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Hello CoolchessGM – Please advise me. I am aged 24 and a late beginner in chess. I know how to play at a very basic level like moving the pieces and the objective of the game as such, but have no understanding of the importance of chess strategy at all. I want to know How to learn chess fast. The reason I ask is – of late I have been playing a few games in my new residential colony where I shifted a few months ago, and there is this ‘nasty’ li’l kid who consistently keeps beating me at chess – so much so, that it is getting on my nerves and all this ego-bashing is a bit of a pain. that is when I decided to do some serious study and then play with him after I have seen some improvements in my approach. Recently I bought a video cd on the Guico Piano opening in chess and am wondering if this is a good entry point in improving my chess. So my question is: How to learn chess fast? Should I study this openings book (and will it be useful)? If not, what do you recommend I look at first? Thanks in advance – Gaurav C, Chennai.

P.S – I may not be able to spare much time daily (at most 1 hour) so please advise accordingly.

Hello Gaurav,

I am from Chennai too and I am happy you asked! Firstly – STOP buying books just because the cover looked attractive! Many people do things wrongly for a long time and then wonder why they failed in the end after having spent a lot of time and money.

Have you ever wondered why you are not able to beat chess players who are much younger than you? The reason is because they have been following a structured program of chess coaching and training either from childhood or by attending a chess academy.

While I do not advise adults to undertake such a tedious journey, as we are occupied with umpteen distractions like job and family and personal health constraints, what I would like to suggest is to spend time going through some of the essential – the basics so to say – resources listed below (in the order preferably).

book-190034_1280Revising the basics is the foremost condition for success in chess.

Chess Endings: Essential Knowledge by Averbakh

Chess Fundamentals by Capablanca

My System by Nimzowitsch

50 Chess Tips: Strategy & Tactics for Beginners

For grown ups (especially), the best way to learning chess, is to learn it backwards – starting from ending, middle game and then opening.

Endings always gives scope for a lot of training techniques such as visualization and calculation. Hence I recommend this approach for adults – start from there and you will have exponential growth. You will enjoy the high you get when you solve these endgame puzzles and then you will be equipped with the necessary tools to up the ante.

During the entire training time your mind will be sub-consciously absorbing all the techniques and then you will have an idea of what to do in the middle and opening stages of the game when you sit down to face that ‘nasty’ kid!

To stay in form I recommend solving chess tactics (minimum 30minutes daily), playing and analyzing training games (30min for player minimum), almost anything that makes you actively involved in chess. That’s the key.

Remember that progress will be slow and you must persever in your training to achieve something worthwhile.


  • supercharge-logo-261x300In case you have access to a PC at office and home I suggest you to enroll in this program 21 DAYS TO SUPERCHARGE YOUR CHESS. I have heard good reviews and I believe it is a good effort by Yuri Markushin. I am very impressed with the way the training package has been structured. Let me know if you do like it.
  • Also, you can try out a new chess software called Lucas Chess. 
  • If you are stagnating in your chess I suggest you read this article.

Do let me know after you have gone through these resources and whether you faced any difficulty in anyway. Wishing you all the best.



Golden Chess CentreOh and one more thing – STOP working hard. Work smarter and do drop in to Golden Chess Academy when time permits, to get a direct counseling from a passionate and dedicated chess coach. It is in Chennai and I am sure you will have a good idea when you meet a chess coach in person.

The author is a Chess coach and a passionate selfie lover 🙂 If you are in Facebook do drop in and press like!

Note: The links in this page are affiliate links.

Chess Learning is a life-long process.
Chess Learning is a life-long process.

Chess Learning is a life-long process – so buckle up!

Chess Learning is a life-long process. It demands consistency and passion. Is your capacity for learning Chess fixed or adjustable? Can you improve your Chess intelligence and skills through hard work and diligent practice, or are you stuck with the intelligence you’ve got? Many of us have dabbled in Chess and given it up citing various excuses most importantly being the demanding nature of our scholastic or graduation exams or the pressures of our office jobs. But to be involved in the learning process throughout life against all odds is the true test of a Chess player. It will determine what we are about to do with our mind after life settles down and you are comfortable to a certain level, atleast.

Psychologist Carol Dweck in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success says most of us have either a “fixed” or “evolving” mindset when it comes to learning.

