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Chess forum by Grandmasters

MoodCoins

How many moodcoins do you have and how did you earn it? mine is still 12.000 by solving puzzles. When I was new in chessmood I always forgot to move pieces on puzzles :D

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I earned some coins by solving puzzles. But I am a book guy so I like to solve positions from books so I feel more motivated. I earned most of my mood coins by winning chessmood best games event. I am so happy that coach liked my games and thinks that I am improving. Another thing I did was sharing chessmood on fb and even destroyed my old fav. fb account hehehe. I shared chessmood in my own 22k fb chess team and there I try to help beginners whenever I can. I asked them to join and some above 1500 players joined chessmood.

I got 9000 out of the 55000 moodcoins I have by having the best answees in forym conversations. Now I am in the top 10 with best answers.

Chass game embeded in the form post

Hi everyone,

I've see some people posting forum message with a game viewer emebed. See an example

https://chessmood.com/forum/pro-members/alekhine-defence-1e4-nf6-2e5-nd5-3d4-d6-4nf3-dxe5-5nxe5

I wonder how to do that? Tnx.

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Hi Robert,

You just need to attach it to your post or your reply. Attach your pgn file of the game by pressing the "Add New File" button, on the bottom left side of the text box where you write your message. That's it! Easy! Looking forward to see your games!

ChessMood openings

Which Chessmood opening is your favorite and why?

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I love Anti Sicilian Grand Prix. If you ever followed my games on fb then you already know the reason hehehe. I am crushing almost all time 2100 elo players on lichess with my GP knowledge.

In case of Caro kann I am also doing fine against it. Almost 1-0 in sidelines and decent results against main lines.

Caro Kann

https://lichess.org/ibX5TTKH#38

Crushed a 2100 using chessmood opening theory. If I am not wrong then e5 move is in advanced section and c4 is mentioned in the main course for a player who is not advanced but I liked e5 more.

https://lichess.org/gkv4zfY0#25

https://lichess.org/ygcjJagh#38

A very interesting question, let me start by saying that I heard about this site by accident and didn't really expect to find anything special here. There are many many chess websites out there promising more or less what ChessMood offers, but most of them are not worth your time and I can detect very quickly the conscientious ones from the ones that are just in it for a quick buck.

My expectation was to quickly peruse the site extract anything useful from it that I could and quickly move on.  Then a curious thing happened when I examined the Caro Course: 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bf4 Bg4 7.Qb3 so far everything is typical, however I was blown away when I saw that ChessMood also covered 7...Qb6?!/!? in their course, I have been studying the exchange caro for many years and have many respected sources such as Perelshteyn, Dzindzichashvili, Nigel Davies, some Chessable.com sources and others and none of them  take the time to consider the best way to meet this move. Every successive author lazily copying from each other while offering very few new insights, you would almost think that 7...Qb6  was an outright blunder not deserving any attention, but you would be wrong as it has been played at GM level with success! I had to work out on my own the best way to meet this rare but playable line. When I reviewed the ChessMood video covering 7...Qb6 I immediately understood this site was different, and that this was a conscientious team serious about delivering topnotch instruction and knowledge to all levels of chess player without relying on transparent and widely used marketing gimmicks. 

My apologies for the brief digression above but this has been an opinion I have been meaning to articulate for some time now. To get back on track, my favorite opening so far has been how to meet the g3 Maroczy Bind as Black:  1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 g6 6.g3 Bg7 7.Bg2 0-0 8.0-0 I am primarily a King's Indian player and this position which can be reached by many move-orders is very important for my repertoire as a whole. The reason why I love this line so much is because of how practical it is, if I choose to play Benoni it works, If I choose KID it works, if White plays 1.Nf3 it works, if White plays 1.c4 it works, you see where I am going with this :-) The line is virtually move-order proof and can be employed in many situations.

Looking forward to reading the what and why of other subscribers. :D 

Postscript: I forgot about Nightmare of Rossolimo which is also an extremely impressive course, it is the most well explained and lucid coverage of this line that I have come across to date. So for the moment it's now a tie as to my favorite Opening course.

Sicilian 2.Nc3 lines...I was looking for something new against c5 and I’ve found it in ChessMood :) 

Benko Gambit is a very dynamic opening against 1. d4, which I am broadly using. Comparing to my King's Indian, although it is a good opening and I maintain it, as well as Modern Benoni, for my aggresive style, Benko Gambit is my first choice against 1. d4 fitting well to the fact that I love to attack.

Rossolimo, Maroczy and Accelerated Dragon.

