Learning Chess

Interested in learning chess? This suite of articles will help you understand the game, improve your skills and ultimately master it.

Defending under pressure

Chess book review: Defending Under Pressure

Dr. Steve Hrop, a psychologist, achieved a peak US Chess rating of 2192 in 1988. His book Defending Under Pressure: Managing Your Emotions at the Chessboard was published in 2021 by Mongoose Press. This article is a review of Hrop’s book. More 🡢

Hikaru Nakamura

Like Cats and Dogs: A Chess Fight

Some chess games resemble fighting like cats and dogs, with each side’s chessmen engaging in attacks and counterattacks. This article presents one such chess game, played in the first leg of the FIDE Grand Prix 2022 Series. More 🡢

Chess Fundamentals

Chess Fundamentals on Forward Chess

José Raúl Capablanca was the World Chess Champion from 1921 to 1927. In 1921, his book Chess Fundamentals was published. It is now in the public domain, so you have many choices for where to read it. Your best reading experience is likely with Forward Chess. More 🡢

Tolstoy playing chess with the son of Vladimir Chertkov

Leo Tolstoy, Anish Giri, and Chess

The International Chess Federation (FIDE) named Anish Giri its “Person of the Day” for September 13, 2021. Giri had just won the Tolstoy Cup, a nine-round, all-play-all rapid chess event with a time control of 15 minutes plus a 10-second increment per move. Games won by Leo Tolstoy (in 1906) and by Anish Giri (in 2021) are explored. More 🡢

Igor Khmelnitsky and US Chess Board Member Kevin Pryor (August 2021)

You versus Bobby Fischer

International Master Igor Khmelnitsky participated in three U.S. Chess Championships. An actuary by profession, Khmelnitsky is also a chess player, coach, and author. In this article, I highlight one of his books, Chess Exam – Matches against Chess Legends: You vs. Bobby Fischer. More 🡢

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave; Photo courtesy of the Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

Queen Sacrifices by Top-Level Chess Players

Sacrificing a queen is rare in chess games. Since the queen is the most valuable piece, giving her up for lesser chessmen or for an attack is difficult to contemplate. Within the last two months, two top-level chess players have sacrificed their queens. More 🡢