National Master Dan Heisman is a name that is synonymous with excellence in chess coaching and teaching. Dan authors the award-winning Novice Nook column (winner of three Chess Journalists of America "Best Instruction" awards), aimed at improving adults, for chesscafe.com that are clearly written and offer very practical advice and tips on how to improve your game. More info about Dan can be found here.
In the new Improve Your Chess IV series, Dan provides instruction by reviewing amateur games played on ICC and showing where the players went wrong and how to improve.
Today's show: White plays the opening passively allowing Black to immediately equalize. After a series of not-best moves by both sides, White not only gives Black a kingside pawn majority, but allows castling of opposite sides with a dangerous king position. White understandably tries to counter-attack queenside, but a clever (and rule-breaking) queenside pawn move by Black makes it clear that Black will carry the day, which he nicely does.
Three-time U.S. Champion GM Joel Benjamin brings you a new show every Friday at 15:00 Server Time. Joel is regarded by many as one of the best commentators and analysts we have in the game today -- so if you want to get ahead of the game, get ready to tune-in!
As we hear about more and more incidents of players using technology to cheat in chess, appropriate concern can easily slip into paranoia. That seems to be the case at the European Women's Championship, where a total outsider, 38-year old Romanian Mihaela Sandu raced out to the lead with 5/5, defeating several higher rated players on the way. Her shaken competitors, including many who had not played against her, signed an open letter to the organizers asking for anti-cheating measures to be put into place. When chessplayers cheat, the evidence usually turns out to be quite plain. The moves seem to be beyond the player's ability, and will often match the choices of chess engines. But I don't see that here. It seems that Sandu just took advantage of overconfidence and sloppiness from her better known but hardly perfect opponents. This week we will feature Sandu's seventh round win over former World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova. Unfortunately Sandu could not keep the magic going and lost her last four games. Then again, how many among us would play their best under that kind of stress?
European Women's Championship
"GM Alterman's Gambit Guide"
June 11, 2015
The Latvian Gambit with 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5!? is one of the most exciting and fascinating openings with a long and storied history in chess literature. The name was a tribute to the Latvian players, notably Karlis Betins (1867-1943), who analyzed it in the early part of the 20th century. Although it is almost impossible to find in the repertoire of a professional player, amateurs, correspondence players and online aficionados here at the ICC have long found the tactical labyrinth of the main lines to be highly appealing. And in this Gambit Guide series, GM Boris Alterman puts the Latvian under the microscope.
Don't miss this formative series by our GM Boris Alterman!
GM Larry Christiansen is a three-time U.S. Champion and one of the most dangerous and respected attacking players of his generation. He is a feared competitor and attacker who authored two popular books that showcase his aggressive
the Barricades and Rocking
the Ramparts. Each week on the show, Larry
will feature various attacking motifs and themes and showing
you how best to play for mate.
Today's show is: Exploiting A Weak Back Rank
One of the tactics motifs that Larry hasn't shown us very often is how a weak back rank leads to huge problems. In this episode of his weekly show, GM Christiansen analyzes for us three pristine examples of how to take advantage of a weak back rank, to finish with a very nice effort by French GM Andrei Sokolov against German GM Arkadij Naiditsch, played in the recently concluded French Team Championship Top 12. Enjoy!
In this series, John Watson looks at a wide variety of unconventional openings, ranging from early flank moves to wild piece sacrifices. Everyone has to face such variations from time to time, and most players are not well-prepared to deal with the challenges they pose. Watson provides you with the ammunition to punish the antipositional or overambitious moves that often characterize irregular play.
Don't try this at home!
June 29, 2015
New video series of our GM Ronen Har-Zvi!
The second great chess player Ronen narrates us about is one of the - if not THE - father of the Soviet Chess School, which has dominated the chess scene in the middle and latter parts of the 20th century. Chigorin learned how to play chess at the age of 16, which sounds really old-ish by modern standards. And he went "pro" only when 24-26 years of age. He rejected many of the inflexible doctrines put forward by Tarrasch and Steinitz, relying on a very good tactics sense and imaginative openings. In this mini-series, Ronen shows us some of the most important games played by chigorin, "when the Evans Gambit was an obsession to these players". The beauty and - in a way - the innocence of the last of the romantic players is absolutely fascinating.
Former World Champion and legendary chess teacher Mikhail Botvinnik was the originator of the “Every Russian school boy knows” chess aphorism, which alluded to the fact that thousands of unknown schoolboys back in Russia - due to the intense training methods they received from a young age - likely knew more about the game than most professionals did in the West.