- Acc. Dragon because of Re8! move

- Maroczy because of the strategic ideas

- Rossolimo is probably my favourite. You can find decent courses on Acc. Dragon and Maroczy in other sites (not nearly as good as Chessmood, but pretty decent), but Chessmood course on Rossolimo is truly unique.

Before ChessMood, I was a 1.d4 player. I preferred quiet positional struggles and slowly torturing my opponents.

Since ChessMood, I have fallen in love with the Scotch opening. It has turned this passive player into an attacking monster that will hit your king hard and fast!

for me it is the coverage of the rossolimo. 

What about you?

The following courses I like most:

A) Maroczy Bind, and Modern Maroczy Bind

Because I like to play it as White, and the best way to learn an opening is to play it with both colors.

B) Accelerated Dragon.

Because I like to play it as White with an extra tempo:

1.c4 e5 2.g3! Playing the same pawn structure with  a tempo down gives me a better understanding.

-------------------

I have a question for you Susanna:

What is the best book on Sicilian Sveshnikov?

What about this book on Chessable.com : 

"Fight Like Magnus: The Sicilian"


I used to play the Sveshnikov Sicilian 16 years ago, and I had very good results with it.  I have stopped playing chess since 2004, and now I am working on my chess opening repertoire. I am 2130 at Chess.com now.

Thank you

Svetozar Gligoric Award

It’s chess pieces, not a man I play against! Svetozar Gligoric

Svetozar Gligoric was one of the top players in the world and one of the World’s most prominent, owing to his particularly engaging personality.

At the chessboard, Gligoric was an uncompromising fighter and at the same time a symbol of gentlemanhood and correctness. 

Last year, at the first quarter Presidential Board meeting, FIDE decided to establish a fair play award named after Svetozar Gligoric.

Read the full news here:

https://fide.com/news/205



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just watched the "exchanging bishops" video and played a few games

I just played white against the French and followed the few moves I could remember (I had prepped for the Sicilian; he wanted to try something new against much-lower-rated me).  I got to this position and wanted to trade my dsb but Stockfish hated it - https://lichess.org/5LBQQLrj/black#19  I eventually got a crushing advantage (!) but gave it back and ultimately lost.  Was my thinking correct that my dsb was bad, but my execution off?

The rematch was my horrible attempt to defend against 1.d4.  I got to this position where I thought it would be good to defend my K with my lsb and trade if he wanted to - https://lichess.org/HntdT6lm/black#18  Again, the computer evaluation was horrible in my opponent's favor, and got much worse with that move.  What was wrong with my thinking?  His thinking turned bad a bit later when he blundered the initiative and I found the win. :-)

I understand that the two-bishop advantage exists.  Should I not have been thinking of exchanges in these games?

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Can anyone answer my questions?  I'm U1600 Lichess classical so the answer doesn't have to be very deep!

The biggest problem with the DSB trade in the first game is you demolished your own pawn structure with the trade. It created 4 very weak pawns in your structure.

In the second game, the biggest issue game the move before with the b6 move. This severly weakens the light squares on the queen side. Then the next move you trade off your LSB (The defender of the light squares) which made your weaknesses more pronounced.

This is the basics to why these 2 exchanges were bad, and others may want to add more.

I hope it helps at least a little and I wish you all the best as you continue to grow! #COGRO

Jay

Your Chess Crush?

Who was your first chess Crush?

For me it was Judit Polgar. I thought she is of my age but she was not hehehe and I felt in love with her attacking and speed chess. I was new in chess and I felt like wow this girl is so fast.  I saw many of her games.

Here is the one I loved so so much! I do not know theory but I liked the way she created e5 square for her pieces and demolished Alexi Shirov.

https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1111195



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Capablanca's Best Endings (Test-1)

Hi guys today I am gonna show you a cool position. I was analizing a game from the book Capablanca's Best Endings  and we reached this interesting position. It's white to move and how will you continue guys here. Keep that in mind that in the end black also found the only resource to save his middlegame and reached an inferior endgame. But still I am glad that @Jay and I both found the right plans and ideas and best ways to meet all black's resources.  Now it's your turn to find a nice plan for white!

The winner may be get the title of Chessmood CM heheheh


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Chess is hard work

Chess is hard.

All of us work to improve our game. We work on tactics, openings, endings, classics, planning, visualization, and intuition. We also work on psychology, fitness, nutrition, endurance and yes, keeping the right mood!

Chess is hard.

To help us improve, we buy books, video series on openings, middle games, and endings. We buy software for storing files, have computers check for blunders and novelties, and hire coaches to help us fix our weaknesses and improve our strengths.

Chess is hard.

