WIM Alexey Root, PhD

Alexey Root is a Woman International Master and the 1989 U.S. Women's chess champion. Her peak US Chess rating was 2260. She has a PhD in education from UCLA. You can find her books on chess on Amazon.com.

Six Degrees of Separation and One Day More at the World Chess Championship

UT Dallas chess team

The recent World Chess Championship made me think of two iconic phrases. The first phrase is “six degrees of separation,” which states that a chain of “friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in six steps. In this article, I’ll share my two-step connections to the challenger, Fabiano Caruana, and to former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer. The second phrase is “One Day More,” which is both a song lyric and a song title from the musical Les Misérables.

Svetozar Gligorić Transatlantic Cup: UT Dallas wins!

Opening Ceremony-UT Dallas

At the same time that Fabiano Caruana and Magnus Carlsen played that marathon-length game, 16 students from The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) took on their counterparts from the University of Belgrade. The Svetozar Gligorić Transatlantic Cup is played via the Internet Chess Club and the games are available here. The Svetozar Gligorić Transatlantic Cup is an annual fall tradition. This year, the 13th in the series, UT Dallas won 12.5 to 3.5. Wins count as one point, draws as .5 points each. In this year’s match, UT Dallas lost only one game, drew five games, and won 10 games. A big improvement for UT Dallas from last year, which was an 8-8 tie!

Myths and unknowns about chess and the contenders for the World Chess Championship

Magnus Carlsen vs Fabiano Caruana

If Fabiano Caruana wins the World Chess Championship match against champion Magnus Carlsen this month, he will be the first American to hold the championship title since Bobby Fischer won it in 1972. The match between Caruana, age 26, and Carlsen, age 27, of Norway, takes place in London, England, from Nov. 9 to 28.

Stop those pawns!


In an endgame, stop your opponent’s pawn or pawns from promoting. A queen ahead in an endgame will likely win. In today’s article, the winning side stops two pawns before promoting its own pawn.

Unexpected Opening Moves: Petroff’s Defense

Alexander Petrov

The first 10 moves of a chess game, called the “opening,” can be a minefield. Although following opening principles — such as controlling the center, developing your minor pieces (bishops and knights), and castling — usually succeeds, you also have to know some common opening traps. In this article, the Petroff’s Defense trap is explained.

Overloading at the Chess Olympiad

Ding Liren

Teams from China won both the Open section and the Women’s section of the 43rd Chess Olympiad, which took place in Batumi, Georgia. Grandmaster Ding Liren was first board for China’s Open section team. This article features a tactic, overloading, from his win over Grandmaster Jan-Krzysztof Duda of Poland.