Loading
Drastically Improve Your Chess

This is default featured post 1 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara - Premiumbloggertemplates.com.

This is default featured post 2 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara - Premiumbloggertemplates.com.

This is default featured post 3 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara - Premiumbloggertemplates.com.

This is default featured post 4 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara - Premiumbloggertemplates.com.

This is default featured post 5 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara - Premiumbloggertemplates.com.

Most In-depth Study ( Must Have )

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Ruy Lopez for White - Open Lopez Part 2

Hello everyone,

Last time we had studied Variation A in the Open Lopez. Hope the main concept of the Open Lopez is clear in your head by now.

We will move forward and today we will study Black's 9th move alternative, Variation B: 9...Be7. Now this Variation has two sub-variation as Black's 12th move alternatives.

Let's start with Variation B1: 12...0-0:

Ruy_Lopez/Variation B1.pgn




Now let's move onto the next reply, Variation B2: 12...Qd7:

Ruy_Lopez/Variation B2.pgn




So, this was Black's second 9th move alternative. Hope you have enjoyed. Next time we will start discussion on Black's third 9th move alternative.

Keep visiting and keep reading. 

Thanks a lot. Enjoy!!
Subscribe to Chess Blog | The Pulse of Chess     If you liked the article kindly Digg it, Stumble it, Add to Technorati, bookmark it and please consider subscribing through  "Subscribe by Email"  and have articles & a  Everyman Chessbase eBook delivered right to your inbox! OR "Subscribe to Chess Blog Feed" in a Fead Reader of your choice OR Subscribe to "SMS Alerts" & Get Article Headlines & Updates delivered to your Mobile Phone for free.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Ruy Lopez for White - Open Lopez Part 1

Hello everyone,

We have completed our study of the Moller and Arkhangelsk Variations in our last post. Hope you have it clear in your head by now.

Today we will start a new chapter in the Ruy Lopez, the Open Lopez. This is a little bit different from what we have seen in Berlin Defence, Deffered Steinitz and the recent Moller and Arkhangelsk Variations. Lets see how it goes:

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 Nxe4




With 5...Nxe4 Black basically chooses dynamic counterplay over solid defence . He makes space for his pieces to develop onto active posts and squashes any thoughts White might have of applying the 'Spanish Torture' so often seen in the closed defences .

However, there's a certain price to pay for all this activity. The position becomes open quite quickly and in order not to suffer a quick onslaught down the e-file, Black is forced to compromise his pawn-structure someWhat, leaving White with potential targets to exploit in the middlegame. Nevertheless, the Open Defence has Its fair share of supporters. Viktor Korchnoi is probably its most famous adherent, while of the new generation of top players one could point to Vishy Anand, who employed it in his 1995 World Championship clash with Kasparov and has continued to use it since.

The Strategic Starting Position


This is the typical position, which is reached after 8 moves of the Open Lopez. The first thing to notice is that Black 's pieces occupy active squares. Given a few free moves, Black would probably continue with ...Bc5, ...0-0 and perhaps ...f6, to create a semiopen f-file and attack the f2-square. It goes without saying that White must act energetically in the diagram position, else Black could easily take over the initiative once he has completed his development. Here I'm advocating the move 9 Nbd2, which was made popular by Anatoly Karpov. One of White's main ideas is to put immediate pressure on Black's strong knight on e4. This pressure can be enhanced with such moves as c3 and Bc2 . Black is asked very early on what to do with this knight.

Black Supports the Knight with ...f5



Black has just played 11...f5, lending support to the under-fire knight. White now has a big decision to make : whether to capture en passant, or to play around the knight and concentrate on the weaknesses in the black camp. On this occasion the main theoretical move is 12 Nb3 (instead of 12 exf6). After 12...Qd7 White can use a tactical trick to justify the move 13 Nfd4. Now 13...Nxe5? 14 f3 Nc5 15 Re1 Nc6 16 Nxc6 Qxc6 17 Nd4 Qd7 18 b4 drops a piece, so the normal continuation is 13...Nxd4 14 Nxd4 c5 15 Nxe6 Qxe6 16 f3 Ng5 17 a4 , when White is slightly better (see the theory section for more on this position).

Black Moves the Knight



On this occasion Black has retreated his knight to c5, where it controls some important squares . One of White's major plans in this position involves the usual knight manoeuvre with (after Re1) Nf1-g3/e3 . White's pieces would then point impressively at the black kingside. In addition, White has the e5-pawn as a spearhead, so it's easy to see that White can often build up a menacing attack against the black king. White also often plays Nb3, challenging the c5-knight. If this is exchanged, it clears the way for the white queen to go to d3, where it sets up a powerful battery with the bishop against the h7-pawn .
For the reasons outlined above, Black often delays castling in favour of first improving the position of his pieces . For example, Black often plays the move ...Bg4, giving White a pin to think about. This bishop can also be re-routed via h5 to g6, in order to blunt White's attack along the b1-h7 diagonal. This also leaves the e6-square vacant for the knight to hop back and completely block the e5-pawn. Another common feature is Black doubling behind the d-pawn with ...Qd7 and ...Rd8. The idea of this is not only to add extra support to the oftenvulnerable d5-pawn, but also to facilitate a possible ,..d4 advance. Of course the strength of this advance is always dependent on the placing of the various pieces, but a successful ...d4 will completely free Black's position .

Now let's move on to the different lines in this Variation. There are typically three different lines revolving around Black's 9th move alternatives, which again have different sub-variations based on Black's 11th and 12th moves.
Let's start with Variation A: 9...Bc5
Ruy_Lopez/Variation A.pgn

This is how it goes. We will study Variation B in our next post.
Keep visiting and keep reading.
Thanks a lot. Enjoy!!
Subscribe to Chess Blog | The Pulse of Chess     If you liked the article kindly Digg it, Stumble it, Add to Technorati, bookmark it and please consider subscribing through  "Subscribe by Email"  and have articles & a  Everyman Chessbase eBook delivered right to your inbox! OR "Subscribe to Chess Blog Feed" in a Fead Reader of your choice OR Subscribe to "SMS Alerts" & Get Article Headlines & Updates delivered to your Mobile Phone for free.

