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How to play the Scotch opening

In every opening, White is trying to achieve something. For instance, the Italian game creates an early pressure on f7 to drive the game through tactical motives. In some other openings, like the Ruy Lopez, the goal is to get a powerful pawn center by pushing d4 in good conditions.

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Openings

The Bxe6 sacrifice in the Sicilian

In the last few articles, we have been looking at the most common sacrifices in the Sicilian defense. These sacrifices are, in no particular order, the Rxc3 sacrifice in the...

The Nd5 sacrifice in the Sicilian

When it comes to the typical sacrifices in the Sicilian defense, the Nd5 sacrifice is by far the most common and most complex of all thematic sacrifices in the Sicilian....

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...

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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7Y_-9v0vDU The first type of center we are going to...

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

Opposition in King and pawn endgames

After Key Squares in pawn endgames, the next fundamental concept in King and pawn endgames is opposition. What is the opposition If you have the opposition, your opponent will be...

Test your knowledge in Rook and pawn endgames

Do you see yourself as the master of Rook and pawn endgames ? It is time to assess your true strength ! At the end of this article, you will...

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 Beginner's Corner

How to checkmate with one Queen against the lone King

The next Checkmate to be learnt is probably the most common one: Queen against sole King. It is not much more complicated than the checkmate with two Queens against lone King..However, here, the help of your King is going to be necessary, as the Queen...

How to checkmate with two Queens against the lone King

If you recognize a familiar checkmate pattern during the middlegame, then you may be able to end the game quickly, by delivering a mate on f7, g7 or h7. The back rank mate is another possibility to checkmate your opponent early in the game. That...

How to checkmate on f7, g7, and h7

Delivering checkmate is the goal of any Chess game. You can do this during the endgame, in this case you will Checkmate with Queen VS King or Checkmate with Rook VS King. But Checkmate can also be delivered as early as in the middlegame, and...

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...

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