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Archive for the ‘Chess’ Category

Twitch Is Breathing New Life Into Chess | TheGamer – TheGamer

Posted: June 3, 2020 at 12:47 pm

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Lately, Twitch has served as the primary medium for fans to observe and interact with some of the world's top chess players and it's awesome.

Lately, Twitch has served as the primary medium for fans to observe and interact with some of the world's top chess players and it's been awesome. Sure, this is nothing new, but things are heating up now that top chess personalities have demonstrated renewed interest in showcasing their skills on the platform. It seems that fans are more interested in the sport than ever before with associatedYouTube videos, Twitch streams, and Twitter activity at an all-time high.

One of the most significant game-changers that led to this chess takeover was xQc's collaboration with Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamuraabout two months ago. Fans were eager to see Hikaru run a coaching session with xQc, so the two made it happen. Since then, xQc has continuallyenjoyed chess on stream while Hikaru has rolled with the fresh exposure.

It could be argued that chess is flirting with the danger, slowlygetting sucked into the black hole of Twitch-drama. There has been some light scuffles as of late, but nothing too serious yet. Hopefully, chess manages to avoid the platform's drama trap and remains wholesome. To recap, here are somekey players on the board.

A blitz chess specialist, Hikaru is an infectious personality. He runs a channel that is equal parts entertaining and educational; either way, his streams arehighly-interactive and fun. Hikaru presents as a very open-minded player, willing to attempt some goofy activities and ready to collaborate with anyone. Jokingly Promoted xQc To Grandmaster

The Botez sisters bring a huge amount of energy to the game. The eldest, Alexandra Botez, is an Woman FIDE Master and 5-time Canadian National Girls Champion. The youngest, Andrea Botez, is also a competitive chess player (former Team Canada) with a big personality. Their channel also features Woman Grandmaster title-holder Qiyu Zhou, also a former Team Canada player.

BenFinegold is another Grandmaster and veteran increating chess-based media.He has recently been painted as the chess-scene villain due to some edgy remarks directed towards Hikaru and xQc's audience. Regardless, he has a loyal fanbase that vouches for his invaluable contributions to chess education.

Magnus Carlsen is the highest-rated chess player in the world, revered by any and all familiar with the sport. Hailing from Norway, Carlsen does't hide his confidence in playing chessandregularly dominates his competition in tournaments. Although he seems to have vocal disdain for streaming on Twitch, he might just be warming up to it.

Chess has risen on the platform so rapidly that Twitch itself has responded. Currently, a Twitch Rivals event is scheduled in July, adding to the overall hype.Its precursor event,PogChamps, has been scheduled for June. The collaboration will include hosts Alexandra Botez/Hikaru Nakamura, multiple Twitch streamers as competitors, and as the medium.

Seeing chess personalities emerge on the platform is fantastic; fans get to see the sport from a more personal perspective. Consequently, many are actively attempting to stir up drama between them, but in reality they are all quite civil even friendly. Sure, chess could just be the flavor of the month on Twitch, but I hope it's here to stay for a while.

Sources: Twitch, YouTube

NEXT:Chess Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura Is Demolishing Opponents On Twitch

Call Of Duty: Warzone Should Allow Player Color Preferences

Andrew Penney is a writer for TheGamer. A bit of musical expatriate, he studied musicology and trumpet performance in college, but found his love for writing about gaming and streaming too alluring to stay away from. Some of his favorite games include Homeworld, Warcraft III, Starcraft 2, Apex Legends, Katana Zero, and Bastion. When not hunched over a keyboard furiously typing, you'd likely find him engulfed in anime or Apex avoiding the sun entirely.


Twitch Is Breathing New Life Into Chess | TheGamer - TheGamer

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June 3rd, 2020 at 12:47 pm

Posted in Chess

From homeless refugee to chess prodigy, 9-year-old dreams of becoming youngest grandmaster – ESPN

Posted: May 25, 2020 at 12:51 pm

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Tani Adewumi, 9, fled Nigeria with his family and later settled into a New York homeless shelter. Today he dreams of becoming the world's youngest chess grandmaster.


IT'S 9 P.M., and 8-year-old Tani Adewumi is wired, like he'd just swallowed a bag of sugar. He had played chess all day, but he wanted to play more, at least until midnight. The first day of the 2019 New York State Scholastic Chess Championship had just ended, and he finished with three wins in as many matches, surprising a former champion and two other seeded players. He was heading into Day 2 -- the final day of the tournament -- in the lead, and he wanted to keep up the momentum when he returned to the huge Airbnb he was sharing with his family, his coach and a few other coaches in Saratoga Springs.

"If you want to win tomorrow, you better get your butt to sleep like the rest of the champions are right now," his coach, Shawn Martinez, told him. And so, reluctantly, Tani went to bed, and as soon as he closed his eyes, he fell asleep. Already in his young life, Tani had spent nights in fear -- fear for his own life, fear for the lives of his parents. Nerves over a chess match weren't about to cause a single lost z.

The next day, Tani won his fourth match, no sweat. In the semifinal, Tani did something unorthodox: He purposely sacrificed his bishop for a pawn.

Why did you do that? Martinez wondered. I wouldn't have made such a risky move.

It appeared to be a blunder, but Tani knew exactly what he was doing. He remembered studying a 19th-century chess game played by the legendary Paul Morphy, and he knew if he could bait his opponent into taking his bishop, he could win the game.

His opponent gave him a wry smile as he realized -- too late -- why Tani had made that move, the one that would send him to the championship match with a perfect record.

Incredulous, Martinez plugged all of the moves up until the sacrifice of the bishop into an automated chess program on his laptop. After the match, he showed the results to Tani: The strongest move Tani could have made at that point was to sacrifice his bishop. It was aggressive, bold and brave. It was a move most chess players wouldn't even consider.

But Tani is no ordinary chess player. And his journey isn't ordinary, either. Fifteen months earlier, his family had settled into a New York City homeless shelter after fleeing Nigeria. Thirteen months earlier, he couldn't tell a rook from a pawn. That March day, after drawing in the final, he was crowned a state champion. They didn't know it then, but Tani's 8-year-old brain and its ability to think 20 moves ahead on an 8-by-8 chessboard were about to change the Adewumis' lives forever.

"That moment was everything," Martinez says. "I knew then he was meant for greatness."

ON A DREARY December 2016 afternoon, Tani's father, Kayode Adewumi, sat in his dining room chair in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, with his palms on his head, staring at his computer. A poster with the words "No to Western education" and "Kill all Christians" screamed at him from the screen. But what was more terrifying was the logo that accompanied the words -- a logo he could recognize in his sleep. It was Boko Haram.

