variation.
Remarkable is that Black must not play 5...d6, but can play 5...a6 instead, still keeping the option open to bring the
king's bishop to b4 or c5.

This variation where Black plays 5...a6 and brings out his kings bishop to b4, is shown in this video in a game between
two women grandmasters.(White: Alexandra Kosteniuk (Women-Worldchampion) Watch the moves of the black bishop!
Pawns are strong when they are in a chain; try to avoid splitting them into isolated groups.
Isolated or hanging pawns tend to be a liability, try to avoid at least till the end game.
Pawn chain shapes that look like /\ (an inverted V) from your side tend to be stronger than those that
look like a \/.
Doubled pawns are weak, try to avoid getting them.
If you can maintain center pawns, you get more options to organize attacks.
Your own pawn chains may block free movement of your pieces, mainly the bishops if stuck behind the
chain. Avoid this disadvantage.
Pawns cannot move backwards. Sometimes the opponent will deliberately lure you to advance your
pawns to create weaknesses in your pawn structure. So think carefully before pushing them forward.
Pawns in front of your castled king are there to guard the king. Try to avoid breaking up their line
unless you have planned to launch a king-side attack with those.
Check the possibility of getting a passed pawn and then defending it. A passed pawn becomes a thorn
in the opponents flesh and even when it fails to become a queen, it can gain you significant material
advantage through opponents efforts to neutralize it.
Passed pawns in rooks file are weaker than passed pawns in other files in the end game as it is easier
for the opponents king to block the pawn in rook file.
Knights
Knights play well in complex and locked positions. Assess their value and plan their movement
accordingly.
A knight posted on d6 and e6 squares can be a nuisance to your opponent. Try to get them there (with
adequate support of course).
Knights play well in the center part of the boards. Try to avoid keeping them at the sides (a- and h-files)
unless your tactical plan calls for such positioning.
Knight fork can be a very potent weapon. Creating such possibility can upset the plans of your
opponent.
Knights have a relatively poor play in the end game when the board is fairly open but with a number of
opponents pawns ready to advance.
In the end game, a knight may be helpless in preventing your opponents pawns if those are on two
sides of the board.
Bishops
Bishops, if not developed early, may get bogged by your own pawns blocking the diagonals. Be aware
of this.
Bishops play well if there are many open diagonals and a bishop pair in such situations can give you a
great advantage.
For above reasons, bishops are more helpful in the end game.
If your bishop can control the long diagonal towards your opponents castled position, it can give you
considerable leverage in your attack on the king.
If you have only a single bishop in the end game, half the squares on the board are inaccessible to it.
But with a few linked pawns of your own, a bishop can be a great help to support your pawn march
and delay your opponents pawn advance (if you can position it in time).
In the end game, a bishop can be better than a knight if the pawns are at two sides of the board.
In general, bishop pair is more advantageous than the knight pair during the end game.
Rooks
Rooks, like bishops, play better if there are some open files.
Try to take control of open files with your rooks. Two rooks in same open file provide a lot of
opportunities for attack.
Rook positioned in the 7th or 8th row becomes a headache for the opponent. Two rooks on that row
can often provide mating attack or gain of material.
Two rooks with lots of maneuvering space can often stand up to the opponents queen, particularly
when minor powers and pawns are absent in the end game. You will find many games in chess
archives where one player has given up the queen in exchange for two rooks.
In endings where you have King, Rook and Pawn against King and Rook, your rook should be behind
the pawn and your king should be next to the pawn to get a win.
Queen
Even though it is the strongest piece, it needs a rook or some minor pieces for its most effective use.
Avoid taking the queen too far out during the openings as it is likely to get harassed by opponents
minor pieces to cause you a loss of tempo.
King
Always a liability, is it? It becomes more so, if it is at its original position. Aim to castle at the earliest
opportunity.
Both kings castled on the same side normally do not get an immediate early attack. You have to
maneuver through the Queens side. But castled on the opposite sides allow both players to launch
direct attack through pawn advances.
Kings come into their own in the end game with major pieces removed from the board. Try to keep
king near your pawn group for their advance. Be aware of the Square and Opposition.
In the endings with King and Pawn vs. King, make the king lead the pawn, not the other way.
Make yourself familiar with the standard strategies for handling different types of endings with pawns,
minor pieces, rooks etc. Learn to identify situations that may give win or only a draw.
Positional
Initial pawn movements facilitate the development of your minor pieces. Do not get distracted from
this objective.
In the opening phase, avoid moving the same piece twice (unless forced to do so and learn to avoid
those kinds of positions). It loses you tempo.
You gain tempo when you can achieve two objects in one move. For example, a pawn move may
attack some piece while opening a line for your own pieces. Look for such opportunities.
Try to seize control of the center (d4, d5, e4, e5 squares) as this will give you more play and better
attacks. Of course, some opening strategy, particularly for black), may deliberately surrender some
control in the center to gain more play in the flanks to neutralize opponents advantage.
Dont be greedy! Sometimes you may find an easy pawn to pick up but it may be a trap (poisoned
pawn). Accepting it will often allow the opponent to launch a powerful attack and often the best way
to neutralize is to return that material instead of trying to hold on to it.
Do not launch a premature attack. Develop your pieces such that they coordinate well with one
another and then plan your attack. Unless you do this, you may find your attack to lose steam and that
may put you at a disadvantage.
A locked center (your and opponents pawns facing each other without being able to capture any)
restricts movement of pieces in the center and thus facilitates flank attack without fear of counter-play
at the center. Keep this possibility in mind.
Check which of the opponents pieces is controlling the play. Try to capture it at the earliest.
Exchanging your inactive piece with a similar but active piece of the opponent gives you an advantage.
Try to avoid such exchange if the reverse is true.
When in trouble, remember that attack is often the best form of defense. Look for such possibility.
Since coordination of pieces gives advantage, try to cut off communication between opponents pieces
e.g. by advancing a supported pawn in the opponents line of communication.
Be aware of pins and how to create one. Properly handled, they can yield significant advantage.
When cornered in the end game, look for opportunities to get into a position allowing stalemate and
draw. Sometimes, a piece sacrifice may offer you this opportunity in an otherwise desperate situation.
When you have an upper hand, guard against the opponent taking this route to draw the game.
Whatever openings you normally adopt, learn the ideas behind the moves and the targets to be
achieved. Without this focus, you will only create weaknesses for yourself.
In general, Kings pawn openings lead to more open games and direct attacks on the king. Queens
pawn openings create somewhat closed positions that need more maneuvering and positional play to
launch indirect attacks.
The article on Center Control in Chess tried to show the importance of this aspect in any chess game. But
the type of chess strategy and chess tactics used for wresting control of the game varies with the
different types of centers that may arise during the middle game. In one of his books, Russian GM
Alexander Kotov wrote in detail about this issue with a large number of examples and I liked the way
he explained the methods to deal with different center formations.
For the sake of beginners who may find it difficult to go through all the details, I am trying to
summarize in a single article the discussions which needed a pretty long chapter by the GM. Obviously,
it has been possible to touch only the salient points. I hope that the beginners can benefit from the
ideas to try to apply the principles in their games without getting bogged in details. Those who are so
inclined can go for the in-depth study by going through the Masters treatment of the subject.
The types of centers that can arise have been broadly divided into five categories.
Closed center
Fixed center
Open center
Mobile center
Dynamic center
Closed center:
This is characterized by:
Pawns of both sides face each other with none able to advance or to capture opponents pawns.
No files are open for Rooks to operate or even if there is one file open, neither side is able to take
advantage of it.
Diagonals are blocked by own or enemy pawns, restricting Bishop movements.
There is no immediate prospect of opening a line or diagonal.
How to deal with such centers
Start actions on the flanks through maneuvering of pieces and advancing pawns.
This is usually started by the player who has the greater advantage in terms of space or availability of
pieces on that flank.
The defending side either waits to see the action and then try to counter it, or start his own action
often on the other flank.
Under favorable situations, try to break open the center. This is usually done through sacrifices to
utilize the breached position.
Fixed center:
The central pawn(s) of both sides face each other and their positions cannot be changed without
application of significant forces. This type of center may seem to be same as Closed center discussed
above. But unlike Closed centers, all files and diagonals are not blocked and pieces can be moved
around the pawn center.
How to deal with such centers
Attacking side will try to achieve superiority of forces around the center, forcing opponents forces to
retreat.
Gaining this advantage enables attack on the flanks.
Defending side will oppose the above plan and try to neutralize the attack by exchange of pieces, if
necessary. If this is successful, counter-attack can be planned on the wings.
Open center:
There are none or only a few pawns in the center files and those which may be present are not playing
any important role.
How to deal with such centers
Instead of flank attack and attempt to surround enemy position as used in Closed centers, Open
centers call for direct attack by using the pieces.
This is initiated by the player who has the greater advantage.
Identify and exploit weak positions or create weakness in enemy position and then attack those
positions.
Pawn storming is usually avoided as the resultant weaknesses in the Kings position makes it very
vulnerable with an open center.
The defense lies in warding off such attacks and trying to launch ones own attack if the opponent
overstretches his resources.
Mobile center:
When one player has a pawn chain at center with at least two united pawns whereas the opponent
has none or only one pawn facing the pawn chain, it becomes a Mobile center.
How to deal with such centers
The player who has the strong center pawns should advance his pawns with aim to create a passed
pawn.
If the above is not possible, then he should use his pawns to drive away enemy pieces from key
positions to facilitate an attack on the flanks.
The tactics of the defending player is to block the center and to try to decimate it.
Dynamic center:
This is the situation when the pawn positions in the center have not yet stabilized into one of the
aforesaid types. The position remains unclear till the moves by the players transpose it to a more
definitive type. It behoves each player to assess the type of center that will be favorable to his position
and try to achieve it by moving his pieces and pawns to that end. Once the center formation
crystallizes, appropriate tactics can be followed as described above.

All chess lessons are strictly orientated on reality. Various elements of chess are introduced that occur in real chess
games.
Chess Strategy develops a plan that you should have when you play chess. If you don't have a plan, you will just
aimlessly move your pieces around without a purpose or goal. This will lead to the loss of the game on a higher level of
play. The plan has to be adjusted move after move. It does change in the course of the game.
A plan is always long-term and depends on the chess position and has to be adjusted from time to time. To create a plan
you must look at every single pawn and every single piece. You should analyze the position first before you make a plan.
That means you do not force your will upon your position and make a plan that suits you but not the position. You have
to submit your will to the requirements of the position. When your chess position tells you to attack on the kingside, then
you don't attack on the queenside, just because you like to. Always "ask" your position what you should do. And
concentration is needed, of course.
There are static and dynamic elements in a chess position.
The Static Elements
The static elements (ex: doubled pawns) stay the way they are and usually cannot be changed. For example you might
not be able to dissolve your damaged or weak pawn structure (static).
Dynamic elements
Dynamic positional elements can be changed and do change in the course of the game.(bishop pair, flexible pawn
formation) For example the pawn structure gets blocked and the knights increase in strength. Or the position opens up
and the bishops become stronger than the knights.
A good chess player sees those things on the subconscious level. He always knows if he is running behind in material.
That means for example, if he is a pawn or a piece up or down. He adjusts his play to this situation accordingly.

Dynamic elements are:
y Strategic threats
y Security of kings
y Control of diagonals and rows
y Pawn structure: isolated pawns, doubled pawns, backward pawns
y Weak squares
y Harmonious piece coordination
You analyze those elements and then you evaluate your position. After that you make a new plan or adjust your old plan.
Study the following free Chess Strategies.
Central Pawn Strategy
How deals Black with the following white Center Pawn Majority occurring frequently? When you click on the link above, a
java chess applet will be loaded - so please be patient!
Mobility of Chess Pieces
The Mobility of Chess Pieces can change during the course of the game. Sometimes it is possible to capitalize on zero
mobility of a piece and win it. This happens when a chess piece has no room to move at all when attacked and can be
captured afterwards.
Endgame Guidelines
Please read the following guidelines for chess endgames.
Kings and Pawns
Some more endgame training for you. Please be patient until java chess applet is loaded.
Kings and pawn-structures
In pawn endgames it is sometimes important to devaluate your opponent's pawn structure or organize a breakthrough
with your pawns.
Chess Reality
In practical play it is hard to apply chess principles. The following games should give you some chess reality.

play-chess by Expert-Chess

Middlegame Decisions - Chess Studies
In Middlegames it is sometimes hard to find the right plan.
The Minority Attack
The Minority Attack is a basic concept that you should know.
Center Pawn Exchange
Understand this concept about exchanging center pawns.
Ideas in the Veresov Attack
Study this opening setup leading right into the middlegame.
Fix It! - Free Chess Strategies
Often you can fix a weak pawn structure and attack it afterwards.
The Central Pawn - how to handle it
How do you handle a central pawn formation? Let's say, you have the black pieces. Look at the chess position below.
White has build this pawn formation in the center. What are you going to do about it?



You will encounter similar positions like this. Look at the white pawn formation.

Black has pursued a blocking strategy. He wants to stop the white pawn on e4 to advance. An advance of the e4-pawn
would result in an increase in space and influence in the center for white and would chase away the defending knight at
f6. This might weaken the kingside and create possible attacking chances for white in the future.

This situation is difficult to play for Black. You sit there like a duck, wondering what to do next once you have reached
the optimal blocking position like this one above. On top of that you experience a feeling of constraint. Stay out of
something like this.

It would be much easier for you if you could kill the enenmy pawn on e4 right away before it comes to the blocking
position above.



If you play the above chess opening (Scotch) in a more active way, (not playing d6) you reach the position above. Here
you can destroy the center pawn playing 1...d5! 2.exd cxd and that's it. You have a nice open game and the feeling of
contraint is gone.


And here you destroy the center pawn on e4 by playing d5!

Use X-Ray-Vision in Chess
When you analyze your chess game it is sometimes hard to see all chess combinations that are hidden within a particular
position. If you miss a hidden trap of your opponent, then you lose instantly a piece or a pawn or even worse, you might
get checkmated. Or you miss a strong combination which would have won the game for you right away. For that reason,
it is a big help, if you use X-Ray-Vision in your chess games.
To apply X-Ray-Vision in chess means, that you never look at the chess pieces but to their energy lines. If you see a
knight then you visualize the squares in your mind that are controlled by this knight. But you don't look at the square,
where the knight is placed itself, because this square is not controlled by the knight! It just sits on it, that's all.

If you use X-Ray-Vision here as White, you might find this
difficult winning move. Re8+!! This move wins the queen
and the game, as White has more material and the better
position. The king in the middle will come under strong
attack. 1.Re8+! KxR (the knight is pinned and can't
capture!) Now 2.Bb5+ c6 3.QxQ and White wins the queen
and sooner or later the game. (Budovskis, Inesis - Atars,
Pablo, 1970)
White moves and plays 1.Nxd5! cxd 2.QxB! Great isn'it?
(Bobby Fischer - Predrag Ostojic 1970)
X-Ray Vision does help you to discover hidden moves and prevent that you are running around mentally searching like a
blind duck. Try it in your next games.
If you think first about yourself and your own moves and possibilities, after your opponent has moved, then it is time to
change this way of thinking completely or you will never become a good player. You are going to lose many games just
because of your attitude. Learn from the following chess tips.
After he has made his move, the right way to think is:
What is he threatening? What does he want? How can I stop his plans or
at least reduce their effects on my position.
Make sure that you work out his plans or you might get into real trouble. He might threaten a fork and you see nothing
or he plans a sacrifice that would destroy your kingside.
When you understand the move of your opponent completely, then you can think about your own moves and ideas.
Remember, you are not the boss in chess. What I mean is that your opponent is very important too. Chess is not just
evolving around you. If you just think about yourself in a game you run right into a disaster. These chess tips can save
you many games, please follow them.

Be a Fighter
Fight on move after move and don't play only half-hearted when you are in a bad position. If you lose heart you don't
see your saving moves because your mental abilities are reduced. If you fight on, your opponent might make a mistake
because he does not expect such hard resistance. In the long run such an attitude will save half a point here and there.
Instead of losing, you might make a draw or even win, because he gets tired and makes a blunder.

Don't get into Time-trouble. These chess tips keep you out of stress.
If you are one of those players that get into time trouble on a regular basis then you should get this problem under
control. Prepare your openings well and play the first 10 to 12 movesin just a few minutes.
Time trouble is like a disease for some players. They just can't control it. There are psychological reasons for getting
repeatedly into time trouble in tournament games.
y You have a strong opponent.
This makes you think twice about every move he does and you check constantly everything that happens on the board.
You see dangers where there is nothing at all. You have hallucinations. Your mind is blocked by fear. You can't think
properly. Because of that you rethink variations over and over to make sure that you have not overlooked something.
This all costs time. Relax and forget about the opponent. It's just a game, you don't lose your life when you lose.
Just play your usual game. What can happen? Nothing much, you just might lose a game of chess, that's all. Your life is
not dependent on that game. If you keep that in mind you stay relaxed and play well.

y The position of the game is not after your taste.
You don't like this variation at all or this whole setup. You don't understand the position and can't find a plan. This makes
you think longer. Tell yourself mentally that this position is fascinating and that you love to find good moves.

y You are sad about missed opportunities in this game.
You constantly think about it. This cost time and nerves and clouds your thinking. Tell yourself that you consider this
game from now on as a completely new game and that what has happened a few moves before is not important
anymore. You are going to play well from now on.

y Don't waste all your time trying to find the best move.
You might never find it and lose on time. Imagine how much time and energy you would need if you try to find the best
move every time it's your move.
If you see a good move, check it and have a look around if there is a better one. If not, just move and then think on your
opponents time.
Lesson I - "Finding the best Moves,quickly"
from GM Igor Smirnov - Chess on line
Chess on line ...
Hi everybody! I am Igor Smirnov, International Grandmaster and a chess coach. This is the lesson Finding the Best
Moves; Quickly.
Chess players often tell me that they can find the correct moves during home analysis, but they cant find them during
practical game play. If given enough time these players can find the best move.
The problem however, is that in a real game you have to move quite quickly or risk losing on time. Different chess
educational materials provide varying information on chess: rules, principles, ideas and so on.
On the one hand this information can be very useful. Unfortunately this can make your task even harder, because you
need to think about so many different things in such a short time frame. On average you have only about three minutes
per move. Maybe less.
This brings us to my next point; it is not enough to have basic fundamental chess knowledge. You should know how to
apply this knowledge quickly.
As I am sure you are aware, strong players know some practical methods of how to do this. In this lesson I would like to
share some of these conservation methods with you.
Lets go ahead and get started. First of all, you should plan to budget your time prior to the beginning of a game. Maybe
this seems obvious to you. Then I have a question for you: How long you should think about every move when you have
2 hours for a game? What about a 30 minute game or a blitz game? Can you give me a concrete answer?
If you are unsure, lets think about it together. An average game consists of approximately 40 moves. Of course it can be
much longer or shorter, but we are talking about an average.
Therefore if you have 2 hours for a whole game, it is 120minutes/40moves=3 minutes per one move. The standard time
control 90 minutes+30 seconds per move gives you approximately 3 minutes per move also.
So you can easily figure out how long you should think about every single move in a certain game. Of course this is only
an approximate rule; however, it gives you a guideline.
Lets go to the next principle. You should know when to think during a practical game, and when to make moves quickly.
There are 4 principles to think about.
They are:

1. In the opening you should play quickly.
The opening is the easiest stage of a game really. As I hope you know, in this stage you mainly need to develop pieces.
You should simply realize 3 main tasks of the opening. If you studied my course "The Grandmaster's Secrets", you
should know what I am talking about.
We may conclude that in the opening you should play quickly and save your time in case complications arise at the later
stages of the game. It is better to make a few superficial moves in an opening, than to blunder late in the middlegame in
time trouble.
2. At the end of the opening you should take some time to think and compose a plan. Most chess players have heard
this, however, often they dont follow this advice.
The bottom line is this: if you have a concrete plan, you will make the following moves quickly. If you havent got a plan,
then you have to think for a long time about every move.
Lets observe some examples.

Beliavsky A. Lutz C.
White: Kg1, Qd4, Ra1, Rd1, Bg2, Bc1, pawns: a2, b2, c4, e4, f2, g3, h2.
Black: Kg8, Qd8, Ra8, Rf8, Bb7, Be7, pawns: a7, b6, d6, e6, f7, g7, h7.
Whites turn.

Now it is time for white to think of and compose a middlegame plan. Whites plan here is to attack the d6 weakness.
Thus white needs to double rooks on the d file and put his bishop on this diagonal (a3-f8).
Maybe it will take some time to compose the plan initially, once you have the plan though you will then make a lot of
moves quickly. This method is very effective practically.
In the game there followed: 15.a4-Qc7 16.Ra2-Bc6 17.b3-Rfd8 18.Ba3-Rd7 19.Rad2.

White got a better position and in the end won the game.
Here is another example.
Geller E. Fischer R.
White: Kg1, Qd1, Ra1, Rf1, Be2, Be3, Nb3, pawns: a5, b2, c2, d5, f2, g2, h2.
Black: Kg8, Qc7, Ra8, Rf8, Be7, Bf5, Nd7, pawns: a6, b7, d6, e5, f7, g7, h7.
Whites turn.

It is the end of the opening stage and here white should compose a plan. White has a pawn majority on the queen-side
and a c pawn without a counterpart. So Whites plan is to realize these positional advantages.
He played 14.c4-Bg6 15.Rc1-Nc5 16.Nxc5-dxc5 17.b4-Rac8 18.Qb3

I am not saying that you should make such moves without any consideration. However, it will be much easier for you to
find a good move quickly, if you focus the attention solely on the realization of your plan.
The game continued 18Bd6 19.Rfd1 and in the end white was able to utilize his passed pawns in the center.

It is important to take note of the idea that you not only could, but you should play quickly after you have composed a
plan. You need to compensate the time that you have spent on a composing the plan initially.
3. You should calculate variations in tactical positions, and think in general in strategic positions.
One of the biggest problems that plagues modern chess players is that they always calculate variations. It takes a lot of
time and effort to do this, and often it doesn't help to find the best move.
Therefore you should focus your attention on calculation only in tactical positions. What do I mean with a tactical
position? Lets look at a concrete example.
Stopa J. Smirnov I.
White: Kg1, Qc2, Re2, Ba1, Nf3, pawns: b4, c5, e5, f2, g2, h3.
Black: Kg8, Qd8, Re8, Nc8, Ne6, pawns: b7, c6, d5, f7, g7, h7.
Blacks turn.

This position is quite calm and simple. There are no forcing lines or tactical variations here. Thus it is rather strategic
position and black should think here about general motifs: plans, maneuvers and so on.
Black played 23Na7 24.Qd1-Nb5 25.Ra2-h6 26.g3. These moves didnt require calculation. There was no reason for
black to calculate anything.

This brings us to a new question: When it is time to calculate?
Here is the rule: you should start calculating, when there is contact between your pieces and your opponents pieces; or
when you are going to try and create such contact.
In the game black played 26Ng5. This move creates contact between the knights and it means that this situation
requires calculation.
27.Nxg5-Qxg5 28.Qg4. Here is another tactical position.



So black should focus his attention mainly on calculation and should not think much about general ideas or plans.
28Qc1+ 29.Kg2-Qc4. When you can see that the pieces attack each other, or when someone makes forcing moves,
then you can realize that it is definitely a tactical situation.
30.Qxc4-dxc4 31.Kf1-Rd8 32.Ke1-Rd3



Black is going to attack with Rb3 and the position is going to remain tactical. Black won this game pretty soon thereafter.
We have spent a good amount of time talking about FOCUS. In any position you should calculate variations and think
about general principles.
I am just saying that you should focus most of your attention only on one of these things, depending on the type of
position you have in front of you.
Here is the next rule.
4. When you feel that your position can become winning or losing, you should take as much time as you need.
White: Ke1, Qh5, Rf1, Rd1, Bd2, Bd3, pawns: a2, c2, g4, h2.
Black: Kd7, Qc6, Rh7, Ra8, Bc8, Be7, Ne4, pawns: h6, g7, e6, b7, a6.
Blacks turn.

It is blacks turn now. The position is very sharp: black has an extra piece, while white is attacking. Now is the critical
moment for black: if he is able to defend successfully, he will win; if black doesnt find a good way to defend, then he will
lose; quickly.
So time doesnt matter too much here. Black should think as long as he needs to find the best defensive move.
In the game black really did the best move 22Rh8 and he got the winning position just after the next moves 23.Bf4-
Bb4. Now white cant play 24.Ke2 because of 24Nc3 fork, and black is winning.


By the way, at the starting position of this example the move 22Rh8 was really the only way for black to play for a win.
Thus black was obliged to find it, spending as much time as necessary.
These were some ideas about time conservation during a practical game.
During this video Ive given you some useful tools. If you want to apply them in your games, you should draw attention
to the time aspect. You should control your time, while playing a game. It is very important.
Chess players often underestimate how long have they thought about a move. Players usually pay attention on the clock
only when they feel they are running out of time. However, at this point it is already too late.
If you control your time constantly, you will never find yourself in time trouble.
There are 2 more practical recommendations, which will help you to save time.
Here is the 1st one: I recommend you look at the clock every time when you press the clock button. At this point you
should realize 2 things:
1. How long you have thought about your last move. At the beginning of the lesson we discussed that you need to plan
an average time spending for a single move. So when you look at the clock, you should detect whether your last move
took too much time or not.
2. Compare your time indication with your opponents time. It is extremely important not to spend more time than your
opponent. If both you and your opponent are in a time trouble thats OK. You are still in the same situation.
A really unacceptable situation is when you are in a time trouble, while your opponent has enough time. This is a very
difficult situation.
Thats why sometimes you may think for a long time, but not longer than your opponent. It is very important practical
rule.
Also I would like to recommend that you use your opponents time. This seems obvious, but a lot of chess players still
walk around, while their opponents are thinking.
I gave you quite a lot of recommendations regarding effective time management. If you use it in your practice, you will
never be in a time trouble.
However, what if you suddenly appear in a time trouble? What should you do then?
Here I also have some recommendations for you.
1. Simplify the position.
Exchange pawns and pieces to make it simpler. This will reduce your chances for a blunder.
2. Dont start tactical complications.
It is similar with the previous item.
3. Accumulate some time before starting complications. Maybe this recommendation is not so clear to you. Lets look at a
concrete example.
Wright C Wood D.
White: Kc2, Rd3, Rf1, Bb2, Nd6, pawns: a2, b3, c4, f3, g5, h4.
Black: Kg8, Ra8, Rc7, Bf4, Bc6, pawns: a4, e6, f7, g7, h7.
Whites turn.


White certainly has a huge advantage: he is a pawn up and has 2 connected passed pawns on the queen-side. The only
problem for white was that he was down on time.
What should a player do in such situation? By the way it is important to note that the time control was 90 minutes+30
seconds per move.
Here white should do nothing and collect some time. White may play Rd1, he even may play Kb1-c2. The bottom line is
this:
white should quickly make moves, which doesnt change anything. Finally white will collect a few extra minutes, getting
30 seconds for every move. Only then white may start realizing his plan.
However, in the game white decided to realize his plan immediately, so he played 38.b4. Black suddenly responded
38Bd5.


The situation became very complex and of course it was hard for white to calculate the variations properly due to the
time lack. If white had a few extra minutes, he would probably find the move 39.Rc3. Which saves the advantage.
Since white hadnt enough time, he played 39.Nb5 and got a losing position after 39Rxc4.



This example shows how it is important to accumulate time before stating complications.
Lets look again at these recommendations to remember them better. If you follow these 3 simple recommendations, you
will play well even in a time trouble.
Now you know how to manage your time effectively during a practical game. So it is time to practice these ideas! Do it
and enjoy your success.
Thanks for your attention! Talk to you soon in the next lessons, bye!
Lesson II - "The Most Common Mistake"
Free Chess Tutorial by GM Igor Smirnov
Enjoy this free Chess Tutorial by Grandmaster Igor Smirnov.
__________________________________________________________
Hi, I am Igor Smirnov. Here is the lesson The Most Common Mistake.
I hope that you have studied the lesson Finding the Best Moves; Quicklyalready. Please, remember to practice these
recommendations and to automate the appropriate skills!
Today we will go forward in your chess development and we will discuss The Most Common Mistake. Most chess players
make this mistake and dont even realize it at all!
However, it is quite a simple idea. So you will be able to use it right after a study of this lesson.

THE MOST COMMON MISTAKE
By: GM Igor Smirnov
As a chess teacher, I analyze my pupils games regularly. Of course, I analyze games of other players as well. Thats why
I can tell you that there are a few most common mistakes, which most of players make often. So in this lesson, I am
going to tell what the most common mistake is.
Well, to be honest, I am not totally sure whether it is the most common mistake or not, but it is definitely one of them.
Let me give you a little task.
White: Kg1, Qd2, Ra1, Rf1, Be2, Be3, Nc3, Ne5, pawns: a3, b2, c2, d4, f2, g2, h2.
Black: Kg8, Qh4, Ra8, Rf8, Bc8, Be7, Nb8, Ng4, pawns: a7, b7, c6, d5, f7, g7, h7.


It is whites turn here. Please, think about it for a moment. What would you do here as white? What is your intuitive
impulse? Black is obviously threatening to take the h2 pawn. It looks frightful and most players would take the g4 knight
quickly.
Usually, we even dont think about moves like that too much and make them automatically. In this game white played
13.Ng4. After 13Bg4 the position became equal. At the end, white even lost the game.


Now Ill tell you one very important thing. I want you to remember it very well. TO TAKE IS A MISTAKE!
There is a bit of a rhyme here actually :), so I hope youll remember it better. I dont know why, but most chess players
like to take very much. They do it automatically every time it is possible.
However, most often, to take is a mistake. When you take something by yourself, you usually help your opponent to be
more active. An opposite rule is fair as well: when your opponent takes something, he helps you to increase your
activity.
Lets go back to the starting position of our example.
When white takes 13.Ng4, white helps black to develop his bishop. So white is not only wasting time, but is helping the
opponent!
OK, now weve decided white should do something else here. If you start thinking about it, you will easily find other
options.
First, white can keep the tension, playing 13.Bf4. Now if black takes on e5 13Ne5, it helps white to activate the bishop
14.Be5. By the way, the black bishop is still on c8. Thus, this variation is much better for white than an immediate
capture on g4.


Secondly, white has the counter-attacking move 13.Nf3. Again, white is avoiding an exchange and is keeping the
tension. After 13Qh5 14.Bf4 white has a huge advantage.


For example, if black does something simple like 14Be6, then after 15.h3-Nf6 16.Ne5 white is winning, because the
queen is trapped. For example in the line 16Qh4 17.Bg5.
This example is very instructive. If white takes, the position becomes equal. If white doesnt take, he is nearly winning.

Here is another example.
Alekhine Bogoljubow
White: Kg1, Qf2, Rd4, Rd1, Bc2, Nc3, pawns: a2, b2, e4, f3, g2, h3.
Black: Kg8, Qe7, Rd8, Ra8, Be6, Nf6, pawns: a7, b6, c5, f7, g7, h7.
It is whites turn.


What should white do here? I hope it is simple for you now: the main thing is that white should not take! If white makes
this mistake - 21.Rd8, then after 21Rd8 the position is equal and black has no problems.


Thus white should keep the tension and allow black to take. Thats why he played 21.R4d2. It is quite demonstrative,
that white got a winning position just after the next few moves.


21Rd2 22.Qd2. Now white is controlling the open file.
22c4 23.f4-g6 24.Qd4-Rc8 25.g4. White has a decisive positional advantage, because of his strong attack on the king-
side and in the center.

Lets look at a more difficult example.
Zukertort J. Blackburne J.
White: Kg1, Qd1, Ra1, Rf1, Bb2, Be2, Nd2, pawns: a2, b3, c4, d4, e3, f2, g2, h2.
Black: Kg8, Qe7, Ra8, Rf8, Bb7, Ne4, Nf6, pawns: a7, b6, d5, d6, e6, f7, g7, h7.
Whites turn.

Here it is definitely a time for an exchange, or is it? It seems like white cant avoid the exchange. However, we should
not forget that to take is a mistake. So even if you are going to trade the knights, it is better to play 13.f3, than to take
by yourself with 13.Ne4.
Secondly, if you think deeper about the position, you will realize that black really wants to exchange his e4 knight. This
knight has no other options and no available squares to go to. Therefore, white may try to trap the knight, and white
needs to prevent an eventual exchange first. This is how we can come to the move 13.Nb1. Though it looks strange, it
threatens f3 capturing the knight.


For example in the line: 13Rac8 14.f3-Ng5 15.h4.


So black is forced to defend. Probably, he should play 13Nd7, then after 14.f3-Nef6 white can bring his knight back into
the game 15.Nc3. Here, white has a stable positional advantage.


In the game, white simply played 13.f3. There followed 13Nd2 14.Qd2 and the position remains approximately equal.
You can see again, how powerful the idea of avoiding exchanges can be.


Finally, Id like to show you one game, where the topic of this lesson was the bottom line for the whole game.
Grigoriants S. Shirov A.
1.c4-e6 2.Nf3-d5 3.b3-d4 4.e3. Starting from this position, there will be a possibility for an exchange always. Lets see
how both players will deal with that.


4Nc6. It is logical, since we are trying to keep the tension. 5.ed. White took the pawn, which helps black to activate his
knight. This is why we should not take usually.
5Nd4 6.Bb2. Right, white is trying to force black to take on f3, which will activate his queen.


6Bc5. Black is still keeping the tension.
What should white do here? I am pretty sure that a lot of players would take on d4. However, to take is a mistake. If
you understand this well enough, you will always look for something else instead of an exchange. This is how white found
the best move 7.b4!


Now black has the same problem. It seems like he has to take on f3 finally. Although, black played 7Qf6! He is
increasing the tension which is definitely the right idea.


Here white gave up and played 8.Nd4. Then after 8Bd4 9.Bd4-Qd4 black got a stable positional advantage, because of
whites weaknesses and the active black queen. Black realized his advantage quite easily and won the game in the end.


Lets go back to the last critical position. Is there any way for white to continue keeping the tension? Whites main
problem is the weakness of the b2 bishop. Black is threatening to take it after Nf3. So it is enough for white just to
protect the bishop and to play 8.Bc3.


Now black has to take 8Nf3 9.Qf3-Qf3 10.gf. The black pawn on g7 is hanging. 10Bf8 is the only move.


