Thursday, March 31, 2011

Summer Chess Coaching Camp

Itech Chess Academy will be conducting a Summer Chess Coaching Camp in Bangalore at the Rajajinagar centre. This is primarily aimed at children who are interested in learning Chess from the basics.

Date: From 6th April 2011 to 14th April 2011
Time: 9.30 AM to 11 AM

Training will be given in the basic concepts, important rules, movement of pieces, chess notation and opening traps. The coaching will be a mix of theory and practise sessions. Theory will be taught using a hands-on as well as the computer based approach and will be interactive with Students.

A tournament will be conducted towards the end of the coaching camp and students will be readied to participate in other tournaments.

Students are requested to enroll themselves and confirm their participation by calling Nagesh on 9845151403. Since only limited number of students will be taken, entries will be on first come first serve basis. Please hurry and confirm your participation!

More on Itech Chess Academy
Map to reach the Venue

Recognize the Master

Can you recognize this former World Champion who was one of the greatest defensive players of all time.

Legal's Mate

Another famous trap involving a Queen sacrifice is the Legal's Mate.

One example sequence of moves:
1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 d6
4. Nc3 Bg4?!
5. h3 Bh5?
6. Nxe5! Bxd1??
7. Bxf7+ Ke7
8. Nd5# mate

Learn this trap from my Lichess study, Wiki,, Chessfox

How to prevent Scholar's Mate

Read about the Scholar's Mate here

To prevent Scholar's mate, you must guard against the double attack on the f7 (or f2) pawn. This can be done by g7-g6 (or g2-g3 for white).

Scholar's Mate

One of the most common opening traps is the Scholar's Mate where the Queen and Bishop combine to deliver mate on the f7 (or f2) pawn.

For White
1. e2-e4 e7-e7
2. Bf1-c4 Nb8-c6
3. Qd1-h5 Ng8-f6 (blunder)
4. Qh5xf7#

For Black
1. e2-e4 e7-e5
2. Nb1-c3 Bf8-c5
3. Bf1-c4 Qd8-h4
4. Ng1-f3 (blunder) Qh4xf2#

Learn this trap on my Lichess study

Fool's Mate

The shortest possible way to checkmate in a game in just 2 moves is Fool's Mate.

1. f2-f3 e7-e5
2. g2-g4 (blunder) Qd8-h4#

The same idea for white
1. e2-e4 f7-f6
2. d2-d4 g7-g5 (blunder)
3. Qd1-h5#

Details on Wiki & Chesscorner
Learn this trap on my Lichess study

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

ICA Basic Course

Itech Chess Academy - Chess Basics Course

1. What is Chess
2. History of Chess
3. Chessmen
4. About the Chessboard
5. Chess starting position
6. Movement of Chess Pieces and Pawns
7. How to capture Pieces and Pawns
8. Importance of the Centre
9. Check and Checkmate
10. Value of Pieces and Pawns
11. Rules of Castling
12. Pawn Promotion
13. DRAW
14. En-Passant
15. Rules of Chess
16. Chess Notation Symbols
17. Files and Ranks
18. How to record a Position
19. How to record a Game
20. Play chess online against the computer
21. Chess Glossary

How to capture Pieces and Pawns

When any chess piece or pawn is captured, it is removed from the chessboard and the piece which is capturing will occupy its square.

Usually when the players are equal strength, a material (chess pieces and pawns) advantage wins the game.

About the Chessboard

The chessboard is the battlefield on which the game is played. It has 64 squares of which 32 white squares and 32 black squares alternate with each other.

The correct way to place the chessboard Remember that the right hand square of the chessboard for both players should always be a "White" square.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Alekhine's Gun

This famous game came to be known as Alekhine's Gun game because of the idea of 2 Rooks doubled with Queen at the rear. It usually leads to total control of the file and serious disadvantage to the opponent.

