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Chess forum by Grandmasters

"Dont's" - Explaining typical errors in the opening


I was thinking today about a possibility for the opening courses which could be quite helpful for us trying to learn them from scratch. Besides all the explanations of the lines and the model games, maybe there could be some short clips called "Dont's", with some typical strategic/tactical errors which are usually committed by less experienced players when putting the variations into practice.

For example, this morning I was playing a 10+5 game online in the 4...Bc5 Scotch and I managed to get an excellent attacking position in the less common 6...Qf6 line. As I was storming the kingside, I decided to sacrifice my g-pawn in order to open the column for my heavy pieces, but apparently if Black takes the g-pawn with the queen it is possible that the black queen itself can halt the attack by blocking the h2-pawn, and surprisingly it is not so easy to remove the blockader.

It might be instructive to have short clips explaining little motifs like this which may happen with some frequency, and maybe give them a fancy name (e.g. "the blocking queen"). It does not need to be from our personal online practice, but maybe from games in the streams where the GMs may find interesting motifs to explain.

It is just some thoughts, what do you think?




Hey Alex! 
Now we're recording "addition" sections for all the courses, where we'll cover moves, which are not good, but you're meeting often.
For example In the Scotch 4...Nd4? 

By the way it's already uploaded. 

I like your idea, but think the Opening courses are becoming dense enough already and should retain the current format of important theory, trendy developments and relevant model games, what you are proposing will bloat these courses unnecessarily and is much better suited for the Middlegame Mastery section. Moreover there is a danger that students maybe tempted to follow  do and don't guidelines dogmatically not understanding that there are many exceptions to such rules.

It would be more efficient to use the Middlegame Mastery section to discuss things such as do's and dont's of the various Opening Courses, as in that section more space could be devoted to delving into such guidelines in  depth.  Meanwhile the Opening section should as much as possible continue to be kept tidy, concise, well organised and relevant. 

Perhaps a Middlegame Series based on experiences in the streams could be added instead, entitled something like:

Typical Mistakes (Benko): 1600 - 1900

Typical Mistakes (Scotch): 1100 - 1500

Just some rough thoughts.

Chess = Life or Life= Chess?

How many hours of your daily life you are using for chess studies? 


Events for ChessMood PRO Members

Hey champions! 

We have added a closed team in lichess for only PRO Members. 
We'll have tournaments between us, tournaments with particular openings (so you can test your knowledge you acquire from the courses), simul games and much more... 

Join the team here:

We'll notify you, when is going to be the first tournament.  
IM Shahinyan David aka Shahinyan_ChessMood is my close friend and he'll help me organizing all the events. 

We have also opened an open group -
Each Sunday we'll have a tournament with 5+3 control, and 3+0 in 
So, you have a choice. 

For joining team - here is the link:

P.S If your nickname finishes with _ChessMood, it's gonna be better, so we'll recognize you and not miss your challenges and requests. 


Cool initiative,though I had to create a new _Chessmood account on Lichess.

Great initiative I was just wishing about this , I am so happy although i prefer 5+3 but i will join in both event. Thanks

Both of leechess and id is same Shahinur_chessmood. 

Just saw the message saying there is a tourney this evening - love the idea but I already arranged to be out tonight.  Is there a schedule for these, so I can make sure I’m free?

Visualization Training Methods?

I know there are a lot ways to improve visualization. What was your method to improve your visualization? 


1. By Ian Anderson's Visualization Course one. I am now able to see 10 ply depth so easily.

2. I am doing blindfold piece training and soon gonna play blindfold games online.


I'm using "Visualise 1" by Benedictine on Chessable.  I can see three or four ply, but not consistently and sometimes it takes a while.

Just play lots of blindfold chess :) 


What was the last opening you stopped playing, and why?


for me, Guico piano with c3-d4 as that was not something I was comfortable with in the middlegame!

Abandoned Ruy Lopez for Scotch. Also no more Queen's gambit :)

I stopped playing Hyper Accelerated Dragon because I was uncomfortable with Qxd4 lines, despite knowing the theory. I switched to Accelerated Dragon, because I am more comfortable with Rossolimo with black

I stopped playing the London system. I am aggresive and chessmood repertoire fits my style well.

I started playing Scotch instead of Spanish because it suits my style of attacking chess

I also started playing anti sicilian with Nc3 because it has less theory and more plans but I should also admit that I am a big lover of Open Sicilian, once I reach 2200, I will start playing it again as I like sacrifices

But when I started to play acc dragon and benko, I am really not satisfied with the opening because everytime I have played acc dragon, my opponents have played the most testing lines which only lead maximum to equality and benko I do not like anymore because if opponents play the best lines (even by their own logic) , it is very very drawish and in some lines A4 poses the most problems
So I would rather switch back to my E4 e5 and king's Indian Defense for Black

No offense, it's just my honest review maybe due to lack of knowledge and experience

I used to play 1...g6 to create winning chances as Black. It works well against weak players, but if the opponent knows what he is doing, Black will get bad positions right from the opening. After playing different Sicilian set-ups and comparing them, I think Najdorf Sicilian is the BEST opening for Black if he wants to play for a Win, in a positions with Equal Chances for both sides.

