Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Magnus Carlsen is King

Magnus Carlsen, the world's top rated player won the King's tournament recently in Medias, Romania, by a big margin of 2 points. He was undefeated with 5 wins and 5 draws, scoring 7.5 points in 10 games. His performance in this tournament is 2826, the second highest in chess history!

Check this profile of Magnus on Wiki
And another profile of Magnus on ChessGames

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Strongest, Greatest, Highest-Rated and Most Dominant Chess players

Here is a chess site i found with all kinds of interesting statistics: Chessmetrics

A good article titled "The Greatest Chess Player of all Time" by Jeff Sonas : Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4

Friday, June 25, 2010

Opera Game of Paul Morphy

Probably the most famous game for beginners - the opera game 
White: Paul Morphy 
Black: Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard 
Paris 1858 
  1.e4 e5 
2.Nf3 d6 
3.d4 Bg4 
4.dxe5 Bxf3 
5.Qxf3 dxe5 
6.Bc4 Nf6 
7.Qb3 Qe7 
8.Nc3 c6 
9.Bg5 b5 
10.Nxb5 cxb5 
11.Bxb5+ Nbd7 
12.O-O-O Rd8 
13.Rxd7 Rxd7 
14.Rd1 Qe6 
15.Bxd7+ Nxd7 
16.Qb8+ Nxb8 
Click here to play through this game on my Lichess study page

Friday, June 18, 2010

Top 10 Tips for playing Better Chess

1. Material - Take good care of all your material (pieces and pawns). Before you touch anything, make sure that your next move is safe. And before capturing the enemy pieces or pawns, be careful if they are having support. And remember the values of the pieces (Q=9, R=5, B=3.5, N=3, P=1).

2. Visualize - Before actually playing any move, make it first in your mind and try to see the position. How can the opponent play then? What would be a good move for you to respond with? This is very important and MUST be done before each and every move you play.

3. Mobility - Try to keep ALL your pieces active. Most of the quick losses in the opening phase are due to bad development of pieces. So, try to develop all your pieces effectively. If you are finding it difficult to think of a good move, try to improve the position of your piece which is not doing anything useful.

4. Check and Capture - the two most powerful moves in chess! Before every move, take special care to think of all the Checks and Captures that are possible in the position. And think how to counter them.

5. Opening phase
Some of the important points to remember are:
a) Development is like a race! Try to bring out all your pieces quickly to control the Center.
b) Occupy the center with pawns. Then develop your Knights, then Bishops, do Castling and finally connect the Rooks.
c) Complete your development before attacking. Do not be in a hurry!
d) Do not waste time moving the same piece again and again. Also, do not exchange pieces unnecessarily.
e) Be careful in moving pawns. Moving too many pawns weakens the position.

6. Time - Most of the games are played with a chess clock. Balance your time properly and do not spend too much time on a single move, even if it is a difficult position. Do not play too fast either, take your time for every move. In case of time pressure, concentrate on the position and keep an eye on the clock.

7. Think - If you cannot find a satisfactory move in a position, then think more! Many games are lost due to hasty decisions. After you make up your mind on the move you want to play, spend a few more minutes to double-check if everything is ok for this move. Take your opponents moves seriously and try to think what is the idea he may have in his mind. And how can you spoil his plan?

8. Calculate - Chess is 99% tactics. Try to calculate the moves ahead in your mind before making a move. Do it slowly and try to see the position clearly in your mind. Try to recognize patterns and remember the winning techniques in each pattern.

9. Mindset - Try to be balanced and calm in your mind, irrespective of whom you are playing. If you are playing a stronger player, do not start the game thinking how you are going to face him. And if you are playing a weaker player, do not be over-confident. Try to be confident and calm irrespective of the opponent.

10. Endgame - Use the King well. Do not resign even if you are down in material. Learn your Endgame technique well and practice it often. Remember that a Draw is better than a Loss!

