Latest Post Show All
identifying fixing weaknesses
WGM Raluca Sgîrcea, IM Renier Castellanos
01.24.2020
WGM Raluca Sgîrcea, IM Renier Castellanos
Sometimes we win, sometimes we learn, us chess players like to say a lot. It can make us feel better after a loss, but this should be more than just a saying to improve our post-game mood. We should, in fact, be always learning, whether we win, lose or draw. Many players think that they can learn something only from their losses, others only like to show their wins to their trainers. Truth is, all games are equally important. There is no perfect game and play can almost always be improved at some point.
Training Tips
Which Rook to Bring: The Brief Guide
WGM Raluca Sgîrcea, IM Renier Castellanos
07.03.2018
WGM Raluca Sgîrcea, IM Renier Castellanos
The road to improvement and becoming a strong player is usually long and requires a lot of time and patience. If you are a club player who doesn’t fully dedicate to chess or you are just starting the long journey of improving yourself, we suggest that you focus on improving your chess understanding. As we have said before, we believe that investing a lot of time in learning long and complicated theoretical lines is not particularly useful at this point.
Continue reading
5 Steps to Calculating Likes a Grandmaster
Yury Markushin
10.12.2015
Yury Markushin
All chess players know that grandmasters can calculate many moves ahead, evaluate the position, and deliver the final blow. How do they do that? Is there a way an ordinary chess player can learn to calculate many moves ahead like masters do? In this article, we will answer those questions and show you a simple schematic that will tremendously help at calculating moves.
Continue reading
10 Things to Look Out for When Hiring a Chess Coach
WGM Raluca Sgîrcea, IM Renier Castellanos
12.01.2017
WGM Raluca Sgîrcea, IM Renier Castellanos
Studying chess can prove a difficult task sometimes and, as much as you like to study by yourself, you might realize at some point that you need some guidance. It could be that you reach a moment when you can no longer see any improvement, regardless of the time you invest in studying or that you need help and advice creating a suitable repertoire or that you simply need a stronger and more experienced player to explain some important chess concepts. In any case, the help of a coach can be enormous. An outside person with a good chess understanding can help you identify the weaknesses in your play and tell you what you need to study, can provide you material or indicate model games.
Continue reading
Opening Tips
The Queen’s Gambit Declined: Alternative Plans
WGM Raluca Sgîrcea, IM Renier Castellanos
03.23.2015
WGM Raluca Sgîrcea, IM Renier Castellanos
In our previous article on the Queen's Gambit declined we mentioned the main plans for white in the Carlsbad structure seen below:
Continue reading
The French Defense According to Topalov
WGM Raluca Sgîrcea, IM Renier Castellanos
04.27.2016
WGM Raluca Sgîrcea, IM Renier Castellanos
The French Defense has always had a reputation of being a rock solid choice against 1.e4, leading very often to closed positions full of central pawns in which both sides have a very clear game plan. Black attacks the base of the pawn chain on the queen-side or undermines the most advanced pawn (e5) by playing f6.
Continue reading
The Rauzer Pawn Structure: From Botvinnik to Magnus Carlsen
WGM Raluca Sgîrcea, IM Renier Castellanos
11.30.2015
WGM Raluca Sgîrcea, IM Renier Castellanos
There is nothing we could say now that hasn't been said before about the Sicilian Defense. It is one of the greatest options for black against 1.e4. It has been played by every world champion and was the favorite of the greatest geniuses like Fischer, Tal, Kasparov and many others. Studying the games in the Sicilian Defense is much more than learning the latest opening theory; it is about learning chess in general.
Continue reading