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76,132 Studies by Harold van der Heijden – A mind-boggling effort by the author that took him 3 years of hard work (in perfecting this version alone). The database is in PGN-format. Apart from the initial position and the solution (including sub-variations and analysis) these additional information is provided: the name(s) of the composer(s), the GBR-code which is an index code denoting the chess force in the initial position, place and date of the primary source (tourney, journal, magazine) and whether it is a win or a draw study.

This fourth version of Harold van der Heijden’s Endgame Study Database has more than eight thousand extra studies compared to the previous edition from 2005. Besides, the solutions of many studies have been corrected or updated based on reader feedback.

It is by far the most exhaustive collection of endgame studies available.

Regular chess software such as Fritz or ChessBase or even the free Tarrasch or Lucas Chess can be used to play out the positions.

However to find studies in the database by name, year, source, material balance, and numerous other criteria you may need to use SCID (free) or Chessbase (commercial).

John Nunn and Artur Yusupov believe that chess players can benefit a lot from endgame studies by trying to solve them daily. This trains both one’s essential skills in chess such as – calculation ability, planning, visualization and tactical performance in the endgame which also aids in the middle-game.

Dutch endgame study guru, Harold van der Heijden (above) celebrated his 50th birthday with a composing event, and the winner was the following spectacular effort, by the man many regard as the best study composer currently active in the world – John Nunn

This one is the best…
Try to solve this… And post your answers in the comment box!!

How to increase positional chess knowledge?

Secrets of Positional Chess Training – 1

positional-chess-trainingFor those of you who have not read my article – An excellent positional sacrifice. I strongly recommend you to read it before proceeding further.

Harvesting the positional weaknesses present in the opponent’s position requires deep strategic understanding. This strategic understanding comprises an awareness of positional factors (such as effective peace placements, quality of pawn structure and safety of the king), and generation of ideas or plans to make use of these factors.

Foundation of positional chess training

Here, the first step is to build a base of understanding. That is where the coach comes in and where a good coach can be identified. The base of understanding has to be built from the basics. Starting with King and pawn endings, rook endings, minor piece endings, queen endings, and then the meet of the middle game, which comprises of mobility, activity, and strength of the pieces. Winning configurations and thematic attacks are what an aspiring player needs to be given. I am referring to a player who has mastered the basic tactical motifs like pin, skewer, fork etc. and at this stage he is akin to a aspiring chef who has just learnt the magic of making a tasty recipe and his true test would come when he is able to juggle with the resources present in the refrigerator that too with a sudden unexpected onset of guests to his home.

Here confidence also plays a vital role in bridging the gap between rote-knowledge and skill-knowledge. The trick here is to convert rote-knowledge into skill-knowledge by constant practical applications.

Merely knowing how to bake a cake doesn’t make one a good baker. Doing it properly when time demands makes one an expert and doing it consistently properly makes one a GM.

In later articles I will be expanding on many techniques to accentuate this bridging of knowledge. So I request you to follow me on regular basis.

Pillars of positional chess training

The next step is to build familiarity by constant revision and repetition of information. This is the most hallowed part of chess training regimen.

  • [button url=”http://goldenchess.in/2015/04/03/from-the-chess-coachs-perspective/” size=”small” style=”blue”]  From the Chess Coach’s Perspective [/button]

It is here where many people stumble, fall or stop altogether. Some players skip this entire process due to wrong assumptions and false guidance. I cannot stress enough the importance of this revision process and there are many ways it can be done. For example, take the case of tabiya’s, when we first learn a new plan of attacking the castled king we tend to look at a few model games. The trick is not only about remembering this plan but also being able to execute when favorable configurations arises on the board. And doing so also requires a confidence which needs to be built slowly over time.

Ready for the test drive?

The final stage is executing a move taking into consideration the above discussed factors under test conditions such as time pressure situations or high-stake scenario. This is the true test of actual understanding that gets locked into the subconscious mind and is available for us to access it anytime. Obviously, the initial routine are difficult and tests our dedication. And this is what separates the masters from the amateurs.

