Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Endgames - with GM Ben Finegold

Have you ever had the chance to view any of Ben´s chess videos? Never?! 😕
Well, then it is definitely time to go for one. Personally, I like his entertaining way but I know that for some he is not what they consider a good instructor. Anyway, I like his style and actually, so does my son (I once told him about a funny instructor from the Saint Louis Chess Club and before I could say his name he said "Ben Finegold". So he actually knew him before I did).

The one below is a beginner´s course on classic endgames. Even for me the bishop+knight versus king as well as the rook versus bishop endings need a refresher every now and then. Soooo, why not with Ben?!
(Apart from that, I did a refresher on a position within the Symmetrical English - based on one game I so bitterly lost last Sunday.)

Enjoy! 😉

Monday, 18 March 2019

Not Dead Yet

Actually, even during the last 10 months without and ChessMonk activity, I still managed to do my daily dose of tactics (using CRT-ART 4.0) and I am also doing quite well in the ongoing chess league. And yes, I was also spending quite some time playing online-bullet - shame on me. Nevertheless, I miss the tournaments. It finally looks like I will be able to get back into the chess circus later this year!

So after pretty tough working year, where I actually wasn´t able to play any tournaments at all and yet some professional changes soon to follow, I finally managed to go for a Blitz Team Championship yesterday. So for the first time ever we had to go for "3+2" and all in all, it went better than expected! To be honest, I want to reduce my online bullet exposure and exchange most of it for more 3+2 games...
As a side-effect, my son also joined and there is some sort of "hope" that he might get back into the game with a bit more ambition...
But of course, there´s always room for improvement and I always considered Blitz a good way to test your opening (and endgame) knowledge. So tonight I took the time to increase my understanding within a rather exotic, not 100% correct, but definitelly fun-to-play, overall playable and really agressive line within the English Opening. It is PERFECT for Blitz and I am using this "weapon" in online Blitz a lot; but I never took the time to dive into it more analytically. I destilled some key hypotheses on when to use it and when not to, which will have to be tested (theoretically and practically) during the coming days and weeks...
In addition, I found a nice idea within the Sicilian based on GM Le. Interestingly, it never made it into any book I read on "my variation" of the Sicilian. But according to the engine it is pretty sound!

Unfortunately, I cannot go into any details in order not to lay open my "secret weaponry". But I promise to reveal "time and place" next time it comes to the board in a face-to-face match!  😉

Sooo, it looks like I can finally continue working on reaching my next chess target and climb above 2100!