You are on page 1of 17

Chess Strategy

Home About Authors Contact Lessons

Basic Endgame Course now available for Chess Strategy readers!


26 Dec, 2009 Comments off Having noted the popularity of our articles on chess endings, and inquires sent via contact form, we are delighted to announce that 10-hour Basic Endgame Course is now available for Chess Strategy readers. The course is bound to improve your strategy in chess and may even influence the way you play other strategy games such as online roulette and backgammon. The Course is carefully prepared to meet the needs of chess beginners and intermediate players. Learn the crucial Pawn endings, Rook vs Pawn(s), Bishop vs Knight, Rook endings, and other, within only 10 lessons to boost your confidence in the final phase of the chess game. Lessons can be given via ICC (Internet Chess Club) and voice chat (Skype, Messenger). For more information, drop us a message. The longest journey starts with a single step

EMail This Post | Print This Post | 4,214 Views

Kasparov - Karpov match in Paris is cancelled


3 Nov, 2009 1 Comment Official communication from the organizers of the 2 Ks jubilee. Posted on Europe-Echecs, translated by Jean-Michel Blatrier. Having the two greatest world chess champions coming to the Louvre in Paris on 11-13th December was simply a brilliant idea. The CCAS immediately accepted and looked for partners.

One of our interested sponsors wanted to couple this event with the Year of Russia in France, starting in March 2010. December 11th is really too soon, and the time was too short for setting up a good organization and communication. It makes our hearts cry to be forced to stop that project. But we didnt say our last word, and well give it another try in 2010. Thanks to Anatoly Karpov and to Garry Kasparov for trusting in the project. For the Organization committee, Christophe Gaston and Pascal Lazarre The first Kasparov - Karpov jubilee match took place in Valencia

EMail This Post | Print This Post | 1,222 Views

Kramniks Passed Pawns


9 Oct, 2009 Share your thoughts In the GM Neil McDonalds book Chess Secrets: The Giants of Strategy Vladimir Kramniks style was described as: In Kramniks games we witness what might be described as a breakthrough style: he aims for a space advantage and then tries to smash the pawn barriers in his path. Typically this leads to the creation of a passed pawn. His build-up is direct but patient, until the moment arrives for aggressive action. I glanced at some Kramniks games and was surprised to see how well the author nailed the point. Here is a typical example

Vladimir Kramnik - Evgeny Bareev, Wijk aan Zee 2003 White has a significant advantage in space and his, apparently weak, Bishop is doing a very important service - it controls d8 square. The first step for White is to prevent Black from challenging the d-file. Read the rest of this entry

EMail This Post | Print This Post | 4,196 Views

A Beautiful Study
7 Oct, 2009 9 Comments Josef Kling and Bernhard Horwitz are famous of their groundbreaking work Chess Studies and Endgames, published in 1851. They provided us with basic knowledge in numerous endings, which was later included in all the topical books from Keres onwards. The studies are also beautiful. This one was posted in Sah-Mat Lista a few days ago. I think my friend solved it, at least I couldnt find a refutation, but I would like to hear from the readers as well.

White to move and win EMail This Post | Print This Post | 1,811 Views

Kasparov - Karpov 2009


24 Sep, 2009 2 Comments Only few weeks ago, a sudden news that Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov are playing a rematch stirred the spirits around the globe. Nowadays the match is ongoing, alas with rapid and blitz games, but were ready to accept what gives. Even a huge number of mainstream media are reporting about their legendary rivalry. I had the pleasure to comment the rapid games on Chessdom.com, splitting the work with Jason Juett. My colleague covered day one with first two games, and I have to admit that he did the job much better than myself.

