Chess Tactics: Anand — Lautier, 1997

There must be something The sudden finish In Przepiorka—Cohn was a little unexpected because few pieces were left on the board. The chess tactics in Anand — Lautier arise out of a wild struggle where calculation will decide the day. To find the possibilities, we need to look for checks, captures, and threats … and

The First Chess Game: Castellvi — Vinoles, 1475

According to the MegaBase, the first chess game Castellvi — Vinoles was played in Valencia, Spain in 1475. By “first chess game,” I mean the first recorded game played under rules similar to those used today. Earlier versions of chess did not have queens and bishops, for example. Being the first chess game, Castellvi —

Don’t Worship Your Chess Engine!

Chess engines can be a valuable tool… Chess computer software is extremely popular, and has been for a long time. A chess engine can analyze your games and give you an idea of how well or poorly you played. With ratings topping the 3400 mark, these monsters are several hundred points stronger than any human

Chess Tactics: Przepiorka — Cohn, 1907

Beware chess tactics when the king lacks defenders! This seems like obvious advice, but it’s easy to let your guard down when there aren’t many pieces left. “Forget about chess tactics…it’s going to be an endgame soon, let me get ready for it…” Just like in Uhlmann—Zwaig, chess tactics start with looking for checks, captures,

ChessBase and MegaBase: Essential!

At least, they are essential for advanced players and for coaches. If you’re already familiar with ChessBase and MegaBase and understand their value, feel free to skip this post. Otherwise, you need to keep reading. What is ChessBase? ChessBase GmbH is a chess publishing company founded in 1985 and based in Hamburg, Germany. The company’s flagship

French Defense, Part 2a: Winawer & Classical Variations

In Part 1, we looked at French Defense lines where black exchanges pawns on e4. Now we’ll start looking at the most common center type in the French: white plays e4-e5. In this post we’ll look at the Winawer and Classical Variations. The next post will feature the MacCutcheon and the Tarrasch. White locks the

Chess Tactics: Spielmann—Flamberg, 1914

This is one of my favorite examples of using chess tactics in an attack on an uncastled king. When facing an aggressive opening like white plays here, develop your pieces and don’t get greedy! A True Romantic Playing white is renowned attacker Rudolf Spielmann (1883-1942). Even in his own time he was a throwback, preferring