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Chess forum by Grandmasters

New course: Attack like a Viking!


Get ready to raid!?

Our course ‘Attack like a Viking is out!’

With GM Gabuzyan, you’ll set out on an adventure where you’ll learn about attacking in chess – from scouting the conditions before raiding to building your forces to finishing off the game!

Go raid the link below ?


Great! Have to check it out, cause I'm watching way too much olympiad atm ? EDIT: started watching it and found this hilarious moment

I just found this course and I'm working my way through it; I think it's excellent. How will the forthcoming Attack course - I think it's scheduled to be released at the end of the month - be different from this Like a Viking course?

Hi GM Gabuzyan, thank you for this really good course. one question on section 7. point 9 : is the move Ba3 here or earlier also a good alternative ? just to bring it in the center at least ?

I wanted to buy this course with my moodcoins but I don't see an option here of get lifetime access is it a PRO only course? Appreciate the response as always ?

Hi, Had troubles with this position and could not find what was wrong with my move. Turns out that the move I wanted to play was the top engine move, the solution's move was #3. (SF14) In addition, the final move in the "solution" was not in the top 5 engine moves so had problems finding it as well.

PGN files

How do I open the PGN files? Allen


Chessbase is the main one in use, but isn't cheap. Chessbase reader is free, but you can't use many database functions. If you don't have Chessbase SCID is free.

- Chessbase ($$$) and Chessbase Reader (free) - Hiarcs Chess Explorer ($$) - There are also a number of mobile apps that do a good job, like 'Chess PGN Master' or 'Acid Ape Chess' - I also know that online sites like ChessTempo, Lichess, and allow you to upload PGN files for evaluation and viewing. But as David already mentioned, one of the benefits of a PGN is to build your own database of games. So if taking chess study to the next level is one of your goals, don't just look for a PGN "viewer" (of which there are many).. but find something that imports the PGN files into a database for maximum analysis and usage.

Hiarcs is great if you have a Mac. It's what I use. For Windows, another free option that I've heard good things about is Tarrasch ( The advantage over Chessbase Reader is that it can be used to create/edit PGN files. The advantage over SCID is simplicity.

Hi Allen!
Most of us who study chess non stop use Chessbase and you have the free version Chessabase Reader but it does not allow to do all that you need.

In Lichess you can create studies, which is a good option too.

There are some pgn editors like:

 which are free too, of course the functions are not the same but you can give it a try…


French exchange - preventing Nb5

Hello and apologies if this has been answered before. I had a game last night that went: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.h3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd6 6.Nc3 In this position, is it wise to play 6...a6 to prevent Nb5? This way of thinking seems to lose a pawn but I also don't know if I need to play Bb4, moving the Bishop twice. I played Nge7 as planned and my opponent never played Nb5, but it's been driving me crazy since I noticed it in my analysis. Thanks and once again, apologies if this has been answered.


Hi Jules!

No need to play a6 at all. Let them come and take the bishop, Nc3, Nb5, Nxd6 to develop our Queen to d6. 3 White moves to develop our Queen it is a very good deal, one piece more developped on our side. If Nb5, I would just castle short and that's it, count how many pieces we have developped and how many has White if they go into this wild Bishop chase… This is a basic concept of the opening, develop as fast as possible and here White would be helping us. 

Today's Puzzle - Jan 29th

I have to admit that I didn't see where today's puzzle was going right off the bat, I just played (what I thought was) the best positional move... then a beautiful mate occurred. This was a pretty puzzle. Thanks for an excellent "birthday" puzzle.



Hi All, I understand that there was a survey put out by Avetik. I'm watching the video but would also like to add an opinion to the survey. Anyone know where I could find it? Thanks


Hi here's the link, from my email. It looks like the survey is still open! It was first announced in ChessMood's mailing list. If your email isn't in the mailing list yet best to join now this is another avenue for getting all the latest news and events. Best rgds, Alex

Bug in Daily Puzzle screen?