Monday, December 15, 2008

December 2008 Chess Puzzle Contest

From now on we will be holding "Puzzle Contests" every month. You have to solve the puzzles and comment on relevant posts with the move sequence. Each month we will randomly pick a maximum of 2 commenters with correct solutions who will get a surprise gift delivered to their inbox( you have to leave your email address here ). Now what's the gift? If you are one of our email subscribers then you already got our subscription gift...isn't it? Well the prize for the contests will be something like that ( but not Everyman ebooks). Common solve it & comment & you will know .
Every month's top commenter is also eligible for the prize even if he/she is unable to solve the puzzle.

Lets move on to the puzzle of this month....


December Chess Puzzle Contest


This position is from Burn - Teichmann, Hastings 1895. White's doubled pawns on the f-file hamper him in his attempts to defend his king.How did black exploit this? Black to play.You have to find the best sequence of moves that leads to mate.
Leave you solutions here with your email address. Entries after this month are not eligible for the contest. So what are you waiting for? It's time for your neurons to do some calculations...


Subscribe to Chess Blog | The Pulse of Chess     If you liked the article kindly Digg it, Stumble it, Add to Technorati, bookmark it and please consider subscribing through  "Subscribe by Email"  and have articles & a  Everyman Chessbase eBook delivered right to your inbox! OR "Subscribe to Chess Blog Feed" in a Fead Reader of your choice OR Subscribe to "SMS Alerts" & Get Article Headlines & Updates delivered to your Mobile Phone for free.

Sexy maths: Skills of a Chess Grandmaster


The 2008 chess Olympiad in Dresden
For a while, the chess Olympiad this year looked like producing a surprise winner but closer inspection of Israel's team sheet revealed that it was pretty much business as usual: half the players were named Boris!
Other than a brief blip in the 1970s, the biennial event has produced remarkably consistent results. From 1952 to 1990, the Soviet Union ruled the contest, and after the superstate's fragmentation either Russia or one of its former union satellites struck gold every time. As it turned out this year, the Soviet diaspora's turn in the spotlight was short-lived and Armenia triumphed for its second successive Olympiad.

Despite being connected by being born under the red flag, those that dominate the game are better categorised by their membership of a different club: the mathematical mafia. Legend has it that the game was invented by a mathematician in India who elicited a huge reward for its creation. The King of India was so impressed with the game that he asked the mathematician to name a prize as reward. Not wishing to appear greedy, the mathematician asked for one grain of rice to be placed on the first square of the chess board, two grains on the second, four on the third and so on. The number of grains of rice should be doubled each time.
The King thought that he'd got away lightly, but little did he realise the power of doubling to make things big very quickly. By the sixteenth square there was already a kilo of rice on the chess board. By the twentieth square his servant needed to bring in a wheelbarrow of rice. He never reached the 64th and last square on the board. By that point the rice on the board would have totalled a staggering 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 grains.
Playing chess has strong resonances with doing mathematics. There are simple rules for the way each chess piece moves but beyond these basic constraints, the pieces can roam freely across the board. Mathematics also proceeds by taking self-evident truths (called axioms) about properties of numbers and geometry and then by applying basic rules of logic you proceed to move mathematics from its starting point to deduce new statements about numbers and geometry. For example, using the moves allowed by mathematics the 18th-century mathematician Lagrange reached an endgame that showed that every number can be written as the sum of four square numbers, a far from obvious fact. For example, 310 = 172 +42 + 22 + 12.
Some mathematicians have turned their analytic skills on the game of chess itself. A classic problem called the Knight's Tour asks whether it is possible to use a knight to jump around the chess board visiting each square once only. The first examples were documented in a 9th-century Arabic manuscript. It is only within the past decade that mathematical techniques have been developed to count exactly how many such tours are possible.
It isn't just mathematicians and chess players who have been fascinated by the Knight's Tour. The highly styled Sanskrit poem Kavyalankara presents the Knight's Tour in verse form. And in the 20th century, the French author Georges Perec's novel Life: A User's Manual describes an apartment with 100 rooms arranged in a 10x10 grid. In the novel the order that the author visits the rooms is determined by a Knight's Tour on a 10x10 chessboard.
Mathematicians have also analysed just how many games of chess are possible. If you were to line up chessboards side by side, the number of them you would need to reach from one side of the observable universe to the other would require only 28 digits. Yet Claude Shannon, the mathematician credited as the father of the digital age, estimated that the number of unique games you could play was of the order of 10120 (a 1 followed by 120 0s). It's this level of complexity that makes chess such an attractive game and ensures that at the Olympiad in Russia in 2010, local spectators will witness games of chess never before seen by the human eye, even if the winning team turns out to have familiar names.
 Article Source : Times Online
Subscribe to Chess Blog | The Pulse of Chess     If you liked the article kindly Digg it, Stumble it, Add to Technorati, bookmark it and please consider subscribing through  "Subscribe by Email"  and have articles & a  Everyman Chessbase eBook delivered right to your inbox! OR "Subscribe to Chess Blog Feed" in a Fead Reader of your choice OR Subscribe to "SMS Alerts" & Get Article Headlines & Updates delivered to your Mobile Phone for free.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Ruy Lopez for White - Moller and Arkhangelsk Variations Part 5

Hello friends,

Today we will conclude our study of the Moller and Arkhangelsk Variations. In the last post we have studied Variation C221: 12...Re8. Today, we will study the remaining two replies by Black, Variation C222: 12...exd4 and Variation C223: 12...Rb8.