Commenting on the top players games is a difficult and stressing assignment, as it is very easy to make a slight, but unforgettable mistake. Not to mention the speed of the rapid games which makes it impossible to look back and doublecheck the written. Kasparov won the rapid mini-match by 3-1 and on Thursday they play additional eight blitz games. In my opinion, the second game was the best as weve seen Kasparov annihilating the opponent with his trademarked brute force. I present the real-time commentary by Jason Juett, as originally posted on Chessdom. Read the rest of this entry

EMail This Post | Print This Post | 2,662 Views

A Few Pawn Endgames


21 Sep, 2009 Share your thoughts The position on the first diagram was reached in Ilyin Zenevski - Botvinnik, 1938. White has a passed pawn, but as we will see the decisive factor was one spare tempi. Blacks problem is limited mobility of his own pawns, as White h5 is holding two of them.

1. Kf3! But still some caution is needed. The straightforward 1. Kf4 allows Black to escape with 1g6! (but not 1Ke6 2. g3! and White will win) 2. hxg6 Kxg6 3. g3 h5 and White no

tempo and is forced to step back. 1. Kf4 g6 2. g3 isnt helping either, 2Kg7! Black can wait as long as the King is close enough to both e and g pawns, 3. e6 Kf6 4. hxg6 Kxe6 5. g7 Kf7 6. Kxf5 Kxg7 and draw again. Now with Kf4 is reserve, Black is facing a nasty zugzwang. Read the rest of this entry

EMail This Post | Print This Post | 1,737 Views

Quick Notes on Cheparinov-Leko


17 Aug, 2009 1 Comment This game was played earlier today in Jermuk Grand Prix. I was impressed with Lekos positional play and I will provide quick annotations in order to highlight the most important moments. Ivan Cheparinov - Peter Leko 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. b3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Nc3 c6 8. e4 d5 9. Bd3 dxc4 10. bxc4 e5! This is probably one of the new topical lines in the Queens Indian defence, but I dont know how the theory goes or whether e5 was played before. That fine move immobilizes Whites massive center and highlights the bad coordination. White cannot take on e5 (11. dxe5 loses Bd3, while 11. Nxe5 drops d4-pawn).

Read the rest of this entry

EMail This Post | Print This Post | 2,404 Views

Virtual board games have changed the face of games as we know it


13 Aug, 2009 Comments off Board games are always a crowd favorite, just like such popular games as lotto or bingo. The games have been played for an elongated period of time by both adults and children alike. In many cases the games were played as a means to pass the time or to create a family friendly atmosphere, where everyone can enjoy each others company. Presently the internet has come into play where board games are concerned. They were able to manipulate many of the board games that we have all come to know and love and put them into a virtual atmosphere. With the internet board games there is actually no need for any type of interaction with people. You can choose to play the game on your own, or with a virtual player that can be located anywhere in the world. In many cases you will never know who your opponent is, unless you unlock the chat options that are included with the game in a means to enjoy a friendly conversation with your competitor. The virtual world has already taken over so much; why not claim our beloved board games as well? Read the rest of this entry

EMail This Post | Print This Post | 6,873 Views

Daily Kos Internet Chess Tournament


9 Aug, 2009 Share your thoughts It started as an innocent challenge by the Daily Kos columnist SuperBowlXX, but soon grew into a full-fledged championship with 150 players and more energy and excitement than an online casino. After seven rounds, the tournament entered its final stage as semi-final matches are currently being played. Follow the results and other updates on SuperBowlXXs diary. Daily Kos is an American political blog, publishing news and opinion from a progressive point of view. It functions as a discussion forum and group blog for a variety of netroots activists.

Daily Kos has an average weekday traffic of over 800,000 visits, and receives over 20 million visits per month. In 2009, Time magazine listed the Daily Kos in its Most Overrated Blogs section. Despite the listing, Time magazine readers named the Daily Kos the second best blog. From Wikipedia

EMail This Post | Print This Post | 1,520 Views

Chess Composition - Henri Rinck


29 Jun, 2009 6 Comments Weve already mentioned a famous Russian chess composer Aleksej Selesniev, and now its time to pay a tribute to a brilliant French artist Henri Rinck. According to Wikipedia, he had published an impressive number of endgame studies, namely 1670. Rincks favourite theme was domination, but he also explored the ways on how to outplay opponents Queen with minor pieces. This is our starting point

