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

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:

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.

Thoughts on Lichess and Others

A pleasant surprise Nearly a year ago, I said that I still preferred to play on the paid Internet Chess Club (ICC) because of the consistent good level of professional competition. I knew that GMs, IMs, and other strong players used Lichess, but I wondered if the site was merely had some really strong players,

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

Positional Chess Handbook: Strategy for All Levels

495 Chess Lessons in Your Pocket Positional Chess Handbook can be considered a strategy cousin to 1001 Chess Sacrifices and Combinations, the iconic puzzle book by Fred Reinfeld. Both are pocket-sized and ideal for studying on-the-go — but PCH is definitely the superior book. I recommend Positional Chess Handbook to players (and coaches!) of all

200 Modern Chess Traps in the Fianchetto Openings

A Book on Chess Traps that is Cheap, Abundant, and Still Useful 200 Modern Chess Traps in the Fianchetto Openings was written by J.B. Howson in 1970. As you might expect, the notation of choice is Descriptive. The author divides his material into three parts: Queen’s Side, King’s Side, and Miscellaneous. Looking through the chapters in each

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