White: Alexander Alekhine
Black: Aron Nimzowitsch

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. Bd2 Ne7 6. Nb5 Bxd2+ 7. Qxd2 O-O 8. c3 b6 9. f4 Ba6 10. Nf3 Qd7 11. a4 Nbc6 12. b4 cxb4 13. cxb4 Bb7 14. Nd6 f5 15. a5 Nc8 16. Nxb7 Qxb7 17. a6 Qf7 18. Bb5 N8e7 19. O-O h6 20. Rfc1 Rfc8 21. Rc2 Qe8 22. Rac1 Rab8 23. Qe3 Rc7 24. Rc3 Qd7 25. R1c2 Kf8 26. Qc1 Rbc8 27. Ba4 b5 28. Bxb5 Ke8 29. Ba4 Kd8 30. h4 1-0

Details on Wiki
Play through this game on ChessGames

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Viktor Korchnoi turns 80

Victor Korchnoi is currently the oldest active grandmaster on the tournament circuit.

He was born on March 23, 1931 in Leningrad, USSR. He learnt to play chess from his father at the age of five. In 1947 he won the USSR Junior championship, the first major tournament victory and later became a Grandmaster in 1956.

He first qualified as a World Title candidate in 1962. His best results were challenging Karpov for the title in the 1978 and 1981 championship matches (both which karpov won). Also in September 2006, he won the 16th World Senior Chess Championship in Italy.

His playing style initially was an aggressive counter-attack. Later his style became all rounded with mastery in all stages of the games and in all types of positions.

He has defeated 8 world champions from Botvinnik to Kasparov as well as FIDE world champions Ponomariov and Topalov. He has been at or near the top of the game for nearly half a century. He continues to play many tournaments every year.

He has authored some wonderful Chess Books like "Chess is my Life", "My Best Games" (Vol 1, 2 & 3) and "Practical Rook Endings".

Profile on Wiki, ChessGames & ChessBase
Play through his brilliant win over Tal

Files and Ranks

Vertical columns of squares on the chessboard are called as Files. There are 8 Files.

Horizontal rows of squares on the chessboard are called as Ranks. There are 8 Ranks.

Files and Ranks are named starting from the Left-Hand Corner of White's side.
The first file is the "a" file, next is "b" file and so on upto "h".
The first rank is rank "1", next is rank "2" and so on upto "8".

Pictorial representation of Files & Ranks
More on Files and Ranks

Chess Glossary

If you want to know what a chess related word means, check it out in the Glossary of Chess: on Wiki, ChessPoster, Arkangles, Chesskid & Jkpoonce

What is Chess

Chess is the greatest and oldest indoor games invented by man.

Two armies (white pieces and black pieces) fight on the battlefield (chessboard). The objective of the game is to capture the enemy king. Each army has a fixed number of pieces and pawns. You can capture the enemy pieces and pawns and there are particular rules for playing.

Details on Wiki & GameofChess

History of Chess

Chess was invented in India before the 6th century AD during the Gupta empire. It was called Chaturanga and was used as a tool for military strategy. The army comprised of Elephants, Horsemen, Chariots and Foot soldiers. Along with the King, the Minister also was an important chess piece.

The game travelled to Persia, then to Arabia and subsequently to Europe. Sometime during the 15th century, the current rules came to existence.

More on Wiki, Chess-Poster & Essortment
Origin of Chess in India
Detailed History and Evolution

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

European Championships 2011

Vladimir Potkin of Russia achieved his best result till date and won the 2011 European Championship. After 11 rounds, he scored 8.5 points with a Rating performance of 2822. Radoslaw Wojtaszek of Poland was second and Judit Polgar of Hungary was third in this Championship.

The 2011 European Individual Championship was held in Aix-Les-Bains, France from March 21st to April 3rd. The tournament was a Swiss league with 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for rest of the game (also 30 seconds per move increment starting first move). The top 23 finishers would also qualify for the 2011 World Cup.

Details on ChessBase & TWIC

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Play chess online against the computer

List of Best Chess Games

Out of the countless games played in this glorious game, below are few lists of Best Chess Games ever played. Of course, the lists are the compiler's personal choice. list - here you can play through the whole game
AJ Goldsby's list
Chessmaniac list of famous Chess Games
Download the Mammoth Book Of Greatest Chess Games from Rapidshare

List of Instructive Games on CWBlog

Hope you like the great games! Let us know if there was any game that was missed in the above lists.