Four men had come into his printing shop earlier that afternoon and, after handing him a thumb drive, asked him to print 25,000 copies of the poster saved on the drive. Kayode didn't think much about it until this moment, back in his house, with his wife, Oluwatoyin, looking at him, her eyes narrowed and worry smeared across her forehead.

Accepting the business meant he had to work for Boko Haram, a terrorist organization, and that, as a Christian, and a human being, he couldn't bring himself to do. But refusing essentially meant a death sentence for him and his family, especially now that he's seen what the poster says and can identify the four men.

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He could hear Tani, 6, and his older brother, Austin, playing with friends out in the front yard, arguing about who gets to kick the soccer ball, and a fresh wave of fear went through his body.

What are we going to do? Where are we going to go?

Even before that threat, the Adewumis noticed their country changing under the attack of Boko Haram. Ever since the 2014 abduction of 276 girls from a northern Nigerian high school, Boko Haram's attacks on civilians had only increased. In 2015, a bomb blast occurred so close to Oluwatoyin's office that she could feel the heat as security escorted her out of her office. The day before the Boko Haram men came into Kayode's print shop, Tani and Austin had come home from school early -- they were evacuated after Boko Haram sent a message threatening another attack on a school in Abuja. Tani had peppered his parents with questions. "Why were we let off early?" "Who is Boko Haram?" "What is religious extremism?" All the while, his parents were able to shield him. They didn't know how much longer they could keep doing that.

Kayode came up with a plan. When the men come for their posters the next day, he'll tell them he couldn't do the job because his printing press had broken the previous evening. He'll then hand them the flash drive and tell them he hadn't looked at it because he hadn't needed to. Clean lie. He prayed they'd bite and leave his family alone.

They didn't believe him. A week later, when only Oluwatoyin was home and the children were asleep, they showed up at the Adewumis' house looking for Kayode's laptop. They assumed Kayode had seen the poster and saved it to use against them. Let's use Oluwatoyin to send Kayode a message, Oluwatoyin heard them whisper to each other in Arabic.

What they didn't know was this: Oluwatoyin was raised Muslim and spoke Arabic growing up. When she heard this, she knew they were going to kill her or rape her. So she did the one thing she could still do: She knelt and began to pray. Atuasal iilayk -- I'm begging you. She said the Arabic phrase over and over. "Are you a Muslim?" they asked her. "Yes," she whispered, as tears fell down her cheeks. Silence followed her response. They looked at each other, and without saying another word, they exited the house.

A few weeks later, Kayode asked Oluwatoyin to pack a small bag of necessities. Without informing anybody, the family moved to Akure in rural Nigeria, to a house with a tall fence. They hid there, using their savings to get by, hoping Boko Haram would lose track of them so they could eventually go back to living a normal life in that small town.

A few months into their life in Akure, when they were getting ready to go to bed, they heard a noise -- like somebody was shaking their fence. Boko Haram, they realized, had found them. "You've been escaping us for far too long, but we know you are inside, and we know that today you will go to heaven," they heard the group of men yelling from outside. Kayode asked Oluwatoyin to go to their kids' bedroom and pray hard, because nothing short of a miracle could save them now.

Kayode knew it would take a while for them to knock down the fence, but a back door attached to the fence led directly to the kitchen. If they found the back door, they'd get inside within minutes. He came up with a plan: He would push open the kitchen door and announce himself. They'd follow him and leave his family alone. It worked -- even if by accident. When they heard him, Kayode believes they mistook him for the police and yelled, "It's the police, let's go," and jumped into a car and fled. Kayode stayed outside the kitchen door all night, waiting to see whether they'd come back.

As daylight broke, Kayode wearily walked back into the house to find Oluwatoyin calling him frantically. The kids, who were asleep before, were now awake, fear etched on their faces.

Their faces confirmed the one thing he'd been thinking over and over in his head. They had to leave the country for good -- and they had to do it now.

TANI IS SEATED in his second-grade classroom in PS 116 in Manhattan on a cold February 2018 day. The school dedicated one period a week -- every Thursday -- to a special chess class taught by Martinez. Kids break off into pairs, getting ready to play games monitored by Martinez. That day, Tani sits across from Martinez and learns the rules of chess, asking questions throughout the match. Martinez sees Tani pick up the game at a remarkably fast rate, his eyes twinkling as he moves the pieces. At the end of class, Martinez asks the children to finish 50 puzzles -- online chess matches -- by the next class. He hopes to spend more time with Tani in subsequent weeks to get him up to speed. But at the end of the week, Tani would come to him with 500 puzzles. "I loved it, so I kept going," he said.

Tani loved the challenge. He loved that no two games looked the same. He loved that he had a set number of pieces he could control. He loved that he could attack, and if he did it well, he could win.

"He was in love," Martinez says. "It was like watching a flower sprout in front of my eyes."

Martinez was astonished by Tani's learning curve and invited him to his chess club. But there was one problem: The Adewumis couldn't afford the club fees.

The night Boko Haram tried to break into his family's house in Akure in June 2017 was the night Kayode decided to leave for the United States. They had previously applied for and received visitors visas to see family in Dallas. I just wanted to visit my family, but now I have to flee to the land of the dreams, Kayode thought. The kids were cautiously excited, America was the promised land, according to the movies and TV shows they'd watched. Maybe it is a land of the future too, a future where they're free and not scared to go to sleep.

A few weeks later, Kayode bought their plane tickets and fearfully peered out the window on their ride to the airport, making sure they weren't being followed. All clear. They boarded the plane and within hours were flying across the Atlantic, all the while looking out the window to take one last look at their country, not knowing when they'd return, if ever.

They spent their first few months living with family in Dallas, but things turned sour and they made the painful decision to move again. Oluwatoyin had a childhood friend in the Bronx who said he'd give the Adewumis a jump start in the city. They bought four bus tickets, packed up and headed north. It took them 40 hours to get from Dallas to New York City in December 2017. After hopping from the childhood friend's home to the basement of their church's pastor, Phillip Falayi, they made their way to an intake center run by the Department of Homeless Services. They needed something more stable for Tani and Austin, and getting help from the government seemed like the best plan. Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing (PATH) offered them accommodation in a shelter in Manhattan.

They didn't have much (Kayode had to go back to Nigeria for a few days to sell his printing machinery and bring back money for his family), but they were thankful for a roof over their heads and three meals a day. Tani and Austin enrolled in schools, and Kayode found a job as a night cleaner in a restaurant in the Bronx, working from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for $6 an hour. He was the CEO of his company in Nigeria, but this would have to do for now. He had a family to take care of.

In less than a year, they'd moved five times, and every time, Tani packed up his bags, not uttering a single word of complaint. Things can only get better from here, right? he thought to himself, every time.

