Tag Archives: master

My Most Painful Loss

Victory is sweet.  We all know that.  There’s a thrill, a rush of accomplishment when you win, when you defeat your adversary.  Whether it’s sports or games, soccer or scrabble, victory feels good.  In fact, the greater the adversary the greater the thrill.  Defeating an opponent against all odds is one of the greatest and most powerful feelings you can get.

So everyone else didn’t believe? Shut up, Wallace.

I know this feeling well.  As a former competitive martial artists, nothing feels better than victory … and nothing worse than defeat.  Currently, my focus is on chess.  Over the last year, I’ve played 59 games, winning 47 while drawing 9 … and I would trade them all away, every single one, to have this one defeat erased from my memory. Continue reading

Review of ‘Your Top Chess Questions Answered’ by GM Smirnov

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Your_top_chess_questions_AnsweredYour Top Chess Questions Answered

Topic: Misc.; how to play and train better in general

My View: Some excellent, concise information, though other parts are less relevant

Purchase it here: Top Chess Questions, Answered Continue reading

A Rant on Openings

I have a rant today. I apologize in advance.

Making this expression makes it feel better. Honestly.

Recently, the Remote Chess Academy released a new course on the Bogo-Indian opening. I have nothing against this. In fact, I highly approve such opening courses, and I hope we see more in the future. I have nothing against the course. Rather, it is the reasoning behind making the course that infuriates me. Continue reading

Review of Grandmaster’s Opening Lab 2

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Grandmaster’s Opening Lab 2

Topic: How to play the Opening

My View: Absolutely fantastic; universal opening instruction

Size: 270mb, over 5 hours (!) of lectures, and a very decent opening repertoire

Get it here: The Grandmaster’s Openings Laboratory 2

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My Chess Bio X: The Present

One of the best excuses we can make is not having enough time to do X. It sounds like a perfect excuse: we only have 24 hours in a day, so we can only do a finite number of things. Oh well, too bad. However, if you really look at it, this excuse is saying something different: what I am currently doing with my 24 hours every day is more important than X.

Now this excuse sounds a bit weaker. I don’t know about you, but I spend a fair chunk of my day in a rather idle way: checking and rechecking email, watching TV and youtube, even just gazing off into space waiting to fully wake up each morning. Do I want to say these things are more important than just about anything else? Er, not really. Continue reading

Review of Unlocking the GM’s Mind

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unlocking_gms_mind_Disc_cover_1aUnlocking the GM’s Mind

Topic: Thinking?

My View: Worst RCA course by far, avoid

Size: 300mb, about 3hrs of ‘lectures’, about 60 practical problems

Purchase it here.

(edit: a new, updated version has been released; check the bottom for my original review)

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Review of Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding

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Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding

Topic: Strategy and Thinking

My View: Best Chess Investment Ever

Size: 200mb, nearly 5 hours of video, just over 200 practical training positions

Purchase it here: The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding

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Chess Bio V: My Second Great Teacher

After my first chess tournament, I realized how little I knew of chess and how much further I could grow.  I wanted to be the best.  Indeed, chess had always been one of the rare things I was unquestionably good at, and discovering I wasn’t as good as I thought booth shook me and motivated me.  I needed to get better, and it was here I first discovered chess literature.  I lived in a rural Canadian town, so it’s not surprising I had never ran into any chess books before.  At the local library, I found exactly two.  One was Fred Reinfeld’s Winning Chess Openings.  It dealt with various specific variations and wasn’t too helpful.

The other was Tarrasch’s The Game of Chess, and it changed my life. Continue reading

Chess Bio IV: My First Tournament

I lived in Northern Ontario for much of my childhood, and while it is a beautiful place with incredible natural beauty and some of the nicest people you can find anywhere, it wasn’t great for learning chess.  Few people learn to play, as in play beyond rank beginner.  The closest thing to a chess club was an after-school program held at the local library, meeting once a week.  The first day I walked in, I beat the leader of the chess ladder effortlessly and beat one adult instructor/volunteer while losing a close battle to another.  By the end of my first year I was acknowledged by far as the best player, winning the chess ladder.  At the end of the second year, I rarely lost even to the instructors, and I was promoted to instructor status.  This had two purposes: it let me waive the yearly registration fee, and it let someone else a chance to vie for the top of the ladder.

Get it? Chess ladder?

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