For the sake of sixteen years of schooling, any mindset is OK, for us to to pull through, but when it comes to a lifelong learning (which Chess demands), learning for the sake of learning, without outside pressure–then – only a growth-oriented evolving and fluid mindset will be able to do it.

Lifelong learning is in fact one of the most important core competencies a person can possess. But even if we strive to earnestly possess it ourselves, it can be acquired and retained, only if we approach it in a proper way.

Firstly – we always have the innate ability and potential to change, evolve and grow through application and experience.

But some of us resign to the fact that our capabilities are fixed and that is the reason why most goals appear to be insurmountable.

Secondly, in persons with an evolving mindset, they understand that their talents and skills can be developed through good teaching and dedicated learning. They have belief in their capacity to learn and surpass their existing strengths.

Thirdly, Nature gifted us this mindset by birth but we lost it somewhere while growing up as soon as we became conscious of ourselves – in other words our ‘ego’ spoiled it up for us.

Lifelong Chess learning requires embracing all opportunities to learn.

Believe that your true potential is unknown (and unknowable) and that it’s impossible to know beforehand what your limits are.

So how do you nurture a fluid evolving mindset if it is missing in you, and how do you keep it for life, if you’ve had it already?

Below are 25 recommendations to guide you in the right direction – and kill the distractions.

1. Begin with a goal.

Each learning experience as an investment rather than a one-time transaction towards your target goal. It will be the secret of your energy in pursuit of your Chess growth.

2. Be responsible. For your own conscious learning.

The amount of Chessic knowledge you attain is directly related to the effort you put into gaining it. Mediocre effort will result in greater time periods to acquire something that would otherwise take much lesser time. The Talent Code: Greatness isn’t born. It’s grown by Daniel Coyle is one such book that will augment your case against self-defeating mindset. The author draws on cutting-edge research to reveal that, far from being some abstract mystical power fixed at birth, ability really can be created and nurtured.

3. Challenges are opportunities for growth.

Challenges are exciting because they are learning opportunities and, ultimately, a chance to increase our own competence and intelligence. Relish challenges and you are on your way to success.

4. Believe in your capacity to learn. Always.

Trust me – you are born with a capacity to learn at all times of your life. You may have had failures in School or College or even be bad at something. ‘Chessically’ speaking, you may have a poor understanding of Chess Strategy while you are good in Tactics in Chess. But if you put your entire sub-conscious mind towards the task you will be able to master and remove your weakness. That is the Power of Your Subconscious Mind. In this regard, never allow any doubts or confusion to creep in.

5. Create your own learning methods.

We all have  our personal Chess learning strategies. Some of us listen to Videos, write down notes, create mind maps, or repeat our stuff,like repertoire or thumb-rules etc., Identify the tools you use or can use to promote your own learning, and create new ones to add to your collection. Being aware of what works for you, is an important part of being an effective lifelong Chess learner.

6. Use technology. Be creative in your methods.

Technical aid in this era has never been more advanced. Use it! You will love the change and the efficiency will give you an edge over traditional learners.

7. Remember to teach. Teaching is the best way to learn properly.

If you can explain what you’ve learned to others in a way they can understand, then you really  understand it yourself. Sharing knowledge with others is an excellent way to gauge your own strengths and weaknesses and really check your understanding levels

8. Play often and analyze each game.

The logic is simple. Keep learning fun and it will remain interesting as well. Analyze your game as you will be the best person to know what exactly you thought during each move.

9. Look at the proofs.

Neurosciences and psychology have shown that our brains are ‘road-worthy’ well into old age, and it is possible to make new connections among neurons and assimilate new things even if you’re 80 years old. Recently there was a report that a 96 year old man applied for a Post-graduate course in economics, so what is your excuse?

10. Have courage to try new things.

Trying new things like a new opening repertoire or playing blitz if you haven’t played before, not only keeps our brains active and energized but also generates a evolving fluid mindset that revels in curiosity. When you broaden your view, you come to realize that there’s a lot to learn Chess than you ever imagined.

