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Capturing pieces: test yourself

Capturing pieces is the simplest and most common way to take the upper hand in a chess game. In your first games, capturing pieces will mainly depend on your opportunism: if one of the opposing pieces stands on the chessboard, ready to be taken, taking this piece should be…

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Openings

Plans in the Ruy Lopez Exchange variations

This article focuses on positions arising from the Ruy Lopez opening, after the Ruy Lopez exchange variation starting with Bxc6 dxc6. This variation does not arise from the Ruy Lopez...

How you should play the Philidor defense

The Philidor defense is a very sound opening against 1. e4. Yet, somehow it has the reputation of being passive and inferior. I hope this article will convince you that...

The amazing Berlin defense

… In which Kramnik almost proved that Black can get a draw after 1. e4 ! The Berlin defense was used in 2000 by Vladimir Kramnik as a surprise weapon...

Getting started with the Two Knights Defense

When White is playing an Italian game, Black mostly has two ways to react: the safe one with the Giuoco Piano and the sharp one with the Two Knights Defense....

Strategy

Plans in the Marshall gambit pawn center

The Marshall gambit belongs to the great family of positions arising from the Ruy Lopez opening. But, let’s be honest, it is a one-of-a-kind opening and pawn center. Stjepan Tomić is a strong player and famous youtuber with his Hanging Pawns channel. His goal is to...

Plans in the Ruy Lopez closed center

This article focuses on plans and ideas in central formations after white plays d4-d5 from the Ruy Lopez tense center. The tense center is one of the many pawn structures arising in the Ruy Lopez. The first type of center we are going to examine...

Plans in the Ruy Lopez symmetrical center

The Ruy Lopez symmetrical center is a structure that comes from the Ruy Lopez tense center, after White has played the pawn exchange dxe5 dxe5. Central formations with a symmetrical center are much less complicated than the Ruy Lopez closed center or the Ruy Lopez...

Plans in the Ruy Lopez mobile center

This is one of the detailed articles about the strategy in the Ruy Lopez. The mobile central formation occurs from the Ruy Lopez tense center, after black releases the tension on d4, exchanges the pawn, and white recaptures with his c3 pawn. This article should...

Endgames

King and pawn endgames: test your knowledge !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfsS4YTcWo0 How to take advantage of key squares in King and pawn endgames, how to win the endgame with the opposition, how to win the endgame when your King is...

From middlegame to endgame: When material is equal

In my previous article, I dealt with generic principles about transitioning from middlegame to endgame when there is a material advantage. Now, we are going to look at this a...

From middlegame to endgame: material imbalances

The term middlegame to endgame transition only sounds complicated. In reality, it means trading pieces off until there is not enough material for a strong attack on the king. In...

How to transition from middlegame to endgame

A chess game can be divided into three phases: opening, middlegame and endgame. Most of us are very aware of when an opening starts, or when the game has become...

The Beginner's Corner

The value of the pieces and why it matters

The value of the pieces is a fundamental of chess. To know which side is better, the first thing to look for is a material imbalance. What follows is the most common assignment of point values: pawn = 1Knight = 3Bishop = 3Rook = 5Queen...

The Chess Algebraic and PGN notations

This article is slightly different from the others you can find on this website. Indeed, it is not about moves, plans, ideas, tactical lines, but how you reflect them and write about them. If you want to study Chess, even a little bit, you will...

How to promote a pawn in Chess

After castling and capturing en passant, the last special move of Chess you have to learn is the promotion of a pawn. Promotion is actually very simple. When a pawn reaches the 8th rank, it is changed into a Queen, a Rook, a Bishop, or...

Special moves: How to castle

Some special moves in Chess like the “en passant” capture rarely appears in real games, but you must be prepared to play it. A much much more common move is castling. It is a way to bring your King in a safe place in a...

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