In the final position, white is very active; he can use the open g file with Rg1, he can play d4 to create a strong center,
so everything is good. It is quite pleasant to play such a position practically.
You can see that the simple rule to take is a mistake has the great value. By the way, it is important to note that in the
last example, black won against the strong Grandmaster, just using this advice. So I recommend you to do the same!
I must make a little note at the end. Of course I dont mean that you should never take. Chess is a concrete game. If
you see that you can take and get some advantage, then you certainly should do it. However, in most of standard
situations you should remember and follow the rule:
TO TAKE IS A MISTAKE
If you remember this advice and follow it in your games, you will play more interesting games with much better results!
Lesson III - Professional Opening
Preparation
By: GM Igor Smirnov
Professional Opening Preparation by GM Smirnov
Hi! I am Igor Smirnov, International Grandmaster and a chess coach. I am pleased to welcome you to the new lesson:
Professional Opening Preparation
Today I won some blitz games against Dominguez (who was a World blitz champion), Blitz is a lot of fun.
OK, Ill be more serious now. Once again Ive realized how it is important to be well prepared in an opening stage. When
you play against a strong opponent, opening preparation exerts a strong influence on the final result.
Thats why top players use 90-95% of their training time on opening preparation. Though I dont recommend you to do
the same, it is still a very important topic. In modern chess it is definitely one of the main factors of your practical
success.
I will be glad to give you some recommendations about it in the lesson Professional Opening Preparation:
Today, it is extremely important to be well prepared for a tournament game. Computers make opening preparation an
extremely powerful weapon. Thats why professional players usually spend from 2 to 6 hours on their pre-game
preparation. If you will not be able to neutralize your opponent's preparation, you will probably be in huge trouble.
This aspect has become so important that it is really a huge separate topic, which should be mastered by every modern
chess player.
In this chess lesson, I will give you some practical advice about it. Lets begin.
Here is my first advice to you: dont play dubious openings. In the near past, it was normal to play openings, which are
not totally correct. People played Kings gambit (1.e4-e5 2.f4), Center gambit (1.e4-e5 2.d4), Birds opening (1.f4) and
other stuff like that. In that time it was OK, but now it is definitely a wrong way to play.
When you use such an opening line one time, your next opponents will expect it from you and will prepare against it. If
your opening is not objectively good, they will really find some unpleasant ideas for you. You will start getting troubles,
start losing, and eventually will have to stop playing the opening in the future.
However, of course, there is a right solution. You should play normal openings, which correspond to the basic strategic
ideas. Then you may not worry about your opponents preparation too much, because no one can refute correct
openings.
If Earth is really round, then no one can disprove it. I hope you understand what I mean here. If you play good
openings, then even Kasparov will not be able to refute your choice!
Now we are faced with a new question: how can you detect whether a given opening is good or not? In general, you
should orient on your general strategic understanding. However, it may not be so clear to you. In this case, there is
more simple recommendation: detect how many players over 2600 rating play this opening. So you may just believe in
their strategic understanding and in their practical experience.
If you see that a lot of strong players play a given opening line regularly, it certainly means that it is good. If they use it
occasionally or dont use it at all, then you should consider another line.
Lets discuss the next practical situation: you are playing a game and your opponent is making his opening moves very
quickly. He is obviously using his pre-game preparation. What should you do then?
Well, of course it is an unpleasant situation. Most often, a player starts getting nervous, starts thinking hard and tries to
find some strange move, hoping to break his opponents preparation. However, such strange moves can simply be a
mistake. Thats why players often get in to trouble in such situations.
Here is my advice: you should not to be afraid of an opponents preparation in strategic positions; but you should break
his preparation as soon as possible in tactical positions.
Lets recollect the bottom line: we should neutralize an opponents computer most of all. Thats why it is a huge mistake
to go in to a tactical variation, when your opponent is better prepared.
Computers are very strong in tactics. So, sometimes, your opponent can win the game quickly just by following his
computer analysis.
An opposite situation happens in strategic positions. Though computers are extremely powerful, they are still not so good
in positional situations. Another important thing is that there are no forcing lines there. Therefore, your position cant be
refuted.
We may conclude that a strategic understanding of both players is the most important factor in strategic positions. Thats
why we may not fear an opponents preparation.
Lets discuss another practical situation: you have prepared for a game and are ready to play against your opponents
opening. When the game begins, an opponent suddenly plays something totally unexpected, something he has never
played before.
Again, it is obvious that he has prepared this line especially against you. What should you do then?
If you are not ready for such a situation, you will not feel very comfortable there. On the one hand, you want to play
your opening line, which you know well. Moreover, you maybe dont know other lines well enough to use them.
On the other hand, you want to avoid an opponents preparation. So what is the solution?
I recommend you this: you should not play your usual opening, but turn to something new as soon as possible.
Lets discuss it more specifically. Lets say your opponent played the first move 1.d4, while in all previous games he has
played 1.e4. Usually you play Kings Indian defence against 1.d4 (just for instance). Of course, your opponent has
prepared something against Kings Indian and he probably studied all these lines. So it makes no sense for you to go
there, unless you want to fight against his computer.
The better idea is to play something totally new: you can play Dutch defence, Nimzo defence, or anything else you have
never used before in official tournaments.
Maybe you will play the line you are not well versed in. However, you should not be afraid of it, because your opponent
won't know it either! Thus, you will both be in the same situation and the stronger player will win.
It is definitely better than to fight against his pre-game computer preparation.
As I said in the beginning of this lesson, an opening preparation is an extremely important thing nowadays. It is really a
separate art in modern chess. In this lesson, Ive told you a few simple practical advices about it.
If you want to know all the secrets of a professional opening preparation, I recommend you the course The
Grandmasters Openings Laboratory.
It will give you the whole system of an effective opening study and the full opening repertoire on the Grandmasters
level.
Thanks for your time! Bye for now!
Lesson IV - Objectivity in Chess by GM Igor
Smirnov
This lesson is about Objectivity in Chess by GM Igor Smirnov.

Hi everybody! I am Igor Smirnov, International Grandmaster and a chess coach. This is the lesson Objectivity.
In this issue I would like to discuss an important aspect of chess, which can determine one's success or failure in a game.
I strongly believe that this will have a great impact on your chess development.
I am referring to OBJECTIVITY. Maybe you think to yourself, Come on, what is so great about playing objectivity?
Let me explain. Chess players often wonder why can't I make any progress?Lets think about this question. It has
great practical value.
First, progress inherently is change. So it follows: if you are getting better, it means that you are changing.
So if you want to make progress, you should be ready to make changes in yourself and the way you think about the
game.
This seems rather obvious, however you should ask yourself:
Am I REALLY ready for change?
Am I ready to change my opening repertoire? Am I ready to change my playing style? What about my thinking habits?
If you honestly answer Yes!, then there is a good chance you have what it takes to succeed in chess!
Lets go forward. The next logical question is: what exactly should you change?
Of course you should change your weaknesses. You will work on them and it will bring you the progress you desire.
This brings us to the last question: How to begin this process?
Here is the answer: you should admit your mistakes. Everyone understands this in general.
However, we dont do it really, because it hurts. Though it can be unpleasant, it is the only way to make real progress.
Now it is time for you to ask yourself Am I really objective?" I know that you will all answer YES! This is the first
indicator of partiality!
--------------------------------------------------------------->
I have prepared a little test of your chess skills. Here is the position:

White: Kg1, Qf6, Re1, Be3, Ng3, Nf3, pawns: b2, d5, f2, g2, h6.
Black: Kg8, Qb5, Re8, Bf8, Nd8, Nd7, pawns: b4, d6, f7, g6, h7.
It is whites turn. Your task is to find the best move in the position. I am ready to give you 5 attempts. You may think
about the position as long as you need. Please, select 5 candidate-moves, which are good in your opinion. Certainly you
may not use computer assistance. Test yourself!
-------------------------------------------------------------->
OBJECTIVITY (part 2)
Let me give you some examples of personal bias in chess. Please, read carefully; just to ensure that these statements
don't describe you!
1)Chess players often try to find an excuse of their loss. It usually goes something like this:
* Today I didn't feel well.
* I had a winning position, but lost my concentration and played carelessly.
* I slept badly/not enough
* Ive had some personal problems.
* I was tired because of a trip/something else
This list can go on and these factors can have an influence on a chess player. Let me tell you something though.
I know a lot of titled players, who take part in tournaments not only to get prizes and to make chess progress, they also
go to have a good time! And they do! These players then show up the next morning for chess...and their condition is
well, not so good!
They barely slept and woke up with a throbbing hangover. Of course this is not the best example of a sport discipline.
However, they still find a way to win!
What am I trying to illustrate with this example? I want you to admit one simple thing: your chess results depend on
your chess skills. That is just it. All other arguments are mainly lame excuses!
2) Here is another example of bias: a chess player starts thinking that he understands chess at a much higher
level than he actually does.
I receive a lot of feedback (e-mails etc.) from my pupils and customers. Some of them write something like this:
* I play at an expert level in chess.
* I am an advanced player.
* I play on the master/fm/gm level.
* I play well and now I only need to improve some openings to reach fm/im/gm level.
* I know all the basic chess ideas already.
When I ask such person about his rating, he usually answers: It is not so high now, but I stop reading right after the
word but.
Your rating is the most objective indicator of your skill. All other evaluations of your skills are just your dreams.
Please, hear me out, it is not my intention to offend you. I want to help you to be more objective and stimulate your
chess development!
--------------------------------------------------------->
Here is the solution to the task, which I gave you in the previous issue.

White: Kg1, Qf6, Re1, Be3, Ng3, Nf3, pawns: b2, d5, f2, g2, h6.
Black: Kg8, Qb5, Re8, Bf8, Nd8, Nd7, pawns: b4, d6, f7, g6, h7.
White played 1.Ne4!! I am glad if you were able to find it.
If black takes the knight 1Rxe4, then 2.Qxd8 with a huge advantage.
If black takes the queen 1Nxf6 2.Nxf6+ Kh8 3.Nxe8, then white is threatening Bd4+, Ng5, Nf6 and black has no
defense.Do you think it is the end? Actually it is only a beginning
Black played 1Re7]

and here is the next task for you: find whites next move. I'll give you 5 attempts. You may think about the position for
as long as you need. Please, select 5 candidate-moves, which are good for white in your opinion. You may not use
computer assistance.
--------------------------------------------------------->
Hello,
Last time I gave you a little task. Were you able to find the right move there?

White played 2.Ra1!! It is unbelievable, but it is really the best move!


and here is the next task for you: find whites next move. I'll give you 5 attempts. You may think about the position for
as long as you need. Please, select 5 candidate-moves, which are good for white in your opinion. You may not use
computer assistance.
--------------------------------------------------------->
Hello,
Last time I gave you a little task. Were you able to find the right move there?


White played 2.Ra1!! It is unbelievable, but it is really the best move!
Quick Chess Progress is possible! - by GM
Igor Smirnov
"Quick Chess Progress is possible!"
Today I have received an e-mail from one of my pupils. He asked me Why do children usually have better progress in
chess than adults?
Different people asked me about it many times already. A lot of adult chess players try to understand why they cant
obtain good progress in chess for years, while children achieve such goals quickly.
It is important to understand why, because it will help you to be on the right way and to improve your chess skills
quickly.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=->
Thats why this issue deals with the topic: Children and adults in chess.
Ive had pupils from 6 to 65 years old. So I can easily compare them and make conclusions.
Yes, I agree that usually (not always!) children get better progress. There are 3 main causes:
1. Children are in a more comfortable situation. They dont have to earn money for living, they have less work and
responsibility etc. Thus young players can concentrate themselves on chess and get better results.
However, it is not the main cause. An adult can focus on a chess study as well, and he/she can work even harder.
---------------------------------------------->
2. Children are more flexible. In one of the previous e-mails I wrote you how it is important to be ready for changes.
Nevertheless, Id like to repeat it again, because it is an extremely important aspect.
Here are the typical mistakes relating to this item:
y A player doesnt want to change his opening, which he/she played for some time (months, years) before.
y A player is not ready to change his playing style.
y He/she doesnt make changes in training.
y And so on
Such players keep their style of playing and training. Therefore they keep their current results as well. Certainly they will
have the same results for many years and will have a very little progress.
Unfortunately it happens with some adult players, while children are usually ready to try something new.
---------------------------------------------->
3. Children trust in what a coach says.
As you know I developed several chess video courses. I receive a lot of feedback from my pupils, who have studied my
courses. For example, a few minutes ago I received this e-mail:
=============================
Hi, I'm glad to tell you that after studying only the 1.1 of The Grandmasters Secrets and applying the principles on
every move I won first time against the personality John on Chessmaster! Best Regards. Giulio Cremonese
=============================
Usually the students report about their success. They got the results, which previously seemed impossible for them.
Sometimes their results are so good, that it was unexpected even for me! :) For instance one customer wrote me:
=============================
After studying of the course "The Grandmaster's Secrets" till now I have not lost any game! In the last tournament I
scored 9,5 from 12 and got the 1st place.
=============================
It is important to note that he wrote me this e-mail after 3 and a half months after the purchase of the course!! Also I
know that he played in a few tournaments and raised his rating very much.
Unfortunately there is a small group of the customers, whose progress is not that great. Of course I ask these people
how did they study the course and did they perform the exercises from the practical part.
The answers of such persons are very similar. They answer me something like this: I have studied this and this
lessons. The lesson seems not so important for me now, so I skipped it. Yes, I did the exercises from the practical
part. I did not do it as you said, but because I thought that it would be better.
As you can see such persons only do a little bit of the training.They ignore and modify many important tasks. Of
course it is hard to expect good results with this attitude.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=->
Children trust in what a teacher says. They simply follow the teachers recommendations. Thats why they achieve good
progress! Adults sometimes prefer to focus on their own ideas.
You have to understand one thing:
If you want to become a Grandmaster you should follow the Grandmasters recommendations.
If you want to be an amateur player you should follow the amateurs recommendations.
Now I have a question for you: If you are an amateur player and follow your own recommendation - whom will
you become?
Thats why I want to intensify this idea: you should trust in what a teacher says, even if you dont understand it (or think
that it is not important, not necessary, not urgent etc).
Just do it! And you will achieve your goal!
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=->
Let us draw some conclusion. Children often get better progress than adults. It happens because of 1 objective reason
(which is not so important) and 2 psychological reasons (which depend on You!).
Thus an adult also can get a huge and quick chess progress! (and I can tell you numerous examples!) He/she only needs
to have the right approach and some concentration on chess training.
Regards,
GM Igor Smirnov
GM Igor Smirnov's downloadable Video Ches
The "Positional Sacrifice" by GM Igor Smirnov
The "Positional Sacrifice" by Chess teacher GM Igor Smirnov
I know it already
I hear this phrase quite often from different chess players. Thats why it will be the topic of this issue. Many players think
that they know all the chess basics already, and they dont want to study them anymore.
Actually it is a delusion, and it is a very common delusion. This idea is not as harmless as it looks, but it stops
ones chess progress.
------------------------------------------------------->
Lets discuss it more specifically. Id like to ask you one question:
Do you know a positional sacrifice?
If your answer is Yes then, please, make the following:
1. Find your last 50 games.
I hope that you collect your own games and save them in a separate database. Otherwise I strongly recommend that you
start doing it, because self-analysis is one of the main ways for getting progress in chess.
When you have such a database, you will find your last 50 games easily.
2. Look through these 50 games and mark the ones, where you made a positional sacrifice.
In the end, please, calculate in how many games you made a positional sacrifice.
NOTE: A positional sacrifice implies an intuitive decision, when you cant prove the correctness of a certain sacrifice by
concrete variations.
Please, perform this step and only then read the text below.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=->
--> If you made a positional sacrifice in 5 games (or less) then unfortunately, you dont use this weapon regularly.
Thus you DO NOT KNOW IT really.
--> If you made a positional sacrifice in 10 games then your result is normal (not excellent, but just OK). It means that
you actually know what a positional sacrifice is, but you should still improve your skills here.
What am I trying to illustrate with this test?
There are 2 levels of knowledge:
1. When you just know something (youve heard about it).
2. When certain knowledge becomes part of your personality. When you use it automatically. When it is integrated into
your usual thinking process. In this case, you dont need to repeat this knowledge regularly, because you will never
forget it.
You see that there is a great difference between these 2 levels. Only the 2nd level of knowledge allows you to APPLY it
and TO GET PRACTICAL RESULTS.
Thats why the phrase I know it already is so dangerous. When it SEEMS that you know something, you stop improving
it. Thus you stop your own chess development.
------------------------------------------------------->
So what are the conclusions?
1) Dont assess yourself generally. Orient solely on THE FACTS (your practical results). Then you will really evaluate your
skills.
2) Dont think that you already know something, until you start using it automatically and start getting RESULTS from it
regularly.
3) When you study my chess courses perform ALL of the tasks seriously.
I receive a lot of feedback from my pupils. Thats why I know which students achieve the best results. They perform ALL
the tasks of a course, even when it seems unnecessary for them. After some time they get great practical results and
then they understand why some tasks were so important.
Let me quote my pupils e-mails:
===============================>
Hello GM
I want to express my appreciation for the transmission of knowledge. I have literally devoured each of your words and
recommendations. I am eager to finish and to buy the next course that you recommend me. thousand and a thousand
thanks for your contribution.
Atte Mario Almeida
===============================>
Thanks a lot for being so fast on sending the chess course. I have seen the first lesson am very much impressed. I will
go through it slowly to be able to profit as much as possible from it.
Mikel Smaci
===============================>
Such persons (who study all the courses materials seriously)always get good progress.
On the other hand there are some people who know everything already. They write me something like this: I looked
at your lesson but I already know it, so I skipped this one.
It is a bit funny for me to read such e-mails :) My courses contain recommendations, which helped me and my pupils to
become titled players. So when 2000 rating player says that he knows it already, I doubt it really. Actually his
prejudice hampers his chess progress.
This is how the phrase I know it already can stop your chess progress. Be careful!
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=->
In the end Id like to give you a task:

White: Kb1, Qh2, Rd5, Rc1, Be3, Nb3, pawns: a2, b2, c3, e4, f3, g5, h4.
Black: Kg8, Qa4, Ra8, Rc6, Be7, Nh5, pawns: a6, b5, d6, e5, f7, g6, h7.
Whites turn.
You need to find the best move for white. Certainly you may not use a computer assistance).
-------------------------------------------------------->
Id like to give you the answer to the task I gave you above.
Here white made a great move 30.Na1! After the following move Nc2 white will use the b4 or the e3 square to bring the
knight to the d5.
There followed: 30Rcc8 31.Nc2-Qc4 32.Rd2-Rf8 33.Nb4-f5 and here after 34.Nd5 white got a clear advantage.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=->
Ive made the new video lesson for you:
Free Video "I know it already"
This video will help you to understand better why many players cant progress in chess. Also it contains some practical
advices about planning.

Regards,
GM Igor SmirnovKings and Pawns - Chess Endgame
I introduce the following kings and pawns chess endgame to you.Study them to understand the techniques that are
used. For example, the triangle technique, the opposition and the fight for space. Space is an important element in such
endgames. Don't push pawns too early. And don't give the king of your opponent a strong place. Use your king to keep
him away! This might make the difference between drawing or winning.
I have here two examples just for training your imagination. Please try to solve those two puzzles just mentally.
Black moves and makes draw. 1...Kd7 2.Kb6 Kc8 3.a5 Kb8
4.a6 Ka8 5.a7 stalemate
White moves and wins. 1.Kc2 a4 2.Kb1!!(if 2.Kc3 then
2...a3! draw) 2...a3 3.b3! (if you capture 3.bxa3 then you
have an edge-pawn and cannot win! If you play 3.b4? it
will be drawn as well. Check it out.) 3...Ke7 4.Ka2 Kd6
5.Kxa3 Kc5 6.Ka4 Kb6 7.Kb4 and now Black must move
and loses the opposition and the game.
Watch the Center - Online Chess Lessons
The following games in these online chess lessons show you how to handle middle game operations. Watch your
opponents play at all times - move by move. After you have checked his potential and plans, you can think about your
own problems.
In the last game everything will be explained clearly as I have played this game myself.
Discover your positional problems and try to solve them immediately like dissolving doubled pawns or
organizing an attack on his king if the position tells you to do that. Listen to the needs of your position and
don't start dreaming about nonsense moves and plans. Ask your position what you should do. Ask every
piece of yours where this piece would like to go to be actively placed. The Minority
Attack - a Pawn Chess Strategy
The Minority Attack is a chess strategy that considers the pawn structure of a particular position. Look at the following
diagram.



In the above pawn-structure White has two plans.
First plan: White will play the Minority-Attack and tries to win the resulting weak c-pawn. So he will play at the
queenside. See diagramm above.
Second plan: White expands in the center playing f3 followed by e4. In this case he will play just in the center and the
kingside.
How to play the Minority-Attack?
At the queenside White has just two pawns against three pawns. The goal is to create a black pawn weakness at the
queenside. This weakness will then be attacked in the course of the game. To achieve this White moves his b-pawn to b5
and exchanges it for the c-pawn. Then a weak c-pawn will be the result. This is called a Minority-Attack. That means a
minority of TWO pawns is attacking a majority of THREE pawns.
You can see the resulting position below. But here Black has not exchanged off his a-pawn which might also become
weak in the endgame as White has usually more forces at the queenside when playing the Minority-Attack and will
consequently be stronger there.


Hint: If you play the black pieces try to trade off your a-pawn playing a5. White will play b4 and then you exchange it
off by axb. White recaptures with his a-pawn and continues to move to b5 as usual and exchange on c6 to create a weak
c-pawn. This is the normal course of play but you got rid of your a-pawn. That's the difference. (See diagram below)



<="" p="">
Why should I get rid of my a-pawn? The reason is, if you don't get rid of your a-pawn, White will eventually win your
weak c-pawn as this is the logical course of play. And if your a-pawn is still alive at this time you will lose this pawn as
well because the a-pawn will become weak too, once the white pieces have penetrated into your position at the
queenside. But if you have exchanged the a-pawn it will not be thereanymore and so you can't lose it. You save the loss
of a pawn, that's all.
If White is going to play the minority attack at the queenside you should seek counterplay at the kingside to offset the
eventual loss of your c-pawn. You might lose the c-pawn, but you might checkmate him at the kingside, because he
has tied up too many forces at the queenside. So his king will become weak as the kingside is not properly defended.
These chess strategies are best demonstrated in many games played with the opening of the Queens Gambit Declined /
Exchange Variation. Please study the pawn moves of White in those games.
The Middlegame - Instructions how to play
Chess
I try to give you some instructions how to play chess middlegames. Please relax first and just look at this position. Keep
it simple and just look at the pawn formation in the center (the pawn structure). Don't think now, just look! What do you
see?
I tell you what I see! I see two pawns of white and just one pawn of Black. The black d6-pawn is only half in the
center, so it doesn't count. We are comparing pawns on the same rank! I bet you agree with that. Two versus one.
Conclusion: You have more center power!
Let's say, you have the white pieces and it's your move. You must decide what you are going to do with those pawns. Do
you exchange your d-pawn playing 1.dxe dxe? Or not? Do you have an advantage in the center just looking at the
pawns?



To answer those questions and to make a decision you must imagine how the position will look like after you have
exchanged your d-pawn. (See next diagram)



Keep it simple, what do you see? I see, White has just one pawn and Black has one pawn in the center now. What
happened? One of your center pawns is gone! Just one versus one now. In effect you exchanged your center 4th-rank
pawn for Blacks 3rd-rank pawn. Bad exchange, my friend, you gave up center power! Now it's even in the center. You
got one center pawn and Black got one.
You lost your advantage (center power)!
Please try to hammer that into your mind because situations like that will happen all the time. Don't give up your
advantage. Let the pawns sitting like that and keep developing pieces. Hope that Black will exchange on d4 then he will
lose center power himself. (See left diagram below)
If Black does not exchange you will move the d-pawn ahead to d5 later on and gain space power. (See right diagram
below)

Black has exchanged and lost center power.
Black did not exchange and White moved ahead and
gained space power.
Chess Middlegame Ideas - Understand Chess
Moves
The following video shows you how to play the chess middlegame of the Veresov Attack. Just watch and don't worry
about the opening system, but try to understand the whole setup of the opening and the key ideas of it. Just listen to the
explanations and understand why certain moves are played.
Observe possible move choices and understand the plans behind them. Try to get used to the chess thinking process.
Just follow the thought process of the commentator to get an idea of how a middlegame in chess is played and the things
that have to be considered. Watch the thoughts that are going on in a chess players mind.
Fix the Weakness! - Learn Online Chess


learn online chess - see position above
In the position above it seems to be difficult for Black to find a plan at all. The position appears to be balanced. Black is
unsure what to do. He thinks hard to find a plan but can't see any objects to attack. Everything appears to be blocked
and rock-solid in White's camp.
Finally the move 1...g4 is discovered, that fixes the white weak backward pawn on h2. This pawn will be the object to be
attacked from now on. White will retreat his queen to protect this pawn which seems to be sufficient.
But Black activates additional sleeping forces - his pawns! The sleeping pawn power in the center will be mobilized to
move towards the h2 pawn and the king as well. This destroys the balance and leads to a winning attack.
F-Pawn Fix
In the next chess game White has a dead bishop on c1. He prepares the pawn-push e4 to create future possibilities to
get the bishop out to work. Black is finally killing himself as he places his e6 pawn on a bad white square and creates a
dead bishop on c8. This paralyzes his entire play and finally White uses - the f-file - fixes the weak backward pawn f7
and wins this pawn and the game. Accumulate and memorize those ideas and you can use them in your chess games.
Study the following Chess Tutorials but go first to Free Chess Strategies I

The E-Pawn Advance
Push the E-Pawn! Cramped chess opening setup leads to bad chess position.
The E-Pawn Advance - Throw Sand into the
Setup
The Opponent has violated chess principles and gets punished. E-Pawn Push disturbs piece coordination severely.
Bishop Pair
The Bishop Pair and the E-Pawn Advance. Keep your Bishop Pair when the position tends to open up.
Kasparov versus Deep Blue - Second Match
Games
Replay games from the match - Kasparov versus Deep Blue 1997
Isolated Pawn - Chess Game
How to handle the Isolated Pawn?
Strategies of Chess - Chess Game
Use the Imbalance to your Advantage
Winning Chess Moves - Chess Game
Winning Chess Moves - running behind in Piece Development
Blindfold Trainer
Get some Blindfold Training here!

Best Chess Books


Get this image on a T-Shirt in my Shop...



Compare Chess Piece Potential
Chess Moves - Use your Intuition
Knight Tour
Chess Knight Tour - Can you make it? If not, so what? Don't worry too much about it!
Chess Pattern
Recognize Chess Pattern and memorize them for later use! I wish I would have a photographic memory.
Define Targets - Chess Strategy
Choose a target. This is a bit rough, I know. But I have to wake you up somehow.
Pawn Majority - Chess Analysis
Use Pawns the right way.
Throw Sand into the Opponents Setup - Free
Chess Lessons
The following free chess lessons show how you can punish a dubious chess setup. If your opponent has chosen a dubious
setup right from the start, like Black has done here, you can sometimes sacrifice a pawn to create a position, where his
pieces have lots of problems to coordinate and will need more time to get into the game. You can use this time to build a
strong position and to find and attack weak spots in the opponents pawn structure.
In the next game Black should have developed the kingside and prepare castling as usual, but he develops his queenside
instead. He is violating chess principles and this gets punished.



White pushed his e-pawn to e6 and upsets Blacks piece coordination. (see above)

This procedure is sometimes used in the beginning phase of the game to stop the opponent from placing his pieces to
proper and effective squares. They are in each others way and his position is just a big mess. You have gained time to
build up a strong position yourself in the meantime and might get dangerous attacking chances like in the following
game.
The Power of the Bishop Pair
You can't see it, but you should feel it - the power of the Bishop Pair in your games. If the position takes on an open
character don't give your opponent the two bishops. This means, don't trade your bishop for his knight.
You may not see any difference in your game right away, but in the long run two bishops are more flexible and far
reaching and can control vital squares from behind the lines. And they are fast moving going here and there.
In the following game Black has given up the two bishops right after the opening has finished by trading off his bishop
for a knight on c3. White is controlling the center persistently with his bishops and plans to push the e-pawn forward to
grab space and chase away the black bishop.
Chess Deep Blue
First Match - Chess Deep Blue versus Kasparov
In February 1996 was the first match between Kasparov and Deep Blue (Computer) in Philadelphia. Kasparov has beaten
the machine 4:2. He won three games, lost one and two games were drawn. The first game, Deep Blue Kasparow,
Philadelphia 1996 became famous.

Second Match - Deep Blue versus Kasparov
After that the IBM team adjusted the deep blue computer and made the hardware even stronger. According to IBM both
opponents were different in the following aspects:
y Deep Blue examines and evaluates up to 200 Million chess positions per second.
y Garry Kasparov is able to examine up to three chess positions per second.
y Deep Blue has a small amount of chess knowledge.
y Garry Kasparov has a large amount of chess knowledge.
y Deep Blue is incapable of feeling and intuition.
y Garry Kasparov has a great sense of intuition.
In May 1997 there was another match. Deep Blue was now much faster and could calculate 200 million positions per
second and won the match 3,5:2,5.
Deep Blue was the first computer in history who was able to beat a world champion.
In the second game Kasparov resigned in a drawn position because he overlooked a variation in which he could have a
balanced equal position with drawing chances.
Here Kasparov (Black) resigned, but could play on with
1...Qe3! 2.QxB Re8!
Now Black has equal chances...
After this unnecessary loss in the second game Kasparov's psychological condition went downhill and he didn't find back
to his usual strength. He lost the sixth game rather quick, playing the black pieces
The Isolated Pawn
You can create an Isolated Pawn in your opponents position. This can be done in exchanging pieces or pawns on a
certain square.
A Pawn, that is isolated, is weak, because it is not protected by another pawn. It is called an Isolani. Especially in the
endgame Isolanis are weak and if you have an Isolani yourself try to avoid exchanging pieces but attack in the center
and on the kingside instead.
You should try to attack as the Isolani is controlling vital squares in the center. You can use those squares as an outpost
for your knight and if the knight is traded off the Isolani will recapture and usually will not be an Isolani anymore.
If your opponent has the Isolani, don't be afraid to trade off pieces and go into the endgame if possible. If you simplify
the position trading off pieces then your opponent has not enough pieces left to start a serious attack but has to worry
about not to lose his weak pawn.
First you block the weak pawn to stop it from moving forward. Then you control the square in front of it with many of
your pieces. After that you try to attack it from all sides and win it or you attack something else as your pieces enjoy
greater freedom because the enemy pieces are tied down to defend the pawn.
Strategies of Chess - Use the Imbalance
In applying Strategies of Chess many players don't consider the element of imbalance. They don't understand that many
games are lost or won because of imbalances in the position. To use chess imbalances to your advantage you have to
adjust your chess strategies accordingly.
Often numerous pieces (knights, bishops, rooks, the queen) are assembled at certain parts of the board. This makes it
likely to start an attack in a specific area of the board.(kingside, queenside, center).
The question is not, if you want to attack or not. If you are an attacking player or not? Who cares? We are not talking
about you! The only important thing is the position and nothing else! If your position says: Attack! You must attack and
that's it! If you want to become a good player, please understand this!!
Feel it coming when pieces start clustering and revise and adjust your plan according to actual circumstances. Adjust to
the "cluster-effect"! Submit your will to the requirements of the position! The position is the boss, not you!
The best book to study chess imbalances and how to use them to your advantage is:
How to reassess your Chess! - Jeremy Silman This book is one of the best chess books I ever bought and will improve
your understanding of chess positions tremendously.


This looks risky, but Black has destroyed the important
center pawn e4, capturing it with his knight.
Look at the Cluster-Effect at the kingside! Four Pieces are
ready to attack the white king! But only two are defending
the king. The white queen is displaced at the queenside
and the white knight on c3 is too far away. So don't trade
off your knight on e4 for the knight on c3, BUT use it to
attack the kingside. Let the enemy knight starve at the
queenside.


Still four attackers versus two defenders. White is lost. Replay this game below!
Winning Chess Moves - Get your Pieces
organized
Find the Winning Chess Moves in your games and get your pieces organized fast and efficiently. In the following
game Black moves a few pawns too many. He does not develop his pieces fast enough and castles too late. He wastes
development time pushing pawns instead.
He has to pay for it later on in the game, as the energy of his undeveloped queenside pieces is needed to defend the
kingside. White uses the weak kingside and attacks it. Black has not enough pieces to defend it properly as two pieces
are still not developed and stuck at the queenside. So there are more attackers than defenders. Black is lacking piece
power at the kingside and has no chance to survive.
How the Chess Knight moves?
Study the moves of the chess knight here. Jump around until you have covered all squares just one time, if you can
make it. It is pretty hard.
You have to do this many times to succeed, I guess. Yes, nothing in chess is easy, isn't it?










Moves: 0
Chess Pattern
You have to train your mind to recognize a chess pattern on the board during a game. To become a strong player it is
necessary to know all sorts of patterns to be able to use them when a given position in your game arises.
A pattern can be a tactical theme or plans that are available in given pawn structures. The more patterns you know, the
stronger you become, as this will make it easier for you to handle many positions in your games.
Patterns have names such as:
y more space in the center
y open lines
y weak squares
y pawn majority, pawn minority
y two weak points to attack - the Principle of Two Weaknesses
y weak kingside
y weak queenside pawn structures
y inactive knight at the corner
y dead bishop
y weak isolated d-pawn
y insufficient piece coordination
y attacking mark
y free protected pawn
y bishop pair
y better minor piece in open position - bishop versus knight
y better minor piece in blocked position - knight versus bishop
y break throughand others etc. Choose your Target - Chess
Strategy
When you play chess choose your Target area. This is the right chess strategy. Where do you place your forces? Is your
Target everywhere? Are you attacking here and there? A master would shake his head in astonishment. Do you want to
get into trouble or what?
You can't have the whole board for yourself. The opponent has a right to exist too. Give him a part of the board and you
can take the other part. Yet most inexperienced players horrify the heck out of experienced seasoned chess addicts. In
an suicidal manner they move a piece here and there, play attack at the queenside, then at the kingside while ignoring
existing imbalances.
To play successful chess requires single-minded focus and to have a clearly defined target or target area. Kingside,
Queenside, weak squares, center play, occupation of square in front of an isolated pawn, blasting open a diagonal to
bring alive an inactive half-dead bishop and similar concepts that have to be followed through.
Have you ever seen a tiger attacking just anything in a herd of zebras? No, of course not! Just observe the focus and
strategy of his attack? He just searches for the weakest point, singles out the prey and attacks single-minded a young,
slow or sick target. This gets results. And now adopt this strategy to chess and you will be right.
Use Your Pawn Majority - Chess Analysis
After the opening has finished, look at your pawn structure.


Chess Analysis - Use your Pawn Majority

In the chess position above you see that a certain pawn structure has evolved right after the opening. Now you have to
find a plan to proceed the right way. We look at it from White's point of view. White has three pawns versus two pawns
at the queenside. Black has his majority at the kingside - four pawns versus three.
If you have White you have to use this energy potential and play at the queenside to gain space and create a passed
pawn later. See how the plan is executed. Replay the position here:
When you see a good move, wait... look for a
better one."
Emanuel Lasker, 2nd World Chess Champion
To memorize chess ideas makes sense as you will be able to apply them in your real games.
Before you study the following Chess Tutorials go first to:

Chess-Strategy-I
after that go to
Chess-Strategy-II

What opening should I play?
Boy, you do ask questions! Just kidding!
What is an Attacking Mark?

Make me a Genius



What to do with the Isolani?

How to think in Chess?

Chess Game Pieces

Lack of Coordination - Chess Piece Moves
Disturb the coordination of your opponents pieces if you can!
Deep Thoughts - Why did Black lose?
Have you ever asked yourself why you lost. Little things accumulate and lead to disaster. The opponent has to see it, of
course, or your mistakes will not get punished.
Chess Lesson - Wrong Recapture
If you recapture the wrong way this can be enough reason to lose.
Early Attack leads to Disaster
Don't attack before you are fully developed or you run into disaster.
The deadly Rook
Blacks straightforward setup leads to an unstoppable attack. Memorize this game.
Different Colored Bishops
If your bishop has a different color as your opponents bishop then organize an Attack running foremost on the same
colors of your bishop!
Difficult Moves
Beat the Spanish with this Sideline
Best Chess Openings - Best is if you Understand the Spirit
of the Opening
There are excellent openings that could be called - the best chess openings - but this will not help you much to win. To
play one of the best openings is simply not enough. You can pick one of the best, yes, but will you win because you did
this? No! If you lack understanding and don't understand the spirit of this particular chess opening that you have chosen,
then you will still lose if your opponent knows it better than you or is the better player overall.
But on the other hand it is logical to assume, that it can't hurt to study only the best right from the start. This will give
you a statistical edge in the long run, provided you did study your openings well.
After all I have to put in a lot of work to master an opening so why should I study something inferior in the first place in
choosing second best opening lines? This doesn't make much sense.
So take the best and go right into it and study hundreds of games until you understand the set up, plans, motifs and
general principles of your beloved opening.
It is hard work to study an opening well and often just a general understanding is necessary and not only special opening
lines that have to be remembered move by move. If you can replay all moves in a matter of minutes, this just shows
that you have a good memory that's all.
Often players just don't know how to proceed further once the opening is finished, because they have memorized only
moves but without understanding of the true spirit of the opening. Understand the general principles as well.
Yes, I give you some ideas what you should play! But don't become an opening fanatics. Just become an expert in the
openings you study, this will be sufficient!
It is very beneficial to study general chess principles that are shown in the Ruy Lopez (spanish) opening >>Books/DVD
And don't forget the Marshall-Attack to be able to fight the Ruy Lopez (spanish) when you have Black!
The Scotch opening >>Books/DVD will open your eyes too. Play it with Black if your opponent plays his Bishop to c4
instead of b5 (Ruy Lopez).
As Black if you play 1...e5 you should know how to answer properly against White's different opening lines. This
knowledge is covered inPlay the open games as Black by GM John Emms.



