6. Jun, 2020

Yifan Hou was born in Xinghua City, Jiangsu, China and started playing chess at age 6. She is the youngest female in the history of chess to acquire the GM title and was the youngest GM in the world when she acquired the title. At 14 she was the youngest ever finalist in a Women's World Championship contest. Winning the Women's World Championship title in 2010 at the age of 16 made her the youngest Women's World Champion ever.

👍 Play - one of her games from U10 championship 2003

😎 Video - a textbook example of playing sharp chess (7:04)

🤔 Have a go:  White mates in 2    Hint    Solution

4. Jun, 2020

The Caro-Kann Defence (1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5) is named after two men: Horatio Caro of the United Kingdom, and Marcus Kann from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Caro was born in England, but spent most of his career in Berlin. He was a regular in the Berlin city chess championship, winning it five times. Kann was from Vienna, and had his most famous victory when he beat Jacques Mieses in just 24 moves while playing what is now called the Caro-Kann Defence. A year after that win, Caro and Kann worked together on developing the theory on the 1. …c6 move. Respect has continued to grow, and these days it is a mainstay of many players’ repertoires.

In this position from the game mentioned White will recapture the bishop (17 Qxd4)

🤔 What winning move will Black play in reply ?   Play

2. Jun, 2020

Orthodox checkmate problems stipulate that White (or Black) makes the first move - the key - and checkmates the opponent in a specified number of moves no matter what they play. The stipulation is inviolable: mate must be accomplished in exactly the number of moves specified, no more, no fewer. There is only one correct key for each problem.

* Have a go at this challenging problem  

🤔 White to mate in 2   Hint   Solution

* Video – solve 30 problems in 30 minutes ? (4:50)

👍 Chess.com puzzles – click on Training

31. May, 2020

Many chess openings are named after the players who popularised them in their games.

Pal Benko was born in France, raised in Hungary, and moved to the United States in 1957. He made his name as a chess master, puzzle composer and author. He was the winner or joint winner of the US Open chess championship eight times. As for the Benko Gambit, 3. …b5 offers up a pawn with the promise of breaking up White’s pawn center. In Eastern Europe, it had long been known as the “Volga Gambit”. Benko used the move in top level play and promoted it through a book he published in 1974, self-titling it The Benko Gambit.

In this recent game Black has used the gambit successfully. The position shows the stage when White resigned. How did Black achieve this favourable endgame ?

👍 Video - explores the Benko Gambit (7:11 min)

29. May, 2020

One of the greatest players of all time, Garry Kasparov (1963-) was undisputed World Champion from 1985 until 1993, and Classical World Champion from 1993 until 2000. Known to chess fans worldwide as the Beast from Baku (Azerbaijan) on account of his aggressive and highly successful style of play. At five years old, he taught himself how to play chess from watching his relatives solve chess puzzles in a newspaper.

In this game played in a junior tournament in 1973 his aggressive style of play is starting to show. As White he is clearly on the attack and his opponent is grimly defending.

        🙂 Which move did he play now ?   Game

👍 Video - in which he speaks candidly about 4 of his games (9:36)