London System: Slav, Bf5 & Bxb1!?

(guest post by James) Hi Goalies! Like me, I’m sure you have been enjoying the recent London System course prepared by Matt and Jesse. While I have been playing the London System for a few years already, it was great to see the fresh ideas they brought to the opening, and to see them give my pet set-up versus the Queen’s Indian the mark of approval (thanks guys!). In the spirit of contributing to the great Chess Goals community, I’d like to share with you some more home preparation to…

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Chess Learning

This is a guest post by ChessGoals member Christopher Fisher, MD. Hey Chess enthusiasts! As a perpetual student with nearly two decades of higher education, including Med school and specialized surgery training, I've gained a deep understanding of effective learning techniques. Recently, I dove back into the fantastic world of chess and realized that the learning principles I've acquired can also be applied here. So, you've decided to get serious about chess and want to see results fast. I've been pondering how to bring my lifelong learning expertise on learning…

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Best Free Chess Improvement Resources

We all want to improve at chess. Books can be expensive, difficult, and time-consuming with diminishing returns. People are hesitant to spend their hard-earned money on a hobby. Let's go over the best chess improvement resources that you can get for free. Tactics Tactics are the heart and soul of chess. There are plenty of tremendous tactics books on the market. Let's check out what is available for free. Lichess The lichess tactics trainer is a treasure trove of tactics, all available for free. There are thousands and thousands of…

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Improve Quickly with Yusupov’s 9 Book Chess Training Program

Background Grandmaster Artur Yusupov was ranked as high as 3rd, behind only Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov. In the early 2000s, Yusupov paired up with his trainer Mark Dvoretsky to form the Dvoretsky-Yusupov training school. As a chess trainer, Yusupov was not happy with the books available for amateur players, and he decided to create his own training program. Training Program In Russia, systematic training programs were popular for other sports based on the level of the athletes. Yusupov formatted his new program to take approximately three years to complete.…

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Best Chess Strategy Resources

What is Chess Strategy? Looking for the best chess strategy resources? You've come to the right place. Chess strategy is analyzing a position for recognizable patterns and then developing long-term plans to improve the placement of one's pieces. Learning chess strategy is one of the most difficult tasks in chess improvement. Mastering chess strategy requires knowing basic strategic rules, how to combine those rules, and also when there are exceptions to the rules. Recognizing strategic ideas will also tap into pattern recognition to help identify those plans. How to Improve…

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3 Best Chess Endgame Books

The endgame is the most difficult phase of the game of chess. One blunder can lose a won game or win a lost game. It's no surprise that there is a trove on information out there on the endgame. We want to condense our favorite resources into one place so you aren't overwhelmed by all the information out there. Here are the 3 books we are recommending: Silman's Complete Endgame Course100 Endgames You Must KnowDvoretsky's Endgame Manual Silman's Complete Endgame Course Silman's complete endgame course is an excellent resource on…

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The Effect of Age on Chess Improvement

Two months ago I wrote a post titled Descriptive Data which described the chess goals survey statistics. One of the points mentioned in that post was that younger players tend to improve more quickly. It seems discouraging for adults who are looking to quickly make gains. I created a boxplot of the annual rating gains in each age category among chessgoals.com survey takers. Here's my two sentence summary on what a boxplot is: The middle horizontal line in each box is the median of the groupThe top and bottom of…

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How to Get a Grandmaster Norm: 3 Keys You Need to Know

To become a chess grandmaster you need three norms and a FIDE rating over 2500, but how exactly do you get a norm? In short, a norm is a great tournament performance played against very strong opposition. Let's break down each piece of the norm puzzle. Performance Rating To get score a GM norm in a chess tournament you must first have a performance rating for the tournament of 2600 (technically 2599.5, rounded up to 2600). If you play a tournament and face all opponents rated 2600, you would need…

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