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Chess forum by Grandmasters

2850 in

Got my 2850 back
The goal of 2020 is to get 2900.
What's your goal for 2020? 

He resigned without waiting for my Qh4, which I saw only after he resigned. 
Don't do this! 
If you haven't read the article about it, here is the link:


In the bottom I shared my goals of 2020. I did well in studies. I already grasped ideas from more than 1000 classics. I also did nice in woodpecker method in case of tactics. I also studied all chessmood openings and now in revision mode. I am also doing superb in analysis mode and intuition training mode. But unfortunately I am not achieving my milestone in ratings. I only achieved 2200 elo on lichess in blitz but I am not doing anything good in other fields. I hope in the upcoming year I will achive my 2200 elo.
I also did smart study with dedicated partners but still I do not why I am still not doing super great in terms of rating.

Study plan:

1, Classics Section:

My goal is to study 1000 classics before december so from Jan 2021 I will play rated events and I wanna improve my positional play to the next level. I love Ulf Anderson's book which chessmood recommended soon I am gonna buy it and I also love Karpov's style. 

2. Tactics:

I also will solve daily 20 mins tactics.

3. Openings:

, I will finish all section of chessmood openings on my board and I will improve my openings too. So I will study 20 mins openings from openings files which I made during my study in past.

Total Study time for me is 3 hr classics and 40 mins in tactics and openings.

In case of online play

I want to reach 2000 in 3days per move games and maintain it too.

I want to reach 2200 in blitz and maintain it too.

I want to get 2000 in rapid and maintain it too.

How did you start

How many years are you playing chess and how old were you when you did your first steps?

I was 6. I've learned moves from my uncle and started to study by his recommendation.

How was your story? :)


Chess used to be shown on TV. Play Chess was a programme presented by GM Hartston that was on during the school holidays, and also there was coverage of the Kasparov Karpov matches which I was interested in but never had a push to go play. Took it up properly much later when I found out about clubs and tournaments (shouldn't have to find out about these things they should be more encouraged). Mind you if I'd been playing chess more often rather than being on my computer I might not have had a well paid career, so I suppose I took the right path.

Certainly I think having 10-20 minute chess programmes on TV as filler would help the intelligence of population far more than the umpteenth repeat of Cash I Found In the Basement While Baking Something In A House I Bought In the Country.

I was 5 when my father tought me to play chess, because he was tired of me beating him at checkers.

However, I didnt start studying the game till I was 22 years old or so

At the age of 16, now I am 23. Learnt from my dad and 7 years old kid. Found first mentor in 2017 and was improving but due to life issue I left chess for two years and in the beginning of this year I was like a novice but I worked well from march to now and gained almost 1600 elo level. 

Chess Rating

What is your current Fide elo rating?  if you don't have then at lichess or

What was your highest performance and when?


2222 is my current rating, I can't remember my highest, but it was about 2260

FIDE     1465 and it's my highest.

online 2134 blitz and lichess 2202 blitz. Now I am back to 2000 on and 2130 on lichess. Yeah right now my rating is not speaking how well I am studying but I am sure soon it will because in past coach told me when we install too much in little amount of time then it takes time for our brain to apply those concepts in our games. So, I am just waiting for that moment when my ordinary brain will find those pattern heheeh.

Sometimes I hate rating system. Strong players ignore lower rated players and don't even like to talk with us. On theother hand some strong players are so kind  to help players like me. For example my two training partners have level of 2000+ FIDE  but still they work with me. Example is @Jay_Garrison. This man is boom for my chess. People also selling themselves. Even GMs. I don't wanna mention the name of GM but he texted me on fb and asked me how I got 22k member group on fb. Then I told him my approach of helping people in best way. I made a lot comments. Replied to more than 1000 people and then they joined me and my group grew. GM texted me for marketing purpose. All time he cried in front of me for sales sales sales. Then in the end he said to me why I am helping people ? They don't even watch your content. Then it made me angry because I was helping beginners so I left him.  Yes he is GM but I call those kind of GMs only fool. Money is not everything. Once I will achive my goals I will help more people and for free too. 