So, why playing 1...g6 when Najdorf is available?

I played the Trompowski for 20+ years until ChessMood. 

Since coach said it would be best for my game, I have actually given up my entire previous repertoire and converted to all ChessMood openings. It has made me a much more aggressive player.

Ruy Lopez Videos and Books

Hi  GM Avetik, and Chessmood friends,

I am adding the Ruy Lopez opening to my  White epertoire:

I need your help to find out the best resources on it.

My Questions:

A) What is the best resource (Book, or Video course) to learn the Ruy Lopez for White? 

There are many books and videos out there. I am seeking for the best, and the most reliable.

B) Do you have any idea/suggestion about the following video series?

Which one is the best and the most reliable:

1- Complete Ruy Lopez Repertoire, by GM Marian Petrov

2- Navigating the Ruy Lopez Vol.1-3, by Fabiano Caruana

3- Winning with the Ruy Lopez Vol. 2-3 by Victor Bologan


Kourosh, we have not done research on Ruy Lopez yet, what are the best sources. 
I think Kevin D will help you here :) 

Why opening is so important??

Hello everyone

I am doing well with chessmood courses. here and there i am getting few good result with our chessmood opening as well as . And now one question arise in my mind which is bothering me (may be  this the resistance?? ) past couple of days.

My question  is is  it ok to spending so much time in opening where most of the great player suggested to spend time in so called pure chess like middle game strategy, endgames study, solving studies? because many believe that only knowing the opening principle one can get good results?

I am glad that that i have chess mood family to express such questions.


Hi Shahinur,

I think it depends on your strength and your approach to the openning

At the lower levels it makes no sense to play the opening like a GM and then blunder a piece or lose the game to a simple tactic. That is why it is recommended to spend more time on fundamentals and less time on openings.

However, Chessmood openings are selected taking in mind that they are openings that will help you to grow. The key is not to learn moves by heart, but to understand what is happening in the position, the strategy behind that opening, the pawn structure and why we play that move and why other moves are not right. This way you are not just learning an opening, you are improving your overall chess knowledge. You will notice Chesmood Openings Courses are different from others in that respect.

For example, Benko Gambit, forces you to play with a pawn disadvantage. That helps you to not fear sacrificing a pawn for activity in other phases of the game of other openings. Benko Gambit also helps you feel the use of open lines and attack. You need to attack because you are behind in material

Each part of the game is important equally.

Shahinur, it very depends on level. 
For example for below 2000 level players, we recommend not to touch advanced section. just learn the openings, know the plans etc... 

It's important to play right openings, so you grow faster, instead of playing openings like London system and getting the same time of position all the time. 

And we had told many times in the forum, that it's a big mistakes if someone rated 1800 is trying to learn what happens after 35... Blacks Na4 move which is a novelty. 

You shouldn't learn openings on Grandamster level if your rating is not 2500. 
More is covered in the article:

Sicilian Defence with white playing 2.Bc4

I have had white play 2.Bc4 against my Sicilian in three consecutive games by different opponents, is this a new trend?


I dont think so, as it isnt challanging for black

This happens a ton at the under 1800 range. Coach ran into it a lot on the streams where he plays from 1200-2400, and he shows how to handle it.

Coach also said they are revising some of the videos to include these lines repeatedly faced by us, so you will get it added to the opening videos in time.

When white plays 2. Bc4 we employ an e6-d5 set up, but you will be best off finding it in the streams and hearing how Coach talks about it.

I hope this helps,


2.Bc4 by your opponent indicates a lack of theoretical knowledge and you must be flexible enough to employ a setup that takes advantage of the premature posting of the Bishop on c4. Therefore in order to be able to punish sub optimal moves/lines etc. it means you have to study the Sicilian structures as a whole (Not Just Fianchetto) to gain a broader overview of ALL the typical plans and ideas at your disposal.    

Derek. during the streams and in your games we have seen that below 2000 player plays a lot with Bc4, and we're going to add a section about it in the Sic. Sidelines course. 
In a few words, we will play 2...e6, then Nf6 and d5! punishing opponent's early Bc4. 

We have played a lot during the streaming series, if you check the streams, you should have already a good understanding how to play next. 
Anyway, the section is coming soon. 

Chess is a lonely sport. How do you deal with it?

I've seen top players mention this, and presumably studying chess is mainly solitary (For me it is, anyway). Is this an issue?

Obviously this is a philosophical question, I've also read that loneliness occurs because we're not totally focused.

What do you think?


For me I am tired of making fake friends. So, chess is like amazing for me. Everyday I learn something new. I also think that books are best friends of human. So loneliness never affects me. In past it did but now I stopped expecting people to stay with me. I gave up on friendship things. But I have only few close friends. I just left trusting people. So I do not feel irritated if I am lonly due to chess and stuffs.  I love it and I love my chess. 

I am not trying to show how negative I am. I am just writing what this life showed me. When you are good people are with you and when you are loser then people laugh on you. That time only close friends stay with you and motivate you to work well. I am glad due to chessmood I found some very nice friends as @Jay_Garrison @Devansh_Shah @Avinash_Ramesh. All of them are so dedicated to learn chess and have goals.

Find a trusted sparring partner or partners that can offer feedback and provide motivation for you to press on.

What is your main motivation... 

Many great chess players like Vasiukov, confessed in their autobiographies that they played chess as a refuge from the ugly world around them, the World WarII, the corruption and violence of human beings...

Even Fischer suffered a lot when he was a child... Fischer started to hate chess when he got older, he said that he preferred  being a Jaz musician, than a chess player. He said, men become wiser, when they get older. A very honest beautiful man he was

Nobody can answer to your question, but you.

Start by WHY? Why you play chess? What is your main motivation ... 

Having sparring partner/s or even a team, would be very helpful. 
And if you really love chess, it'll always be fun. 

karo kann openig struggle

hello everybody! I have a question regarding our repertoire against the karo- kann main line after black's 7Qb6 then 8Qb6 ab6 9 h3! Bh5 10Na3 e6 11Nb5 then black just plays Kd7 and apparently is completely safe! I struggle everytime to find a plan! Any suggestions? 

Thanks guys 


Check a good database look for model games with this structure, even Exchange Slav positions could be helpful. White is for sure better, but this is the type of long term advantage that requires patience and good technique to convert. To get you started see the illustrative game below, compare the play with yours and see if there are any ideas you can take away for next time:

Kevin's answer is great as always! 
Thanks. man!  

Lucio, after 7...Qb6 there is also 8.Na3 very tricky move. 
The idea is we want to play Nb5, and if he takes on b3, we're happy with ab3 pawn structure. 
In the last streams I had 2 games with Na3 move. 

Now we're recording model games for all the courses, and those game I'll comment and add in the course, so you know the ideas better of these positions.


Morphy- Better than engine?

Morphy here played Rxf2!!! I wrote triple exclam because engine was not able to find this move on depth 55. I ran my engine for more than 2 hours on this position but engine was failed to recognize the pattern which Morphy found in the game. May be some strong cloud engines will find this move. So if anyone have cloud engines and strong engines then try to run this position there and tell me if your engine shows Rxf2 on any depth.


I think the game continued Rxf2 Bxf2 and Qa3!!

I guess there are 2 possible explanations:

1. There are some positions that engines do not understand yet, as,  for instance, fortresses

2. Maybe Rxf2 is not the best move if white plays perfect moves, but it is the best move against humans



The Scotch - 4...Nd4?

Hello, champions!

As we promised earlier, we're going to add "Addition sections", "Model Games" and "Common mistakes" in each course. 

So, here we go! 
The 1st addition section is added in the "Scotch Game" course, where I cover the 4...Nd4? move, which happens a lot below 2000 level a lot.

Check it out, the next section is coming tomorrow!


Special thanks to @Kevin D, for his contribution and forum posts about 4...Nd4. 


NEW ARTICLE: How to Show NO MERCY to Your Opponents

Hey Champions!

We have this topic in our Blog.
If you have any questions, comments or you just liked it, feel free to share your thoughts here. 


 Interesting viewpoint. Reminds me of a Carlsen quote that used to be (is it still there?) on the walls of Wijk aan Zee playing hall:

"Some people think that if their opponent plays a beautiful game, it's okay to lose. I don't. You have to be merciless."

I love this article, now I can feel when I am thinking those loser thoughts! Then I try to redirect myself to be ruthless, remembering this article. Thank you so much Coach Gabuzyan for this article!

I play against pieces. (Svetozar Gligorić) 

Is chess evil? 

I think chess is just a game, but people who play this game have different mind-sets.

For people who play chess to earn their living, chess is just a competition, and not an ART.

Probably for majority of them,  at professional level, chess is 1st degree murder!

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:

Nice article I will use the winning mindset in my games all the time from now on.

Awesome Article!

Gave  Be  Boost Up To Be Evil!

edits-- In Good Sense

Discord ChessMood Group Training

How many of you guys are active on discord chessmood group? It will be amazing if you will join discord group of chessmood and stay active there so we will grow our chess skills together. Thanks.  I appreciate those who will join us and study with us!


Just joined. I did not realise there was a discord channel.

