In my teaching I am focusing on the major aspects of the game that made me a High rated player and coach. Also, these are the areas that are often misrepresented or even ignored completely. See my philosophy on these issues as well as sample exercises. Unfortunately, not every position will suit you very well since these examples are directed to everyone from the beginner up to the Senior master. More detailed recommendations as well as specifically selected exercises for your level and needs can be obtain during our Training sessions or, coming in the near future, Article + Exercise sets.


What am I talking about? If Grandmaster plays 40 moves game, how many moves were affected by chess strategy? If you thought of anything less than 40, you are wrong! Every move must have a reason and be explainable. 1. E2-E4 - makes a perfect sense not because either the World Champion Garry Kasparov or my friend Joe plays it. It makes sense because it attacks the center and helps developing the pieces. When John takes Jim's rook with the Bishop it isn't enough just to apply basic math - Rook = 5 & Bishop = 3.5 so John won 1.5. This 1.5 is not meaningful, unless it is supported by several other STRATEGIC components of position such as activity, weaknesses, and ability to penetrate. The different levels of strategic skills are expected from amateur and master, but they both must have some. Building these skills will be the most significant step on your way to improvement. In my training sessions I offer collection of articles and examples that cover strategic issues for all levels. See one of my favorite positions. Also check additional exercises.


Tactic / Calculations:

This is everyone's favorite subject. Just check your book library. I think that being a good tactician is essential for your overall success. While I believe in old saying -"Tactics come as result of good Strategy", I know from my personal experience that even a little tactic can turn around any most terribly played strategic game. What you really need to know is how to train so you will be able to find the tactic, design the combination setup in advance, prevent, bullet proof your position and finally find refutation. You need to distinguish among other things real threats from bluff. Calculation skills is a whole other issue. Even if you have only 15 minutes a day there is a way to design a study plan. See one of my favorite positions that, according to the famous  GM Gufeld, even Bobby Fischer couldn't solve without making mistake (See Chess Life 02/00 p.40). Also check additional exercises


end_1.jpg (23723 bytes)Lower rated players don't like endgames. Learning them is always at the end of their "TO DO" list. Big mistake! Studying Endgame is pretty similar to studying strategy and tactic/calculations. Yes, you must understand strategic principles, been able to calculate variations and know basic positions. That is all! Please don't be intimidated. With carefully designed study plan your Endgame training should be blended with improving all other areas. I have specially selected positions that will help you improve your knowledge of basic positions, but also work well as exercises with strategic and tactical aspects. See one of my favorite positions. Also check additional exercises


fun_1.jpg (25296 bytes)Mate in 1/2 move? From what square the piece was stolen? Two moves in a row? Let me point out before the serious chess player gets upset that all the "weird" chess tricks will help you improve! How? For one thing they will expand your conceptual and visual skills. You will also learn to believe in miracles and will be looking harder for ones in the real game. How many strong chess players or smart people in general you know who don't like puzzles? I always enjoyed working on exercises that brought together all of the challenges of most serious game and mystique and surprises and fun that "minor" rule adjustments bring to the table. So enjoy….Note that many positions in my "Fun" section really follow normal rules. Here is one of my favorite positions that I found in a professional Actuarial magazine. Recently, GM Serper tried everything short of offering money to get me to tell him the answer. Tuff luck Grigory! Try it for yourself. Also check additional exercises