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.

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Mastering Chess – Pawn Structures

After a little research, you’ll find that some variations have been played by chess grandmasters, but way less frequently than more solid alternatives. This often means they are used as “a surprise weapon,” and there’s a good chance there’s something about them that doesn’t hold up too well against correct play. Oftentimes, there’s just a single variation that comes close to refuting the idea, and the opponent has to know that line or find it over the board. Otherwise, the adventurous player often gets a good game. More 🡢

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Mastering Chess – The Unexpected Gambit

A sharp confrontation that leads to several unexpected moves and sacrifice of material in exchange for extreme square control. More 🡢

Mastering Chess - Mysterious Powers of the Knight

Mastering Chess – Time, Space, and Force – The Value of Time

Time, space, and force are the fundamental building blocks we work with in chess. This article is focused on the value of time. In the future, we’ll write separate articles on space and force. More 🡢

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Mastering Chess – The Joy of Sacrificing Your Queen

White makes an early strategic error. As a result, Black is able to sacrifice his queen, and place White’s king in a mating net. More 🡢

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Mastering Chess – Target Weaknesses to Exploit Opening Inaccuracies

If the main reason you play chess is because you want to have fun, then just play the openings you find interesting and exciting. In that case, the Open Sicilian will keep you entertained for several lifetimes.
On the other hand, if you’re serious about wanting to improve, then developing an opening repertoire will become an important part of your campaign. More 🡢

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Mastering Chess – The Art of Heroic Defense

Chess is the most fun when we’re attacking and winning with brilliant and creative ideas. However, we all have to defend sometimes, and it’s important to get very tough-minded when we’re in that position. It’s not a lot of fun, but sometimes the situation is not as bad as it seems. By exercising care and patience, we can frequently exchange a few pieces, and reduce the position to equality. That’s what happened in this game: More 🡢

Mastering Chess - Why Grandmasters Love the Sicilian

Mastering Chess – Why Grandmasters Love the Sicilian

It was the first time I played the Sicilian Defense in over 3 months. For a couple years, I’ve been playing a variation of the Modern Defense and I was never able to generate the kind of dynamic and fascinating play that I have constantly found in the Sicilian. More 🡢


Mastering Chess – Scotch Opening: Blumenfeld Variation

I know this opening extremely well. I’ve worked out many of the details using the chess computer, and I know many of the variations about 20 moves deep. More 🡢