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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Beating Caro-Kann Sidelines

This is a guest post from James Fazzolari. Thank you, James! Short & Sweet Guide to 5 Caro-Kann Minor Sidelines I recently spent time preparing for a five-day, nine-round Classical tournament. I normally feel comfortable with my mainlines for such an event since they come up all the time, and I am very familiar with the ideas, so I like to do some revision for minor sidelines which rarely come up since many of them have quite some bite if you are not well prepared. After speaking with Matt, we…

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Learner Series #9

I met Madhur in June of 2019 at the Rochester Open. He entered the event with an established USCF rating of 1034, scored 3/5 in the Under 1600 section, and increased his rating to 1200! Madhur has a passion for chess that's very obvious when you talk to him and I was very impressed by his play. Fast-forward less than 12 months and Madhur has increased his rating to 1601! This is definitely an interview to take some notes on! GENERAL OVERVIEW How old are you and how long have…

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Read more about the article Learner Series #8
Photo by Carlos Esteves on Unsplash

Learner Series #8

GENERAL OVERVIEW How old are you and how long have you been playing chess?I am 24, and I have been playing chess in my town club since September 2008 (so nearly 12 years).How many hours per week do you spend on chess?It depends on the period of the year but I would say a minimum of 5 hours and a max of 15 hours per week.Chess website usernames?_42_ (chess.com) and Harne (lichess.org)What's your current skill level or rating?I am around 1850 (FSE), 1950 (chess.com) and lichess PLAYING OVERVIEWOTBI play the two national…

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Learner Series #7

SmithyQ is an adult who improved from 1899 to 2054 in a one year period. He also has a chess improvement blog over at http://smithyq.com/. GENERAL OVERVIEWHow old are you and how long have you been playing chess?I learned chess at 6, got serious when I was a teenager but then quit for a decade when I couldn't seem to improve.  Got back into it in my late 20s.How many hours per week do you spend on chess?When I was training more seriously: Anywhere from 30min to 2hrs a day,…

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Learner Series #6

Welcome to edition 6 of our learner series! Peter is a 39 year old who has gained over 100 points in a year to cross the USCF expert threshold! General Overview How old are you and how long have you been playing chess?39 years old. I learned to play when I was about 6 but after getting kicked out of the after school program I was in I didn't play again until high school. How many hours per week do you spend on chess?Right now, zero. A full time job and…

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Learner Series #5

The 5th installment of the learner series features Antoine, a 32 year old who improved from 1797 to 1893 chess.com rapid in 2018. Antoine is a translator for chess.com and has his own twitch page https://www.twitch.tv/patatorjunior. The next few learner series posts will focus on players above 1700 and over the age of 20. General Overview How old are you and how long have you been playing chess? I'm 32 and started playing chess at 27. How many hours per week do you spend on chess? A lot. More than…

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Descriptive Data

Chessgoals.com contains cleaned data from November 2018 - present on 384 chess players. This post will summarized the most important variables. The majority of the players were ages 10-50, but we still had quite a few players over age 50. Frequencies of age group The dependent variable for most of our analyses was annual rating gain. The median in our data set was 110 points, with the 25th percentile at 25 points and the 75th percentile 218 points. The median weekly hours spent was 7 hours, with 25/75th percentiles at…

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Read more about the article Learner Series #4
Photo by Carlos Esteves on Unsplash

Learner Series #4

Welcome to edition 4 of our learner series! Alex started playing chess back in the summer of 2016. His chess.com Blitz rating was under 1000, and now it's over 1500!  GENERAL OVERVIEW How old are you and how long have you been playing chess? I am 32 years old and have been playing chess "seriously" for 3.5 years.  My father taught me how to play when I was a kid, but we only played a handful of games. I never played in any tournaments, and my childhood friends did not play chess. …

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