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Your tactics at

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Written by Administrator   
Friday, 19 March 2010
Please welcome our new guest - Evgeny Sidorovsky.

Name: Evgeny Sidorovsky
Age: 24
Country: Russia
City: Kaliningrad-Moscow
Chess level: candidate master, FIDE 2153
Education: MSc from Moscow Physical-Technical University, MA from New Economic School
Occupation: investment analyst
Hobbies: poker, economics, soccer, jeopardy and other intellectual games

Evgeny is a relatively experienced candidate master. However, he obtained a FIDE rating just a year ago. A very solid player, he relies on positional understanding and technique more than on opening preparation and sophisticated tactics.

Here is a problem from one of Evgeny's recent games:

Evgeny Sidorovsky (2139) - Andrei Zyukov (2289)
White to play

P.S. Becoming a featured guest at is easy - just contact us!

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Last Updated ( Friday, 19 March 2010 )

Zeit writes about Chess Kama Sutra

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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 18 March 2010

One of the top German newspapers, Zeit, published a column on Chess Kama Sutra:

Die russische Großmeisterin Natalia Pogonina schreibt an einem Buch Das Kamasutra des Schachs. In einem Interview mit der Schachwebseite sagte sie: Beide, Schach und Kamasutra, stammen aus Indien. Man kann Schachstellungen zu solchen aus dem Kamasutra in Beziehung setzen und sich durch Sexchess in der Liebe wie im Schach vervollkommnen. Ja, prima!

The whole article is available here.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 18 March 2010 )

Guess the players-7

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Written by Natalia Pogonina   
Tuesday, 16 March 2010

The two impressive young guys next to me also happen to be leading grandmasters with a sum of FIDE ratings equal to 5404! Can you recognize them?

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 March 2010 )

Your tactics at

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Written by Administrator   
Monday, 15 March 2010
Let me introduce to you the third guest of "Your tactics at", and the first girl to star in these series. Tanya Velichko is a very attractive and modest girl, so she has hardly provided any information about herself.


Name: Tatiana Velichko
Age: 17
Country: Russia
City: Saratov
Chess level: candidate master, FIDE 1865
Education: studying for a BA in Law at Saratov State Academy of Law

Velichko Tatiana - Avdeeva Veronika
White to move and win (two ways)

P.S. Becoming a featured guest at is easy - just contact us!

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Last Updated ( Monday, 15 March 2010 )

Chess puzzle: rook + knight vs rook

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Written by Natalia Pogonina   
Saturday, 13 March 2010
White to move and win

I like solving chess puzzles, here's one of them. Rook+knight usually doesn't win against rook, but sometimes it's possible. The solution is actually trickier than it seems.

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 13 March 2010 )

Guess the players-6

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Written by Administrator   
Friday, 12 March 2010

Can you guess who the two young guys are? Tip: the sum of their FIDE ratings is a humble 5449

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Last Updated ( Friday, 12 March 2010 )

Trying Out New Openings

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Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 10 March 2010

by Natalia Pogonina for her Tuesday column

Some of you might be playing in the vote chess game against me at If so, then you probably know that the Opocensky variation of the Sicilian Najdorf goes the following way: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cd 4.Nd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2.

This is a quiet variation aimed at outmaneuvering one's opponents and accumulating small advantages step by step. It's hard to win quickly, but the game flows so logically and smoothly that some of the encounters are decided in White's favor "by hand", without much thinking.

I have employed this variation for the first time at the Chess Olympiad '08 in Dresden against a relatively weak opponent. The attempt proved successful:

This opening seemed quite nice to me, so I decided to use it more often. Here is another example: a last round win against IM Marina Romanko which secured me the 1st place at the Moscow Open '09 in the women's event. It was a bit more sophisticated due to the higher class of the opponent (in comparison to the 1st game):


As a reminder: one of the classic ways to study openings is to look at the moves first, then memorize how to place pieces in this opening (which one goes where, not "move-by-move" senseless threads) and the main plans for both sides. Then learn from masters by watching their games and trying to understand why they have played that way. Finally, here comes practice: blitz and rapid games against a partner of your strength (or higher) with extensive post-mortem analysis. You might lose a few games at home, but gain rating points at tournaments due to avoiding the mistakes you have made while training. However, sometimes we don't have the luxury of preparing that seriously, and have to play something from scratch. Smile

And after goes Qb7, we will be pushing that pawn. Understand, Mum?

My husband has expressed interest in the Pogonina vs match and is following the game quite closely, mastering the opening along the way. He usually prefers other continuations in the Najdorf. However, when recently a young candidate master played 5...a6 in a classical time control FIDE tournament against him, he thought: "Why not 6.Be2?" Here's what happened next:


In my opinion, that is a good illustration of how one should learn from other masters' games.

P.S. Congratulations to all Bobby Fischer fans! We were born on the same day - March, 9th. Smile

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 10 March 2010 )

Natalia Pogonina turns 25 today!

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Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 09 March 2010

Congratulations to Natalia Pogonina who turns 25 today! She was born on the same day as Bobby Fischer and has inherited his champion's spirit!

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 March 2010 )

Secret behind Pogonina vs the World match: who is really playing for Natalia

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Written by Peter Zhdanov   
Monday, 08 March 2010
And after the World goes Qb7, we will be pushing that pawn. Understand, Mum?

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Last Updated ( Monday, 08 March 2010 )

Strongest chess nations (by GMs per capita)

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Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 06 March 2010
FIDE offers us a chart of top chess countries in terms of average rating of top-10 players and number of titled players. However, it is clear that the larger the country, the higher its chances are. Therefore, it is also interesting to see which nations have the largest number of GMs per capita, i.e. are strongest relatively:

Rank   Countries  Amount 
# 1   Iceland: 3.033 per 100,000 population   
# 2   Andorra: 1.417 per 100,000 population   
# 3   Armenia: 0.57 per 100,000 population   
# 4   Israel: 0.526 per 100,000 population   
# 5   Serbia and Montenegro: 0.462 per 100,000 population   
# 6   Slovenia: 0.448 per 100,000 population   
# 7   Georgia: 0.406 per 100,000 population   
# 8   Croatia: 0.4 per 100,000 population   
# 9   Latvia: 0.393 per 100,000 population   
# 10   Macedonia, Republic of: 0.391 per 100,000 population   

Click "Read more" to see the whole list

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 06 March 2010 )
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