And the sixth time, he was right. Because it was the move that brought chess into his life.

The chess club needed fees that the Adewumis couldn't afford. So Martinez, after a conversation with the club director, had the fees waived. Within weeks, Tani was studying 100-year-old matches, spending hours poring over chess openings and combinations. Martinez recalls Tani memorizing an entire game played by Morphy -- one of Martinez's favorite chess players -- from the 1850s. Tani started playing in local tournaments on Saturdays. On Sundays, he begged his mom to let him out of church early so he could attend more tournaments. Sometimes Martinez accompanied him, other times his mom did. When a tournament required an entry fee -- usually around $50 -- Martinez spoke to the organizers and got it waived. Between February 2018 and March 2019, after promising performances in the New York City Mayor's Cup and the city championship, Tani had risen to 1,200 ratings points (read: He would checkmate you in eight moves) -- a feat that was incredibly hard to achieve even for children playing since they were 3 or 4 years old.

"Most chess players hit a halt in their rankings when they get to that point, and they have to train more intensely to get over that peak," Martinez says. "But Tani kept progressing steadily from the beginning."

For a while, Tani kept chess to himself. Even his class teacher, Kyrie Gilmore, had no idea that he could play, let alone that he was getting so good that people were starting to call him a prodigy. After Martinez told her during a regular chat, she approached Tani and asked him how he felt about the pressure he was suddenly facing from the chess community. "I feel fine. I play because I love chess," he said to her. Even then, "he wasn't scared of losing, and that gave him a level of confidence to become an attacking player," Gilmore says. "Plus, he has a charming personality."

For a lot of children his age, even the ranked ones, chess is fun, chess is engaging. But for Tani, chess represented what he found in America: control.

"Tani used chess as a teddy bear when he first started, you know?" Martinez says. "He found it, and he held on tight."

But who would ever believe that a teddy bear could save his family?

IT'S APRIL 2020, and the Adewumis are sheltering in place during the coronavirus pandemic. Through FaceTime, they're giving me a virtual tour of their Lower West Side apartment. There's a chessboard in every corner, one on a side table near the living room window, one on the coffee table and one roll-up chess sheet on the living room floor.

"People from all over the world keep sending Tani chessboards," Kayode says.

The walls are adorned with framed awards Tani has received over the past year, and Oluwatoyin points to the wall near the TV, where a picture of a smiling Tani from a New York Times article hangs.

After a full day of online Zoom classes, Tani is in front of his computer in the living room, playing a game of chess before the e-tournament he participates in every evening. His older brother, Austin, is sitting adjacent to him in front of another computer, finishing up his homework for the day. Kayode, a real estate agent now, has been working remotely since mid-March, and Oluwatoyin, a home health care aide, has been asked to stay home.

Oluwatoyin flashes the view outside their apartment. A basketball court sits empty. A lone person, wearing a mask, walks a dog. "That basketball court is usually packed, but I haven't seen a single soul in weeks," Oluwatoyin says.

Tani has been obsessively reading the Pee Wee Scouts series, a children's literary collection by Judy Delton, and will launch into stories every day. Tani misses playing soccer outside and playing chess face-to-face, because the "way you move, the way you react after a piece, says a lot about how you're doing on the board," he says.

Oluwatoyin points out that they've been through worse, now it's all about staying healthy. "We're thankful we can order groceries online and it gets delivered to us."

They moved into the apartment a few days after Tani won the New York championship in March 2019. When Tani woke up the next morning and saw his face in New York Times for Kids, he was tickled. He cut out the article, took it to school and read it in front of his class. His class had been reading NYT Kids all year long, so to see Tani's face on it was exciting. "It was this really tangible thing, like, 'Hey, we read this all the time, now this is happening to our classmate,' so it made it a real-life learning experience in a beautiful way," Gilmore says.

The story was read by millions of people, and a GoFundMe page was established with the hope to raise money -- $10,000 -- to move the Adewumis out of the homeless shelter. Seemingly every time they refreshed the page, they'd received another $1,000. Within the first few days, they'd made $100,000. And then NBC wanted them on the "Today" show and the total soared to nearly $260,000. Then two anonymous donors came forward -- one who offered to pay a year's worth of rent (which has now ended) for their new house, and one who wanted to buy them a car.

The entire family showed up to their leasing agent's office to sign their first lease in America.

The family's story reached the ears of former President Bill Clinton, who sent a note inviting them to meet with him in New York. And Tani, like always, peppered Clinton with questions -- about the presidency and his life afterward. The chess prodigy also was invited to the 2019 U.S. Championships in St. Louis, where he played against world No. 2 Fabiano Caruana during a private event.

"At the end of the day, he is still a 9-year-old kid who smiles a lot, finishes his homework on time and spends time with his friends," Gilmore says. "Fame just became something he was a recipient of. He still was the same curious, happy person that he was before that."

The Adewumis' asylum request is still pending -- the next hearing is scheduled for June 2022 -- but it feels as if they've finally found firm footing. With their rent also taken care of, they wanted to do more with the quarter-million dollars they had received. So they set up the Tanitoluwa Adewumi Foundation, a nonprofit to help immigrant families in need. "Even when they didn't have a lot, they'd come to church every Sunday and give away food they cooked or bags, pencil kits and books for kids -- that's the kind of people they were," Pastor Falayi says.

Soon, Tani will see his story come to life on the big screen. Paramount and South African comedian Trevor Noah are making a movie based on the Adewumis' story and his recently published book, "My Name Is Tani ... And I Believe in Miracles."

"This is all so strange, but it feels wonderfully great to have a movie made out of [my] life," Tani says.

Even through the pandemic, Tani has been improving at chess, and a few weeks ago he reached 2,200 ratings points, pushing him to the master level. He can't go to the club or compete at tournaments, but he's been participating in online tournaments, including one organized by Martinez in which 60 chess players across the city compete for an hour every evening. Martinez admits that Tani beats him more often than he beats Tani.

"Coach, you ready to lose to me today?" Tani says before one of their matches begins. Martinez smiles and says, "Oh, you are on!"

Growing up, fear and upheaval were Tani's constant companions. Chess changed that. With his indefatigable curiosity and his aggressive style of play, he has given his family stable footing. Now he wants more. "I want to become the youngest grandmaster in the world," he says.

He has just under three years to achieve that (the record is held by Russia's Sergey Karjakin at 12 years and 7 months). And if he does -- which he very much is on pace to do -- he would become not only the youngest grandmaster but also the fourth black grandmaster (among a pool of about 1,300 grandmasters) and the second African American to accomplish the feat.

