Thursday, 25 April 2013

Queen vs Minor Pieces Fortress Part 2, Bishop and Knight

Previous : Queen vs Minor Pieces Fortress Part 1 - Two Bishops

Bishop and Knight alone can not hold the position against queen except one position, which can be arranged on two corner of the board, depending upon which colour bishop you have.

Bishop and Knight fortress

As you can see that white king can not enter into the squares marked with green colour. Therefore Bishop can not be captured so position remains draw. Moreover, white is not able to force black into zugzwang. Please note that attacker positions (here white's King and Queen) are irrelevant once defender gets the given position.

Originally position was studied by Max A.K.S. Karstedt in 1903 who has also discovered some other possibilities in Philidor position even but not popular because they are complicated.

Karstedt Position - 1903

1. Qf5 Kh8 2. Ke7 Kg8 3. Qc2 Kh8 4. Qc8+ Kh7 5. Qa8 Ng6+ 6. Ke6 Ne5 7. Qh1+ Kg8 and position remains the same.However here are some moves which are played by computer (F-13) with no result. 8. Qd5 Kh7 9. Kf5 Kh8 10. Qa8+ Kh7 11. Qb7 Kg8 12. Qe7 Kh7 13. Qe6 Bh8 14. Ke4 Bg7 15. Kd5 Bh8 16. Kd6 Bg7 17.Qd5 Kh8 18. Qe4 Kg8 19. Ke6 Kh8 20. Kd5 Kg8 21. Qf5 Bh8 22. Qc8+ Kh7 23. Qd8 Ng6

Monday, 22 April 2013

Queen vs Minor Pieces Fortress Part 1

In this article we will see different fortress positions for minor pieces (usually Defender Side) against Queen in pawn less endgame.

Queen vs. Two Bishops

Bishop must be arrange in a way so that stronger side king can not attack them. You can set up the fortress in 4 corners.

Giambattista Lolli has given following position in his book Osservazioni teorico-pratiche sopra il giuoco degli scacchi (English: Theoretical-practical views on the game of chess), published 1763 in Bologna. Which has been used in almost every chess endgame book to describe fortress against queen for two bishops.

Two Bishop Fortress

1.Qd7+ Kg8 2.Qe6+ Kg7 3.Qd6 Bf7 4.Kf5

and again with 4.... Bg6+ 5.Kf4 and Black again gets Lolli Position. and there is no another way to win this game for white. You can your self analyse the position or can take help of computer in case you have any doubts. 5...Kf7 6.Qd7+ Kf8 =:=

In the next part we will  see fortress for two knights.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Annotated Chess Game In French Defence : Kasparov vs Nikolic

Friday, 19 April 2013

Opening Tricks And Traps, Part - 4

(11) Gruenfeld Defence

(12) Gruenfeld Defence

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Chess Endgame : Queen vs. Rook Part - 2 Winning Method

Previous : Queen vs. Rook Part - 1

In part 1, we already discussed fortress in this part we will discuss winning method for stronger side.

Philidor studied this position in 1977 and therefore called 'Philidor Position' where stronger side (here white) wins with either side to move.

White to Move

Black to Move

With black to move it is comparatively easy for stronger side. Why ? because you have already same position which we get above on move no. 3.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Opening Tricks and Traps, Part 3

Previous : 

(7) French Defence
 (8) French Defence
  (9) French Defence

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Annotated Game in French Defence of Leading french expert Alexander Grischuk


Previous annotated games in French Defence
1. Fabiano Caruana - Magnus Carlsen, Grand Slam 2012
2. Peter Svidler vs Ivanchuk, Candidates 2013

This game is for french lovers who just love later counter attacks possibilities in french defence.

Annotated Game : Bojan Vuckovic (2615) vs Alexander Grischuk

Monday, 15 April 2013

Chess Endgame : Queen vs. Rook Part - 1 Fortress

In Practice it has been observed that Queen vs Rook endgame is difficult though it was believed to be quite easy to force win.

Muller in his book 'Fundamental Chess Endings'
"The Appearance of Computer databases in 1978 caused the ending to be seen in new light.While they confirmed that the queen should win from all normal starting positions, they also showed that it was quite difficult to win if the defender played precisely."

In the first part, we will see fortress position where defender gets draw by force with the help of perpetual checks and stalemate tricks.