The Bishop and the King will create a mating net around the Kh4. 1. Bf6+ g5 2. Kh2! Taking away h3 and threatening g3+

Read the rest of this entry

Kramniks Passed Pawns


9 Oct, 2009 Lessons, Endgames In the GM Neil McDonalds book Chess Secrets: The Giants of Strategy Vladimir Kramniks style was described as: In Kramniks games we witness what might be described as a breakthrough style: he aims for a space advantage and then tries to smash the pawn barriers in his path. Typically this leads to the creation of a passed pawn. His build-up is direct but patient, until the moment arrives for aggressive action. I glanced at some Kramniks games and was surprised to see how well the author nailed the point. Here is a typical example

Vladimir Kramnik - Evgeny Bareev, Wijk aan Zee 2003 White has a significant advantage in space and his, apparently weak, Bishop is doing a very important service - it controls d8 square. The first step for White is to prevent Black from challenging the d-file. 1. Rd8+ Kb7 2. Kf4! The King is moving closer to the kingside. After few more moves it will become apparent why was this important. Black will make another attempt to remove White Rook from the dfile. There is nothing else to do, either.

2Rc8 3. Rd7+! Forcing the Black Rook back to 7th rank to defend the f7-pawn. 3Rc7 4.Rd3! A waiting move that actually gains tempo! Black is in some sort of zugzwang and the only thing that he can do is to try to prepare Rc7-d7. 4Kc8 5. Rd8+ Kb7 This is the same position as after 2. Kf4, only with White to move! This allows Kramnik to execute his crafty plan. 6. Bf6! GM Glenn Flear: Black has only one pawn on a dark square and Kramnik finds a way to attack it! The point behind the sacrifice is to clear the way for h-pawn and storm it forward (sounds familiar?). The correlation between Kf6, Nf5 and future f6-pawn (after Black takes Bishop) is preventing Black from catching the pawn. White Rook also controls the 8th rank.

In the actual game, Bareev realised what was going on and tried 6g6, but the game finished only few moves later, 7. hxg6 hxg6 8. Kg5 and Black resigned as g-pawn is falling and soon after the e-pawn as well. Lets see what would happen had Black taken the Bishop 6gxf6 6Rc8 is too slow, 7. Rxc8 Kxc8 8. Bxg7 Nxg7 9. h6, the pawn is unstoppable.

7. exf6 Rc8 Another possibility is 7a3, but White wins in similar fashion, 8. Kg5 Rc8 9. Rxc8 Kxc8 10. h6 and pawn endgame is hopeless for Black. 8. Rxc8 Kxc8 9. Kg5 Kd7 10. h6 Nxh6 11. Kxh6 e5!?

12. Kh7! Still some precision was needed, as there are two spare tempi in play, from a-pawns and e-f pawns. 12Ke6 53. Kg7 and now Black is in zugzwang.

Introduction to Chess Strategy


Do you play poker? There are similarities in strategies between chess and Texas holdem and chess players are starting to take notice. In both games, you must think a number of moves ahead and gather as much information as you possibly can. Its no accident that expert poker players such as Bob Chiaffone and Howard Lederer are great at chess. The intelligent reader may ask: "Why am I supposed to study Chess Strategy, while I have only a very slender knowledge of the Chess Openings?" The reply to this question is, that learning Chess is somewhat similar to learning a language. We all know that children acquire a certain vocabulary of their native tongue before they begin to delve into the mysteries of grammar and syntax, and, as a matter of fact, a considerable proportion of people of all nationalities are content to go through life without troubling themselves to learn the laws and principles which govern their language. In Chess, knowledge of the moves and how to play under certain given conditions is equivalent to acquiring a vocabulary in a language, and the syntax may be said to be the study and analysis of the Openings, which we have therefore reserved for a later stage, by which time the student will be better equipped for the task of making himself conversant with the subtleties and beauties of the many and complex variations in the different Chess Openings.