The Mood in ChessMood?

I'm guessing this is referring to appropriate attitude, beliefs and frame of mind when playing?

Mood taken literally would refer to a state of mind/feeling being happy, angry, focused, awake, or 'in a mood' (upset, angry, sullen).


Chess Puzzle

Do you know this one? 

White to play.


Is the last move f4 mate? wow! 

1.f4+ Kd5 2.f5 Bxf5 3.Nf4+ Ke5 4.Rd1 c6 5.Rd5+ cxd5 6.Nd3+ exd3 7.f4 mate

Actually in this Position I was Not Considering the f5 Move for 2 to 3 minutes. After Calculating all the lines I have not got the Answer So I Thought I am missing Something Again I checked all moves then I have seen f5 Move after that it is an easy Task.

1.Why I was not Considering the f5 move at the first time?

2.In which Area I want to Improve?

Chess and Music

I'm interested in is there anyone who is listening to music during the online games? 

I do. And I think it distracts my concentration but it seems too much boring without music :D

What about you?


Hajime в сердцах <3

Miyagi is always with me :D

I know people who streams online play music and make fun. I am not against it. But anyone wish for serious training online games using proper board and mindset to work on his skills then I think music may distract their mind. For me, I am just a boring personality. I think i heard the last song months ago. For me only chess books and videos and Fischer's movies is attractive. Rest I do nothing. 

But there is also an another approach, some players admit that when they run music and think then they play very well. So I think it's a matter of one's mindset. For me it's distraction but for someone it can be boom. I prefer choose what you like.

About your boring thing, I have only one thing to say. I do not mean to offend you but I just feel like if you love chess then how can it become boring if you play online? I noticed one thing online that people feel so bored from chess playing and studying. I hope you will not gonna feel bored.

For me studying chess makes me more energetic and now a days I am working with 3 training partners and I am the one who is lower rated than them heeheh. I am 1465 and they are like 1650, 1900(level 2100+), 1800. 1800 is USCF  and rest is FIDE.

Another big point is you are WIM and I hope you wanna become a GM or WGM  soon. So you have goals and I hope you are committed to achieve them. So , whenever you will feel bored during play but you dont wanna music then imagine the moment when you will be rewarded with WGM title and that moment will be superb for you. By imagining that you will work like a machine trust me. 

For me I am working a lot without distraction because I am 1465 and my past pain made me more committed to achieve my first milestone which is 2000 then next one will be 2200.

To Play with ?

Who would you like to play with the most? From the past or from now does not matter.


Apart from my beloved Bobby Fisher, I think Bent Larsen, and Leonid Stein were very talented chess players, and I could learn a lot from them.

Playing against today's strong grandmasters = playing against an engine, for 20-30 moves. engines + memorization has destroyed the beauty of chess to some extend. 

That's why I prefer old school chess. That was real and original.

It's hard to say for me, but it's easy to say your favorite's name :D 

Chess DRAMA!

Anyone know anything more about the story below, I found it quite troubling. 

Chess DRAMA - ARMENIA FORFEITED in PRO Chess League Finals:



I did not know about this. Nice one Kevin!I guess that if the cheating has been proved there is nothing to add, but it will be nice to see the armenian point of view, since we have so many aremenian family relatives!

I think this is a shame!

I think s evidence is not very convincing!!

I d ont like the behaviour of So. If he wins from stronger players this is normal if he lost they cheat. He told similiar story s about other Armemian players....i agree with the opinion of Nakamura that So d ont plays very well in this tournament 

Yeah, me too. I am not big fan of the Mighty american team but Petrosian's behavior looking down is strange all the time, when I play I do not even blink, and with money on stake I would put some tape in my eyes to avoid closing them and "see" all the moves that otherwise I could miss... Although he has no time to input the moves in a phone or another device. For cheating, there are cheating bots and you actually look at the screen since the moves appear in the board... I don't know, let's see how it evolves!

Yes, this is true Papa Tactics,

When I said that I was not a big fan of the Mighty american team (Saint Louis Archbishops), I meant a team bought with the Saint Louis Club money, they are all members of the Olympic team I believe. I always cheer for the underdog and clearly Saint Louis with all the resources they have were the favorites.

That said the controversy of changing federations has always been there, and will always be, at the end it is always the player that has to make the most of it and pick up any chance they have to grow as a players and personally. There is no better place to do that now than Saint Louis if you are one of these elite players maybe... What do you think?

Also I found this really interesting video from about cheating that was published in April...

Tigran is known as a very strong blitz and rapid player, I think he won a lot of strong players and tournaments. Of course, we also know him as a person, he is a very nice guy and a strong grandmaster. I definitely don't believe that he was cheating. Here is his reaction to it. I don't know where he wrote it, I just saw this picture. (I mean it was on, but I don't know where exactly). In my opinion, should be punished for this.

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