Check and Checkmate

When the King is attacked by any piece or pawn, it is said to be in "Check".

If the King cannot escape from Check it is Checkmate. The player whose King is Checkmated loses the game.

On Wiki: Check & Checkmate

Movement of Chess Pieces and Pawns

Remember the below points to understand how the Chess Pieces move

King: One square, any direction
Queen: Any number of squares, all directions (files, ranks & diagonals) in straight line, no turning, no jumping over other pieces and pawns
Rook: Any number of squares, on files and ranks in straight line, no turning, no jumping over others
Bishop: Any number of squares, on diagonals in straight line, no turning, no jumping
Knight: 3 squares in "L" shape, can jump over other pieces and pawns
Pawn: First move can move either 2 or 1 squares, after that moves straight on file 1 square, captures on diagonal

More on ChessStrategies: How Pieces move & How Pawns move

Chess starting position

To begin a game of Chess, you need to setup the starting position.

The correct way to place the Chess board
Remember the Right-Hand corner square of both players should be a White square.

Chess pieces
Start with the Queen - White Queen on White square and Black Queen on the Black square.
Place the King next to the Queen.
Place the 2 Rooks in the corner squares.
Place the 2 Knights next to the Rooks.
Place the 2 Bishops next to the Knights.
Place one pawn in front of each and every piece.

You are ready to start the Game!

Rook Endgames in 2009

In this very instructive article by GM Valeriy Aveskulov, he analyzes three rook endings that were played by strong Grandmasters

Saturday, March 19, 2011

ChessCafe Endgame Studies

Combining beauty and practicality, the Endgame Study is one of the unique and subtle wonders of the Royal Game. ChessCafe has, on a weekly basis, a selected endgame study for your enjoyment.

Unless specifically designated otherwise, it is always White to move. Unlike problems, studies usually do not require a solution in a pre-determined number of moves. Simply look for the best moves and replies to work out the win or draw. And don't be discouraged if at first you don't succeed – working out the solution will be satisfying – even instructive!

ChessCafe EndGame Studies page
Archives of all EndGame Studies

TWIC Live Games

CW Tactic

Another game from the RHP 2011 championship, Nagesh - Benda. After 22 moves, this is the position. White to play and win.

Clue: A beautiful sacrifice taking advantage of the enemy king stuck in the centre.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sicilian Defence

The Sicilian Defence is the most popular response from black to the King pawn opening.
It starts with the moves
1. e2-e4 c7-c5

The main idea of this opening is to control the d4 centre square with the c-pawn and try to retain both the e-pawn and d-pawn for stronger centre control.
There are several variations in this defence, most of which lead to sharp tactical play. White usually tries to attack on the king side while Black goes for a queen side attack.

Details on Wiki, ChessGames, ChessPoster, TheChessWebsite, Chess & Caissa
Blog on Sicilian & Downloadable PDF on Introduction to Sicilian

Game of the Day at Amber 2011

Every day a game was awarded the Game of the Day prize of Euro 1000 at the Amber 2011 Tournament. Below is the list of all the games:

Round 1) Alexander Grischuk - Vladimir Kramnik (blindfold), 1-0
Round 2) Vugar Gashimov - Magnus Carlsen (rapid), 0-1
Round 3) Vugar Gashimov - Anish Giri (blindfold), 1-0
Round 4) Sergey Karjakin - Vladimir Kramnik (blindfold), 1-0
Round 5) Vassily Ivanchuk - Magnus Carlsen (blindfold), 1-0
Round 6) Vassily Ivanchuk - Viswanathan Anand (rapid), 1-0
Round 7) Alexander Grischuk - Vassily Ivanchuk (rapid), 0-1
Round 8) Levon Aronian - Vishy Anand (rapid), 1-0
Round 9) Veselin Topalov - Hikaru Nakamura (rapid), 1-0
Round 10) Magnus Carlsen - Alexander Grischuk (rapid), 1-0
Round 11) Magnus Carlsen - Boris Gelfand (blindfold), 0-1
Download all games in PGN: Blindfold & Rapid