Keeping yourself motivated – Separating the wood from the trees!

More to come.. Stay tuned!

pawn grabbing is a bad habit
Pawns in hand.

Pawn grabbing is a bad habit.

Whenever there is a tendency to grab pawns in your chess game think again. And here is the reason as to why.

At its heart, chess is a logical game: if your opponent repeatedly violates opening or middle-game principles (usually to attain a small material plus is not a good reason), he or she will have to face the repercussions in due course.

Usually, a player will neglect his development in favor of material gain like a pawn capture, because he sees no immediate tactical refutation. This stems from the fact that he assumes he will find a way to neutralize his opponent’s development initiative in due course.

Carlsen seems to prefer always taking a pawn, as long as there is no obvious loss – but he is not a normal player like us guys in the fishpond!. He even did it in game 5 vs Anand in November 2014.

But chess can be brutal on such acts of trespass. More so when the Queen is involved since Queen’s pawngrabbing adventures can cost valuable time. If you don’t know what you are doing just don’t do it. A point lost can never be regained. Years of hard work will be at risk if you are a professional player.

Have a look below.

Rozentalis – Minak 

This position arose after some moves in the Sicilian Rossolimo Variation. Black just grabbed a pawn at h4.

I request you to analyze this position and post your ideas, plans and suggestions in the comments area below.
For answer you have to see the video. Your ideas and plans are also welcome.

In closing remember that modern chess is not dogmatic; the rules are not written in stone. There are genuine cases when pawn grabbing is tactically justified (the Poisoned Pawn Variation of the Najdorf Defense comes to my mind).

But in the majority of cases it is wrong, and whenever your opponent does engage in such acts punish him or look for ways to do so.

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Bishop vs Knight

Bishop vs Knight – Which is stronger?

All chess players have their own fancy presumptions regarding this. A large number of players are inclined towards the two Bishops compared to two Knights or a Bishop against a Knight. Even World Chess Champions like Fischer and Steinitz favored Bishops against Knights while Chigorin for a change prefered Knights against Bishops. Take your pick but look at the examples below to have an idea.

Below is the well known game between Max Harmonist and Siegbert Tarrasch in the Berlin variation of the Ruy Lopez where a large number of kibitzers and analysts including Nimzowitsch in his international book ‘My System‘ demonstrated this game as a poignant display of the dual Bishops.

And now it is time to witness the two Knight’s power against two Bishops, played between the great legends Emanuel Lasker vs Mikhail Chigorin.

This game is a fantastic show of knight blockade, one would say at move 14.Bd3 it was better for White (+-) according to Lasker but some inaccuracies and powerful domination by the Black Knights brought the point home.

When is a Bishop powerful or preferred?

When one must prefer a bishop is when the position is open and offers open diagonals or prospects of getting open diagonals.

When is a Knight powerful or preferred?

When one must prefer a knight: when the position is closed and the opponent’s Bishops are ‘biting the granite’.


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chess piecesSome approach chess with an excessively defensive mentality. This works in some scenarios and not in others. Being too protective heads to your essential pieces being stayed on the back row and being of small offensive value. This is absolutely accurate when your queen, bishops, and rooks are trapped behind the line of the pawns. To win a game of chess you should develop your back row pieces at some focus. An arrangement of how you are determined to advance them will give you a robust playing point.

Think about your essential chess pieces as dozing soundly in the solace of the sleeping quarters soon after the war starts. Since those most exceptionally capable warriors remain there, they cannot obstruct your adversary in the midst of the war. Improve these essential pieces in the way that the event advances. Commonly this denotes that bishops move from the back row rapidly emulated by knights, the queen, and at long last the rooks. The rooks commonly move out when the middle-game is beginning, or the midpoint of the match.