Anyone who has been around ChessMood for any time, knows that I have chosen to climb the mountain on a path no one has yet traversed. A year and a half ago, at the age of 46 and rated 1700 USCF (about 1600-1650 FIDE), I chose to start the path to Grand Master. I knew when I started, it was not going to be easy. If it was easy, it would of already been done. (Those that have achieved the GM title after 40 were all expert/master in their teens)

Chess is hard.

The first 6 months went very very well. I jumped to over 1800 very quickly, and was winning many games against 2000+ rated players using ChessMood openings. But then I hit a wall. I started losing odd games vs players much lower rated then I was. I would win a nice game against a CM, then the very next game lose to a 1500. 

Chess is hard.

I grew very discouraged. I still woke up every day, ready to hit the books, study my openings, watch the streams and work towards my destiny, but I started to fear playing. I would get on the streams, and get 90% of the answers correct, know all the main lines of our openings, and see the plans clearly while Coach Avetik was playing, but I couldn't do it when I was playing. 

Chess is hard.

I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. I would play the openings we are taught, and would almost always get an advantage coming out of the opening. I would continue to build on the advantage, but somewhere along the line, I would miss a tactic or blunder away my advantage. It became difficult to keep a good mood, and made me even more fearful of playing. I was also embarrassed that I stopped improving, so stopped being as active in our community, which is the worst of all, because there is no better place for support then right here at ChessMood.  

Chess is hard.

Despite all these feelings of despair and failure, I kept working. I followed the plan laid out for us by Coach Avetik. When I found the courage to play, I would check the games against my opening files, which continued to grow, as well as checked for blunders (Which were numerous). I looked for patterns and worked to correct my mistakes, but kept losing to simple tactics or just hanging a piece. 

Chess is hard.

So to fix my problem I started working on tactics. LOTS of tactics. Anytime I had a few minutes, I would open my phone to the chesstempo app and do a tactic. I would spend 2 hours a day minimum on tactics. I was improving my tactics rating slowly, but I was excited to be working on my weakness and seeing an improvement. I gained almost 300 rating points on tactics in about 3 months (I know I am not setting any records) and thought I had to have improved in my games for sure! But alas, I was still losing to simple tactics and hanging pieces.

Chess is Hard.

But I continued to work. I started to work with a partner, Abhi, as we both are focused on improvement. We worked on blindfold chess, middle game ideas, books we are both reading, as well as analyzing ending together. As we were studying, he kept saying how he couldn't believe how fast and accurate my calculation was, or how he wished he could see as far ahead as me. (For the record, Abhi is much better at this the even he believes, and is easily my equal if not even better then I am) Then in middle of an analysis, I would look at a move and totally miss one of my pieces hanging, or overlook a simple reply by my opponent. 

Chess is hard.

It is at that time, Abhi helped me realize my true issue. I don't have a tactics problem. When presented with a tactical opportunity, I can usually see the idea very quickly. He helped me see my problem is really what we decided to call "Blind Spots" In the middle of analyzing, I suddenly become blind to a piece or a square. I just completely don't see it. We had a position today, where I said if we move our knight, we will discover an attack on our opponents unprotected piece, so we looked at Nh4 for a couple minutes and decided it wasnt quite working and moved on to other moves. Then we started looking at Ne5 (same knight) and I said that wont work, he will just capute and move his other piece away from our pawn that recaptures. He politely reminded me that the opponent wouldn't be able to save both his bishop attacked by our pawn and the piece we discovered an attack on when we moved our knight. I was suddenly totally blind to what I had just seen and known a couple minutes before.

Chess is hard.

I have heard of players, even top GMs, that have these blind spots on occasion, but never to the extent I seem to have them. As I have gone back through a ton of my games, the pattern has suddenly sprang to light with complete clarity. Blind spots. And just as suddenly I have renewed confidence, as I now know what to be working on.  

Chess is not hard... Chess is hard work.

We all face difficulties as we work to improve. We just need to remember, when we hit a wall, don't continue banging your head into it, waiting for it to fall down, it would instead be more beneficial to have a partner or coach show you the doorway through. Thank you Abhi for helping me see and diagnose this problem of blind spots, it is the doorway for my to cross through the wall I have faced for a long time!

Chess is hard work.

Now I go to work on fixing the problem of blind spots in my game. If anyone out there knows how to overcome this issue, or has had the same issue and has over come it, please share with me the way to cure my ailment. And if anyone else has this issue, and is also looking for a solution, let us work together to overcome it! 

Thanks to all of you who took the time to read all the way though this lengthy post, and I hope it turns out to be helpful to all in some way.

