26 Oct 2016

How to attack a central king? (Fischer’s great game)

bobby fischerRobert James “Bobby” Fischer, born March 9, 1943, was the strongest American Grandmaster ever. Many consider him the greatest chess playerof all time – and they are right.

In 1972, he captured the World Chess Championship from Boris Spassky of the USSR in a match held in Reykjavík, Iceland.

Publicized as a ‘Cold War confrontation’, it attracted more worldwide interest than any chess championship before then. Fischer was to win it and become the eleventh World Chess Champion.

Fischer showed skill at an early stage. At age 13, he won a ‘brilliancy’ that became known as “the Game of the Century“. A year later, Fischer played in the first of eight United States Championships, winning each by at least a one-point margin. At age 15, he became both the youngest Grandmaster up to that time and the youngest candidate for the World Championship.

Today, GM Petr Velicka has prepared a very nice video for you. Today’s theme is ‘Attack the king in the center’.
attack in chessAs we know, in the opening we need to castle. Sometimes, even strong players try to do something else and delay castling. This is a very dangerous strategy and, in most cases, should be punished by the opponent.

You can watch the video lesson below and learn now:

Author information
Petr VelickaPetr Velička, a Czech, was born on February 26, 1967 in Frýdek-Místek. He was awarded the GM title in 2007. His best performance in the Czech Chess Championship was second place in 1999 in Lázně Bohdaneč. His Elo rating is 2421 (August 2013), which makes him no. 32 in the Czech Republic.

P.S. Did you enjoy watching the video lesson? :)  Please record your thoughts below about Velicka’s video. If you think you have learned something of value, please do share it with your friends.


Stronger players UNDERSTAND chess better! Wanna become one? :) We’ve revealed the most important strategic and positional rules that enable them to demolish the opposition in “Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding”.

Unknown stories about ‘Viktor the Terrible!’ (Part-2)

This is the second part of the article about the four-time USSR chess champion, Viktor Korchnoi! If you missed the first part of this interesting feature, you can read it here.

Viktor vs King’s Indian Defense
Wohl and Korchnoi
Wohl Aleksandar and Viktor Korchnoi

In the Gibraltar Masters (2011, Round 9), Viktor played White against Wohl Aleksandar. Viktor won a beautiful game and said to his opponent: “No one in the world can play the King’s Indian Defense successfully against me.” Wohl’s reply was “Ok, thank you for the game.

Subsequently, he came over to Wohl again, smiled and said, in English this time: “I thought that you spoke German. Do you speak German?” Wohl’s reply, also in English, was “Yes, I speak German.” Then Viktor continued his train of thought: “No one in the world can play the King’s Indian Defense successfully against me. I would just like to be sure that you understand me. :) 

Read to give a lesson
Viktor KorchnoiViktor was very happy to ‘give a lesson’, especially to younger players. He was very happy if he managed to beat them on the board or teach them some manners off it.

For instance, one day a young opponent came for a game after a 10-minute delay. He sat down, offered Viktor his hand and played his first move. Viktor, in a very serious tone, told him: “You should apologize for your actions. It is not polite to be late for a game. Never do that again.

Suggestion: you might not want to miss “The greatest chess game everyone MUST know”. :)

His character
Viktor Korchnoi and Garry Kasparov
Korchnoi and Kasparov

Korchnoi was a good person with a sense of humor, but sometimes he was caustic and made rude remarks. Yet, if we take a closer look at his life, we can understand that he endured difficult times. Similarly, we can recognize his great passion for the chess game. This passion sometimes creates strange behavior, especially when you lose a game.

If he lost a game
Viktor KorchnoiAt the end of 2003, 18-year-old David Navara was facing Korchnoi for the first time. He sacrificed a pawn on h6 to get a strong attack and finally won the game. Of course, Korchnoi was upset and left the hall.

When David started to show variations to the fans, Viktor returned and suggested an improvement. David noticed that the position was unclear. In response, the famous Grandmaster replied: “Only to you!
Viktor KorchnoiHe died a few months ago, on 6 June 2016, and leaves behind a grieving chess community. This was Viktor the Terrible, a truly great chess player, a legend. Below, you can see some of his best combinations.

Korchnoi – Donner
Viktor Korchnoi chess games
White to play

Korchnoi – Hernandez
Viktor Korchnoi chess games
White to play

Nijboer – Korchnoi
Viktor Korchnoi chess games
Black to play
Korchnoi – Ye
Viktor Korchnoi chess games
White to play

After calculating all possible variations, you can check the complete games here.