Too frequently unpracticed chess players make a point not to get their essential pieces off of the back row soon enough and those pieces are rendered inadequate. A worse situation is that they are trapped on the back row and other side rather exposed. Think about the rook being in its opening position with a knight close to it. Since the pawn in front of the knight has made headway your opponent’s bishop effectively, and uninhibitedly takes that rook through the semi open record. Permit the capable pieces from your back push to work for you, not in opposition to you. Permit them to be unpalatable as well as opposing and you will have moved towards realizing that exceptionally-vital adjust in your chess game.

Hello friends. In today’s post I’m summarizing some key – points which should be followed when you are in a tournament, it maybe any type of tournament. These are type of thumb rules 🙂

  1. Don’t banter with your companions unnecessarily. If you have doubts with some variations or discussing how your opponent play, then you can.
  2. Most of the players are nowadays playing blitz and bullet. Some of the players play Losing Chess. This may reflect in your classical game. Try to avoid that.
  3. When your game finishes, go to your room or wherever you wanna go.  
  4. Most importantly, after your game analyze that first with your opponent or a stronger player or with computer.
  5. Most of  the players have the habit of preparing what for their opponent and they stay late at night preparing for them. Even though he is lower rated. Don’t do that. See some chess but not too much. You can see tactics, games and a bit of preparation for your opponent, but don’t stay late till night for that.
  6. Don’t get distracted or diverted. When you are in front of the board, your total concentration should be on the board.
  7. When you are in a tournament game, don’t talk with your friends. You can ask their result and let them go.
  8. You should not have fear because of your opponent. Have the thought, you can beat him.
  9. Get better sleep.
If there are some missing points, you can post it up in the comments below. I will add them up if it is relevant.

A paramount organize in the chess player’s advance is his work at his opening collection. it is obvious that for successful tournament practice one might as well have a certain extend of chess openings and shifts dependent upon the overall-pondered frameworks. This extent of openings depends essential on the chess player’s memory his apprehensive framework and so on. The frameworks embraced by chess players ought to give them imaginative fulfillment. Given the most demandingly concentrated on differences, if the chess player doesn’t love them, they try not to carry luck. Accordingly the opening collection needs perpetual improvement with newfangled thoughts considering the style and robustness of the chess player.

In any case, there should be a unity of drill and speculation. An additional imperative condition is the deliberate determination of the material and putting it into a cognizant framework. The choice of the material ought to be limited just to the most exceptionally irreplaceable speculative diversions. When the organization has been laid, it is fitting to put all your investigative work into framework and request. First and foremost, it is helpful to think about those recreations where the fundamental strategic thoughts were most totally showed, and after that augment the scope of your opening brainstorms. In the opening arrangement, the chess player has his particular “supertask” , that is they should be beyond their adversaries. In this respect,we should concentrate on deliberately Botvinnik’s strategies. He was the organizer of contemporary go at to the opening arrangement.

While working at the opening collection, the inquiry frequently comes up: might as well we play the same fluctuations with White and with Black? Here, a parcel hinges on the chess player’s capability.

It is prudent that junior chess players might as well consider the same opening framework from both sides, to comprehend its eccentricities which would break if there should be an occurrence of the uneven go at. It is regularly supportive to pick up from your particular, some of the time truly sharp, encounter.

For Example, at the Amsterdam International Tournament of 1970 Grandmaster Uhlmann played the following variation of the King’s Indian Defence in opposition to Polugayevsky:

This lesson was greatly functional for Ulhmann. The German Grandmaster utilized this framework with White in opposition to Gligoric in the Interzonal Tournament 1970 and won the recreation.

An additional foremost inquiry is: ought to the chess player advance his opening collection just on in vogue frameworks, which is, by chance, being done by a large portion of today’s chess players? Obviously, this go at ought to not be blasted. As a tenet, up and coming openings hold more engaging plans. However we ought to not overlook that even less known opening frameworks merit tough thought. Moreover, having gained some interaction tackling less prominent openings, the chess player can improve himself with the thoughts giving him an overpowering preference over his adversaries. Greatly educational in this regard is the technique and encounter exhibited by Fischer who regularly utilized the frameworks and changes which had been denied by speculation and drill.