GM Jay 

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Thanks @Jay_Garrison. Yes, right now I don't have this issue but at some point may be I will face this issue so I am excited to hear what coach thinks about this problem. I an so happy to have a great chess studying partner like you and I feel super motivated whenever we talk. I feel like yes I can do it and I can achieve my goals with you!

Thank you very much for the post @Jay_Garrison. I feel very identified with you. I am 48 and started playing chess online in December 2018 (I already knew how to move the pieces because I had been taught  when I was a child). I did not know any opening, so I bought and started reading the following books that I saw recommended in Internet and began to play the first moves of those openings without really understanding them:

- 1.d4 Repertoire, by Boris Avrukh

- Chess Openings for Black, by Lev Alburt

Then I bought "Reassess your Chess", by Jeremy Silman and I read it in a few days and I fell in love with Chess and in April 2019 I played my first OTB tournament and in June 2019 I joined a local club. Currently, I am 1320 elo FIDE and 1650 on chess.com  and 1970 on lichess and I would really love to improve, and I am decided to improve.

The more I learned the more I realized how hard chess is. And it was time to set my goals. My job is very demanding, so I decided I could not invest more than 10-15 hours a week without taking too much time from my family. With that in mind, my short-term goal is to achieve 1500 elo FIDE by  March 2022 and 2000 elo FIDE by March 2027.

I must confess I also suffer the "blind spots" problem that you describe. I am able to achieve a slight advantage against stronger players and make it grow little by little and then, I blunder it away. But in tactics or calculation exercises I do reasonably well for my level and when I try to dive in the reason why I blundered in the games I realize I have those "blind spots"

I am afraid I do not know the cure. I suspect it has something to do with concentration or fatigue. Or maybe we need a more structured approach beacuse our brain decides to simplify too much...

I am convinced that your partnership with Abhi is the way to go and it will be very beneficious for both. I wissh you the best and if yoy find the cure for blind spots, please let me know ;-)

I too have had this issue, as perhaps everyone has. I think this might be a matter of awareness. For instance if you're focused on one thing you forget about the rest of the board or other possibilities (as I experienced today, missing a variation in a simple mate-in-2 problem).

Or perhaps it may be a matter of needing to work more on basic tactics. I remember working on Chess Vision drills (as described by Michael de la Maza in his book) and it definitely increased my awareness in that regard.

Hi Jay,

I feel you, I understand your frustration and your feelings, however, do not worry, you will overcome this for sure.

I am no IM, or FM or anyone with a lot of rating but I have been studying chess for long time, more than 12 years now, I have all the chessbase dvds, all the books you can imagine and I did for 3 years particular lessons with an IM via internet. In all the dvds, from chessbase you will not find the answer, in almost any book is written either, or is written in a difficult way I think. Chess24 tried to do some series about this, but they also missed some important points although it was pretty good. This is not an easy issue, but the answer has been out there since the beginning of chess practice I believe.

We are really lucky because we have a strong, I would say spectacularly strong opening repertoire, which is clear not the thing that is wrong. Then we have here in Chessmood lots of instruction about the middle game, endings, everything at your disposal, right? Then what is missing? 

The thinking process is not the optimum one. Plain and simple. Do not think that is lack of concentration, or bad mood, I honestly believe that this is normal.

In order to help to overcome this blindness that you said, chess schools like the Russian, Ucranian or Chinese have been using for years the Algorithms in order to help the thinking process. GMs like Avetik or Hovhannes do this automatically and they do not even think about it. Lesser mortals like us, we must get used to think the right way, because we never did it yet.

I guess that this should be a topic for a couple of blog posts, but I will do my best to explain it a bit for you, this way I am sure that in a couple of months you will be again much stronger:

Avetik always says, what is the opponent thinking, what should be his next move? This is part of a thinking process that should be embedded in your brain. This kind of automatic questions are missed by us all the time. We must get used to think and answer these questions EVERY move!

The algorithms that I know were explained to me in Spanish by the excellent and great person IM Raul Ocampo from Mexico, but I am sure that you can adapt them to English, also you are in Arizona, you should speak Spanish too, it should only help, ;-)

He used to tell me:

The proper formulation of a problem is in most cases more important than the solution.
ALBERT EINSTEIN

To remember the algorithms, we use acronyms and since the vast majority of games are decided by tactics, I will start here. There are acronyms for middle game, endings, attitude at the board, when your pieces are attacked, etc. As I said, this is a remarkably interesting and complex part of chess study.

