vendredi 28 février 2014

Time to test your chess ! A few puzzles

Now that we have studied a lot of tactical patterns together, it is time to put these concepts into practice. !
You have already read my articles about the fork, the pin, removing the guard and so on, so you are only a few steps away from being a tactical wizard, correct ?

Let's see if you can solve these few problems, taken from Chess Trainer.

Puzzle 1:
an easy one to start with

lundi 24 février 2014

New lesson on the Evans gambit available on Chess Trainer !

I am glad to announce that a new lesson on the Evans gambit is available on Chess Trainer.
This lesson has been written by the Chess coach Michael Fournier, from Canada, and deals with every possible answer to the gambit.
Some famous Chess games are shown as an illustration of the variants studied. For instance, the victory of Bobby Fischer against Ruben Fine is analyzed in this lesson.

I you buy it today, you get a 50% discount ($0.99 instead of $1.99), so hurry up, but really, paying 2 dollars for this lesson isn't that much.

Enjoy your lesson on Chess Trainer ; )

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jeudi 20 février 2014


My last post on Removing the defender seems to have interested a lot of people.

Now we are going to have a look at another subtlety in Chess which is called Zugzwang. This topic was dealt with in the "How to play chess - Part 3" lesson from the Chess Trainer app, and I am making it available in this blog as well.

Zugzwang is not really a tactic. It is a situation where one player is put at a disdvantage because he has to make a move when he would prefer to pass and make no move. We have already met that situation in the Rook VS Lone King checkmate.

As usual, let's make it clearer with an example:

jeudi 13 février 2014

Removing the defender

Today's post is about one of the most basic, yet efficient tactics.
By the way, have you already checked the last post about the zwischenzug ?

The idea of removing the defender is simple: an important piece or square is defended by a piece: the defender.
Removing the defender gives you the ability to capture the important piece or occupy the important square.
This post is inspired from the corresponding Chess Trainer lesson.

Let's start with this example:

jeudi 6 février 2014

Zwischenzug, say it again ?

The zwischenzug (don't ask me how to pronounce it please !), is a german word, whose equivalent in english is "in-between move". That's what we are going to talk about today.
I enjoyed a lot talking about Deflection in my previous blog post, go here if you want nice examples and puzzles about that beautiful pattern.

So what does this german word mean ?
A zwischenzug occurs when a player, instead of playing the expected move, first plays another move, posing an immediate threat that the opponent must asnwer, and only then plays the expected move.
Usually the expected move is an exchange or a piece retreat, but the in-between move allows doing the exchange or the retreat on more favourable terms.

This post was originally published on Chess Trainer (iPhone) to help intermediate players understand the basic tactical motifs.
Download it as well to see the new lesson on the Carlsen-Anand match, which is worth a look, believe me !

But first, I want to show you a basic case of in-between move. It seems like the opponent has set up a winning fork here:

mercredi 5 février 2014

Carlsen - Anand lesson is out !

The 12 annotated games of the last World Championship match Anand-Carlsen are on Chess Trainer now !
Buy it today and get a 33% discount on the price: $1.99 instead of $2.99 (offer available only today)

As a little gift to my readers, here are 3 positions taken from the quizzes in the Anand-Carlsen pack.
The first position is the first critical moment of the fourth game. Carlsen's turn to play with Black: