Blunders -- Backwards moves

All pieces, except pawns, can move backwards.

But because the opponent's pieces are trying to attack us, we get used to them moving down the board towards us, and our pieces moving up the board in the other direction.

So that means, backwards moves are sometimes hard to spot.

Here are some junior players missing a backwards moves.

Click [...] or F3/C3 to see all the games

Magnus Carlsen

Chess has got better over the years and the top players today play a very subtle game, which is not easy to explain.

So what can we learn from the best player, Magnus Carlsen?


The eternal advice to 'look at every check and every capture, every move' applies to super-Grandmasters as much as the rest of us!

On move 26, Carlsen allows a tactic -- and Anand doesn't notice either!

Xavery Tartakower

Xavery (Saveilly) Tartakower was the wittiest of masters, and, it was said, "too in love with chess to ever become world champion", as he would often play an interesting move over a plain one, and perhaps throw the result into question. He was the champion of chess journalists, and his epigrams, or Tartakowerisms, will be quoted as long as chess is played. Everyone loved to talk with Tartakower, not just for his wit, but also his great knowledge and appreciation of books and art.

"The blunders are all there on the board, waiting to be made."


DrDave's picture

Otto Blathy composed chess problems. But the ones he liked were a bit funny! The positions could never happen in a game, but they usually had a nice idea in them.

These gnarly positions are called grotesques.

Mr.B showed me this one many years ago: White to play and win! Black is moving down the board -- well, that's if they could move...

Puzzle 1

Lessons from Judit Polgar

I don't entirely like the parade of endless men in the 'Lessons from...' series, so here's one from the other half of humanity, and a fine Appendix to the list of guys that ever joined the 'Vera Menchik Club'.

Judit Polgar was strongest woman chess player ever. She never became World Champion, and was never interested in becoming World Women’s World Chess Champion ( a title held by her two sisters, Susan and Sofia). She was in the world top ten and improving when she retired.

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