Poll: Which part of the chess game do you study mostly?

pollWhen we want to become better chess players, we have to study. And when you think about the most significant parts of the game, you easily find three ones: openings, middle game and endings.

I would be interested in this poll in the following question:

Which part of the chess game do you study mostly?

Which part of the chess game do you study mostly?

  • Openings (71%, 5 Votes)
  • Middle game (14%, 1 Votes)
  • Endings (14%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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Photo: lakelandlocal

How to find out whether the position is good for attacking the opponent’s king?

I just read the book Kasparov on Modern Chess, Part 2 (subtitle Kasparov vs Karpov 1975-1985). And it is really interesding piece. It reffers to his first two matches with Karpov and also the games they had played before those matches. The games are deeply commented and although many games is out my opening repertoaire it is very useful to play them with the book in hand. One can learn a lot about thinking of top grandmasters and about psychology of chess matches.

One of things that really took my attention is a note about dividing chessboard in two halves – right one and left one.

When Kasparov explains this technique, he speaks about counting how many opponent’s pieces are on eah half. It is also very important to consider where the opponent’s king is placed. When the result of this investigation is clear – too many opponent’s pieces are on the second half of the chessboard and his king is not guarded then you HAVE to look for ways how to attack the king.

Sounds simple, right?

Of course, you need to take into consideration the actual problems on the board and not to attack without thinking about safety of your own king.

What do you think about this way of evaluation of the position? What is your favorite technique? Please, share it in comments section below.

I attended European Amateurs Championship in active chess

The biggest chess festival in the Czech Republic is Czech Open. Each July many players from many countries go to Pardubice and they spend there 2.5 weeks full of chess and other activities. During this festival the European Amateurs Championship in active chess is organized and I played in the category with ELO < 1800. My final result was nothing special - 5.5 out of 9 meant 27th place out of 95 players. My starting rank was 31, so I can hardly call it "success". I played some good games, also some easy games (mostly against unexperienced young players) and I am going to show you a part of one later. What I like on Czech Open is the atmosphere. This year it was my third Czech Open where I attend and I am sure I will go again next year(s). It is a great feeling when you are in the big hall playing with hundreds of other chess lovers. Of course, you can take into consideration also the competitive part of the festival - no one wants to be the last one in the final table. Plus it is the European Championship, don't forget about it! And frankly, for players of our strength it is the easiest way how to grab the title of European Champion. And it is time for the promised sample of my game. It is the game from 3rd round. My opponent was a weaker player, so he tried to oversimplify the game from the beginning and he probably hoped in draw with pure kings on the board. Of course, it was not the way I would like! At the position you can see below black will play 17.... b5 closing his bishop totally. It didn't take too much time to decide to play "against" this really bad bishop.

[Event "European Amateurs Championship in active chess under ELO 1800"]
[Date "2009.07.22"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Slavik, Petr"]
[Black "Halousek"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Setup "1"]
[JsCom "startply 0"]
[FEN "r4rk1/p4pp1/bp2p1np/q2pP3/3P4/2NQ1N2/PP3PPP/R2R2K1 w - - 0 17"]
18.Qd2 b5 19.a3 Qc7 20.b4 Qb6 21.Ne1
Bb7 22.Qe3 Bc6 23.Nd3 a6 24.Nc5 a5 25.Qd3 axb4 26.axb4 Rxa1 27.Rxa1 Ra8
28.Rxa8+ Bxa8 29.Qxb5 Qxb5 30.Nxb5 Bc6 31.Na7 Be8 32.b5 Bxb5 33.Nxb5 Nf4
34.Kf1 Kf8 35.g3 Nh3 36.f4 Ke7 37.Kg2 1-0

Where to play chess online – part I. My Chess on Facebook

Facebook - My ChessDo you have your profile on Facebook? The #1 social site of these days? If not then you should have it. It is not only good place to share information, news, photos, links etc. with your friends, but also a good place to play chess. Don’t you believe? Then check the application called My Chess!

My Chess allows you to play an individual games with your friends, but it also allows to attend in tournaments and even to create your own tournament. The tournament could be open for everyone or only for your friends. Another parameters of tournaments are:

  • tournament mode (single round robin, double round robin)
  • thinking time
  • required rating level
  • min. reliability of players (very good parameter if you want only players who finish the tournament!)
  • games are rated or not
  • opening theme (yes, you can create thematic tournaments for the variants you like or you want to train)

As you see games could be rated. The rating is counted after finishing each game according the ELO rating system formulas.

There is also an rating list of players available on My Chess. The best player at the moment is Jose Maria Lasso Frias (Spain) with rating 2121.

If you are on Facebook and love chess, I would recommend you My Chess application. It is for free, you will enjoy a lot of chess battles and improve your chess skills. And you can find new friends through it as well.

BTW: If you want to challenge me, you can do it through this link: http://apps.facebook.com/mychess/invitations.php?challenge=627011561. I will be happy to accept your challenge, but I usually play 25 online games at maximum (when playing more than 25 games, then the quality of my play is going down), so don’t be disappointed if I would not start the game with you.

Photo: chrisdigo

Chess endings – diagram #1 – how to realize the advantage?

I would like to show you some interesting positions which I liked. The positions will be based on some tactics, positional and strategic threats or on a good knowledge of endings/typical positions, which should be known to players of our strength. Here is the first one and I hope you will enjoy it.

White is to move. White has an additional pawn and he is close to win the game. Do you find the exact way?

Chess ending

Please, write you ideas and share them with the others in the comments below! And no usage of computers, please!

XIX International Chess Open “La Pobla De Lillet”

Are you in Spain now and would you play some chess tournament? Why not to attend XIX International Chess Open “La Pobla De Lillet”?

La Pobla De Lillet is a small town approximately 100 kilometers from Barcelona.