LET'S BEGIN, prepare your tea, and fasten your seat belts! (in Avetik style)

TO SEE (as a contrary of being blind) is easier with tools, and these are enriched at the same time if we develop the HABIT of examining each square on the board with our eyes or with our mind.
Some positions seem simple and easy to see and observe but they are not. Every square in every type of position of our pieces deserves our attention and we carelessly throw our work overboard when we do not pay attention.

The first question we should ask ourselves as chess players, out of habit is: What our opponent wants to do, and an easy way to find out is asking yourself ALWAYS: If my opponent played again, what move would he play?

This would be the acronym PARA, and you should always force yourself to ask and answer this, 

PA_ ¿Para qué? ( Why?)

R_¿Repitiendo qué haría? (Repeating the move what would he do?)

A_¿Adónde? Where (is he heading)

This is easy right? Do we do it at every move? we do not, GMS do it unconsciously. We must get used to do it at every move.

Another acronym is (the main one for tactics):

JACAS

JA_ Jaques (Checks)  You have to check out all the possible checks

CA_ Capturas (Captures) You have to check out all the possible captures

S_ Saltando (Jumping) Same as above but jumping, for exemple x-ray positions, pins, etc.

You also must free your imagination. How? Imagine that your pieces can jump, the same as those of the opponent and start thinking about:

• All possible checks if “the pieces would jump"

• All possible captures if “the pieces would jump"

These 2 acronyms: PARA and CAJAS, we will have to repeat constantly to avoid committing serious tactical errors. CAJAS IS FUNDAMENTAL. It takes time at the beginning to think like this but is the base of all growth.

The third one for tactics is: PLUS Which is the same in English

Piece
Limited
United
Loose.

You must look for signs in the board: pieces limited with no space, pieces united in the same diagonal, etc. or my favorite one, loose pieces. (I have an obsession, when I see a loose piece, I look for a combination that will allow me to capture it, I succeed many times!)

At the beginning when I started the courses, my coach made me do every day 20 min. of tactics at least. With well-chosen problems but with a mandatory thing to do:

Apply the algorithms at every problem!

I had a checklist that looked like this provided by him:

-          Check what the opponent menace is (PARA)

-          If the opponent would be able to repeat would play:

-          A) Checks ___  ___ ____

-          B) Captures ___  ___ ____

-          C) Checks jumping ___  ___ ____

-          D) Captures jumping ___  ___ ____

-          My candidates moves are: ___  ___ ____

-          I did CAJAS of every candidate move. YES or NO

-          I have a final evaluation of each of them. YES or NO

This was the list of questions I had to answer, sometimes I could see the solution right away, but we are trying to fix our mistakes, our thinking process, that is why you should do this slowly, writing, checking every move. We are trying to learn how to think properly at the board. At the beginning is slow, then it will become fast and automatic. GMs do this in a second, it will take us more time, but we should get there if we have the right way…  

I had hundreds of paper sheets written with this checklist, when solving Tactic problems, replaying master games, etc.  I even did it when playing practice games OTB with my friend. This helped me a lot to avoid blunders, which, let us face it, is the main reason why we lose games at our level.

Jay, I hope that this will help you, this simple system helped me a lot in the past, it makes no sense to build the house by the roof since our base is weak. Fix the base, grow up stronger! And above everything: Enjoy what you are doing!

PD: I am sure that the are many other ways and our dear Chessmood team will know better but this helped me a lot and I am 100% sure that it can help you too.

This post is poetry, is music. It's honest, wise, inspired, and inspiring. I'm glad you've identified the next milestone to overcome; it probably won't be a one-time fix, but will over time raise you to even greater heights. Good luck on further progress. I believe in you.

What a post and what kind of cool comments!!! 

Blind Spots Anyone?

The title of this post maybe a little misleading but it was inspired by the recent thread Chess Is Hard, that thread made me reflect on many things I took for granted and I wanted to respond in that thread but decided to hold back in fear of not articulating my thoughts clearly enough. However today I was watching a Blitz Game online (see screenshot at end of post) and in the position on the Board I immediately wanted to play Qxh6 check followed by Rh4 mate, there were only two problems, Rh4 is illegal and even if it were possible Qh5 stops mate LOL. The reason why I immediately spotted the idea of Qxh6 check followed by Rh4 mate is because this is a typical mating pattern known as Anastasia's Mate. What makes the position a little unusual  though is that this mating pattern more often occurs on the seventh rank rather than the sixth and is usually taught that way.
 

