28 Jun 2016

Make a quick progress in chess

Recently, we published for you, a guide called “Chess Rules – The Ultimate Guide for Beginners”. We noticed several hundreds of students (especially beginners) downloaded the FREE guide and started to understand the basics of chess and began their journey. If you missed it, you can find it here.
build a strong foundationWe would really like them (and also all students of RCA) to make a quick progress and to build a strong foundation. And I’m going to give my helping hand here! :)

You might not know which RCA course to begin with. I recommend that one must start with my premium video “My Thinking System” from our paid products, and the reason for this is because it contains high-quality information about the chess thinking process at a cheaper price.
where to beginNow that you will have a perfect “thinking system”, you need to know how to calculate during each stage of a chess game and build a strong foundation to get the qualitative leap in your chess development, and go beyond studying tactics, opening lines, etc. And the solution for this is studying the following courses: “Grandmaster’s Secrets” and “Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding”.

Since I know that, for some of you, it might be difficult to pay the full price for some of my courses, once again I’d like to help you by providing you with a huge 25% DISCOUNT on all of the above-mentioned courses! :)

Therefore, you will save as much as about $53 – that’s pretty huge! :)
25% discountGrab the below course(s) with this huge discount now:


This special offer will be valid from today (28th) till Saturday, 2 July (inclusive). Just use the coupon “gmoffer” while making your purchase. If you do not know how to use a discount code, please see here.

P.S. If you’ve already studied these three courses, I recommend you to study them again (and again) to digest it well. :) Also, please write your feedback about them in the comments below or rate them by writing your own review and send it to support@chess-teacher.com.

The ultimate chess guide for beginners

Learning basic chess rules will help you build a strong foundation in chess. At their beginner stages, many students do not have a clear picture of these rules. That is why I have decided to help beginners with basic chess rules.

We have prepared for you the ultimate chess guide which contains everything you will want to learn about the basic rules of chess, starting from their evolution to the different stages of the chess game.
new chess guide for beginnersThe guide contains the following:

  • 14 chapters (from evolution of the rules to stages of the game)
  • 4 slides to summarize the entire article
  • an interactive quiz
  • 4 bonus lessons

You can get “Chess Rules – The Ultimate Guide for Beginners” by clicking the link below:
chess rules for beginners

If you enjoy studying the guide, please write your thoughts about it in the comments below – we would be very happy to know your opinion.

P.S. We’ve also created a webpage that contains this complete guide. You may visit that page by clicking here. If you would like to share this information with your friends, please go ahead and do so. :)

How to beat a weaker opponent?

People often ask me psychological questions related to chess (not surprising since I’m also a psychologist :) ). One of the more popular questions is about the CORRECT attitude (or mental approach) when facing a WEAKER opponent over the board. That’s what we will discuss primarily along with some practical tips and recommendations regarding it.

Anyway, we are talking about a situation when you are about 200 rating higher than your opponent. Let’s say you are 2200, and your opponent has a rating of 2000.
weak vs strongNaturally, you expect to win this game, and moreover, you want to make it easy and smooth. You would prefer not to risk, but to win slowly but surely. You start playing “normal” moves (as opposed to the best and the most vigorous moves). You think that it’ll be enough for a win (because your opponent is weaker) and you’ll avoid unnecessary risk and complications.

I’ve just described a very common scenario between 2 players who have quite a significant gap between their ratings.

Now let’s look at this situation from another angle. What does it mean to have a rating of 2200? It shows that performing like a 2200 is your BEST performance, your PEAK performance (otherwise your rating would be higher).

Do you ALWAYS use your full mental powers over the board? Most probably, no! For instance, if you are tired today, you will play weaker, maybe on 2100 level. There’s a teasing proverb amongst professional players: “Marriage will cost you -100 rating points”. Of course, your knowledge will remain the same, but it can be really hard to focus on chess. :)

All in all, your rating shows your best power. Sometimes, however, you may be using not your full potential. That happens when you start playing those “normal” moves against a weaker opponent.
chess potentialLet’s say you use 90% of your full power. 90% out of 2200 will be 1980, which is close to the power of your “weak” 2000 opponent. :)

That explains why after some play, you’ll appear in an equal (drawish) position. Then you start getting worried – you expect to win this game! Now you’ll face an unpleasant choice:

  • Either to accept a draw
  • Or to bite the bullet and do something risky

The second choice can lead to an annoying loss, yet another typical scenario in David – Goliath match ups like this!
beat your opponent in chessLet’s sum-up the things regarding to playing against a weaker opponent. Don’t fall into psychological illusion of your superiority “by default” (because of your higher rating). That’ll become true only if you perform at your BEST, and use your FULL potential.

So you’ve got to take risk and play the most vigorous moves even against a relatively weak opponent.

P.S. Do you have your own “strategy” to beat weaker opponents? Feel free to write in the comments below and discuss, I’d appreciate it! :)

Recommended

Get the ability often to win games against weaker opponents, learn how a Grandmaster survives bad positions and the extraordinary skills a Grandmaster possesses.

Learn from “Unlocking the Grandmaster’s Mind” now HERE.

11 Jun 2016

Transforming advantages in chess

Today, we have an interesting topic to discuss. It is entitled “Transforming Advantages” or converting advantages into a victory. This lesson has been prepared by FM Kevin Trujillo.
About the author (FM Kevin Trujillo):

I started playing chess competitively when I turned 15. Over my short 5 years playing chess, I have been able to play chess in many different countries. GM Igor Smirnov definitely sparked my desire to play chess.
FM Kevin Trujillo
A picture of me (left)


Transforming Advantages


Recognizing advantages in chess is not enough to win. It is crucial to understand the nuances of the position, and when to capitalize on an advantage and when to exchange it for another advantage.  For example: exchanging a very strong attack for material advantage.