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This tournament is quite established on the list of summer chess tournaments as you can see from the title of the tournament. The tournament is not full of strong 2600+ players and it means a chance for us, not so skilled players so far, to play and maybe to grab some prize.

Last year the first three players were: 1. GM Mirzoev Azer (2565, Azerbaidjan) 8/9, 2. GM Movsziszian Karen (2560, Armenia) 7/9, 3. IM Reinaldo Castiñeira Roi (2504, Spain) 7/9. The final ranking is here. As you can see, the first 2000- ELO player was Lopez Forn Marc (1881, Spain) on 13th place! It points out my words about possibility to win some prizes even if you are not 2000+ chess player.

Here are the rules of the tournament for this year:

Tournament Rules and Prizes

1. The tournament will be played according to Swiss System from 2nd August to 10th August 2009. It will have 9 rounds according to the following schedule :

1st to 8th rounds 16.30 hours.
9th round 10.00 hours.

It will take place on the premises of “Saló La Flor”, Ripoll’s Road 11.

2. The time limit will be 90 minutes / player + 30 seconds / move for all the game. Clocks will be started punctually and any player not presented after one hour since the beginning of the match, will not score

3. The starting rank will be done according objective valuation from above to below between known ratings of

  • FIDE Rating
  • National (FEDA) or Regional Rating

4. Two successive defaults of a player or any without justification will cause his elimination from the tournament. The organisers are authorized to eliminate a player absent for the first round.

5. An Appeals Committee will be chosen during the course of the first round by the Arbiter and Tournament Director. It will consist by five players, two of whom will act as substitutes in case of any dispute involving a member of the entitled come up.

The Appeals Committee will consist of:

a) Three titled players and two reserves.
b) Tournament Director (or Organisers’ Re¬pre-sentative).
The Tournament Director will preside over the Committee as the Chairman

6. All complaints have to be made in writing to the Appeals Committee within one hour after the end of the session during which the dispute took place. The decision of the Committee in all matters is final.

7. Mobile phones or other electronic devices which can disturb players are strictly forbidden when games are in progress. Mobile phones must be switched off. If a player’s mobile phone rings in the playing venue during the play, that player can lose the game.

8. Pairings will be made according to Swiss manager program, and it will be displayed in the tournament hall. The pairings for the first round will be notified during the Opening Ceremony of the Tournament.

9. The Registration should be filled and the fee paid to the Organisers before the commencement of the first round or at least before it is over. A player who doesn’t comply with this requirement is liable to lose his entry.

10. Tie-breaks for determining the final ranking order will be resolved according to the following options:

  • Total corrected Bucholz (*)
  • Brazilian corrected Bucholz (*) excepting the player with the lowest number of points (worst rival)
  • Accumulative – Progressive system
  • Number of wins

(*) In this way, not played games will be consider as draw

The order of these options will be decided by means of a draw decided immediately before to finish the last round.

11. List of Prizes:

1st 1.200 € + Trophy
2nd 800 € + Trophy
3rd 600 € + Trophy
4th 450 €
5th 350 €
6th 300 €
7th 250 €
8th 200 €
9th 150 €
10th 100 €


1st Elo 2300 to 2399 100 €
1st Elo 2150 to 2299 90 €
1st Elo 2000 to 2149 75 €
1st Elo 1850 to 1999 60 €
1st Elo under 1849 50 €

1st Woman classified Trophy
1st Best Veteran (+ 60 years) Trophy
1st Youth – 16 years Trophy 1st Member “Club d´escacs Lillet” Trophy

  • Cash prizes will not be accumulative or divisible. Trophies- In case a player has right to more than one trophy, he will receive all of them.
  • For the special prizes by ELO sections, ELO FIDE will be considered in first term, and in its lack, Catalan or FEDA, respectively.

12. The Tournament will be conducted according this Rules, General Chess Rules and for the present FIDE Laws.

13. The Tournament is valid for the calculation of ELO FIDE, FEDA, FCE ratings as well as for obtaining Norms of GM and IM

14. The Organization has the right to modify any point of these rules.

15. The participation in the Tournament implies the total knowledge and acceptance of the same ones.


Players among 16 and 59 years 30 €
Players under 16 years 20 €
Above 60 years players 20 €

Costs are free for GMs, IM’s, and players with ELO equal or higher 2350 FIDE.

Tournament Director: Joan Barnola Espelt
Chief Arbiter: IA Enio Bello

For more details write to these email addresses:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

The official page: http://www.celillet.net/

Vote for the Miss Universe Chess!

Chess is the game full of beauty. Beautiful combinations, breathtaking loveliness of precise exercise of an advantage and also… very nice and hot women.

Do the chess players have their own Miss Universe? Not yet, but the guy behing the blog Miss Universe Chess is going to fix it. He has selected 20 nice women and also top chess players and now it is up to us – the internet communicity – to vote for the hottest one!

Here is the list of participants:
– Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS)
– Almira Skripchenko (FRA)
– Anastasia Gavrilova (SUI)
– Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL)
– Anya Corke (HKG)
– Arianne Caoili (AUS)
– Dana Reizniece (LAT)
– Elisabeth Paehtz (GER)
– Irina Krush (USA)
– Judit Polgar (HUN)
– Keti Tsatsalashvili (GEO)
– Lilit Mkrtchian (ARM)
– Mariam Mansour (UAE)
– Nadezhda Kosintseva (RUS)
– Natalija Pogonina (RUS)
– Regina Pokorna (SVK)
– Sanja Dedijer (BIH)
– Sophie Milliet (FRA)
– Tania Sachdev (IND)
– Tatiana Kosintseva (RUS)
– Zhu Chen (CHN)

Which one would be your choice? Go to Miss Universe Chess and vote there!