So, let's start with Variation C222: 12...exd4

Ruy_Lopez/Variation C222.pgn


Now, let's move on to the remaining Variation C223: 12...Rb8

Ruy_Lopez/Variation C223.pgn


So, friends, this concludes our study of the Moller and Arkhangelsk Variations. It's a bit tricky, but I am sure you will be able to find your way out through it, as shown.

From our next post, we will start a new chapter, The Open Lopez.

So, stay tuned. This is certainly not the end.

Keep visiting and keep reading.

Thanks a lot, Enjoy!!
Subscribe to Chess Blog | The Pulse of Chess     If you liked the article kindly Digg it, Stumble it, Add to Technorati, bookmark it and please consider subscribing through  "Subscribe by Email"  and have articles & a  Everyman Chessbase eBook delivered right to your inbox! OR "Subscribe to Chess Blog Feed" in a Fead Reader of your choice OR Subscribe to "SMS Alerts" & Get Article Headlines & Updates delivered to your Mobile Phone for free.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Reptor - A Free Chess Opening Repetoire

What's more? From now on we will also keep you informed about free stuffs & goodies that are available on the web.
Starting for the first time we would like to tell you about "Reptor" , a nice free chess opening repetoire trainer . Reptor is the fast way to learn a new opening. It's a Windows program intended to make learning a new opening in an evening practical. It also allows you to prepare your own content. Reptor now supports other types of chess knowledge training in addition to openings.

Reptor is designed to help you commit opening lines to memory. Reptor supplements all those books and DVDs that promise to teach you a new opening. The premise of these products is that they will provide you with at least one good choice for any course of action your opponent selects in the opening under consideration. Unfortunately you can't take these books into the playing hall with you, you need a way to remember the lines. Reptor trains you by challenging you to play down the recommended lines. If you need help, Reptor gently shows you the way. In no time you will be playing the lines with confidence.
Reptor can also be used to learn other types of chess knowledge, including tactics and endgame technique. For this type of training Reptor varies the starting position, but still challenges the user to come up with the right moves in the same way as when learning openings. A good example of this type of content is a lesson that teaches the problematic basic bishop and knight mate.
The following lessons are included in the Reptor download;
  • Play the Queen's Indian defence.
  • An interesting anti Caro-Kann line.
  • A simple 1.d4 based opening repertoire.
  • Forcing mate with bishop and knight only against a bare king.
  • Learn the Lucena and Philidor positions.
You can download it here for free.
OK that's it for today....a new stuff next time..so stay tuned.
Subscribe to Chess Blog | The Pulse of Chess     If you liked the article kindly Digg it, Stumble it, Add to Technorati, bookmark it and please consider subscribing through  "Subscribe by Email"  and have articles & a  Everyman Chessbase eBook delivered right to your inbox! OR "Subscribe to Chess Blog Feed" in a Fead Reader of your choice OR Subscribe to "SMS Alerts" & Get Article Headlines & Updates delivered to your Mobile Phone for free.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Ruy Lopez for White - Moller and Arkhangelsk Variations Part 4

Hi friends,

I am extremely sorry to be so late in my posts. Actually I was out of station for quite a few days and after I came back, we got this problem with "chesspublisher"!! But my friends, we are back and we are back with a bang!! We have found a really great alternative for the problems, many many thanks to my friend chessyman here. You will enjoy reading much more now, I am sure of it.

Well, what else! Let's start from where we had left the Moller and Arkhangelsk Variations. We will discuss now, Variation C2: 6...Bb7. It has mainly two sub-variations, Variation C21: 8...0-0 and Variation C22: 8...d6 which revolves round Blacks 8th move alternatives. Variation C22: 8...d6 has again three sub-variations which I will let you know in due course.

So, let's start with Variation C21: 8...0-0

Ruy_Lopez/Variation C21.pgn



Now, we will move on to Variation C22: 8...d6 where there are three sub-variations which revolves around Black's 12th move alternatives. Let's start with the first one Variation C221: 12...Re8

Ruy_Lopez/Variation C221.pgn




We will study the remaining two sub-variations of Variation C22: 8...d6 in our next post and that will conclude our study on Moller and Arkhangelsk Variations.

Hope you have enjoyed.

Keep visiting and keep reading. There is still lot more to come.
Thanks a lot. Enjoy!!



Subscribe to Chess Blog | The Pulse of Chess     If you liked the article kindly Digg it, Stumble it, Add to Technorati, bookmark it and please consider subscribing through  "Subscribe by Email"  and have articles & a  Everyman Chessbase eBook delivered right to your inbox! OR "Subscribe to Chess Blog Feed" in a Fead Reader of your choice OR Subscribe to "SMS Alerts" & Get Article Headlines & Updates delivered to your Mobile Phone for free.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Chess Publisher is down & We are stuck but Read On!!!

Chess Publisher(which we have been using to publish games) is down.So we are stuck & haven't been able to publish the opening surveys recently.We will be coming up with a solution that will be much better than Chess Publisher. Probably in a day or two you will see the results. So until then bye,stay tuned & sorry for the delay.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Write for Chess Blog

Have you got an article or tutorial that you’d like to share with our readers? Are you well qualified for the content that you are going to provide?
If so - then we are ready to provide a platform for your articles in Chess Blog. We are currently looking for guest authors whether they be one off or regular contributors. Contact us via our Contact Us page for more details on how you can be a part of Chess Blog. 
Please include in your messsage the title of the post you’d like to write and a brief (5-6 sentences) description of what it would be about. I won’t hold you to the title but this will help me get an idea of what direction you’d take the post. If that interests us then we will be informing you to send the full article by email.
We are particularly looking for helpful tips & tutorials on openings,strategy etc. The more practical and useful your post idea is the better.

Now why write guest posts for Chess Blog?