Fortress position

As you can see in the diagram, with black to move ; draw can be achieved by 

1... Rg7+ 
2. Kf5 Rf7+ 
3. Kg6 Rg7+ 
4. Kf6 Perpetual checks (4. Kh6 Rh7+ 5. Kxh7 Stalemate trick works) 
4... Rg6+ Again Stalemate tricks works well for defender

1/2 - 1/2

In part 2 we will see winning method for stronger side.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Annotated Chess Game In French Defence, Between Svidler and Ivanchuk from Candidates 2013

I choose this game played in recent and the most toughest tournament in the candidates history ever (Candidates 2013) where Ivanchuk had missed some equalizing chances in his kind of position (Tactical). After penultimate 26....0-0-0, Svidler controlled the game and went on win. 

Before presenting you annotated game, let me give you the list of some good books on french defence.

The Flexible French: Strategic Explanations & Surprise Weapons for Dynamic Players
French Defence by Gligoric 
Play the French, 4th (Everyman Chess)

Annotated game : Peter Svidler vs Ivanchuk, Candidates 2013

Friday, 12 April 2013

Opening Tricks and Traps, Part 2

Previous : Opening Tricks And Traps Part - 1

(4) Caro Kann Defence

(5) Catalan

(6) Four Knight's Game


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Endgame : Active King

In the opening and middlegame stage king requires protection but as soon as game reaches to last phase, king activation has significant effect over the result of chess game. For better endgame result you should activate or centralize your king as soon as possible as there are less chances of mating attack due to few materials left on the board where you can use your king as an extra piece.

Mikhail Shereshevsky has devoted a separate chapter on 'Centralization of king' in his book endgame strategy where he gave general rules to ameliorate your chess endgame.

“The great mobility of the King forms one of the chief characteristics of all endgame strategy. In the middlegame the King is a mere 'super', in the endgame on the other hand it is one of the 'principals'. We must therefore develop him, bring him nearer to the fighting line.” - Aron Nimzowitsch

An experienced chess player is mostly playing with an extra piece in endgame compare to novice. Let's go through some examples which supports this thumb rule.

Opening Tricks And Traps Part - 2

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Opening Tricks and Traps, Part 1

Here you will find traps which has some practical chances to fall into. I have not included traps or tricks which are easily available on wiki pages and youtube. In every part we will deal with three tricks/traps.

I prefer not to play traps but study it for saving yourselves.

(1) Bishop Opening

(2) Budapest Defence

(3) Caro-Kann Defence

Next : Opening Tricks And Traps Part - 2

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Annotated Chess Game in French Defence: Fabiano Caruana and Magnus Carlsen

French defence is famous for its solidity and counter attack possibilities in later stage of the game with a view to somewhat cramp position in the opening.

Game has been taken from the recent tournament (Grand Slam 2012), played between chess genius Calsen as black and Fabiano. Game was full of swindles but at last Carlsen did penultimate mistake under time pressure and lost the game in winning position but the way he handled the endgame was just fabulous.

Before presenting you annotated game, let me give you the list of some good books on french defence.

The Flexible French: Strategic Explanations & Surprise Weapons for Dynamic Players
French Defence by Gligoric 
Play the French, 4th (Everyman Chess)

Annotated game : Fabiano Caruana - Magnus Carlsen, Grand Slam 2012

Monday, 8 April 2013

Theoretical Positions In King & Pawn Endgame That You Must Know

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Rubinstein Trap

The Rubinstein Trap is an opening trap which is named for one of the chess legend Akiba Rubinstein; not because he used it against his opponents but he fell twice into it. You can read more about Rubinstein from wikipedia pages.

Source & Credit to : Wikipedia

Book by Rubinstein

Books on Rubinstein

The Trap

It is a opening trap under 'Queen's Gambit Declined' exchange variation where white capture 'd5' pawn with knight on c3, in return if black black is very much greedy and captures knight then loses queen. If not, trap offers minimum a pawn.

Position after white's Nxd5 from the game between Max Euwe and Rubinstein.

See the diagram(^) exd5 can be punished by Bc7 (Winning Queen). Here are two games in which Rubinstein fell twice.

Game 1 - Max Euwe and Rubinstein
Game 2 - Alekhine and Rubinstein

Question to Rubinstein: "Who is your opponent tonight?" Answer: "Tonight I am playing against the black pieces."  -  Akiba Rubinstein

Friday, 5 April 2013

Hurdles Between You and Chess Improvement

Recently I have wrote article on (GM Nigel Davies site) about Pressure & emotional instability which inspired me to write on other hurdles also which are between you and your chess improvement.