From the screenshot position Galchenko  finished off his GM opponent in prosaic fashion,  but can you find the more aesthetic path to victory. :-) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7_HSwaOkWI&feature=youtu.be&t=483

If you did then that is an example of the opposite of Blind Spot, you visualise the final position and work backwards from there to find the solution if one exists. When you can recognise typical patterns in an actual game, and understand fully the features that make them work as well as what makes them fail , then it will help you eliminate Blind Spots. As I mentioned in a previous post, calculation is not a very efficient way  to find combinations for humans, primarily calculation is the means human chess players use to verify whether a combination works or not, but the actual spotting of a combination is more often prompted by pattern recognition  and intuition. Pattern recognition is self explanatory, but intuition is a bit more abstract so I will give a small example, look what happened in the Galchenko  game his experienced GM opponent kept moving his pieces away from his own king while at the same time virtually forcing the opponent ones into more attacking positions. Intuitively anytime someone abandons the defence of their King to create threats on the other side of the board a strong player will automatically focus their attentions on constructing direct attacking possibilities,  patterns, combinations etc.  

To sum up, to help eliminate Blind Spots it is not enough to improve calculation we also need to create  a large mental database of typical mating and other  attacking patterns, strategic themes and tactical motifs, and all of this must eventually become second nature .

Yes,  Chess is hard but that is what makes it so much fun and rewarding. :)

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Kevin, thanks for this post!

I am working on this issue with any way I can. Pattern recognition will help for sure! 

Sometimes I feel like my brain just shuts down and doesnt want to see a certain piece or square, and that is the most frustrating of all.

I also saw a different line then what was played in the game you linked. I saw 1. Rf7+, Kg8 (Rxf7 leads to the same finish, just faster) 2. Rf8+, Kh7 3. R1f7+, Rxf7 4. Rxf7+, Kg8 (Kh8 then Qxh6 and Qh7)5. Rg7+, Kh8 6. Qxh6#

Not sure if I missed anything (blind spot?) but I saw it very quickly.

Thanks again!

Jay

 

what to play as black after 1d4 nf6 2 nf3?

Hi,

Just wondering what the recommended line is for black after 1d4 nf6 2 nf3? Maybe this is covered somewhere but haven't seen it - thanks

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Hi Michael,

I recommend you to review "Crushing d4 Sidelines" Course. In the London System section, GM Avetik recommends playing 2...g6

If white plays 3.Bf4 it is covered in the London Section

If white plays 3.c4, you can follow 3...c5 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.e4 and it is covered in the Maroczy Course

Or even 3.c4 c5 4.d5 b5 5.cxb5 a6 6.bxa6 Bxa6 7.Nc3 could be possible reaching Benko Gambit, also covered in Chessmood openings

One of the virtues of Chessmood Openings is that they are interconnected ;-) 

 Michael, we play 2...g6. 
But if you're below 2000 level, 2...c5 3.d5 b5!? is also very playable

Watch the course 1.d4 sidelines. There is a London system after 2...g6 if white plays Bf4. It will be usful if you decided to play g6 against 2.Nf3. https://chessmood.com/course/crushing-d4-sidelines 

Fantastic Commented games in Isolated Pawns

I have read a lot about playing with or against an IQP. However, I have just watched Chessmood Classical Commented games 20 and 21 by Botvinnik and Karpov and I believe they are awesome!

I do recommend them to all of you if you have not watched them yet

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Thanks, Sergio! 

that's my favorite course!

ChessMood Tournaments

I am new to ChessMood so maybe this has already happened in the past and I am not aware of it. Would it be a possibility to organise Online Rapid Swiss tournaments for the PRO members in order to promote practice within a community with manageable size? I have realised the strength of the PRO members ranges for almost the whole rating spectrum, so it would be a challenge for everyone!

It is true that if everyone sticks to the repertoire maybe we only see 2...d6 or 2...Nc6 against the 2.Nc3 Sicilian, but maybe these tournaments can also be made thematic opening-wise.

Just an idea I was pondering.

Cheers!

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Kindly join and enjoy weekly tournaments organized by Chessmood

https://www.chess.com/club/chessmood

Alex, good idea!
I think you guys should go for now with Sparring partners, and then when we cross 1000+ members, gonna be a good idea to organize tournaments for only PRO Members, playing only a particular opening. 


Sensitive (but important) issues for chess players

In terms of offline standard events:

I have hardly seen these issues dealt with in chess literature or anywhere else, but that's why I'm asking, I believe they're very relevant.

1. Going to the bathroom.

This might not seem an issue, but if you're busting in severe time trouble, you got a serious problem :) 

Also it depends on no.1 or no.2, yes? No.2 can easily lead to 10 mins off your clock. I've had this issue, even losing a game cos of the time situation. How do you guys manage it? I'm sure this is important, even for GMs.

