Chess Glossary

Confused by chess jargon? Here you will find the best collection of important chess terms anywhere on the internet.

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Lessons & Coaching

Improve your chess with a thinking process that eradicates mistakes and helps you discover the right plan in any situation.

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For Organizers

Need a tournament director or arbiter for your next event? Make sure they know the latest rules and reporting requirements for USCF and FIDE.

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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:

Chess Tactics: Tatai — Kortschnoj, 1978

Viktor Kortschnoj (1931-2016) was born in Leningrad, USSR (now Saint Petersburg, Russia). A four-time Soviet Champion and two-time World Championship Challenger (1978, 1981), Kortschnoj is universally considered one of the greatest chess players never to become World Champion. Other players in this category could include Akiba Rubinstein, Reuben Fine, Paul Keres, David Bronstein, and Vassily

Sherlock’s Method: The Working Tool for the Club Player

Authors: GM Elshan Moradiabadi, WGM Sabina Foisor 445 pages. Thinker’s Publishing, 2020 List price: $39.00, $31.69 on   Read This First! First, I believe 1700-2300 is an appropriate range for Sherlock’s Method. Second, the authors are being too modest about what they have created. Having gotten to know them a bit personally, I’m not

Chess Tactics: Zhao — Batsiashvili, 2016

Zhao Xue was born in Jinan, China in 1985. She earned her Grandmaster title in 2008 and reached a peak rating of 2579 in 2013. Zhao has won three team and three individual gold medals representing China at the Women’s Chess Olympiad, and three team and two individual golds at the Women’s World Team Championship.

Chess Tactics: Smirin — Afek, 1992

Ilya Smirin was born in Vitebsk, Belarus in 1968. He earned his Grandmaster title in 1990 and immigrated to Israel two years later. Smirin was Israeli Champion in 1992 and 2002. He also won the final edition of the New York Open in 2000, and the Biel GMT (Grandmaster Tournament) in 2002. His highest FIDE

Chess School 4: The Manual of Chess Endings

Chess School 4 by Sarhan Guliev (Russian Chess House, 2003) is the last volume in an amazing series, and the only one that isn’t a tactics manual. Last year, I reviewed Chess School 1a and Chess School 1b by Sergey Ivashchenko. Chess School 2 (for 1600+, also by Ivashchenko) and Chess School 3 (for 2000+, by

Bobby Fischer the Opening Model

The Never-Ending Influence of Bobby Fischer Since today is Bobby Fischer’s birthday, I felt I had to write something about him. Last year, I started this blog a bit after March 9. He’s a controversial figure, shall we say … but there’s one thing no one can deny: Fischer’s chess career basically ended 50 years

Chess Tactics: Mariya Muzychuk — Goryachkina, 2019

Mariya Muzychuk was born in Lviv, Ukraine in 1992. The Ukrainian Women’s Champion of 2012 and 2013 has won a pile of medals in European and World Team Championships, and in Chess Olympiads. Still, her greatest achievement was becoming Women’s World Chess Champion in 2015! Simultaneously, she earned the International Grandmaster title. Mariya’s older sister Anna

Learn Chess in 40 Hours

Great for adult novices Things are tough for the older player who has taken an interest in chess: most books are either written for children or for experienced tournament competitors. GM Rudolf Teschner (1922-2006) gave this forgotten crowd much help with his well-structured course Learn Chess in 40 Hours: A Self-tutor for Beginners and Advanced Players.

The Levon Aronian Transfer: My Thoughts

Levon Aronian from ARM to STL!? When I first saw the chess24 tweet with news that Levon Aronian will switch federations from Armenia to USA, I seriously thought it was an April Fool’s Day joke! Then I realized it’s only February 26… Holy Crap. Of all top players, I never expected to see Aronian transfer from