Hi Chessmood family, for the last two days I've solved the daily puzzle on the first try but didn't get the moodcoins. I just got the message "You are in a Right Mood today!" but no coins. I waited a day to try again to be sure. Anyone else have this issue? Thanks, Alex


I did today's puzzle (this one: and didn't get any Moodcoins. Perhaps they are changing things around, or perhaps it's a bug. I'm not too worried either way, but then being new I don't really know what these coins are good for anyway :-) Btw, I thought it was a great puzzle! Well worth the effort to solve.

Thanks, this bug has been reported.

I think that this bug has been solved, can anyone kindly confirm that you are getting the moodcoins now?


I solved today's puzzle on the first attempt but did not receive any MoodCoins. I wonder why not. I solved it from my Android phone. Tomorrow I will solve from my laptop to see if that makes any difference.

I solved today's puzzle but did not receive moodcoins. Yesterday I also saw that the puzzle being displayed to me had flipped back to the prior day's puzzle for a while. That coincided with my timezone, as displayed on the events page, being completely wrong. I also noticed that my timezone was completely wrong when I solved today's puzzle.

This bug is back for me.

I got 'Congratulations. You are wrong!' today. I guess it's got a sarcastic side.

This morning's event

Is today's 1 on 1 event done, or were there technical difficulties?


happy birthday

happy birthday


avetik wish you a beautifull year ahead 😊

Modern Maroczy against f4

I played a game as Black against the Modern Maroczy where White played 12. f4 rather than f3 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6 5. c4 Nf6 6. Nc3 d6 7. Be2 Nxd4 8. Qxd4 Bg7 9. Be3 O-O 10. Qd2 a5 11. O-O a4 12. f4 I was wondering what Black's plan is now? Does this now allow Ng4 ideas or to continue with Qa5?


Happy 54th Birthday Avetik!

Just wanted to wish coach Avetik a Happy Birthday and all the best wishes!


I know Avetik looks pretty beat up, but he is not that old! Avetik is a mere 34 years young, while I am 64 years old but wiser :-) Get some time in guys & ENJOY! Happy birthday Avetik! ;-)

Oops , small detail....34th birthday 🤣 But 54 years wise!

French Defense Schlechter Variation - I never get the main line and never get an advantage

Among all Chessmood openings, the one I struggle with the most is the French Defense. Of course, it's very nice when black is kind and replies to 3. Bd3 with 3.. Nf6, but what happens most often is 3.. dxe4 4. Bxe4 Nf6 5. Bf3 and now, all kinds of things other than 5.. c5 are played. I get 5.. Nbd7/Be7/Bd6/Nc6 etc, and it seems to be easy equality for black and no obvious questions that white can ask. For example, below are few lines with 5..Bd6 that seem to give black an easy game. I know GM Gabuzyan advised to quickly play Nbd2-c4, but I don't quite see how this is such a great asset for white. 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Bd3 {C00 French Defense: Schlechter Variation} dxe4 4. Bxe4 Nf6 5. Bf3 Bd6 6. Ne2 (6. Nd2 c5 7. Nc4 cxd4 {and now what?}) 6... O-O 7. Nd2 (7. O-O c5 8. Be3 Qc7 {Holding off on Nc6 seems better for black, as they can now take on d4 while avoiding white pressure on the c6 knight.} 9. h3 cxd4 10. Nxd4 a6 11. Nd2 e5) 7... c5 8. Nc4 Be7 9. Be3 cxd4 10. Nxd4 e5 {and white can't take due to Qa5+.} This are just a few examples, but it's instructive for what I experience in this line in general. To summarize: it's easy life for black! I'd be happy to hear about the experience of others in the community.


Hi, I must agree in Bd3 french lines I very much like when black goes for 5..c5 main or 3..Nf6, but I find 5..Bd6 or even 5..Be7 I often don't know how should I setup the pieces, of course Nd2-c4 vs Bd6 and Nbc3 with d5 vs Be7 all that jazz but often black just breaks with c5 or e5 bit later with good play. I've seen the updated videos as well in Be7 lines. Another line I'm a bit struggling esp in OTB games vs french is 3..c5 and cxd4 or even c4 sometimes, I get kinda equal play but nothing special. Maybe CM coaches can add more model games? So these look like sidelines, but I get them like 50percent of time, cause black usually dont know theory and just play normally. I even started experimenting with 3.Nc3 and 4.exd5 lines (vs both 3..Bb4 and 3..Nf6) cause it gives fast development with sometimes 0-0-0 esp in blitz and reminds me of CM french rep colors reversed. So that's my experience.