2. Relationship between sex and competition.

This I'm curious of. Is abstination best? Spending the night before an important game with a woman doesn't seem like the best thing to do, based on my opinion and experience. 

But this might also depend on whether ur married or not, perhaps?

I'm curious to hear some opinions, preferably based on experience.

Thanks!

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First issue: I do not think anyone can manage it hehehe. Yeah if you think your clock should be stopped when you are in bathroom then I don't think FIDE will make this rule. Because let's imagine that you went for 10 mins in washroom in time trouble and then you will come up with variations and ideas and can make moves with bullet speed in time trouble and everyone will take advantage of this rule. So I think it's just your bad luck. If you try to control both during you play then you wont be able to focus well over board.

Second Issue: I am not married yet and have no girl friend. I know these things from spiritual knowledge. I think having sex during tournament will be troublesome for your functioning of brain. I know you find on internet like oh it's normal and releasing semen is ok. But it's not. Yes, you can do sex during your tournament only if you have potential to control semen. Only spiritual people can control it. Once semen is out then your energy level will go down and down and if the tournament is open then it will become a nightmare for you to handle your mind. No matter you are GM or normal chess player. This thing will affect your tournament play and if will affect your concentration level too. Those who can control semen for long term have nice concentration and can do well in any mind work. Another point is that if you have a wife or gf then she must understand that you are playing an event so she can try not to annoy you.

Anywyas this is my opinion about sex during tournament by spiritual knowledge.

I am afraid I do not have enough OTB experience to answer those questions confidently, but I would like to add some more related questions that have happened to me and intrigue me:

3.- How important is to be in good physical shape? I know elite GM say it is key, but I guess it is important at all levels. I suppose the flux of oxygen and blood is better and you do not get tired so easily in long games

4.- Is it good or bad to stand up often from the table during 90+30 games, or it depends on the person? I usually stay on the board the whole game, but I have seen my opponents behave in several ways:

- I have had opponents that stood up almost after every move they made, and went away to watch other games, and it made me a bit nervous. How do you manage it? do you make him a signal when it is his turn?

- I have had opponents that in critical positions stood up and watched the board from further away, and also stood behind me to watch the board from my point of view. Do you think it can be a good idea?

5.- I have had some young opponents that, during 90+30 games, played extremely fast, as if it was blitz. It was a bit frustrating that after around 20 moves, I had not been able to gain an edge, despite playing slow vs blitz. I always try not to get behind my opponent in the clock, so I ended up moving faster that I would like. How do you manage it?

Interesting questions :) 

Inguh, 1 - try to need to drink water/tea anything when you might be in zeitnot soon. 
In classical games, "solve the problems" when you still have 15 minutes on your time. 

2. A very big question. Unfortunately as not all our readers 18+, a few words.
I've talked about it with different specialists. There are different opinions. 
But it seems all agrees in one. If you're with one you love - all good. 
You lose some energy but get more... 


Which is the most complicated endgame?

Which is the most complicated endgame for you that it’s hard to learn and remember typical positions? For me it’s 2 Knights vs Pawn winning positions and also Rook vs 2 connected Pawns.

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For me bishop and rook  vs rook is complex for now. As I am new in endgames and my main focus is on middlegames.  Soon I am gonna work on endgames once my current training will over in 2 months. In december I will start my endgame training from beginning to the end.  Pawn endgames are also very very complex for me. 

I am doing fine with bishop vs knight endgames or knight vs bishop or bishop pair but I face nightmare whenever I have to face N vs N endgames. 

A position I found in a fundamental book but then coach told me that it's complex for my level hehehe. I spent a lot time but failed to defend that position against computers.

Position:

W: Ka3 g3 h4  B: Ke4 g4 (B to move and draw)

Currently I am working on following books ( duration 2 months )

1. How to Reassess Your Chess: Chess Mastery Through Imbalance

2. Chess Pattern Recognition for Beginners: The Fundamental Guide to Spotting Key Moves in the Middlegame

3. Paul Morphy Move by Move with @Devansh_Shah

4. Petrosian Move by Move with @Devansh_Shah

5. Capablanca's Best Endings. with @Jay_Garrison

All of them :D but probably I'll choose rook endgame.

When I play Rossolimo with the black pieces usually after some excanges in the middlegame I get a complicated endgame: 2 rooks + 7 pawns vs 2rooks + 8 pawns with akward, doubled pawn structures where you have to take advantage of only 1 open or half open file.

