An unexamined life is not worth living.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Subscribe to New Blog - Daily Chess Tactics

To build practical strength and simply to have fun, a chessplayer needs constant practice in their tactical skills. If you want to practice your combination solving ability on a daily basis, you might want to know that I started maintaining a new blog at The puzzles appear daily and you can take you time to figure out the solution and then see the answer by clicking on the question mark. You can also have these puzzles appear in your RSS reader by subscribing to the Daily Chess Tactics feed. Please let me know if you have any feedback!


Click on the blue spot to see the answer.


There is already an archive for the last two months, and you can see the last 3 puzzles in this roman-chess blog in the top right corner:



Friday, October 30, 2015

5 Passed pawns - part 2 – ghosts of Karjakin–Eljanov game 6

History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme…  (Mark  Twain)

Interestingly the recent 5 passed pawns blog post came about from my internet game where the position was as follows:
DDT3000-hell, ICC 2015

I now realize this almost exactly mirrors the infamous Karjakin – Eljanov game 6 from round 6 of the Baku World Cup that was played only a couple of weeks before that:
Karjakin-Eljanov, 2015

If Black plays a6 and b5, the position is almost exactly the same, except that the queenside pawns are shifted 1 file to the right.

Karjakin-Eljanov, 2015 (analysis)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

5 Passed Pawns

How often do you find a chess endgame with 5 passed pawns running up and down the board and most of them being on the verge of promotion? Both kings fight for stopping the pawns and also fall prey to random checks upon pawn promotion, as well as discovered checks of a lone black bishop that also tries to bring some method to this madness and support its own pawns while constraining the opponent’s passers …

An analysis of an ICC game led me down the odd path with this super sharp position being the culprit and Black’s defense relying on some study-like computer–style precision.

analsyis of DDT3000-hell, ICC 2015

8/8/2P3P1/8/P4p2/1kb2K1p/8/8 b - - 0 57

image Black to move and make a draw (the variations are not trivial for either side, so I suggest you analyse it for a few minutes to find the best moves)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Faulting Thinking - the Need to Consider All candidate Moves

Often a move that attacks a pawn, or encourages exchanges is the first one that comes to mind. In the following game - Black needed to consider all candidate moves and not go for the most straightforward one.
Tang, Edward    --    Jiganchine, Roman
Keres mem 39th   2014.05.19     1/2-1/2     D27

122 Black to move.

30. ... Bd5
( 30. ... Bc6! -/+ left black with all advantages of his position )
31. Bxd5 Rxd5 32. Nb3 e5 33. dxe5 Nxe5 34. f4 Nc4 35. Ra1 Rd3 36. Nc5 Rxa3 37. Rxa3 Nxa3 38. Nxa6 Nc4 39. Nc7 Nxa5 1/2-1/2

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

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