Whatever you do, every chess player running around on this planet should study the Sicilian Defence >>Books/DVD and
as Black theNimzo-Indian Defense >>Books/DVD.
If you play Black and your opponent plays 1.d4 2.c4 3.Nf3 (instead of 3.Nc3) you can't play the Nimzo Indian above, but
can play the Bogo-Indian Defense instead >>Books/DVD. It has similar ideas and plans as occurring in the Nimzo-
Indian. This way you can use your knowledge that you gained studying in the Nimzo-Indian.
Before I forget it to mention read these two chess books written by John Watson one of the best chess book
writers.
Mastering the Chess Openings

Yes, I love chess books. Have a nice time. Find or Create an Attacking
Mark - Quick Chess Strategies
Quick Chess Strategies for you, to get aquainted with the terminology "Attacking Mark". What is an Attacking
Mark? Yes, this is a seldom used expression that you don't find in many chess books.
An Attacking Mark is an object, that has to be attacked in order to achieve an advantage. The object can be a weak pawn
formation or a piece that is misplaced at a position where it can be easily attacked.


The black Bishop on e6 is the Attacking Mark.

If you have never heard this expression, "Attacking Mark", then you will have a hard time to find "such a thing" in your
game, because you don't know, that in certain positions it exists in some form or another. So increase your level of
awareness. Once this terminology "Attacking Mark" has penetrated into your consciousness, you will see it, if it happens
in your game, I hope.
In the following game Black pushes too many pawns and neglects his development, whereas White concentrates entirely
on piece development. He gets pieces out every move and castles as fast as he can.
Soon Black is running behind in development as White has castled already and has placed more pieces in the center than
Black. After that White opens up the position to penetrate towards the black king that gets stuck in the middle.
Finally White simply starts an attack and overruns the black position. To achieve this White uses the misplaced bishop e6
as the Attacking Mark, a target on which he accumulates pressure. In the end White conquers the Attacking Mark
(Bishop e6) and this leads to a deadly attack...
The Kingside as Attacking Mark
In the following chess game Black (Expert) has got the chance (playing 1..Nf3+!) to weaken the white kingside and
defines the whole white kingside as the Attacking Mark because of its vulnerability. Especially the pawn on h2 will
become weak in the course of this operation.


The Move 1...Nf3+! creates the Attacking Mark! It is the white Kingside. As a side effect Black gains the bishop
pair and wins the rook for a bishop ( wins the exchange ) later on
What to do with the Isolani? - Free Chess Instructions

The Isolani - Free Chess Instructions

Sometimes the opponent will make you an isolated pawn called Isolani. Or in some cases the isolated pawn is the
natural result of opening lines. It is neither good or bad to have an Isolani. The question is simply how to deal with it. It
is like with many things in life. Fire for example is neither good or bad. It just depends how you use it. You can burn
down a house with it or you can use it for cooking.
It is similar handling an Isolani in "Chess Life". You can play the wrong moves and you will lose your endgame because
you have the Isolani. Or on the other hand you use it to push it ahead at the right moment to make your pieces explode
into the center.
When you have an Isolani:
y Avoid trading off too many pieces. This will bring you closer to the endgame and the Isolani becomes weak and will be
lost sooner or later.
y Try to use the Isolani to open up the center at the right time and push it ahead when your pieces are all placed well to
penetrate into the center after.
y Or use the Isolani for the attack and place a strong knight in the center, that is protected by the Isolani. As White with
Isolani on d4 you can use the Isolani to protect your outpost knight on e5, which in return will have an aggressive
attacking position because it is protected by the Isolani.
As you can see in the position above Black has an isolated pawn on d5 as a result of sound opening play. Black will later
on push the Isolani ahead and gain overwhelming control over the center with his knight. After that Black trades off the
white bishop gaining the bishop pair, which represents a slight dynamic advantage for Black. Replay this procedure in the
game below where Black is the expert.
How to think in Chess
How to think in chess and to be able to find high quality chess moves. That's what we all like to know, don't we? I try to
see this problem on a more theoretical level first.

You don't get the results you want?
y Then there must be something wrong with your actions (chess moves).
y If your actions (chess moves) are wrong, look at your thoughts and emotions.
y If your thoughts and emotions are wrong, look at your beliefs.
If you can change your beliefs:
y This will automatically change your thoughts and emotions.
y And this will automatically change your actions. (chess moves)
y And this will change your experiences and results!

You probably think that belief is a term used in religion and has nothing to do with how to think in chess. In many
tactical chess positions this is right. You just calculate the variation and that's it. But your whole situation in general is
affected by belief to a certain extent when you play chess.
Example: Let's say you believe that you are an attacking player. This idea is deeply ingrained within your mind. When
you reach a chess position where just patience and positional play is required you often try to attack and you might
sacrifice a pawn just to satisfy this idea to attack. In the end you lose the endgame because you are a pawn down as the
attack has been defended successfully.
Example: You believe that you must win this game because you have lost the last one. Your opponent has a lower rating
and you must win. This belief might cause you to overextend your position and you lose. Your chess thinking is blurred
and you can't evaluate the position objectively anymore.
Example: You believe that you should stick to a certain opening because you think it's strong. In reality this opening is
inferior and not played by grandmasters because Black can equalize quickly. To stick to this opening will cost you points
in the long run, but you just don't want to realize that. This is like to believe that smoking cigarettes can't do you any
harm.
Chess Game Pieces - Potential and Limitations
The energy level of chess game pieces changes often depending on the evolving chess position in your game. Sometimes
a good bishop becomes a bad bishop and an active knight is caught in the corner, loses center influence and becomes
weak and might have no way to return and gets captured in exchange for nothing.
There is constant change, like in life itself. A good king can become a bad king, having low mobility level when caught in
the corner and in the endgame this king will not be powerful.
Understand that everything is relative in
Chess and nothing is absolute and that there
is constant change of chess game pieces
value!
Even your brain might fall asleep and you might still lose a winning game. So there is no guarantee that your mind will
remain fully awake, alert and attentive. Even this is subject to change.
Positional Rules like >develop as fast as possible< are just guidelines for beginners. There are always exceptions to the
rule. A doubled pawn must not be bad, but can be strong if placed in the center, where it controls a very important
center square and prevents the enemy knight intrusion.
A bad bishop can become strong if you move away his obstacles and a rook is not always stronger than a bishop or
knight. It all depends if the rook is mobile or locked up and the knight might have a strong attacking position near the
enemy king and is stronger than a rook.
A temporarily bad Bishop with low mobility can become strong. A dead Bishop might come alive, because you pushed
your pawns to the wrong squares.
Chess is like life. Nothing is sure and there are no guarantees that things will work the way you imagine.
Elements of Chess Game Pieces
Flexibility
Make sure that your pieces are flexible and have options. When you move ahead with a pawn and create a blocked pawn
chain there is no way to return and the door is locked.
Piece Coordination
Do your pieces work well together? Or are they scattered and isolated all over the board?

Different colored Bishops
Different colored bishops in the endgame tend towards draw but in the middlegame you can start adifferent colored
bishop attack if you manage to place your bishop well and direct its power towards the enemy king, then you can use
all your remaining pieces to launch an attack against the king on the square color of your bishop. This will give you the
advantage because the opponent can not protect the squares that are of the color of your bishop as his bishop is of
different color.
In effect he is a piece down (you can not count his useless bishop) and is likely to lose. It is just a matter of time so be
patient and have confidence in the power of your different colored bishop. Even if you are a pawn down, this doesn't
matter much in those positions, you still are likely to win.
King Safety
Don't move any pawns in front of your king.
Vulnerability
The vulnerability of a queen is high. So don't jump around with it aimlessly.
Don't be afraid to trade queens if you gain a positional advantage.
Don't trade queens if you are attacking the enemy king and the king is not protected well, but has high vulnerability. In
this case keep the queen on the board to preserve future attacking potential. If you trade off queens the vulnerability of
the enemy king will be reduced immediately as you are coming closer to the endgame where king centralization is
effective. The opponents king just goes into the center and starts fighting like a minor piece (knight or bishop) and your
attack is gone. His king is probably faster in the center than yours and you might lose because he picks up your pawns.
And remember, a queen alone is powerless. Don't attack just with one queen. It can't give checkmate on its own.
Space, Time and Speed
Pawn advances secure space. Centralize knights but put bishops on long open diagonals. They are faster and have more
speed than knights. Centralizing a bishop is not very effective but centralizing a knight is great. Bishops work from
behind the lines!

The Soft-Placed Bishop - White has more Time and Speed.
Black is running behind in Time (tempi = moves) Black wastes some moves with his queen and runs behind in
development. But he can't afford to lose time (tempi) because White has sacrificed a pawn in the opening (played the
dreaded Blackmar Diemer Gambit) and has more pieces developed anyway.
A knight is the slowest piece, so keep the position closed when you have a knight (or knights) and the opponent has a
bishop (or bishops).
Sacrifice pawns only if you gain dynamics, space, speed or time in return.
Queen versus two Rooks
The rooks have greater mobility than the queen. They might attack a pawn and the queen cannot defend it but the rooks
need to be coordinated.
Queen versus two Knights and a Bishop
If the three pieces are protected well and have targets (pawns) to attack then they are stronger than the queen. It all
depends if they work well together or not. And it depends if there are many targets (pawn islands) to attack for the
queen as the queen is very mobile and fast.
Doubled Pawns
Doubled pawns are not always bad! They can protect important squares in the center which compensates for being
doubled. So don't trade off your bishop for a knight just to double his pawns. You have given up your bishop pair if you
do that.
I hope I confused you enough now, but I just try to free you from limiting belief systems that might stop you from
evolving further in chess and reach the next level. I want that you use your own judgment and rely on yourself all the
time. Compare different concepts and evaluate them while playing and understand the spirit and life of chess game
pieces. Evaluate Speed, Time and Space if you can.
Chess requires constant questioning. Never forget that!
In life there are no fixed rules either. In certain situations you might have to act differently and rules have to be set
aside.
Disturbed Coordination - Make flexible Chess
Piece Moves
In the following game awkward chess piece moves contribute to the lack of coordination among the white pieces. You will
see that this leads to reduced center control and lack of development. Black assembles more forces in the center and
kingside and finally starts a strong kingside attack that destroys the king's pawn protection.
Black moves in the position below. Should he trade queens or let his queen just sitting there? Should he retreat with the
queen?



Understand that Black has more chess pieces working in the center towards the attack against the white king compared
to the number of active defending pieces of White. White is underdeveloped. Replay the game below.
Chess Secrets - Why does Black lose?
There are many things about chess that I will call " chess secrets ", that are never explained in chess books and can't be
explained as they occur on a subconscious level. Most chess books are written by chess grandmasters and for them to
see plans and concepts comes natural and they often assume that the reader sees what they see. They read a position
like a newspaper, and I mean, that they read it fast.
They feel and see the right concept in a given position immediately and start calculating, whereas normal players -non-
grandmasters- as we are, have to virtually force themselves mentally to illuminate themselves by going through all this
step by step, hammering each concept into our minds to grasp and never forget these ideas.
Chess is not only about memorizing hundreds of opening lines. There is something below the surface that is hard to
grasp. Just try to understand the following game. Fritz Chess Program versus No Name. Try to understand why Black has
drifted into a lost position. Black has played well, you think....yeah, that's what YOU think.


Both players have developed their pieces. So far so good. BUT what is disturbing in my mind is that Black has not castled
but played b6 very early. Well this might mean nothing yet but it POPS UP in the mind of a fine-tuned player. You just
notice it. Then you feel the urge to use this to your advantage and try to seize the initiative in the center, where else,
playing e4.
Hey! Don't make a silly waste-of-time-move now like a3 or h3 or Bd2! or some other stupid thing. I must formulate a
principle to grasp for you or we will get nowhere!
So, here it is!
Play in the CENTER! Seize the Initiative in
the CENTER! Add Energy to the Center Area!
Put Pressure on the Center!
Play 1. e4 now!
y This move puts pressure on the center and the pawn threatens to go ahead to attack the f6-knight. So what? If this
happens the black knight must retreat and this will weaken the kingside.I formulate a new principle now! Memorize it!
If the defending Knight gets driven away this
will weaken the Kingside
y This will liberate your sleeping c1-bishop in the long run because it MIGHT come out along the c1-h6 diagonal, but
this is just a positive side effect. You have to think about the future, my friend, and increase your possibilities and your
development potential. Add up potential in chess.
1.e4 dxe 2.Nxe 0-0
leads us to the following position. Play the last moves up till here in your mind. In a real game you must do this too
before you execute your moves.

What now?
You know one thing for sure. Whatever you do, you should play in the center. Now where to go with the queen. I show
you another concept.
Queen goes to e2. Why?
y to make room for Rd1
y to protect the e4-knight
y to be able to go to e4
y to put pressure to e6 which is located IN THE CENTER and near the KINGSIDE because e6 will somehow tends to
become weakened because the black white-colored bishop will probably go to b7 as Black has played b6 and will not
protect e6 in the future.
Play 3. Qe2 now!


3.Qe2 Re8
see diagram below



What now?
Well, you know you should play in the center and this will help you to think about center moves ONLY, avoiding trash
moves!

You know that if the black f6-knight gets driven away that this will weaken the kingside.
Play 4. Ne5 now!
y this move attacks the c6-pawn and limits Black's choices as he probably plays Bb7 which is a mistake, but very hard to
see.
y If Black trades off the Knight playing Nd7xNe5 then your d-pawn recaptures and moves to e5 and DRIVES AWAY the
f6-knight. Remember, this is one of our formulated principles: Driving away the kingside knight to weaken the kingside!
y If Black trades off the e4-knight then your queen recaptures and comes to e4 and threatens to hit or penetrate to h7.
To stop this Black has to make pawn moves at the kingside and this will weaken his kingside, making it easier for you to
attack it.
4.Ne5 Bb7
leads us to the following position.



What now?
Just relax and look at this position for a moment. What do you see? What are the facts?
I know it is hard, very hard, to see anything for White now.
Facts - Look at the Chess Position above
y White's Queen is better placed than Black's Queen because the white queen can go to center square e4 in the future or
will attack the kingside when the defending f6-knight gets traded off or moves away in the future.
y White's kingside knight is better placed than Black's kingside knight that still sits on f6, the original square, whereas
White's knight is sitting right in the center on e5, which makes it more powerful.
y The white queenside knight is placed better on e4 than Black's queenside knight that sits on d7.
y Black rook is looking a bit funny. It has moved to e8 and weakened f7. You think that this is a crazy thought. But look!
F7 is weak!
Hello! I am not gone mad! F7 is weak!
The Answer! Play 5. Nxf7 now!
y weakens the e6-pawn
y weakens the kingside


Now switch on your brain and start calculating. Let's see, if you can estimate that this is a winning move.

5.Nxf7 KxN 6.Ng5+ Kg8 (if 6...Kf8 7.Qxe6 and checkmate cannot be avoided)
This leads us to the following chess position below.



Now think, think....
Checkmate in five moves!
7.Qxe6+ Kh8 (if 7...Kf8? 8.Qf7++)
8.Nf7+ Kg8
9.Nh6+ Kh8
10.Qg8!!+ NxQ (or RxQ)
11.Nf7++ Checkmate
Chess Lesson - Center Runover
In this Chess Lesson the beginner (Black) gets overrun in the center by the expert (White). This happens because Black
recaptures with the bishop in move 8, but should recapture with the pawn instead to stop the white pawn storm starting
with 9.f4!.
Black has to retreat his bishop and runs behind in development time. He is unable to get his knight out because it has no
proper squares. The knight gets chased back to its original square and Black cannot complete his development and is
unable to castle. This paralyzes his whole setup and finally White gets a strong winning attack that is unstoppable.
Chess Beginners - Study this commented Chess Game
Chess Beginners may find this game difficult to understand but take it easy. Just let the ideas sink in and use common
sense. Don't look at the chess pieces but use X-Ray Vision instead.
This means, if you see a knight, then you just try to imagine the squares that are controlled by the knight. But don't look
at the knight itself. Chess is all about controlling squares, never forget that!

The Way you look!
When you look at your chess position as White you should see it like this in your mind! This is scary, isn't it?

So if you look at the Queen you don't see the Queen, just the squares which are controlled by it. See below!



Early Weak Attack leads to Disaster
Black plays a dubious opening and attacks as soon as he can. He is not developed fully yet. His queenside bishop is
sitting on its original square like a dead duck and is not participating in the attack at all, but disturbs the coordination of
Blacks Pieces instead.
The black attack is only supported by a few pieces and is running into nothing. White strikes back in the center and wins.
Chess Help - The deadly Chess Rook
The end position - White moves but cannot avoid Checkmate

Chess Help
In Chess sometimes surprising moves occur. Here you can replay a game that is played with the Nimzo Indian
Defense which is a very good opening that you should study.
White is playing very well up to one point where he loses concentration and makes a big mistake (13.b4??). It is
remarkable that White makes just one mistake only and loses outright in a brilliant fashion.
Black employs a straightforward setup planting a strong knight to e4 into the center and protecting it with f5 and the
bishop b7.
Based on this knight outpost at e4, Black organizes an attack against the White kingside that is only winning because
White is making a fatal mistake playing 13.b4.
If there are different colored Bishops, then Attack!
If different colored Bishops are suddenly on the board after trading pieces you have to organize an attack running on the
same square color as your bishop. At move 15 White brings his bishop to a strong position (15.Bd5) in the center, aiming
at the black kingside. He intends to use all his remaining pieces to launch an attack against the black king.
This attack will be based upon the strong position of his white colored bishop at d5 that has no counterpart as
Blacks bishop runs on black squares only.
Get this!
The attack runs foremost on white colors because the bishop at d5 controls white squares! Black will not be able to stop
a white-colored attack as he has no white-colored bishop!
So in chess watch all bishops and understand that if a situation of different-colored-bishops arises, you have to bring
your own bishop to a stong center square where it will shoot at the opponents king. After that organize an attack with
your remaining pieces (and use your king if necessary) on the same square-color as your bishop.
Chess Strategies to win against the Spanish
Opening
These Chess Strategies to win against the Spanish Opening are my favorite way to beat the spanish. This opening line of
the Cordel Defense is almost unknown and never played. Nobody plays Qf6 which is a move discovered by the strong
chess software Fritz.
I researched this set up further using the strongest computer software available and found this opening line playable and
quite deadly if your opponent is not prepared. This Qf6 variation might be a nice surprize weapon to make some points.
You should try this setup against somebody who likes to play the spanish often. It is very likely that he doesn't know this
Qf6 setup. You probably know it better than he does anyway if you replay more games of the Qf6 Chess Variation.
Memorize this Position

Lesson V - "How to do your Best in Chess"
by GM Igor Smirnov
How to do your Best in Chess.
Hello,
To be honest, I intended to be on the beach today. But, it is raining here, so I am at home writing new useful information
for you.
Have you ever thought why some players get good progress in chess, while others dont? Obviously it is not from
a lack of educational materials. Nowadays there is an overabundance of easily accessible information. Of course most of
the materials are bad, but there are some high-quality ones.
Here is the answer: your PSYCHOLOGICAL properties bear influence on your chess progress. Most strong players know it
and improve their psychological skills regularly. For example, I know that a lot of top players have a personal
psychologist: Kasparov, Karpov, Topalov, Ponomariov and many others.
Certainly they dont make it publicly known. You may wonder how I know their secrets? Well, it is a long story and I will
not write all the details, but you may trust me (by the way, I worked with the same psychologist as Ponomariov some
time ago).
-------------------------------------------------------->
Perhaps you would like to know some examples of how psychology brings influence on chess. Here they are:
y It determines whether you play for a win against stronger opponents or only hope for a draw.
y How effective your chess study is.
y Can you concentrate well enough during a game.
y Can you withstand competition and long psychological pressure.
y Are you nervous during a game?
y And much more...
We may arrive at a conclusion, that psychology determines whether you can do your best during a game or not. Thats
why it is so important.
-------------------------------------------------------->
We have discussed the champions psychology in the course "The Grandmaster's Secrets". Now I would like to give you a
few more recommendations.
First, you have to expect things of yourself before you can do them. For example, you have to believe that you CAN beat
a stronger opponent. I mean REALLY believe. This will improve your winning mentality, which is very important.
Here I have a question for you: Why some players have a champions psychology, while others don't? I want you to
think about it.
You will get my answer, but your independent reflection will bear greater influence on you.
===============================>
Also I have the next chess task for you.

White: Ke1, Qd1, Ra1, Rh1, Bc4, Bf4, Nd4, Ne4, pawns: a4, b2, c2, f2, g2, h2.
Black: Kg8, Qd8, Ra8, Rf8, Bc8, Be7, Nb8, pawns: a7, b7, c6, d5, f7, g7, h7.
Whites turn.
Of course, you should not use computer assistance. Test yourself. I will give you a little hint: you should use a
recommendation from the 3rd lesson of the course "How to Beat Titled Players".
You will find the answer further down on this page.
-------------------------------------------------------->
The thing I dont like in chess is the way you have to sit and pretend to think., - says one of my friends. I hope it is not
about you. Thats why last time I asked you the question:Why do some players have a champions psychology, while
others don't?.
I hope that you answered this question for yourself. People remember their own ideas much better and perform them
much easier. Thats why I didnt give you the answer from the beginning.
Here is what I think about it. Actually it is a very simple question. Why do some players have a certain set of
knowledge/skills, while others dont? This is because they have trained these skills.
Therefore, if you want to improve your psychological skills and to form a champions psychology you should train it.
You should regularly spend some time and efforts on this aspect of your chess.
---------------------------------------------------->
I guess you want to know what exactly you should do regarding this. Lets first realize what the problem is. Why didnt
we form a champions psychology in the first place?
Psychological research states that people remember bad things 11 times better than good things. And we remember it
11 times longer too.
When you are faced with problems, you have to make an effort to solve them. It affects you emotionally. Sometimes we
have to stay in such a situation for a long time. Thats why we remember it so well.
Thats why it breaks our self-confidence. Thats why so much players dont even try to beat stronger opponents (by only
hoping for a draw). Thats why so many players dont REALLY try to win the tournament (agreeing for a draw in the last
rounds and getting 5-10 places).
---------------------------------------------------->
Now you know what the problem is. So the question you should think about is How to solve this problem?. How you
can train a champions psychology? Please, think about it.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=>
Here is the answer for the task I gave you last time.

White: Ke1, Qd1, Ra1, Rh1, Bc4, Bf4, Nd4, Ne4, pawns: a4, b2, c2, f2, g2, h2.
Black: Kg8, Qd8, Ra8, Rf8, Bc8, Be7, Nb8, pawns: a7, b7, c6, d5, f7, g7, h7.
Whites turn.
Two white pieces are attacked and it seems like they must retreat. However in the game white played 1.Nb5, putting the
3rd piece under an attack! This is actually the best move, which gives white an advantage.
Now white is threatening Nc7. 1cb gives white much more active position after 2.Bd5.
Thats why black played 1Bb4 2.c3-Ba5.

Here is the next task for you. What should white do now? You should still use the technique from the 3rd lesson of the
course "How to Beat Titled Players". Then it will be very simple.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=->
In the next issue I will finally give you all of the answers :)
Regards,
GM Igor Smirnov
In the previous issue we have been discussing a champions psychology. Ive told you that our brain automatically
focuses more attention on problems, on negative experience.
Thus we came to the conclusion, that you should consciously train your brain and form a champions psychology. So how
can you do it?
------------------------------------------------------->
Here is one powerful recommendation about it.
1. Collect your best games and save them into a separate database. It may include not only your tournament
games, but training games, blitz games etc. Choose the games which are really impressive in your opinion.
2. Look over these games sometimes. It is especially important to do it before your tournament game. It will bring you
to your peak psychological condition.
Though this recommendation seems simple, it has a great value and a strong impact on your results. Just try it first, and
only then state your opinion.
You may share your best games with me and others. Just send your best game/games to me and I will probably publish
it. Thus you will inspire other chess fans and yourself as well! (Modesty is a bad quality for a sportsman! :) )
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=->
In the previous issue I gave you a task. Were you able to find the right move there?

White: Ke1, Qd1, Ra1, Rh1, Bc4, Bf4, Nb5, Ne4, pawns: a4, b2, c3, f2, g2, h2.
Black: Kg8, Qd8, Ra8, Rf8, Ba5, Bc8, Nb8, pawns: a7, b7, c6, d5, f7, g7, h7.
Whites turn.
In the game white played 1.Bd5-cd 2.Ng3. Though he won the game in the end, it was not the best decision.
Lets look again at the starting position of this example. 3 whites pieces are under an attack. So your first impulse is to
retreat or to do something else about it. However it is your emotional impulse. If you stay calm and confident, you will
realize that there is no danger here actually.
Thats why white should simply castle 1.0-0!
After 1cb 2.Bd5 white is dominating.
1dc 2.Nbd6 gives white very active position also.
1de 2.Nd6 is completely bad for black.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=->
Thus you can see that there were no reasons to be afraid of blacks threats. It is a good example of how psychology
brings influence on your chess moves and how it is important to form a champions psychology.
Regards,
GM Igor Smirnov
Final Reflections on Education in Chess by
GM Igor Smirnov
"Final Reflections on Education in Chess" by Chess teacher GM Igor Smirnov
Good day,
Recently I looked over my chess books and found an interesting article of Emanuel Lasker.
It calls "Final Reflections on Education in Chess".
I've decided to share it with you, because it contains some useful ideas about chess training.
The article was written almost a century ago, but it's still 100% actual.
====================================
"Education in chess goes on in a most haphazard fashion. Most chess players slowly climb to a certain rather low level
and stay there.
Now let us consider the efforts made to attain this result: a literature of many thousands volumes, hundreds, maybe
thousands, of chess columns in widely read newspapers and magazines, lectures, tournaments etc - truly an imposing
expenditure.
We have learned how to organize manufacturing plants, but not our general education, our mental work. I believe I am
safe in voicing the opinion that our efforts in chess attain only a hundredth percent of their rightful result.
Education in chess has to be an education in independent thinking and judging. Chess must not be memorized, simply
because it is not important enough.
You should keep in mind no names, nor numbers, nor isolated incidents, not even results, but only methods (Smirnov:
this is what I call "principles" in my courses). The method is plastic. It is applicable in every situation. The method
produces numerous results."
=====================================
The years have gone, but nothing has changed.
It is not enough (and even not necessary) to train chess 8 hours a day. It's important to make RIGHT (effective) things.
And it's not necessary to collect a lot of pointless knowledge. Instead we should use the principles ("methods") of a chess
game.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=->
Here is a little task for you:

White: Kg1, Qg4, Ra1, Re1, Bc3, pawns: a2, b2, c2, f2, g2, h2.
Black: Ke8, Qb5, Ra8, Rg8, Bc8, Be7, pawns: a7, b7, c7, d7, f7, g7, h7
White's turn.
You should find the best move and calculate all the appropriate variations.
The note: it makes NO sense to send your solution to me
(I know it already :) ).
---------------------
It was the calculation task mainly. Check the solution yourself below
The Most Powerful Ideas in Chess
I am glad to present you the new lesson. This issues topic is:
The most powerful ideas in chess
Here we will talk about What are the most powerful ideas in chess? and What works best in chess?.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=->
However, first Id like to discuss another question. What does a man do in a critical situation? He/she makes the
SIMPLEST and the most AUTOMATIZED action. If someone has no automatized actions for such situations he usually
freezes with fear and does nothing at all (or panics).
Why do I ask you about critical situations? It is because chess is a critical situation also. You have to make a decision
in only a few minutes (sometimes in only a few seconds) and you are under constant psychological pressure (you are
getting nervous about the result of a game etc).
So what do you need to have for a successful chess game? Again, you need some SIMPLE rules and you need to
train them and to AUTOMATIZE them.
Ill give you another analogy. Masters of martial arts train 5 actions 1000 times (and NOT the other way round!).
Many chess players prefer to collect many different rules about chess (especially puzzling complex ideas). Such players
purchase hundreds (sometimes thousands) of different educational chess materials. They study all this stuff, copy out
the rules to an exercise-book (computer) and so on. Thus they practise 1000 ideas 5 times.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=->
Ok, I know that you want to know many recondite ideas anyway :) No problem, I have plenty of them. I do not want to
make this issue endless, therefore, lets choose only 1 topic. Lets say a defense. Here are some rules for you:
y Don't lose courage. Otherwise you will continue making mistakes.
y A tactical blunder is a consequence of a bad strategic situation.
y Calculate variations very accurately, because one tactical error can lead directly to a loss.
y Constantly make problems for your opponent. Protect each weak pawn and each weak square as long as you can.
When an attacker encounters tough resistance, he starts getting nervous and makes mistakes.
y Exchange pieces to reduce the power of an opponents attack.
y It is better to be protected from a threat by using inactive pieces. If a protection has to be assigned to an active piece,
it is necessary to pay attention not to overload it. Otherwise it will not be able to execute all of the functions assigned to
it.
y Detect the main attacking pieces and neutralize them.
y Detect the opponents plan/threat and prevent it.
y Detect your main weakness and strengthen them.
y Take your king away from a dangerous zone.
y Try to change the character of a position sharply (e.g. sacrifice something). It will be difficult for an attacker to change
his mind, so it puts psychological problems before the opponent.
y Dont use more pieces than necessary for defense. Otherwise you will play too passively and will not be able to start a
counterttack.
y The king is also a piece and it can protect itself (at least Steinitz thought so :) ).
y Your opponent wants to win without risk. Therefore you should just sit calm and do nothing. Force your opponent to
start making complications. This will make him feel nervous.
y Dont move pawns, when you are under an attack.
Lets stop here. It seems like even one topic can be endless. :)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now Id like to give you a task. It is a very useful task, so I strongly recommend that you perform it.
1) Print the rules about defense (see above).
2) Play a game against a computer.
It is better to set an attacking style for a computer (many programs have this option). When computer starts attacking
you look at the printed rules and find the best move in your game.
3) Remember the result of this game and your impressions. You may e-mail me your impressions (Ill be glad to receive
them)
Most Powerful Ideas in Chess (Part 2) by GM
Igor Smirnov
THE MOST POWERFUL IDEAS IN CHESS
(part-2)
In the previous issue we were talking about the most powerful ideas in chess.
Ive told you why many players dont have chess progress despite their continuous trainings. It happens because they try
to learn many complex ideas and cant apply them practically afterwards. That is why reading numerous books often
doesnt help.
Last time I asked you to perform one task (to play against a computer and to use the defensive ideas I gave you). Those
who tried to perform this task found that it is almost impossible to do it practically. Here are some feedbacks:
==============================>
I did calculate but did so wrongly, also the position was complex and I felt paralyzed by the complications that arose on
the board.
==============================>
It's so difficult to find good endings to couter the computer.
==============================>
I understood which ideas I used (from your list) only after the game :) (Smirnov: It means that you used the rules
you are familiar with (already!). Thus you didnt use the rules I gave you.)
==============================>
I received a lot of feedback and I can say that all the people werent able to apply the defensive ideas from the previous
lesson. Some people just used a few ideas they were familiar with; other people just lost the game. What does it mean?
It means that the usual way of chess learning is ineffective.Chess players try to read books to collect some abstruse
rules. Ive collected these rules already (to save your time) and gave them to you. Even after that you were not able to
apply them.
Here we come to another question: So what do you really need? I gave you the answer in the previous issue. You
need to have some SIMPLE PRACTICAL rules and you need to AUTOMATIZE them.Applying the same rule as
martial arts masters, you should train 5 actions 1000 times. Then you will really automatize the necessary skills.
Perhaps you are wondering what are the simple practical rules? Here is one example: After every move of your
opponent ask yourself what is he going to do next?. I told you this rule in the lecture How to Prevent
Blunders?.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=->
Some players (weak players) think that such simple rules are for amateur players, not serious, obvious, they know
it already and so on. In fact a rule HAS TO BE SIMPLE, otherwise you will not be able to apply it. Also you do NOT need
100 rules, because no one can think about 100 things at the same time.
Thats why the last rule I gave you is much more powerful than the whole list of the rules from the previous issue.
Thats why I mainly include simple practical advice in my complete chess courses. These are the simple rules on the
Grandmasters level (and there are no inconsistencies here!).
Here is some customer feedback.
==============================>
Dear GM IGOR,
I am quiet happy to mention that your video of "Grandmaster's Secret" helps me lot on understanding the Chess.
Really, I am very much clear how to think in the Strategic & Tactical position variations. The 2 vidoes of "How to play the
Chess game" is very much useful. Mainly I can say the tactical video (lesson 1.2) is much more clear and easy to apply
in our tactical positions
As you said , I too was collecting lot of Chess books. It's true that pointless knowledge never helps.
Now I plan to go for your "How to Beat GM" material.
with more confident in Chess
Siva
Malaysia.
=============================>
Yes, we are planning to study your video courses. Even my son's ICC coach told me that you have enlightened his way
of improving chess, and rekindled his love for chess. Hong Min
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
hey GM!
not replying does not mean i am ungrateful to your help......its aiding me in the right track..at times i do not know why i
delay my self to purchase one of your courses, but hey i am so confused to which i should get first?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I receive similar questions very often, so here is my answer. Generally I created separate courses about different topics.
Thus you may study any course. However, I recommend you to start from the course "The Grandmaster's Secrets"
This is the most essential course, which will give you a good base for great progress.
My dogs are waiting for a walk, so I have to go now :)
Regards,
GM Igor Smirnov
Why do People play Chess? - by GM Igor Smirnov
Why Do People Play Chess?
Really, why? I mean its not necessary for humans life; it doesnt produce any goods etc.
So why do you play chess? (I bet you didnt expect such a question :) )
Of course there are many possible answers. Ill give you a few strong reasons.
--------------------------->
How to Slow Down an Aging?
Millions dollars have been spent on scientific research of this question. They discovered one main (the most powerful)
means.
The main organ we all have is a BRAIN. Therefore we should care about it first of all. The main method to keep your
brain in a good shape is a MENTAL ACTIVITY.
Active mental work slows down an aging on 40-60%! As usual the greatest solution is the simplest one :)
This brings us to the next questions:
How Often do You Think?
Always? Well, its right, but its not what I mean.
Your brain is an extremely powerful device. Its much more perfect than any computer or anything else. The quantity of
neurons in your brain is similar to the quantity of stars on the sky (outer space)!
So when do you really Think? How often do you solve problems which your brain deserves?
----------------------
You wake up in the morning, go to the bathroom, take your breakfast etc. You perform all these operations mechanically
(without thinking really). If you make similar work again and again, there is NO need to use your brain also.
"" Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an
international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week."
George Bernard Shaw
And this is not a joke!
Chess Game is a Great Solution!
While playing chess you have to think constantly. You solve hard mental tasks over and over again. A time limitation
forces your brain to work even harder!
This training improves your mental skills, your thinking process.
This will bear positive influence on your life in general!
y Physical exercises improve your body.
y Mental exercises improve your brain.
Since we are homo sapience, a brain activity should be more important for us :)
Chess Improves Your Psychological Skills.
This is the 2nd important argument for playing chess.
Chess game/tournament creates highly competitive situation for you. You need to have a strong character in such
circumstances.
"I developed my strong character by using chess."
A.Alekhine.
---------------------------->
Chess gives you a constant and objective feedback (your results, rating, your final standing in a tournament). It shows
you clearly your psychological (mental) weaknesses. Therefore this gives you great possibilities for self-improvement (as
a chess player, and as a personality).
In my new course I explained some important principles of human brain work. You will know how to digest new
information easily and how to get new useful skills. Also you will know how to do it in the most efficient way!
By using this knowledge you will speed up your chess progress and will enjoy greater results.
------
Regards,
GM Igor Smirnov
Chess Talent by Grandmaster Igor Smirnov
Hi,
In this issue Id like to discuss chess TALENT.
You know I receive lots of e-mails from my pupils, customers etc. Quite often people write something like:
I think I have not enough talent to become 2200/2300 player.
Ive always been wondering what you mean. Could you formulate/explain it clearly?
Let me try to clarify your idea. It looks like this:
-----------------
There is a group of the best, dominant people. They are better than others by default. And there is a mass of seconds
people (you are inside of this mass). This mass is doomed from the start. Their efforts will not change the situation
anyway.
-----------------
Is that what you mean? (By the way, its a fascist ideology.) I guess no. Then let me give you my definition of a chess
talent:
You say chess talent when you see another person, who plays chess better than you; and you cant explain
why it is so.
Am I right? :)
----------------------------->
If you cant explain this situation, Ill help you. Ive trained a lot of different pupils from different countries, from 6 to 65
years old, from poor students till one sheikh.
I can tell you this: all these pupils had pretty similar problems. The solutions were quite universal as well. So lets NOT
overestimate a value of chess talent.
Perhaps you know what Einstein said about it:
"Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work..."
Your chess progress depends on your training (mainly on HOW you train).
If you trained incorrectly during many years, then your progress is quite little. However, its NOT a matter of talent.
------------------------------->
I gave you A LOT of feedback from my other pupils. You can find it in every page of my web-site; I publish it in e-mail
lessons regularly etc. Thus you know many success stories. Do you really think that all those people have some unique
chess talent? :) Dont you think there are too many geniuses around you? :)
Perhaps not everyone can be a world champion. Here you really need chess talent and favorable circumstances.
However, everyone can reach at least 2300-2400 rating. Its just a matter of a right training.
Many people have done it already, and you CAN do the same.
------------------------------->
I explained how to train effectively in the course:
"Self-taught Grandmaster.
Also it contains a detailed training program. This will bring you on the right track and will lead to high chess
achievements.
I have received some feedback about the last course already. Perhaps itll be interesting for you.
===============================
Hi,
I cant resist to buy your last course. Your ideas are very new in chess teaching and I want to compliment you for the
great work you made! The course has also a very nice graphical design.
and (concrete techniques are hidden) to change habit are strong ideas for chess from comportamental psychology
(PNL!) and no one that teach chess have them in his bag.
Best regards from Italy.
Giulio
===============================
Hi,
Just finished watching the video lessons of your new course Self-taught GM. Once again a great work on your part!
Thank you very much and more power!
Archie R.
===============================
It is 3 in the morning and I am still reading the new chess course. You are very good in writing and I really enjoy this all!
I hear for first time about (techniques are hidden). Really impressive!
The other really important thing with this course is that it gives to us the theory and the knowledge, which we need to
learn in different levels. The difficult think is not to find the material. The difficult thing is what and when we must learn
something.
Aggelos K.
Chess Tactics - Learn to see Chess
Combinations
Chess Tactics trains your mind to see tactical solutions to your positional chess problems.

