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Before you wonder what is “Sandwich” in chess terms let me tell you that it is a term for chess tactics wherein a chess piece (usually major) like the Rook or Queen getting caught between two enemy pawns and not free to move. Sandwich generally means to be inserted between two other things.


Means – to put (someone or something) in the space between two other things or people. Source: Merriam-Webster

In the schematic diagram below see how the Rook is trapped by a Pawn (that is defended of course).

To see how it can be used in our chess game let’s look at this position.

White to play (after Black played Rxb5).

Hint – Can the Rook be captured?

Explanation – The Rook is a very powerful piece. Like other pieces, it needs space to show its strength and stay out of trouble. The best is to keep the Rook on an open file and/or an open rank. When the Rook leaves the back rank in the middlegame, there is always a chance it will get stuck somewhere. One particular setup very troubling for the Rook is when it is stuck between the two Pawns, or, as I like to call it – ‘sandwiched’.

Solution – Almasi,Z (2717) – Robson,R (2562) (Hungary, 2010)

After 19…Rxb5

Over the last few moves both players exchanged some very heavy tactical blows. Finally, Black captured the N on b5, regaining the piece. Unfortunately, his R is about to get sandwiched.

20.Ne7+! (20.b4+-) Kh8 21.b4!+- White could have played this move right away, but decided to make a check first. He expects to win the Rb5 and avoid a possible …Rxd5.

Black resigned as after 21…Nd6 22.a4 Re8 23.Nf5 Nc4 24.Bc3. He loses a Rook for only a Pawn.


Now that you understood what a ‘sandwich’ in chess parlance is, try solving this and see how easy it is to think of entrapping the rook or doing something even bigger in case black tries something funny.

White to play:

Hint – once again I repeat – the Rook is a powerful piece, so always keep an eye on its mobility. When the space is limited, the Rook can get trapped or ‘sandwiched’.

Memorizing such chess patterns will help you to calculate easier and should improve your results.


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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With his last move 55.Re1-d1 (diagram) White had initiated a deflection maneuver to promote his passed h-pawn.
The capture 55…Rxd1 now leads to …

A)… victory for Black
B)… perpetual check

Find the right continuation after black’s 55…Rxd1.. Is it a win for black or a draw?

You can mail the answers to coolchessgm@gmail.com or use the comments form below.. or use the contact form

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I personally use this freeware software. It helps me a lot. I improved my rating after playing games with Lucas.

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Hmmm… The tournament has just finished and I scored 6.5/10. I lost my last round game from a dead draw position in time pressure and ultimately lost.

Well, In the penultimate round I was paired with a IM. I was not having any problem when paired against him. I drew that game from a clearly winning position for me.

This is the position where I took draw by perpetual checks. Because, I sacrificed my rook for a good position.

I thought why to take risk by moving any other piece and maybe I would lose. I was having  a lot of respect for my opponent I think…

Anyway highly instructive psychological lesson for me.

When I came home and I started analyzing the game where I missed 29. Nxd6, which was a clear advantage for white nearly +4 evaluation.

Well, It’s a lesson for me.


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This happened to me in a game with a 2000+ rated player. I was a piece up with 1 pawn up. I became over-confident. I was playing the game nearly 3 hrs and became tired. I a showing you the game and position which I misplayed but managed to win the game…

Coolchessgm vs NN
In this position I played Rg7. After Rg7 you may notice that black king has no square to move. My opponent played Bf3+ and I was under a shock for nearly about a minute. But managed to win it.

See the game fully and enjoy !!!

In this post I want to show my game against a 1700+ opponent. It was a good tactical game.
I didn’t perform well in the tournament. Just got 5.5 / 11.
Okay no problem, but I had some satisfaction after a 6 month hiatus.
Coolchessgm vs NN
In this position my opponent played Qg4.

This position arose after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. c4 Qg4.
You may be thinking that I am losing a pawn by force. But you may not have noticed that his Queen has moved twice and Queen should not come out when minor pieces are yet to be developed.

I thought here for a moment and played 6. 0-0 !

You can watch the game below and check out how I won the game. 

I request you to analyze the position after 6… Qxe4 and post suggestions in the comments area. 



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...