Welcome to the all-new Polgar Chess University, where chess students of all levels, no matter where they live, have an opportunity to learn chess from some of the best instructors in the game. GM Susan Polgar, former Women's World Chess Champion, created this online school with the dream of bringing expert advice and training to chess enthusiasts around the world at a very affordable cost.
Susan herself developed the structured curriculum, personally teaching many of the courses along with other top chess players and professional instructors who will be joining the faculty as the school grows. Polgar Chess University is offered in this format:
- Courses identified by level — Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced - Three general courses, one at each level, run concurrently - Course lessons are prerecorded lectures that may be viewed at your convenience. - Your purchased lessons are yours forever. Download the lessons to your computers and devices. - Your purchased videos are always available in your "My Downloadable Products" section. - Courses can be imported into iTunes an sync'd on all your iDevices.
How should parents/coaches handle the success and failure of their children/students during chess tournaments?
This is my take about this complicated issue. The most important thing for me is that my son has to enjoy playing chess, studying the game and competing in tournaments. I have seen too many incidents of parents and coaches screaming at their children because of a lost game. Some of these kids were frightened to tears and that is so unfortunate. The same thing can be said about other sports or areas of studies as well.
Winning and losing is just a part of the game. There are valuable lessons that all children can learn with either result. Therefore, it is up to the parents and coaches to motivate them to learn and do the right things. Here are some of my suggestions to the parents and coaches of young players: 1. Control yourself
I realize that parents and coaches are disappointed when their youngsters do not win. But that is when they need you the most. Screaming, yelling, and hitting will not help and it can backfire. The children can get intimidated and may not be able to play at their full strength. In addition, they may start to hate chess or hate competing.
2. Stay strong, give support and encouragement
When your youngsters win, that's great. Congratulate them. However, when they lose, give them even more support and encouragement. That is when their psyche is most vulnerable and when they need reassurance that you still love and support them. 3. Make it fun and motivating
Young children usually have difficulty focusing and concentrating for a long period of time. Therefore, you should take one game at a time and avoid discussing future games or opponents. Teach them to focus and concentrate on each move and each game, and when that game is over then focus and concentrate on the next game.
4. Rating does not matter
Too many parents and coaches are preoccupied with chess ratings. It's just a number.
Ratings are unimportant at such a young age and they tend to be skewed depending on where the youngsters live. Additionally, many children play chess on the Internet and can improve in between tournaments, so their over the-board rating may not reflect this. Teach the youngsters to play the position and not the opponent. Do not let your youngsters overestimate or underestimate their opponents.
5. Follow the principles of chess
Teach your children to follow the basic principles of chess. I discussed the principles of chess in my column last week.
6. Do not dwell on the past
Every youngster will have bad games here and there. If you want to go over the game quickly to learn from the mistakes, that is fine. But do not be so preoccupied with the loss. In-depth analyses of the games to learn from mistakes made should only be done after the tournament is finished. The players need to move on and focus on the next game. Help your youngsters relax and concentrate in subsequent rounds. It will not help getting angry and upset over a bad loss. Otherwise, it can affect the next few games.
7. Don't play too quickly
Teach your children to use their time properly in all phases of the game. Too many children move at the speed of their opponents. Don't! Play at your own pace. Even when they have a winning position, they should still take their time and be very careful of traps and counter-attacks. As the saying goes, it isn't over until it's over. Therefore, every move in every position is important.
8. Conserve energy
I understand that this is tough to do. However, try to help your children conserve their energy. Many children want to run around and play actively. That is OK but not 15-30 minutes before the round. They should take a walk, get some fresh air, concentrate, and get their minds ready for the next battle.
The Gibraltar Chess Festival 2014 will attract close to 400 people, including players, families, officials, and visitors, staying ten nights or more in Gibraltar and in neighbouring Spain.
There are more than fifty Grandmasters and over a hundred titled players.
There will be a higher ratio than ever of female players (40+), said the organisers.
They added: Fifty countries will be represented, including players travelling from Bangladesh, Namibia, Egypt, Mongolia, New Zealand, and Brazil. Record numbers will be travelling from India (12), China (6), Norway (20) etc.
Another plus point is that Simen Agdestein, former coach of new 22-year old World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, is bringing his chess students from Oslo.
The Festival has been voted Best Open in the World for the last two years by the Association of Chess Professionals, which shows to what extent this event is putting Gibraltar on the map.
