Showing posts from 2006

Back from Brownsville

I just got back from Brownsville on Sunday. I was there coaching The Village School. Every single person on the team had a plus score or even score. They became the 3rd Grade State Champions. Congratulations to them. A lot of my private students and friends were there, and they all did very well My next tournament will be the National Championship in Orlando Florida, from December 8-10. I will be coaching the Village School there again. I will probably get there a few days early or stay a few days late to see Orlando (although I've already been there several times as a kid). In March I will be coaching in the State Championships again with Annunciation Orthodox Academy in Plano Texas. I am considering playing in the following tournaments. I won't play in all of them, but maybe two. 2006 Motor City Open in Michigan (Detroit I think?) 2007 Chicago Open 2007 World Open (Philadelphia) 2007 US Open Anyway that's all for now and sorry that I haven't been posting l
White to Play, Mate in 2 Alekhine,A - Asgeirsson,A 1931. To view the whole game with the solution to the puzzle, either click on the diagram to the left or click here. Hi everyone. I haven't really been updating as much as I should. I've been busy with a lot of chess related stuff. I would like to congratulate all of my students and friends who played in the T.H. Rogers tournament. So many people I know did well. Martha Jenkinson did a wonderful job running the event as always. The people of Houston appreciate all of her great volunteer work. I would also like to thank my good friend Justin Gardner for making the trip from Dallas to help analyze games at the tournament. He will be moving to the Houston area in January to teach chess professionally. Houston is very lucky to have a strong player and great coach such as himself. Enjoy the puzzle and the game!

Going to Michigan

Hi everyone, and thank you for faithfully reading my blog even though I haven't been updating it as much as I used to. I will be going to Michigan until August 20 to visit family. If you have any questions while I'm gone, I insist that you email me. I always love discussing chess. I encourage all students to do as many tactical excercises as possible, and just study chess until the school year begins. Before you know it, there will be tournaments every few weeks. Here is one for you to enjoy. It is White to play and win. 

Quick update

Sorry for not posting in a long time. Right now I'm getting ready for the Houston Open this weekend. I am not as prepared as I would like to be, but I'll spend a lot of time today and tomorrow doing some tactical training and also review my openings. I encourage my students and friends to do the same!

My new "Best Game" from the National Open.

This is from my round 6 game against the German player Axel Stephan, who is rated 2320. This game was important because if I wanted a chance to win the U2300 prize, I had to win. This is one of my favorite games that I ever played, and very close to perfectly played. I think it's very instructional how I played against the Stonewall formation. I then did a nice switch from the queenside attack to the kingside attack. View the whole game by clicking here.  

My crazy chess teaching lifestyle!

Hey everyone. My schedule has been extremely hectic. During this last week, I've been teaching at the Klein Chess camp during the day, then teaching in the evening as well. I've been spending this week waking up at 6am and going to bed around 10pm, with hardly any free time at all (I spend this time making lesson plans). I'll also be teaching about 8 hours a day this weekend, and I also have to attend my law school admission test class on Sunday for about 4 hours. Monday I have another camp week (T.H. Rogers), where I will be busy from 6am until 10pm again. At the end of the week on Friday evening (after finishing the camp) I fly to Vegas. Saturday and Sunday I will play in the two day schedule (playing chess for about 8 hours a day). I have no idea how I will play in Vegas. Sunday night (after round 6) I fly back to Houston, so I can make it in time for my 3rd camp starting the next day on Monday! It is a good thing that I love chess or I would probably be going insane fro

Texas State Championship Part 1

I played in the Texas State Championship this Memorial Day weekend. I actually finished it a few hours ago, and I am completely exhausted (physically and mentally). I am struggling to stay awake as I type this. I heard that playing a game of chess is as physically exhausting as 3 rounds of boxing. Karpov lost 30 pounds or so when he played in the World Championship one year. I have always been a little skeptical of these "facts" but I personally feel like I can sleep for a whole day. Luckily I am taking a little trip to Dallas for a couple days so I can get some rest. These are my overall results with a brief summary of the game (the ratings are rounded). Round 1: White - Win against Chris Toolin (2150) I was winning, he was winning, then I won. I played the opening and middle game extremely well. I won a piece, but he got compensation. In time pressure I made a few errors and he stood better. For a few moves he was completely winning (if he played the winning move I could ha
As many of the readers know, I have been studying chess for a few hours a day for the past couple of months. Ben Finegold has been doing a great job of coaching me and I would like to thank him for all of his help. Also I am very happy that he is healthy. His hospitalization gave everyone a good scare. As well as working with Ben Finegold once as a week, I started working with Grandmaster Yuri Shulman. I know Yuri