Chess tutorials will help you to understand that tactics in chess is short-term and should support your long-term Chess
Strategy.
Chess tactics is the use of combinative motifs to improve your position in gaining material, getting strong attacking
chances or giving checkmate or stalemate.
The elements of tactics are: double attack, discovered attack, pinning, interception, blocking, overloading, intermediate
moves, deflection and decoying.
Tactics uses space and time. Time is measured in moves. Space is measured in squares. Tactics tries to achieve a short-
termed objective. Positions that are rich in tactical variations are called tactical positions.
I recommend Polgar - 5334 Problems, Combinations & Games. This book is written by the father of the Polgar Sisters,
who became all grandmasters. It is one of the best chess books on Tactics, which organizes 5,334 unique instructional
positions! This book is widely known and has excellent reviews!
Compared to tactics, chess strategy is long-termed. Tactical combinations are used to reach long-term strategic goals.
Always consider first what your strategic line of play is. After that apply tactical operations to support your long-term
strategy.
If you do not consider your long-term plan (strategy) then you might apply tactical operations on the wrong side of the
chess-board which might split up your forces. Or you are chasing pawns or running after irrelevant tactical combinations
which have nothing to do with your long-term strategy.


ChessMonster by ExpertChess
Many tee designs available at zazzle

If you don't want to run around in chess like
a blind duck then study the following chess
lessons.
Destroy the Defender
Often you have to destroy the defender that is holding the position together or defends the opponents kingside.
The Pinning of Chess Pieces
Study the pinning of chess pieces. Pinning happens very often and can be deadly.
Fight the Pin
Defend against the Pin! See it coming on time.

Chess Photos and Chess Posters

See the Danger!
See the dangerous threats if it's your turn to move and do something about it on time. Don't run blind into the open
knife. It is like going to the dentist. Get your teeth checked before they get holes, not after they got big holes already.
Then it is too late. Chess is Life, remember?
Strong mixed Cocktail
Another challenge for you my friend! Things are getting a bit harder now.

Visualize Chess Positions
In the next chess tutorials please try to visualize the variations in your mind. This is hard but necessary to train your
visual abilities. Take your time because they are pretty difficult.
The Discovered Attack
The hidden Chess Sacrifice
The Deflection


Tactical Positions and Combinations
1001 Tactical Positions to study from Fred Reinfeld

Chess Tactics from Claude Kaber
Tactical Positions and Solutions

Grandmaster Checkmates Collection from Tom McCormick
Grandmaster Checkmates
Learn Chess Openings Fast - This is a fast
way to cover up all you need
How to learn Chess Openings fast - Suggestions for an easy to learn opening repertoire for beginners in chess and
intermediate players.
Many Chess players are overwhelmed by Openings I and Openings II. I want to pioneer this:
y Beginners and intermediate players need a solid repertoire which does not lose the game in the first 10 moves or so
and that is easy to learn and understand without memorizing 200 pages of analysis.
y Working people have only very few hours a week to spend on chess so they need to make it count.

The above wish was a email request from one of my website visitors and I try to get into this problem. Chess is just so
complex and it is hard to know which openings you should learn as a beginner.
I realize that many people must work and have not much time to devote it to chess, so I finally will show you the fastest
possible way to cover up your opening needs. You learn just a few - easy to learn - and very selected chess openings and
apply them all the time.
I discovered this method of selecting and learning just some specific openings many years ago, when I had the same
problem and did't want to learn a lot of opening theory. So I was searching for ways to restrict my opening play to as
few systems as possible and I finally found the openings where this is possible.
These systems will cover all you need. No matter if you have White or Black, you restrict your play to the openings I will
show you.
This is in fact the fastest way to cover up all opening problems immediately for beginners. I played these openings
myself for years to save time.
They are not often played by chess grandmasters. So what? You are not going to become a grandmaster.
I understand, you just want to learn chess openings fast, as your time is limited.
My approach to your opening problems will save you a tremendous amount of time, in fact, it will save you countless
hours of opening study.
Why?
Because you restrict yourself rigorously to a few selected openings.

Let's start.....
Learn first the Colle Opening as White.
Just read and replay the Colle Opening then come back here...When you have White you always play the Colle System,
starting with 1.d4! and that's it. Never play 1.e4, 1.c4 or anything else...unless you want to study opening theory for the
rest of your life.

You have WHITE
Memorize this Position

y The idea is to get your dead bishop at c1 out! You need to push the e-pawn to e4!
y BEFORE that, you need to trade pawns first playing dxc to avoid that Black will make you an isolated pawn at d4
playing cxd4.
y If Black plays cxd early then you recapture with your e-pawn because after that your dead c1-bishop can come out
easily after you moved your d2-knight later on. Just worry about your bishop and bring it out, that's all.
Memorize this Position
Black has traded pawns early ( cxd ) and White is happy about this as his dead bishop at c1 is NOT dead anymore, and it
can get out later on. (see marked line)
Thanks a lot Black for helping me to solve my problems...


There is a deeper reason why I recommend the Colle for White. You can enter a Modern Stonewall Dutch Position with it
when Black develops slowly, playing b6, Bb7 and neglecting to control e5 immediately playing Nc6 or Nd7.
In this case you jump with your knight to e5 early and protect it with f4! This is a Modern Stonewall Dutch position called
Stonewall Attack, because it is a Modern Stonewall played with the white pieces.
Now you can use the knowledge you have gained playing the Modern Stonewall Dutch as Black. This saves you a lot of
time again. (see position below)


Just memorize the set up of the white pieces. Look at the bishop at d2 which is on its way to h4 (play Be1, then first
develop your knight Nd2, then Bh4 if possible). Make sure you get this bishop out like this or play it to b2.

Get Books/DVD Colle System - Click here!

You have BLACK
and WHITE plays 1.d4
In this case you always play the Dutch Bd6 Variation! There you have a similar bishop problem like in the Colle System
above.
Memorize the Black Set Up!

Replay games of the Modern Stonewall Dutch Defense
I played this game myself in a chess club. The advanced player is Black. He makes meaningless pawn moves at the
queenside and White organizes a typical Stonewall Attack and runs over the black kingside. Memorize this typical
procedure and you will win some games with it.
If you have the Black Chess Pieces and White plays d4
If you have the black pieces and White plays not 1.e4 but 1.d4, then you can play the following chess openings as Black.
The Queens Gambit
The main variation is:1.d2-d4 d7-d5 2.c2-c4
see Overview
White puts pressure on the center immediately.



Disclosure: Compensated Affiliate Links
Books/DVD

After that it branches out into the following chess opening moves:
2.... e7-e6 (Queens Gambit Declined) Get Books/DVD
2.... c7-c6 (Slav Defense) Get Books/DVD
2.... d5xc4 (Queens Gambit Accepted) Get Books/DVD
2.... Sb8-c6 (Chigorin Defense) Get Books/DVD

Those opening moves are considered as independent opening systems. I recommend to you to study the above Opening
Chess Moves of the Queens Gambit, except the Chigorin Defense, which is dubious, but can be applied as a surprise
weapon.
Don't bother to learn the following chess variations. They don't appear to be good chess openings, are seldom played
and are played only on lower levels of chess.
Seldom occuring:
2.... e7-e5 (Albins Countergambit)
2.... c7-c5 (Symmetrical Variation)
2.... Sg8-f6 (Marshall Defense)
2.... Lc8-f5 (Baltic Defense)
2.... g6 (Alekhine Variation)
Keep in mind that the move order of opening chess moves can change in practical games
Queens Gambit Declined - Study It!
The Queens Gambit Declined is classified as a closed opening characterized by the moves:
1. d4 d5
2. c4 e6



Black does not capture the c4-pawn but builds up slowly a solid position, keeps control of the vital center square e4 and
develops first the kingside and castles. This opening is highly respected as a solid defense for Black against the move d4.
The drawback is that the bishop on c8 is locked in. Black should try to bring this bishop back to live, exchange it for
another piece to get rid of it. If he does not succeed to solve this problem he will sit on a dead bishop in the endgame.
The main variations of the Queens Gambit declined are:
Tarrasch Defense 3.Sb1-c3 c7-c5
Improved Tarrasch Defense 3.Sb1-c3 Sg8-f6 4.Sg1-f3 c7-c5
Cambridge Springs Defense 3.Sb1-c3 Sg8-f6 4.Lc1-g5 Sb8-d7 5.e2-e3 c7-c6 6.Sg1-f3 Dd8-a5
Exchange Variation 3. Sb1-c3 Sg8-f6 4. c4xd5 e6xd5
Bf4-System 3. Sb1-c3 Sg8-f6 4. Sg1-f3 Lf8-e7 5. Lc1-f4
Orthodox Defense 3. Sb1-c3 Sg8-f6 4. Lc1-g5 Lf8-e7 5. e2-e3 0-0 6. Sg1-f3 Sb8-d7
Tartakower Defense 3. Sb1-c3 Sg8-f6 4. Lc1-g5 Lf8-e7 5. e2-e3 0-0 6. Sg1-f3 h7-h6 7. Lg5-h4 b7-b6
Lasker Defense 3. Sb1-c3 Sg8-f6 4. Lc1-g5 Lf8-e7 5. e2-e3 0-0 6. Sg1-f3 h7-h6 7. Lg5-h4 Sf6-e4
Westphalia-Variation 3. Sb1-c3 Sg8-f6 4. Lc1-g5 Sb8-d7 5. Sg1-f3 Lf8-b4
Vienna Variation 3. Sb1-c3 Sg8-f6 4. Sg1-f3 d5xc4 5. e2-e4 Lf8-b4 6. Lc1-g5 c7-c5
Ragosin-Variante 3. Sb1-c3 Sg8-f6 4. Sg1-f3 Lf8-b4
Semi-Slav Defense 3. Sb1-c3 c7-c6 The main variation is here the Meran Variation, which is considered as a good
opening for Black.
Moskow Variation 3. Sg1-f3 Sg8-f6 4. Lc1-g5 h7-h6
Hey, don't worry about all the names, who cares? Just make a good move.
When you are a beginner play the Cambridge Springs Defense for a start, as this chess opening is pretty
straightforward and easy to understand.
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Sb1-c3 Sg8-f6 4.Lc1-g5 Sb8-d7 5.e2-e3 c7-c6 6.Sg1-f3 Dd8-a5
Go to Cambridge Springs Defense.
ueens Gambit Declined / Exchange Variation
Learn the Queens Gambit Declined / Exchange Variation as this is an important opening where vital chess strategies can
be studied. Especially when you are a d4 player you must know this opening well.
This is a closed opening system where the positional knowledge and feeling and the positional abilities of a player are
more important than theoretical and tactical considerations which arise after playing 1.e4 as first move. In this case
more forced lines arise which makes it necessary to learn a lot of theorie and memorize a lot more chess variations. This
is the reason why players like Korchnoi like to play 1.d4 ( or 1.c4) most of the time.
My friend, if you have a bad memory and don't like to learn a lot of forced theoretical variations then you should become
a d4 player and study something like this opening here. Just grasp the positional ideas and apply them in your next
game.
In the group of top Grandmasters with a rating of 2600 Elo and higher more than 70% of them are playing as first move
1.d4! Even Kasparov plays 90% of his games 1.d4. Please consider this.


For White
You can castle long or short. This depends on the position of course. You must evaluate the time factor. Is Black able
to attack your king faster or will you be able to attack the black king faster when you castle long?
The safe center makes it possible to attack with pawns on queenside or kingside. If you castle long you let run
your pawns on the kingside, if you castle short you might let them run on the queenside and play the Minority Attack.
Meran Variation - Chess Instructions
These are chess instructions for the Meran Variation which is a variation of the Semi-Slav Defense (a variation of
the Queen's Gambit Declined)
First moves are:
1. d4 d5
2. c4 e6
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. Nf3 c6 (Semi-Slav)
With the move 4...c6 Black threatens to take the white pawn on c4 and protect it with ...b5 afterwards. Keep in mind
that the move order can change.
We come to the Meran Variation if White plays now 5.e3 to protect the c-pawn, after which follows 5...Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4
7.Bxc4 b5 (usually 8.Bd3).



The Meran is the main variation of the Semi-Slav. It is a very solid opening for Black and highly recommended. The
indian super-grandmaster Anand won twice with the Meran as black against Kramnik in the World Chess Championship
2008!
Black's last move 7...b5 is winning a tempo to make room for placing his bishop to b7. Later on c5 will follow and the
bishop will exercise powerful control along the long diagonal a8-h1. Black plans to expand at the queenside and keeping
an eye on the center at the same time. White plays e4 to expand in the center and to drive the f6-knight away by
pushing the e-pawn to e5. When the f6-knight is driven away the black king has no knight protection anymore and can
be attacked more easily.
Cambridge Springs Defense - Easy to learn for Beginners
If you are a beginner in chess play the Cambridge Springs Defense for a start as this chess opening is pretty
straightforward and easy to understand.
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Sb1-c3 Sg8-f6 4.Lc1-g5 Sb8-d7 5.e2-e3 c7-c6 6.Sg1-f3 Dd8-a5

Hint: You can play this opening when the white bishop on c1 comes out and moves to g5!Just watch the bishop where it
goes.
Black wants to play Bb4 and Ne4 to put pressure on the white knight on c3.
White can fall into this trap and loses a piece.




Or White can fall into this trap: 7.Nd2 Bb4 8.Qc2 0-0 9.Bd3? dxc4! (the white bishop on g5 is not protected! If Bxc4 you
take Qxg5 and win the bishop!) 10.Bxf6 cxd3! (Zwischenzug!) 11.Qxd3 Nxf6 and you are a piece up and should win. (see
diagramm)


Here you play 9...dxc4! and win a piece!
It is important for Black to bring his inactive bishop on c8 out into the game. For that reason Black usually plays the
pawn move e6-e5. This opens the diagonal c8-h3 for the bishop to come out later on. (see next diagramm)

Here Black has just played e6-e5. This makes it possible to bring the bishop out along the c8-h3 diagonal.
When you replay the following chess games please observe where the black bishop goes and what it does. This will
speed up your learning process. You might even memorize the story of each black piece, what it does and where it goes.


The Slav Defense - solid Chess Opening
The Slav Defense is a good and solid chess opening for Black. The Slav was played by the world champions Euwe,
Botvinnik and Smyslov and played by the top grandmasters Anand, Kramnik, Ivanchuk, Lautier and Short.
The theory of the Slav has grown and became quite extensive.
It starts with the moves:
1. d2-d4 d7-d5
2. c2-c4 c7-c6
It is classified as closed opening. In the Slav Defense the diagonal c8-h3 will be kept open to be able to develop the
bishop on c8 to f5 or g4 which would otherwise be locked in if you play e6 instead of c6. Black prepares to take the c-
pawn (dxc) and protect it with b5.
Consider the following variations:
The Exchange Variation 3. c4xd5 c6xd5
If white exchanges the pawns he has given away his opening advantage. The position is even. For that reason the
exchange variation is seldom played in grandmaster chess.
Study this straightforward and logical approach.

The Open Slav:
3. Sg1-f3 Sg8-f6 4. Sb1-c3
Attention: Don't play now 4. .. Lc8-f5? as this will be refuted by 5.c4xd5 cxd5 6. Dd1-b3 b7-b6 7. e2-e4!

Correct is:
4....d5xc4 5.a2-a4 Lc8-f5 6.e2-e3 e7-e6 7.Lf1xc4 Lf8-b4 8.0-0 White has just a small space advantage.
If you are a beginner I do recommend the chess variation below for Black as it is a simple setup and all your pieces are
out in the open and working. Study the games and try to understand how the game is played after the opening is
finished.



1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6
3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4
5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6
7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.0-0 0-0
The Queens Gambit Accepted starts with the moves:
1.d4 d5
2.c4 dxc4
Black can change the move order and capture the pawn later on, but this leads to the same position. If Black does not
capture the pawn this opening is called the Queen's Gambit Declined.
White has not given the pawn away for free as Black cannot hold on to it anyway but must give it back later.
Black has given up control of the square e4 with 2. ... dxc4 early, so White will try to gain space in the center.
Black must be careful not to get overrun in the center and should weaken the white pawn formation later on by
exchanging a white pawn with the moves c5 and then cxd which will create an even position.
Black should try for queenside play to create counterchances.

Chigorin Defense - active Chess Opening
The Chigorin Defense originates from the russian chess grandmaster Mikhail Chigorin. It begins with the moves:
1. d4 d5
2. c4 Nc6
In the Chigorin Black does not support the center pawn at d5 which is attacked, but developes a knight instead. This
blocks the c-pawn as the knight is placed in front of it.
It was believed that 3.c4xd5 is good for White because Black had to answer Dd8xd5 and exposed his queen too early
which got chased around by enemy pieces.
Considering all this, Black does violate certain chess principles with that, but in return Black gets active piece play which
might prove dangerous for White if he doesn't know the Chigorin well enough. This opening is hard to handle if you never
played it before as White. You can easily go wrong and lose.
This chess defense is a very unusual opening and leads often to a sharp tactical game in the center.
It is not quite clear if this opening is sound but improvements has been found for both sides and it appears to be
playable for Black. This opening is usually not played among chess grandmasters, only grandmaster Alexander
Morozevich plays it and has written a book about it. Get Books/DVD
Other solid Chess Opening Moves
Learn first the Opening Chess Moves of the Queens Gambit above. After that you can study theQueens-Indian,
the Gruenfeld-Indian, the Benoni-Defense, the English-Opening (as Black) and the Colle-System (as Black).

Queens Indian Defence

The Queens Indian Defense begins with the moves:
1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 e6
3. Nf3 b6



White does not control the center square e4 with his move 3.Nf3 and does not threaten to play 4.e4 and so Black has
time for the move 3...b6 to prepare 4...Bb7 which controls the vital squares e4 and d5.
Black tries to control the center with pieces instead of pawns. The pawns move later.
When White plays 3.Nf3 (instead of Nc3) he will avoid the Nimzo-Indian defense. For that reason the Queens-Indian is
related to the Nimzo-Indian.
Both systems try to stop White from playing e4 and gain control of the center. The Queens-Indian is a respected and
solid opening and was played by many grandmasters throughout the history of chess.
Black can avoid playing this defense and can play 3...d5 instead, which transposes to the Queens Gambit Declined.
White can continue with: 4.g3, 4.Nc3, 4.a3, 4.e3 or 4.Bf4
This is an important opening so you should study it well.
Gruenfeld - Chess Defense
The Gruenfeld-Indian chess defense belongs to the closed games and is named after grandmaster Ernst Gruenfeld who
was a professional player 1919.

The Gruenfeld begins with 1.d2-d4 Sg8-f6 2.c2-c4 g7-g6 3.Sb1-c3 d7-d5

White creates a mighty pawn formation in the center and has space advantage. Black has to attack and undermine this
white pawn structure. On the queenside black has a pawn majority of two pawns against one white pawn and could
create a passed pawn in the endgame. This opening leads to a game with lots of tactical chances for both sides.
The Gruenfeld Defense is still popular and was played by many famous players like Viktor Korchnoi, Vasily Smyslov,
Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov.
The famous game of Donald Byrne - Bobby Fischer, called - the game of the century - was played with the Gruenfeld
Defense. Game of the Century!
The Main Variation is the Exchange Variation 1.d2-d4 Sg8-f6 2.c2-c4 g7-g6 3.Sb1-c3 d7-d5 4.c4xd5 Sf6xd5 5.e2-e4
Sd5xc3 6.b2xc3 Lf8-g7
The Modern Variation continues 7. Sg1-f3 c7-c5 8. Ta1-b1
Classical Variation 7. Lf1-c4 c7-c5 8. Sg1-e2 c5xd4 9. c3xd4 Sb8-c6 10. Lc1-e3 0-0 11. 0-0
or 7. Lf1-c4 c7-c5 8. Sg1-e2 0-0 9. 0-0 Sc6 10. Lc1-e3 Lg4 11. f2-f3 Sc6-a5 12. Lc4xf7+ match Karpow-Kasparow 1987
Bobby Fischer played a different set up where he puts his queen to c7 and the rook to d8. (from Smyslow) 10. Lc1-e3
Dd8-c7 11. Ta1-c1 Tf8-d8
Modern Benoni Defense - for aggressive Players
The Benoni defense is a closed chess opening and belongs to the family of indian openings and is sometimes called
Benoni-Indian Defense.




The Modern Benoni Defense starts usually with the moves:
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5
White plays d5 to gain space in the center.

If Black plays c5 right away like 1.d4 c5 2.d5 then this is the Old-Ben-Oni Defense, which has the same pawn structure,
just the knight move is delayed.

White does not capture the pawn on c5 because Black would regain it later by playing 2...e6 or 2...Qa5+.

If Black plays the modern Benoni 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 and then 3...b5 now, which is a pawn sacrifice, we are entering
the realms of the Benko Gambit, where Black seizes the initiative on the queenside. This opening is recommended if you
are an attacking player.
If Black continues quietly with 3...d6, 3...e6 or 3...g6 then this leads to the Benoni main lines.

Modern Benoni main lines:
Fianchetto - variation 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nf3 g6 7.g3

Nimzowitsch - Variation 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nf3 g6 7.Nd2 (with the idea: Nf3-d2-c4 to stop the c5-pawn
and to attack d6 with Bf4)

Classical Variation 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.Nf3 Bg7 8.Be2

Three Pawn Attack 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.f4 Bg7 8.Nf3

Taimanov Variation 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.f4 Bg7 8.Bb5+

Schmid Benoni The german chess grandmaster Lothar Schmid practiced in the 60th the setup 1.d4 c5 2.d5 d6 3.e4 Nf6
4.Nc3 g6 which is called Schmid Benoni now.

Czech Benoni Another setup leads to the Czech Benoni: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e5 - Black has played e5 and locked up
the center. Future play will be expected on the wings.


In the modern Benoni White has space advantage in the center but Black gains active piece play. White plays for the
center break e5 and Black tries to expand with ...b5 on the queenside and blocks white's e5 center-break in putting up
pressure against the e4 pawn with Re8 and exercising control of e5 using his knights to make the e5 break of White
impossible. Black has a very active bishop on g7. It is not blocked by a black pawn on e5 like in the kings-indian defense.
As the position in the Modern Benoni is asymmetrical, it is the right setup for chess players who play an agressive game
and play for a win. Players who like a quiet positional game should avoid this opening. This can be done by playing 3.Nf3
which leads to a quieter positional game.
Tip: If you play White then play the Taimanov variation, which is pretty hard to handle for Black. Taimanov
Variation: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.f4 Bg7 8 Bb5+ Nbd7? (correct move is 8...Nfd7)
9.e5!
If you have Black and want to play the Benoni Defense, then avoid the Taimanov Variation by varying the move
sequence. Play 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 (not 2...c5) 3.Nf3 c5 because white has a knight on f3 now and cannot move the f-
pawn. This makes the center break 9.e5 later on impossible. If White plays 3.Nc3 (not 3.Nf3) instead you play 3...Bb4,
which is the Nimzo-Indian Defense.
The English Opening - a long Positional
Chess Fight
The English Opening is a flank opening and belongs to the closed chess opening systems. It is recommended for the
experienced positional chess player. It starts with 1.c4 which is the fourth popular opening move.
The best book about the English I know is the book Dynamic English from Tony Kosten.
The English is named after the english grandmaster Howard Staunton. He played it 1843 in his match with Saint-Amant
and in the first international tournament in London 1851. Howard Staunton researched and developed this opening and
played it on a regular basis.
English is a very flexible opening which can transpose into other openings like Queens-Gambit, Gruenfeld and Kings-
Indian.
With his first move 1.c4 White controls the center square d5. The English chess opening is solid and has a good
reputation. It was played in various world championship matches by Botvinnik, Bobby Fischer, Karpov and Kasparov.
Nowadays it is quite popular and often played.
Main Lines are:
1...Nf6 can transpose into the Indian Defense.
1...e5 This is called the Reversed-Sicilian as White plays the Sicilian defense, but with a move up.
1...e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 can transpose to Queen's Gambit Declined. (White usually plays 2.Nf3 or 2.g3 here, not
2.Nc3)
1...c5 (the Symmetrical Variation)
1...g6 leads to Modern Defense or after 1...d6 and 2...Nf6 to a set up of the King's Indian Defence.
1...c6 2.d4 d5 transposes to the Slav Defense
1...b6 The English Defence. Black fianchettoes the queenside bishop after playing 2...e6 first, followed by
moves like f5 and Qh4 later.

If you are a beginner (black colour) answer 1.c4 with 1...e5 and after that I recommend the following set-up for you,
where your pieces are placed on natural squares. (or play the bishop to c5 in similar situations, if possible.)



Colle Opening - good basic Chess Moves for
Beginners
The basic chess moves of the Colle-System as White are as follows:
The Moves for White only are shown below:
d4 Nf3 e3 c3 Nd2 Bd3
You can reach this position playing a different move order.
Hint: In the Colle System White does not play c4, but c3 instead
The Colle System was invented (1920) by the belgien chess player Edgard Colle, who used it with good success. The
Colle is rarely played among chess grandmasters as the setup is very simple and Black can equalize fairly easy.
But it is a great system for beginners, as the basic chess moves are straightforward and easy to understand. But if you
are on a higher level of play, you should choose a more complex opening like the Queens Gambit or you will have
difficulties beating weaker opponents as the game does often lead to a draw.
Get Books/DVD Colle System - Click here!

There are two scenarios to consider.
1. If Black plays his d-pawn to d5.
Then White plays the following moves:
d4 Nf3 e3 c3 Nd2 Bd3 followed with short castling and preparing the e3-e4 pawn advancewith moves like Re1 or
Qe2.
If Black develops his knight to c6 then White exchanges Pawns with d4xc5 to prevent the creation of an isolated pawn on
d4. This would happen after the white pawn advance to e4, if Black plays now d5xe4 and c5xd4.

2. If Black plays his d-pawn to d6.
and plays his bishop to g7 (Fianchetto)

White plays the following moves:
d4 Nf3 Nd2 e4 (Be2,Bd3 or Bc4) and c3 followed with short castling. In this setup Black has no pawn on d5 and does not
control the center square e4. That's why you can play your e-pawn to e4 right away! (see replayable games)

In the following diagrams Black has developed his d-pawn to d5. This is the most popular setup and you should study it
first.


As you can see in the above diagram the bishop on c1 is inactive. To get this bishop out it is absolutely vital that
you push your e-pawn to e4. This is called: the e-pawn advance.


White has made the e-pawn advance (see above) and as you can see, the inactive bishop on c1 will, in the near future,
get out into the center.


Avoid getting an isolated d-pawn (which is quite uncomfortable to play with) by recapturingwith the knight! (see
diagram above)
When you have Black: The best move order (or setup) for Black against Colle or Colle-Zuckertort is 1.d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6
3. e3 g6! - this move (g6) will deaden (limit the scope) of the white bishop which will appear on d3 sooner or
later...sacrifices of this bishop on h7 are no longer possible. This bishop will bite on granite.
Complex Chess Openings
The following chess opening moves should be learned last. The Nimzo-Indian Defense and theKings-Indian Defense
are too complex and difficult for you to get started! They require good positional understanding and chess experience.
But keep in mind that the Nimzo-Indian is Black's most successful opening along with the Sicilian Defense!
Nimzo Indian Defense - Learn this excellent Chess
Opening
The Nimzo Indian Defense starts with the moves:
1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 e6
3. Nc3 Bb4
2.
This defense is classified as a closed opening. It comes to us from the great theoretician and chess grandmaster Aron
Nimzowitsch who used this opening in the 20th century.
The idea is to control the center with pieces instead of pawns. The bishop on b4 pins the knight which otherwise would
support a pawn going to e4. If white plays now e4 black would just capture the pawn playing Nxe4 winning a pawn as
the knight is pinned. Furthermore the black bishop threatens to capture the knight and create double pawns in white's
position.
As you can see black stops white to build a strong pawn formation in the center by applying pressure with pieces on
center squares.
The Nimzo-Indian Defense is highly respected, very popular and one of the best chess openings. It is a flexible weapon
for Black against the move d4 and has been played often in world championships.
In variations in which Black captures the knight and creates a double pawn, white will have the bishop pair as
compensation. If you are a beginner this opening is too difficult to grasp for you.
Avoid double pawns with 4.Qc2 line
To avoid double pawns White can play the line 4. Qc2 but this loses time.
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 popular is now 7...c5 8. dxc5 g5 9. Bg3. If you
are Black, surprise your opponent and play the alternative variation 7...g5 (instead of 7...c5) 8. Bg3 Ne4 9. e3 h5!?
This move will very likely upset White psychologically as Black shows unexpected aggression, avoids the popular line and
White might find himself unprepared.
Now 10. f3 Nxg3 11. hxg3 looks ok for Black.
Kings Indian Defence - complex Chess
Games
Here you can replay and study the chess games about the Kings Indian Defence.
The Kings Indian Defence is classified as a closed opening.This opening starts with the moves:
1. d2-d4 Sg8-f6
2. c2-c4 g7-g6
3. Sb1-c3 Lf8-g7
4. e2-e4 d7-d6
This defence was first played in tournaments by Louis Paulsen and later on by Max Euwe. It was also played by Bobby
Fischer, Mikhail Tal, Tigran Petrosjan, Garri Kasparow and other top chess players.
Black allows White to control the center with his pawn formation. After that Black attacks it with the pawn moves e5 or
c5. The Kings Indian is suspected not to be quite correct, but analysis and practical play by strong grandmasters made it
popular. There are various plans in this opening and the black bishop on g7, which exercises pressure on the long
diagonal, plays a major part in those plans.
If you are a beginner this opening is too complex and too difficult to understand for you.
Another weapon against the Kings Indian is the Four Pawns Attack
Four Pawns Attack - versus the Kings Indian
The Four Pawns Attack is a variation of the King's Indian Defense and begins with the moves:
1.d4 Nf6
2.c4 g6
3.Nc3 Bg7
4.e4 d6
5.f4
White creates a large pawn-center and prepares a future breakthrough with e5. After pieces are developed Black tries to
weaken the white pawn formation by pawn advances e7-e5, c7-c5 or b7-b5.
Modern line of play is: 5.f4 O-O 6.Nf3 Na6!? followed by a pawn sacrifice with 7...e5 which will create favorable tactical
possibilities for Black. (see diagramm below)

The main line is:
5.f4 O-O 6.Nf3 c5 7.d5 Black can now sacrifice a pawn by 7...b5 in exchange for active counterplay (see diagramm
below)


or can play the usual 7...e6 followed by 8...exd 9.cxd exchangeing pawns to open the e-file.
After that there is the 9...b5 Variation (see diagramm below).

the 9...Re8 Variation (see diagramm below).

and the 9...Bg4 Variation (see diagramm below).


If you have White you should know all those variations especially the 6...Na6 Variation which is very tricky. You can
replay those variations below. They are stored in the same order as shown above.
I believe that Black should not play the 9...b5 Variation and avoid the 9...Re8-Variation as White scores very well
here. I have played those variations myself many times as White and I think that White got higher winning chances here.
This assumption is confirmed by my database as well.
If you have Black then I recommend the 9...Bg4 Variation. In my opinion White can achieve nothing here as the knight
on f3 will be exchanged and this stops White to make the e5 break. If Black plays the c-pawn to c4 and plays his knight
to the outpost c5 then White will have a hard time not to lose.
Replay the variations below and form your opinion. First there are two testgames which are completely different. After
that the order is game number: 3 > 6...Na6 games (modern line), 66 > 7...b5 games, 113 > 9...b5 games (after
exchanging pawns), 131 > 9...Re8 games and 166 > 9...Bg4 games.
The Bogo Indian Chess Variations
The chess variations of the Bogo Indian Defence are solid but also dynamic enough to give winning opportunities.