One player who came through that legendary Soviet training camp is former U.S. Champion GM Alexander Yermolinsky. And each Sunday in his new hit show, “Every Russian Schoolboy Knows”, Alex will explain and expand on all the top tips and tricks gleaned from those famed training methods.
Today's show is: "Chinese Chess - Part 1"
GM Yermo brings to our attention to a phenomenon that - probably - has been understimated: The Chinese army of strong grandmasters who seem to come out from nowhere, with a great team spirit and excellent chess. Yermo affirms that China is the strongest country of the World at the moment...
John Watson is on break the next two weeks. IM Mark Ginsburg will be stepping in with an excellent video series Upholding the Sicilian: Smith-Morra Gambit.
The Sicilian Defense is by far Black's most popular answer to 1 e4 at all levels of chess - but many White players prefer to avoid the main lines by playing one of the multitude of so-called ‘Anti-Sicilian' lines on offer. These alternatives to 2 Nf3 include the primitive but dangerous Grand Prix Attack, one or two wild gambits, and also some tedious and niggling variations such as the Alapin with 2. c3, the Closed Sicilian, the Moscow/Rossolimo with 3. Bb5(+) and the KIA which are all designed to stamp out any fun Black was envisaging when playing 1...c5.
But fear not, because there's an antidote to it all: "Upholding the Sicilian" by IM Mark Ginsburg, who in a new video series provides a reliable repertoire to all those annoying sidelines!
The Holiday season is always a favorite time of the year to watch The French Connection, and here on ICC Chess.FM, we have our own version of the cult classic with a new series of GM Varuzhan "Popeye" Akobian videos based on his own ideas and repertoire as a lifelong maven of the French Defense!
Akobian's French Connection is a new five-part series that will give everyone from beginner to expert player the framework for further research on a reliable system to meet 1 e4 with e6!
GM Boris Alterman will be on holiday throughout December and Gambit Guide will be back again in January 2012.
"Positional Exchange Sacrifice" by FM Valeri Lilov (Tiger-Lilov)
While IM John Watson takes a well-earned break from his regular show Beyond the Opening, his spot for the next two Tuesdays is filled by FM Valeri Lilov, with a bonus 4-part video series for members on positional exchange sacrifices. Pt 1 & 2 are shown together, with 3 & 4 next week.
This month (Tue., 7 June ), replacing IM John Watson for now as guest host of Chess Talk will be international chess journalist Janis Nisii (Janis on ICC). Janis lives and works in Italy and has reported on several major elite tournaments for magazines such as New In Chess, Chess (UK), 64 (Russia), Europe Echecs (France), Jaque (Spain), Schach (Germany) and Torre & Cavallo (Italy).
And her very special guest in a two-part Chess Talk special needs no introduction, as it is world No.3 and recent candidate Levon Aronian. Levon Aronian has led tiny chess mad Armenia to two Olympiad Golds in 2006 and 2008 and his most recent victory was winning the final Amber Tournament in Monte Carlo.
Mikhail Tal has a special place in the hearts of most chess players. Tal deeply loved the game of chess and believed "Chess, first of all, is Art."
Fittingly, the 2009 Tal Memorial in honor of the "Magician from Riga" is the strongest tournament of the year, and one of the strongest fields of all time. MORE INFO.
The 2nd Nanjing Pearl Spring Chess Tournament takes place 27th Sept - 9th October 2009 in Nanjing, China. The total prize fund is $365,000 (250,000 Euros) and event is part of the Grand Slam series, with the winner getting an automatic seat into next year’s Grand Slam Masters Final. MORE INFO.
The Scandinavian Defense (or Centre Counter) has risen in a relatively short time from being a theoretical backwater to a fully-blown main line opening. Its change in name to the Scandinavian came in the mid-1980s with its rehabilitation at top level by Denmark's Bent Larsen. And its rise since then has been nothing short of meteoric, even being used with great effect by Vishy Anand in his unsuccessful 1995 world title match against Garry Kasparov.
Against 1 e4, the Scandinavian is hugely popular at club level
because Black gains a minor psychological victory by setting the agenda from
the off with 1..d5! And in his new ICC Chess.FM series on the Scandinavian,
Pete Tamburro explores the 2...Qxd5 lines in five videos (and with a two volume
set to come later on 2 ..Nf6) that will take you through all the key themes
and strategies required for Black to play this popular, and easy-to-play opening
with confidence - and sizzling success!
This service is FREE to members and non-members of the ICC as a sampler
of our full 4 hour daily shows hosted by Mig Greengard, featuring the famed
New In Chess Trivia Quiz, where each day listeners
to the show can win a 1-year subscription to New
In Chess magazine.