What did people say about Viktor on social media?

Vishy Anand: The chess world loses its greatest fighter. R.I.P. Viktor Korchnoi. Every time I had a rook ending, I would look at Viktor following the game and think, “What would Viktor say?
Miss Viktor. Personally I will miss his characteristic laughter & his love for chess. Korchnoi
Nigel Short:
Farewell Victor Lvovich - a cantankerous, old git, but a true great nevertheless. Thanks for the many battles we had over 40 years.
igor smirnov chess

If you live in Germany, we may meet soon. :) I plan to visit Bavaria, if you live nearby, feel free to send me an e-mail to gm.smirnov2014@gmail.com

For any other questions, please, use the support e-mail: support@chess-teacher.com

P.S. Brace yourselves, something cool and amazing is on the way – stay tuned! :)


Get your guide to thinking and calculating during each stage of a chess game. Learn to stop making blunders and to calculate variations quickly and precisely. Get “Grandmaster’s Secrets” now!

20 Oct 2016

Unknown stories about ‘Viktor the Terrible!’

First, let me remind you that we’re celebrating the milestone achievement of getting more than 10,000 Likes for our Facebook page. You can get a huge $15 gift voucher which you can use on RCA products. :) Simply use the coupon “fb15” when making your purchase. Don’t know how to use a voucher code? Learn how to here.
gift voucher

This is a limited-period offer – it will END tomorrow, Thur. 20 October. Therefore, don’t miss it!
designViktor Korchnoi: if he won a game, he was very polite with you and would analyze it happily. If he lost, then … he would pull back his chair with venom and leave the room very angrily!
Viktor KorchnoiHe was a four-time USSR chess champion, 10 times candidate for the World Championship and played in two World Championship matches. He was in the top 100 best players at the age of 75 and beat Fabiano Caruana at 79!
Viktor Korchnoi vs Fabiano Caruana
Suggestion: you may like to know how I defeated Fabiano Caruana in a blitz game here!

Even a stroke in 2012 did not prevent him from returning to competitive chess. The above achievements made him one of the strongest chess players in the world. Unfortunately, he never won the World title because he lost to Anatoly Karpov each time.

Korchnoi, born in 1931 in Leningrad, USSR, was nicknamed “Viktor the Terrible” for his legendary fighting spirit. There are hundreds of books and thousands of articles devoted to this extraordinary person, the legendary Grandmaster Viktor Lvovich Korchnoi, but let’s make a quick summary here.

Early life

He learned to play chess from his father at the age of five. He had the ability to defend with vigor and determination, even in the most difficult positions, and was always ready to unleash a deadly counter-attack.


He was a really smart guy. Everybody knows that if you touch a piece, then you are forced to move it. From time to time, this happens even to the best players, like Kasparov (in his game against Judit Polgar in 1994) and Nakamura in 2016. So this is what happened to Viktor.

Viktor Korchnoi's touch move ruleDuring a game, he grabbed his queen in order to place it somewhere. Suddenly, he realized that this move was a big mistake. What could he do? He already had the queen in his hand …

Instinctively, smart Viktor plunged it into his tea and started to stir it! He justified his action by claiming that he had mistaken the queen for his spoon, and so he was spared a fatal mistake. :)

Viktor Korchnoi vs Anatoly Karpov (defection)
In 1974, the USSR started a campaign to promote Karpov over Korchnoi. The central authorities prevented him from playing international tournaments or even playing in Estonia which was part of the Soviet Union at that time.

Suggestion: you may like to learn about “Karpov’s Prophylaxis” here.

Tigran Petrosian made a public statement in the press stating that his generation, including Korchnoi, which been defeated by Fischer could no longer hope to compete successfully against him. So he agreed with the Soviet Federation, wishing to develop younger players like Karpov.

In 1976, the USSR authorities allowed Korchnoi to play in a tough 16-player round-robin tournament, IBM Amsterdam, probably in order to prove that he was not so strong any longer.

Korchnoi scored 9.5/15 points and shared first place with Britain’s Tony Miles. At the end of the tournament, he asked Miles to spell ‘political asylum’ for him. But he would have to leave his wife and son behind in the USSR.

So, in 1976, he defected from the Soviet Union and took up residence in Switzerland, becoming a Swiss citizen, and continued to be active in chess. Immediately after his defection, he became a public villain in the USSR. The newspapers and TV accused him of a deadly sin – betrayal of the Motherland.