Fischer’s games demonstrate that in the old frameworks, if legitimately pondered and utilized, one can consider a significant number of engaging thoughts and efficacious strategies to the drive.


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Chess is beyond doubt one of the oldest and most played games in the world. Chess breaks all intellectual, age and languages barriers and can therefore be enjoyed by people from all corners of the globe. In an age where old traditions are quickly being replaced with new and adventure packed activities, it is surprising that tens of thousands of people learn chess each and every year.

For many, chess is some boring old game that is played by people with massive IQs. This is far from the truth. Chess is very easy to learn, and the best part is that it can be played on different levels. Beginner players for example can play with other beginner players and get the same amount of excitement and enjoyment from the game as two grand masters would if they were locked in battle.

Some of the great benefits of learning chess include:

  • Chess is exciting. It is tremendously exciting to plan a trap and wait with bated breath as your opponent unwittingly plays into your hands.
  • Chess teaches patience. Strategies and tactics take time to execute. Not all strategies will pan out, and as a result all of your hard work will need to start again.
  • Chess can be learned. Unlike many social sports, you do not have to be a “natural” to play chess well. A player becomes better as they learn new tactics and strategies.
  • Chess is really cheap. Most chess software is free. Chess boards are cheap. There are no ongoing running costs.
  • Chess improves your life skills. It is not hard to draw parallels between chess and every day life. Chess requires a player to think about each move before it is made. So does life. Chess has setbacks. So does life. Chess requires you to plan for the long term. So does life.
  • Chess teaches independence. Players must think on their own. They must make their own decisions.
  • Chess breaks age barriers. Chess can be played equally as well between adult and child.

Unfortunately for chess, many TV shows and movies have portrayed chess as a difficult game. Once this myth has been set aside, many people often find that learning the rules of chess is actually a simple task. There are only six different pieces, each with their own special moves. The game simply requires you to force your opponent’s King (one of the six pieces) into a position where he can be captured. All in all, there are only a few rules, and these rules can be learned in a matter of hours.

The real challenge with chess is learning tactics and strategy. Tactics are short term moves that lead to long term gain. Tactical moves are used together to form a strategy. Tactics are specific moves that place a piece in a specific place on the board either to attack or defend an area of the board. Tactics are learned as a player becomes more experienced. Strategy is learned once a player has a sufficient arsenal of tactics to form a strategy. This may all sound very complicated, but the beauty of chess is that tactics and strategy are learned only as a player becomes more experienced, and therefore the initial steps of learning chess are not slowed down. As you become experienced, you will find that learning new tactics is extremely rewarding and satisfying. This is why people continue to play chess throughout their entire life.

What is important to conclude from the above article is that anybody can learn chess. Chess starts off easy and only becomes harder as your opponent gets better.

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Hi there all chesslovers!

I have noticed that Owens-defence is played a lot again! It have not been “in the mode” for a while, but it is a strategical way of getting far away from all the bookish games. And, besides, it serves it purposes as a “surprice” in blitz-games. It is, perhaps wisely, said that one should not ananlyze these blitz-games with that much attention, but let’s give it a short shot!

Lets take a short look at how to meet this opening as white – and this from the side: “you have to make a functional plan”. At least somewhat “functional”.

My opponent is not to be mentioned but the game took place in a VIP-tournament. I, “mikethepike” played white.

Conclusion: Well, not that many. But the “stealthed” bishop is quite funny – for white that is.

Greetings from Sweden in springtimes!

This game is not the Game of the Century..

This was played in New York, USA.

Bobby Fischer vs Robert Byrne Manhattan Blitz 1971 1-0

Rate & Thumbs up the video!!




Training Positions

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76,132 Studies by Harold van der Heijden - A mind-boggling effort by the author that took him 3 years of hard work (in perfecting...