Upgrade to Chess.com Premium!

Chess Articles


  • The Art of Doing Nothing

    I cannot tell you, my dear readers, how many times I've had this conversation with my younger students while we analyze their games: "What did you try to accomplish with your last move?" "Nothing!" "Then why did you play it?" "I don't know... | Read More

  • Surprise Me!

    © 2014, José Diaz   Links Interview with José Diaz José Diaz Official Website | Read More

  • Punishing Unsound Openings

    Unsurprisingly, one of my favorite movies of all time is Searching for Bobby Fischer (I know - the things you find out about me!). Hollywood-style dramatizations of chess games aside, the film is extremely well-made, featuring a thoughtful ex... | Read More

  • Positional Combinations

    I will begin by affirming that the title of this article is deliberately oxymoronic. According to David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld's The Oxford Companion to Chess (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), a combination is "a series of forci... | Read More

  • Pandolfini's Puzzler #33 - Knights to Remember

    Professor: Class, how special it is to see you. Zephyr & Lucian: Hello, Professor. We do feel pretty special. Professor: Don’t let it go to your heads, but I’d like to start off with a question, if you don’t mind. Zephyr: I don... | Read More

  • A Chess Player's Best Friend, Part 2: Check Your Discovered Checks!

    Last week we discussed one of the most powerful chess weapons: a discovered check. Today you can hone your tactical skills by solving our big test. These puzzles have many different tactical themes, but all of the combinations are based on discove... | Read More

  • Riding the Winds of Fashion, Part 1

    When choosing an opening system, it’s important to pick something that is within your skill set, suits your style, and makes you feel excited whenever it appears on the board. You can pick an all-gambit repertoire (it might not be completely... | Read More

  • The Endgame Cunning of Emanuel Lasker, Part 1

    It has been said that the second World Champion, Emanuel Lasker, was unique among the top players of his time period in that he didn't create a chess school of thought. Others have said that he did create a school - the "psychological school." It ... | Read More

  • Mysterious GM Moves

    When you hear the word "brilliancy," what comes to mind? A dazzling combination with multiple sacrifices? A captivating tactical melee in which both players display their calculational expertise? Without a doubt, brilliancy has a tactical connotat... | Read More

  • A Chess Player's Best Friend

    Let me start today's article with a little brain teaser. What can every single chess piece (that is king, rook, bishop, knight or pawn) do that a queen can't? You'll find an answer to this question at the end of the article. Today we'll talk abo... | Read More

  • How to Ruin Your Pawn Structure

    "Pawns are the soul of chess." In general, I loathe chess clichés, but some statements are so true, so deep, that they defy the notion of banality. Think about it. An inveterate patron of the Café de la Régence, an eighte... | Read More

  • Cutting the Gordian Knot

    There often comes a time in a chess game when decisive action is needed. One must change the status quo or find a sudden solution to a long-standing problem. It is funny how this works out - chess is an equation, and decisive changes in the positi... | Read More

  • Pandolfini's Puzzler #32 - Seeing the Large in the Small

    Professor: Hello, Class. I hope you’re having a wonderful day. Zephyr & Lucian: Thank you, Professor. We hope you’re having a wonderful day, too. Professor: I am, especially now that I’m wearing my new jacket with its checkerboard ... | Read More

  • Q&A with Coach Heisman Mar 7, 2014

    "If I play for a legal trap and it doesn't work, can I still have a good game?" Sounds like you might be a lawyer (or need to consult one)!  This is also a good example of how I need to "interpret" questions on my Q&A show. Since the questi... | Read More

  • Ask a Chess Openings Expert!

    Dear Ask-a-Chess-Openings-Expert, My husband and I were planning on taking a trip next month to Hawaii for our 25th wedding anniversary, but my mother refuses to watch the kids ever since Timmy put her cat in the refrigerator.  Bill, my husban... | Read More

  • Alexander Alekhine (Part 6): His Worst “Combination” – Age + Booze

    As we saw, Alekhine reached his ultimate prime in 1930 and 1931. For a few years after that, he was still clearly the world’s best player, but the march of time and the wrath of alcohol took more and more out of him - though everyone still v... | Read More

  • When a Loser Becomes a Winner, Part Two

    Any chess player who is familiar with the enormous heritage of the great Nimzowitsch should know his "Immortal Zugzwang Game." The last move of the game is a treat for a real chess connoisseur: In his book, Nimzowitsch expressed h... | Read More

  • First Saturday Budapest March GM-IM tournament

    On 1st March we have started the event, we have 40 players now in 4 groups. In the GM section we have 10 players, the GM norm is 7 points, ELO average 2430.  In the IN section we have 10 players, the ELO average is 2272, IM-norm 7 points.  The... | Read More

  • The Positional Sacrifice

    The term "positional sacrifice" is construed by many players as a vague concept applied only in relation to complex positional battles between grandmasters. I exaggerate a bit, of course, but the art of sacrificing for positional compensation appe... | Read More

  • SCID + Stockfish

    I was interested in finding open-source chess tools for analysis, study and preparation. Last time I checked, I wasn't too excited, but this time I am happy to find about SCID. SCID is an open-source chess database that has a lot of the options a... | Read More

  • Romantic Chess

    © 2014, José Diaz   Links Interview with José Diaz José Diaz Official Website | Read More

  • Pandolfini's Puzzler #31 - Be Wise, Be Sure! Rooks Belong Behind!

    Professor: Class, it’s good to see you. What brings you to this part of the world? Zephyr: I’m here for a chess class. I suspect so is Lucian. Lucian: Yeah, I guess that’s why I’m here, too. Zephyr: Professor, weren’t you going... | Read More

  • Weak Squares? Who Cares?

    To chessify Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged that all chess players in possession of a weak square are doomed to a miserable existence. The concept of weak squares appears rather straightforward: avoid creating them, but never f... | Read More

  • Changing of the Seasons

    When I was new to chess, I had several fantasy scenarios of dramatic brilliancies in tournament games. Of course there was the standard "sacrifice everything for checkmate;" but also I had an unusual one - a long combination leading to all the pie... | Read More

  • The Rock Scrapbook

    Scrapbook Prologue:      The U.S. Open chess tournament has been around since 1900 when it was called the Western Chess Association Championship and first won by Louis Uedemann, the creator of the Uedemann Code which was used to send chess m... | Read More

Back to Top