Οn lichess I am 1898 bullet, 1867 blitz, 1843 rapid and 1760 classical. On 1816 bullet, 1749 blitz, 1690 rapid. 

Carlsbad Ideas- Let's Debate

Hi, today I played a nice game of Carlsbad. I know it was blitz but I was well prepared for the main lines so I had no issue with time control. My question is how do you play as black in Carlsbad? In my game black made a commitment by playing c6. I think it gave me additional option of long castles. Instead of this c6 I prefer more Nbd7- Qc2- Re8 idea to play Nf8 and later decide play c6 or direct c5. 

The problems of c6 was that black will have to lose a tempo in playing c5 and this tempo is sufficient for white to advance his forces in the queenside. Also if black follow general plan of Nbd7 then Re8 Nf8 and white thinks ok let's castles long (which he can if he wants to) then black have additional idea of Be6 Rc8 and direct c5 and hope for active counterplay against white's king.

Some thoughts about my game now:

1. I know many masters still commit c6 and later white can castle and black will lose a tempo by playing c6 then c5. So I disliked it because black can wait first to see where white king will castle then move the pawn in the queenside.
2. Move 9th h6? My first instinct was like really? My king is still in center man and I can castles long anytime so are you happy to allow g4 g5 so easily with this g7-h6 pawn str. Thanks to @jay for his amazing lesson about lever so I had my idea in my mind.
3.  On move 11th see he played c5 and he was the one who lost a tempo not me.
4. On move 12th if he can take on d4 then I am still better due to excellent control of the center and d file and still my attack is on the way.
5. On move 14th may be Kb1 was not essential but in some lines may be it is. I know its a rule to place king there to defend a2 so I chose Kb1 instead of aggressive g4!
6. On move 14th Nb6 I thought it will be almost impossible for him to survive my attack so I went for 15th g4.
7. On move 16th when g5 lands on board I thought I am winning
8. On move 20th I saw both Be5 and Bg6 But I liked winning an exchange hehehe. My friend told me Bg6 wins and I said yeah both Be5 and Bxg6 looks winning.

I am happy to hear your opinions about this game. I know it was blitz but I think my ideas were decent but if my ideas have any issue or if I misread about any plans then kindly let me know. Carlsbad is so so complex sometimes so it's not so easy to remember all the words of mentors and sometimes it's hard to remember little deep details so experts of Carlsbad are welcome to help me.
Note: Keep that in mind I am just a normal 2000 elo and 2150 on lichess player.
Point: Many of you may think why I did not appreciate myself alot. It's my strategy. I don't wanna look like a egocentric person or something like that. I like down to earth attitude and it's gonna be key of my success. 


playing c6 is more precise. As black you do not want to castle too early, but if you do not go for c6 you do not have enough wating moves

Take a look at this game and you will see the problem with early commitment with c6. Yes, I am not saying your idea is wrong but I wanna know more. Because whenever I play these lines and black commit early c6 then I like this long castle idea and only b5 plan can be super complex for white to handle but even there white can use the c5 outpost for his knight. So, it's gonna be interesting to know more about this structure.

Now take a look at the game played between Timman and Boris Spassky. Here black delayed c6 because he was waiting for white to show his cards and when white castled then he went for c6 and his plans. On the other hand if white castles long then black can get nice counterplay with Be6 Rc8 and c5

Yes, level of player is not so high but another victim of early commitment with c6

Guys where are you????

T K sure sir, add me on lichess abhi_mary_1997


No one posted any update?

Arkell's Endings (book or video form) has a fair bit of discussion on the minority attack.

Here as we can see white castled long and black haven't made the move c6 so now the plan of Be6-Rc8- c5 is more effective. I was right that early commitment with c6 is not so good. Do you guys agree ?

Scotch 4... Qh4 5... Bc5

The coverage probably should look at 5... Bc5, the second most common reply to Nb5 as it's not so simple.

After 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Qh4 5. Nb5 Bc5

There is a spot mate now on f2. Two moves now Qf3 and Qe2 to defend against that with over 100 games in each.

