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Mykhaylo Oleksiyenko

December 15th, 2018 No comments

My girlfriend gets upset with me whenever I claim to be old. She does not remember the fall of the wall at all, while I remember the Iran hostage crisis. I cry about the death/retirement of Rock ‘n Roll, while she sees it as a genre of Classical music, as I see Mozart, Gershwin or Charlie Parker. 
A decade ago Yusupov told me he participated in the European Championship and played eleven GMs between 2500 and 2600 of whom he had never heard at all! This was his “I am from the past” Epiphany. 
I have lots of them these days and honestly I enjoy them. I like the way new chess publishers are trying new things. As the old fart I am, I like what we do best of course, this is why we do it this way. But I really like that things are moving forward.
Yesterday I was made aware of two videos by GM Mykhaylo Oleksiyenko, whom I honestly still thought of as 21 years old. Actually, he is 32 and has three beautiful children, as the internet informs me. But thank you for Michael to making me aware of these videos, they are very complimentary to me.
The first one deals with the method of the three questions in a tactical setting, with a position I first saw in Byron Jacob’s wonderful little book Analyse to Win, but there were a small mistake, which was the justification for me including it in Excelling at Chess Calculation, with some chat.

White to play

The second position is more positional in nature and comes from one of his own games.

White to play


This one is a bit harder and I have to confess that I got it wrong! But it is all very logical and instructive.

Overall this first visual encounter with Mykhaylo Oleksiyenko was been a total pleasure for me. Not so much because of the nice recommendation of the three questions, but more because of the clarity and high level of his explanations of the positions. If you are looking for a private trainer, I think he teaches on Chess.com, which apparently is not just about Puzzle Rush… You can find him on Facebook here.

Remembering Playing 1.e4

December 6th, 2018 13 comments

If you want to know your opening repertoire well, you need time to memorise it. Some of it will make a lot of sense and some of it will be concrete, but counter-intuitive. Sometimes a line a tempo down is no worse, for example.

I just played a blitz game where I successfully remembered all of John’s analysis on the Alekhine, but ran out of time… As online blitz games have no relevance for the real world, I am still pleased by being able to get all the way to +-. After this I missed mate in four and lost on time in a totally winning position. But who cares…

The main reason I remembered the line, was because of an attractive shot in this position (did not really happen). Often these types of anchors and little nuggets of information helps us remember what comes before.

White to play. What is the strongest continuation?

Find the game here.

The Afek Masterpiece is finally out

November 28th, 2018 24 comments

Wow, we worked a lot on this book. I spent a decade pressuring Afek to write this book. We even had a contract that he asked to get out of. But finally it is here, the book I dreamt of. This is an obvious candidate from Quality Chess for book of the year.

I know that studies is not to everyone’s taste. What I like about Afek’s creation is that they both have the beauty of studies and the game-like feel I enjoy. Actually, Afek included a study we made together, based on my analysis of a game by a young Carlsen.

If you want to test yourself, I have a small problem for you here.

White to play and win (move 3 of a study)

You can find the solution to this problem in the last example of the PDF excerpt.

Quality Chess Academy 2.0 ready for registration

November 26th, 2018 6 comments

Hi guys!

Kallia has updated our website for the academy and it is now ready to receive registrations. At the first camp we had 11 participants, as we had put in a rating barrier of 2300. In the second camp, there will be no rating requirement to participate. We will have a few classes going on at the same time, so they all will be at an appropriate level for everyone. GM Ramesh has already agreed to join me at the camp and Boris Gelfand will be invited if we hit 30 participants.

The camp works well for GMs and for amateurs. GM Adhiban benefitted from the camp (or so he says) and won a tournament in Croatia right after, pushing his rating to 2694, preparing him to be only the 5th Indian player to cross 2700 (after Anand, Harikrishna, Sasikiran and Vidit). The other GMs were very positive as well.

Out of the 11 participants, 10 gave us 9/10 or 10/10. I think 6/10 or 7/10 is more appropriate. We knew we were beginners and we made a lot of small mistakes. The idea with a small camp was to learn before we invite a lot of people for 8-14 May 2019.

Here is a small video we did for ChessBase.in about the camp.

The positional challenge | Quality Chess Academy by GM Jacob Aagaard

At the Quality Chess Academy 1.0 which was held in Crete, Greece from 9-14 November a lot of strong GMs gathered to be trained by Jacob Aagaard and Boris Gelfand. There were different types of training sessions for the players. One of them was positional chess where the players were urged to ask the three questions:1. Which is the worst placed piece?2. What are the weaknesses?3. What is my opponent's idea?Once you ask these three questions you tend to understand what's going on in the position and find the right move. In this challenge GM Jacob Aagaard and GM Arizmendi Martinez pose you with a position from the game Eljanov vs Grischuk. You have to take ten minutes on your clock and find the best move for Black. Can you play like how Grischuk did?

Posted by ChessBase India on Sunday, 25 November 2018

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From Quality Chess Academy 1.0

November 17th, 2018 5 comments

Trekking towards the title

November 16th, 2018 3 comments

This summer I had the pleasure to host IM Stany from India at my summer camp in Glasgow. He is a strong and upcoming player in his mid-20s. He found a lot of nice tricks in the exercises and I quickly gave him the nickname Tricky Stany from Trickystan. When Catherine (age 10) asked him where he was from and declined to believe he was from Trickystan, he got seriously outraged: “What? Do you not know of my country?”

This lovely man has now made a new GM-norm. So of course I strong armed him into writing an article for us (and may have lied when I said I had connections that would finally see the UK establish diplomatic connections with Trickystan).

Download the article here, please: Trekking Towards the TITLE.

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Carsten Hensel on the Perpetual Chess Podcast

November 14th, 2018 9 comments

Today we release the English translation of Carsten Hensel’s book: Vladimir Kramnik: The Inside Story of a Chess Genius. This is really a remarkable book, which has already gained attention in German for its descriptions of the tumultuous years 2005-2006 in the Chess World. But of course it covers much more.

The book is not objective, it takes sides, but what else would you expect of Kramnik’s former manager?

Of other points, we should say that Kramnik contributed greatly to the book by talking about key games and about all the other World Champions in detail.

Although this is a translation, we approached the book like we would any other project and did a thorough fact check and assisted the author in bringing his vision to the readers in the strongest possible way.

Now it is the marketing stage of course, which includes sending out review copies and getting people to talk about the book. A part of this has been to organise an interview with Carsten by Ben Johnson of the Perpetual Chess Podcast. It is Podcast no. 100 no less! The Interview is available here.

 

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Emil Sutovsky Lecture in Edinburgh Chess Club Tuesday 20th November 19:30

November 12th, 2018 No comments

Grandmaster Emil Sutovsky from Israel is visiting Edinburgh on the 20th November in connection with his new job as FIDE General Director. Quality Chess has managed to talk him into giving a small lecture on chess, as we thought it would be sad if such a great player came to Scotland without talking actual chess.

The lecture is held in Edinburgh Chess Club, Alva Street 1 at 19.30 and will last around two hours. Free entry.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Emil Sutovsky, people smiling, people standing and suit

Sutovsky has an entertaining playing style and has past successes such as World Junior Champion 1996, European Champion 2011 and an individual gold medal and a team silver medal in the 2010 Olympiad. Recently Sutovsky has mixed playing professionally with the presidency of the Association of Chess Professionals.

Emil will be joined by newly elected FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, who we will try to manipulate into giving a 5-10 minute opening chat about his goals for the next four years.

 

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