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Archive for the ‘Authors in Action’ Category

Small Steps – Chessable video

July 22nd, 2019 7 comments

Small Steps to Giant Improvement by Sam Shankland has been available on Chessable for some time, but now extra video content can also be bought. It’s over 10 hours of Sam on video, being instructive. As is usual on Chessable, new content is introduced at a sales price, so if you are interested in this video then go for it in the first week.

You can see the introduction to Sam’s video below.

Categories: Authors in Action, Chessable Tags:

Boris Avrukh interviewed by John Hartmann

June 6th, 2019 6 comments

Boris Avrukh was recently interviewed by Chess Life writer John Hartmann. A webpage about the interview is here, while the direct Youtube link is here.

Topic discussed include Dynamic Systems – Grandmaster Repertoire 2B, and Boris’s other books, which engine Boris uses, and his plans for the future.

Thanks to John Hartmann for letting me know about this interview.

Categories: Authors in Action, GM Repertoire Tags:

Sam Shankland and Tata Steel

January 11th, 2019 4 comments

Top-level chess kicks off for the year tomorrow with the huge Tata Steel event in Wijk aan Zee in the Netherlands. There are many tournaments, with most focus on the Masters which has an elite field headed by World Champion Magnus Carlsen. Also hoping to make an impact will be US Champion Sam Shankland.

Naturally the Quality Chess connection to Sam is his book Small Steps to Giant Improvement. But if you prefer to receive Sam’s pawn-related instruction in video form, then below is a lecture Sam gave at the St Louis Chess Club.

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Mykhaylo Oleksiyenko

December 15th, 2018 8 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 32 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.

Beware – Tiger!

October 23rd, 2018 24 comments

Having had fun debating the Swiss system, let’s move on to something less contentious.

What is the strongest way forward here?

White to play!

I am going through a lot of games from the Olympiad at the moment and this one really caught my eye. See how author of The Modern Tiger improved his positions here.

And yes, I am going to continue to have opinions even if people buy our books…

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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?

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