Learning Chess Openings

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.

Win with the Caro-Kann

International Chess Day: The Caro-Kann

In 2021, Gambit Publications published Win with the Caro-Kann. The authors, Norwegians Sverre Johnsen and Grandmaster Torbjørn Ringdal Hansen, recommend specific lines for Black. The book’s specialization is a plus if a reader is looking for a repertoire. It also is a useful guide to selected lines of the Caro-Kann Defense, if you are teaching chess for International Chess Day, July 20, 2021. More 🡢

Discovered attack

Discovered Attack With Check

An opening tactic I learned as a child came in handy on May 2, during the online “Isolated Queens II” tournament. In this article, I will show how the tactic can arise in the Advance French and in the Semi-Slav Defense More 🡢

Chess Christmas Presents

Instructional Chess Books for Christmas 2018

In this article, I review two instructional chess books published in 2018. Either one would make a great Christmas present! One is aimed at teachers, the other at kids. But both books would benefit chess players of any age, who know the rules of chess, have played several complete games, but are still learning tactical themes. More 🡢

Alexander Petrov

Unexpected Opening Moves: Petroff’s Defense

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. More 🡢

How to teach chess (part four) and the Ruy Lopez, Exchange Variation

In this article (part four) and in my previous article (part three, which covered Monday, July 23 and Tuesday, July 24), I outline my lessons for these more advanced students. You can use these articles as a self-study guide (for improving your own chess). Or, if you are a chess teacher, you might try my outlined plans with your advanced students. More 🡢

Chess pic

Mastering-Chess-Classic Sicilian Counterplay

Play in the Sicilian is typically sharp because of the imbalanced pawn structure. It’s especially important to pursue the right plan in sharp positions, because it can be difficult to contain your opponent’s counter play, and he will often take over the initiative after a couple of small inaccuracies. More 🡢