6. Qe2 Qd8  - now whose queen looks silly? if 7. Qg4 Kf8 8. Nxc7 Qxc7 9. Qxg7 Bxf2 10. Kxf2 Nxe4 11. Ke2 Qe5 +=

Even 6. Nd4 here 7. Nxd4 Bxd4 and while the computer thinks White is better here, the Queen is a problem on e2, c3 makes it problematic to develop the queen side, Nd2-f3 is two moves while the e-pawn is going to be attacked and White has a while to castle, and 8. g3 Qf6 9. c3 messed up the queenside and is the sort of position tactical cavemen (the sort that have played hundreds of Qh4 in blitz) like to play that is losable with a small slip.

6. Qf3 looks better, if Nd4 (Ne5?? 7. Qf4!) 7. Nxd7 Kd8 8. Qf4 Nxc2 9. Kd1 Qxf4 10. Bxf4 Nxa1 11. Nxa8 d6 (to prevent a rescue attempt that would happen after Bxf2) 12. Nc3 Ne7 and it looks complicated even if White is better as simple obvious moves such as f3 lead to equality if the computer is to be believed.


Hey David,

I just checked the line that you wrote, I don't think it's really complicated, because the position will end like you will take the knight on a1, he will take the knight on a8, then you will have a better pawn structure and the d6 pawn will be weak, your pawn on e4 definitely much better. Maybe you also have a chance to go immediately Nb5 and attack on d6 pawn.

In the advance section I believe the reccomendation is as follows:

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Qh4 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Be2 Qxe4 7. Nb5 Bxc3 8. bxc3 Kd8 9. 0-0

With lots of compensation for the pawn.

Tactical Game

Hey guys,

Let's post our best tactical checkmates here :)


Carlsbad- Boom for my Positional Play!

Well, a lot players in our chessmood family are experts and some are learning classics.  In case of me I am just addicted to study of Carlsbad. I feel full of energy when I see this structure and analize games of this structure. I am still learning so a lot mistakes I have to solve. Here is an interesting position. How many of you know this position and plans for both sides? Guess who played this !? Ne2 N in a game. Please don't check database.  

I am now a days working on my base files on Carlsbad Stru. My plan is to dive deeper into the positions and see min 200 classics based on all the themes. 

In the second pic you guys can see I am arranging my base file based on themes and in the bottom I am pasting a lot commented games so I can easily understand ideas. I know basics of all the themes already so looking at 200 or may be 500 games in a month wont be a big task for me. I am saying See not analize. Rest study I do with my partners. 

Note: I am also studying with chess partners different things like middlegames books, pawn structures book, endgames  and opening training games too. Alone I like to work on this str. a lot.


As many of you know I wanna study positional chess. So the reason behind my love for this str is that it was the first str. I studied in depth and still I am learning new ideas. So I just love it. Two days ago I was analizing a chess game of Petrosian and in that game suddenly I forgot that the str. is carlsbad but soon I realized that it is and then what happened? We both found all the right plans of Petrosian in a bullet speed. It was the Starting position. Here I felt like looks like it's carlsbad and then I realized oh true it is and then with my training partner @Devansh_Shah we studied whole game and saw all the ideas in less than an hr. 

Guys, if you have any story like that about your love of pawns structures of anything then share it. I will be happy to enjoy your study stories.

very famous idea by Magnus, he basically refused the seemingly bulletproofed 6.Bf5 in a great game against Kramnik


Hi friends,

Is it a good idea to add a Chatroom to Chessmood website?


We can have that but what is the purpose exactly?

Kourosh, this is something we are trying to create. 
But we're missing good developers. 
If you know anyone, please refer us. 

what are the advantages of the chatroom? 

7. f3 Modern Maroczy with Bd3 Ne2 Nf4 and h4

I apologize if this has been asked before but in the course, the line ends with the suggestion to play Nc5, a5, with ideas of Rc6-Rb6, Ra8, perhaps with the idea of pushing a4. However, when white starts pushing his kingside pawns with h4, I found in a training game that I had to play h6 (in the attached position).