1 - It’s one of the fastest ways to reach a new audience.
When you write a post for another blog you are getting the opportunity to showcase your knowledge and ability in front of targeted readers. If your blog is on a similar topic as the blog in which your post is published, you stand to gain a lot of new visitors.
Obviously, the amount of exposure you get will depend on which blog publishes your article. The number of subscribers isn’t the only significant factor. Some blogs have smaller audiences, but their readers are very targeted and very loyal.

2 - Potential new subscribers.
If the readers like your post they may be inclined to subscribe to your RSS feed. In this way guest posting can be a very productive source of free advertising. Who doesn’t want more subscribers?
3 - You’ll get a link to your blog.
Almost all guest posting arrangements involve a link back to the author’s blog. This not only provides you with potential click-through traffic, but it can help our search engine rankings as well as your Technorati rank, especially if the other blog is a quality, established blog itself. In fact, the link is sometimes the primary interest in guest posts.

4 - It helps other bloggers.
Ok, so your primary motivation is not to help other blogs, but this can have big benefits down the road. If you help another blogger, they are likely to remember you and they’ll be more likely to repay the favor or to link to you in the future. Even if they don’t, it’s still nice to know that you can make an impact for others.
In short by writing guest posts for Chess Blog you’ll be able to quickly reach a lot of new potential readers, grow you name recognition, and get some quality inbound links.
So what are you waiting for ? 

Monday, December 8, 2008

Join Chess Blog at Google Friend Connect

Google Friend Connect is awesome. We liked it & you will like it too. As expected, Google Friend Connect is now live at google.com/friendconnect. If you like Chess Blog then please join the  Chess Blog community via Friend Connect, please click the Join This Site button below.


As a user visiting Google Friend connected sites, you can become members of sites and interact with other members who share your interests. You can also invite your friends from orkut, Google Talk, and other social networks to join the community. No need to create a new account for the site: simply use your Google, Yahoo!, AOL, or other OpenID account.
To know more, refer to the Friend Connect support site.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Chess Basics | A Few Things to Keep in Mind

This article is actaually a contuination of the article "Chess - The Rules & Basic Ideas Behind the Game" intended to novice players. In this article we will be discussing some thumb rules that be kept in mind while.So lets not waste time & dive straight into it.

"Play the opening like a book, the middlegame like a magician, and the endgame like a machine." - Rudolf Spielmann


In General:

When you see a good move, sit on your hands and see if you can find a better one. – Siegbert Tarrasch

There are exceptions to every general principle and law in chess. Knowing when you can violate them is one of the hallmarks of a strong player.

Memory should never be a substitute for thought.

Even when a move seems forced, it is worth taking a few moments to see if there might be a better alternative.

If a move is absolutely forced, don't waste time calculating it. Make the move and calculate the ramifications on your opponent's time.

Given the choice of two moves, if you calculate that the first move is clearly losing, and the other is vague and complex, the second move should be played without prolonged calculation. You can calculate the consequences on your opponent's time.

Don't play a game or even a move if you don't feel like trying your best.

Attack pinned pieces with pieces worth less than them; never take a pinned piece unless it leads to some sort of tactic or advantage, or you cannot maintain the pin.

Putting out your hand when you offer a draw is presumptuous; always put it out after the draw is agreed upon, not before.

Rooks need open and semi-open files. Don't let your opponent control open files with his Rooks.

When capturing with pawns, it is correct most of the time to capture toward the center. If the result is doubled pawns, this is correct even a higher percentage of the time.

If you worry about your opponent's rating or play to the level of your competition, then don't look at his rating until after the game.

If something is happening on your board that is strange or you don't understand, stop the clock and get the tournament director.

In a Swiss tournament, the most important rounds are the first and the last.

In chess, if you learn to consistently (each move) do the little things: take your time, count the material effect of your move, and check for basic tactics, you will soon find that these are not so little!

Move every piece once before you move every piece twice unless there is a clear reason to do so.

In the opening, if you can drive a Knight out of the center by attacking it with a pawn, it is usually correct to do so.

If you get way ahead in material, it is more important to use all your pieces, kill your opponent's counterplay, and safeguard your King, than it is to try and get further ahead.

Having the 'Bishop Pair' - two Bishops when your opponent does not - is worth about half a pawn.

Don't put your Knight in front of your c-pawn in double d-pawn openings.

Don't move your f-pawn until you have castled or your opponent's Queen is off the board.

Don't pin the opponent's King's Knight to the Queen before the opponent has castled.

Develop the Bishop on the side you wish to castle before the other Bishop.

When looking for tactics - for either player - look for Checks, Captures, and Threats, in that order - for both players.

Stay flexible. Always be ready to transform one type of advantage to another, or to switch from tactical to positional play.

Be especially careful after you've made a mistake. It often happens that one mistake soon leads to another. The realization that something has gone wrong can be a big distraction and lead to a loss of concentration.

Never, ever assume that your opponent has no threats, even in the most lopsided positions.

Bold, imaginative play, presenting your opponent all sorts of continuous problems, is likely to be well rewarded.

Short-term solutions to long-term problems on the chessboard rarely succeed.

Presenting your opponent with practical difficulties in over the board play, is just as important as obtaining an objective advantage.

Concentrate. Keep your attention on the board. Don’t let your mind wander and don’t you wander either. Don’t leave the board unless necessary.

Use your time to think of specifics and to find the best move. Use your opponent’s time to think in generalities and of future possibilities. Always make sure you use your opponent’s time productively.

Play to win in as few moves as necessary. Don’t waste time gobbling up your opponent’s pawns when you’re well ahead. Go for the safest and most efficient mate.

If you blunder, don’t resign. Sit back and figure out how to give your opponent trouble. Go down fighting.

Respect all opponents, but fear none.

What distinguishes masters and experts from intermediates and novices, is their specialized ability to think effectively about chess positions.

Until you reach at least master level, playing as error-free as possible is MUCH more effective and important than playing brilliantly, and will win a lot more games for you. One critical error will usually cost you more than a dozen brilliant moves will gain for you. Remember, the first step to mastery, is the elimination of errors.