Top 10 Tips for playing well in Tournaments

1. Registration - Find out by when you need to register to the Tournament and take care to complete and confirm your registration well in time. If possible, complete paying the entry fees as well. And carry your registration confirmation copy to the Tournament.
In case of Age-category tournaments, it is useful to carry a copy of the Birth certificate.
In case of Rated tournaments, it is useful to carry your Registration card.

2. Contact Person - Note down the Names and contact numbers of the important people for the Tournament like the Organizers, Arbiters and Committee members. Also, collect directions how to get to the Tournament Hall. Which route to take (if you are driving yourself)? Which Bus/Train to take (if you are taking public transport)? Do all this before itself and do not leave it to the last day!

3. Sleep - Get adequate sleep before the tournament. Good rest helps in thinking well. Even during the tournament, sleep on time and ensure that you are fresh for the next game. Carry some drinking water with you and some snacks in case the game is going to be a long one.

4. Result - Do not get affected by the result. If you win, no need to get excited. If you lose, no need to get depressed. Try to approach the next round with a balanced mindset. After all, it is only a game! After the Tournament is over, try not to miss attending the Prize distribution (even if you may not have won anything).

5. Equipment - Try to take your own chess-set, chess-clock, scoresheet-pad and pen to the tournament. Be prepared and carry your equipment to every round. It is important to play with the correct chess set, so ensure that your pieces are of the standard size. After a game, MAKE SURE YOU COUNT ALL YOUR PIECES AND PAWNS BEFORE YOU PACK YOUR SET.

6. Time Control - Set your clock to the correct time and make sure the clock is functioning properly (specially important in case of Analog clocks). If there is any time-control that requires the clock to be readjusted, do not forget this. In case you want to claim a draw in a drawish position and you are down to the last 5 minutes, call the Arbiter to observe your board to support your draw claim.

7. Writing - Write all the moves neatly and clearly on the scoresheet. When the game is completed, write the result accurately, put your signature and take your opponent's signature near the result. After the game, preserve your scoresheet so that you can analyse the game later with your coach. Even if you can stop writing for the last 5 minutes (in rapid games), try to tick the move numbers on your scoresheet. This helps in draw claims.

8. Pairing - Check your pairing before every round. Also, your table number and colour of pieces you will be playing with. It is annoying to be asked whether you are white or black. Most of the tournaments are swiss league - you can play all the round irrespective of win or loss.

9. Arbiter - In case of any doubt or clarification, always ask the Arbiter (or Tournament Director) immediately. Do not assume anything. If if it seems silly, better to be safe than sorry. After the game, DO NOT FORGET TO REPORT THE RESULT TO THE ARBITER. In case of any dispute or confusion, do not start arguing with your opponent, go to the Arbiter immediately.

10. Etiquette - Do not leave your board too long. In case you need to visit the toilet, complete and return to the board quickly. Avoid unnecessary conversation with others in the tournament hall. Maintain silence and speak in low voice. Maintain good behaviour over the board - do not make unpleasant sounds or faces. Greet your opponent before the game and shake hands after the game is over (even if you have lost!).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gelfand wins Leon Rapid Tournament

Gelfand beat Aronian to win the Leon Rapid Tournament that concluded last week. The tournament was a 4 player rapid knock-out that was organized in northern Spain.

In the Semi-Finals, Boris Gelfand (representing Israel) defeated local favorite Vallejo Pons while Levan Aronian (Armenia) defeated Lenier Dominguez (Cuba).

The Final was the best-of-4 games rapid match. After 2 draws, Aronian won the 3rd game. However, he blundered in a drawn position in the last game, lost the game and the match went into a Blitz tiebreak.

In the blitz playoff, Gelfand won the first game with white pieces. Aronian launched a desperate attack in the second, but left his king exposed and Gelfand won the second game as well.

With this victory, Gelfand confirmed his credentials as a world class match player in Blitz chess.

Click here to download all the games in PGN