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The French Defense – Rubinstein Variation

The Rubinstein variation of the French defense is very specific and does not feature the usual French defense pawn structure. This is typical of the French defense. This blocked center is featured in the following lines: The French Defense advance variationThe French Defense Winawer variationThe French Defense Steinitz variationSome lines...

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Openings

French Defense With 4. Bg5: Burn Variation

The Burn variation is one of the most common lines of the French defense. It is commonly played at the top level and features some open play. Very often, the...

Opening Principles: How To Develop Your Pieces Quickly

Did you ever find yourself moving the same piece three times in the opening ? Or did you move your Queen early, only to let your opponent to harass it...

The French Tarrasch

The Tarrasch variation is one of the most interesting ways to fight the French defense. The Tarrasch variation was rarely played against the French defense until a certain Anatoly Karpov...

French Defense – Steinitz Variation

The Steinitz variation of the French Defense is one of the most common ways to handle this opening with both colors. It appears after White avoids playing either: 3. e5,...

Strategy

Choose the right plan in the Ruy Lopez

The Ruy Lopez is an opening that withstood the test of time. It has been played by players of the highest levels of strength since the Renaissance. It is one of the evergreen, classical, super-solid opening choices which are in every strong player’s repertoire. It...

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...

Strategy in the Marshall attack

The Marshall attack belongs to the great family of positions arising from the Ruy Lopez opening, with a very specific strategy. But, let’s be honest, it is a one-of-a-kind opening and pawn center. So the usual plans in the Ruy Lopez do not exactly apply...

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 closed center is one of the many pawn structures arising in the Ruy Lopez. The first type of center we are going to examine...

Endgames

Pawn Breaks In The Endgame

Pawn breaks are powerful. They are so cool that I named this website after them. But what are pawn breaks and why are they so useful, especially in the Endgame...

Winning With The Remote Passed Pawn

A remote passed pawn is one of the strongest assets you can get in a King and pawn endgame. Even if the situation elsewhere is balanced, this pawn is usually...

Winning Endgames With Doubled Passed Pawns

Experience (and some previous articles) shows that winning a game with a couple of connected passed pawns (or separated ones !) is often a straightforward task. More challenging is the...

Winning Endgames With Separated Passed Pawns

After looking at the previous article learning that connected passed pawns always defend each other, one may wonder what happens if the passed pawns are separated by one or more...

The Beginner's Corner

Develop Your Pieces !

This is the second article about opening principles for beginners. The first one was about controlling the center and this is of course really important. Now the next question arising in this phase of the game is how to develop your pieces harmoniously. This is...

Opening principles: How To Control The Center

Here you are in your journey to become a strong Chess player. You know how pieces are moving. Also, you have already learnt many tactical patterns, (like the fork, the discovered attack and so many others). You even know how to deliver a basic checkmate...

More Checkmate Patterns

In our We have spent a lot of time on tactical patterns, haven’t we ? This is necessary so that they become obvious to you. You have also already studied the 3 most common checkmate patterns. In this article, we are going to continue and...

Zugzwang: what is that !?

Zugzwang is not really a tactic. It is a situation where one player is put at a disadvantage because he has to make a move when he would prefer to pass and make no move. We have already met that situation in the Rook VS...

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