2021 FIDE World Cup and Women’s World Cup

The biannual FIDE World Cup ended last week in Sochi, Russia. For the first time, there was a concurrent Women’s World Cup as well, which ended a couple of days before that.   How Does It Work? Imagine an elimination bracket of 256 players, sorted strictly by rating from highest to lowest. They are paired

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.

No Playoffs for Round Robins!

Why do we need them? I’m not necessarily against mathematical tiebreaks for Swiss-System tournaments, especially scholastic events with trophies. For decades and longer, a high-level round robin would be held over multiple weeks, and at the end one or more players would emerge with the highest score. End of event. Only when indivisible prizes were

Chess Tactics: McShane — Cheparinov, 2009

Luke McShane keeps it simple Luke McShane (born 1984) is an English Grandmaster who won the World Under-10 Championship in 1993 and Wijk aan Zee B in 2011. He reached a peak FIDE rating of 2713 in July 2012, and his peak world rank of 29 in November of that year. He has scored victories over Michael Adams,

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

Which Chess Opening Move is Best? Part 1

Should I Open with 1.e4, 1.d4, or something else as White? Not surprisingly, the short answer is “it depends.” Let’s dig deeper. First, there is one thing you certainly should not do. Don’t play offbeat moves (1.b3, 1.b4, 1.f4, 1.Nc3, etc.)  just to avoid theory. I’ve touched on this before. Only use moves like this

Norway Chess 2020

Supertournaments Return Over-the-Board Altibox Norway Chess will be held from October 5-16, 2020; the latest edition of the Norwegian supertournament held in Stavanger since 2013. It will also be the first major over-the-board tournament since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Magnus Carlsen has only won two of the seven editions of his home tournament

Chess Tactics: Andreikin — Sjugirov, 2012

Born in Ryazan, Russia, Dmitry Andreikin (1990 – ) won the World Junior Championship in 2010. He is a two-time Russian Champion (2012, 2018), and was a Candidate in 2014. His highest rank was #19 in December 2014, and his highest rating was 2743 in June 2016. Most grandmasters would be thrilled if they achieved these

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

Garry Kasparov Tribute, and My Favorite Kasparov Game

The Greatest Garry Kasparov was born April 13, 1963; today is his 57th birthday. Kasparov retired from classical chess in 2005 after winning the Linares tournament (shared with Veselin Topalov). It was the ninth time he won clear or shared first at the most prestigious tournament of all. Though he retired at the relatively early