Some Opening Principles and Chess Strategies


Quick List of Chess Strategies: * Avoid Moving a Chess Piece Twice During the Opening is a good chess strategy. * It is Better Chess Strategy to Develop the Knights before Their Respective Bishops. * A good chess strategy is to Develop Both Knights before the Queens Bishop. * A good chess strategy is Do Not Develop your Chess Pieces Exclusively on One Side. * A good chess strategy is as a Rule Do Not Play a Piece beyond Your Own Side of the Board in the Opening. * A good chess strategy is if You Have Castled Do Not Permit the Opponent to Open a File on Your King. * A good chess strategy is to Avoid Pinning the Opponents Kings Knight before He has Castled, Especially When You Have Yourself Castled on the Kings Side. * A good chess strategy is to Avoid Making Exchanges which Develop Another Piece for the Opponent. * A good chess strategy is to Avoid Exchanging Bishops for Knights Early in the Game. * A good chess strategy is to Avoid Premature Attacks. * A good chess strategy is Seeking a Weak Spot in Opponents Position. For the purpose of study and analysis, a game of Chess is divided into three phases the Chess Opening, the Middle Game, and the End Game. The Chess Opening consists of the first six or eight moves, when both sides endeavor to develop their forces into the sphere of action where they will exercise the greatest power against the opponents defenses. By this time the reader will be in a position to understand the following principles with regard to the Chess Opening principles which experience has proved cannot be deviated from with impunity.

* Avoid Moving a Chess Piece Twice During the Opening is a good chess strategy.
This means that when you have developed a piece, it should not be moved again until the other pieces have been developed. If a piece has been attacked, it must, of course, be moved, but this is not a violation of the rule, as the opponent in all probability has departed from principle in attacking your piece, which will ultimately prove to be advantageous to you. This principle does not mean that both Knights should be developed before bringing out a Bishop, but that it is advisable to play say the Kings Knight before the Kings Bishop, and similarly on the Queens side. The following is an example of the consequences that may ensue by violating the foregoing principles and strategies. White 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 Bg4 Here Black has violated the strategy principle by playing the Bishop instead of the Knight. 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.0-0 Nd4 Black has again played contrary to the principle strategy, in moving the Knight twice during the Opening. 6.Nxe5 dxe5 Black

Best. If at his 6th move Black plays 6...Bxd1, White gives Mate in two moves: 7.Bf7+ Ke7 8.Nd5#, and Knight Mates. The move in the text leaves him a pawn minus and an inferior position.

* A good chess strategy is to Develop Both Knights before the Queens Bishop. * A good chess strategy is Do Not Develop your Chess Pieces Exclusively on One Side. * A good chess strategy is as a Rule Do Not Play a Piece beyond Your Own Side of the Board in the Opening.
This last principle means that you should not play a piece beyond its 4th square, until by development you have the other pieces ready to back up any incursions the piece may make into enemy territory. In some forms of Opening, however, this principle is disregarded, notably in the Ruy Lopez, but in that case, it is attacking an important piece which the opponent is supposed to require for his defense.

* A good chess strategy is if You Have Castled Do Not Permit the Opponent to Open a File on Your King. * A good chess strategy is to Avoid Pinning the Opponents Kings Knight before He has Castled, Especially When You Have Yourself Castled on the Kings Side. * A good chess strategy is to Avoid Making Exchanges which Develop Another Piece for the Opponent.
It might be thought that the wisdom of this last principle was self-evident, but many beginners constantly disregard it. If, however, the piece which is developed by the capture is the Queen, compensation for the loss of balance in the development of the forces may be obtained by attacking the adverse Queen, which should not, as a rule, be brought too early into action.

* A good chess strategy is to Avoid Exchanging Bishops for Knights Early in the Game.
We have seen that in the early stages of a game the Bishops have a longer range than the Knights, so it is clearly advisable to keep them in the field as long as possible. The disparity between the two pieces gradually tapers off as the game progresses, until in the End Game the Knight is frequently more powerful than the Bishop because its action is not limited to one color of square as is that of the Bishop.

