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Checkmate patterns: the Back Rank Mate

As you are now an expert to recognize a checkmate from a stalemate, we are going to study a few common mating positions. The first pattern worth looking at is the Back Rank mate, as it often appears as a threat during games. It appears when the opposing King…

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Openings

The Nf5 sacrifice in the Sicilian

This article is a second in-depth article about typical sacrifices in the Sicilian, after the Rxc3 sacrifice in the Sicilian. The next articles to come are the Nd5 sacrifice in...

Ideas for Black in the Ruy Lopez opening

Now it is time to speak about one of the main opening systems in Chess: the Ruy Lopez opening. It is named after a spanish priest who published one of...

The Rxc3 Exchange Sacrifice in the Sicilian

Amongst all the sacrifices in the Sicilian defense, the exchange sacrifice is one of the most famous tactical patterns , and it is well known to any e4 or Sicilian...

Sacrifices in the Sicilian Defense

The Sicilian Defense is one of the most popular openings in chess, and by far the most popular response to e4 on the club and amateur level. Even among the...

Strategy

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 tense center, as White immediately exchanges the bishop rather than trying to keep the tension...

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...

Endgames

Rook endgames: defending with the Rook on the eighth rank

This article is a follow up of my previous articles on the Lucena position and the Philidor position. Rook endgames offer rich possibilities for both sides and, previously, I have...

The Lucena position in Rook endgames

There are two crucial positions to know in Rook and pawn endgames: the Philidor position and the topic of this article, the Lucena position. Its name comes from the Spanish...

The Philidor position in Rook endgames

The Rook endgames are the most common of all Chess endgames and that alone is a reason to study them properly. As many other phases of the game, there are...

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...

The Beginner's Corner

What is the difference between Checkmate and Stalemate ?

Now that exchanging pieces in Chess has no secret for you, I would like to come back on a fundamental notion: Checkmate VS Stalemate. Indeed, people can be confused by the difference between the two. Sometimes, Stalemate is just one square away from Checkmate. There...

Exchanging pieces in Chess

After a few articles about What is a threat in Chess and how to protect pieces to handle threats efficiently, it is time to talk about Exchange. In a normal chess games, most of the captures are in fact exchanges. So what is an exchange...

How to protect a piece in Chess

In the previous chapter, we have learnt that removing a piece under attack is a safe possibility against a threat. Protecting a piece under attack is also a very solid way to remove a threat. And protecting pieces is a very important notion in chess,...

Chess: what a threat is and how to handle it

It is fundamental in Chess to be able to detect the opposing threats before thinking of your own attacking possibilities. Since you know the value of the pieces, you are probably looking at opportunities to capture opponent’s pieces. Let’s imagine you capture the opposing Bishop,...

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