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

Chess Position Evaluation: Who is better, and by how much?

Chess Informant popularized a classification system that is now universally used in chess literature and when discussing positions. Who is better, and by how much? When I was struggling to learn chess, I didn’t really feel what these meant. Now, I hope others will be a bit less confused! This is a short post, and

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:

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 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.