"In chess, it doesn't matter if you're black or white; if you attack and defend well, you have an equal chance of winning -- and that's what's so beautiful about it," Tani says and smiles.

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From homeless refugee to chess prodigy, 9-year-old dreams of becoming youngest grandmaster - ESPN

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May 25th, 2020 at 12:51 pm

Posted in Chess

Introduction of computers has changed the approach to chess: V Anand – The Indian Express

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By: PTI | Mumbai | Published: May 23, 2020 5:09:20 pm Viswanathan Anand is a five-times world champion. (Source: File Photo)

Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand feels the advent of computers has changed the way players have approached chess over the years, with the two opponents sitting in front of the board remaining the only constant in the game.

Talking about his journey, the former world champion said he had to work hard to become the player he is today.

I was six years old when my older brother and sister were playing chess, and then I went to my mom and asked her to teach me as well. My progress as a chess player wasnt sudden, it came through lots of hard work over many years, Anand said on Star Sports show Mind Masters.

The chess I learnt in the 80s, we no longer play chess like that. The introduction of computers has changed the approach, the way you study completely. Only the two players in front of the board has not changed, he added.

Anand said chess requires you to constantly study the opponents game and gauge whats going on in their minds.

In chess, you dont beat the board. Its more important to beat the player on the other side. Everyone thinks you make the best moves, but its more about who makes the last mistake on the board, Anand said.

You need to constantly put yourself in the minds of the opponents and study their game along with your own, he added.

The 50-year-old said he hits the gym to release the pent up tension in the body after every game.

You cannot pump your fist and theres no emotional release in a game like chess. After a game I always go to the gym not for fitness but to calm down and the stress goes away.

Anand said the 1987 World Junior chess championship and the 2017 World Rapid Championship are two of the most important tournaments of his career.

Winning the first World Junior in 1987 was a match I will never forget, the feeling of overcoming the Russians gave me great pride.

And, winning the World Rapid Chess Championship in 2017, at a time in my career when I was contemplating retirement, that win came just at the right time and gave me great satisfaction.

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Introduction of computers has changed the approach to chess: V Anand - The Indian Express

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May 25th, 2020 at 12:51 pm

Posted in Chess

Who Will Be The Next Top Chess Player? –

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Who will be the next world champion? As we witnessed GM Alireza Firouzja beat GM Magnus Carlsen in a very close match a few weeks ago, were starting to consider who will eventually beat Carlsen for the world champion title.

While Firouzja, 2728 as of this month, is a strong candidate to be reckoned with, there are many other strong contenders. Turning 17 later this year, he has already topped the world juniors rating list and is even ranked 21st on the Top 100 Players list. However, I want to bring special attention to other young players as well.

Reaching 2600 is not an easy feat, and a quick glance at the ratings list tells us just three 2600s are in the under-16 category in the world. However, the question remains, who will become the top player in the world, and not just the juniors list, in five years?

Table 1: The Current Under-16 Rankings for the Top 10.

We can see that while the highest rated under-16-year-old is 2627, the 10thhighest rated is 2481. While 2481 is still a very high and respectable rating, it is not quite 2600. Any of these players is extremely promising, but I want to bring attention to three.

Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzbekistan), Nihal Sarin (India), and Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa (India), who are all above 2600, are names we have seen at top tournaments. By any means, becoming the world champion is not an easy task, and we are not likely to see any of these three players become world champion tomorrow, but if youre looking to place bets with a friend, I would place my bet on any one of these three.

Before I dive into a more detailed analysis of each youngster, I want to also point out that while getting a high rating at a young age (Carlsen) may indicate you can possibly become the world champion in the future, it also does not necessarily mean you will reach the distinguished 2800 (GM Teimour Radjabov). Along similar lines, GM Fabiano Caruana started being considered as a potential top player at just age 19 or 20, when he started to beat a lot of the other top players. He was certainly not 2600 at 14 (he was 2444) and, in fact, only reached 2600 when 16 years old.

One such display of skill was in 2013, when Caruana beat GM Sergey Karjakin, who at that time had already been 2700 for years. Being a child prodigy neither means that you will become a world champion in your 20s, nor does it mean that you won't just because you are not 2600 at 14 years old. Of course, I think it is vital to point out that just because you are not 2600 at age 16 does not mean you should be deterred from playing chess and pursuing your goals in the game.

For the sake of conciseness, in this article I will only be looking at the standard Elo ratings.

I have chosen to look at Praggnanandhaa and Nihals progress together because these two young players spend a lot of time training together. Looking at the progress that Praggnanandhaa, with a rating of 2608 at just 14 currently, tells us a similar trend is experienced by most young players who reach high ratings (2400+): an overall quick rise with the K40 factor, dotted with a few significant rating drops also caused by the K40 factor. The new K40 factor, which was implemented in 2014, simply means that the ratings of all players under the age of 18 with ratings not above 2300 will fluctuate a lot.

Upon reaching 2300 in early 2016, Praggnanandhaa has since had a steady constant rise to 2600. Overall, the line of best fit would make the graph logarithmic, which makes logical sense because young chess players improve rapidly initially, but games become more difficult to win, and opponents become more experienced at higher ratings.

Figure 1: Praggnanandhaas Rating Progress Chart.

Figure 2: Nihals Rating Progress Chart.

Nihals progress chart follows a similar trend, achieving a rating of 2620 in May 2020. Since June 2019, Nihal has gained just 14 rating points in 78 games. While the plateau near the end (after a rather constant but slightly slowing in the rating rise) is in part affected by COVID-19, as tournaments are postponed for the safety of all, not all the plateau can be attributed to the lack of games in recent months. As mentioned, games become more difficult at a higher level, as players become stronger and more comparable to Nihal and Praggnanandhaa.

Sometimes it is difficult to believe such a young kid is already 2600. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Nihal hard at work. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

They also likely have better resources such as coaches and seconds compared to the opponents the young players have faced before, and players need to pay more attention to minute details of the game. While I have no doubt that Nihal and Praggnanandhaa are already seasoned players, most of the opponents in the tournaments theyre playing in will have quite a few more years of experience and knowledge.

Abdusattorov, who is very slightly ahead of Nihal and Praggnanandhaa at 2627, has a rating progress chart that is slightly different. I had played Abdusattorov about a year before his dramatic rating rise, which means I can say I contributed a bit to his 2600 rating! At the time of the game, he was already quite a strong player and quite a few years younger than I was (five to be exact), at only 10 years old.

In context, in 2014 I was 14 and had a rating of 2157, while my nine-year-old opponent had a rating of 2186. Did I predict his meteoric rise to 2600? Quite honestly, not at all, but I am glad to see he has been successful so far in his young career.

Figure 3. Abdusattorovs Rating Progress Chart.