11. Benefit with the company of those who are ahead of you.

Surround yourself with people who are constantly learning, reading, sharing, discovering and enjoying. It will inspire you to do the same for yourself. And forming a group that meets once in a while creates a reservoir of chess energy that sustains and helps others whose spirits are sagging, I have personally felt that upliftment whenever I plunged in these group discussions, coming out with a sense of having recharged my internal ‘batteries’. I know that some of you may be averse to this. The fact is, learning with others is often more fulfilling than solitary learning. The best and biggest advantage, you get to see how other people interpret and react to the same information in different ways, which is priceless by itself.

12. Set personal learning agenda.

It always helps to make a plan. The best thing about self- learning is that you’re free to explore any topic of interest, at any time or pace that you want. But mastery demands a plan of action and therefore stick to one. That’s why some of us decide to master Rook endgames in six weeks or memorize all the lines in the Sicilian Najdorf. Identifying and visualizing end goals, help us become persistent and effective students of life, for life.

13. Accept defeats graciously.

This one becomes increasingly important as you will meet failures and they will prove to be your biggest adversary to overcome. We all want to win and prove better than others, and in our lifelong learning journey we must always ensure that we will not be bogged down by losses. Be sure to bounce back immediately.

14. Keep reading new stuff.

It can be a series of chess articles, a short games collection, a magazine, an autobiography of a master. Anything, as long as you’re fired up and willing to learn.

15. Make a list of stuff that you need to work on.

It can consist of entire openings or just Endgames, as long as it’s your call. There’s something powerful and magical – about writing something down – try it, and you’ll see the big difference it makes.

16. Ask questions and research them or take help.

When you ask questions it’s a sign of maturity, not ignorance. Develop your intelligence and confidence to speak up when you need to clarify something in that King’s Indian Defense and you’ll become a lifelong Chess learner–and you’ll know more than you would know if you’d been too hesitant in asking questions.

17. Meditate.

Simply studying books isn’t enough, you have to think and find ideas yourself. Spend time meditating on a real chess board and contemplating over all those ideas you have learned. Albert Einstein once said, “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”

18. Practice, practice, practice.

Knowing and doing are two different things. Reading a book on Chess openings isn’t the same thing as playing it. Studying swimming isn’t the same as doing real energetic backstrokes in a swimming pool. If your chess knowledge can be applied, start practicing it.

19. Filter your incoming data – avoid data overload.

Spend time on learning stuff that is really relevant and avoid going off-tangent. Lifelong Chess learners know when to pay attention and when to say no to stuff however interesting it may seem. In my case I avoid solving the compositions that are not of practical use for chess players.

20. Follow the greats.

If you really like a Chess GM for his style look up at his games and ask yourself whether you can emulate him. I know that it will be impossible to play like him (or her) but keeping someone in the ‘idol’ list will pull you upwards towards doing something big for yourself. Like crossing a milestone in chess.

21. Open up and free your mind.

Chess Learning is a life-long process and we need to be open to all the possibilities whether it pertains to openings or even changing our style of play. The Chess world changes rapidly each year, month, day and hour–can you keep up? So look out for trying anything that helps in your learning.

22. Choose a career that encourages intellectual pursuits.

Choose a career that encourages constant learning and pushes you to squeeze your free time towards that endeavor. If you are in a job that doesn’t provide free time to learn or encourage intellectual freedom, consider switching to another that does. Don’t be stuck in a job that doesn’t challenge you intellectually.

23. Have hobbies.

I am sure you can skip mindless soaps and serials in the idiot box in favor of reading a good book or collecting information about a player or even trying out a new software. Any hobby that helps you spend time in a quality way is good for our purpose.

24. Learn something new every day.

Jeremy Gleick
Jeremy Gleick

Meet Jeremy Gleick, who for two and a half years, while a sophomore majoring in bio-engineering at the University of California, has devoted an hour a day to learning something new. His rule: It can’t be related to office work, or merely reading a novel. Even if he’s sleeping at a friend’s house or elsewhere, he tries to put in his hour. “At some point in the evening, I just excuse myself and go do it.”

He recently passed his 1,000th hour of self-study, most of it done online. Now does that inspire you? Go start doing it from today, starting now.

There is so much to learn in Chess that you will find that one hour every day can still be short. Chess Learning is a life-long process so buckle up!