To improve your chess game, combine STUDY AND PLAY; study and play, study and play, study and play…

As you improve, you will learn the value of – and develop skill in exploiting – first pieces, then pawns, and finally squares.

Always play "touch-move" and never take back a move. It is against the rules of chess and is detrimental to your improvement.

Avoid having a favorite piece.

Learn chess notation, then record and review your games.

Review all your games. This is how you learn to find & eradicate the mistakes from your play.

Play stronger players frequently, and learn from them. After a loss, ask them to go over the game and point out your mistakes. Playing stronger players strengthens your chess.

Remain calm and alert throughout a chess game. Take mental breaks to ease the tension.

Focus on playing your best, rather than on winning. The wins will follow.

Enjoy your wins and learn from your losses. Learn at least one lesson from each loss. You will learn more from one loss than a dozen wins. Defeats are the greatest teachers.

After losing a game, especially against a much stronger player, ask them to review the game with you and show you where you went wrong.

Record each move carefully. The only exception is when you are in time trouble. In that case, at least try to check off each move as it is played. Write down each move before you actually play it on the board, and each of your opponent’s moves before you make your response, even obvious ones.

Always play touch-move, and call it if your opponent touches a piece. Do not hold a piece in your hand while thinking.

Focus on the game in front of you, not the one next to you. Good concentration is one of the keys to success in chess.

Don’t talk to your opponent and don’t allow him to talk to you.

Don’t play chess between rounds of a tournament. This saps your mental energy. Go for a walk instead.

Don’t eat a heavy meal before playing. Keep your energy level up by snacking on healthy items like fruit or fruit juice. Avoid junk food or anything with too much sugar.

If you blunder, don’t immediately resign, and don’t play as if you’re going to lose. Fight on as if the fate of the world depends on it. Quite often after you make a blunder, your opponent will relax and let his guard down, and then make an even bigger blunder himself. If you blunder, take a few minutes to compose yourself and get your head back into the game. Instead of playing aimlessly, as if the game is hopelessly lost, take a few minutes to evaluate the position and figure out a strategy to maximize your chances. Present your opponent with as many problems and difficulties as possible, and make him earn the win. There’s always a best course of action, even when lost. Make sure you find it.

Expect to win, whenever the opportunity arises – opening, middlegame, or endgame. Win by attack or win by attrition, but win. Remember that checkmate is the goal.

To find the best moves, and avoid becoming intimidated or overconfident, play the position on the board, not the opponent.

Stay calm, relaxed, and focused during each game. Tension and panic rout logical thought.

When even or ahead, play hard. When behind, play harder.

Use time wisely. Think and plan on your opponent’s time during the game. Avoid time trouble. When in time trouble, try to think and play calmly.

Do not relax and become overconfident and careless when ahead. Apply the “killer instinct” throughout the game.

Keep the normal value of the pieces in mind (queen=9, rook=5, bishop=3+, knight=3, and pawn=1), but remember that these values vary according to the position, mobility, and potential of the pieces. Whether attacking or defending, count the number and consider the values of both attackers and defenders on a target piece, pawn or square before exchanging or occupying, to insure against losing material.

Superior force usually wins, so stay even or ahead in material throughout the game (except for gambits, combinations or sacrifices to force checkmate or a winning endgame).

Chess is not Solitaire. Sound chess begins with respect for your opponent’s ideas, moves, threats, plans and ability.

Determine the purpose of each move by your opponent. Ask yourself, “What is the THREAT?” and “What has CHANGED in the position?” after each of your opponent’s moves. Concentrate on offense and attacking, but recognize and answer all threats.

To win a game of chess, you must first not lose it. Avoid mistakes, such as leaving pieces en prise (unguarded) or exposing your king. Before each of your moves, ask yourself, “DOES THIS MOVE IMPROVE MY POSITION?” and “IS THIS MOVE SAFE?” Avoiding mistakes is the beginning of improvement in chess. THINK before you move!

Don’t play the first good move you see. Look around for an even better one.

The two most common (and often fatal) mistakes in chess are moving too fast and overlooking opponent’s threats. Sit on your hands until ready to move.

If your opponent is in time trouble, don’t rush your moves. Take some time to find surprising moves that force your opponent to think.

Don’t play a move you know is unsound unless you’re busted. In that case, you have nothing to lose, so look for a sucker punch.

Don’t be afraid of higher rated opponents. They have more to lose than you do. Have some fun and go for the kill.

Take no prisoners. Draw only if you must. If offered a draw, make sure you understand what it will mean if you accept it. In general, don’t accept a draw unless you’re losing.

If you touch a piece and your opponent calls you on it, put the piece back on the board and search for the best move for it. Don’t hold the piece in your hand while thinking.

Be aggressive, but play soundly. Don’t take unnecessary chances.

Make sure EVERY move has a purpose.

If you know your opponent’s style, take advantage of it. But in the final analysis, play the board, not the person.

Don’t check needlessly. Check only when it accomplishes something useful.

Answer all threats, but do so while trying to improve your position and/or posing a counter-threat.

Never play a risky move, hoping the opponent won’t see it, unless you’re already lost and have nothing to lose.

The goal in chess is to play the best move in every position.

Winning at chess basically consists of creating and exploiting opponent’s weaknesses.

Understanding, not memory, is the essential key to chess success. The chess player who understands why will consistently defeat the player who only knows how. Play by sound general principles adapted to the specific requirements (offensive opportunities and defensive necessities) in each position.

In many cases, it is better to allow an enemy piece to occupy a square and then drive it away, as opposed to preventing him from coming there in the first place. This way, you gain a tempo instead of losing one. That’s a difference of two tempi.

If your opponent has a well-posted piece, drive it away or exchange it.

If your opponent controls more space, advance pawns to gain space yourself.