While we can see both Nihal and Praggnanandhaa have had quite significant rating increases in any month, Abdusattorov gained 201.6 points in April 2015 with the help of K40, pushing him above 2400 (and quite significantly as well). Since then, he dipped below 2400 briefly between February and October 2016. However, after a brief spell in the 2300s, his rating since then has been increasing steadily with minor rating losses.

The young Abdusattorov deep in thought. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Because Praggnanandhaa, Nihal and Abdusattorov are already at 2600, the next question to ask is whether they will reach 2700. In my opinion, they will, and its only a matter of time. I know Praggnanandhaa and Nihal (whom I almost met at training camps in Europe) have the talent and resources necessary. Of course, this doesnt leave out Abdusattorovs contention for the world title in a few years, but I am less familiar with his training.

Aside from the clear favorites for the world championship title in a few years, I do believe there are many other strong contenders in future years. Dommaraju Gukesh (India), at almost 14 years old, is the second-youngest person to qualify for grandmaster. At 2563, he is perfectly well on track to become 2600 before his 15thbirthday and aim for 2700. Similarly, Javokhir Sindarov (Uzbekistan), who is currently 15, is a grandmaster at 2557. Another strong Indian talent, GM Raunak Sadhwani is 2545 at 14.

All three players have rating progress charts like either Praggnanandhaa's and Nihals or Abdusattorov's.

Figure 4: Dommaraju Gukeshs Rating Progress Chart.

We can see the plateau near the end that was discussed earlier.

Figure 5: Javokhir Sindarovs Rating Progress Chart.

Sindarovs progress chart is more similar to Abdusattorovs chart. It shows Sindarov has also experienced significant rating increases and decreases.

Figure 6: Raunak Sadhwanis Rating Progress Chart.

Sadhwanis progress chart is very much like Praggnanandhaas chart. Overall we can predict that all three players will experience rating increases.

Next I want to compare these top young players to the world champion and his last challenger.

Figure 7: Magnus Carlsens Rating Progress Chart.

Carlsen turned 15 in November 2005. Since 15 is roughly the average age of Praggnanandhaa, Nihal, and Abdusattorov, a lot of insight can be gathered from comparing their progress charts. At 15, Carlsen had just gone above 2600 in January 2006, and by October 2006 at age 16 was 2698, almost 2700. While, of course, Carlsen is the current world champion and is quite possibly the strongest player in history, in terms of milestones, I would say that the current three youngsters are very much on track to accomplish something similar.

We can see that for both Carlsen and Fabiano, the year or two after reaching 2600 is crucial, as both charts show rating increases. While Carlsens was more explosive, Fabiano steadily climbed to 2700 within two years after reaching 2620 in April 2008, when he was 16.

Figure 8: Caruana Fabianos Rating Progress Chart.

As I mentioned, we don't see Fabiano rise to fame (2800) immediately, but we see a rather gradual increase starting from 2012.

Using the five main players we have discussed so far, Praggnanandhaa, Nihal, and Abdusattorov for the upcoming candidates as world champions and Caruana and Carlsen as the current top two, we can predict what rating patterns we need to see for the three young players.

Figure 9. Rating vs. Age Projection.

In this analysis, I have assumed a logarithmic line of best fit, comparing it with each lines corresponding R2 value. While we predict that Praggnanandhaa, Nihal, and Abdusattorov will reach high ratings, they are not all you need to become the world champion. One can be extremely highly rated but not become a world champion. Also, the analysis is not taking into consideration potential human outliers, such as any player not continuing chess after a certain age, or other possible disturbances to the trend.

Keeping a close eye on Praggnanandhaa, Nihal and Abdusattorov will be important in the upcoming few months as tournaments start up again. Not being able to play chess for a few months is quite challenging for young players who are more used to playing tournaments every month, and I believe we are all excited to see what happens not only with their ratings after lockdowns lift globally, but also what changes in their chess skills we might see.

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Those survivors from the Cretaceous period, like myself, may recallTheEaglecomic founded by The Rev. Marcus Morris. Along with the adventures of Dan Dare, space pilot of the future, and Storm Nelson, Sea Adventurer, not to mention extra special agent, Harris Tweed, young readers were entertained and instructed by morally uplifting lavishlyillustrated historical narratives, such as the life of Jesus Christ, the saintly story of Florence Nightingale at Scutari during the Crimean War, and the exploits of the warrior Emperor Charlemagne. There was even a chess column, and that is where I first discovered The Immortal Game, replete with its coruscating cascade of sacrifices to force checkmate.

This was a game so brilliant that top-hatted runners dashed down the Strand from Simpsons, where the game had been played, to telegraph the moves to the Cafe de la Regence in Paris, the epicentre of chess life in the French capital.

FromTheEagleI retained in particular four outstandingly memorable facts, apart from the Immortal Chess Game. Tony Buzan, the inventor of the memory technique of Mind Mapping,would have categorised them as Von Restorffs, unusual items which stand out in a catalogue to be memorised, for example: butter, honey, milk, bread, Tyrannosaurus Rex, potatoes, rice, peas and beans. No prizes for identifying the Von Restorff in that list

Memorable Fact number one: that Dan Dares chief intergalactic nemesis was The Mekon of Mekonta from The Planet Venus, with his army of green Treens.

The otherthree memorable facts were all, as it happened, connected with the Holy Roman Emperor and champion of Christendom, Carolus Magnus, aka Charlemagne. These established facts were later to be reinforced by my reading of theChansonde Roland, translated from the mediaeval French by Dorothy L. Sayers, author of the Lord Peter Wimsey crime novels.

Memorable Fact number two: Charlemagne was crowned Holy RomanEmperor in a carefully choreographed ceremony by Pope Leo III in St. Peters Basilica, Rome,on Christmas Day 800AD.

Memorable Fact number three: on returning from a major military expedition across the Pyrenees to crush the pagans (or Paynims as Dorothy L. Sayers quaintly put it) Charlemagnes rearguard, under the command of his most trusted paladins Roland and Oliver, was betrayed and annihilated by said Paynims at the battle of the Pass of Roncevalles.

Memorable Fact number four: in order to convert yet more pagans to Christianity, on this occasion during a campaign against the recalcitrant Lombards of Northern Italy, Charlemagne cunningly positioned a contingent of priests to consecrate a stretch of the River Po, then herded the defeated Lombard army downstream through the sacred waters, and promptly declared them Christians in a forced mass baptism.

Later on, in pursuit of my Carolingian interest, I read, or tried to read, the weighty scholarly tomeCharlemagne byJohannes Fried, Professor of Mediaeval Historyat the University of Frankfurt.

