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How to play the opening 2

Don't play Old Stodge.

A lot of you play Old Stodge.

This is Old Stodge.

 [Event "Don't play Old Stodge"] [Site "Old Stodge"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "?"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d3 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 * 

Don't play Old Stodge

Why?

It's usually blocked and difficult and boring, and your Rooks will sulk for a long while about being left out.

A planning test (Botvinnik-Kan)

White to play and win

[Event "URS-ch11 Final"]
[Site "Leningrad"]
[Date "1939.04.29"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Botvinnik, M."]
[Black "Kan, Ilia Abramovich"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E24"]
[Annotator "bishops: bad bishop?"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "3r2k1/5pp1/bp3q1p/2pBpP2/2P1P3/P6P/2Q3P1/5RK1 b - - 0 26"]
[PlyCount "1"]
[EventDate "1939.04.16"]
[EventRounds "17"]
[EventCountry "URS"]

{[#]} 26... Bc8 {[#] The Bd5 is not bad - rather, it is the Bc8 that has no
scope. But how does White make progress?} 1-0


Christmas Puzzles 2020

I hope you have fun with these!

Very easy: White to play and mate in 6 moves (Mums and Dads)

[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[Annotator "Fox/James"]
[White "#6"]
[Black "B"]
[Result "1-0"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "K1k5/P1Pp4/1p1P4/8/p7/P2P4/8/8 w - - 0 1"]
[PlyCount "11"]

{[#]} 1. *


Fairly easy: White to play and mate in 6 moves (U9s/U11s)

Adolf Anderssen

Adolf Anderssen was the best player in the world for a lot of his life, but was never 'World Champion' because there was no official match or organisation to arrange an official match.

He was a wonderful attacking player, but lost matches to Morphy (1859) and Steinitz (1866), who both knew how to attack, but understood more than Anderssen about developing and defending. But he was a great favourite, not just among chess fans, but also chess players, for being a decent chap as well as a terrific player. Frederick Edge describes Anderssen:

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."

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