Attaching the game, I was unable to come up with a freeing plan for black at the board. So this position after h4 in the attached diagram probably needs some analysis. Any tips on how to play this position are welcome. Thanks!


Never mind the terrible f5 and everything that followed in severe time pressure, this was a 5s increment game (though I can't blame the clock, the tendency to make something happen even when not warranted is strong in me, something I'm trying to fight against). :)

PS: NM Gopal Menon was the one who helped my opponent prepare for this game. I think GM Avetik knows Gopal Menon, he's a very strong player and probably can get to GM if he wants to. 

Hey Vishnu! 
Yeah I know Gopal of course. We had a match with him, when I was in the USA. 
Vishnu, as we talked during the call, your goal should be now to learn the missing openings very fast, understanding the ideas, and spend time on the middlegame. 

Please, don't be trapped, and go to learn openings in-depth that 2400+ should do :) 


Chess Psychology

What is something you need to "let go" of to progress?


Letting go is a vast concept

For majority of chess players, it should be
- Laziness
- Fear of Failure
- Fear of Competition
- Fear of change (maybe in openings)
- Not sticking to past results as there is always scope for improvement
- Wrong belief systems, think positive
- Wrong habits like playing too much bullet or Blitz

maybe just my smartphone :D

Model games in the "Caro Kann "

Hello, champions! 

We've added 6 instructive games in the "Caro Kann"course 
Check out them, another 5 we'll add soon, so you can prepare for tomorrow's Caro Kann tournament. 

And today we have a webinar, during which we'll cover opening mistakes that happened during the last "Scotch tournament". 

Here is the link:

See you? 


I've added 5 more instructive games in the "Caro Kann"course 
One section related to Black's g6 system, and another one is about the endgames. 

Check it out! 

Scotch Game question

Scotch Game 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3,d4 ed 4.nd4 bc5 5.Nb3 bb6 6.Nc3 a5 what to play after a5 ?


It's an uncommon line but I think here we are forced to play a4. My first thought was Qe2 but it allows a4 and black is faster. So just a4.

Now if Qf6 then Qe2 follow by Be3 looks logical to me

If Nf6 then Qe2 looks ok for me then castles allows Bg5!

If d6 Nd5 Ba7 Be3 looks logical to me

I hope it will be helpful for you. Rest coach knows better than me. 

How about Nd5 immediately? Winning bishop pair and preventing an easy Nf6 (due to Bg5). With exchanging on b6 and playing Nd4 if black pushes a4?

I just started watching Scotch, I don't know if this move a5 is there or not, I checked it with the engine for more than an hour and here's the result, but it's better if Avetik tells you which move and which idea to choose and Why. 

CHong, you can still go 7.a4 
But the biggest downside of 6...a5 is 7.Bb5!

And then after Nf6 8.0-0 0-0 9.Bg5! 

Thanks for the idea coach and everyone.

Super article on tactics

Another EXCELLENT article on tactics by coach Avetik Grigorian!

Can anyone here think of a coach that's better than Avetik?




Kasparov is also great. He made Magnus to 2800. I hope my history knowledge is right. But at present Coach Avetik is the most amazing mentor I have ever met online.

Who knows Kasparov was a great coach or Magnus was so talented :D

Haha :)))) 
Thank you very much, guys )) 
But comparing me with Kasparov, is too much ))) 
I should still eat too much cheese and bread for comparing myself with Kasparov))) 

Suggestion for making a structured and typical study plan for ChessMood Pro members

Dear coach,

Thanks for providing world-class chess coaching and materials for affordable price via ChessMood. It is boon for both the armatures and the professional players of all levels right from novice to Masters.

I have a suggestion. Kindly ignore it if I am wrong.

As I mentioned earlier all the world’s top class materials prepared by experienced GMs through their research, on opening middle game endgame are accessible to ChessMood Pro-members. In that GMs explained all the concepts and theories very well and also showing how to implement in the game via streams. I request you to make a typical monthly study plan to cover all the studies in a pre-determined time span as per coach’s advice.

