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If you don’t buy Sam’s book, you may suffer the consequences!

October 12th, 2018 8 comments

Blogpost by Kallia Kleisarchaki

 

During the Batumi Olympiad 2018, Sam Shankland met across the board Rauf Mamedov, Azerbaijani GM. Rauf didn’t buy Sam’s book and I know! How? Well, he did exactly the kind of mistake Sam warned about in his book, Small Steps to Giant Improvement, proving once again that every chess player, regardless titles, can make simple mistakes that cost dearly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As Sam explains in page 232 of his book, “…Black has advanced a7-a5, so White will not be able to play b3-b4. As such, white is condemned to have a pair of doubled pawns where the further-advanced one cannot be protected from another pawn.”

 

What kind of simple mistakes have you made and you still remember them?

Categories: Authors in Action Tags:

Woodpecker Wednesday – guest post by GM Axel Smith

September 26th, 2018 40 comments

Andrew Greet asked if I would mind answering questions appearing in the comments to his blog posts. However, I see that Andrew has already done that, while also sharing his own experience. Thanks! It’s also nice to see all the readers’ efforts. I hope you have enjoyed all the hours of solving. Just like many of you, I consider the boring part to be checking the solutions. But sometimes it has to be done.

As I am afraid to find silly mistakes, I usually don’t read anything I have written after it’s published. But this time a reader gave the book back to me, with marks to a lot of games. “White and Black have been confused in too many games,” he said. “It’s not possible that the world champions blundered that often.”

But the book is right in this case – these blunders really were played by the elite, even though some of them were in simuls and exhibitions. Doesn’t it feel good to excel over a world champion?

However, one real error was accidentally added during editing: diagrams 11 and 18 are similar, but with the wrong solution to the first. Given the time it took me to solve the replacement exercise (pdf), I guess I need to Woodpecker!

My wife is already on the way. She hasn’t played in two years, but after smelling the new book (always the most important thing to her) she started solving. With limited time available, she skipped the introduction, and several times she asked me questions that definitely are discussed in the book.

“Read the introduction!” was my constant answer. Read more…

Categories: Woodpecker Method Tags:

5.f3 against the Sicilian

September 22nd, 2017 42 comments

Some posts on this blog have drawn attention to the fact that the line 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.f3 is not mentioned in Grandmaster Repertoire 6A – Beating the Anti-Sicilians by Vassilios Kotronias.

However, the line was featured in Experts on the Anti-Sicilian, where the recommended response was 5…e5 with coverage of the variations:

A) 6.Bb5† Nbd7 7.Nf5 d5 8.exd5 a6
A1) 9.Ba4
A2) 9.Bxd7†
B) 6.Nb3

We have decided to make this chapter freely available as a pdf here.

Categories: GM Repertoire Tags:

Chris Wainscott and the Quality Chess Challenge

May 26th, 2017 35 comments

Andrew writes:

“Early this year we were interested to hear from Chris Wainscott, an enthusiastic amateur from the US and an avid fan of our books. Soon the ‘Quality Chess Challenge’ was born, and earlier this week we were excited to receive an update from Chris about his training.

We are pleased to present a guest blog post from the man himself, where you can find out about the goals he has set for himself and his progress so far.

Over to you Chris…”

Chris writes:

Before I delve in to detail, let me first take a moment to acquaint the readers of the Quality Chess blog with myself and the Quality Chess Challenge.

My name is Chris Wainscott and I am from the USA. I am 43 years old and currently working to prove that it’s quite possible to become a master after the age of 40. I stopped playing chess in 1992 and didn’t begin again until 2011. At that time my Elo was just under 1500; now I am 1800.

The Quality Chess Challenge came out of a discussion between a friend and myself that caused to me make the offhand remark to Jacob Aagaard that I felt that it would be possible for me to get to 2200 reading nothing but books published by QC.

So for one year, from 2/13/17 through 2/13/18 I am committed to training using only books published by Quality Chess. Of course I don’t expect to become a master in that time frame, but I do expect to show the value in using high quality training materials.

Right now I’m about one quarter of the way through the Challenge, so it’s time for a progress update.

We’ll start with the most obvious thing.

Read more…

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Edinburgh Chess Club training seminar, 9-11 June 2017

May 23rd, 2017 No comments

Current Scottish Champion GM Keti Arakhamia-Grant and former Scottish Champion Jonathan Grant, both FIDE Trainers, are running a training seminar in conjunction with Edinburgh Chess Club, on the topic of Critical Moments.

The primary focus will be on practical application through solving exercises and playing positions after following demonstrated examples. Aimed at all aspiring players prepared to work hard on improving their game, up to titled level.

Venue:
Edinburgh Chess Club, 1 Alva Street, EDINBURGH EH2 4PH

Schedule:
Friday 9 June 2017 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Saturday 10 June 2017 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Sunday 11 June 2017 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

The fee, whether attending one or more sessions, is £49 for adults and £35 for juniors (U18).

For further details, see the Chess Scotland noticeboard.

To reserve your place, contact:
Neil Berry
E-mail: thebalernobull@hotmail.com
Phone: 07810-765-986

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Praise for Gelfand’s book

December 29th, 2015 27 comments

SutovskyGelfand

Categories: Reviews Tags:

How much chess do you play?

October 26th, 2015 7 comments

The chess season in the UK runs from roughly October-May, so now seems like another good time to ask about your own playing habits. The majority of games are played in midweek league matches or weekend congresses, and there are also 9 round international tournaments on the continent almost every week (and a growing number here too).

If you had the time and the inclination you could play all year round, but at least one elite grandmaster would advise you against that: “When you play too much chess in a short period, bad things tend to happen” tweeted Hikaru Nakamura after a below par performance at the European Club Cup, which came shortly after his rather excellent one in Las Vegas. So our question this week is how many games of chess do you play in a year? Count all your over the board matches, FIDE rated or otherwise (but leave out all these blitz games on Lichess!) 0-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-75, 76-100 or 100+

 

Last week’s poll showed a clear preference for Magnus Carlsen to behave like Merv Hughes over Alastair Cook.

 

Categories: Polls Tags:

World Cup Quiz Winners

October 19th, 2015 4 comments

It has been a couple of weeks since the World Cup finished in Baku, which also meant that we had reached the end of the road for our World Cup Quiz. Roughly 20 contestants made it through the initial qualifying questions, and there were several still on the same score by the time the semi-finals had finished. It transpired that nobody had guessed Karjakin or Svidler to win (thus landing a 3-pointer at the buzzer), so we contacted the highest scorers to make a further prediction on the final as a tiebreaker. When the dust settled on the rapid play matches we still had 2 contestants standing and, although probably not quite as exhausted as Svidler and Karjakin themselves, we decided that it would be unfair to find further ways to whittle it down to one winner.

Therefore I am happy to announce that the joint winners of our 2015 World Cup Quiz were Marija Čačić of Croatia and Lucas Van Foreest of the Netherlands. They have both kindly sent a picture of their prize… Read more…

Categories: Prizes Tags: