The Canal Trap

The Canal Trap arises from the Italian Game (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4): This has been extremely popular at high level for many years now. The consensus among top players seems to be that black’s strongest reply is 3…Bc5, entering the Giuoco Piano: From there, White typically plays the modest pawn pushes c2-c3 and d2-d3 and develops

Edmar Mednis: Great Chess Authors, Part 1

A Completely Biased New Series! I own several hundred chess books, and I’ve given several dozen books away over the years. I don’t buy books nearly as often as I used to, but even now I sometimes cannot help myself! This is the first part in a new series of posts on writers I consider

Chess Tactics: Pillsbury — Gunsberg, 1895

Harry Nelson Pillsbury: A Top Player Gone Too Soon Harry Nelson Pillsbury (1872-1906) was one of the world’s best players, but died at only 33 years old. U.S. Champion from 1897 until his death, he was the top American player between Paul Morphy and Frank Marshall. Pillsbury won the celebrated Hastings 1895 tournament ahead of World Champion

Chess Openings Discussion

A Lively Chess Openings Debate Chess Openings are always a contentious topic! My recent post “The Smith-Morra Gambit, and How to Beat It,” generated spirited discussion on Facebook, as I expected it might. I don’t consider the Smith-Morra (1.e4 c5 2.d4) completely unsound or without merit, but a Sicilian player should embrace the Morra, Alapin,

Happy Birthday, Anatoly Karpov!

My Favorite Chess Player Anatoly Karpov was born May 23, 1951 in Zlatoust, Russia (then part of the USSR). Karpov first gained widespread international attention after winning the 1969 World Junior Championship with 10 points out of 11 in the final. He won the Moscow 1971 tournament (tied with Leonid Stein) ahead of World Champion

Attack with Mikhail Tal

Attack with Mikhail Tal was written by the former World Champion with sports journalist Iakov Damsky. Tal died in 1992, but Ken Neat’s English translation was first published in 1994 by Cadogan Books. Some players have a special aura in chess history. I would definitely include Paul Morphy, Jose Capablanca, Bobby Fischer, and yes, Mikhail

Beating the Smith-Morra Gambit

The Smith-Morra: A Controversial Anti-Sicilian Faced with the Sicilian Defense (1.e4 c5), many white players avoid the Open Sicilian that comes about after 2.Nf3 and 3.d4. Instead, they choose an Anti-Sicilian like the Smith-Morra Gambit (1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3) At club level, an unprepared black player can quickly find themselves in serious danger. White

Chess Tactics: Shirov — Polgar, 1994

Polgar turns the tables on Shirov’s aggression It was the perfect setting for a showdown between two of the most combative players of the 1990s and 2000s: a thematic tournament stipulating every game begin with an Open Sicilian (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 and, after 2…Nc6, 2…d6, or 2…e6, 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4). Polgar chose a Paulsen Sicilian,

PAGE TOP