Chess Tactics: Filipovíc — Jurkovíc, 2003

Taming Lions When deciding which openings to employ, there are a lot of possible shortcuts one can take…but this entails some risk. In the 2000s, a setup now known as The Black Lion (due to a book of the same name published by New in Chess in 2009) became popular for the second player. It

Hacking Up The King: Chess Calculation Practice

Killer Instinct in Chess Hacking Up The King is all about trying to checkmate the enemy king, whether castled or still in the center. There are countless books in this genre, but the 2014 work by English International Master David Eggleston is better than most. If you like Attack with Mikhail Tal (which I reviewed previously)

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

Chess Tactics: Spassky — Rashkovsky, 1973

Boris Spassky (born 1937) was the tenth World Chess Champion (1969-1972). Before that, however, he was one of the greatest prodigies of early modern professional chess. Born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Spassky defeated Mikhail Botvinnik in a simul as a ten-year-old in 1947, a year before Botvinnik became World Champion. With a third-place finish

Chess Tactics: Gashimov — Gelfand, 2009

Vugar Gashimov (1986-2014) was a top player from Azerbaijan who was dogged with ill health for much of his life. Despite this, he rose as high as World Number 6 in November 2009. Gashimov reached a peak rating of 2761 in January 2012, the same month as Wijk aan Zee. As it turned out, this

Mihail Marin: Great Chess Authors, Part 8

Today I want to discuss a very popular and highly-regarded chess figure who also happens to be the first currently-living author in the series. Serious work for serious people, yes, but more approachable than most Dvoretsky volumes. Mihail Marin Mihail Marin (1965 – ) was born in Bucharest, Romania. A three-time Champion of Romania (1988,

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

French Defense, Part 2a: Winawer & Classical Variations

In Part 1, we looked at French Defense lines where black exchanges pawns on e4. Now we’ll start looking at the most common center type in the French: white plays e4-e5. In this post we’ll look at the Winawer and Classical Variations. The next post will feature the MacCutcheon and the Tarrasch. White locks the

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