25. Improve your memory.

Memory bookThere are many books and programs that help you improve your memory. One such app that is designed to work on many fronts such as memory and understanding is an app called Elevate. I am finding it very addictive and at the same time challenging.

Another great resource is a book – The Memory Book: The Classic Guide to Improving Your Memory at Work, at School, and at Play by Harry Lorayne.

Lifelong Chess learning requires patience, maturity and dedication. Meeting this challenge head on will require radical phase-change in the way coaches train and players learn, as coaches take on a more guiding role play finding appropriate resources for learning and players take more personal responsibility in setting goals and reflecting on and evaluating their progress by way of online rating and OTB play.

Follow these 25 recommendations and you’ll be surprised at your capacity to learn but remember… that Chess mastery is a lifelong process

Feel free to share this article if it helped you. And comment if you want to add something to the above list. Even otherwise comments are welcome!

Kishore Kumar

Golden Chess Centre



Stagnation in Chess

Stagnation in Chess – Difference between trying and doing

Stagnation in Chess

The inspiration for this article came from one of my friends who asked his coach at Goldenchess the reason for his Stagnation in Chess and the reply he received was amazing! He said that there is a vast difference between trying and doing something. In trying we tend to put 99% at the most, while in doing we put 100% effort. That 1% may appear small but it makes a huge difference.

That 1% comes with the name ‘FLOW’.

When we attempt to solve positions, we are ‘here’ and ‘now’. What he meant by ‘here’ and ‘now’ was in the context of passing the positions without a second thought.

When we start solving positions with an idea of relevance to our past games and more importantly when we start applying or searching or try to create a similar scenario in the chess games we play whether online or OTB, then we are said to be in the ‘FLOW’. That is when we start overcoming the so called Stagnation in Chess

The reason why my friend stagnated is because his attention was wayward on two counts. Firstly, he concentrated and solved most of the positions correctly BUT he switched off his mind’s intensity immediately after this training process. Secondly, his focus on chess was diluted when he was at home wiling away his time watching TV. A little amount of that time could have been well spent playing online either blitz or rapid time games with the idea of reinforcing what he had learnt on that day.

The problem with chess is that it is neither bound by strict scientific and mathematical definitions nor purely abstract artistic endeavor. It is an individual process that is different for each individual and therefore highly dependent on the way a player wields the information that he has acquired and stored.

So the progress of a chess player starts with Stagnation in Chess

  • Acquiring new knowledge.
  • Familiarizing with the lay of the land, wherein that knowledge comes to play.
  • Understanding the events as a FLOW or FLUX rather than single individual events that are not connected.
  • Achieving mastery in creating favorable conditions on the board based on familiarity.
  • Building confidence by repeatedly following the above steps.

Stagnation in ChessThe last point is what propels and fuels chess growth. It is the paramount key to a chess player’s individuality in the black and white jungle.

So the next time you find yourself in a rut, stop trying superficially.

Do your training keeping the above points in mind and when you start playing online games without pressure, you are reinforcing new neural path ways. These neural pathways are what help you intuiting your way around a complex position.

Don’t stress yourself with ‘here’ and ‘now’ of chess positions but place them in context of your learning in your mind.

Overcome your Stagnation in Chess. by adopting creative training methods like Lucas Chess Trans-Siberian Chess Training.

In closing watch this motivational video from a different discipline but applicable for chess.

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!

Reprogram your brain

Reprogram your brainThe common misconception is that blunders are just tactical errors. Tactics are involved, and better tactical vision will certainly help reduce the number of these blunders, but studying tactics is treating the symptoms and not the disease. Consider the errors you make in a game. How many of the critical errors (those that change the expected result of the game–win, lose or draw) were immediately obvious to you, and how many required some serious thought or computer assistance? If you had to think about why your move was bad, or why your opponent’s move worked, then the problem is related to some other facet of your game. However, if your error provokes an immediate “Oh No!”, then it wasn’t your tactics that were faulty but your thinking. So… Reprogram your brain – find what is the problem with your blunders.


  • shortly after you make your move you suddenly realize it was a blunder, or
  • your opponent makes an unexpected move whose strength is immediately obvious, or
  • your opponent makes a move that you didn’t consider, but it’s immediately obvious that you should have,

then your thinking process failed you, not your tactics.

So What’s the Solution?

How do I train this skill of near perfect thinking?