Game plan to promote chess at various levels The Sunday Times Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013
SINGAPORE - The Singapore Chess Federation (SCF) thanks Dr Yik Keng Yeong for highlighting the fact that a small country can produce world champions if it leverages its strengths ("Promoting chess is the right move"; last Sunday).
Singapore has produced several international masters (the rank just short of grandmaster) over the past few years.
As Dr Yik has pointed out, chess is uniquely suited to our strengths. Our challenge is in producing a sustainable pipeline of talent that will spur players on to greater heights. Many of our junior players at the primary-school level compete on an equal footing with opponents from countries with more storied chess traditions. They have also managed to hold their own in adult-level competitions, for example, the Asian Cities Chess Championship.
Yet, when many of these juniors reach secondary school, they tend to drop out of chess because of a lack of support from their schools, which either have closed their chess clubs or relegated the sport to a minor co-curricular activity (CCA), forcing the juniors to join another CCA.
Much promising talent has been lost in this way.
The SCF is keen to support schools at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels that would like to promote chess. We are prepared to work with schools to realise the benefits of chess through talks, supplying coaches and organising events.
Chess teaches resourcefulness, resilience and discipline. How many young children can sustain a high level of mental rigour, emotional balance and physical fitness to last through a four-hour-long game, not just once but twice a day?
Our trainees do that regularly as these capabilities are inculcated from the very beginning, and it is no accident that our most successful players have gone on to successful professional careers.
The SCF's approach to chess is aligned with the Education Ministry's current emphasis on character building, as well as the Singapore Sports Council's Vision 2030, which sees sport as a way by which our youth can be made "future ready".
Ignatius Leong President Singapore Chess Federation
36 club members and friends participated in the 9-round Swiss event.
The time control was 10 minutes + 5 seconds per move. However, even the additional time increment proved to be insufficient in some of the key games, which were decided by overstepping the time limit. Fortunately for the public that gathered around the tables, the games were exciting until the last round.
Rijeka chess club, where the tournament took place, is regularly visited by many lovers of the game, youngest participants, and their parents, and this praiseworthy tournament was no exception.
Instead of cash prizes, the organizers provided 14 vouchers for different kinds of relaxation for the best players – wellness and Spa, accommodation in 4-star hotels and the top prize – cruise voucher for the winner, sponsored by Jadroagent travel agency.
5. GM Epishin Vladimir RUS 2548 – 5 6. GM Ibarra Jerez Jose Carlos ESP 2510 – 5 7. FM Gonzalez Perez Arian FID 2467 – 5 8. IM Dias Paulo POR 2397 – 5 9. IM Enchev Ivajlo BUL 2447 – 5 10. IM Barria Zuñiga Daniel CHI 2434 – 5
11. GM Perez Candelario Manuel ESP 2568 – 4.5 12. FM Ivanov Borislav BUL 2318 – 4.5 13. GM Nikolov Momchil BUL 2529 – 4.5 14. GM Fedorchuk Sergey A. UKR 2660 – 4.5 15. IM Antoli Royo Joaquin Miguel ESP 2405 – 4.5 16. IM Brito Garcia Alfredo ESP 2307 – 4.5 17. FM Garcia-Ortega Mendez Jose M. ESP 2308 – 4.5 18. FM Ryan Joseph IRL 2280 – 4.5 19. GM Komljenovic Davorin CRO 2407 – 4.5 20. Gonzalez Trigal Jose Luis ESP 2222 – 4.5 21. IM Forcen Esteban Daniel ESP 2511 – 4.5 22. Gertosio Franck FRA 2210 – 4.5 23. Vasques Antonio Pedro Freixia POR 2187 – 4.5 24. Melero Fidalgo Juan De Dios ESP 2250 – 4.5
25. FM Cabezas Ayala Ivan ESP 2316 – 4 26. GM Campora Daniel H. ARG 2474 – 4 27. Rodriguez Garcia Manuel Fco. ESP 2149 – 4 28. Garcia Romero Benjamin Abel ESP 2199 – 4 29. FM Gavilan Diaz Mario ESP 2255 – 4 30. Gallardo Fernandez Cesar ESP 2249 – 4
The Moscow based Center for New Technologies “Digital” hosted the Battle of Generations match between GM Daniil Dubov (2641) and GM Alexei Shirov (2685) on 2-8th December.
Shirov was convincing in the classical games, winning four and drawing two for the overall 5-1 victory.
The match consisted of six games with the FIDE time control 90 min/40 moves + 30 min + 30 sec (from move one).
According to the regulations, in case of a draw with regular time control, a pair of blitz games 5′+3′ would follow. Of the four blitz games Dubov won two and two were drawn. However, the blitz games are not counted toward the match score.