Chess Mazes

In the fall of 2004, popular chess author Bruce Alberston released a book called Chess Mazes, designed to help students to develop their visualization and planning skills. Chess Mazes was an instant success. features a new Chess Maze puzzle each week from Bruce
An instructive introduction and overview to Chess mazes is here

Yuriy Kuzubov wins Reykjavik open

GM Yuriy Kuzubov of Ukraine, rated 2627, won the Reykjavik Open with 7 points in 9 rounds with 2722 performance.

One of the highlights of the tournament was 14-year-old GM Illya Nyzhnyk, who finished in the leading group with a 2688 performance while Top seed Luke McShane, rated 2683, played slightly below expectation and led the follow-up group of 21 players with 6.5/9 points.

The MP Reykjavik Open is took place from March 9th to 16th, 2011, with a total of 166 participants from 30 countries, including 29 GMs. This year's tournament was co-sponsored by Deloitte, which honors the memory of ex-partner and Icelandic IM Ingi R. Johannsson. The tournament was also the Nordic Championship.

Official Tournament site
Download all games in PGN

Reports on TWIC & ChessBase with Full results here

Garry Kasparov on Bobby Fischer

Read this very interesting article on Bobby Fischer written by Garry Kasparov

Maxim Matlakov wins Russian Junior Championship

The Russian Junior (U20) Championships for Men and Women took place in St Petersburg 4th-14th March 2011. Two 10 round 6 player double round robins settled the titles. In a thrilling finish to the Boys event Maxim Matlakov beat Aleksandr Shimanov to catch him on 7/10 points and take the title on tie-break. Anastasia Savina took clear first with 7/10 a point clear of the field.

Official Tournament Site
Download games in PGN: Boys & Girls
Report on TWIC

Monday, March 14, 2011

CW Tactic

In one of my games in the RHP 2011 championship (Nagesh-Rotti), this position has come. I had played 18.Bd5 to which my opponent has replied Qc5.

Can you get the winning combination now for white (clue - it is a brilliant queen sacrifice)!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Emanuel Lasker

Authored by my student Anushka Jain

Emanuel Lasker was born in Berlinchen, Germany on 24th December, 1868. He was taught chess by his elder brother, Berthold. As a child Lasker displayed a talent for both chess and mathematics.

He achieved his first title “the German master title” in 1889.In 1892 he won his first important success in a small but strong tournament in London when he took first place a half a point ahead of Blackburne. Lasker then played a match against Blackburne and when he won decisively he began to think of the possibility of becoming world champion. He challenged Tarrasch but his challenge was declined. Tarrasch told him that he should first win a major tournament.

Lasker then went to the USA to challenge the ageing Steinitz for the world championship. The match took place in 1894. Like the previous Steinitz vs. Zukertort match the games were to take place at three venues: New York, Philadelphia and Montreal. The man to achieve 10 outright wins would be world champion. The first six games of the match was closely fought with each man winning two games and drawing two games. Then Lasker went on to win the next two games. In Philadelphia Steinitz lost all of the games. Lasker became world champion at the age of 25 in Montreal with a score of ten games to five with four games drawn. Lasker was to retain the world champion title for a record 27 years.

Style of playing
In his time, Lasker was seen as a "psychological" player, who played inferior moves to throw his opponents off. However, this assessment is probably incorrect; Lasker was simply pragmatic, and would play moves that violated general principles if he felt they were appropriate for the given position.
Lasker held the World Chess Championship for longer than any other player in history. His long stretch of dominant play finds him near the top of most lists of the all-time greatest chess players.

