The Chess Master Series

Each article in The Chess Master Series will help you gain a deep understanding of a Key Building Block of chess strategies. It takes the average master a great deal of study and practical play to gather this knowledge. Over time you will receive all the Key Building Blocks you need to master this game yourself.

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Mastering Chess – Positional Pawn Sacrifice Buries Black’s Bishop

This is one of the most important chess concepts you’ll ever learn to improve your middle game. Combine it with an active opening repertoire, and you will soon become feared by your opponents. More 🡢

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Mastering Chess – The Value of an Exchange

White takes time to exploit a dark square weakness early in the game. Black responds by sacrificing the exchange for quick development and dynamic play. He initially plays well, but fails to target the right weakness at a key moment. This allows White to consolidate, simplify the position, and the exchange suddenly becomes decisive. More 🡢

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Mastering Chess – Play on both sides of the board

In Pawn Structure Chess, the tension between two pawns is called a “lever.”  Very few things dictate the nature of a contest more than how the player handles this tension. More 🡢

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Mastering Chess- Chaos and an overextended knight

Do a general survey of the key ideas before you start analyzing a specific variation in great depth. On many occasions, I have spent a great deal of time and energy, looking six or seven moves deep in a certain variation, only to find I missed something simple and better way back at the beginning. More 🡢

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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 🡢

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Mastering Chess – All-out Struggle for a Key Square

Black makes a critical error on move 14, and tries to organize a defense with his king in the center. Both sides focus their attention on the d5 square. The square falls, and Black’s king must run for cover. In the meantime, White wins additional material and he enters an ending with a two pawn advantage. More 🡢

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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 – Long Term Problems in Chess

When playing against the French Defense, sometimes f4 is played before Nf3, and sometimes Nf3 is played directly. In some variations, it’s a matter of preference, and at other times the position dictates a specific course of action. More 🡢