An unexamined life is not worth living.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Improve your Rook And Knight Endgames

My Rook and Knight Endgames - Strategy and Tactics (now also available in paperback format) book looks at endings with rook + knight Vs. rook + knight. This material balance occurs quite frequently in tournaments, and some classical ideas and endgames have become well-known. Nonetheless, there is some lack of discussion of this topic in chess literature. The book covers both the strategic themes, and gives the reader a chance to practice their tactical skills. Mikhail Botvinnik was well known for his great technique in this type of endings; the book includes several relatively unknown examples from his career to illustrate the typical ideas, but also games by other famous players such as Korchnoi, Morozevich and Anand are featured.
Here are some examples of positions that the reader would get a better understanding of by working through this book.
Scroll Down to see solutions
Petrosian, Tigran - Bannik, Anatoly, 1958
White's turn

Haba, P. - Dautov, R., 1995
Black's turn

Sutovsky, Emil - Bacrot, Etienne, 2003.11.09
White's turn

Raaste, Eero J - Tseitlin, Mikhail S, 1980
Black's turn

Petrosian, Tigran - Bannik, Anatoly, Ch URS, 1958
18. Bc5
A lot has been written about this move in different books. In this famous position Black suffers from weak light squares and lack of space. Petrosian found a brilliant way to consolidate his positional advantage... I mainly see the explanation in the common strategic idea of trading off bad bishop which protects good pawns. Now the pawn chain 'e5-f6-g5' becomes much more vulnerable. Also the white knight's domination over his black colleague becomes more apparent, as now the white knight can access an important 'c5' square.
18. ... Rxd1+ 19. Rxd1 Bxc5 20. Nxc5 Re8 21. Ne4 Re6 22. g4 a5 23. Rd3 Nd7 24. Kc2 b6 25. Rf3 Kd8 26. a3 c5 27. Kc3 Ke7 28. Rd3 Rc6 29. Rd5 Nf8 30. Ng3 Ne6 31. Nf5+ Ke8 32. e3 Nc7 33. Rd1 Ne6 34. Kd3 Rc7 35. Ke4
149[4]Another aspect of the exchange of bishops is that now the advance of the white king is more dangerous for Black than before.
35. ... Rc6 36. Nd6+ Ke7 37. Nf5+ Ke8 38. Nd6+ Ke7 39. Nf5+ Ke8 40. a4 Nd8 41. Nh6 Ne6 42. Ng8 Nf8 43. Rd2 Kf7 44. Nh6+ Ke8 45. Nf5 Ne6 46. Rd6 Rxd6 47. Nxd6+ Kd7 48. Nb5 Ng7 49. h6 Ne8 50. Kd5 f5 51. Kxe5 fxg4 52. Nc3 Ke7 53. Ne4 Kf7 54. Kf5 g3 55. fxg3 g4 56. Ng5+ Kg8 57. Ke6 Nc7+ 58. Kd7 Na6 59. e4 Nb4 60. e5 Nd3 61. e6 1-0
Haba, P. - Dautov, R., Deutschland, 1995
30. ... Nxh4+! 31. Kf1
( 31. gxh4 Rxf4 -+ )
31. ... Nf3 -+ 32. Rd8 Nd4 33. Rh8 Rf5 34. Rxh5 Nxb3 35. Rxf5 exf5 36. Ke2 Na5 37. Kd3 b3 0-1
Sutovsky, Emil - Bacrot, Etienne, EU-ch Internet fin, 2003.11.09
26. Nxa6! Ra8
( 26. ... bxa6 27. Rd6+ Kg5 28. Rxc6 +- )
27. Nc5 Ne5 28. Rxb7 +- Rd8 29. Kc2 Nc4 30. b3 Rd2+ 31. Kc1 Rxf2 32. bxc4 Rxg2 33. Nd3 Rg3 34. Kd2 Rxh3 35. c5 Rh2+ 36. Ke3 Ke6 37. Nf4+ Ke5 38. c6 Kd6 39. c7 Kd7 40. Nd5 Rh4 41. Nb6+ 1-0
Raaste, Eero J - Tseitlin, Mikhail S, Makarczyk Memorial, 1980
32. ... Rxa2! 33. Nd6
( 33. Kxa2 Nc3+ 34. Kb3 Nxd5 also gave Black good winning chances. )
33. ... Rd2! 34. Ne8+ Kc6! 35. Rxd2 Nxd2+ 36. Kc3 Ne4+ 37. Kd4
37. ... Kd7!
Black either wins the second pawn, or transposes into a winning pawn endgame. White chose the latter option, but resigned a couple of moves later.
38. Kxe4
( 38. Ng7 Nxg3 -+ )
38. ... Kxe8 39. Kd5 Ke7 40. b5 Kd7 0-1

Saturday, June 24, 2017

How to study chess tactics on your phone - best combinations of 2016 collection

This is a screencast from my smartphone, illustrating how to solve chess puzzles in the Kindle app, reading through an ebook that contains over 140 best combinations played by strong chess players in tournaments that took place in the fourth quarter of 2016. The highlights/arrows in the video are a bit clumsy, but they are obviously only there because there is now other way to point at things when making a video on the phone.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

More of Best Combinations of 2016 - October, November, December 2016

image4 My ebook Modern Chess Combinations: October, November, December 2016 is now also available in paperback format, so you can order a physical copy and have it delivered to you like most chess books you probably already own. Here is a sample set of exercises for you to get the taste of it.
The highlight of this edition are the games from the World Championshop match between Karjakin and Carlsen, and World Rapid and Blitz Championship. The combination played by Magnus Carlsen in the last game of the tie-break - was found by him instantly and was a worthy finish to the tough match. It proved yet again, that being able to spot tactics quickly and effortlessly is an essential part of being a strong player.

Scroll down to see the solutions:

Rakhmanov, Ale - Domogaev, S.

White's turn

Dreev, A. - Lugovskoy, M.

White's turn

Shaposhnikov, E. - Vitiugov, N.

White's turn


Rakhmanov, Ale - Domogaev, S.
ch-RUS Blitz 2016   2016.10.04   

24. Rxf5
Black resigned in view of
24. ... gxf5 25. Qg5 1-0
Dreev, A. - Lugovskoy, M.
ch-RUS Blitz 2016   2016.10.04   

37. Qxh6+
Black resigned in view of
37. ... Bxh6 38. Rh7# 1-0
Shaposhnikov, E. - Vitiugov, N.
ch-RUS Blitz 2016   2016.10.04   

32. Qxd4
Black resigned in view of
32. ... exd4 33. Rc8+ Bd8 34. Rxd8+ Qe8 35. Rxe8# 1-0

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Typical IQP tactical breakthrough from Lichess game

Here is a rapid game example I could have included into my IQP ebook/paperback:

imageFind the best move for White after Black made a typical mistake.


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