Contribution to chess theory
Laskers defence: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 h6 6.Bh4 O-O 7.Nf3 Ne4, offering the trade of two minor pieces to ease Black's defensive task. It is a very straight-forward system, though there are many opportunities for both players to vary from the main line.
For one thing, Black can reach the main position by various move orders, most notably from a Nimzo-Indian beginning 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 where Black chooses to return to Queen's Gambit lines rather than try the Queen's Indian or Bogo-Indian set-up. That "transpo trick" can be especially useful for confronting players who use alternative d4 systems, against which Black may benefit from keeping the d-pawn back. Black can also leave out ...h6, as Lasker himself generally did, which actually makes for a slightly different system (where, for example, Black more typically plays an early ...f5 advance because he worries less about weakening the g6 square near his King), but the modern method is to include ...h6 so that White does not gain time by attacking h7 with a Qc2 and Bd3 battery.
The repertoire that follows also includes some ideas on how to handle various White alternatives, including: the Exchange Variation (with an early cxd5 by White, where we recommend an early ...Ne4! whenever possible); various White Bishop developments (including an early Bxf6 or Bf4 to sidestep the Lasker); and various other White systems.

More about Lasker on Wiki & ChessGames
Biography: AJGoldsby, Chess-Poster & Bobby-Fischer
Play over 1000 Lasker games
Download 441 games of Lasker
Lasker profile on Chesscorner

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Pearl of Wijk aan Zee

This famous game was played in the Wijk aan Zee Open tournament in 1995. Black plays one of the most stunning sacrificial attacks in chess history (a knight, an exchange, and his queen) to force mate against White's king on the sixth rank.

White: Roberto Cifuentes-Parada
Black: Vadim Zvjaginsev

1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 Nf6 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 b6 7.Be2 Bb7 8.O-O Be7 9.Rd1 O-O 10.e4 dxe4 11.Nxe4 Qc7 12.Nc3 c5 13.d5 exd5 14.cxd5 a6 15.Nh4 g6 16.Bh6 Rfe8 17.Qd2 Bd6 18.g3 b5 19.Bf3 b4 20.Ne2 Ne4 21.Qc2 Ndf6 22.Ng2 Qd7 23.Ne3 Rad8 24.Bg2 Nxf2 25.Kxf2 Rxe3 26.Bxe3 Ng4+ 27.Kf3 Nxh2+ 28.Kf2 Ng4+ 29.Kf3 Qe6 30.Bf4 Re8 31.Qc4 Qe3+ 32.Bxe3 Rxe3+ 33.Kxg4 Bc8+ 34.Kg5 h6+ 35.Kxh6 Re5 0-1

Play through this game on ChessGames
Download PGN of this game

More of Zvjaginsev on Wiki & ChessGames

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weekly Endgame Study on Chessvibes

The online article "Weekly Endgame Study" on ChessVibes site is a weekly endgame study selected by IM Yochanan Afek. The solution is published after a week.

Sergey Tiviakov wins Fajr International

Sergey Tiviakov won the 19th Fajr Open Chess Tournament which was held in Mashhad, Iran. He scored 8.5 points and tied with 7 other players, but won the title on tie-break.

The event included 25 GMs (9 rated over 2600+), 15 IMs and 10 FMs. It was held between 26th February to 7th March and was another example of the vibrant chess community at Iran.

Official Tournament site
Reports on ChessBase & TWIC

Chess Coaching Camp at Itech Chess Academy

Itech Chess Academy will be conducting a Summer Chess Coaching Camp in Bangalore at the Rajajinagar centre. This is primarily aimed at children who are interested in learning Chess from the basics.

Training will be given in the basic concepts, important rules, movement of pieces, chess notation and opening traps. The coaching will be a mix of theory and practise sessions. Theory will be taught using a hands-on as well as the computer based approach and will be interactive with Students.

A tournament will be conducted towards the end of the coaching camp and students will be readied to participate in other tournaments.

The camp will be over a period of 2 weeks with 90 minutes per session. The exact date of starting is yet to be announced.

Students are requested to enroll themselves and confirm their participation by calling Nagesh on 9845151403. Since only limited number of students will be taken, entries will be on first come first serve basis. Please hurry and confirm your participation!

