How to Defeat a Superior Opponent! Advice for New Chess Players, Part 2

If you read my earlier post on Edmar Mednis, you know that How to Defeat a Superior Opponent is the title of the Hall of Fame Grandmaster’s 1989 book (effectively a reprint of his 1978 title How to Beat the Russians). The idea of defeating a stronger player appealed to a “weakie” like me, so I devoured Superior

Chess Position Evaluation: Who is better, and by how much?

Chess Informant popularized a classification system that is now universally used in chess literature and when discussing positions. Who is better, and by how much? When I was struggling to learn chess, I didn’t really feel what these meant. Now, I hope others will be a bit less confused! This is a short post, and

Advice for New Chess Players, Part 1: General Tips

No matter why you decided to pick up chess, Congratulations, and Welcome! I played my first chess tournaments in 1995-96. While I started teaching beginners as early as 1997 (when I was not much past 1000 USCF), I didn’t become a full-time chess teacher and coach until 2005 (I had surpassed 1800 by then). I’ve seen

French Defense, Part 4: Steiner Variation

A Resource for Chess Francophiles About a year ago, I wrote a multi-part series on the French Defense (first part here), the opening that I often cite as having saved my chess career. I played it from 1998-2008, and would not have reached 1900+ without it. Subsequent parts of my series can be found here:

An Important Bishop Endgame Concept

Bishop Endgame Theory In particular, we’re going to discuss the same-color bishop endgame. The attacking side has one pawn, and the defender has none. If the defender can sacrifice their bishop for the last pawn the game is drawn, so the attacker must proceed carefully. What the Defender Wants in this Ending The position is

Chess Teacher vs. Chess Coach

Teaching Comes First Teaching imparts knowledge and skills to the student that they are lacking. Coaching helps the student use his/her knowledge and skills more effectively. Over many years working with students in New York City, I primarily referred to myself as a chess teacher. I have always believed that knowledge is power in chess