The match was organized by ChessTV and sponsored by businessman Oleg Skvortsov. Grandmaster Sergey Shipov provided live online commentary.
Normally you can be safe by following the general opening principles; however there are famous opening traps good to know about.
Game 1: “Petroff defense”
From the starting position: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3
White attacks the e5 Pawn. Black now could defend it with 2…Nc6 or 2…d6 but decided to counter attack with 2…Nf6, which is not a mistake yet. White captured the Pawn 3.Nxe5.
Now Black should play 3…d6, chasing back White’s Knight first before capturing White’s Pawn on e4.
However, let’s see what is wrong with 3…Nxe4?
White will answer with 4.Qe2 attacking Black’s Knight on e4.
Now Black is in trouble. If the Knight moves away from e4, for example 4…Nf6, then White has a discovered check to win Black’s Queen with 5.Nc6+.
Let’s go back a little to the position after White’s fourth move. A better defense is (instead of 4…Nf6) 4…d5 protecting the Knight. Then White attacks the Knight again, (with the Pawn, this time) with 5.d3.
Here the same idea is renewed: if the Black Knight leaves the e4 square then 6.Nc6+ wins the Black Queen. The best Black can do is play 5...Qe7 and lose only a Pawn after 6.dxe4 Qxe5 7.exd5. Here Black cannot capture the d5 Pawn because the Black Queen is pinned on the e file.
White is also ends up a Pawn ahead if in the above diagram position, Black tries to counter attack with 4...Qe7. Then, White captures the Black Knight with 5.Qxe4 and after 5...d6 plays 6.d4 dxe5 7.dxe5.
Here is an opening trap you should avoid as White:
Game 2: Queen’s Pawn opening
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c5
In this position, White could capture the Pawn on c5 with 3.dxc5. However, Black’s plan is to check with
3…Qa5+ and win the Pawn back.
3.Bf4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 This is already a mistake. Recapturing with the Queen (4.Qxd4) was better.
Now, Black has an unexpected combination to win material. First, Black sacrifices a Pawn with 4...e5.
This is a fork. If either piece (Bishop or Knight) just moves away, the other would be captured. But, what happens if White just takes the Pawn with 5.Bxe5?
Then comes a second fork: 5…Qa5+
Now, White is in check and after White blocks the check, Black can capture the Bishop on e5 with
6…Qxe5 and win a Bishop for only a Pawn. Game 3: French defense
1.e4 e6 These are the starting moves of the French defense.
2.d4 d5 Both sides are occupying the center so far. Now the White’s Pawn on e4 is under attack. White can protect it in various ways such as 3.Nc3 or 3.Nd2 or simply move it away from the danger.
3.e5 c5 Black is trying to put pressure on White’s d4 Pawn starting with this move.
4.c3 White protects the d4 Pawn.
4…Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 Now Black is pressuring the d4 Pawn with the Pawn on c5, Knight on c6 and from behind with the Queen on b6. White is also protecting it three times. So for now, White is safe.
6.Bd3 Did White just make a mistake? Let’s see…now the White’s Queen on d1 is no longer protecting the d4 Pawn.
6…cxd4 7.cxd4 Nxd4 8.Nxd4 Qxd4 Black has just won a Pawn right? Right, but it only brings very temporary.
9.Bb5+ and with this discovery, White wins Black’s Queen.
Shelby Lyman on Chess: No Place to Hide Sunday, December 8, 2013
We have turned a page in chess history.
Magnus Carlsen’s crushing victory over Viswanathan Anand in their world title match in Chennai, India ushers in a new paradigm.
Carlsen plays the game differently than any champion before. Although this has also been true of many new champions — most notably in modern times Bobby Fischer, Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov, the 22-year-old Norwegian is the first to develop his skills from start to finish in the computer age.
Kasparov used computers brilliantly, but he was already world champion before they became part of his repertoire.
Like a chess-playing computer himself, Carlsen seems to play without fear of losing. He simply makes move after move until his opponent cracks. A remarkable intuition for the right move, finely-honed by reviewing tens of thousands of games on computer screens, plays no small part in this ability.
He makes errors, of course, but smaller and fewer than his opponents.
Because he continues the fight until the board is practically bare of pieces and because he creates imbalances and winning possibilities in seemingly innocuous positions, an easy draw against Carlson is a contradiction in terms.
There is usually no way to resist the pressure he creates except by welcoming the fight and replying in kind. Not an easy thing to do. Draws when they do occur are well-earned.