From this I discovered that my understanding of the orchestrated arrangement of the Imperial Coronation in Rome was somehow doubtful, with various versions in circulation, all conflicting with each other. Worse was to follow: it transpired that the heroic stand by Charlemagnes knights at Roncevalles was at best apocryphal. Then to cap it all, the mass watery conversion of an entire pagan army on the River Po was pure invention. What I had previously regarded as a supremely devious manoeuvre on the part ofthe Emperor, was not even mentioned by Professor Fried. Far from dramatic mass baptisms of conquered enemy forces, Charlemagnes theological activities seemed to be far more closely confined to the refutation of heresies, not by the sword but by the pen.

I experienced similar disillusion withDasGlasperlenspiel(The Glass Bead Game) by Hermann Hesse. Convinced by the promising title that chess would in some measure be part of the fabric of this epic, I pounced on it with great expectations. True, Hesses novel does indeed give significant mentions to chess and crossword puzzles, not to mention other brain teasing acrostics. However,on closer reading it became obvious thatThe Glass Bead Gamedid not in fact involve glass, there were no beads and it was not even a game. If anything it resembled a sequence of Mind Maps with added musical and mathematical elements.

The moral here is that much cherished Facts and narratives often crumble, when subjected to closer scrutiny. Take a recent example from the world of chess: last week our hyperactive world champion, Norwegian Grandmaster, Magnus Carlsen, in pursuit of the rapidly burgeoning new trend of switching toelite chess competitions online, not only announced a million dollar series of chess events online, but also, at astonishingly short notice, implemented the First Online Wilhelm Steinitz Memorial Tournament.

This was a powerful competition, featuring top Grandmasters, held in honour of the first official World Champion, the Austro-Jewish Maestro WilhelmSteinitz (pictured above). Introduced to readers in my column of 4thOctober 2019, Steinitz was born in Prague (then part of the Habsburg Empire) on May 14, 1836. It is my opinion that in both physical appearance and intellectual prowess, Steinitz may have served as the model for Professor George Challenger, the irascible academic at the core of Sir Arthur Conan DoylesLostWorld.

It is a commonly accepted fact that Steinitz was the firstWeltmeister, as expressed in his native German, translated as World Master, in other words: World Chess Champion. It is further well known that his reign extended from 1886, when he defeated Johannes Zukertort, until 1894, when the ageing Steinitz succumbed to Emanuel Lasker.

It had, though, always bothered me that this neat narrative was incomplete, not to say downright defective. What about the claims of such earlier titans of the game as Philidor, Labourdonnais, Staunton, Anderssen and Morphy? Why, when they all clearly dominated the chess world of their day, were their names erased from the magisterial role of honour? The English champion, Howard Staunton, even went so far as to defeat a leading continental rival, Daniel Harrwitz, by the Bobby Fischer-esque score of 6-0.

Worse was to come. On closer inspection it transpires that even Steinitz himself did not agree with the 1886 date for the commencement of his reign, claiming instead that he had truly become World Champion when he overthrew Adolph Anderssen in their London match of 1866. Such historically based revisionism would mean that Steinitz ruled, as World Champion, not just for eight years (1886-1894) but for twenty eight years, thus narrowly surpassing the currently acknowledged record holder Emanuel Lasker (1894-1921) and establishing ane plus ultrathat will almost certainly never be broken.

Steinitz justified his claim by scoring devastating match victories between 1866 and 1886 against such further luminaries as Blackburne, Zukertort and the ingenious English master Bird.

This weeks games are taken from the Steinitz Memorial, predictably won, with a massive margin, by Magnus Carlsen himself, plus one of Steinitzs own anthology pieces from his world title conquests. The latter victory was declared by experts of the day to be one of the greatest games of chess ever played, on a par, indeed, with the very high bar set by Andersens Immortal.

You can see the game between Magnus Carlsen and Bu Xiangzhi (2020)from the Steinitz Memorial here.

The Wilhelm Steinitz vs Mikhail Chigorin game (1892) can be viewed here.

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An Introduction to Chess: More notes on castling – Stabroek News

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Last week, we addressed the motions of castling on the Kingside and Queenside. Castling is a strange move, but not a complicated one. As mentioned last week, you cannot castle when you confront certain situations. This week, I will illustrate those situations through diagrams to give the chess beginner a better understanding of castling.

Castling Diagram 1

In Diagram 1, White is in check with the black Bishop. In this position, White can either block with his pawn, his Bishop, his Knight, or his Queen. He can also move his King to a White square. If he moves the King, he loses the right to castle. So, the most intelligent thing to do in this position is to block. Remember, it would be foolish to block with the Queen because the Queen is worth 10 pawns and the Bishop is worth 3 pawns.

Castling Diagram 2

In Diagram 2, the King has moved to evade the check. The problem with this move is that the King would not be allowed to castle. It was better to block the check.

Castling Diagram 3

In Diagram 3, White is unable to castle. White cannot castle when an opposing piece moves through or ends up on a square that is being attacked by an enemy piece. In this position the King cannot cross the line of the enemy Bishop.

Castling Diagram 4

Diagram 4 demonstrates how White can castle on the Queenside although Blacks Bishop is attacking the Rook. Remember, only the King is prohibited from crossing the line of fire, not the Rook. The way is cleared for the King to castle on the Queenside. However, the black King cannot castle on the Kingside because it would have to cross the f8-square controlled by the White Knight. But Black can castle Queenside if the player so chooses. The Rook can cross the b8-square which completes the castling move.

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Chess GMs upset with streamers like xQc playing their game on Twitch – OW – News –

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Olivia R. May 22, 2020

Hikaru Nakamura is a five-time United States chess champion and world-ranked chess player who has recently become quite popular on Twitch.

Earlier this month, Hikaru shared that he was the top English language stream on May 17. On a platform like Twitch, where the most popular games are action-oriented multiplayer titles such as Fortnite, Valorant, and League of Legends, topping the charts while playing chess is quite the feat.

But what got Hikaru attention from the streaming community wasn't just this impressive accomplishment. It was actually the drama his popularity started within the chess community. Led by outrage from Norwegian chess grandmaster and current World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen, Chess24 spoke up about how Hikaru hosting their tournament was allegedly bad for chess.

According to Chess24, organizing the tournament was a "large undertaking" for them and they had asked participants to share the official stream or restrict their streaming to after each day of the competition.

"Hikaru did communicate proactively with us, and while he is within his rights, it is undermining us as teh organizer and affects our ability to popularize teh sport in a commercially sustainable way," Chess24 said in a statement.

Hikaru then shared a screenshot to his followers, expressing that he believed that hosting their tournament did the exact opposite for the sport, and was actually helpful.