* A good chess strategy is to Avoid Premature Attacks.


It is probable that more games are lost by beginners through disregard of this principle than from any other cause. An attack should never be launched until there is sufficient force in the field to carry it to a successful conclusion, and a premature attack almost inevitably recoils on the head of the attacker. The following is a classic example of the result of violation of some of the foregoing principles, and the position brought about may be reached in a number of different ways. White 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.0-0 Bc5 5.d3 d6 6.Bg5 h6 Whites 6th move clearly violates the principle of avoiding the pin of the adverse Kings Knight before Castling, and after he himself has Castled on the Kings side. If instead of retreating the Bishop after Blacks 6th move, he takes the Knight, it is evident that he will violate another principle, for after 7...gxf6, Black will have a open file for his Rook, bearing directly on Whites King. 7.Bh4 g5 8.Bg3 h5 Black

Whites game is now as good as lost. He is threatened with the loss of his Bishop by 9...h4, and if he plays 9.h3 to make an opening for it, 9...g4 by Black will perforce open a file for Blacks menacing and powerful Kings Rook. 9.Nxg5 h4 With all his forces ready for an onslaught on the White King, Black ignores the threat of 10.Nxf7, attacking his Queen. 10.Nxf7 hxg3 11.Nxd8 Bg4 12.Qd2 Nd4 Now play as he may, White cannot escape from disaster. 13.Nc3 Nf3+ 14.gxf3 Bxf3 Black Mates in a move or two. White cannot escape the consequences of his ill-advised Opening by playing as his 13th move 13.h3, as Blacks reply will be 13...Ne2+ 14.Kh1, then Black plays 14...Rxh3+, and after 15.gxh3 Bf3# Mates. If, instead of moving his King, White at Move 14 in this variation plays 14.Qxe2, then 14...Bxe2 will leave Black a piece to the good with a winning position.

* A good chess strategy is Seeking a Weak Spot in Opponents Position.


Suppose that both sides have developed their game without disregarding any of the foregoing principles, and that the stage of the Middle Game has been reached, sooner or later one of the players makes a

doubtful move which weakens his position, and success in Chess, in a great measure, depends upon the ability of the opponent to detect this weakness, and then take full advantage of it. It is only by experience derived from assiduous practice and observation that players acquire the knowledge which is requisite to enable them accurately to gauge a weakness in the opponents position, and the only assistance we can render is to give some examples, taken from games actually played, and demonstrate the weak points in the positions, and how advantage was taken of them. In order that the reader may derive the greatest possible benefit from these examples, he should always set up the pieces from the various diagrams, and, before consulting the text, endeavor to find out whether White or Black has the better position, what weakness exists, and finally how to direct the attack on that weakness. It will be practically useless merely to set up the position and then proceed right away to play the moves that are given.

This position was reached in a game between Johner and Marshall at the International Tournament at Pestyen, in 1912. A cursory examination might lead to the conclusion that as White has a pawn to the good, and Blacks c-pawn is weak and unsupported, the position is favorable to White, but White cannot play 1.Rxc5 without losing the game. White Black

1.Rxc5 Ne2+ 2.Kh2 (best) Qf4+ 3.g3 Nxg3 It is clear that Whites position is hopeless. There is, however, a great weakness in Whites position, inasmuch as he is defending his Bishop with his Queen, which, with all the open files at his disposal, is a fine target for Blacks Rooks. The following moves indicate how swiftly and inexorably Black availed himself of this weakness. White Black

1.Kh2 Rfd8

2.Qe4 Re8 3.Qd5 Re5 Resigns White resigns, because if he plays 4.Qd7 to protect his Bishop, Black will play 4...Re7 again attacking the Queen and the Bishop is lost. Want to get REALLY good at Chess Strategy? Check out of complete line of Fritz Trainers.