More details on Itech Chess Academy
Map to reach the Venue is here

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kasparov vs X3D Fritz match finishes 2-2

This historic match which was held in 2003 was a tie between Garry Kasparov and the Computer Program.

4 games were played - Kasparov won Game 3, Fritz won Game 2, Games 1 and 4 were drawn.

Play through the games on Chessgames and Bobby-Fischer

Detailed Interview with Kasparov after the Match
Reports in ChessBase

20th Amber Tournament 2011

Levon Aronian won the Amber Tournament for the third consecutive time.

Aronian was the undefeated winner of the Blindfold section with 8.5/11 and Carlsen won the Rapid section with a record score of 9.5/11. World champion Anand finished 3rd on 13 points; Grischuk and Ivanchuk tied for 4th positions.

The tournament was a tremendous success with long hard-fought games of high quality, especially in the Blindfold section.
The 20th and final Amber tournament took place in Monaco between March 11th-25th 2011. This event included the top seven players in the World including World Champion Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian. This final tournament was a celebration of the contribution of Joop van Oosterom's contribution to chess which started in 1992. Amber Returns to Monaco for Farewell Jubilee Edition and was at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort. The tournament is organized by the Association Max Euwe of chess maecenas Joop van Oosterom, which is based in Monaco.

Official Tournament Site
All reports on ChessBase & TWIC

Download all games in PGN: Blindfold + Rapid
Game of the Day at Amber 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chess Informant

Chess Informant (Šahovski Informator) is a publishing company that periodically produces a book of the same name, as well as the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings, Encyclopaedia of Chess Endings, Opening Monographs, other print publications, and software (including electronic editions of most print publications).

Aleksandar Matanović and Milivoje Molerović founded the company in 1966 for the purpose of offering the rest of the world the sort of access to chess information enjoyed by Soviet players. The company has sold three million books in 150 countries.

Click here for the new Chess Informant site

Click here for the old site which still has lot of information

Master Moves

ChessBase has started a new feature named Master Moves where Tactical positions from recent Grandmaster practise are given with solutions

Bobby Fischer's legal heir is Miyoko Watai

The Reykjavik District Court gave a judgement that Miyoko Watai is the legal heir of the late Bobby Fischer. This brings an end to months of controversy over who would inherit Fischer's estate.

Miyoko Watai submitted documents to the court that she and Fischer were legally married on September 6, 2004. She is a pharmacist and also the chairperson of the Japanese Chess Association. She has said she and Fischer first met in Japan in 1973.

Read a detailed report on IcelandReview

Advice from Anand to Humpy

Read this instructive interview with Anand (given to Times of India) what Humpy should do for her next match with Hou Yifan

The same Interview transcript on ChessBase

Indian GM Koneru Humpy

Click here for a nice video on Humpy on Youtube
More videos below

Final FIDE Women Grand Prix standings

The third column from the right, WR, is the worst of four results, which is ignored for the final count of points (i.e. the Grand Prix final total is the sum of the three best tournaments).

Humpy wins Womens Grand Prix at Doha

Koneru Humpy of India won the Womens Grand Prix at Doha in an exciting finish. She tied with Elina Damielian of Armenia but won the title on better tie-break score.

Humpy did not start well and lost to Nana Dzagnidze in the very first round. On the contrary Elina was going great with 5 wins in 5 rounds. In the critical 8th round, Humpy defeated Elina to keep her chances alive of winning the event. With some luck and a final round win, Humpy pulled it off, thereby earning the right to challenging the reigning women's world champion Hou Yifan of China.

The FIDE Women Grand Prix is a series of special tournaments organized by FIDE and Global Chess with six events over 2 years in various countries around the world. The winner of each tournament gets 6,500 Euros out of a prize fund of 40,000 Euros, and the overall winner of the series will win a further 15,000 Euros at the end of the series. The Doha event was the 6th of the current series.

Official Tournament Page
All reports of this event on ChessBase & TWIC
Download all games of Doha GP in PGN