It is important for amateur and even masters to be aware of this, because holding on to an advantage or failing to recognize when to transform it could even result in a loss. How can we do this?

In the following game, we will not only analyze how Capablanca navigated a position where he had a superior bishop, but we will also learn different ways in which you can transform small edges towards victories.

Nimzowitsch – Capablanca
Nimzowitsch vs CapablancaBlack to play

Let’s analyze this position. White would love to play e4 and develop his dark-squared bishop. The queen on a4 is in a very good position because not only does it support e4, but it allows White to play Ba6. We can see that White may attempt to play on the light squares. His plan would be to develop his rooks on the d and c files, as well as playing Ne5-c6 in the future if allowed.

Black has very active pieces and is ahead in development. White’s position has no weaknesses; however, his dark-squared bishop is still on c1, and Black should act quickly before White gets the chance to develop his queenside.

Now that we analyzed the position, what is the direction Black should take?

1… Qf6!
Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca
White to play

This move activates the queen, gives space for the rooks to develop, and pressurizes the b2 square.

White now has big problems developing his dark-squared bishop and his rook on a1. Black recognizes that White must play b3 (or a3-b4) to develop his bishop.  One way to transform a small edge into a big one is by stopping opponent’s “Freeing moves”.  By doing this, we force our opponent into a very passive position.

2.Ba6 Bxa6 3.Qxa6

White removed Black’s powerful bishop, but is now left in a good bishop vs. bad bishop situation.

3…Nb4 4.Qe2 Rfd8 5.a3 Nd3 6.Ne1
Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca
Black to play

The following move by Capablanca encircles a very important concept: It is okay to exchange pieces that are not crucial in your main idea. In other words, Capablanca is trying to take advantage of White’s bad bishop. By removing knights, he is not only isolating the pieces that are crucial in his master plan (good bishop vs. bad bishop), but he is leaving the opponent without counter-play.

6…Nxe1 7.Rxe1 Rac8 8.Rb1
Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca
Black to play

Black activated all his pieces, while White is still trying to develop his queenside. White still can’t develop his bishop, unless he willingly weakens his queenside. We can see that when you pressure your opponent and insist on your ideas, you can force your opponent to weaken his position and make mistakes.

White intends to play 9.b4 followed by 10.Bb2. How can Black stop this?

8…Qe5!

Now 9.b4 is met with 8…Bd6 followed by Qe4 with a big advantage for Black because the rook on b1 is under attack and Black threatens Rc2.

We can see that tactics play a huge role in strategic battlesBlack is using tactics to stop White’s plans. He is also using tactics to slowly improve his position and force the opponent to defend.

9.g3 Qd5 10.b4 Bf8 11.Bb2 Qa2
Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca
White to play

White was able to develop his bishop but at a very costly price. His light squares on the queenside are very weak and Black is ready to enter the 7th rank with his rooks.

12. Ra1 Qb3 13. Bd4 Rc2 14.Qa6 e5!
Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca
White to play

White is in serious trouble. Black is giving up a pawn in exchange of two very active rooks on the 7th rank.

15. Bxe5 Rdd2 16. Qb7 Rxf20-1

White kept playing, but he eventually resigned.

Note: you can watch this complete game here.

CONCLUSION:

-> It is important to recognize when we can transform an advantage.

How do we do this? There are 2 ways:

  • Recognize your opponent’s “freeing moves” and prevent your opponent from freeing their position. This forces your opponent to either weaken his position or play passively for the rest of the game.
  • Pressure your opponent. When your opponent has to defend, he is prone to making mistakes. Capablanca pressured the b2 pawn, knowing that it could be defended easily, but forced White to play accurately.


-> Don’t be afraid to exchange pieces that are not part of your main idea.

Black was happy to exchange knights and light-squared bishops as we saw in the game because the knights did not play a role in his plan.

-> Tactics play a big role in strategic battles.

Capablanca took advantage of White’s hanging piece (the queenside rook) to improve his position and stop White from developing the queenside. Recognize your opponent’s tactical weaknesses (e.g hanging pieces, exposed king, etc) and use them to improve your position.

Recommended

  Chess Opening Fundamentals - FREE PDF download

"Chess Opening Fundamentals" - The e-book contains simple yet very practical tips to make your opening play powerful and error-free. Get the FREE PDF now HERE.


P.S. Did you enjoy Kevin’s lesson? Please write in the comments below and let us know your thoughts. Also, please share this interesting lesson with your friends! :)

4 Jun 2016

A unique chance to get GM Igor Smirnov’s premium video for FREE

First, let me remind you of the massive 30% discount we’re providing you with, to celebrate the launch of the new RCA Shop, which applies to all RCA products! :) This discount will be valid until Monday 6 June.

Note: the prices of products in the shop will automatically be reduced to the discounted price. Therefore, you need not apply any coupon – we’ve already made it easy for you with the new shop.

If you want to know about the benefits YOU will get from this new shop, you can check our previous article here.
30% discount
designSecond, we understand that it might be difficult for some of you to ‘digest’ this sudden transition – you might be experiencing some initial inconvenience caused by the need to adapt to a new shop or our website might have slowed down for some hours during the shop migration. 

That’s why, to help you go through this change and to compensate for the above-mentioned issues, we’re providing you with another special offer – you can get my premium video “How to win a won game?” forFREE:)

After watching the premium video, please write your thoughts and feedback about it in the comments below, even if you’ve studied it already – this will motivate other students to make use of this unique opportunityand to study it. :)

Note: you can get this premium video for FREE only if you download it on or before Monday, 6 June. This offer will expire after that.

P.S. How much do you like the design and the interface of the new shop? Have you written your review of the courses you’ve studied? :) Feel free to write your thoughts below.