Most e4 approaches work for me from the CM repertoire except the French d3 and in particular the Caro . So I sympathise !! My particular ' bete noire' though with the d3 French is the d/e lines. Like today I got e4 e6: d4 d5 : Bd3 d/e ; Bx e4 Nf6 : Bf3 then c6 . OK I got a decent position playing stuff like Ne2 and c4 + Nc3 etc etc . But I was making it up !!! Black Be7 and wait is another. Personally above 2000 > I struggle with the Caro lines and whilst usually not worse never get any traction on a King side attack. 😠

Please post below this post all the lines that trouble you in this variation and we will try to do a webinar about them like we did with the benko. That would be cool, isn-t it?

😈Only on the Schlechter😈!!! Not other openings (I know you) 😁!!!!! 

Play 1 on 1 with a Grandmaster

Hi folks. Does tomorrow's event require doing something in advance if we want to play Gabuzyan? Thanks!


You will get the link before starting the games.

For participating, you will just need to write your nickname in the live stream chat, so GM Gabuzyan recognizes that it's you and accepts your match request.

If your nickname ends with ChessMood, it will be easier. For example John_ChessMood or Any_ChessMood  

You can challenge playing with one of the following time controls: 3+0, 3+2, 5+0. 

The games will be in

To LiChess Players....

Many thanks if you can tell me if it's possible to adjust the level of the opponent as GM Gabuzyan does when streaming. For example select an opponent rated between 1500-2000 exclusively. If we can do that (it's possible on the french site Europe Echecs) I don't know how to proceed.... Thanks again for your help.😀


Hi Jean, when you are at the main Li chess page , top left corner has "play". When you click that , you'll see "create a game" and will have all sorts of choices as to what opponents you will get to play. Just fill in the rating range, rated/nonrated etc and you'll be all set. Cheers


Help, I'm trying out for the first time but the training chess board is only 1"x 1" on my cell phone. I only play chess on my cell phone and have everyday for 2 years, its tiny and too small for me to see. I have an android cell phone. Is there any way I can enlarge the chessboard to be as large as the full width of my cell phone? Just like and Lichess does. I need a bigger chessboard to be able to see and follow the instructor GM's properly. Any solutions? If not, I will quit trying to make work for me. The teaching is so good and clear that I am planning on going for the Pro membership. But if I can't even see the training chessboard then I will have to go elsewhere. Please assist as I want to join the community now! But can't if I can't see the training videos properly. ([email protected]) Much Love!


I have an Android phone and when I use a combination of landscape mode and full screen mode and the board is quite big.

member numbers

How many members does Chessmood have?


Happy Birthday Avetik Fri 270123 ENJOY!


Happy Birthday Avetik! 🥳🥳

Happy birthday Avetik. I hope that you've had an easy day today. Eat some cake!!

Happy birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday! I plan to subscribe in the future but i will take this opportunity to watch the Endgame Roadmap :-)

Black repertoire

Hi ChessMood family! I was wondering something about opening repertoires, and I noticed that there's a lot more white material than black material on chessmood. I was wondering would that mean that the black repertoire is weaker? Or is it that since the white repertoire is already so extensive that the coaches wanted to keep black material a bit less so it's less overwhelming to learn? Just wondering!


I think there is a bigger choice of systems for Black to play against 1. e4 than for Black to play a single system against e4, d4, c4 particularly as the repertoire fits together and it was an intention to avoid theory heavy openings. If instead, they'd opted for the Najdorf against e4 (early version of Chessmood had some lines) and the KI against d4, then I think they're have been a lot more material for Black. Also both the Benko and Accelerated miss a number of lines out.