I was also victim of fear, while playing against higher rated player earlier I thought that if I could draw the game would be better for me but now I do not care. The reason of this change is change in my attitude. How you can change it? well first of all think positive, read good articles about positive attitude, read some inspirational books, worth to watch chess movie 'Knight of South Bronx' & so on. Remember that this all thing are not related to chess but those are having collateral effect in overall attitude. Remember that 'You will get what you think'

Emotional Instability
I have wrote detailed article on this at chessimprover which you can read. Some tips I would like to share with you in order to be emotionally stable. Yoga and Meditation are having great impacts on your emotional aspects. Try is as I did.

Expecting too much from you
It has been often seen among the amateurs (Including me) that we expect much from us. Like we study very hard for 6 month to 1 years and expecting very serious Elo jump. In reality we need years in order to be good players, In 'BHAGAVAD GITA' (Religious Book in Hinduism) It has been told that "Do your duty and Don't expect for results"

Unorganized preparation
Don't do unorganized preparation. Today you like one book or one coach and tomorrow different book or different coach... just don't do that. Search good mentor/chess coach and do what they say, walk on their plans as they are experienced and stronger than you in chess. I don't think that chess progress is possible without good coach; exceptions are always there.

Profound use of computers
I believe that too much use of computer in your preparation can be a reason in losing interest in chess. Analyse game your self and show then to stronger player than you, take their guidance  Prepare opening through studying games of chess legends not just few moves recommended by computers.

Ignoring Importance of end-game
Well known cause. We do not get king and pawn or rook endgame in our game so no need to study endgame (Amateurs and Beginners' words). Here you are mistaken as endgame is a tool on which you can play middle-game like ; exchanging pieces, launching attack, simplifying the position etc etc. If you learn endgame, you get to know importance of it.

Last but not the least 'Actions are much more Important than plans'. I hope you get my point.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 4 April 2013


It is very much important to have passed pawn in endgame. Sometimes material on the board is even but it may be possible to have passed pawns for both on different wings (King side, Queen side. In endgame it is advantageous to have passed pawn on the side where your opponent has not castled. In general that is called majority on the queen-side. It is advantageous because your opponent king has to travel far to reach your passed pawn by the time you can just take off some of his pawns and gaining material advantages.

Pawn Breakthrough :

It is basically a process of creating passed pawn.In simple terminology;  finding correct series of pawn moves to produce passed pawn called pawn breakthrough.First we will go through some famous examples then we will dig this topic deeply.

Remember : You must be having prior knowledge of 'key square' and 'Rule of square' in order to understand pawn breakthrough.

Position 1: White to Move

This is very famous example to explain pawn breakthrough. See the diagram(^). White white to move, white can easily win with
1. g6!! hxg6 or 1....fxg6, 2.h6! gxh6, 3.f6 and wins
2. f6! gxf6
3. h6 and promoting the pawn and wins.

But there is question why white was winning on the given position?

  • Black king was too much far from the queening square.
  • White pawns were more advanced.White won't be able to win if pawn were on the 4th rank and black's pawn on 6th rank.

Position 2: White to Move

In this position(^), white can win with either with f5 or g5
1. g5 Kb4
2. f5 (threat is to g6 on next move, creating passed pawn on e file)exf5
3. g6!! fxg6
4. e6 and black king is not far from queening square.

again winning is thanks to white advanced pawn and king's positions.

In the both diagrams, kings were far from the action. But it is very much harder to evaluate position when king is in action. Let's look at some examples.

Position 3: White to Move

In the diagram(^), if black king was far from the action then white can easily win with 1. b6 - axb6 2. a6  but here position is different, as if 2. a6 then Kc6 and black can win even therefore much deeper calculation is required
1. a6! Kd6
2. b6!! Kc6
then pause for moment which one is better b7 or bxa7, yeap may be you got right
3. axb7! and wins (as b7 draws because 3...Kc7 and black can save a day due to stalemate tricks)

Position 4: Black to Move

In the given position(^) with white to move white can win easily Kd4, but if black to move then it is his or her only chance, How he/she can win? with 1....c3 2. bxc3 bxc3 3.Kd3 and white can easily get the black's passed pawn.

Think for some more time, may be you get that
2. bxc3 b3!!
3. axb3 a3 which is not in the reach of white's king.

So there is no rocket science to learn pawn breakthrough, but below are some examples in the form of puzzles which you should try to solve first then look at the answers.

Test Positions

(1) White to Move

(2) White to Move

(3) White to Move