"If I choose to host a channel on my stream, that broadens the audeince and gives other streamers a chance to have more viewers and become more well known. That's good for chess," Nakamura argued. "That whole notion is insane. I'm not gonna say much more."

The streaming community seemed to take Hikaru's side, stating that people new to chess would be more likely to pick it up or become active viewers by watching a popular streamer's channel. They also critisized Chess24's stream as being "inaccessible" due to the more advanced commentary. Others admitted that they weren't even aware that the competition was happening until they saw Hikaru hosting it on his channel.

This situation also led to a deeper criticism of the chess community at large, with many people feeling that they are "elitists" and "gatekeepers" who don't want inexperienced viewers or players watching the tournaments. This all came to Hikaru's attention when the chess community started expressing frustration over former Overwatch pro and popular streamer Felix "xQc" Lengyel playing chess on Twitch.

Because of xQc's popularity, his chess stream almost immediately took the number one spot in Twitch's chess category. This frustrated some professional chess players, who felt they were being outshined and having views taken away by someone who isn't very good at the game in comparison. Some also took aim at xQc's behavior while streaming, feeling that he was "immature" and "loud."

While it does take a lot of practice, intelligence, and skill to become one of the 1,500 existing chess grandmasters in the world, Hikaru couldn't help but speak out about the salty reaction to xQc's participation in the game. He once again took the stance that the chess world needs to understand that there's nothing wrong with popular streamers sharing chess with their fans, essentially bringing new people into the scene.

"If I look at xQc, the reaction is the classic chess world saying he's so bad at the game so it's a waste of time to watch. He's no good, so he's nobody. That's absolute rubbish obviously," Hikaru said. "Not even going into his streaming, we all know xQc was a grand master at Overwatch. If you put me playing Overwatch for I don't care how long, or Magnus playing Overwatch, we'd be total noobs. That's just a fact. The chess world just needs to get with the times."

Hikaru continued to stand up for xQc and other popular streamers on Twitter, voicing his joy over chess getting "new fans" involved in the game.

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Mastering Pattern recognition in the Opening. – Chessbase News

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Mastering Pattern recognition in the Opening

Do you know when and how to challenge the enemy pawn center? Do you know when to occupy the center with your pawns? How do you know when your opponent makes a random move on the board if that move is good or bad? Are you able to recognize a critical position in the opening? Do you know if to take with a pawn toward the center or if it's better to take toward the side? The answer to these questions and many others is pattern recognition. But how do you acquire such esoteric chess knowledge? Which patterns should you learn? Robert Ris says: studying patterns in openings will help you to learn chess, and become a better player in the process. Any player who studies this DVD will be able to understand the key factors of a position, thanks to a library of patterns skillfully chosen by IM Ris.

Mastering Pattern Recognition in the Opening

Pattern recognition is an important tool in modern chess, as it helps you to understand better the characteristics of a position. Particularly when you have been confronted with a surprise opening system played by your opponent, it helps when you can just

Ris begins the DVD with the well repeated chess mantra: "everything in chess is pattern recognition". So where is the trick one could ask? Well, the problem is definitely not a magical "talent" but memory and the brain. Passion for the game makes a big difference in the amount of hours one spends studying chess, instead of watching the latest flick on Netflix.

Then of course there is the age of the brain. A young player's brain and today if he is not already a GM at 12, he should consider another career has not the same level of hormones and neurotransmitters that my old nearly 54 years old brain has. Why is this important? Because with the same amount of training hours, let's say a minimum of 10 hours a week, the younger brain will be able to store more information from short term memory into long term memory.

Then of course we must be open-minded. Some people only want to learn one opening. This will limit the chess understanding they will gain. Since different openings teach the difference of importance of the different pieces, their placement, the different tactics which we are exposed to in different openings.

In the above position we see in practice the meaning behind Ris' words. The rook on a7 can be quite bewildering for someone who doesn't know this opening, but as Ris mentions, this is the right way to defend the pawn on b7.

This DVD is a must for every chess player because the themes treated are important for everyone. Ris has created a theoretical section, in which he gives us the important ideas we will use in our games. And he prepared 50 interactive tests, in which we work on our understanding of the material presented in the theoretical section, learning how to tune and synchronize theoretical knowledge, and how to apply it in practice.

The first section is about the center. Today, we can learn some topics in a very easy manner. Previously, we had to find a book, maybe Nimzowitsch, trying to follow the examples that were explained in an outdated language, by someone who definitely lived in a different century. Now we have a teacher speaking to us, and showing example after example, using a screen and the voice, like in a real lecture in college. Obviously this system, since it involves different senses, could help us in fixing the material in our memory, in a better way than a book.

But why is the pawn center important? In Ris' words the problem is that neglecting the pawn center means to let the opponent gain the initiative. However, Ris doesn't stop there. He gives clear guidelines how to play with a good pawn center and how to play against the pawn center. His guidelines go into the realm of strategy, teaching us how to think during the game, and which sets of ideas can be useful. Yes, a chess game is a battle of ideas, and the player who has more ideas will prevail in the end, or like Capablanca said: will be luckier! Ris shows different example of when White is occupying the center, and how Black can challenge it. The first example is quite interesting, because Ris shows one of the games of one of his students. In the following position would you play e4-e5 or Nb1-c3?

Ris in the video gives a lengthy explanation showing some lines to prove why one move is better than the other.

Master Class Vol.9: Paul Morphy

Learn about one of the greatest geniuses in the history of chess! Paul Morphy's career (1837-1884) lasted only a few years and yet he managed to defeat the best chess players of his time.

The second topic, lead in development, is something we can learn also from other sources. The first player who comes to mind is Morphy, and I use his games as example for my students. Ris used material from his own games to explain how to punish someone lacking in development. Kasparov also played some nice games in which he was able to exploit a lead in development to keep the enemy king in the center, but the real beauty of such games is how he managed to transform one advantage into another other, till he won. Here's an example:

Master Class Vol.7: Garry Kasparov

On this DVD a team of experts gets to the bottom of Kasparov's play. In over 8 hours of video running time the authors Rogozenko, Marin, Reeh and Mller cast light on four important aspects of Kasparov's play: opening, strategy, tactics and endgame.

Ris explains some of his own games. I found some positions quite interesting. The following is such an example. What would you play with White? In the second video Ris explains it quite well.

Here's another position I found interesting. In this game Ris missed the move Qa3, which would have kept the enemy king in the center.

Here one is asked to find out why Black cannot play Qxb6. How would White continue?

