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Setting up a blockade against the Isolated Queen’s Pawn

After looking at white's prospects in Isolated Queen's pawn positions, we concluded that White can either: set up an attack with the Isolanior use the isolated queen's pawn to create a breakthrough The first reflex to have is to exchange pieces against the Isolated Queen's Pawn. It is the most...

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Openings

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....

Getting started with the Giuoco Piano

Gambits are not suited for every type of players. Moreover, against a perfect play by the opponent, you often get out of the opening with a slight disadvantage. That's why...

Strategy

Isolani – build up the attack and defend actively

Welcome to this second article about the Isolani. We are studying a great game played by Lev Polugaevsky against Anatoly Lutokov in 1957. In the first article, we saw how Polugaevsky developed his pieces in a simple yet harmonious way and how we played to...

Trading pieces against the Isolated Queen’s Pawn

Playing against an Isolated Queen's Pawn means playing with a long term, static, structural advantage against your opponent’s temporary, dynamic advantage which mainly consists of better positioned pieces, safer king, and more attacking prospects. The side that has the isolated pawn is, therefore, forced to...

Attacking with the Isolani – Polugaevsky – Lutikov 1957 (part 1)

The Isolani is one of the most discussed pawn structures in Chess. It often happens in Queen pawn's games when, after some pawn exchanges, one side (often White) remains with an isolated pawn on the d-file. This particular imbalance has been the topic of many...

Isolated Queen’s Pawn: the d4-d5 breakthrough

This article follows our introduction to the Isolated Queen's Pawn and develops new methods to use the strength of this pawn. By now, you already know how to attack with the Isolated Queen's Pawn and my previous article mainly describes three ways to attack: Using...

Endgames

How to defend King and pawn endgames

You know how to win King and pawn versus King endgames when your King is in front of the pawn and when your King is on the sixth rank. The...

How to promote your pawn when your King is on the sixth rank

As you know, having your King in front of your pawn with the opposition is enough to secure the win in the “King and pawn VS King” endgame. If your...

King in Front and Opposition ? You win !

This title is a bit of a shortcut, but in King and Pawn endgames, when you have the extra pawn, it is absolutely true ! As we have already seen,...

Key squares in King and pawn endgames

This article is about this case where the passed pawn cannot get promoted without the King’s help (the other King being in the square of the pawn, remember the rule...

The Beginner's Corner

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...

What Checkmate really is

It is now time for me to unveil an inconvenient truth:the goal of chess is not exactly to capture your opponent’s King. In fact, the rules do not even allow to capture a King.In fact, the game does not stop when a King is captured,...

How to Capture Pieces

Interactions with the friend pieces are one thing. You also have to learn how to interact with the opponent’s pieces. In fact, the only interaction possible between your pieces and the opponent’s pieces is the capture ! The piece captures as it moves The rule...

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