An unexamined life is not worth living.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Loss of a Chess Game - Classic Trojan Horse in the Endgame

A good example of why one should never ever play with a flag hanging; "trojan horse" (a knight is a 'horse' in russian chess terminology) occurs around 34:00 where I have two bishops, attempt to trap opponent's knight on 'b1', abandon my own pawns on the kingisde, lose them all, and the game. Computer analysis at

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Finding The Correct Positional plan - The Problem with Advancing Pawns

The downside of advancing pawns is that they cannot go back. If that means that an important rank is restricted for heavy pieces - an innocent pawn push can be a crucial mistake.
Jiganchine, Roman    --    Wu, Howard
BC ch 99th   2014.10.10     1/2-1/2     B67

123 White to move

22. f4?!
This is a positional mistake after which White is struggling to come up with a helpful plan.
( 22. c3 would have kept better control over dark squares while keeping options open. )
22. ... g6 23. Qf2 Kd7 24. Rhf1 Kc7 25. g3 Kb8 26. Qd4 b4 27. Rd2 Rhc8 1/2-1/2

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Missing the Obvious - Creating Passed Pawns in the Endgame

The following game illustrates how sometimes a player can fail to apply even the well known concepts if the situation on the board is obscuring them a little bit.

Lai, Peter    --    Jiganchine, Roman
Langley Open   2012.09.03     1/2-1/2     D27

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O a6 7. a4 Nc6 8. Nc3 Be7 9. Qe2 cxd4 10. Rd1 O-O 11. exd4 Nd5 12. Bd3 Re8 13. Ne5 Nxe5 14. dxe5 Qa5 15. Ne4 Bd7 16. Bg5 Bxg5 17. Nxg5 h6 18. Bh7+ Kf8 19. Nf3 Bc6 20. Be4 Rad8 21. Qe1 Qxe1+ 22. Nxe1 Nb4 23. Bxc6 Nxc6 24. f4 Rd4 25. Rxd4 Nxd4 26. Kf2 Rc8 27. Ra3 Ke7 28. Rc3 Rxc3 29. bxc3 Nb3 30. Nd3 Kd7 31. Ke3 Kc6 32. Ke4 g6 33. Nb2
120 Black to move

33. ... Kc5
 33. ... b5 34. axb5+ Kxb5  was an obvious way of trying to obtain a distant passed pawn in the knight endgame.
121 Black has a nearly decisive advantage here because the 'a' pawn is hard for White to deal with.

34. Kd3 Na5 35. g3 h5 36. h3 Nc6 37. Nc4 b5 38. axb5 axb5 39. Nd6 Nd8 40. Ne4+ Kd5 41. Ng5 Kc5 42. g4 hxg4 43. hxg4 Kd5 44. Ne4 1/2-1/2

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Blast From the Past – Tactics from Chess World Cup

This Friday, September 11, 2015, the Chess World Cup begins in Baku, perhaps main chess event of the year. Two years ago, the World Cup in Tromso produced a lot of great games, to review some of them I invite you to checkout the combinations from that tournament that I covered in my ebook "Play Like a Grandmaster - Tactics from Chess World Cup 2013” – it is available on Amazon and on Kobo.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Missed Stalemate against Grandmaster

In this ICC game against a grandmaster Leonid Gofshtein I overlooked stalemate opportunity not once, but twice:

imageBlack to move – find the drawing idea ...

Solution and full game:

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Best Combinations of 2015 - Quarterly Chess Tactics – Volume 2

Best Combinations of 2015 - Quarterly Chess Tactics – Volume 2 is now out with over 200 puzzles for you to solve. It is available on Amazon and on Kobo. The Kindle free sample contains dozens of combinations, so you can first practice those positions and see if you like the selection. Volume One was out back in July.

This publication is a collection of over 200 best combinations played by strong chess players in tournaments that took place the second quarter of 2015. To see the solution for the combination - go to the next page in your e-reader. The book is the second in the "Quarterly Chess Tactics" series, which provides instructive tactical positions from the most recent top chess tournaments.

Quarterly Chess Tactics will allow you to
* Follow the recent games of top grandmasters
* Improve your game
* Study combinations any time and anywhere
* Enjoy a collection of annotated puzzles that you have not seen in any other tactics books
* Maintain regular practice by solving several puzzles every day

In this new series, all the puzzles have been carefully checked to ensure the correctness and uniqueness of solutions, so you can be certain that there is only one winning continuation in each position. This series is a continuation of the Monthly Chess Tactics series from 2014 that included 12 collection of puzzles:

Hit Counter