Good question! I think that the black material is less so that it does not become too overwhelming to learn since there is so much white material already. I do not think it would mean that the black repertoire is weaker.

I think one of the reason is that chessmood recommends to play 1.e4 as white. When you start with 1.e4 you have to be prepared against a lot of different replies, while black can specialize in a single weapon against 1.e4. I see in the section of openings for black, that most of them are dedicated to the Sicilian Defense, which is a reply to 1.e4. There is also a course to play against 1.c4 and against 1.b3 The only one i see against 1.d4 is the Benko Gambit, but white can avoid it, so it looks like there should be more against 1.d4

French Attack Classical Variation

I would call 1. e4, e6 2. d4, d5 3. Nc3, Nf6 4. e5, Ng8 the Red Knight Variation. The name comes from Alice in Wonderland. The Red Knight and White Knight have a truly bizarre struggle.


Good one Randall!! 😁

Lost Benko game - advice appreciated

I recently lost this game in an OTB tournament. I feel my opponent simply got a better position without playing any particularly clever move, just playing naturally, even though I played all the typical Benko moves and even managed to get the pawn back. Basically, at no point was white in danger, and that's kind of what we would like white to be when we sac a pawn, no? That it should be difficult to play white... I would appreciate if you guys could provide insight of how I should have thought to find a more challenging way to play as black here.


One minor point is that your opponent played an inaccurate move order. When they play an early g3 like that, you can play the disruptive Qc8 instead of capturing the bishop. I think it is mentioned by GM Gabuzyan when he discusses the updated Benko course:

The main mistake here, is the move 13. We put the Queen on b6 and the knight goes from a6 to c7 to avoid Nb5 being played, or if played we exchange it. This is why we do this setup, but in your game you allowed the opponent to place the knight on b5 and then you played Nc7 allowing him to take. 

Next time play Nc7 and do not allow Nb5. This is the key in this variation.

??I hope that the next game that you play this variation you will post your victory below this post Yair…?

Revisiting this post again, I just watched this video: again, and at 1.48 GM Avetik says that if white plays 12. Re1, then we continue 12..Nbd7 and not 12..Na6. Why is this? After all, white can still play a2-a4 on the next move. Furthermore, is there a reason why we look at white's a4 plan together with Qe2 and not with Re1? I'm facing the same opponent again so I'm trying to prepare. :)

ChessMood Search Function

Hi ChessMood family, I was wondering if you guys felt having a search function would be helpful when looking for information in the video library. For example I was wondering how to respond to Smith Morra Gambit with Chessmood material and I had to individually click through the videos, read through each introduction, look look at the video titles individually to find it. I was thinking it would be cool if we could just type it in and the website would automatically bring up what we want to find, or not. What do you guys think?


The problem is always development cost (not cheap, or an opportunity cost vs doing something more needed) as well as doing it in an intuitive way. Most of us know that the Smith Morra and the Alapin are related by the Nf6 move so would automatically gravitate to Black openings, Alapin. Not sure how many other titles you'd need to look through - Blackmood, no not there, anti-sicilians for Black, no not there any longer, oh look the Alapin course. If you're an beginner, yes it might be a bit more challenging, but there again this isn't really geared to beginners. What would be more useful is an openings browser tree that links moves to videos and model games. That is even more expensive to produce (it's the basis of Ginger GMs GChess), but I feel would be a much better investment and far more useful to a lot of people. The reality is until ChessMood is much bigger I doubt development time for something not so necessary wouldn't be possible. What would be simpler is a tour video of the various videos and what you'll learn in each so you can get an overview of the site. The problem is it would be out of date most of the time and need updating every few months at least. Perhaps the opening principles is the place for that even.

Yes, the Search Function is one of Avetik most wished feature. I am sure that we will do it, he thought about it at the beginning of Chessmood, way before other sites, but we were not very lucky with our first developers… 😅

Anyways, thanks for the input and I am asking Gabu to try to record an explanation correcting our miss in the “Anti-sicilians course”. Thanks for letting us know about it!

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