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

Chess Tactics: Csom — Ostojíc, 1969

FIDE broke news that Istvan Csom (1940-2021) passed away on July 28. As the report mentions, this Hungarian Grandmaster (1973) and International Arbiter (1991) was a two-time champion of his country (1972, 1973) and part of the 1978 Buenos Aires Olympiad team that won the gold medal over the USSR in a historic upset. It was

Chess Tactics: Cebalo — Flear, 1998

Glenn Flear (born 1959) is an English Grandmaster (1987) and author of several books, including the highly-acclaimed Practical Endgame Play – Beyond the Basics: the Definitive Guide to the Endgames that Really Matter. I agree with the praise and recommend this work as well, but only for experienced players who love endings. Flear famously won the

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:

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

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

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

PAGE TOP