For example:


1.e4 against all openings other than 1…e5and1…c5(french,caro-kann, philidor, pirc, modern, Scandinavian, petroff, Alekhine) (sidelines)

Commented classical games 1-15

Classical attacking games

PawnEnd game



1.e4 against 1…e5( Attack with scotch)

Commented classical games 15-30

Classical attacking games

PawnEnd game



1.e4 against 1…c5 ( Anti-Sicilian 2.Nc3)

Commented classical games 30-45

Classical attacking games

PawnEnd game




Sicilian sidelines, Rossolimo, Maroczy bind, and modern maroczy bind

Commented classical games 45-60

Classical attacking games

Rook Endgame



Accelerated Dragon

Commented classical games 60-75

Classical attacking games

Rook Endgame



 d4 sidelines and against 1.c4

Commented classical games 75-90

Classical attacking games

Rook Endgame




Benko Gambit

Commented classical games 90-105

Classical attacking games

Minor piece endgame


Apart from this, you may assign some more tasks in each month viz. puzzle solving also


Thank you.


I'm not sure how that would help beyond motivation to do something by a certain time. It might be useful to know roughly how long each course should be worked on (beyond the time of playing the videos), but everyone is different. Most people have limited time and motivation wanes, so getting the 'best bang for your buck' i.e. using most of your time to work on the things that are holding you back now will get you further than trying to study everything over the course of months but not fixing the fundamental problems of why you are losing.

My advice is coming at your from a 1900 player who has been trying to get above 2000 for a long while, but I understand why most of my weaker opponents (1500s) lose games against me (or I escape with a draw rather than lose, usually because I mess up, not them outplay me). If one's tactics are awful (basic pawn endgames and basic rook endgames too), working on them is going to help big time, particularly if most longer games end up with a blunder of something or missing an 'obvious' win someone of a sightly higher rating would have seen.

Each person is different and what's important also differs by rating and what is holding an individual from getting better results, even though there will be commonalities and patterns. A weaker player should devote some time to making sure they have a simple repertoire of openings for the purpose of getting a playable game. The ChessMood openings I've looked at so far are ideal because they are more aggressive and don't have so much theory to learn. Time spent on openings for a 1500 will be less time that someone looking to break 2000 which will be less time that someone looking for a title (and I have some doubts how well some of the ChessMood openings will do against booked up stronger players in longer time controls, but they can serve as a base which you add to or replace over time).

While I'm enjoying the classical openings course, I'm not sure it's quite as useful for someone 1500 who is losing because they miss tactics, can't play basic endgames and lack the wrong mindset (play drawish, solid openings, same structure every time and don't set the opponent any real problems). Strategy beyond the basic ideas (rook on 7th, bishops better in open positions, knights on the rim are [can be] dim, etc) isn't needed so much there. It's a gold mine for me though coming in around 1900 because even though tactics are often deciding games, having playable and easier to play positions than your opponent counts for a lot and gives the opportunity for tactics to be in your favour. You aren't losing (usually!) because you missed a knight fork or couldn't draw a basic pawn ending.

So I think to put a plan of study that is to be followed by a group of people (even if banded by ratings) is probably not useful. Pro members get a 1-1 call with a GM (I've not had one myself so can't comment on how good it is), but without your own coach that is probably the best place to put a plan together (particularly if they look at a few of your games to try to get a common theme on what will do you the most good in the time you have).

Isn't this the point of the 1-1 call with GM avetik to come up with a study plan?

I think serious players need change in study plan after every 60 days. 2 month for a study plan is ok and then new study plans will be useful for serious players.

My study plan was.

Learn classics. 

Work on tactics

Work on chessmood openings.

Work on basic endgames

I did all this already and still I am working on them because I am not master yet.

Everyone is different, but if this plan works for you then I definitely think you should stick to it! Please let us know how it goes as you progress :)


Benko Gambit Declined best games (Coach Avetik)

Hi GM Avetik

I am going over Benko Gambit opening, but I still have a hole/gap in my understanding and database where your best Benko Gambit Declined games are still missing!