Ask yourself before moving – what your opponent can do and whether you can handle his threat. Many of us make a superficial attempt and select a move without going the full line.

As an example, consider bowling or basketball. One thing you train is to be able to consistently pull off a certain stroke or a push, such as hitting all 9 balls or putting the ball inside the basket 7-10 feet away from the basket. After practicing again, and again, and again, the “right” way to do it becomes programmed in your “sub-conscious memory” and you can just execute it with least thought.

The solution would appear to be to play more games at slow time controls and to really force yourself to play serious chess like a tournament, even when you play online.

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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A normal mix up made by chess beginners is they will regularly see an opening to attack, and act speedily. The premature attack advances to catastrophe for the amateur since it could probably make chances for the rival to win or get leeway.

What Is Premature Attack?

A premature attack is a move (typically at a young hour in the event), that catches a unimportant piece for what appears to be a great explanation around then. The move is ordinarily causing without to be considering the potential destiny conclusion, in this way, bringing about misfortune.

Why a Premature Attack Happens?

Beginners who are anxious to win see openings in each move to catch one of the opponent’s pieces. They might have a demanding time centering on the “comprehensive view” of the game. When an opening comes good to go to catch the opponent’s piece, the learner jumps on the chance, and catches the piece without intuition or from dread of losing one of his particular pieces.

The beginner might improve the mentality at a young hour in his chess playing days that he ought to ambush to any detectable degree expenses. Getting however many “small” triumphs that could be allowed at the outset appears to be the right thing to do, but that would be not constantly the case.

The premature attack might moreover happen when the beginner feels that he’ll have a chance at capturing the queen promptly in the game. He could look ahead to capturing the queen while absolutely overlooking the potential move of his opponent following the reality. Once his turn is made, the opponent goes in for the execute!

Step by step instructions to Stay away from Premature Attack

There are a few routes to maintain a strategic distance from making this lethal slip up. Chess is an amusement of system, recall? Making a winning methodology frequently incorporates going on what appears to be a stupendous chance.

Each and every time you identify it favorable to catch a rival’s piece, think again. Look ahead to the conceivable following move of your opponent. Make a whole play in your psyche that could happen. In the event that it looks just as your opponent would be able to get the upper hand following your attack, then don’t do it.

Rather than making a premature attack, utilize the move to basically development one of your pieces. Let the attack be until you feel undeniably sure that you would be able to complete a terrific move or prevail over with your following turn. You would be able to astound your rival by not being quick.

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.

logica12One of the most common situations chess players have is that they try not to skill to win when they are “up” an impressive measure of material. By this is implied that they are ahead at any rate the trade (rook for bishop or knight) or more, and their opponent has no compensation. Yet when they are ahead a full piece (bishop or knight), they frequently still make a point not to grasp how to benefit from quite an impressive playing point and give it all off.

Exceptionally few chess books hold much info on the best way to win when you are up a piece. That is for the reason that it is supposed to be “straightforward” and “practical judgement skills”, but unfortunately a significant number of players have never been showed this practical judgement skills, and accordingly they draw or even lose what might as well be effectively won positions. Besides, when strong players fall plainly route behind in opposition to different strong players, they generally resign after they know their strong rivals will win.

Then again, weaker players spend a decently heightened rate of their recreations attempting to win won positions, so knowing the “method” of how to play such positions is significant

The principal concepts of what you must do when you are winning are:

Think Defense First – Pretend you were the other person and see what you could do (what they are intimidating). Stop that before you do anything aggressively. This makes a point not to mean play passively or protectively. It is essentially a requesting of necessities where you ought to first check to verify the other person cannot get “once more in the game” before keeping on disagreeable play.

Play Straightforward – Keep away from Complications. Don’t be favor or bright. Case in point, if someone attacks something, don’t counterattack! – Instead, move the piece to safeguard, if conceivable, or watch it. Complications expand the possibility of mix ups, and you don’t would like to make it effortless to commit errors when you are ahead.

Make fair trade pieces (but not fundamentally pawns) further bolstering expand your good fortune (it is preferred to be ahead 20 pawns to 10 than 30 to 20) This disposes of the adversary pieces that may be utilized to make up for lost time with you!