1.d4 Nf6
2.c4 e6
3.Nf3 Bb4+
This is the common position. White has not played the usual 3.Nc3 to control e4 and planning to play 4.e4 as this would
enable Black to play the Nimzo-Indian defense 3...Bb4. 3.Nf3 is sometimes played instead to avoid the Nimzo Indian.
Now after 3.Nf3, Black usually plays 3...b6 which is the Queen's Indian Defence or 3...d5 which leads to the Queen's
Gambit Declined.
However Black can play 3...Bb4+ now, which is called the Bogo Indian named after Efim Bogoljubov. This variation is
not so popular but is played on all levels of chess.
The following moves can be played:

4.Bd2
4. Bd2 is the most popular line and Black has to decide what to do. Trade off the bishop by 4...Bxd2+ which is not
popular or play the popular 4...Qe7 which defends the bishop.
A sharper alternative is 4...a5 which grabs some space on the queenside but creates some structural weaknesses.
The modern line is 4...c5 and after 5.Bxb4 cxb4, Black's pawns are doubled and the c-pawn has been pulled away from
the centre but the b4 pawn controls the c3-square and hinders the development of the white knight to c3 which is the
natural square for it.
Black can also simply retreat the bishop playing 4...Be7 as the loss of tempo is compensated by the inactive
development of the white bishop to d2.

4.Nbd2
4.Nbd2 is an alternative to 4.Bd2 intending to trade off the bishop for the knight or chasing the Black's bishop away later
on. But the knight is not developed to c3 which would be the natural and active square for the knight. It sits now on d2
where it is somewhat passively placed and it blocks the bishop on c1. Black's most common moves now are 4...b6, 4...0-
0 or 4...d5.

Key Idea
Exchange your bishop on b4 eventually. After that move your pawns in the center to black squares! This will bring your
bishop on c8 to life and will limit the activity of the white enemy bishop on g2 because the white pawns are blocked
on white squares. See diagram below!

Kings Indian Attack - As White use it as a Secret Weapon
The Kings Indian Attack ( or Barcza System ) is a chess opening setup for White, not a forced line of moves and can be
used against different Black openings such as the Sicilian Defence (1.e4 c5) or the French Opening (1.e4 e6).



See this solid setup of the black pieces above that gives Black a comfortable game because the power of the white
bishop-g2 is reduced by the black pawn structure d5,c6.
When you have started with 1.e4 you just follow by d3, Nd2, Ngf3, g3, Bg2, and 0-0. Or just play a different move order
and begin with 1.g3, 1.Nf3, or even 1. d3. This closed system is very flexible and is suitable for strategic players who
prefer to accumulate small positional advantages over time.
But don't be mislead by its name as this opening is not necessarily an attack. Don't try to overrun your opponent as
Black can reach a comfortable position easily and you cannot expect to have a small edge as White that you should have
normally playing the white pieces.
This is the reason why the King's Indian Attack is usually not used at the highest chess level but is played more on the
club level.
Furthermore the game will often evolve differently from that of a typical King's Indian Defence played by Black.
The set up is easy to learn but if you are a beginner and have no understanding of positional chess you should not play
this positional opening but rather play open tactical-rich games starting with 1.e4 like the Italian Game or the Ruy Lopez
(Spanish).
Surprise Weapons for Black against 1.d4
Here you get some surprise weapons, the Dutch, the Budapest Gambit and the Benko-Gambit.
The Dutch Defense
The Dutch Defense is a closed chess opening. It starts with the moves:

1.d4 f5

Most popular in the beginning was the Stonewall variation, but the Leningrad Dutch variation has become more popular
nowadays where Black plays his bishop to g7. (called: Fianchetto)
Some top chess players have played it in earlier times like Alexander Alekhine, Bent Larsen and Paul Morphy. It was
played in the 1951 championship match between Mikhail Botvinnik and David Bronstein.
However the Dutch is seldom played in top level chess nowadays as it is suspected to be not quite sound.
With the move f5 Black wants to control e4 to place a knight there later on in the game. This idea will be combined with
an attack on the white king at the kingside. But this opening move weakens the black kingside and does not develop a
piece. And it often leads to blocked and unflexible positions.
White tries to open up the center with e2-e4 or d4-d5 and combines this with an attack at the queenside.
Budapest Gambit - Chess Opening
The Budapest Gambit (Budapest Defense) is not often played among chess grandmasters. It is more or less a surprise
weapon on lower levels of chess.
It starts with the following moves:
1.d2-d4 Sg8-f6 2.c2-c4 e7-e5 3.d4xe5 Sf6-g4

White can return the pawn and usually keeps a small advantage without risks. This opening can lead to sharp tactical
games.
Main variations are:
4.Lc1-f4 Sb8-c6 5.Sg1-f3 Lf8-b4+ 6.Sb1-d2 Dd8-e7 7.e2-e3 (Karpow)
4.e2-e4 (Aljechin)
4.Lc1-f4 Sb8-c6 5.Sg1-f3 Lf8-b4+ 6.Sb1-c3 Dd8-e7 7.Dd1-d5 (protect the pawn)
4.Sg1-f3 Lf8-c5 5.e2-e3 Sb8-c6
Play this opening to train your tactical abilities, but study the typical variations first.
Benko Gambit - active Chess Strategies and
Tactics
The active chess strategies and tactics of the Benko Gambit make it possible to fight for a win, if you need the whole
point.
It is a chess opening which is part of the Benoni-Defense, in which Black offers a pawn sacrifice in return for an active
setup, playing 3...b5.
1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 c5
3. d5 b5
White usually takes the pawn 4. cxb a6 5. bxa6 Bxa
The original name of this opening is the Volga Gambit, but Grandmaster Pal Benko has promoted this opening, found
new ideas and published a book about it in 1974, called The Benko Gambit.
If White fianchettos both bishops playing g3 and b3 Black can delay capturing the a6 pawn and recapture later with
Nxa6! Then White has trouble to meet the threat of ...Nb4 pressuring d5 and a2.
Main line is 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 Bxa6 and Black fianchettos his f8 bishop. See diagramm below
basic position
typical setup - Black has a strong bishop on g7 which
controlls the center. He will put up pressure at the
queenside along the half-open a and b files and will get
active play there which is supported by the strong bishop
on g7.
Keymoves for Black
...c4 this move makes room for establishing a knight on c5 and after that the knight can penetrate deep into the white
position to d3, protected by the pawn on c4. From then on this superior knight will paralyze White completely as it
controls c1,b2,f2,f4 and e5. And the queen gains power putting pressure along the g1-a7 diagonal. On the other hand
white can occupy the d4 square with a knight which might penetrate to c6.
...f5 This move attacks the pawn formation e4,d5 in the center but is recommended only in the endgame as this move
weakens the black kingside which might have bad consequences.
...Nf6-g4 (Ne8 or Nd7) The black knights position on f6 has to be improved as it blocks the g7 bishop. Move it to g4 and
then to e5! After that you can exchange it for the enemy knight on f3 or move it to a vital center square like c4 or d3 if
possible.
...Qa5,Qb6 or Qc7 The Queen should remain at the queenside and might go to b7 to put pressure on the center pawn
d5.
Albin Counter Gambit - a Surprize Weapon
Employ the Albin Counter Gambit and surpize your opponent. He may not as prepared as you are if you have studied it
beforehand and know the setup very well.

I know by experience that this can be an unpleasant surprise for White if he is caught on the left foot and has forgotten
how to play it the best way. Well, just use the Fianchetto setup if you have White, placing your bishop to g2 and putting
pressure along the diagonal h1-a8. The bishop is supported by active play at the queenside by moves like Qb3. This will
increase the coordination of the g2-bishop and your other pieces. See game 4
Adolf Albin played it 1893 against Lasker in New York. The Albin Countergambit is not popular and seldom playedas a
defense against the Queen's Gambit but not on grandmaster level as it is not quite sound.
But nonetheless Russian Grandmaster Alexander Morozevich did play it successfully sometimes as it suits his playing
style.

It goes like that:

1.d4 d5
2.c4 d5

3.dxe5 d4
Black has sacrificed a pawn and pushes a pawn to d4. This is unpleasant for White as he has a psychological problem and
feels somewhat paralyzed unable to play the usual setup, placing a knight to c3. So the white pieces start feeling a bit
cramped.
The natural but bad move 4.e3? leads to the Lasker Trap. 4.e3? Bb4+ 5.Bd2 dxe3 6.Bxb4?? exf2+ 7.Ke2 fxg1=N+
winning for Black.
Upon which Chess Opening Moves (Opening Systems) should I choose to
specialize on?
I will tell you now my personal opinion based on statistics and cold facts.
In the first years of learning chess, it depends how much you play, you should play only 1.e4 with White to create sharp
tactical games to learn how to handle tactical positions. With Black play 1...e5 or 1...c5 (Sicilian) for the same reason.
After you have played that way for a few years, you should switch over to 1.d4 openings and play chess on a more
positional basis.
Reasons to play 1.d4
1. The move 1.d4 is statistically slightly more successful than 1.e4. This is due to the fact that Black scores well with the
Sicilian defense which decreases the winning potential of 1.e4 in comparison to 1.d4. After you have learned tactical play
with e4 for sometime, you should switch to 1.d4 later on.
2. After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 White pressures the center and Black has a somewhat passive game with almost no counter play
and finds it difficult to get somewhere with low winning chances. The tactical risks for White are lower compared to 1.e4
as less often sharp tactical positions arise. White has a slight but enduring positional edge and might convert it into a win
with low risks and without running into immense tactical complicated variations where winning or losing just hangs on
one tempo.
If you compare this to 1.e4 e5 then you see that the situation is different. Here Black has always some sort of a counter
chance as long as he puts his pieces on active squares like in the Italian Opening, Spanish or the Sicilian.
Particularly the Sicilian proves this point. The game is very sharp and Black has sufficient counter chances. This is the
reason why the chess opening moves of the Sicilian are so successful for Black.(except the Dragon Variation)
3. You are getting older and later on when you pass the age of 40, or maybe earlier, you don't like to play sharp tactical
chess anymore as this can be quite stressful. You will enjoy strategical play more than tactical play.
I observed this trend watching mature players who played chess over thirty years. They tend to play positional chess and
like to win using strategical elements of play. In this area they have more experience and more knowledge than young
players and this increases their chances to win. And they don't like the stress which is involved when you play highly
tactical games where every move counts and everything hangs on one tempi.
All those reasons tell me that your first move later on should be 1.d4 and that you should study all relevant chess
openings (answers to 1.d4) of Black, to be able to know the right plans.

Unusual Chess Opening Moves for Advanced Players
The Six-Pawns-Attack
This is one of the most unusual chess openings! Try this rarely played opening system versus the King's Indian Defense
or Benoni Defense. Be a man with courage and play the Six-Pawns-Attack in a serious game!
The Four-Pawns-Attack
This is another more popular weapon against the King's Indian Defense.
The Marshall-Attack. Get Books/DVD


A sharp active defense for Black. Try the Marshall-Attack against somebody who plays the Ruy Lopez (Spanish opening)
to upset him. You sacrifice a pawn and will get active attacking play for that. This opening has been played in world
championships and is sound. The Marshall Attack can make White cry...
The Anti-Marshall.
Hey! Don't be scared I hold your hand! These variations are for whimpish White players who fear the Marshall Attack.
They just play the Anti-Marshall!

For the Positional Player (d4-Player)
Study the Queens Gambit Declined / Exchange Variation.


For Black playing against d4.
Study the Queens Gambit Declined / Meran Variation. This opening has been played twice in the world championship
2008 by Anand with success.


For the Aggressive Player (e4-Player)
Study the chess opening moves of the Evans Gambit.
Six-Pawns-Attack versus King's Indian - Unusual and
Surprizing Chess Setup
The Six-Pawns-Attack is an unusual chess setup for white against the King's Indian defense or the Benoni defense. I
believe the Six-Pawns-Attack is not played at all in serious tournament play.
To play an opening like this seems dubious to a chess players mind, to move so many pawns in the opening and expose
the king at the same time, to attack so early. There must be something wrong with this chess setup. Something like this
can't be correct. This line of play MUST be punished by Black. This is not the way how chess should be played.
One day God gave the SIX-PAWNS-ATTACK unto man and all chess players on the planet EARTH were screaming: Man!
You can't play chess like that. Everybody knows that!
Really??! Is that so? This would be the way how the logical thinking process of a chess players mind would evolve. Yes!
This is so....I agree BUT still, there is a shadow of a doubt in my mind. And has it ever been proven that the Six Pawn
Attack is not playable?? Is there a refutation known to men... somewhere? I don't know any!
I challenge you. Play this opening in a serious game. Probably your game will be the first in the database since a long
time. Your opponent might be extremely surprised and you might win just like that and run him over because he has no
idea how to handle "this crap".
You can't mess around when you have Black. If Black keeps wondering what to do and plays too slow, White will overrun
him at the kingside as Black will have no counterplay at all. Black's knight on d4 will just sit in the center, very lonely
and waiting for something to happen...and might wait forever.
There is a saying in germany: One bird is not making a summer. And I say here in this respect:One black knight in the
center (on d4) is not making a center attack. After all this chess setup might not be bad at all but just has been
forgotten and is out of fashion.
It starts with the moves: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 0-0 6.Be2 c5
If Black does not play 6...c5 but 6...Na6 (which is followed by 7...e5 - which will blast open the center) then forget about
the Six-Pawns-Attack and switch over to the Four-Pawns-Attack andplay 7.Nf3 instead (and not 7.g4).
7.d5 e6 8.dxe (If you play here 8.Nf3, this leads to the Four-Pawns-Attack) fxe
Important hint: If Black recaptures here with the bishop 8...Bxe you play 9.Nf3. (see diagram below)


You can't play 9.g4? in the above diagram, because of 9...Nxg4! 10.NxN Qh4+ and you lose.
The Six-Pawns-Attack starts here with 9.g4! This chess setup requires that a pawn is placed at e6 and not the bishop!
(see diagram below)

Open the h-file as fast as possible. Don't waste time! You
don't have any!
Later on you MIGHT castle long or you don't castle at all
but move the king to f2 or d2(somewhere) to get your a1-
rook out.
At this stage I firmly believe that the white knight must be
placed at g5 most of the time! So don't move a pawn to g5
unless it is profitable, as this pawn will block this square for
the knight. Check this out! The Queen must get somehow
to the h-file if possible or to d3 to put x-ray pressure on
the weak pawn on g6! If Black does not play Qa5 fast, you
first play your queen to d3 to avoid that the queen gets
locked in by the d2-bishop and after that play your bishop
to d2. From there the queen can go to h3 later on or
sooner or later you push the e5 pawn and attack the g6-
pawn with the queen at the same time.
This should be your "dream-position". Black has wasted
time with 10...Bd7 (instead of playing 10...Qa5 after which
your queen gets locked in after 11.Bd2) But now your
queen is out and IS ABLE to go to h3 sometime. Most
importantly you can play your bishop to d2 and castle long.
What's wrong with that? White has a slight advantage.

You can apply the Six-Pawns-Attack even better if Black plays the Benoni defense, because the center is closed already
and Black can't play the uncomfortable variation with 6..e5 which I will call the anti-six-pawn variation. (see replayable
games) which blasts open the center..
You enter the same position but this is only possible if Black does not play e6 early, but plays d6 first and fianchettoes
his bishop. See the following diagram.

The moves are 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 g6 4.Nc3
Here we can play the Six-Pawns-Attack. The good thing is that we avoid the variation with 6..e5 (see
replayable games)
Chess Openings - Chess Strategies for Beginners
Yes, my friend we get there. We come to the chess openings now. This is great fun. When you know an opening well,
you don't even have to think for the first twelve moves or more. You just play the moves within a few minutes. And if
your opponent has no idea, how to open the right way, you just run him over in no time at all...
How do I start my game? What is the right plan?
Good chess openings will guide you and bring you on the right path.
I tell you something, a lot of games are lost already before they even started, right in the chess opening. Many beginning
players just don't have a clue how to start a chess game properly and they get overrun by stronger players right from
the start. They have not the slightest chance to get the pieces out properly or they put the pieces on wrong squares or
run early into a devastating attack or, or, or....
Example: Don't move the pawn on f7 beside your king! Or you lose the exchange - rook for a knight! See the following
game. And don't move this pawn in similar situations as this is equally bad.

1. Your first move should be e4. (or d4)
(or c4, maybe later in your personal development phase).
To learn the principles of chess, it is important that you play open games with a lot of active play and combinations. This
is best achieved by playing only e4 for many months to come. This is the most popular opening move. Bobby Fischer
said about this move: Best by test! He himself played it nearly always.
2. Don't play closed positional chess openings in the beginning of your
chess career!
If you would always start with e4 in every game you play, you have still a lot to learn which can take up a lifetime,
believe me. You could specialize on e4 in your entire chess career and play nothing else with the white pieces. Many
grandmasters play positional chess openings starting with d4,c4 or Nf3. But you are not ready for that.
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y For Beginners I recommend Logical Chess - Move by Move by Chernevbecause every move is explained here.
y Another good book for beginners that received very good reviews is theComplete Idiot's Guide to Chess.
3. Play active! Get the initiative, if you can!
Learn to play open, active, tactical-rich games first, until you understand the chess principles. Those principles are best
demonstrated in games opened with the move e4! Later on you can learn chess openings. But this is not necessary at
first.
Just play wild chess games so much as you can. That way you get used to the way of thinking in chess and learn how the
pieces move about.
4. Develop first your kingside pieces and castle and don't attack right
away if black plays good developing moves.
Use common sense! It can't be right to attack somebody who makes no mistakes and has developed all pieces correctly.
If you do attack him, you will n o t develop your pieces fast enough and will lose center control and sooner or later the
game! Always develop your pieces f a s t and don't move any useless pawns unless the pawn move is a center-pawn-
move that controls vital center squares and is necessary for developing the pieces.
Find the right opening and study it!

I recommend that you study the Ruy Lopez ( Spanish Chess Opening Strategy ), Italian Game (Giuoco Piano) and
the Sicilian Defence for a start.
If White plays 1.d4 and 2.c4 setup.
Then play the Cambridge-Springs Defense. Just try to learn the following moves now! This will be a good test for you
in memorizing opening lines. This opening is easy to learn!




I will show you the games now. Go to Cambridge Springs Defense.
If White plays 1.d4 and 2.c3 setup - The Colle System.
Learn the right setup for Black. If you have White and like to play d4 from time to time yourself, just to get the feel for
it, then I recommend theColle System - Basic Chess Moves for you. This chess opening system is easy to learn.
It is important to know the Colle System when you have the black pieces, because sooner or later an opponent will play
it against you. When you have Black and like to play the Cambridge-Springs, but your opponent does not play the pawn
to c4, but to c3 instead (Colle-System) then what are you going to do then?


When you play Colle as White, then you gain a good understanding of this opening and know how to handle it, when you
have to play against it with the black pieces.


The Four Move Checkmate
Discover the nonsense of the Four-Move-Checkmate.
Go to The Four Move Checkmate

The Early Chess Attack
Don't attack too early.
Go to Early Chess Attack

Don't ruin your nerves.
Stay away from Bullet Chess



Return here to chess strategies for beginners if you need to refresh the knowledge you have gained so far.
Four Move Checkmate - Don't try it!
The Four Move Checkmate is the attempt of a beginner to checkmate you in four moves right from the start of the chess
game. No serious player would even try this nonsense, because he knows that the queen will be brought into the game
too early and that she will be chased away sooner or later by the opponent's pieces. At the same time Black will develop
his pieces and takes control of vital center squares. In the end Black has his pieces developed more effectively and has a
better position than White.

This attempt to win in four moves violates chess principles and can't work. One principle is: Don't bring the queen out to
early but develop your light pieces instead. Light pieces are bishops and knights.

No chess player who plays in a chess club would ever try this in a club tournament because all other players who see this
attempt to try for a mate in four moves would just laugh at him. And no serious player does hope that his opponent is so
stupid to let himself get mated in four moves only. To go for this in a chess tournament would be like an insult of the
opponent's intelligence.

Just watch this video and I hope that you understand what I mean.
Learn the basic chess strategies for heavy pieces here as this knowledge is vital. If you
have a queen and your opponent just has a pawn you should know haow to handle this
position.
Just the same when you are a rook up and you have to fight the pawn.
Rook - Pawn Endgame
The chess endgame with rook versus one pawn can be very interesting because the king
can attack the rook. This can prove disastrous in certain positions.
But if the rook can win the pawn somehow the game is won as king and rook together
have mating potential, but not king and knight or king and bishop.

Queen - Pawn Endgame
As the queen is much stronger than the pawn there is no real fight usually. Only in special
cases has a pawn a chance of a draw. Favorable conditions are:
1.The pawn is placed on the second rank (or seventh if black)
2.The pawn is supported by his king and the king must control the promotion square.
3.The enemy king is far away.
You can win, if you give checks with the queen to force the king to move to the promotion
square. After that you have one move time to come closer with your king. You repeat this
until your king is very close to the pawn. Then finally you will win the pawn. You need the
help of your king.
But this procedure does not work with the a,c,f and h-pawn as there is a stalemate.
Learn Chess Openings Fast - This is a fast
way to cover up all you need
How to learn Chess Openings fast - Suggestions for an easy to learn opening repertoire for beginners in chess and
intermediate players.
Many Chess players are overwhelmed by Openings I and Openings II. I want to pioneer this:
y Beginners and intermediate players need a solid repertoire which does not lose the game in the first 10 moves or so
and that is easy to learn and understand without memorizing 200 pages of analysis.
y Working people have only very few hours a week to spend on chess so they need to make it count.

The above wish was a email request from one of my website visitors and I try to get into this problem. Chess is just so
complex and it is hard to know which openings you should learn as a beginner.
I realize that many people must work and have not much time to devote it to chess, so I finally will show you the fastest
possible way to cover up your opening needs. You learn just a few - easy to learn - and very selected chess openings and
apply them all the time.
I discovered this method of selecting and learning just some specific openings many years ago, when I had the same
problem and did't want to learn a lot of opening theory. So I was searching for ways to restrict my opening play to as
few systems as possible and I finally found the openings where this is possible.
These systems will cover all you need. No matter if you have White or Black, you restrict your play to the openings I will
show you.
This is in fact the fastest way to cover up all opening problems immediately for beginners. I played these openings
myself for years to save time.
They are not often played by chess grandmasters. So what? You are not going to become a grandmaster.
I understand, you just want to learn chess openings fast, as your time is limited.
My approach to your opening problems will save you a tremendous amount of time, in fact, it will save you countless
hours of opening study.
Why?
Because you restrict yourself rigorously to a few selected openings.

Let's start.....
Learn first the Colle Opening as White.
Just read and replay the Colle Opening then come back here...When you have White you always play the Colle System,
starting with 1.d4! and that's it. Never play 1.e4, 1.c4 or anything else...unless you want to study opening theory for the
rest of your life.

You have WHITE
Memorize this Position

y The idea is to get your dead bishop at c1 out! You need to push the e-pawn to e4!
y BEFORE that, you need to trade pawns first playing dxc to avoid that Black will make you an isolated pawn at d4
playing cxd4.
y If Black plays cxd early then you recapture with your e-pawn because after that your dead c1-bishop can come out
easily after you moved your d2-knight later on. Just worry about your bishop and bring it out, that's all.
Memorize this Position
Black has traded pawns early ( cxd ) and White is happy about this as his dead bishop at c1 is NOT dead anymore, and it
can get out later on. (see marked line)
Thanks a lot Black for helping me to solve my problems...


There is a deeper reason why I recommend the Colle for White. You can enter a Modern Stonewall Dutch Position with it
when Black develops slowly, playing b6, Bb7 and neglecting to control e5 immediately playing Nc6 or Nd7.
In this case you jump with your knight to e5 early and protect it with f4! This is a Modern Stonewall Dutch position called
Stonewall Attack, because it is a Modern Stonewall played with the white pieces.
Now you can use the knowledge you have gained playing the Modern Stonewall Dutch as Black. This saves you a lot of
time again. (see position below)


Just memorize the set up of the white pieces. Look at the bishop at d2 which is on its way to h4 (play Be1, then first
develop your knight Nd2, then Bh4 if possible). Make sure you get this bishop out like this or play it to b2.

Get Books/DVD Colle System - Click here!

You have BLACK
and WHITE plays 1.d4
In this case you always play the Dutch Bd6 Variation! There you have a similar bishop problem like in the Colle System
above.
Memorize the Black Set Up!

Replay games of the Modern Stonewall Dutch Defense
I played this game myself in a chess club. The advanced player is Black. He makes meaningless pawn moves at the
queenside and White organizes a typical Stonewall Attack and runs over the black kingside. Memorize this typical
procedure and you will win some games with it.

A "deadly" Stonewall Attack Variation
Get DVD / Modern Stonewall Dutch Defense - Click here!

You have BLACK
and WHITE plays 1.e4
In this case you always play the Scandinavian Defense!
Memorize the Black Wahls Set Up!

Replay games of the Scandinavian Defense - Wahls Set Up
Replay games of the Scandinavian Defense - Other Set Ups
Get DVD / Scandinavian Defense - Click here!
To know openings is not enough! Get Top Chess Books about Tactics and Strategy - Click here!
If you learn the three opening systems above you will cover over 90% of all your games. You always know what to play
and how to play it. But you have to study the systems deeply to become a good player. It is not that easy as there are
many dangerous lines as you will find out yourself. But you will get better and better if you analyze each time what went
wrong.
If White plays f4
If you have Black and White plays f4 (a Dutch of some sort) you can use the setup below as Black which is easy to
memorize. The idea is to play your e-pawn to e5. For that reason you have to play Nd7,c6 and Qc7 to control e5 first.
After you have placed your pieces like this you push the e-pawn to e5. Then make sure you develop your f8-bishop to d6
and castle fast.
The e-pawn push can only be played against white Dutch Setups where White does not play d4 later (Stonewall Attack)
as this would control e5 with the two pawns f4 and d4. So what! Then you jump into the "hole" at e4.



Replay the game below where White played a Dutch Fianchetto and Black still applies this easy setup.

And now comes the proof, that this is indeed a playable opening system against 1.f4.
The following game was played 1975 in Leningrad where Garry Kasparov (black pieces) played as a young boy versus IM
Oleg Romanischin who was giving a simultaneous exhibition. Kasparow was 12 years old and Romanischin played 1.f4,
the Bird opening, which also starts with f4 like a white Dutch (or Stonewall Attack).

Memorize



And the good news of all this is, that you can play this system with White as well against the Dutch. (1.d4 f5)
This saves you countless hours of work as you don't have to study books about how to beat the Dutch defense.



In the position above White employed the same system. The good thing is that you will have a move plus because you
play the white pieces. Does this position look familiar to you?
Chess endgame
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In chess and chess-like games, the endgame (or end game or ending) is the stage of the game when there are few pieces left on the board.
The line between middlegame and endgame is often not clear, and may occur gradually or with the quick exchange of a few pairs of pieces. The
endgame, however, tends to have different characteristics from the middlegame, and the players have correspondingly different strategic concerns.
In particular, pawns become more important; endgames often revolve around attempting topromote a pawn by advancing it to the eighth rank.
The king, which has to be protected in the middlegame owing to the threat of checkmate, becomes a strong piece in the endgame. It can be brought
to the center of the board and be a useful attacking piece.
Many of the greatest players throughout history have considered the endgame to be of paramount importance because endgame theory is finite.
Whereas chess opening theory changes frequently, giving way to middlegame positions that fall in and out of popularity, endgame theory always
remains constant.
Many people have composed endgame studies, endgame positions which are solved by finding a win for White when there is no obvious way of
winning, or a draw when it seems White must lose.
Usually in the endgame, the stronger side should try to exchange pieces (knights, bishops, rooks, and queens), while avoiding the exchange of
pawns. This generally makes it easier for him to convert his advantage into a won game. The defending side should strive for the opposite.
Endgames can be classified according to the type of pieces that remain. Some common types of endgames are discussed below.
Contents
[hide]
1 Categories
2 The start of the endgame
3 General considerations
4 Common types of endgames
o 4.1 Basic checkmates
o 4.2 King and pawn endings
4.2.1 King and pawn versus king
o 4.3 Knight and pawn endings
4.3.1 Knight and pawn versus knight
o 4.4 Bishop and pawn endings
4.4.1 Bishop and pawn versus bishop on the same color
4.4.2 Bishops on opposite colors
o 4.5 Bishop versus knight endings (with pawns)
4.5.1 Bishop and pawn versus knight
4.5.2 Knight and pawn versus bishop
o 4.6 Rook and pawn endings
4.6.1 Rook and pawn versus rook
4.6.2 Quotation
o 4.7 Queen and pawn endings
4.7.1 Queen and pawn versus queen
o 4.8 Rook versus a minor piece
o 4.9 Two minor pieces versus a rook
o 4.10 Queen versus two rooks
o 4.11 Queen versus rook and minor piece
o 4.12 Queen versus rook
o 4.13 Piece versus pawns
o 4.14 Endings with no pawns
5 Positions with a material imbalance
6 Effect of tablebases on endgame theory
7 Longest forced win
8 Endgame classification
9 Frequency table
10 Quotations
11 Bibliography
12 Endgame articles
13 See also
14 Notes
15 References
16 Further reading
17 External links



This article
uses algebraic
notationto describe
chess moves.
[edit]Categories
Endgames can be divided into three categories:
1. Theoretical endgames positions where the correct line of play is generally known and well-analyzed, so the solution is a matter of
technique
2. Practical endgames positions arising in actual games, where skillful play should transform it into a theoretical endgame position
3. Artistic endgames (studies) contrived positions which contain a theoretical endgame hidden by problematic complications (Portisch &
Srkzy 1981:vii).
This article generally does not consider studies.
[edit]The start of the endgame
An endgame is when there are only a few pieces left. There is no strict criterion for when an endgame begins and different experts have different
opinions. Alexander Alekhine said "We cannot define when the middle game ends and the end-game starts" (Whitaker & Hartleb 1960). With the
usual system for chess piece relative value, Speelman considers that endgames are positions in which each player has thirteen or fewer points
in material (not counting the king). Alternatively, an endgame is a position in which the king can be used actively, but there are some famous
exceptions to that (Speelman 1981:78). Minev characterizes endgames as positions having four or fewer pieces other than kings and pawns (Minev
2004:5). Some authors consider endgames to be positions without queens while others consider a position to be an endgame when each player has
less than a queen plus rook in material. Flear considers an endgame to be where each player has at most one piece (other than kings and pawns)
and positions with more material where each player has at most two pieces to be "Not Quite an Endgame" (NQE), pronounced "nuckie" (Flear
2007:78).
Alburt and Krogius give three characteristics of an endgame: (Alburt & Krogius 2000:12)
1. Endgames favor an aggressive king
2. Passed pawns increase greatly in importance
3. Zugzwang is often a factor in endgames and rarely in other stages of the game.
Some problem composers consider that the endgame starts when the player who is about to move can force a win or a draw against any variation of
moves (Portisch & Srkzy 1981:vii).
Mednis and Crouch address the question of what constitutes an endgame negatively. The game is still in the middlegame if middlegame elements
still describe the position. The game is not in the endgame if these apply:
better development
open files for attacking
vulnerable king position
misplaced pieces (Mednis & Crouch 1992:1).
[edit]General considerations
In endgames with pieces and pawns, an extra pawn is a winning advantage in 50 to 60 percent of the cases. It becomes more decisive if the
stronger side has a positional advantage (Euwe & Meiden 1966:xvi). In general, the player with a material advantage tries to exchange pieces and
reach the endgame. In the endgame, the player with a material advantage should usually try to exchange pieces but avoid the exchange of pawns
(Dvoretsky & Yusupov 2008:134). There are some exceptions to this: (1) endings in which both sides have two rooks plus pawns the player with
more pawns has better winning chances if a pair of rooks are not exchanged, and (2) bishops on opposite color with other pieces the stronger side
should avoid exchanging the other pieces. Also when all of the pawns are on the same side of the board, often the stronger side must exchange
pawns to try to create a passed pawn.
In the endgame, it is better for the player with more pawns to avoid too many pawn exchanges, because they should be won for nothing. Also,
endings with pawns on both sides of the board are much easier to win. A king and pawn endgame with an outside passed pawn should be a far
easier win than a middlegame a rook ahead.
With the recent growth of computer chess, an interesting development has been the creation of endgame databases which are tables of stored
positions calculated by retrograde analysis (such a database is called an endgame tablebase). A program which incorporates knowledge from such
a database is able to play perfect chess on reaching any position in the database.
Max Euwe and Walter Meiden give these five generalizations:
1. In king and pawn endings, an extra pawn is decisive in more than 90 percent of the cases
2. In endgames with pieces and pawns, an extra pawn is a winning advantage in 50 to 60 percent of the cases. It becomes more decisive if
the stronger side has a positional advantage
3. The king plays an important role in the endgame
4. Initiative is more important in the endgame than in other phases of the game. In rook endgames the initiative is usually worth at least a
pawn
5. Two connected passed pawns are very strong. If they reach their sixth rank they are generally as powerful as a rook (Euwe & Meiden
1966:xvi-xvii).
[edit]Common types of endgames
[edit]Basic checkmates
Main article: Checkmate

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Checkmate with the rook
These are positions in which one side has only a king and the other side has one or two pieces and can checkmate the opposing king, with the
pieces working together with their king. In conjunction with its king, a queen or a rook can easily checkmate a lone king, but a single minor
piece (a bishop or knight) cannot. See Wikibooks - Chess/The Endgame for a demonstration of these two checkmates. Two bishops (plus their king)
can easily checkmate a lone king, provided that the bishops move on opposite color squares. (Two or more bishops on the same color can not
checkmate.) A bishop and knight (plus their king) can also checkmate a lone king, although the checkmate procedure is long (up to 33 moves with
correct play) and is difficult for a player who does not know the correct technique.
Two knights cannot force checkmate against a lone king (see Two knights endgame), but if the weaker side also has a pawn, checkmate is
sometimes possible, because positions which would be stalemate without the pawn are not stalemate with the additional pawn. If the pawn is
blocked by a knight on or behind the Troitzky line, the knights have a long theoretical win. There are some other positions when the pawn is past the
Troitzky line in which the knights can force checkmate, but the procedure is long and difficult. In either case, in competition the fifty-move rule will
often result in the game being drawn first. (While there is a board position that allows two knights to checkmate a lone king, such requires a careless
move by the weaker side to execute; he cannot be driven into the corner.)
[edit]King and pawn endings
King and pawn endgames involve only kings and pawns on one or both sides. International Master Cecil Purdy said "Pawn endings are to chess as
putting is to golf." Any endgame with pieces and pawns has the possibility of simplifying into a pawn ending (Nunn 2010:43).
In king and pawn endings, an extra pawn is decisive in more than 90 percent of the cases (Euwe & Meiden 1966:xvi). Getting a passed pawn is
crucial (a passed pawn is one which does not have an opposing pawn on its file or on adjacent files on its way to promotion). Nimzovich once said
that a passed pawn has a "lust to expand". An outside passed pawn is particularly deadly. The point of this is a decoy while the defending king is
preventing it from queening, the attacking king wins pawns on the other side.
Opposition is an important technique that is used to gain an advantage. When two kings are in opposition, they are on the same file (or rank) with an
empty square separating them. The player having the move loses the opposition. He must move his king and allow the opponent's king to advance.
Note however that the opposition is a means to an end, which is penetration into the enemy position. If the attacker can penetrate without the
opposition, he should do so. The tactics of triangulation and zugzwang as well as the theory of corresponding squares are often decisive.
[edit]King and pawn versus king
Mller & Lamprecht, diagram 2.11