The DVD has videos dedicated to: king in the center, neglecting kingside development, grabbing a poisoned pawn (the game used as example is beautiful because it shows how piece activity is more important than material advantage!). I also think it's important to have a mental library of games, which one can use to show students what grabbing a poisoned pawn means. One such game is the following, included in one of the best chess books ever written:

Master Class Vol.1: Bobby Fischer

No other World Champion was more infamous both inside and outside the chess world than Bobby Fischer. On this DVD, a team of experts shows you the winning techniques and strategies employed by the 11th World Champion.

Grandmaster Dorian Rogozenco delves into Fischers openings, and retraces the development of his repertoire. What variations did Fischer play, and what sources did he use to arm himself against the best Soviet players? Mihail Marin explains Fischers particular style and his special strategic talent in annotated games against Spassky, Taimanov and other greats. Karsten Mller is not just a leading international endgame expert, but also a true Fischer connoisseur.

Ris' videos continue with the following topics: capture toward or away from the center (Ris shows how the chess mind changed through different epochs, showing lines from different openings and the pro and cons of capturing toward the center or toward the side, and how chess fashion models our choices), castling too early, flank attack, misplaced piece, space advantage. These themes are quite important for beginners, because beginners often don't have the chess understanding which should guide them in taking the right decision. However Ris throughout the DVD uses examples from grandmaster games to prove the point, showing that no one is immune from a slip in judgment.

A moment from the video on misplaced pieces)

In relation to the topic of castling too early, I thought it was nice to share a game which was played a while back, in 1988, as it shows many of the ideas discussed in the video. The point is to be active learners. In this game we see how White castled too early, and Black, a top GM at that time, decided to go for the attack with g7-g5.

The meat of this new Chessbase DVD is the practical training. Ris prepared approximately 50 tests...

(Time to practice!)

...with which one can apply the knowledge acquired in the theoretical part.

The last part is the bonus section, which consists of two databases. One contains the games used in the video section, the other contains 50 games in which Ris gives light comments to highlight the theme of the games. These games are really important, because we can connect the dots between the theoretical videos in which Ris detailed the many mistakes, and the homework the games provide. Watching them a lamp will light up in our heads and we say: "Ah yes, this is what he meant..."

Pro and Con: in video number 3, entitled: "King in the center", Ris shows a line based on this position:

Ris says that Black cannot castle on the kingside because of the bishop sacrifice of h7, the so-called "greek gift". But after 11.Bxh7 he analyzes only 11...Kxh7 and then the king goes to g6. Unfortunately he didn't analyze if Black could play 11...Kh8. Since in my short life as chess player, I've been damaged by analysis made by titled players which I didn't check, this time I checked. I discovered castling kingside might be possible, if followed by 11...Kh8. This analysis would justify castling on the kingside.

I let my engine (Komodo 13 latest version, but the computer I'm using is not strong) run for 20 minutes and it confirmed the correctness of the move played in the game. Komodo at depth 37-40 is castling kingside, but the engine doesn't plan to capture the Bh7 and then go to g6. Not happy I used a better computer with Fat Fritz, and also Fat Fritz would castle kingside. Strangely Fat Fritz and Komodo would play the same moves for Black. Here is the game with Ris' analysis, and the one I added from Komodo, feel free to improve my analysis, since in chess we should all aim to discover the truth, and surely someone has a better computer than mine, or a better chess understanding.

However, Ris' advice is sound, one must be careful of possible tactics when there is a bishop on d3, and there is no defender of d7, like a knight on f6.

There are many positives in all of Ris' lectures. For one I felt how he chooses simpler lines over complicated one.

Mastering Pattern Recognition in the Opening

Pattern recognition is an important tool in modern chess, as it helps you to understand better the characteristics of a position. Particularly when you have been confronted with a surprise opening system played by your opponent, it helps when you can just

Final thoughts: I find this material useful also for teaching. Yes, I don't need to re-invent the wheel every time. Ris is a good teacher, I can get his material and use it in my lessons. No time spent for research, no time spent on preparing the lesson, more free time I can spend studying other parts of the game. Obviously, this is true especially if one has mastered and understood the topics taught by Ris before.

In general the DVD is very useful, because thanks to the exercises proposed by Ris we learn to distinguish good and bad moves, and how they should be punished in the opening. This can also improve our own games. Ris' sober analysis of the elements of the position help players of every level to better understand how to evaluate a position, gaining an understanding one can use for one's own tournament chess games. I believe it's worth having it just for gaining more insight into a titled player's mind, since Ris comments extensively on each topic, and the exercises give us an important practice moment. If one is trying to improve in chess, this DVD is a must.

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The TD Show

This weeks The TD Show topic will be Tim Justs Top 10 TD Tips and will air at 9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific on Thursday, May 21 on the US Chess Twitch channel at

The show will be hosted by NTD Chris Bird and this weeks guest of course will be US Chess Rulebook Editor and NTD Tim Just. Tim will be providing a list of his top 10 general tips for Tournament Directors to hopefully make you a better TD and make the experience of participating in one of your events much better for everyone.

For folks tuning in live, Twitch will provide some interaction between the show and the audience, allowing you to ask questions in real-time and well also finish each episode with some light-hearted fun in the form of trivia based on the topic discussed. However, if you cannot tune in live, each episode will be archived in the TD Videos playlist at the US Chess YouTube Channel.

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Brave Dungeon is an upcoming idle RPG for Android that will also have an auto chess mode – Pocket Gamer

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Brave Dungeon is an upcoming roguelite idle RPG that's now available to pre-register for Android. Developers UnlockGame says there will be over 200 heroes to unlock alongside a variety of game modes to play, including auto chess.

Brave Dungeon is set in the world of Trezes, a fantasy realm that has developed a real demon problem. Players will naturally have to battle against them then, fighting off the invaders until they come face to face with their leader, the Mighty Demon King.

One of the game variants where players can set about Demon Slaying is dungeon mode. Here they'll need to assemble a team of heroes to battle their way through these mazes. As mentioned, there will be over 200 heroes that fit into four classes from six factions to choose from and collect. Certain characters will synergise better together than others and players will need to find the ideal combos.

Beyond that, there's also the aforementioned auto chess mode on offer too. This will see players taking part in real-time matches where they'll need to make use of hero skills and create winning formations. Given that this is an idle game, Brave Dungeon's auto chess mode can be played whilst the game isn't open, making this auto chess mode even more automatic than others.

Finally, players will also be able to form guilds with other players. From there they'll be able to take part in guild battles to earn valuable items and claim land. If you do decide to pre-register the game you'll receive an elite hero when Brave Dungeon eventually launches. For more information on the game, you can check out its official Facebook page.

Brave Dungeon is available to pre-register now over on Google Play. There's no release date just yet, but we'll be sure to keep you updated. Brave Dungeon will be a free-to-play game with in-app purchases.

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