If your opponent has greater elasticity in his position, loosen your own position, strive for more freedom or flexibility (perhaps by exchanging one or more pieces), then look for your own least active piece or pieces and develop a plan to make it or them active.

If your opponent controls the center, challenge it with pawns.

The surest way to consistently win chess games is to anticipate & nullify your opponent’s plans, and to create no weaknesses in your position for your opponent to attack. This has been one of the major keys to Karpov's success. Think and play prophyllactically.

Play slowly. Haste and carelessness are greater enemies than your opponent. Accuracy, not speed, is essential in chess. Be patient. The reward for speed is a legacy of lost games.

Be serious while playing. Don’t talk to your opponent during the game. If he or she talks to you, complain. You can socialize after the game, not during it.

Chess is a creative process. Its purpose is to find the truth. To discover the truth, you must work hard, be uncompromising, and be brave.

Play as if the future of humanity depends on your efforts. It does.

Don’t play automatic moves. Make sure you understand the opening before playing it.

There must be no reasoning from the past moves, only the present position. Logically, the previous moves in a game should not affect one’s play in the slightest, as each move creates a new position.

A player can get by with a minimum of book knowledge; simply avoid finesse. Play moves that cannot lead to trouble.

Players usually make their worst oversights in dead won games or in dead lost games. It is surprising how often a mate in one is overlooked when one’s position is already hopeless or when you are winning easily.

The best practical rule for a winning game: destroy your opponent's counter-chances. It may be slower, but it’s surer.

When your opponent is short on time, try to continually present him with problems that will require a lot of time to analyze.

Never take a risk for material when you already have a win.

The chief factor in chess skill is the storing of patterns in the mind, and the recognition of such patterns in actual play.

When a move can wait, it is almost always best to let it wait. However, it is nearly always wrong to postpone a must move if you can safely play it at once.

When forced to choose among moves, play the most necessary one first.

The closer to the time trouble your opponent is, the more tactical your game should be. This way you will pose the most unpleasant problems for your opponent. He or she is much more prone to miscalculate in such a situation.

While a stockpile of principles, guidelines, rules, and basic positions can be very useful in any chess player's arsenal, one should never forget that there is no substitute for analysis. A general idea or guideline is not the end, but the means to an end.

General principles can be a good guide, but there is no substitute for sound analysis based on concrete variations...

In the next post I will be discussing some Basic Ideas Behing Openings. So until then bye & stay tuned.
Subscribe to Chess Blog | The Pulse of Chess     If you liked the article kindly Digg it, Stumble it, Add to Technorati, bookmark it and please consider subscribing through  "Subscribe by Email"  and have articles & a  Everyman Chessbase eBook delivered right to your inbox! OR "Subscribe to Chess Blog Feed" in a Fead Reader of your choice OR Subscribe to "SMS Alerts" & Get Article Headlines & Updates delivered to your Mobile Phone for free.

Chess - The Basic Rules & Ideas Behind the Game

We thought why not give an introduction to the game,it's rules & some basic ideas behind it so that starters can benefit from it.After all it's a blog about & for chess isn't it & excluding a  discussing on "How the game is played" would be an injuctice to it .So here it is...

Before we review how the pieces move, we should learn what they're called. It's a knight. Not a horsey. And the castle? That's called a rook. Now on to how the pieces move. We'll start with the lowliest of chess pieces - the pawn. Pawns can only move forward. Although they usually only move one square at a time, pawns can move one or two squares the first time they move. But, and this is a big exception, pawns capture pieces one square diagonally. A pawn cannot capture a piece directly in front of it. Let's take it to the diagram:






How pawn moves in chess board







How pawn moves in chess board







How the pawn moves in a chess board
The Bishop, in contrast, can move as far as it wishes along the diagonals. And for the nits out there, no, it cannot move through pieces.



How the bishop moves in a chess board
The knight is tricky. Its move looks like an 'L'. The knight moves two squares in any direction and then one square to the left or right. A diagram will make this more clear:



How the knight moves in a chess board
Another note for the nits out there: the knight can hop over pieces, because as everyone knows, knights were known as the jumping warriors of the Middle Ages.
The rook is easy. Rooks move as far as they want horizontally or vertically. Like the Bishop, they cannot jump over pieces.



How the rook moves in a chess board
The queen is a combination of rook and bishop. She can move as far as she wishes diagonally, horizontally, or vertically.



How the queen moves in a chess board
The king is like a hobbled queen. He can move in any direction, but only one square at a time. Of course the king can also castle, but we'll get to that later.



How the king moves in a chess board

The rules of chess

Chess is more straightforward than people realize. Two sides, white and black, try to checkmate each other. Play starts with the white player and the players take turns moving one piece at a time until the game ends. The only exception is castling, when a player can move two pieces in one turn...we'll be discussing that shortly.
The game can end in a draw or a victory:
A player wins when either the opponent concedes or the enemy king is checkmated. Checkmate is when the enemy king is in check (attacked by an enemy piece) and the king cannot escape. The king can escape check by moving to a square not controlled by an enemy piece, by capturing the checking piece, or by blocking the check with a friendly piece. It is important to note that it is illegal for the king to move into check.
The game can end in a draw several different ways, but the two most common ways are for the players to either decide that neither side can win and agree to a draw or for the game to end in stalemate. Stalemate is when one side cannot make any legal moves.
To summarize: Try to checkmate the enemy king, move the pieces how they're supposed to, and don't move into check.
Now for some of the weird rules:
Castling: This is the only time when two pieces can move in a single turn. Castling is done with the king and rook, and is used to evacuate the king from the center. The king can castle with either rook. To castle, the king moves two squares (!) in the direction he wishes to castle, and the rook is placed on the other side. Now there are a few important restrictions. There can't be any pieces between the king and rook. Additionally, neither the king nor rook can have moved previously. And finally, the king cannot castle through check.
Pawn Promotion: When a pawn reaches the other side of the board, it can "promote" and become any other piece. Players generally promote to the best piece, the queen. Polygamy is allowed. I don't understand how all of this fits into the chess as war metaphor, but it's a good thing when you can promote your pawns.
En Passant: This one sounds like it has to be made up. It's not even in English. That's right, en passant is French, the language of love and obscure chess rules. Meaning "in passing," en passant is used when you have a pawn on the fifth rank (three squares ahead of its starting point) and an enemy pawn tries to move two squares past your pawn. Using en passant you are actually allowed to capture the cowardly pawn.