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White to move wins with 1. Kb6. Black to move draws with 1... Kc5.
Main article: King and pawn versus king endgame
This is one of the most basic endgames. A draw results if the defending king can reach the square in front of the pawn or the square in front of that
(or capture the pawn). If the attacking king can prevent that, the king will assist the pawn in being promoted to a queen or rook, and checkmate can
be achieved. A rook pawn is an exception because the king may not be able to get out of the way of its pawn.
Unlike most positions, king and pawn endgames can usually be analyzed to a definite conclusion, given enough skill and time. An error in a king and
pawn endgame almost always turns a win into a draw or a draw into a loss there is little chance for recovery. Accuracy is most important in these
endgames. There are three fundamental ideas in these endgames: opposition, triangulation, and the Rti manoeuvre (Nunn 2007:113ff).
[edit]Knight and pawn endings
Knight and pawn endgames feature clever maneuvering by the knights to capture opponent pawns. While a knight is poor at chasing a passed
pawn, it is the ideal piece to block a passed pawn. Knights cannot lose a tempo, so knight and pawn endgames have much in common with king and
pawn endgames. As a result, Mikhail Botvinnik stated that a knight ending is really a pawn ending. (Beliavsky & Mikhalchishin 2003:139)
An outside passed pawn can outweigh a protected passed central pawn, unlike king and pawn endgames. A knight blockading a protected passed
pawn attacks the protector, while the knight blockading an outside passed pawn is somewhat out of action.
[edit]Knight and pawn versus knight
Fine & Benko, diagram 228

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White to play wins; Black to play draws
This is generally a draw since the knight can be sacrificed for the pawn, however the king and knight must be covering squares in the pawn's path. If
the pawn reaches the seventh rank and is supported by its king and knight, it usually promotes and wins. In this position, White to move wins: 1. b6
Nb7! 2. Ne6! Na5 3. Kc8! N-any 4. Nc7#. Black to move draws starting with 1... Nc4 because White cannot gain a tempo (Fine & Benko 2003:112
14).
[edit]Bishop and pawn endings
Molnar vs. Nagy, 1966

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Bishop and pawns endgame. White to move. White has a good bishop, black a bad one.
Bishop and pawn endgames come in two distinctly different variants. If the opposing bishops go on the same color of square, the mobility of the
bishops is a crucial factor. A bad bishop is one that is hemmed in by pawns of its own color, and has the burden of defending them.
The diagram on the right, from Molnar-Nagy, Hungary 1966, illustrates the concepts of good bishop versus bad bishop, opposition, zugzwang, and
outside passed pawn. White wins with 1.e6! (vacating e5 for his king) Bxe6 2.Bc2! Bf7 3.Be4! Be8 4.Ke5! Seizing the opposition (i.e. the kings are
two orthogonal squares apart, with the other player on move) and placing Black in zugzwanghe must either move his king, allowing White's king to
penetrate, or his bishop, allowing a decisive incursion by White's bishop. 4...Bd7 5.Bxg6!
[edit]Bishop and pawn versus bishop on the same color
Centurini

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Draw
Centurini, 1847

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White to move wins
Two rules given by Luigi Centurini in the 19th century apply:
The game is a draw if the defending king can reach any square in front of the pawn that is opposite in color to the squares the bishops travel
on.
If the defending king is behind the pawn and the attacking king is near the pawn, the defender can draw only if his king is attacking the pawn,
he has the opposition, and his bishop can move on two diagonals that each have at least two squares available (other than the square it is on
(Fine & Benko 2003:152). This is the case for central pawns and the bishop pawn whose promotion square is not the same color as the bishop
(Fine & Benko 2003:154).
The position in the second diagram shows a winning position for White, although it requires accurate play. A knight pawn always wins if the
defending bishop only has one long diagonal available (Fine & Benko 2003:15556).
Portisch vs. Tal, 1965

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Position before 67. Bd5!
This position was reached in a game from the 1965 Candidates Tournament between Lajos Portisch and former World Champion Mikhail
Tal.
[1]
White must defend accurately and utilize reciprocal zugzwang. Often he has only one or two moves that avoid a losing position. Black was
unable to make any progress and the game was drawn on move 83 (Nunn 1995:169).
[edit]Bishops on opposite colors

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White to play, a draw. White wins if the pawn is on f5 instead of e5 (Fine & Benko 2003:18492).
Main article: opposite-colored bishops endgame
Endings with bishops of opposite color, meaning that one bishop works on the light squares, the other one working on dark squares, are notorious
for theirdrawish character. Many players in a poor position have saved themselves from a loss by trading down to such an endgame. They are often
drawn even when one side has a two pawn advantage since the weaker side can create a blockade on the squares which his bishop operates on.
Interestingly, the weaker side should often try to make his bishop bad by placing his pawns on the same color of his bishop in order to defend his
remaining pawns, thereby creating an impregnable fortress.
[edit]Bishop versus knight endings (with pawns)
Current theory is that bishops are better than knights about 60 percent of the time, in the middlegame and endgame. The more symmetrical the
pawns are (i.e. Black's pawns are on the same files as White's pawns), the better it is for the knight. The knight is best suited at an outpost in the
center whereas the bishop is strongest when it can attack targets on both sides of the board or a series of squares of the same color (Beliavsky &
Mikhalchishin 1995:122).
Fine and Benko (Fine & Benko 2003:205) give four conclusions:
1. In general the bishop is better than the knight.
2. When there is a material advantage, the difference between the bishop and knight is not very important. However, the bishop usually
wins more easily than the knight.
3. If the material is even, the position should be drawn. However, the bishop can exploit positional advantages more efficiently.
4. When most of the pawns are on the same color as the bishop (i.e. a bad bishop), the knight is better.
[edit]Bishop and pawn versus knight
Mller & Lamprecht, diagram 5.02

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White to move wins; Black to move draws
This is a draw if the defending king is in front of the pawn or sufficiently close. The defending king can occupy a square in front of the pawn of the
opposite color as the bishop and cannot be driven away. Otherwise the attacker can win (Fine & Benko 2003:206).
[edit]Knight and pawn versus bishop
Muller & Lamprecht, diagram 5.23, from Fine, 1941

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White to move wins; Black to move draws
This is a draw if the defending king is in front of the pawn or sufficiently near. The bishop is kept on a diagonal that the pawn must cross and the
knight cannot both block the bishop and drive the defending king away. Otherwise the attacker can win (Fine & Benko 2003:209).
[edit]Rook and pawn endings
Rook and pawn endgames are often drawn in spite of one side having an extra pawn. (In some cases, two extra pawns are not enough to win.) An
extra pawn is harder to convert to a win in a rook and pawn endgame than any other type of endgame except a bishop endgame with bishops on
opposite colors. Rook endings are probably the deepest and most well studied endgames. They are a common type of endgame in practice,
occurring in about 10 percent of all games (including ones that do not reach an endgame) (Emms 2008:7). These endgames occur frequently
because rooks are often the last pieces to be exchanged. The ability to play these endgames well is a major factor distinguishing masters from
amateurs (Nunn 2007:125). When both sides have two rooks and pawns, the stronger side usually has more winning chances than if each had only
one rook (Emms 2008:141).
Three rules of thumb regarding rooks are worth noting:
1. Rooks should almost always be placed behind passed pawns, whether one's own or the opponent's (the Tarrasch rule). A notable
exception is in the ending of a rook and pawn versus a rook, if the pawn is not too far advanced. In that case, the best place for the
opposing rook is in front of the pawn.
2. Rooks are very poor defenders relative to their attacking strength. So it is often good to sacrifice a pawn for activity.
3. A rook on the seventh rank can wreak mayhem among the opponent's pawns. The power of a rook on the seventh rank is not confined to
the endgame. The classic example isCapablancaTartakower, New York 1924 (see annotated game without diagrams or Java board)
An important winning position in the rook and pawn versus rook endgame is the so-called Lucena position. If the side with the pawn can reach the
Lucena position, he wins. However, there are several important drawing techniques such as the Philidor position, the back rank defense (rook on
the first rank, for rook pawns and knight pawns only), the frontal defense, and the short side defense. A general rule is that if the weaker side's
king can get to the queening square of the pawn, the game is a draw and otherwise it is a win, but there are many exceptions.
[edit]Rook and pawn versus rook
Main article: Rook and pawn versus rook endgame
Fine & Benko, diagram 646

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White to play wins because of theLucena position. Black to play draws with 1... Ra8+, either because ofperpetual check or winning the pawn.
Generally (but not always), if the defending king can reach the queening square of the pawn the game is a draw (see Philidor position), otherwise the
attacker usually wins (if it is not a rook pawn) (see Lucena position) (Fine & Benko 2003:294). The winning procedure can be very difficult and some
positions require up to sixty moves to win (Speelman, Tisdall & Wade 1993:7). If the attacking rook is two files from the pawn and the defending king
is cut off on the other side, the attacker normally wins (with a few exceptions) (Fine & Benko 2003:294). The rook and pawn versus rook is the most
common of the "piece and pawn versus piece" endgames (Nunn 2007:148).
The most difficult case of a rook and pawn versus a rook is when the attacking rook is one file over from the pawn and the defending king is cut off
on the other side. Siegbert Tarrasch gave the following rules for this case: "For a player defending against a pawn on the fifth or even sixth ranks to
obtain a draw, even after his king has been forced off the queening square, the following conditions must obtain: The file on which the pawn stands
divides the board into two unequal parts. The defending rook must stand in the longer part and give checks from the flank at the greatest possible
distance from the attacking king. Nothing less than a distance of three files makes it possible for the rook to keep on giving check. Otherwise it would
ultimately be attacked by the king. The defending king must stand on the smaller part of the board." See the short side defense at Rook and pawn
versus rook endgame.
[edit]Quotation
"All rook and pawn endings are drawn."
The context of this quote shows it is a comment on the fact that a small advantage in a rook and pawn endgame is less likely to be converted into a
win. Mark Dvoretsky said that the statement is "semi-joking, semi-serious" (Dvoretsky & Yusupov 2008:159). This quotation has variously been
attributed to Savielly Tartakower and to Siegbert Tarrasch. Writers Victor Korchnoi (Korchnoi 2002:29), John Emms (Emms 2008:41), and James
Howell (Howell 1997:36) attribute the quote to Tartakower, whereas Dvoretsky (Dvoretsky 2006:158), Andy Soltis (Soltis 2003:52), Karsten Mller,
[2]
,
and Kaufeld & Kern (Kaufeld & Kern 2011:167) attribute it to Tarrasch. John Watsonattributed to Tarrasch "by legend" and says that statistics do not
support the statement (Watson 1998:8182). Benko wonders if it was due to Vasily Smyslov (Benko 2007:186). Attributing the quote to Tarrasch
may be a result of confusion between this quote and the Tarrasch rule concerning rooks. The source of the quote is currently unresolved.
[3]
Benko
noted that although the saying is usually said with tongue in cheek, it is truer in practice than one might think (Benko 2007:189).
[edit]Queen and pawn endings
In Queen and pawn endings, passed pawns have paramount importance, because the queen can escort it to the queening square alone. The
advancement of the passed pawn outweighs the number of pawns. The defender must resort to perpetual check. These endings are frequently
extremely long affairs. For an example of a Queen and pawn endgame see Kasparov versus The World Kasparov won although he had fewer
pawns because his was more advanced. For the ending with a queen versus a pawn, see Queen versus pawn endgame.
[edit]Queen and pawn versus queen
Main article: Queen and pawn versus queen endgame
Mller & Lamprecht, diagram 9.12A

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White to play wins; Black to play draws
The queen and pawn versus queen endgame is the second most common of the "piece and pawn versus piece" endgames, after rook and pawn
versus rook. It is very complicated and difficult to play. Human analysts were not able to make a complete analysis before the advent of endgame
tablebases (Nunn 2007:148). This combination is a win less frequently than the equivalent ending with rooks.
[edit]Rook versus a minor piece
Chron, 1926

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White to play draws; Black to play wins (Mller & lamprecht 2001:273)
The difference in material between a rook and a minor piece is about two points or a little less, the equivalent of two pawns.
A rook and a pawn versus a minor piece: normally a win for the rook but there are some draws. In particular, if the pawn is on its sixth rank and
is a bishop pawn or rook pawn, and the bishop does not control the pawn's promotion square, the position is a draw (de la Villa 2008:221).
See wrong bishop.
A rook versus a minor piece: normally a draw but in some cases the rook wins, see pawnless chess endgame.
A rook versus a minor piece and one pawn: usually a draw but the rook may win.
A rook versus a minor piece and two pawns: usually a draw but the minor piece may win.
A rook versus a minor piece and three pawns: a win for the minor piece.
If both sides have pawns, the result essentially depends on how many pawns the minor piece has for the exchange:
No pawns for the exchange (i.e. same number of pawns on each side): the rook usually wins.
One pawn for the exchange (i.e. minor piece has one more pawn): the rook usually wins, but it is technically difficult. If all of the pawns are on
one side of the board it is usually a draw.
Two pawns for the exchange: this is normally a draw. With a bishop either side may have winning chances. With a knight, the rook may have
winning chances and the defense is difficult for the knight if the pawns are scattered.
Three pawns for the exchange: this is normally a win for the minor piece (Fine & Benko 2003:459ff).
[edit]Two minor pieces versus a rook
Capablanca vs. Lasker, 1914
[4]


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Black to play draws (Muller & lamprecht 2001:23)
In an endgame, two minor pieces are approximately equivalent to a rook plus one pawn. The pawn structure is important. The two pieces have the
advantage if the opponent's pawns are weak. Initiative is more important in this endgame than any other. The general outcome can be broken down
by the number of pawns.
The two pieces have one or more extra pawns: always a win for the pieces.
Same number of pawns: usually a draw but the two pieces win more often than the rook.
The rook has one extra pawn: usually a draw but either side may have winning chances, depending on positional factors.
The rook has two additional pawns: normally a win for the rook (Fine & Benko 2003:44958).
[edit]Queen versus two rooks
Leko-Kramnik, World championship, 2004
[5]


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Black to move won
Without pawns this is normally drawn but either side wins in some positions. A queen and pawn are normally equivalent to two rooks, which is
usually a draw if both sides have an equal number of additional pawns. Two rooks plus one pawn versus a queen is also generally drawn.
Otherwise, if either side has an additional pawn, that side normally wins (Fine & Benko 2003:56667).
[edit]Queen versus rook and minor piece
van Wely vs. Yusupov, 2000
[6]


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Black to move won
If there are no pawns, the position is usually drawn, but either side wins in some positions. A queen is equivalent to a rook and bishop plus one
pawn. If the queen has an additional pawn it wins, but with difficulty. A rook and bishop plus two pawns win over a queen (Fine & Benko 2003:563).
[edit]Queen versus rook
Philidor, 1777

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White wins with either side to move
Without pawns, the queen normally wins but it can be difficult and there are some drawn positions (see Philidor position#Queen versus rook).
If the rook has one pawn drawing positions are possible, depending on the pawn and the proximity of the rook and king. See fortress
(chess)#Rook and pawn versus queen. Otherwise the queen wins.
If the rook has two connected pawns the position is usually a draw. For any other two pawns, the queen wins except in the positions where a
fortress with one pawn can be reached.
If the rook has three or more pawns the position is usually a draw but there are cases in which the queen wins and some in which the rook
wins.
If the queen also has a pawn or pawns it wins except in unusual positions (Fine & Benko 2003:57079).
[edit]Piece versus pawns
Johann Berger 1914 (Fine & Benko diagram 1053)

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White to play wins. Black wins if his pieces are one rank more advanced (pawns on f3, g3, and h2, king on h3).
There are many cases for a lone piece versus pawns. The position of the pawns is critical.
Minor piece versus pawns: A minor piece versus one or two pawns is normally a draw, unless the pawns are advanced. Three pawns either
draw or win, depending on how advanced they are. Three connected pawns win against a bishop if they all get past their fourth rank (Fine &
Benko 2003:93ff,12930). A knight can draw against three connected pawns if none are beyond their fourth rank (Mller & Lamprecht
2001:62).
Rook versus pawns: If the rook's king is not near, one pawn draws and two pawns win. If the rook's king is near, the rook wins over one or two
pawns and draws against three. Four pawns usually win but the rook may be able to draw, depending on their position. More than four pawns
win against the rook (Fine & Benko 2003:275,29293).
Queen versus pawns: A queen can win against any number of pawns, depending on how advanced they are. The queen would win against
eight pawns on the second rank but a pawn on the seventh rank may draw (see Queen versus pawn endgame) and two advanced pawns may
win (Fine & Benko 2003:526ff).
[edit]Endings with no pawns
Fine & Benko, diagram 967

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White to play wins; Black to play draws
Main article: Pawnless chess endgames
Besides the basic checkmates, there are other endings with no pawns. They do not occur very often in practice. Two of the most common pawnless
endgames (when the defense has a piece in addition to the king) are (1) a queen versus a rook and (2) a rook and bishop versus a rook. A queen
wins against a rook, see pawnless chess endgame#Queen versus rook. A rook and bishop versus a rook is generally a theoretical draw, but the
defense is difficult and there are winning positions (see rook and bishop versus rook endgame).
[edit]Positions with a material imbalance
A rook is worth roughly two pawns plus a bishop or a knight. A bishop and knight are worth roughly a rook and a pawn, and a queen is worth a rook,
a minor piece (bishop or knight) and a pawn (seechess piece relative value). Three pawns are often enough to win against a minor piece, but two
pawns rarely are.
However, with rooks on the board, the bishop often outweighs the pawns. This is because the bishop defends against enemy rook attacks, while the
bishop's own rook attacks enemy pawns and reduces the enemy rook to passivity. This relates to Rule 2 with rooks (above).
A bishop is usually worth more than a knight. A bishop is especially valuable when there are pawns on both wings of the board, since it can intercept
them quickly.
[edit]Effect of tablebases on endgame theory
Endgame tablebases have made some minor corrections to historical endgame analysis, but they have made some more significant changes to
endgame theory too. (The fifty-move rule is not taken into account in these studies.) Major changes to endgame theory as a result of tablebases
include (Mller & Lamprecht 2001:8,400406):
Queen versus rook (see Philidor position#Queen versus rook). There are two changes here enabling the rook to put up a better defense, but
the queen still wins. (a) People usually opt for a second-rank defense with the rook on the second rank and the king behind it (or symmetrical
positions on the other edges of the board). Tablebases show that a third-rank defense takes a while to breach, which is difficult for a human to
do. (b) People had assumed that the rook needs to stay as close to the king for as long as possible, but tablebases show that it is best to move
the rook away from the king at some earlier point (Nunn 2002:49ff).
Queen and pawn versus queen. Tablebases have shown that this can be won in many more positions than was thought, but the logic of the
moves is presently beyond human understanding (Nunn 1995:265).
Queen versus two bishops. This was thought to be a draw due to the existence of a drawing fortress position, but the queen can win most of
the time by preventing the bishops from getting to the fortress. However, it can take up to 71 moves to force a win (Nunn 2002:290ff).

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This position was thought to be drawn, but White to move wins in this position. Some similar positions are actually drawn (e.g. with the queen on e2).
Queen versus two knights. This was thought to be a draw and generally it is, but the queen has more winning positions than was previously
thought. Also, many analysts gave a position (see diagram) that they thought was a draw but it is actually a win for the queen (Nunn
2002:300ff). In the diagram, White checkmates in 43 moves, starting with 1. Qc7 (the only winning move). Note that Nunn says "The general
result is undoubtedly a draw, but there are many losing positions, some of them very lengthy." On the other hand, Batsford Chess
Endings states that 89.7 percent of the starting positions are wins for the queen (Speelman, Tisdall & Wade 1993:7). However, these
percentages can be misleading, and most "general results" are based on the analysis ofgrandmasters using the tablebase data (Mller &
Lamprecht 2001:406), (Nunn 2002:324). For instance, although nearly 90 percent of all of these positions are wins for the queen, it is generally
a draw if the king is not separated from the knights and they are on reasonable squares (Mller & Lamprecht 2001:339).

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This position was thought to be drawn (Kling and Horwitz, 1851), but White wins.
Two bishops versus a knight. This was thought to be a draw but the bishops generally win. However, it takes up to 66 moves. The position in
the diagram was thought to be a draw for over one hundred years, but tablebases show that White wins in 45 moves. All of the long wins go
through this type of semi-fortress position. It takes several moves to force Black out of the temporary fortress in the corner; then precise play
with the bishops prevents Black from forming the temporary fortress in another corner (Nunn 1995:265ff). Before computer analysis, Speelman
listed this position as unresolved, but "probably a draw" (Speelman 1981:109).
Queen and bishop versus two rooks. This was thought to be a draw but the queen and bishop usually win. It takes up to 84 moves (Nunn
2002:367ff).
Rook and bishop versus bishop and knight, bishops on opposite colors. This was thought to be a draw but the rook and bishop generally win. It
takes up to 98 moves (Nunn 2002:342ff).
[edit]Longest forced win

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White to move has a forced win, starting with 1. Rg1+ (the only winning move). White wins a rook on move 290. Sixty-eight of the moves are the only
move which preserves the win.

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Black to move, White converts to a simpler winning position in 330 moves.

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With Black to move, White forces a win in 517 moves.
In October 2005, Marc Bourzutschky and Yakov Konoval announced that a position in the ending of a king, two rooks and a knight versus a king and
two rooks requires 290 moves to convert to a simpler winning endgame. This type of ending is thought to be a draw in general. The old record was
243 moves from a position in a rook and knight versus two knights endgame, discovered by Lewis Stiller in 1991
[7]
(Endings of a rook and knight
versus two knights are generally draws.) On March 10, 2006 Marc Bourzutschky and Yakov Konoval announced a new record for the longest
endgame, requiring 330 moves to conversion to a simpler ending. In May 2006 a record-shattering 517-move endgame was announced. Mark
Bourzutschky found it using a program written by Yakov Konoval. Black's first move is 1. ... Rd7+ and White wins the rook in 517 moves (see
diagram).
It should be noted that such endgames do not necessarily represent strictly optimal play from both sides, as Black may delay checkmate by allowing
an earlier conversion or White may accelerate it by delaying a conversion (or not making one at all). For example, for the earlier position found by
Stiller, if Black plays to delay conversion as long as possible and White plays to convert as soon as possible, White captures a knight on the 243rd
move and checkmates on the 246th move.
[8]
However, if Black and White play, respectively, to maximize and minimize the distance to checkmate,
White captures the first knight on the 242nd move, but only checkmates on move 262.
[7]
Since space limitations make the computation of seven-man
tablebases using the distance-to-mate metric impractical, the six-man position discovered by Stiller continues to be the longest
forced checkmate discovered by computer (although longer forced checkmates have been constructed).
[9]


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White to play and mate in 262. (Stiller)

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The first point where distance-to-mate and distance-to-conversion diverge, given best play from the starting position in the previous diagram.
205...Nb6 maximizes DTC. 205...Nec7 maximizes DTM.
The fifty-move rule is ignored in the calculation of these results and lengths.
[edit]Endgame classification
Endgames can be classified by the material on the board. The standard classification system lists each player's material, including the kings, in the
following order: king, queen, bishops, knights, rooks, pawn. Each piece is designated by its algebraic symbol.
For example, if White has a king and pawn, and Black has only a king, the endgame is classified KPK. If White has bishop and knight, and Black has
a rook, the endgame is classified KBNKR. Note that KNBKR would be incorrect; bishops come before knights.
In positions with two or more bishops on the board, a "bishop signature" may be added to clarify the relationship between the bishops. Two methods
have been used. The informal method is to designate one color of squares as "x" and the other color as "y". An endgame of KBPKB can be
written KBPKB x-y if the bishops are opposite-colored, or KBPKB x-x if the bishops are same-colored. The more formal method is to use a four digit
suffix of the form abcd:
a = number of White light-squared bishops
b = number of White dark-squared bishops
c = number of Black light squared bishops
d = number of Black dark-squared bishops
Thus, the aforementioned endgame can be written KBPKB_1001 for opposite-color bishops, and KBPKB_1010 for same-color bishops.
GBR code is an alternative method of endgame classification.
The Encyclopedia of Chess Endings had a different classification scheme, somewhat similar to the ECO codes, but it is not widely used. The full
system is a 53-page index that was contained in the book The Best Endings of Capablanca and Fischer. The code starts with a letter representing
the most powerful piece on the board, not counting kings. The order is queen, rook, bishop, knight, and then pawn. (Figurines are used to stand for
the pieces.) Each of these has up to 100 subclassifications, for instance R00 through R99. The first digit is a code for the pieces. For
instance, R0 contains all endgames with a rook versus pawns and a rook versus a lone king, R8 contains the double rook endgames,
and R9 contains the endings with more than four pieces. The second digit is a classification for the number of pawns. For instance, R30 contains
endgames with a rook versus a rook without pawns or with one pawn and R38 are rook versus rook endings in which one player has two extra
pawns.
[10]

[edit]Frequency table
The table below lists the most common endings in actual games by percentage (percentage of games, not percentage of endings. Generally pawns
go along with the pieces.) (Mller & Lamprecht 2001:1112, 304)
Endgame frequency table
Percent Pieces Pieces
8.45 rook rook
6.76 rook & bishop rook & knight
3.45 two rooks two rooks
3.37 rook & bishop rook & bishop (same color)
3.29 bishop knight
3.09 rook & knight rook & knight
2.87 king & pawns king (and pawns)
1.92 rook & bishop rook & bishop (opposite color)
1.87 queen queen
1.77 rook & bishop rook
1.65 bishop bishop (same color)
1.56 knight knight
1.51 rook bishop
1.42 rook & knight rook
1.11 bishop bishop (opposite color)
1.01 bishop pawns
0.97 rook knight
0.92 knight pawns
0.90 queen & minor piece queen
0.81 rook two minor pieces
0.75 rook pawns
0.69 queen rook & minor piece
0.67 rook & pawn rook
0.56 rook & two pawns rook
0.42 queen pawns
0.40 queen rook
0.31 queen two rooks
0.23 king & one pawn king
0.17 queen minor piece
0.09 queen & one pawn queen
0.08 queen two minor pieces
0.02 bishop & knight king
0.01 queen three minor pieces
The endgame in chess
The end game is the last phase of a chess game. This part of the game is
characterized by a relatively small number of pieces on the chess board.
The end game is the most analyzed part of the game. There is a huge volume
of information about it, many chess books focusing specifically on this part of the
game. The reason for this is that in end games certain patterns in positions appear to
repeat themselves during games. That means that, because there are relatively few
pieces on the board, a particular position may appear more than once in your games.
Many beginners make the mistake of overlooking this part of the game as they
believe it to lack any spontaneities. They believe that this phase of the game is only
about calculating the possible moves. That is not true. Although it involves the cold,
mathematical like, analysis of the game, the end game can also contain amazing
tactical procedures and combinations. If you don't believe me just look at the
grandmasters : they all exceed at this part of the game.
Another argument in favor of studying more careful the end game is that in this
part of the game, supposing you know how to play it, you could take benefit of even
the smallest advantage you gained during the opening and middle game. Of course ,if
you have a disadvantage you can sometimes end the game as a draw.
For example if you reach to a point where on the chess board there are only
your two bishops your king and your opponent's king do you think you can checkmate
his king? If you are familiar with this kind of an end game you probably will. But if you
aren't I'm almost sure that you won't be able to checkmate. And this is just a basic
example of a chess end game. There are countless more end games that you need to
know in order to really know how to play chess.
This site has only a few basic end game examples for now. If you are really
serious about wanting to learn the game I suggest you look for a good book that
necessarily must contain more end games studies.
The square rule
This trick will help you to determine wether a king can catch a pawn before it
can be promoted. Of course you can calculate this on your own but the method you'll
see here will allow you to figure it out much faster ( shortages of time are quite
frequent in this part of the game).

Look at the following example.

he square rule is nothing more than visualizing a square as shown in the image.
The side of the square is made by the square on which the pawn is and the remaining
squares to the promotion square. If the opposing king manages to enter the square
then it will be able to catch that pawn just before it gets promoted and capture it. As
you can see in the example the black king is not in the white pawn's square. But if it's
Black's turn to move the king will enter the square and will eventually catch the pawn.
However if it's White's turn to move the black king won't be able to reach the pawn in
time.
When establishing the square you should keep in mind that from the initial
position the pawn can move two squares... so pay attention!
What is opposition
The term of opposition refers to the position of the two kings placed one in front
of the other separated by a square.

Obtaining opposition is very important in pawns endings and in many cases is
decisive.
Look at the following game.
OppositionThe two kings are in opposition. The king
who has to leave opposition will loose.
1... Kc7-d7 2. Kc5-b6 Kd7-c8 and
with 3. Kb6-c6! the White wins the opposition again.
Now we have the same situation as earlier : the black
king has to leave the opposition :
3... Kc8-b8 (or Kc1-d1) 4. Kc6-
d7and now the white king has the promotion square
under control. 4...Kb8-b7 5. c4-c5 Kb7-b8 6. c5-c6Kb8-
a7 7. c6-c7 Ka7-b6 8. c7-c8and now White has
promoted the pawn into a queen.The black king will
inevitable be checkmated.
Now let's take a look to the
original position. If the white king has to leave the
opposition 1. Kc5-b5 then the black king will maintain
the opposition by 1 ... Kc7-b7 2. c4-c5 Kb7-c7 3. c5-c6
Kc7-c8 4.Kb5-b6 Kc8-b8 and the game ends a draw;
White has to give up its pawn or there will be a
stalemate siZugzwang
Zugzwang is a situation that takes place when a player that has his turn to
move is forced to make that move even if it will cause him a disadvantage. There are
times when you can play in such a manner that you can bring your opponent in a
zugzwang situation.
What would happen if we were to add to the example from the previous article
those pawns in the right? The absolute beginner could say that the position is equal
because both sides have an equal number of pawns. That is far from truth. Notes that
Black isn't able to move his pawn from h7 because the white pawn from g5 will
immediately capture it (either by en passant if 1... h7-h5 or just a regular capture if 1...
h7-h6).
In fact White will win regardless of who moves first. If Black were to move first
then he would loose the opposition and we would have the same situation
from opposition. If White will make the first move then he will bring Black in a
zugzwang position.
Zugzwang 1. Kc5-d5 Kc7-d7 2. c4-c5 Kd7-c7 3. c5-
c6 Kc7-c8 4. Kd5-d6 Kc8-d8 5. c6-c7+Kd8-c8 6. Kd6-c6 And voila the Black is official in a
zugzwang position. If it wasn't the pawn at h7 then this would have been stalemate.But, that is
not the case. White has intentionally lead the game to a zugzwang position for Back. Now
Black is forced to move its free pawn.
6... h7-h6 7. g5:h6 ( Or 6... h7-h57.g5:h6(by enpassant)
) 7... g6-g58. h6-h7 g5-g4 9. h7-h8 The pawn is promoted into a rook and it's checkmate for
the black king ; White wins.
Two bishops checkmate
Mating with two bishops is a little more complicated but not to worry, it's not that
hard.
It follows the same concept as the other checkmating patterns : the king which
is about to be checkmated is slowly pushed towards the edge of the board were it gets
finally 'executed'. Unlike checkmating with the rook were you had to lead the king
towards a line at the edge of the board, when checkmating with two bishops the king
will be pushed towards a corner of the board. This can only happen if the two bishops
work together with their king.( When on two sided diagonals the two bishops produces
a barrier in front of the opposing king)
The black king will try to stay as close as possible to the barrier made by the two
bishops. This way it will have the opportunity to escape the barrier if one of the bishops
checks it. This is where the white king comes to the rescue, and helps the two bishops
to reduce the Black's free space. 1. Kg2-f3 Kd4-
e5 2. Kf3-e3 Ke5-d5 3.Ba4-b3+ Kd5-e5 4. Bg5-e7 Now the black king can only go to
the right.
4... Ke5-f5 5. Be7-d6 Prevents the black king from
going to the diagonal near the barrier. 5... Kf5-g5 6. Ke3-e4 Kg5-g4 7. Bb3-e6+ Kg4-
g5 8.Bd6-e7+
Kg5-g6 9. Ke4-f4 Kg6-h6 10. Kf4-f5Kh6-
g7 11. Kf5-g5 Kg7-h7 This is were most beginners tend to make a mistake. Most fail
to find the solution and just end up either by losing a bishop or by stalemate. This is
what you have to do : you reduce the black king's free space to only two squares and
then your king moves in for the kill. Just like this :
12. Be7-f8Kh7-h8 13. Kg5-f6 Kh8-h7 14. Kf6-f7 Kh7-h8 15. Bf8-g7+
Kh8-h7 16. Be6-f5 Checkmate!
This were just a few simple checkmating patterns that may occur in endgames.
Now we are going to take a look at checkmating patterns that may occur
somewhere else than the end game. This are quite often among beginners so by
knowing them you will learn how to avoid them or how to apply them in your game.
Checkmating on the back rank
After a player castle, he gets his king into a safer location. Look at the following
example.

Both White and Black had performed the castling. But, if in this position, the
king is attacked by a rook or the queen and the disadvantaged player has no
possibility of capturing the attacking piece or has no possibility of interposing a piece
between the king and that rook or queen, then checkmate results (because the king
has no where to go). This type of checkmate is sometimes called back rank mate
,because it takes place on the back rank.
In the following example the white king is exposed to being checkmated on the
back-rank with 1... Re7-e1. The black king is, however, quite safe because of the
escape square at h7 ; so if White has its turn to move and tries 1. Rd3-d8 then the
king can escape with 1... Kg8-h7.

In the following game Black is down a rook. But if you look more closer you can
see that White is predisposed to being checkmated on the back rank: 1... Re7:e1 2.
Rc1:e1 Qb4:e1 Checkmate!. And even if the Black had a rook less he won the
game.

In the next example the black king has the escape square at h7 but that square
is under the control of the white bishop from d3. So after 1. Re1-e8 the king is
checkmated.

The fact is that many tactics revolves around back rank mate. Many beginners
often fall in this kind of traps.
My advice to you is to pay attention when you run into this kind of positions. It's always
a good idea to have an escape square where the king could move if attacked, or some
other way to protect it.
Chess tactic
Tactic in chess usually involves a succession of moves which are based on
forcing the opponent into making moves that disadvantage him. The purpose behind
the tactical procedure is to gain material or positional advantage or to save the game.
This combination of moves is usually spectacular because at a less careful analysis of
the board it is hard to spot the objectives behind it.
In order to control the middle game you have to be familiar with elements of
tactic and strategy (strategy involves establishing the purpose of the game and making
the general plan by analyzing the position and is a more abstract notion than tactic).
Tactic and strategy must be combined together in order to help the player to
determine what must be done and how that will be done.
There is a common misconception that you can only learn strategy and that
tactic is a matter of talent. That is not true. You can learn tactic just like you would
learn strategy. All the way from the beginning of the history of modern chess there
have been noticed recurring positions that kept appearing in the game. This positions
lead to the theory of the end game and that of tactic. It's easy to imagine such typical
positions in the end game (where because of the limited number of pieces on the
board the same ending can occur again and again). Well, pretty much the same thing
is happening in the central game too (although there are a great number of pieces on
the chess board, in this part of the game, only a few actively participate at the tactical
operation; the great number of pieces on the board also implies that the typical
positions in the central game have a more general aspect then the position from the
ending).
You may have heard about the notion of combination. A combination is a
particular case of a tactical maneuver in which a sacrifice is being done. One of the
great chess players of the world, Botvinnik, gave a good definition of this notion: " The
combination is a forced version of sacrifice". Botvinnik states that the forced tactical
maneuver, without a sacrifice, must not be mistaken with the combination. So, in the
end, you could say that the thing that characterizes the combination is the sacrifice.