I studied a lot , the book 100 endgames by De la Villa and I always found boring and difficult to remember exactly the positions from the Ending 93 - Positions 13.4 to 13.6 - Checkmating with B and N.

I also always make mistakes with Rook vs Rook +2 pawns.

But always I keep forgetting the endings after a couple of years, I already studied this book 3 times from beginning to end seriously, now I just check it from time to time.

I get stressed with Queen and Pawn endgames. I am always afraid I will over look a some fork or skewer several moves in the future that loses haha!

Motivation- A necessity for most of people

I am just curious to know something about motivation. People who lose or have issues in anything beg others to send them motivational video or books and they say like oh once I will watch this I will become motivated to work again. Do you guys think it's right approach?

For me when I feel down I watch Pawn Sacrifice Movie and it makes me motivated again. But it does not mean that all time I need that movie to motivate me. My motivation comes from inside. My past loses, never won any event in 7 years, people laughed at me and called me loser, all ignored me, This all motivates me to do something by which I can slap on their face. Don't take my words in negative way. People are good and bad. Bad people only understand the power of success slap. Thats's why I work a lot. 

You may be see that in some chessmood posts I am posting how many books I am doing right now. It's more than 7 I think. and my target is to finish 5 of them in 50 days from now.  I did not post them for anyone's appreciation. I posted them to motivate those who need motivation to work. I am just 1465 but I have goals and I am committed to achieve them and I have nothing if not chess. So I only have to do everything which I can in chess. So be happy and try to focus on what your inner heart says. But as I said once you will have goals and burning desire then you will achieve success.

I am super happy that because of ChessMood I found two amazing training partners Jay and Devansh. 

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I too want a Study Partner to Study Books... Can we be Study Partners Abhi?

Pgn for woodpecker training.

Anyone have the pgn of how to reassess your chess 4th edition. The reason for that is that I am interested to apply the woodpecker method on this book so pgn will save my time during my second to 7th cycles. So I will be glad if anyone can share me the file. 


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Why Bullet?

I feel always confused why players of below 2300 plays a lot bullet online? I do not feel that they will maintain their 2300 elo level by playing bullet a lot. What you think guys? I left bullet once coach said never play bullet!

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Before joining chessmood, I didn't know which time controls would be better for me. I didn't even know that by playing bullet I would ruin my chess. Now I have raised 350 online rtg in 1,5 years and I rarely play bullet, although I maintain a high bullet rtg.

cause it is fun

Perpetual Chess (podcast)

I learned about ChessMood on Ben Johnson's "Perpetual Chess" podcast, #192 on Sept. 1, 2020.  Has anyone else joined this site based on hearing that podcast?

https://www.perpetualchesspod.com/new-blog/2020/9/1/episode-192-gm-avetik-grigoryan

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Hey! 
Welcome to the team! 
Yeah, many has joined :)  

Yes, I also joined after hearing the podcast

I also joined after listening to GM Grigoryan's interview in Perpetual Chess. It seemed very interesting to me and after watching a few free lessons and some videos on YouTube I decided to give it a try as a PRO member. I am enjoying it immensely so far, it is clear that there are long and high quality work hours behind all this content.

Same for me. I also decided to go PRO and I am very happy with the content. 

I forgot to add that I'm very happy with my PRO membership.  I can't wait to see where this site takes me.

The podcast interview was great. I have already listened to and read several interviews of GM Avetik and every time I learn something new and inspiring

Hard Work vs Smart Work

During my one on one call with coach he suggested me to work in smart way. I liked his ideas because before that I was only studying hard. But even after he said smart work I am doing super hard work. I do not know but working 3-4 hrs a day on chess makes me feel like I did nothing. I feel more happy when I do combo smart and hard work and I normally works 10 hrs a day and sometimes 12 hrs. So what you think about work? You prefer smart work or combo or smart work and hard work? 

I just like to learn a lot. I can't sit and wait. Some people and strong player told me to  don't try to work on your weaknesses but I do both. I work on my strength and weaknesses so I can become perfect one day. I know no human is perfect but at a level all human feel satisfied with their work or game. Same with me, I am not satisfied yet with my play  but the way I am improving my skills makes me more motivated that I will achieve my goals. I like combo of smart and hard work. 

My list in the bottom of both kind of works!

Example of smart work:

Working with strong chess partners on classics and endgames.

Example of my alone hard work: 

Working on visualization book, working on endgame book, working on htryc by Silman, pattern recog book, blindfold.


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FIDE Online Olympiad Gazprom brilliancy prize

Alexei Shirov won Gazprom Brilliancy Prize

Enjoy;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxJqBz7FT5E

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