Best combinations

Now let’s take a look at some of the best combinations from Korchnoi! :)

Nataf – Korchnoi
Viktor Korchnoi chess games
Black to play

Korchnoi – Xie
Viktor Korchnoi chess games
White to play

Korchnoi – Kozul
Viktor Korchnoi chess games
White to play

Korchnoi – Shaked
Viktor Korchnoi chess games
White to play

After calculating all possible variations for each puzzle, you can find all the games here.
to be continued

Get the combined experience of former USSR chess schools along with the psychological knowledge about human brain functioning (and effective learning) now from “Self-taught Grandmaster”.

18 Oct 2016

Facebook contest winners and milestone celebration

First, let me thank everyone for participating in the RCA Facebook “Like and Win” Contest. We had more than 200 participants (those who “Liked” both the contest post and our Facebook page).

If you think that this is not really ‘competitive’, as we chose two winners randomly, well, we conducted a ‘competitive’ crossword contest last month. This time, we wanted to have something fun, providing all participants with equal chances of winning, by choosing two winners randomly. But don’t worry, we plan to conduct several contests in the future – so stay tuned! :)

Finally, it’s time to announce these two very lucky winners, whom we’ve chosen COMPELTELY RANDOMLY:

  • 1st winner: Nicky – will have an hour-long Skype session with me
  • 2nd winner: Prasad – will get an RCA course for FREE

Note: for privacy reasons, we’ve only mentioned their first name (or a part of their Facebook name).

The winners have already been contacted via a Facebook message. In order for the winners to get the best out of this opportunity, we will need their cooperation. The winners can find more information about how to ‘claim’ their prize here.

To everyone else: don’t worry if you did not win this contest. You gave your best by “Liking” both our Facebook page and our contest post – I very much appreciate your efforts; thank you for that! But that’s not all – I’ve something else for you. :)

Many students seemed to have enjoyed participating in this contest, as we crossed a huge milestone for our Facebook page – we’ve got more than 10,000 “Likes” for it! This is a huge achievement for us and thank you very much for your support and enthusiasm! :)
10000 likes facebookTherefore, to celebrate this milestone achievement, and to thank all participants in this contest and our Facebook fans, we’re providing you with a huge gift – you can get a massive $15 gift voucher and use it to purchase any RCA product you want.

Simply use the code “fb15” while making your purchase. If you don’t know how to use a voucher code, please see here. This is valid only from today until Thursday, 20 October (inclusive).
gift voucher

P.S. Don’t miss this great opportunity – you can buy any RCA product (paid course, premium video or package) and save $15. Good luck and thank you once again!

14 Oct 2016

How to play the Scandinavian Defense (for Black)

Today, I’d like to share with you an opening system, the Scandinavian Defense. For many years, GM Sergey Kasparov has been practicing it. For that reason, in this 20-minute video lesson, he has created an introduction to this opening.

The Scandinavian Defense can be considered an improved version of the Caro-Kann. Let’s compare these two opening systems.

Suggestion: if you are a beginner, you may like to check out our latest lesson “Everything you need to know about openings” by FM Marko Makaj.

chess position

In both openings, Black has a pawn on c6 but no pawn on the d-file. From White’s point of view, he has a pawn on d4 and nothing on the e-file.
chess position

In the second position, we can see a typical Caro-Kann pawn structure. The only difference is that White has a pawn on h5 and Black has one on h6. This is more to White’s benefit because, in the middlegame, the g-pawn can run forward to g4 and g5, creating problems for the h6-pawn or on Black’s kingside.

Also, in the endgame, White has some superiority if only the dark-squared bishops are left on the board, since the h6-pawn is fixed to a dark square and could be a potential weakness. As you can see, the pawn structures are quite similar, so the two openings share similar ideas.

Suggestion: get a FREE e-book “Chess Opening Fundamentals” (PDF) that contains simple yet very practical tips to make your opening play powerful and error free.

White has a lot of ways to avoid the Caro-Kann but cannot avoid the Scandinavian Defense.

That’s why today, Eva Kasparova, daughter of Sergey Kasparov, has recorded the video on behalf of her father, for she can speak more fluent English than her father. You can watch the video lesson below:

You can download the PGN of the games mentioned in the video here.

P.S. Do you like Sergey Kasparov’s lessons? Have you watched his previous lesson about “How to win with opposite-colored bishops”? Please comment below to give your impressions on his lessons.


Get a complete, powerful opening repertoire on a Grandmaster’s level from the course “GM’s Opening Lab”. The practical part contains 35 opening lines for your complete opening repertoire. The material is presented by considering every opening.

Get it now HERE!