When you want to apply a tactical maneuver, you have to focus on two elements:
1. On determining wether you should start the maneuver. You have to take this
decision based on the position on the board (an exposed king, a piece which
has no protection and so on). Remember: you should start a procedure that
involves a sacrifice of some sort only when your opponent has a
weakness and only when you know that this procedure will bring you and
advantage.
2. On actually applying the tactical maneuver.
Now that we made this short introduction to tactic it's time to move on to
introducing and explaining each tactical procedure.
The double attack
This tactical procedure is very common in many games. As you might have
guessed this procedure involves attacking two (or more) pieces or squares
simultaneously. In a normal attack a player could defend by moving the piece,
exchanging it or protecting it. The double attack has bigger chances of causing a
weakens in your opponent's game. You can use the double attack in any phase of the
game. Because the queen is the piece with the greatest range of action and mobility it
can execute this procedure more easily than the other pieces.
Checkout the following games to understand how to apply this procedure.
In the next game it's Black's turn to move. With 1...Qe5! he attacks both the
bishop from f5 and the rook from a1. But White has an escape; he can capture the
knight at d7 with check : 2. B:d7+ and Black is forced to protect the king 2...
K:d7giving this way, his opponent the chance to move the rook 3. Rd1. This time
White found resources to defend himself.

In the next example White has its turn to move. From this position he has no
way to perform a double attack. But if you watch more carefully you can see that he
has this move: 1. Qb3. Now the knight at f7 is under attack; Black has to protect him
somehow: 1... Rf8. The first's move purpose wasn't only to attack the knight. White
wanted to bring the queen in such a position that he can perform the following double
attack : 2. Qf3!. Now the queen threatens two places : the knight at f6(which is also
attacked by the bishop from b2) and the checkmate at a8 so.. it's obviously Black will
lose the knight. Observe how the first move didn't allowed Black to protect himself
against the double attack because it forced him to protect the knight at f7.

This tactical procedure can appear in the openings too.
These are usual moves in the Sicilian Defense : 1. e4 c5 2. d4 c:d4 3. Nf3 e5.
And now the position from the next example resulted.

If you are not careful you might be tempted to capture the pawn at e5 with the
knight. That would be a mistake because after N:e5 Qa5+ the queen attacks both the
knight and the king with check. (So you are forced to protect the king and therefore
you lose the knight).
The double attacks performed by the knights can be quite astounding.
In the next game White moves 1. Ba3:d6!. Black can't capture the bishop 1...
c7:d6 because 2. Ne4:d6+ with check and multiple attack over the queen and the
rook; and of course after the king is moved 3. Nd6:b5.

The fork
You can also perform double attack with the pawns. In this case the double
attack is called a fork.
In the following example it's Black's turn to move. He currently has no possibility
of a double attack. But that doesn't stop him from creating the possibility : 1... d5 2.
e:d5 c:d5 3. Bb3 and now he is able to perform the fork: 3... d4 (the pawn attacks
both the knight and the queen; White has to give up the knight).

The double check
The double check is another particularity of the double attack. It's called double
check because the king is being checked by both the piece which moved and the
piece whose path was freed. In this case the king can be made safe only by moving it.
It can't be made safe by capturing a piece or by placing a piece between the king and
the attacker.
In the game below Black performs a double check with Nd4:f3++ and captures
a bishop. The king can only be made safe by moving it because both the bishop
from b6 and the knight from f3 are checking it. This allows Black to perform the next
double attack over the queen and the two rooks: Nf3-d2 forcing White to give up a
rook. Black wins because he now has an extra rook.

Pinning
Pinning it's a tactical procedure common to many games. You can use it in any
phase of the game; in fact many openings use this tactic to disturb the opponent's
piece development. Pinning involves the participation of three pieces: a piece is
attacking another one which is being protected by a third one placed between the two.
In the following position we have more than one of these tactical procedures.

The white pawn at b4 is pinned by the black rook at a4. Now you can
understand why it's called pinning: the pawn is unable to move because then the white
rook would be captured with 1. Ra4:c4. The white pawn at f3 is also pinned because
it's placed between the king at e2 and the black queen at h5 (the pawn can't be moved
because then the king would enter under the range of action of the queen). Some of
Black's pieces are also pinned. If it were Black's turn to move then he wouldn't be able
to capture the rook at f6with the knight from d5 because the knight is pinned by the
queen from d1. As a side remark: capturing the pawn at b4 with the rook 1...Ra4: b4 is
wrong because after Rc4:b4 Black is unable to capture the white rook with the knight
from d5 . The black rook at e5 is pinned by the bishop from g3.
You can see, of course, that if a piece is pinned to the king, it is unable to move;
if it's pinned to another piece it can move.
The following moves are common to the queen's Gambit 1. d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.
Nc3 Nf6 and with 4. Bg5 White pins the black knight to the queen; the resulted
position is shown in the next example.

In the example below after 1... Rg8:g4 White is unable to capture the rook
because the pawn at f3 is pinned by the bishop from b7.

In the next example White pinned, with his queen, the black knight at g5 which
was protected by his queen. But with1...Nf3+ Black checks the white king and
after g:f3 Black captures the unprotected white queen : Q:d2 .

In the next position White moved the queen at g3 and pinned the pawn from g7.
Black didn't give much attention to this and took no actions. That allowed the following
move: 1.Bc1:h6. Black can't capture the bishop with his pawn because that would
place his king in check from the white queen. Now White won a pawn and not only
that: he now threatens checkmate with the queen at g7. This type of pinning (the
pinning of the pawn in front of the castled king) is quite frequent so pay attention to it in
your games.

Here is another example of pinning the pawn in front of the castled king:
Example of pinning combined with discovered attack
This example shows you the full power of tactic.
You'll see here how a few combined tactical procedures can help you win the game.
It's Black's turn to move. You can see that the pawn in front of the white king can be
pinned by the black rook from g7 if that knight from g5 wouldn't interrupt the rook's
range of action. Black moves: 1... Ng5-h3!! This is an excellent move as it allows the
black rook to pin the pawn and perform a double attack over the king and
queen.(Remember the pawn in front of the king is unable to capture the knight
because it's pinned.). But this is not the end! A less careful player could be tempted to
capture the queen and miss out on a much greater gain. If you look more careful you
can see that the f2 square is under the control of the black queen . White is unable to
move his king at f1 because then it would be checkmated. The only place where he
can move is 2. Kg1-h1 Now Black takes advantage of his superior position and
2... Nh3:f2+ The white king has nothing to do but to go back to the exposed
square 3. Kh1-g1 Now White can check the king by
an discovered attack with the knight: 3... Nf2-h3+ double check from the knight and
queen (notes how the white king is constrained only to the exposed
squares h2 and g2). What follows it's a great execution that brings out the artistic side
of chess : 4. Kg1-h1 Qb6-g1!! 5. Re1:g1 Nh3-
f2 Checkmate. This type of checkmate is called etouffe; the term comes from french
an means suffocated. (The king is obstructed from moving from the attacked position
because he is suffocated by it's own pieces).
What is the discovered attack
The discovered attack is a very effective tactical procedure. It involves the use
of two pieces; when a piece is moved, it frees the direction of the second one so that
this one can attack its objective. The power of this procedure lies in the fact that it can
attack two places at the same time: first, it attacks with the piece whose path has been
released and second, it could attack with the piece that has been moved. That means
that if the attacked player can't defense both objectives he will lose something. That is
why, sometimes, the player who performs this procedure can sacrifice a piece knowing
that he will recover it with an advantage or that he will checkmate the opponent! A
particular form of this attack is the discovered check (when the piece whose path is
freed, checks the king) or the double check (when both pieces checked the king).
I will show you a few examples so you can get a better idea how this is done.
In the next example Black moves 1... Re1. With this move he released the
queen's path, which is now threading checkmate at a1, and in the same time moved
the rook to the strategical square e1. Now White is unable to take the black rook 2.
R:e1 because of the checkmate 2...Qa1 nor he is able to protect himself from the
queen's checkmate with Kb1because then R:d1 checkmate. White has, however,
the move c2-c3; and with this he manages to defend his position!

In the next example the pawn from c4, when moved, will create a lot of troubles
for Black: 1. c4-c5. This way he frees theb3 bishop and attacks the black bishop
from b6. The queen is unable to move because she's pinned to her king by the white
bishop; the only move that can save the queen is 1... Ne7-d5, and so the queen is
made safe. But, unfortunately, this didn't save the bishop: 2. c5:b6 and White wins a
bishop.

The following game was played in 1934, at Hastings, between Euwe and
Thomas. White plays 1.Bd5. This is a good move; not only it threatens to capture the
queen but also to checkmate at the second move with R:f8. If Black tries 1...
R:f2 then 2. Qg8. Black has no escape from this nasty situation!

I said earlier that a particularized case of the discovered attack is the
discovered check. The next position shows you what this mean.
Black makes a surprising move: 1...Qb5:f1!. The white king has no choice but
to capture the queen 2. Kg1:f1 and thus entering under the potential range of action of
the rook from f8. Now Black performs the discovered check 2... Bf7:b3+ 3. Qc2-f2
Rf8:f2 4. Kf1:f2 Bb3:a4 and ends up with an extra bishop and an extra pawn. The first
move Black made is a part of a tactical procedure called deflecting. We'll talk about it
later.

In the next position White takes advantage of Black's bad position and makes a
discovered check 1. Rf3+ (or Rb1+) and black loses the rook.

The X-ray attack
The x-ray attack is implemented by attacking a piece through the body of
another. Follow the examples below so you can better understand this concept.
In the position below White moves 1. Bb3+ Kh8. With this move White placed
the bishop in a position were he can execute the following x-ray attack :Bd5. Now you
can understand why this attack is called x-ray: the Black queen and the rook
from a8 are on the same diagonal; when the bishop attacks the queen she will be
moved but the rook will, nevertheless, remain under the bishop's scope (It's just like
attacking the rook through the body of the queen). After the queen is moved, the rook
will be captured.

In the next example Black moves 1... Qb4-e1+. The queen is supervised by the
rook from c1 through the white rook's body. Therefor 2. Rd1:e1 Rc1:e1 checkmate!

Here is a position you may run into in your endings. You probably know that
usually, in the rooks and marginal pawns endings, the marginal pawns don't get
promoted. The position below is an exception to this rule. Black moves 1...Ra3+. The
white king can't move to the 4th rank because then with 2...Ra4 Black would perform
an x-ray attack on the white rook over the king. The king can only be moved to the 2th
rank; 2. Kc2 Ra1. Black is about to promote his pawn. White can't capture the pawn
because Black would just apply the x-ray attack: 3. R:h2 Ra2 4.Ke1 R:h2 and Black
loses the rook. As you can see, White has no defense; he will lose this game.

Interception
Interception is one of the most astounding tactical procedures. It involves the
blocking of a direction (rank, file or diagonal) in the idea of reducing the range of action
of an enemy piece. It is often done with a piece sacrifice.
In the next example the black king has a very bad position. The fastest way he
can be checkmated is 1. Bg3-d6!. With this move White blocked the black queen
(the a3-f8 diagonal); 1... c7:d6 2. Qh4-h8+Now the Black queen isn't able to move
tof8; 2...Ke8-f7 3. Qh8:g7+ Kf7-e6 4. Qg7-e7 Checkmate!

The game below was played in 1924 between Reti and Bogolliubov at New
York. White played Rf1. With this move he threatens checkmate at f8. The black
bishop can't be moved (if1...Be7 then 2. Qf7+ Kh8 3. Qe8 ). The only thing left to do
is to protect the f7 square. Black chose to move 1...Rd8; with 2. Bf7 the Black king is
forced to the h8 square and with 3. Be8 White performs the interception. With this final
move White manages to isolate the bishop's defense. Even if the black queen comes
to protect her bishop is too late: 3...Qe7 4. Q:f8 Q:f8 R:f8, checkmate! (The same
thing happens if Black chose to capture the white bishop from e8.) Had Black chosen
to protect the bishop using the queen 1...Qe7 then Bf7+ Kh8, and this time Bd5 would
interrupt the black rook which could come to protect the bishop.

In the next ending White has a good move. A less careful player could be
tempted to move 1. Bd4; that would be wrong as it would give Black the chance to
better control the transformation square. The right move is Bf8; this interception allows
White to promote his pawn. If the rook captures the bishop then the pawn will capture
the rook and will be promoted into a queen or rook (the only pieces with which Black
can be checkmated)

The next position is interesting. Black moved his knight to e4 in the idea of
threatening the double attack on c3 over both white rooks. But White has a surprise!
The only thing protecting the knight is the queen. With 1. Nb4-c6+ White has
intercepted the direction over which the black knight was protected and checked the
opponent, so that he is forced to move the king: 1... Kd8-d7. Now White performs a
double attack over the king and knight 2. Qh5-f5+ e7-e6 3. Qf5:e4 and White wins a
knight.

Removing the defender
As you may have noticed most of the pieces on the chess board are, at some
time, under the protection of other pieces from the same team. This procedure is
based on suppressing a piece which is protecting another piece or another square on
which a potential attack could occur.
The next examples should make everything more clear.
The following game appears to be balanced: both sides have an equal number
of pawns and two pieces with the same value. But things aren't always what they
seem to be, h:g5!. With this move White has now an extra pawn. Black is unable to
capture the white pawn f:g5 because he would remove the knight's defense and
then B:e5.

In the next example White attempts to remove the defender of the black rook
from f5 with 1. Rf1:f5. But Black has a good response; he will make the intermediate
move 1...Rd4:d1 2.Kc1:d1 Bc8:f5. So, in the end, Black has the advantage by having
the extra bishop. White made a mistake when he removed the defender of the knight.
This is another argument in favor of the idea that in chess you always have to pay
attention to what you're doing.

In the next example White moves 1. R:g7; this removed one of the black
knight's defender. Now the next move is possible1...B:f6 Qh7 2. B:h8 Q:h8. After his
combination White won a pawn (remember that many times an extra pawn is enough
to help you win the game).

Look at the example below. Black moves 1...B:f3!. This is a good move
because White has to capture the bishop in order to win back the lost value (the
knight); but when he'll capture the bishop he'll leave the pawn from h3 defenseless. 2.
g:f3 3. R:h3+ Kg2. White has now a bad situation: he's down a pawn and those two
he has are on the same column!

In the next game it's White's turn to move. If you payed attention until now you
won't have many troubles in spotting the best move: 1. Qh8+ Qg8 (the only possible
move) 2.Q:g8 K:g8, and now that the knight from c4 no longer has the queen to
protect him, he will be captured and thus White will end up with an extra knight N:e4.

Blocking the king's escape
This tactical procedure involves blocking the square on which the king could
escape.
In the next game White has more valuable pieces than his opponent. But, Black
compensates that by having the possibility of a good move. If Black were to check his
opponent's king by moving the queen at a1 then the king could escape tob5 and then
perform a powerful counterattack which would lead to White's defeat (the Black king is
under serious pressure from both rooks and the knight). The Right move Black should
do is 1...b6-b5+. This move blocked the white king's escape. Now White has no
possibility of defending himself; even if he captures the pawn c4:b6 the escape square
the king still remains blocked and Black can still perform the checkmate: Qe5-a1

What follows is a classic example of using blocking. White has his turn to move.
He will force Black to block his own king by moving 1. Qg8! R:g8 (the only possible
move) and now that the king is blocked he can be easily checkmated Nf7 . This type
of checkmate is called etouffe; the term 'etouffe' is french and it means suffocated. It's
called this way because the king is stopped from moving by its own pieces (he is
suffocated).

Freeing
This tactical procedure involves removing your own pieces from certain squares
in order to open certain directions or to occupy that square with another piece that may
be more suited for the current position.
In the next game White moves 1. N:b6+. If Black captures the knight with 1...
a:b6 then White will move Re8+!; with this move White frees the queen's diagonal and
stops Black from protecting himself by forcing him to capture the rook. So, after
thee4 square is freed the queen is able to checkmate with Qa8 . That is why Black
won't capture the knight and will have to move his king 1... Kd8


The move White should do in the next position is fairly simple. Nf7!. This freed
the d8 square; now White threatens a powerful attack on this square and ,in the same
time, capturing the rook from h8. Black has no way of defending both objectives and
has to defend against the attack on the freed square (an attack which can end up with
a checkmate after the black rook will be captured). 1... Kc8 2. N:h8 R:h8 and White
wins a value (he won a rook and lost only a knight). If Black would have moved the
rook from h8 then checkmate would have been possible with: 2. Rd8+ R:d8 3. R:d8

In the following game Black is able to move R:d3 because with this he frees the
main white diagonal and threatens checkmate with the rook at h1. White is forced to
defend against the checkmate and is unable to capture the black rook and therefor
Black manages to balance the game.

Overloading
It often happens that a piece may protect two or more objectives at the same
time. When this happens we refer to that piece as being overloaded. Usually, when
your opponent has an overloaded piece you can use it in your favor by performing
powerful attacks on his position (more exactly on the overloaded piece).
Here is a common mistake found throughout many beginners game. White
moved Rc3-c6 ?? and the position below resulted. This was a very bad move because
the rook from c1 has been overloaded (it now protects both the rook from c6 and the
checkmate on the back rank Re8-e1). That is why Black wins the rook 1...Rf6:c6 and
of course, with that, he wins the game!

Look at the example below. The black queen from c3 is protecting both the
possible checkmate Q:e7 and the black rook from c6. With Rc1! White performs both
an attack on the black queen and an x-ray attack on the black rook from c6. Black will
have to give up his rook in order to protect the g7 square.

Look at the example below. You can see that the white queen protects the white
rook from a4 and the knight from e4. Black tries to take advantage of this by attacking
the queen 1... Ra8-c8 but White can easily defend with 2. Ne4-c3. With this White
stopped the rook's range of action and got the knight from the exposed square e4.
This proves that attacking an overloaded piece (and generally using any other tactical
procedure) won't always bring you the advantage if your opponent has enough
resources to protect himself. This was an example of how you can protect your
position against certain attacks of this kind.

he intermediate move
The intermediate move is one of the most refined tactical procedures. This
maneuver comes in the form of a move which interrupts an apparently forced
sequence of moves, improving the position of the player making the intermediate
move. It often comes in the form of a counterstrike when a piece is being attacked.
This next example shows you a classic example of an intermediate move. You
may have been in a similar situation before. The black knight from b4 performs a
double attack on the white rooks from a2 and d5. Now White is forced to give up one
of his rooks in order to save the other one. Not quite! White has a little trick: 2. Rd8+,
check, and now Black must protect his king 2... Kg7. This way the rook was moved
away from danger and allowed the move of the other rook as well 3. Rb2 . This way,
using an intermediate move, White manages to save both of his rooks.

In the following game White attacked the queen from d7 so that when Black
captures the bishop 1... Q:f5 the knight will attack at c7 both the king and the rook and
thus capture the rook. But Black is able to make the intermediate move 1...Nf3+ so
that when 2. g:f3 the black queen captures the bishop with check and, at the next
move, captures the knight from b5 with the pawn from a6.

You can see in the example below that the white bishop from c5 is under the
threat of being captured by the black rook. But before he defends it, White makes the
intermediate move 1. Rd8+ Kg7 and with 2. Rd5 he defends the bishop and
threatens3.Bf8+ (a combination of a discovered and double attack followed by the
capture of the black rook). Black gives up because after2... Bd6 follows 3.Bd4+.

Learn how to use deflection in chess
Deflection is a widely used tactical procedure. It is a maneuver that seeks to
guide away an enemy piece, which defends a position, in order to perform a
checkmate or win a piece.
You can see in the next game a simple example of how deflection is made. As
you can see, White is under the threat of being checkmate on the back-rank; the only
thing stopping this is the presence of the white rook form c1. Black moves 1... Qc2.
With this move he is trying to deflect the rook from the 1'st rank by sacrificing his
queen. This is a simple trick, as any intermediate player could spot the trap behind the
move. The right move White must do, is 2. Qe1. This way he'll prevent the black rook
from moving at d1.

This next deflection is not so obvious. The game was played in 1934 between
Esteban Cajal and an amateur. Black just castled on the queen side. This gave White
the opportunity to perform a superb combination: 1.a:b4 Q:a1+ 2.Kd2 Q:h1. By giving
away his two rooks, White lured the black queen away from file 'e'. After that followed
yet another sacrifice 3. Q:c6 which forced the 3... B:c6 and then 4. Ba6 checkmate.
This was yet another perfect example of how tactical maneuvers bring out the best in
chess.

In this next game (Botvinnik-Keres [1996]) White could perform checkmate at
h6 with the queen if he were to get his queen on the 'h' column. But, as you can see,
he is stopped from doing that by the pawn from h4 which is protected by the queen
fromd8. White moves 1. Rb1-b8 and now the queen is forced to give up the pawn
because it has no where to move on the d8-h4diagonal.

Decoying in chess
Decoying, unlike deflecting, is not trying to lead pieces from certain positions
but to lead them to certain squares in order to checkmate or gain material advantage.
Black moves 1... Qb1! . This way the white king is forced to capture 2. K:b1.
You can see how the king was lead to the b2square (where he was exposed to
checkmate) away from d1 thus making possible for the black rook to move 2... Rd1
checkmate.

This next game was played between Holzhausen and Tarrasch at Berlin in
1912. As you can see White developed his position better than Black, his pieces
having a greater range of action. Black has his pieces placed in a closed position and
with a small range of action. White takes advantage of this and of the weakness
from f7 and makes a beautiful combination of moves.1. B:f7+ K:f7 2. Ne6 K:e6 (This
last move is forced otherwise Black lose his queen) 3. Q:d5+ Kf6 4.Qf5 .

King's pawn structure
This tactical maneuver focus on destroying the structure of the pawns that are
protecting the king. This maneuver is made possible only when the position of the king
is not well defended by its pieces.
Look at the next game. This is a simple example of what this maneuver implies.
White has his turn to move and sacrifice his queen: 1. Q:h6+ g:h6 (This last move was
forced because White threaten checkmate with 2. Qh7). By sacrificing his queen,
White removed the defender of the f6 pawn and made possible this move: 2.B:f6+
Kg8 3. Ne7

The maneuver to be executed by Black in the next game it's harder to spot than
in the previous game? With 1... B:g2!Black removes the pawn that and clears the way
for the queen. 2. K:g2 Q:g4+ 3. Kh1 Qf3

Forcing stalemate
This tactical procedure is used by the side which has the disadvantage and it
usually involves a piece sacrifice. A player uses this maneuver when he realizes that
he has no chance of recovering the gap between himself and the opponent.
Black is in a lot of trouble. White has an extra knight and rook and the pawns
from b5 and d5 are dangerously close to the promotion squares. But Black has the
resources to end the game a draw. He moves 1....Q:d5!. White is forced to capture the
queen 2. N:d5 (otherwise after the white king would move on the h column 3...Rh7 ).
You can see now that the king would be stalemate if it weren't for the rook at f7, but
that can be easily fixed: 2... Rf2+ 3.Kh1 Rh2+ 4.Q:h2 and now Black is not able to
move any of the piece.

Do you think is possible for White to end the game a draw? White has its turn to
move. You can see that the black pawn is one square away from being promoted and
that the white rook can't stop it by moving at c7. The answer is 'yes' and comes in the
form of a very ingenious maneuver. 1. Rb7+ Kc8 (if 1... Ka8 than 2. Rg7 Qc1 3. Rg8+
Qc8 4. R:c8 ) 2. Rb5 Qc1 3. Rc5+ Q:c5 stalemate.

How to play the middle game
The study of the middle game is different from that of the opening. In the
opening it's useful if you study and understand all the theoretical possibilities. In the
middle game, however, you cannot study all the theoretical possibilities due to the
great complexity of the game at this point. That is why in this part of the game you
have to know how to evaluate the position. If you read piece hierarchy you already
know how to evaluate the strength of your pieces. Your situation in the game is not
only given by the number of your pieces and their strength but also by their mobility
and their position on the chess board.
Once you've estimated your situation you can start developing a plan. But what
kind of a plan should you do? What exactly is this plan? Your plan will be composed of
a succession of strategic operations. It could be large and very complex or it could be
smaller and simpler. When making the plan you can decide whether you should attack
or defend. You can also decide whether you will exchange pieces so you can get to
the end game faster. Your plan will almost always contain other smaller plans. They
might have as their objective capturing an enemy piece, isolating an enemy piece,
controlling some strategic square or some other immediate action.
When you make the plan you have to take in consideration the main element
that characterize the current position. For example: if you have an extra piece than
your plan will have to focus on taking full advantage on that extra piece; if you have
some positional superiority you must use it in your advantage. On the other hand if you
have a weakness your plan has to focus on strengthening your game and eliminate
that particular weakens.
You should always remember an important rule : if you discover that you have
some sort of superiority in the game than you have to take full advantage of it
immediately and not wait. If you wait and don't attack, your opponent might find some
extra resources and reinforce his position. On the other hand if you have a weakness
you have to play in such a manner that you will eliminate that weakness.
A good way you can protect yourself against enemy attack is by exchanging the
pieces (this is usually a good thing to do only when your enemy has a positional
superiority; if he has an extra piece then by exchanging the pieces you will usually
make him a favor and take the game faster to the endgame where that extra piece will
make a huge difference).
In order to make your plan you have to be familiar with tactic and strategy.
When we talk about strategy we talk about establishing the purpose, about
developing the long term plan. Strategy is a more abstract notion than tactic. Tactic
involves the short term plan; it's a solid notion that usually has as its final purpose
gaining an immediate advantage.
Many new players spend a lot of time learning a lot of strategy notions and
openings. My advice to you is to first start learning tactic. This way you will escape
from the rigid rules of strategy and learn to think independent of those rules.
Don't get me wrong: strategy is not a bad thing; Because it is an abstract notion
it's just a good idea if you start studying it more seriously later on, after you get more
comfortable with chess. Remember : in order to have great games you have to
combine tactic and strategy; this way you'll know how to make your long term plan and
how to immediately take advantage of your current position.
Piece hierarchy
You probably know by now that on the chess board there are 6 types of pieces,
each one moving and capturing according to different rules. The value of a piece is
given by its ability to capture other pieces and by its importance for the game.
A piece's ability to capture other pieces is given by its mobility, or range of
action, in other words by the number of squares on which the piece could move on.
From this point of view the queen is the most powerful piece on the board because it
has the biggest range of action.
But although the queen is the strongest piece it is not the most important. The
most post important piece on the chess board is the king because the entire game
revolves around checking the opponent's king.
Many beginners make the false assumption that the value of a piece remains
constant throughout the game. That is not true. The fact is that the value of the piece
depends a lot on the surrounding pieces and their position. The more pieces there are
on the board the more limited they are in their movement. Because the number of
pieces decreases throughout the game the mobility of most remaining pieces increase
and thus, so does their value.
Although a piece's value may change during the game it will always have a
potential value, a so called absolute value. This is the main reference that indicates to
you whether a piece is normally more valuable than another. The absolute value of a
chess piece is estimated by analyzing its range of action if it were alone on the chess
board. Here is the piece hierarchy constructed by taking in consideration the absolute
value of each piece:
1. The queen : it has the biggest range of action of all pieces, being able to move along
the diagonals, ranks and files;
2. The rook;
3. The bishop and the knight are both at the same level. The fact that the knight has fewer
squares on which to move is compensated by the fact that it can jump over other
pieces;
4. The king: it has a small value because it doesn't have a great mobility but it is the most
important piece in the game;
5. The pawn ;
Beside the absolute value, a piece also has a relative value given by its position
on the chess board and by the current phase of the game.
There are certain ratios between the relative values of the pieces that change
while the game passes from one phase to another.

In the opening and the central game:
y the knight and the bishop have the same value, each of them being a little more
valuable than three pawns. Many players have the prejudice according to which the
bishop is a little more valuable than the knight. That couldn't be more false! As I said
earlier the knight compensates its small range of action with the fact that it can jump
over other pieces.
y The rook is somewhat equivalent with a knight or a bishop plus two pawns.
y The queen's value is equal with that of two rooks but is smaller than that of three
bishops or knights.

In the end game the ratios change :
y the pawn's value increases;
y Three pawns are equivalent with a bishop or a knight;
y The rook has the same value as a bishop or knight and a pawn;
y Two rooks are more valuable than a queen;
y A queen is equivalent with three knights or bishops;
y A queen is equivalent with a rook a bishop or a knight and a pawn;
y The closer a pawn is to the promotion square the more valuable it is ;
It is very important that you know the values I've presented earlier. By knowing
the value of each individual piece you will be able to evaluate whether you should
exchange a piece or whether you should capture a piece. You'll also know wether you
have more material resources than your opponent.
The conclusion is that the value of a piece is dictated by its strategic position
and by its ability of working together with other pieces. So the fact that a player has
less pieces could be compensated by their superior position on the board.
You will see how to apply what you've learned here in your game in the next
article.
Learn to capture
You've learned in the previous tutorial how to evaluate the strength of your
pieces. You are going to see here some examples on how knowing the values of the
pieces can help you in your game.
In the following example White has his turn to move. The white bishop at f4 is
able to capture the black knight at h6 and the black rook at b8. But which one should
he capture? The answer to that is very simple. As you know, a rook is more valuable
than a knight or a bishop. That is why the best move in our case is to capture the rook
: 1. B:b8

In the next example it's White's turn to move. You can see that he can capture
the knight at c5 as well as the rook at f6with the bishop from d4. If he chooses to
capture the knight than he will not accomplish much, he'll just exchange a bishop with
a knight and pawn : 1. Bd4:Nc5 b6:c5 2. Nb3:c5 . But if he captures the rook he will
gain a greater advantage; he will change a bishop with a rook (which is more valuable
than the knight or the bishop) :1. Bd4:f6 Qd8:f6. That is why the second option it's
better. You may have notes that White can also capture the rook at b8 with the queen.
But that would be a very bad move as he would lose the queen for a rook.

In the next game again it's White's turn to move. You can see that the knight
at d5 is under considerable attack from the white pieces. But at the same time it is also
protected by a relatively big number of black pieces. The question is : should White
capture the knight? Let's see what happens if the black knight is captured:1.Nf4:d5
Nf6:d5 2. Nc3:d5 Bb7:d5 3. Bb3:d5 and Black can't go any further and capture the
bishop from d5 with the queen without losing the queen. So, as you can see White had
enough resources to perform that capture. As you probably observed the side that has
more pieces controlling the square on which the capture will happen, will win. In this
situations (when you have more resources than your opponent) you should start
capturing using the less valuable pieces. For example, it's a bad idea if in the previous
position White makes his first capture using the queen because Black would just
capture the queen with the knight or the bishop and after that would just stop
continuing capturing (so White exchanges the queen with a bishop... not the best thing
to do...!).

As a general rule you should avoid making captures if they don't bring you any
advantage and you should make captures even if you gain a small advantage
(Sometimes you only need an extra pawn to win a game).
In the following game the black pawn is sustained by the king and is about to be
promoted. That makes its value very big. White has no choice but to capture the pawn
after it's promoted into a queen : 1... b2-b1 2. Rg1:b1 and the game ends in a draw. If
the queen at b2 wouldn't have been captured then White would have lost the game
(queen and king wins against rook and king)

Space in chess
The space in chess (the chess board) is made up by the 64 squares on which
the pieces move. As you may have noticed, this space is fragmented unlike the
contiguous space from our world with which we are all familiarized . The fact that
space in chess is fragmented gives it some special properties. Look at the images
below. According to Pythagoras the length of c is greater than the length of a or b (this
is in the normal space, which is contiguous). But in the fragmented space on the chess
board all those distances are equal (that means that the distance on the lines and
columns is equal to the distance on the diagonals) This is very important to know
especially in pawns endings.
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A piece has an absolute value (the ones we've talked about in the articles on which we
presented each piece) and a relative value (given by the position of the piece on the
board). The strength of a particular square is given by the number of the pieces that
control that square and by their value and ,at the same time, by the pieces that occupy
that square. At the same time the relative value of a piece is given by the position of
the square it occupies. As you can see from the next images the range of action of a
piece is larger when it occupies the center of the board and shrinks down if moved
near the edge of the board. The only piece that doesn't follow this rule is the rook
which's range of action is the same regardless of its position on the board.

This is why the central squ
ares
are more valuable than those on the edge of the board and that is why most games
have as their long term plan the objective of controlling the center.
Time in chess
Time is a fundamental element in chess. Pay attention that we are not talking
about about the duration of the game nor the time allocated to each player to make his
moves. That is the time which we all are used with (measured in hours, minutes,
seconds, millenniums.. and so on..). The time we are talking about is a special kind of
time whose measure unit is the move. That is why this time is determined by the
succession of moves each player does. Notes that time, just like the space in chess, is
fragmented (made up by more than one separated parts)
As you may guess there is a strong connection between the fundamental
concepts of chess: the space, the pieces and the time. Each piece is moved to a
particular square one time. In the battle that takes place on the chess board each side
tries to develop its position as faster and as better as possible. This is usual done by
trying to control as much as possible the center (as we saw in the previous article).
From this point of view White has an advantage because he always makes the first
move and, normally, he should always finish first developing his pieces and occupying
the best squares. So, because of that first move, White has a big enough advantage
which, in theory, should help him win the game. In reality, because of the great
complexity of the game and the huge number of possible moves the advantage of the
first move has only the value of an initiative. That initiative could, during the game,
pass to Black if White makes a mistake.
There is this notion you will surely run into when studying different publications:
the tempo.(Which is basically the time we've talked about until now). So, for further
understanding of the concept of time ("tempo") proceed in reading the next article.
Tempo
Tempo is a term that originated from Italy. It means time (the chess time we
talked about in the previous article). We will go more into detail on this notion in this
article.
You may have run into this notion by now and, if you haven't, it's alright, you'll
learn all you need to know about it in this article. When you'll find this term you will
may find it in expressions like : "the move was made with tempo" or "the player lost a
tempo" or something similar to that.
You should know that time in chess (tempo) can be won or lost . How is that,
you may ask? Very simple! I said earlier, that in the beginning of the game both
players try to develop their pieces as better and as faster as possible. If a player is
forced to make a retreat of his piece than that means that he lost a tempo. Basically, if
he moves a piece to a square and then he moves it back is like he never performed
that particular move (so, he lost a move, a tempo; is like his opponent made two
moves while he had made only one)
In the next game White attacks the black queen with 1. Bg5. But Black has a
good response: 1... f6. Now the bishop must be taken to a safe location 2. Be3. You
can see that the bishop could have been moved at e3 from the beginning. Now White
had lost a tempo (it's like Black had made two moves while White made only one)

As a side note: although you should always avoid making this kind of moves if
you happen to be in such a position don't be afraid of taking back your move (don't do
something rushed like capturing the pawn from f6 in the example above). Usually it's
better to lose tempo than to lose a valuable piece.
Common opening traps
You will see here a few examples of traps in the opening. They are the best
argument that in chess, you always have to pay attention to what happens, otherwise
you may lose the game when you least expect. You will see here that there are a great
number of possibilities even at the beginning of the game.
I will only show you a limited number of this positions (only the most common).
Scholar's Mate1. e2-e4 e7-e5 2. Bf1-c4 Bf8-c5 Nothing special until now. 3. Qd1-
h5 Closes in for the kill! 3... Ng8-f6?? This is a very bad move. This doesn't help Black
at all. The right move is 3... Qd8-e7 to protect the f7 square or 3... g7-g6 to block to
queen's path. But since none of those moves were done the queen has no problem
and : 4. Qh5-f7 . There are several ways this
technique can be applied : using a knight instead of a bishop, moving the queen at f3
instead of h5 and so on.. Black can use this technique as well.Fool's MateThis is the
worst possible combinations of moves White can do! 1. f2-f3 e7-e5 2. g2-g4 And with
this, White manages to completely remove his king's defense! Black takes advantage
of this and: 2... Qd8-h4 Black wins! This is
sometimes called Fool's mate; you might guess why that is!
Legal MateThis checkmate is famous. The game was played in 1750 at Paris between
the Legal and the Saint-Brie knight. The opening is called Philidor Defense. 1. e2-
e4 e7-e5 2. Ng1-f3 d7-d6 3. Bf1-c4 Bc8-g4 4. Nb1-c3 g7-g6 5. Nf3:e5 White
sacrifices the queen! Black doesn't understand the consequences of what he is about
to do and captures the queen!
5... Bg4:d1 After this the mate will immediately
occur! 6. Bc4:f7+ Ke8-e7 7. Nc3-d5! Checkmate! A
very interesting game1. e2-e4 e7-e5 2. Ng1-f3 Nb8-c6 3. Bf1-c4 Nc6-d4 There are
many ways White can react to this move. But this move hides a trap: if White captures
the pawn at e5 instead of developing his pieces or exchanging the knight at d4, then
he will have a surprise! 4. Nf3:e5? Qd8-g5 Now the
queen has a simultaneous attack over the knight at e5 and the pawn from g2.
5. Ne5:f7 With this he attacks both the rook at h8 and the queen. But now Black puts
in action his surprise : 5... Qg5:g2 6.Rh1-f1 Qg2:e4+ 7. Bc4-e2 Nd4-f3 And White is
checkmate in a beautiful manner with etouffe mate!