En Passant Rule in Chess
En Passant Rule in Chess



En Passant Rule in Chess
That does it for the rules you absolutely need to play. There are more obscure rules, like the 50 move rule, the insufficient mating material rule, and the infamous "infield fly" rule, but they aren't that important for someone just starting out in chess. Nobody likes a rules lawyer anyways.
Now some basic ideas behind the game!!!
Let's start with the famous quote 
"Checkers is for tramps" - Paul Morphy
If you're a thrill seeker with a paranoid streak, chess may be the game for you. After all, a 2002 study concluded that "unconventional thinking and paranoia" characterize competitive chess players, two attributes the study also noted as characteristic of thrill-seekers like daredevils and skydivers. So remove the tinfoil hat and put away the bungee cord, because it's time to learn how to play chess.
Playing a decent game of chess is easy, once you have some basic knowledge:

1. Know how the pieces move and the rules

I'm going to assume you know these. But do not stop reading just because you've forgotten how the horsey moves, or you don't know what Castling, Pawn Promotion or En Passant are.

2. Know the values of the pieces

You can't play chess unless you know how much your pieces are worth. Once you do, you'll know when to exchange pieces and when to retreat. With the exception of the king, whose life is priceless, all the pieces have a point value. Although these values can change slightly depending on specific circumstances, they're usually accurate. The basis for the value of the other pieces is the pawn, valued at one point. Next come the knight and bishop. In some positions the bishop thrives while in others the knight dominates, but overall, they're worth about three points each. The rook is slightly more valuable, at five points. Finally we have the best piece of all, the queen. She's worth 9 points. Her sentimental value to the king is negligible (win or lose, she always comes back to him).
So we've got pawn = 1, bishop/knight = 3, rook = 5, queen = 9
Whenever you're considering trading pieces, know the values. Don't give up a rook for a bishop or knight. But, if you can get a bishop and two pawns for a rook that's fine ( bishop (3) + two pawns (2) = rook (5)). It's even slightly better since quantity of pieces is a good tiebreaker.
Note: The next three points are general chess principles that all players need to remember.

3. Play to control the center

This is a big one. The "center" refers to the four center squares on a chess-board.



Control the center
Almost everything that happens on the board will involve traveling through one of these four squares. A player with uncontested control of the center has a huge advantage. You can either occupy this region with pawns or attack it with pieces...it doesn't matter as long as you've got something going on in the middle of the board. To illustrate the importance of the center, compare a knight in the middle of the board with one in the corner. The knight in the corner can only move to two squares, while the one in the center can move to eight.



Knight in the cornerKnight in the middle

4. Develop your pieces

You can't win a game of chess without bringing out your pieces. I often see beginning players develop their most powerful piece, the queen, and shuffle it around, hoping to capture wayward enemy pieces. This is like playing football with only the quarterback...boneheaded. Mobilize your pieces rapidly, especially the bishops and knights. Since they can maneuver through cluttered positions, they function especially well early in the game.

5. Protect the king

This one should be obvious. The game ends if you're checkmated. But how do you protect the king? Well it's easy. Castle. Since everything goes through the center, a king in the center of the board won't survive long. Tuck him away in the corner. Leave the fighting to his better half.
Note: the more of these three rules of thumb you can follow during the opening, the better. Don't play moves that only control the center or blindly develop your pieces. Try to do both at the same time. Even better, control the center, develop your pieces, and protect the king all at once.

6. Take Pieces

Every move, check to see if you can capture any opposing pieces. If you can, consider the point values and choose a course of action. Most people play chess like boobs-they'll put their pieces unprotected where you can take them.

7. Look for Double Attacks

Better players won't just throw their pieces away. You'll have to win them. That's where double attacks come in. Since a player is only allowed to move one piece at a time, meeting two simultaneous threats is very difficult. For this reason, making two threats at once, also known as executing a double attack, constitutes the most basic tactical idea. To illustrate the double attack's power, we'll examine the knight fork:



Look for the knight fork
Here is a successful knight fork
Additionally, double attacks usually revolve around undefended enemy pieces. If you can spot two undefended pieces and attack them at once, you're guaranteed to win one. So when you're considering where to move, watch for undefended pieces.

8. Watch for Checks

Before moving, look to see if your opponent has potential checks. Since a check is the most forcing move, it can lead to heaps of trouble. If you spot a possible check, make sure it doesn't create a double attack (like checking your king and attacking an undefended piece at the same time) or lead to other trouble.



Avoid leaving your king in a spot where it can be checked like this

Conclusion

If you follow these guidelines, you'll be able to play a decent game of chess. Congratulations, you've just taken the first step on the road to paranoia, misanthropy, and madness.

Subscribe to Chess Blog | The Pulse of Chess     If you liked the article kindly Digg it, Stumble it, Add to Technorati, bookmark it and please consider subscribing through  "Subscribe by Email"  and have articles & a  Everyman Chessbase eBook delivered right to your inbox! OR "Subscribe to Chess Blog Feed" in a Fead Reader of your choice OR Subscribe to "SMS Alerts" & Get Article Headlines & Updates delivered to your Mobile Phone for free.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Ruy Lopez for White - Moller and Arkhangelsk Variations Part 3

Hello everybody,

In our last post we have studied Black's 2nd reply as a 5th move alternative, Variation B: 5...Bc5 including the sub-variations, Variation B1: 7...d5!? and Variation B2: 7...d6 in the Moller and Arkhangelsk Variations.