Verify all your pieces are Active – What great is having more pieces in the event that you are not Utilizing more pieces? It’s like a hockey group on a capacity play-utilize your additional drive!

Have Less Concern about Minor Guidelines that are paramount when the amusement is even, for example evading feeble pawns.

Maintain a strategic distance from the Seeds of Tactical Annihilation!

Escape unnecessary time pain. You desire to utilize very nearly all your time, as standard, but you need to point for ~5-7 moments alternate in place of practically none. Severe time hang-up can create the sort of vast lapses which price diversions.

The more you are ahead, the more you might as well take after the aforementioned guidelines. So assuming that you are ahead 20 pawns, it could be a stupendous brainstorm to barter a monarch for a rook. Or, if your opponent has one exclusive piece other side and you possess some, exchange any piece for that piece, even provided that it is worth significantly more.










A good plan helps your pieces; a better plan helps your pieces and at the same time hinders the opponent’s pieces; the best plan of all meets the needs of the position. I shall seek to explain what ‘the needs of the position’ means. We should begin by examining the different aspects of chess thinking.

1. Assessing a position

There is an old saying that life is no dress rehearsal: we only get one chance to shine. In chess, it is rather different. At various moments we have the power to choose between possible futures for our position.

2. Tactical Continuation

An obvious way of doing so is to visualize a series of moves from a given position – that is, hold a series of moves in our head, not literally see them being played in ghostly fashion on the board. In that way we can calculate two or more possible futures for our position. If we see a future that leaves us with an extra pawn, everything else being equal, we will choose one which leave us with equal material.


There is an essential place in chess for thinking of the kind ‘if I go there and he goes there, I can take the bishop….or can I? In fact, if you are a serious about improving your play, you should train by yourself everyday by solving puzzles. You might even try to develop the habit of reading through variations given in a chess book ‘blind’, i.e. without moving the pieces. It would not only sharpen your tactical vision during a game, but also make the digestion of opening theory a bit easier, and as a bonus would spare you the hassle of reconstructing positions on the chessboard!

3. Verbal Analysis

In this case we use judgment to decide the best way to improve the layout of our pieces. An internal dialogue that weighs up various strategic factors and persuades us to castle queenside rather than kingside means a different future for the position.

What is Planning?

Analysis of the features of the position and tactical continuation are not to be confused with planning. Analysis may tell you that you can put a rook on an open file, but that doesn’t mean you can make any use of it; calculation may show that in two moves time you can get your knight to a splendid-looking square in the centre – but again, it doesn’t mean it will do anything of value there.

Planning is about getting your pieces working together in a group, so that their overall strength is greater than the sum of their parts. That it what is meant by coordinating the action of your pieces.

So, as in the examples above, analysis may tell you that the rook can go to an open file, but it needs planning to hit on the idea of using the open file as a basis for an attack on the opponent’s king, which would employ all other pieces as well; or perhaps calculation shows that you can get your knight to the centre square whereupon planning says ‘Great: the knight will help support the other pieces to queen the passed pawn’.

Alternatively, planning might disagree with both ideas: ‘the rook is useless on the open file, it should be on the kingside, backing up the advance f-pawn’ or ‘the knight looks pretty on d5, But I would prefer to keep it on c2, defending the passed pawn’

Pattern Recognition and model thinking

For a beginner, any game is rich with novelty and unexpected success and failure. He or she has no internal models with which to compare the position on the board; it is like being in a dark room, fumbling about blindly and trying to make sense of the objects we touch.

We are delighted when, for the first time, out of all the mess and confusion, we manage to carry out a successful operation – it was sheer luck that all the elements fell into place to allow us to make our first combination. But we don’t forget it: we have tasted our first success, and the pattern gets placed into our unconscious mind. The next time a similar situation arises, we are waiting to unleash it. In other words, we have began to apply model thing and pattern recognition.

Of course, if instead of our own clumsy trial and error method, we can grasp the plans and ideas of the great players and make them part of our second nature, so much the better.

However, you must decide for yourself whether it is appropriate or not to apply them in a situation that arises in one of your games. You are the master of your pieces. Nevertheless, if you have seen how Kasparov or Kramnik have handled a similar position, it cannot fail to increase your chances of finding the right plan.

I will continue the next part in few days 🙂



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...