As you can see, White has several occasions to avoid checkmate, but doesn't take
advantage of them due to the fact that the end result is hard to spot. For example,
White can move the queen in front of the king instead of moving the bishop 7. Qd1-e2.
But by loosing his queen 7...Nd4:e2 and having a week position White doesn't really
stand a chance. Of course, if Black is a beginner in chess, than White might still go on
playing, hoping his opponent will make a mistake.A game all the way from the
17th century from the Greco collection.1. d2-d4 Ng8-f6 2. Nb1-d2 e7-e5 3. d4:e5 Nf6-
g4 4. h2-h3 As you can see White made many
mistakes. 4... Ng4-e3 ! White is forced to do the
following move otherwise he loses the queen. 5. f2:e3 Qd8-h4+ And now, of course
6. g2-g3 Qh4:g3! White is now checkmated. The fact that White made some mistakes
allowed his opponent to make his ingenious moves.
A game played at the 1982 OlympicsThis game was played between Nisimura (White)
and Marco(Black) 1. e2-e4 c7-c6 2. Ng1-f3 d7-d5 3. Nb1-c3 d5:e4 4.Nc3:e4 Nb8-
d7 Until now all the moves are specific to the Caro-Kann defense. The next move,
however, is not the usual one for this opening; as you may guess it hides a
trap! 5. Qd1-e2 Ng8-f6? Black makes the mistake
White was expecting. 6. Ne4-d6 A beautiful etouffe mate!
A trap you could use
when playing the queen's Gambit1. d2-d4 d7-d5 2. c2-c4 e7-e6 3. Nb1-c3 Ng8-
f6 4. Bc1-g5 Nb8-d7 These are the usual moves for this opening in the Cambridge
Springs version. The game normally continues with 5. e2-e3 c7-c6 6. Ng1-f3 ...... If a
beginner who is not familiar with this position captures the pawn at d5 he'll have a big
problem on his hands!
5. c4:d5 e6:d5 6. Nc3:d5 Nf6:d5!! 7.Bg5:d8 Bf8-
b4+ A good move! Now White has no other defense than : 8.Qd1-d2 And Black wins a
piece after: 8. ... Bb4:d2 Ke1:d2 and 9.Ke8:d8







The bishop and knight checkmate in chess is the checkmate of a lone king which can be forced by a bishop, knight, and king. With the
stronger side to move and with perfect play, checkmate can be forced in at most thirty-three moves from any starting position where the
defender cannot quickly win one of the pieces (Mller & Lamprecht 2001:19), (Speelman, Tisdall & Wade 1993:7),
[1]
and the position is not
in the "stalemate trap" (see below). Checkmate can be forced only with the defending king in a corner controlled by the bishop or on a
square on the edge next to such a corner. Although this is classified as one of the four "basic checkmates" (the others being king
andqueen; king and rook; or king and two bishops against a lone king), it only occurs in practice approximately once in every 5000 games
(Mller & Lamprecht 2001:11).

a b c d e f g h

8

8
7

7
6

6
5

5
4

4
3

3
2

2
1

1

a b c d e f g h

Checkmate with bishop and knight (Mller & Lamprecht 2001:19)

a b c d e f g h

8

8
7

7
6

6
5

5
4

4
3

3
2

2
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1

a b c d e f g h

An alternate checkmate (Dvoretsky 2006:279)

a b c d e f g h

8

8
7

7
6

6
5

5
4

4
3

3
2

2
1

1

a b c d e f g h

White checkmates in 33 moves against best defense (Mller & Lamprecht 2001:400)
History and methods
A method for checkmate using the "W" method was given by Philidor in his famous 1749 treatise, Analyse du jeu des checs.
[2]
Another
method is known as Deletang's Method or Deletang's Triangles (de la Villa 2008:17,2049), involving confining the lone king in a series of
three shrinking isosceles right-angled triangles, with the "right" corner at the 90-degree angle of the triangle. Some of the ideas of this
method date back to 1780 but the complete system was first published in 1923 by Daniel Deletang (Pandolfini 2009:49).
[3]
This method
takes five to ten more moves than Philidor's W method but there are fewer rules and it can still be accomplished before the fifty move
rule takes effect. His "second triangle" or "middle triangle" comes up in the more standard methods (see below). Checkmate can be forced
without strictly using either of the methods. Incidentally, checkmate can be delivered in 460 different ways (positions) (Sunnucks 1970:68).
[edit]Importance
Opinions differ as to whether or not a player should learn this checkmate procedure. James Howell omits the checkmate with two
bishops in his book because it rarely occurs but includes the bishop and knight checkmate. Howell says that he has had it three times
(always on the defending side) and that it occurs more often than the checkmate with two bishops (Howell 1997:138). On the other
hand, Jeremy Silman includes the checkmate with two bishops but not the bishop plus knight checkmate because he has encountered the
latter only once and his friend John Watson has never encountered it (Silman 2007:33,188). Silman says
"...mastering it would take a significant chunk of time. Should the chess hopeful really spend many of his precious hours he's put aside for
chess study learning an endgame he will achieve (at most) only once or twice in his lifetime?"
Andy Soltis says that he has never played this endgame and most players will never have it in their career. However, learning it teaches
techniques that can be applied elsewhere (Soltis 2010:13).
Although king, bishop and knight versus king may never be encountered in the careers of many chessplayers, a notable example of it
occurring in an important occasion was in Tal Shaked's victory over Alexander Morozevich in the penultimate round of the 1997 World
Junior Chess Championship. Shaked knew the correct mating pattern; and his victory catapulted him to becoming World Junior Champion,
whereas a draw would have prevented him from winning the title.
[4]

[edit]Standard "W" manoeuvre
Since checkmate can only be forced in the corner of the same colour as the squares on which the bishop moves, an opponent who is
aware of this will try to stay first in the center of the board, and then in the wrong-colored corner. Thus there are three phases in the
checkmating process (Mller & Lamprecht 2001:18):
1. Driving the opposing king to the edge of the board by using all three pieces.
2. Forcing the king out of the "wrong" corner to the "right" corner, if necessary.
3. Delivering the checkmate.
The position on the right is one that typically arises after the first phase has been completed and the defender has headed to a corner of
opposite colour to that of the bishop. The following method to push the king to the "right" corner is commonly given (Mller & Lamprecht
2001:18, Dvoretsky 2006:279):
1.Nf7+
First White forces the king to leave the corner. The white bishop is positioned so that the next two moves, gaining control of g8, are
possible.
1...Kg8 2.Bf5
A waiting move, forcing Black's king to move so White can play 3.Bh7, taking away g8 from the king.
2...Kf8 3.Bh7 Ke8 4.Ne5
The key to the standard winning method is the Nf7-e5-d7-c5-b7 movement of the knight, forming a "W" shape. Now there
are two possible defenses:
Defense A: 4...Kf8 Black clings to the "safe" corner, but loses more quickly.
5.Nd7+ Ke8 6.Ke6 Kd8 7.Kd6 Ke8 8.Bg6+ Kd8 9.Bf7 Kc8 10.Nc5 (continuing the knight's manoeuvre)
10...Kd8 11.Nb7+ Kc8 12.Kc6 Kb8 13.Kb6 (now the king is in the right position, a knight's move from the mating
corner) 13...Kc8 14.Be6+ Kb8 15.Bd7 (now the defending king is confined to the right corner, and checkmate can be given)
15...Ka8 16.Nc5 Kb8 17.Na6+ Ka8 18.Bc6#
Defense B: 4...Kd8 Here, the defending king tries to break out from the edge. This holds out longer.
5.Ke6 Kc7 6.Nd7! White continues the knight's "W" manoeuvre, even though Black's king has temporarily left the back rank.
6...Kc6 7.Bd3!

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Position after 7... Kc7
Black's king is now restricted to the correct-colored corner. The perimeter is bounded by a6,
b6, b5, c5, d5, d6, d7, e7, f7, f8. White's subsequent moves tighten this area further. Bb5
closes off c6; redeploying the knight to f6 and then to d5 closes off d7 (and e8 by the
bishop).
7...Kc7
At this point two ways of continuing are possible.

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White to move will checkmate Black
Continue the W manoeuvre
One continuation from the position after Black's seventh move is to continue the "W"
manoeuvre of the knight, by bringing it to c5 and b7. Mller & Lamprecht (2001:19) give 8.Be4
Kd8 9.Kd6 Ke8 10.Bg6+ Kd8 11.Bf7 Kc8 12.Nc5 Kd8 13.Nb7+ Kc8 14.Kc6 Kb8 15.Kb6
Kc8 16.Be6+ Kb8 17.Nc5 Ka8 18.Bd7 Kb8 19.Na6+ Ka8 20.Bc6# (the first checkmate
diagram).
Deletang's second triangle

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Deletang's second triangle
Alternatively, from the position after Black's seventh move, Dvoretsky (2006:279) gives 8.Bb5
Kd8 9.Nf6 Kc7 10.Nd5+ Kd8, reaching this position. This bishop and knight configuration
(right) is a very important position which can also be reached if the defender's king does not
head for the "wrong" corner from the attacker's point of view (also known as Deletang's second
triangle). Now 11.Kf7 Kc8 12.Ke7 Kb7 (12...Kb8 13.Ba6! Ka7 14.Bc8 Kb8 15.Kd7 as in the
main variation) 13.Kd7 Kb8 (13...Ka7 14.Kc7 Ka8 15.Ne7 Ka7 16.Nc8+ Ka8 17.Bc6#;
13...Ka8 14.Kc8 Ka7 15.Kc7 is just a move slower)14.Ba6! (or, Deletang's third
triangle) 14...Ka7 15.Bc8 Kb8 16.Kd8 Ka8 (16...Ka7 17.Kc7 Ka8 18.Ne7 Ka7 19.Nc6+ Ka8
20.Bb7#) 17.Kc7 Ka7 18.Ne7 Ka8 19.Bb7+ Ka7 20.Nc6# (the second checkmate position)
[edit]
Deletang's triangle method
Deletang's Triangle Method produces checkmate by confining the king in successively smaller areas. In the first set of three diagrams, the
king is confined inside the marked area and a corner in which the checkmate can occur is in the area. The king cannot escape the area nor
attack the bishop or knight. The second set of three diagrams shows the triangles and how the bishop controls thehypotenuse of the
triangle (Pandolfini 2009:48ff).

a b c d e f g h

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First net

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Second net

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Third net
In the first net all three pieces are required to confine the king. In the second net only the bishop and knight are needed. In the third net,
the king and bishop confine the king, allowing the knight to either checkmate or assist in the checkmate (de la Villa 2008:205). The winning
procedure consists of making the king move so that the bishop can reach the hypotenuse of the next smaller triangle (Pandolfini
2009:48ff).

a b c d e f g h

8

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First triangle

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Second triangle

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Third triangle
Starting from the position of the first triangle, White wins:
1. Bc2 (to push the king toward the corner
1... Ke3 (the king stays as close to the middle as possible)
2. Kc1 (plan is to guard e2, probably from d1)
2... Ke2
3. Bg6 (a waiting move)
3... Ke3
4. Kd1 (guarding e2)
4... Kf2
5. Kd2 Kf3
6. Kd3 (still guarding e2)
6... Kg4
7. Ke3 Kh4 (preventing the bishop from going to h5)
8. Kf4 Kh3

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After 8... Kh3 - bishop is ready for the second hypotenuse
9. Bh5! (the bishop is on the hypotenuse of the second triangle)
9... Kg2
10. Nc5 Kf2
11. Ne4+ Kg2
12. Bg4 (the second net)
12... Kf1
13. Kf3 Ke1
14. Ke3 Kf1
15. Kd2 Kg2
16. Ke2 Kg1
a b c d e f g h
8 8
7 7
6 6
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A
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1
6
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b
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y

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17. Bh3! (the hypotenuse of the third triangle)
17... Kh2
18. Bf1 Kg1
19. Ng5 (preparing to guard h2)
19... Kh1
20. Kf2 Kh2
21. Nf3+ Kh1
22. Bg2# (Pandolfini 2009:4851).
Karttunen vs. Rasik, 2005
The "W manoeuvre"
Karttunen vs. Rasik, 2005

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White to move
This game between Mika Karttunen and Vitezslav Rasik
[5]
shows the
knight's "W manoeuvre". The game continued:
84. Bc5 Kb7 85. Nd5 Kb8 86. Kc6 Ka8 87. Nc7+ Kb8 88. Bd4 Kc8 89. Ba7
Kd8 90. Nd5 Ke8 91. Kd6 Kf7 92. Ne7 Kf6 93. Be3 Kf7 94. Bd4 Ke8 95. Ke6
Kd8 96. Bb6+ Ke8 97. Nf5 Kf8 98. Bc7 Ke8 99. Ng7+ Kf8 100. Kf6 Kg8 101.
Bd6 Kh7 102. Nf5 Kg8 103. Kg6 Kh8 104. Bc5 1-0(Mller & Pajeken
2008:1067).
Checkmate follows after 104... Kg8, 105. Nh6+ Kh8 106. Bd4#.
[edit] Grandmaster game, neither technique
Ljubojevi vs. Polgr, 1994

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Position after 83... Nxg6+
This position is from the blindfold game between Ljubomir Ljubojevi and Judit Polgr, Monaco Amber 1994.
[6]
Polgr did not
use the standard method, but nevertheless coordinated the pieces effectively. Play continued: 84.Kd6 Kf6 85.Kc5 Ke5 86.Kc4
Bd5+ 87.Kd3 Nf4+ 88.Ke3 (White can resist about seven moves longer by 88. Kc3) Be4 89.Kd2 Kd4 90.Kc1 Kc3 91.Kd1 Bc2+
92.Ke1 Kd3 93.Kf2 Ke4 94.Kg3 Bd1 95.Kf2 Nd3+ 96.Kg3 Ke3 97.Kh4 Kf4 98.Kh3 Ne1 99.Kh4 Ng2+ 100.Kh3 Kf3 101.Kh2
Kf2 102.Kh3 Be2 103.Kh2 Bg4 104.Kh1 Ne3 105.Kh2 Nf1+ 106.Kh1 Bf3# 0-1
[edit]Grandmaster failed to mate
In this game between two grandmasters, both players made suboptimal moves. The
superior side had no idea how to win and ended up stalemating several moves after
the inferior side could have claimed a draw under the fifty-move rule.
[7]

Robert Kempinski (2498) - Vladimir Epishin (2567) [E60] Bundesliga 0001 Germany
(5.3), 07.01.2001
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.e3 0-0 5.b4 b6 6.Bb2 d6 7.Be2 c5 8.b5 Bb7 9.0-0 e6
10.Nbd2 Nbd7 11.a4 a5 12.bxa6 Rxa6 13.Qc2 Ra8 14.Rfc1 Re8 15.Ne1 cxd4
16.exd4 e5 17.d5 Nc5 18.Nd3 Nxd3 19.Bxd3 Rc8 20.Qb1 Ba6 21.Bf1 Bh6 22.Bc3
Rc5 23.Qb2 Bc8 24.Re1 Bf5 25.a5 bxa5 26.Nb3 Rc8 27.Nxa5 Bd7 28.Bb4 Bf8
29.Qa3 Ra8 30.Qc3 Qb6 31.g3 Reb8 32.Reb1 Qc7 33.Qe1 Bf5 34.Rb2 Bd7 35.h3
Rb6 36.Bc3 Rxb2 37.Bxb2 h5 38.Bg2 Qc5 39.Bc3 Rb8 40.Rb1 Rxb1 41.Qxb1 Bf5
42.Qb4 Qc8 43.h4 Be4 44.Bd2 Qg4 45.Qb3 Qe2 46.Qe3 Qd1+ 47.Qe1 Qc2 48.f3
Bd3 49.Qc1 Qa2 50.Qc3 e4 51.Nb3 Bg7 52.fxe4 Qb1+ 53.Nc1 Nxe4 54.Qxd3 Qxd3
55.Nxd3 Nxd2 56.c5 Bd4+ 57.Kh2 Bxc5 58.Kh3 Be3 59.g4 hxg4+ 60.Kxg4 Kg7
61.Kg3 Kh6 62.Bh3 f5 63.Bg2 Bd4 64.Kh3 Kg7 65.Ne1 Bf2 66.Nf3 Nc4 67.Ng5 Kf6
68.Nh7+ Kg7 69.Ng5 Ne5 70.Bf1 Be3 71.Ne6+ Kf6 72.Be2 Bf2 73.Ng5 Be3 74.Ne6
Bh6 75.Nd4 Bc1 76.Kg3 Bd2 77.Kh3 Be3 78.Nc6 Nd7 79.Bf3 Bf2 80.Nd8 Nc5
81.Bg2 Be1 82.Bf3 Ba5 83.Nc6 Bb6 84.Kg3 Nb3 85.Bg2 Nd2 86.Bh1 Nf1+ 87.Kh3
Bc5 88.Bf3 Nd2 89.Bg2 Bf2 90.Nd8 Nc4 91.Nc6 Ne3 92.Bf3 Be1 93.Bh1 Nd1 94.Bf3
Nf2+ 95.Kg2 Nd3 96.h5 g5 97.Bd1 Nf4+ 98.Kf1 Bc3 99.h6 Nxd5 100.Bb3 Ne3+
101.Ke2 f4 102.Kd3 Bb2 103.h7 Kg7 104.Bg8 Bf6 105.Ke4 d5+ 106.Kf3 Kh8
107.Nb4 d4 108.Nd3 Nf5 109.Ke4 Ne7 110.Bc4 Kxh7 111.Nxf4 gxf4 112.Kxf4 Kg7
113.Kg4 Nc6 114.Kf5 Bh4 115.Ke4 Bf2 116.Bb5 Nb4 117.Bc4 Kf6 118.Be2 Ke6
119.Bc4+ Kd6 120.Be2 Kc5 121.Bf1 Nc6 122.Be2 Kb4 123.Bf1 Kc3 124.Bb5 Nb4
125.Bf1 d3 126.Bxd3 Nxd3 (see diagram at left) 127.Kf3 Bc5 128.Ke4 Kc4 129.Kf5
Kd5 130.Kf6 Bd6 131.Kf7 Ne5+ 132.Ke8 Ke6 133.Kd8 Nf7+ 134.Kc8 Kd5 135.Kb7
Kc5 136.Ka6 Bc7 137.Kb7 Kd6 138.Ka6 Kc6 139.Ka7 Nd6 140.Ka8 (see diagram at
right) Bd8? 140...Nc4 141.Ka7 Nb6 142.Ka6 Bb8 is the standard win. 141.Ka7 Kb5
142.Kb8 Kb6 143.Ka8 Nb7 144.Kb8 Bc7+ 145.Ka8 Kc6 146.Ka7 Nc5 147.Ka8 Nd7
148.Ka7 Nb6 149.Ka6 Bb8! Reaching the same position Black could have forced
earlier (see previous note). 150.Ka5 Kc5? 150...Nd5 is the standard win. 151.Ka6
Bd6? 152.Kb7 Kb5 153.Ka7 Kc6 154.Ka6 Bb8! Reaching the same position as after
Black's 149th move. 155.Ka5 Nd5! Belatedly finding the winning move he missed five
moves ago. 156.Ka6 Objectively best was 151.Ka4. Bc7? Missing the standard
156...Nb4+. 157.Ka7 Bb6+ 158.Kb8 Bc5 159.Ka8 Nc7+ 160.Kb8 Nb5 161.Ka8 Kb6
162.Kb8 Na7 163.Ka8 Ka6 164.Kb8 Bb6 165.Ka8 Nb5 166.Kb8 Nd6 167.Ka8 Kb5
168.Kb8 Kc6 169.Ka8 Bc7 170.Ka7 Nb7 171.Ka8 Nc5 172.Ka7 Bb6+ 173.Ka8 Bc7
174.Ka7 Nd7 175.Ka8 Bd6 176.Ka7 Nb6 177.Ka6 Bb8 178.Ka5 Bc7 179.Ka6 Nc8
stalemate -
After the basic king, bishop, and knight versus king position arrived, White was kind
enough to allow his king to retreat to the last rank in only six moves. But Black seemed
to try to mate White in the wrong corner. Black eventually found the standard winning
line, up to a point, but then failed to find 156... Nb4+ and instead tried again to mate in
the wrong corner.
[edit] Kempinski vs. Epishin

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position after 126...Nxd3
Kempinski vs. Epishin

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position after 140.Ka8
A stalemate trap

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Black to move

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a b c d e f g h

Black to move, draw! Note that the position would also be drawn if the knight were at a7 or e7 (marked with dots).
A surprising stalemate trap, not mentioned in endgame treatises, was noted by the American masterFrederick Rhine in 2000 and
published in Larry Evans' "What's the Best Move?" column in Chess Lifemagazine. In the position at left, after 1...Nb6+?? 2.Kb7??
Nd5, Black would be well on his way to setting up Deletang's second triangle. However, White draws instantly with 2.Kd8!
(position at right), when the only way for Black to save his bishop is to move it, resulting in stalemate. The position at right would
also be drawn if the knight were at a7 or e7 instead. Also, if in any of these positions asecond knight was added on any square
where it does not already guard the bishop (c5, for example), Black still could not win, since if he sacrificed the bishop the two
knights would be insufficient to force checkmate (see Two knights endgame). Rhine later used this discovery as the basis for
a "White to play and draw" composition. A stalemate idea essentially identical to that shown in the diagram at right occurs at the
climax of a study by A. H. Branton, second prize, New Statesman, 1966 (Roycroft 1972:246) (White: king on c1; Black: king on c3,
knight on a3, bishop on d1), though it may have been known even earlier.
From the diagram position at left, instead of 1...Nb6+??, Black would win quickly by setting up Deletang's second triangle via the
alternate route 1...Ne3, e.g. 2.Kd8 Bb5 3.Kc8 Nd5.

Some games played by grandmasters

Morozevich, A.2694Grischuk, A.274610D3164th ch-RUS209.08.2011
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.c3 e7 4.cxd5 exd5 5.f4 c6 6.e3f5 7.h3 Leave it to Morozevich to play something completely
offbeat. d7 8.f3 b6 9.e2!? You didn't actually think he was going to develop his bishop on the f1-a6 diagnoal did you? Of course not!
g4-Bg2 is the only logical way to develop here... when your name is Morozevich that
is. gf6 10.g4 g6 11.h4 a512.g2 e4 13.xg6 xc3 14.d2 hxg6!You might wonder why Black could not
play 14...b4!?threatening to win the queen with a nasty discovered attack. But it doesn't quite achieve its purpose. 15.a3! is enough to
maintain the balance. 15.bxc3 b6 16.0-0 c4 17.e2 0-0 18.e4 d6 19.e5! The move is not the objective best, but Morozevich
deserves the marks for ambition since the intentions could not be
clearer. a320.ab1 xc3 21.fd1 b5 22.b3 a5 23.g5 fe8 24.h4f8 25.h5? This is a mistake since White had no need to give up
the a2 pawn (and Black counterplay) just yet.Instead 25.h3! preparing the very same h5 was better since after a take on h5, Black will not
have time to capture as he will be facing a mate on the h-file. In fact, it is not clear Black can defend this position. d6 26.h5 f5 and now
White can simply line up his battering ram and assault the king. 27.f3c7 28.g4! d728...--
Threatening 29.hxg6 fxg6 30.xf5 gxf5 31.g6 cutting off the monarch's escape. 29.g2! with the idea Rdh1 if
allowed. 25...gxh5 26.xh5?! Another imprecision which will allow Grischuk to get a slight upper hand though the attack is still full
underway.26.g6! fxg6 27.g3 e6 28.c2 ae828...a4 29.xa4 bxa4 30.h3 29.h3 would lead to equality. 26...g6 27.h4 Now it will
be much harder to break through.xa2 28.h3 g7 29.h7+ f8 30.f3 The players were already quite short of time by now, and it really
is a make or break situation. Unless some kind of wild perpetual takes place (a distinct possibility), either White's attack goes through, or
he will lose the game. It is that simple. Poker chess at its best! e231.dd3 e6 32.g3? A blunder! a5?? Grischuk returns the favor and
misses the point of White's move: to capture the queen!After 32...d2! 33.fe3 d1+ 34.h2 Black has seized control and with two
pawns should be able to win. 33.f1! e4There is nothing to be done. If 33...e1 for example,
then34.xf7+ xf7 35.f3+ e8 36.xg7+- 34.f4 There is no
escape. xf4 35.xf4 a4 36.d1 a337.xc4 dxc4 38.d2 a4 39.e3 e7 40.d5 a2 41.d6 The time control is made and it is
over. d7 42.d4 b4 Finishing with style, Morozevich plays the crowd-pleasing 43.xg7+10
Muzychuk, A.2538Galliamova, A.249210B66Rostov Women GP709.08.2011
1.e4 c5 2.f3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.xd4 f6 5.c3 c66.g5 e6 7.d2 a6 8.0-0-
0 e7 9.f4 xd4 10.xd4 b511.xf6 gxf6 12.f5 d7 13.e2 a5 14.a3 b8 15.h5 0-016.d3 b4 17.e2 b6Instead of exchanging
queens 17...exf5 would have given Black the
initiative. 18.xb6 xb6 19.g3+ h8 20.b3 exf5 21.exf5 xf522.xb4 xb4 23.axb4 d5 24.c3 e4 25.f3 f5 26.g3g5+ 27.d1
d8 28.e2 c2 29.f2 d4 30.d1 Black is doing fine with her pair of bishops, but now she blunders. d3Instead of
simply 30...e4 31.xf5 e8 32.f3 h5 33.d4 xd1+ 34.xd1 e3+35.f2 h4 36.f3 h6 37.e1 xe1 38.xe1 g7 39.e5d2+ 4
0.e2 f4 41.f3 f6 42.h3 g3 43.xd2 White is two pawns up and easily
winning. e5 44.f3 d5 45.e3c7 46.f3 d8 47.d3 f6 48.d2 e7 49.e4 f550.d2 e5 51.e3 g5+ 52.e2 f4 53.f3 f6
54.d4g3 55.f1 f4 56.e6+ g3 57.c5 g5 58.xa6 c159.c410

Danielian, E.2521Stefanova, A.252401D15Rostov Women GP709.08.2011
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.f3 f6 4.c3 a6 5.a4 e6 6.g3 b47.g2 bd7 8.0-0 0-
0 9.c2 a5 10.d1 b6 11.e5 xe512.dxe5 d7 13.cxd5 exd5 14.e4 d4 15.xd4 e7 16.d1xe5 17.h3 c5 18.e2 f6 19.f4 a6
20.c1 g621.e5 xe5 22.b3 b4 23.d4 ac8 24.f5 xf525.xf5 d3 26.f1 xf4 27.xa6 xh3+ 28.g2 a829.b7 a7 30.
d7 g5 31.d4?? This simply loses material.b8 32.xc6 axb7 33.xb8 xb8 Black has two pieces and a pawn for the
rool. 34.f4 e6 35.f5 c5 36.c7 g6 37.g4gxf5 38.gxf5 g7 39.f3 f6 40.h1 xf5 41.xf7+ e642.fxh7 f8+ 43.e3 xa4 44.b3
c3 45.7h6+ d746.d4 b5+ 47.d5 c7+ 48.c4 f4+ 49.d3 d650.g6 b5 51.h5 b4 52.c2 d4+ 53.c3 e2+54.c2
f4 55.h7+ c6 56.f6 d5 57.e6 d4 58.h3b4+ 59.c3 d5 60.b2 b5 61.he3 c5 62.h3 d163.h5 d2+ 64.c1 d3
65.b2 c6 66.c2 g3 67.e4a6 68.hh4 e7 69.hg4 h3 70.g6 b4+ 71.b2 d572.ee6 h2+ 73.c1 a3+ 74.d1 h3
75.c2 c3+76.b1 xb3+ 77.a2 d3 78.b1 d2 79.g3 b480.c1 f2 81.gg6 a4 82.g8 a3 83.e5 d2+01Lufei,
Ruan2479Kosintseva, T.255701B84Rostov Women GP608.08.2011
1.e4 c5 2.f3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.xd4 f6 5.c3 a6 6.e2e6 7.0-0 e7 8.f4 0-
0 9.h1 c7 10.a4 c6 11.e3 e812.d3 b4 13.a5 d7 14.f3 ac8 15.e1 c6 16.b6b8 17.d4 d7 18.g3 f8 19.e5 xd3 2
0.cxd3 dxe521.xe5 d6 22.xc6 xc6 23.e5 e7 24.e4 f5 25.d2xe5 26.fxe5 d8 27.c4 b4 28.f3 c5 29.h3 cd530.g4 b
3 31.gxf5 xd3 32.e3 exf5 33.g3 g6 34.e1g7 35.h4 e6 36.g2 3d4 37.f4 d2 38.f2 d139.fe2 8d4 40.g3 4d3 41.f
4 c6+ 42.g2 xe1+43.xe1 xg2+ 44.xg2 d2+ 45.f3 f7 46.e3 g547.h5 h6 48.b3 g6 49.f6 g4+ 50.g3 g5 51.b6e
3 52.e4+ xb6 53.xd2 xa5 54.c4 e1+ 55.f4 b556.d6 d2+ 57.g3 h5 58.e8 h4+ 59.g2 h3+ 60.h1f4 61.e6 g3 62.hxg3 fxg
3 63.e7 g2+01
1.e4 e5 2.f3 c6 3.b5 a6 4.a4 f6 5.0-0 e7 6.e1b5 7.b3 0-
0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 xd5 10.xe5 xe511.xe5 c6 12.d4 d6 13.e1 h4 14.g3 h3 15.e2g4 16.
f1 h5 17.d2 ae817...f4 18.gxf4 xf4 would have led to a
draw. 18.f3 h3 19.f2 f5 20.xe8 xe8 21.f1 f4 22.xf4 xf423.gxf4 g6+ 24.g3 h5 25.e1 h4
26.xe8+ xe827.e2 f7 28.f1 g6+ 29.f2 f8 30.xd5 cxd531.e3 d6 32.g2 xg2 33.xg
2 xf4 34.e5 d2+35.h3 xb2 36.d6+ e8 37.xa6 e7 38.b7+ d639.b6+ d7 40.b7+
d6 41.xg7 xa2 42.e5+ c643.e8+ b6 44.b8+ c6 45.c8+ d6 46.c5+ e647.xb510
.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.0-0 Bg4 6.h3 h5 7.c3 Qd3 8.hxg4 hxg4 9.Nxe5

9...Bd6 10.Nxd3 Bh2+ 11.Kh1 Bg3+ 12.Kg1 Bh2+ 13.Kh1 Bg3+ -. Queen sac and perpetual at least it was done with humour and
charm.
1. e4 ... e5
2. Nf3 ... Nc6
3. Bc4 ... Bc5
4. c3 ... Nf6
5. d4 ... exd4
6. cxd4 ... Bb4+
7. Bd2 ... Bxd2+
8. Oxd2 ... Nxe4
9. Oe3 ... d5
10. O-O ... O-O
11. Nc3 ... Nxc3
12. bxc3 ... dxc4
13. Rue1
hum Wudden (Whlte) - Frltz 12 (Bluck), 2010
Move 1, Whlte udvunces hls Klng's Puwn to e4; Bluck's Klng's Puwn udvunces tor5.
Move 2, Whlte's Klngslde kNlght goes to f3; Bluck's Oueenslde kNlght goes toc6.
Move 3, Whlte's Klngslde Blshop ls sent out to c4; Bluck's Klngslde Blshop ls sent out to c5.
Move 4, Whlte udvunces hls c-flle Puwn to c3; Bluck's Klngslde kNlght ls sent out to f6.
Move 5, Whlte udvunces hls Oueen's Puwn to d4, to complete the textbook Gluoco Pluno Openlng ...
Now, I'm on my own ...
My current ability is restricted to anticipating 1-2 Moves ahead - maybe 3, at a push.
Take note wherever mistakes may have been made, during this Basic Chess Strategy -
pieces captured, especially - and use it to try and think how you'd do things differently.
Move 5 contlnues ..., Bluck's e-flle Puwn cuptures (x) Whlte's Puwn, on d4.
Move 6, Whlte's c-flle Puwn cuptures (x) Bluck's Puwn, on d4; Bluck's uctlveBlshop ls sent to b4, puttlng Whlte's Klng ln "Check" (+).
Ideally, I would have preferred to Castle Kingside, but it CANNOT be done, as it's illegal
to Castle when in Check.
At this stage, I chose on an earlyExchange, as you'll see on my next Move ...
Question for you: For Move 7, of this Basic Chess Strategy, would you have blocked the
Check with that Bishop, or with either of the White Knights, to d2?
Move 7, Whlte blocks the Check wlth hls Oueen's Blshop, to d2; Bluck's uctlveBlshop cuptures (x) Whlte's Blshop, ond2.
Move 8, Whlte's Oueen cuptures (x) Bluck's Blshop, on d2; Bluck's Klngslde kNlght cuptures (x) Whlte's Puwn, on e4.
On my next Move, I chose to put my Queen on e3, for two reasons:
1) I didn't want to lose my Queen to Black's e4 Knight and ...
2) My Queen could stop that same Black Knight's progress, with theAbsolute Pin - though,
I felt it would be short-lived!
Move 9, Whlte's Oueen evudes the threut, by golng to e3, uttucklng Bluck's Knlght wlth un Absolute Pln; Bluck udvunces hls Oueen's Puwn,
to d5.
Move 10, Whlte Custles Klngslde (0-0); Bluck ulso Custles Klngslde (0-0).
On my next Move, I was aware of the threat from Black's e4 Knight ...
But, instead, I chose to send my Queenside Knight to c3 as it was destined for Exchange,
anyway - come the Middlegame Stage ...
It killed the proverbial "two birds with one stone", maintaining two Objectives for this
Basic Chess Strategy - (1) making a potentialExchange, while (2) paving the way for my
Queenside Rook to come more central.
Move 11, Whlte's Oueenslde kNlght ls sent out to c3; Bluck's kNlght cuptures (x) Whlte's Knlght, on c3.
Move 12, Whlte's b-flle Puwn cuptures (x) Bluck's Knlght, on c3, to provlde buck-up for Whlte's d-flle Puwn ...
Bluck's d-flle Puwn cuptures (x) Whlte's Blshop, on c4.
To be honest, my focus was all on getting that Knight, on Moves 11-12 ...
The loss of my c4 Bishop - (Black's Move 12) - was regretful ...
Shame. We move on, progessing swiftly towards the next Stage, of this Basic Chess
Strategy ...
Move 13, Whlte's u-flle Rook comes ucross to e1, to double-up wlth Whlte's Oueen, on the e-flle.
And that's the Opening Stage complete ...
On the plus points, I got the textbook Giuoco Piano done;Castled Kingside and have
managed to bring both Rooks inside.
I had wanted to save the Exchanges for the proper Middlegame Stage ...

But circumstance - and maybe a touch of inexperience and impatience - brought a couple
of Exchanges early on.
Also on show is my "Beginner's Lack of Foresight", in choosing moves, which has left me
with a Bishop less than Black.
Looking at the board, as it is now, you can see Files b and dare "Half-Open", while File e is
now an "Open File".