Today we will go for Black's 3rd reply as 5th move alternative, Variation C: 5...b5 which will include two sub-variation i.e Variation C1: 6...Bc5 and Variation C2: 6...Bb7. We will study only Variation C1 today which will again include two sub-variation as Black's 8th move alternatives, namely Variation C11: 8...Bb7, Variation C12: 8...Rb8 and Variation C13: 8...Bg4.

So, let's start with Variation C11: 8...Bb7


Let's move on to Variation C12: 8...Rb8


And now, Variation C13: 8...Bg4


Well, it has been a lengthy discussion today. The point was to finish the study of Variation C1: 6...Bc5 in one go to avoid future inconvenience for you as well as for me.

Hope it was not too much to you. In fact, it should not be too much. There is nothing called "too much" in chess.

In the next post we will study Variation C2: 6...Bb7.

Keep visiting and keep reading. There is lot more to come.

Thanks a lot. Enjoy!!



Subscribe to Chess Blog | The Pulse of Chess     If you liked the article kindly Digg it, Stumble it, Add to Technorati, bookmark it and please consider subscribing through  "Subscribe by Email"  and have articles & a  Everyman Chessbase eBook delivered right to your inbox! OR "Subscribe to Chess Blog Feed" in a Fead Reader of your choice OR Subscribe to "SMS Alerts" & Get Article Headlines & Updates delivered to your Mobile Phone for free.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Ruy Lopez for White - Moller and Arkhangelsk Variations Part 2

Hello friends,

Let us continue our journey into the Moller and Arkhangelsk Variations without wasting any time. In the last post we have studied Black's first reply, Variation A: 5...d6. Today we will study Black's second reply as a 5th move alternative, Variation B: 5...Bc5. In this Variation we will study Black's two 7th move alternatives as sub-variations i.e Variation B1: 7...d5!? and Variation B2: 7...d6.

Let's start with Variation B1: 7...d5!?


Now we will go for Variation B2: 7...d6


Well, well, well....it seems that White can be a lot better here. Do let me know what do you think about this.

Go through the variations again and again and try to recognize patterns, that's what I can say at this point. It's certainly getting more and more interesting. Isn't it?

Let's leave it here. In our next post we will study another of Black's 5th move alternative which will again contain a few sub-variations.

Till then, stay tuned. We are not over yet!!

Keep visiting and keep reading. Thanks a lot. Enjoy!!



Subscribe to Chess Blog | The Pulse of Chess     If you liked the article kindly Digg it, Stumble it, Add to Technorati, bookmark it and please consider subscribing through  "Subscribe by Email"  and have articles & a  Everyman Chessbase eBook delivered right to your inbox! OR "Subscribe to Chess Blog Feed" in a Fead Reader of your choice OR Subscribe to "SMS Alerts" & Get Article Headlines & Updates delivered to your Mobile Phone for free.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Ruy Lopez for White - Moller and Arkhangelsk Variations Part 1

Hello everybody,
Today we are going to start a new chapter on the Ruy Lopez from White's perspective, the Moller and Arkhangelsk Variations. Lets plunge into it right away:

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0





The Arkhangelsk Variation (5...b5 6 Bb3 Bb7) and the Moller Variation (5...Bc5 or 5...b5 6 Bb3 Bc5) represent ambitious plans of development by Black. In particular, the variation 5...b5 6 Bb3 Bc5 has in the last few years become increasingly popular at the highest levels, so much so that it's even threatening to become Black's main reply to the Lopez . The closely related Arkhangelsk went through a similar vogue , although on a slightly smaller scale, in the early 1990s. Both variations can lead to very sharp play. Against these lines, recommended is that White should play c3 and d4, but care is needed with move-orders.

White Plays d4: Black Reacts with ...Bb6




In this theoretical position, if White plays 8 d4 Black reacts with 8...Bb6! , maintaining the pawn on e5 and keeping the pressure on d4. If Black were forced to play 8...exd4 , relinquishing the centre, then his whole strategy would have been at fault. 8...Bb6 works through tactical means, as can be seen in the theory section.

White Attacks with a4

With Black's bishop on c5 and knight on c6 (see diagram), there is no real opportunity for Black to link his pawn-chain with ...c5. This can in fact leave the b5-pawn rather isolated and vulnerable to attack. One of White's weapons in these variations is to attack the pawn with an early a4. This assault can be sustained by moves such as Na3 and Qe2.



White Protects d4 with Be3



In some variations White will try to negate the pressure from the b6-bishop by playing Be3. This protects the d4-pawn and thus allows White to continue to develop smoothly with Nbd2, Often White will play h3, in order to prevent ...Ng4. With the white bishop on e3, Black has to be wary of the possibility of d5, followed by Bxb6, which would leave Black with doubled pawns.
The main lines in these Variations revolves around Black's 5th move alternatives, while the sub-variations will include Black's 6th, 7th and 8th move alternatives. And bear it in mind, dear readers, it will be a pretty lengthy discussion because these variations demands that!

Let's start with Variation A: 5...d6:


Well, what do you think? I like it anyway, and I am ready to play and confront this everytime I play as White!!

We will study Variation B in our next post. Till then, study the position arising out of this reply from Black and make it clear in your head. We have a long way to go!!

Keep visiting and keep reading. 

Thanks a lot. Enjoy!!

Subscribe to Chess Blog | The Pulse of Chess     If you liked the article kindly Digg it, Stumble it, Add to Technorati, bookmark it and please consider subscribing through  "Subscribe by Email"  and have articles & a  Everyman Chessbase eBook delivered right to your inbox! OR "Subscribe to Chess Blog Feed" in a Fead Reader of your choice OR Subscribe to "SMS Alerts" & Get Article Headlines & Updates delivered to your Mobile Phone for free.

Don't forget to subscribe to the thread for tracking replies