Remember, I asked for your best Benko Gambit Declined games quite some while ago and you said you would look a few up for me? How did that go? Did you find or play some Benko Declined games? I hope you did and can post one or two  of them for me to learn from!  Also, of course, these would be useful for everyone!

Alright, I look forward to any help you can give on this and I also look forward to doing the Chess Mood Benko course more fully now. COGRO!

Right mood, right move & no hoodie blunders!

Many thanks & best wishes ;-)


Richard, I might miss questions posted in the main channel. 
Please, if you want be sure, that your question is answered, post in the "PRO Members" channel. 

I'm working on the Benko declined course. 
There are many many declines. 
Can you clarify, in which you're struggling most. 

Anyway, I'm sure you miss most our streams, during which we covered all the sidelines many times :) 

We can collect and filter all games of our coaches (Avetik, Gabuzan, Zaven, etc) in OFFLINE and ONLINE ( and LICHESS) that use this Opening (Benko Gambit) as Black... and learn how they handle and play this opening very well!

Thank you.

Problem in Classical Games, game 56 Larsen-Spassky

At around 4:20 Chessbase messes up and the d2 pawn is not replaced when the move is retracted and the Nb1 also temporarily disappears. Probably easily fixable by overlaying on the video.


Oh... Our bad... A strange technical issue. 

We'll fix and replace. 

Thank you very much, for letting us know, David. 

Scotch Model games| 2 hour material is added

Hello, champions! 

We've added 20 model games (overall 2-hour material) in the "Scotch Game course"

And we said earlier, we're going to have closed tournaments between our PRO Members, practicing one opening each time. 
So, this Saturday we're going to have a Scotch tournament.
You have time to prepare :) 

Here is the link to the tournament: 

Good luck! 


Very cool, thanks for this. A demonstration that the site is about helping people improve, not just about getting subscribers. Count me in!

What will be the next tournament and roughly when - i.e. what should we look at next?

The Scotch game - New PGN + homework

Hello,  champions! 

I've added a new PGN file for the "Scotch game" course where you'll find also homework. 
If you can fill out with correct answers all the diagrams I've added in the file, than you know the Scotch very well! 

Good luck, I hope you can make it. ​​​
​GM Avetik

A reminder: Today at Standard ChessMood time, we have a closed Scotch tournament for our PRO Members only. Working on the file, that is added, gonna be a good preparation. 

The link for the tournament - 
Join our team if you're not a member yet here:  ​​



I downloaded the new pgn to see what the test questions are. Straight away I find there is some gap in my knowledge.
First question is after 1e4 e5. 2. Nf3 Nc6. 3. d4 Nf6, Do you remember how do we play here?  Check out the addition sections.

I don't recall seeing this anywhere though? I had a quick check I and I don't see it. Am I being blind and if so could someone please direct me to the section where this is. I have watched nearly all videos except the last advanced section of craziest variation ever.

Thanks in advance


What is this " not enough games played " message when trying to join a tournament.  Moreover how does one get enough games unless they get to play in the tournament?


Most sites require you to play 10-20 rated games before they will allow you to participate in a tournament. They want you to have an established rating before you play to insure fair pairings I believe 

Derek, the logic is that, people don't reg. a new nickname and cheat in the tournaments. 
And they don't care if their nickname was banned. 

Scotch 3...Nf6? - refutation

Hello Champions! 

We've uploaded one more addition section in the Scotch game, when Black plays 3...Nf6?  

And also, today we have a Bundesliga and GM Gabuzyan will join it with a live stream! 
More info for participating in the tournament and watching the stream you can see here:


Hi ChessMood,

I've seen this several times now: players avoiding on move 2 with 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Bc5? (more common avoidance would be Nf6, d6, f5, d5) - I was just wondering where this came from and what the trap is, as Nxe5 just seems to drop a pawn.  Bxf2? managed to lose me a 3 minute game, but sensible replies to move 4 options (not worrying about Qh4+ Kg1) leaves material up. Maybe this is something only tried in 3 minute games but I've had it 3 times now, and never seen it before that.

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