1100 Level Puzzle: Game against former coach Rade Milovanovic.

Black to play and eventually checkmate white (or force white to sacrifice his queen to defend). This puzzle is probably good for about the 1100 rated player, although anyone can solve it. Look for the answer in the "comments" area. This is a game where I am White. I am playing against my coach at the time, International Master Rade Milovanovic. He is the first coach of the University of Texas at Dallas chess team and has been there ever since. I was a freshman in college when he joined the team. During that year our team was a lot different than it is now. For one thing, we only had about six masters total. We only had the man-power to send one team to tournaments. Now University of Texas at Dallas often sends three strong teams to tournaments and could send five if they wanted to. Rade helped our team win several National and Pan-American chess championships. I not only thought of him as my coach, but also a close friend. He would often invite members of the team over to his


Just an update. I've still been studying a lot of chess, almost 2 hours a day. That is a lot better than my 2 hours a week goal. I am now making plans to play in the World Open as well as the National Open. I am playing a training match (Game in 55 minutes) against another strong player. In the first game, I felt pretty rusty. I played well, got in time pressure, then blundered all of my pieces when I had a few minutes left. Getting in time pressure is something that shouldn't happen to me too often once I get back in shape. In the 2nd game I played very well and I felt like I'm back to form. I won the game on time in a better position, and I didn't make any mistakes the whole game. Fritz basically thought I played perfectly (which is very rare in my games). I'll post the games on this blog eventually. I feel very confident with my playing ability at the moment, and think that I might have a very good performance this summer if I get a chance to play in a few tourna

Great chess book on education

There is a great new book about chess and education. It is titled "Children and Chess: A Guide for Educators". It is written by Womens International Master Dr. Alexey Root. She teaches a course on chess and education at the University of Texas at Dallas. She also writes regularly for many chess magazines, including Chess Life. This book will be beneficial to anyone who is curious about learning chess, or helping someone else improve. Go to ?isbn=1591583586 for more information. If you use the special discount code "F238" the price will be $20 instead of $25.

Progress report and Internet Game

Lately I've been way ahead of my 2 hours a week goal of studying. I've been studying for close to 1 hour a day. I worked with Ben Finegold today over the phone. He showed me some of his games and tried to give me some general advice on how to play better in tournaments so I can beat players stronger than myself. I hope to win my section in the National Open, and qualify for the U.S. Championship. I think I have good chances of winning my section, but the odds are against me of qualifying for the U.S. Championship. Who knows, maybe I will get lucky. I played an internet game later where I played very well. I checked the game with Fritz after the game was over, and I played pretty much perfectly, which is rare for a such a short time control (especially when I am playing). My performance rating is very high with the English opening, and I think I will try to learn it better. The position on the diagram is White to move and get a winning advantage. For the whole game, click here

National Open June 16-18.

Sometimes I do things on a whim. Earlier tonight I was thinking that I need to play some chess over the summer. An hour later I finished purchasing airline tickets and reserving two nights for my trip to Las Vegas. I will be playing in the National Open Championship section on June 17 and June 18 (I am playing in the two day section). It will be a hectic week. On the week of June 12, I am teaching at the TH Rogers chess camp, after finishing the Klein chess camp the week before. On Friday, after teaching all day, I will immediately pack some things, go to the airport, and fly out at 9:15 pm. I will arrive in Vegas around 10:30 pm Vegas time. Saturday morning I will play 4 games (although I might take a half point bye). Sunday, I will play two more games. At 1:15 am Monday morning, I will then fly back home to Vegas. If my last game on Sunday goes for the full 6 hours, I will have to rush to avoid missing my flight. So I hope I crush my opponent quickly. It will be a quick, tiring, and

Question + Answer: Becoming weak through lack of study

Someone emailed me a question. If you have any questions that you think are suitable for everyone to view, please post it in the "comments" area, and I will respond in the same way. I will dedicate a post to answering the question though: The person wrote: Thanks for the "inside" information! You wrote that your goal is to spend 2 hours/week and that you did practically no studying last year. May I ask if you became weaker without training or are many things so "hardwired" in your brain that you do not need much studying to keep playing at a given level? I definitely became a little bit weaker, but not by much. The main thing that happens when I am not studying is I might forget a few opening variations, but this shouldn't weaken a player significantly. In my opinion, once you learn something in chess it becomes somewhat hardwired (generally speaking) into your brain. Chess masters rely on intuition and experience for most of their playing strength, an

More study and recognizing Burn Out!

Ok, what I am doing normally turns out horrible for most people. You see this pattern with many people. It is like I'm trying to run a marathon, but sprinting the first mile. This leads to burnout, and this happens in many types of training. For example, when people make new years resolutions to join a gym and excercise. You see the gyms are packed in January with people excercising 3 hours a day. Come February, the gym is empty again. The point is, to not get burned out. So when studying.. try to stay with your reasonable goal. I am already over-training. But I should be mindful of this, and not get discouraged when my training slows down a bit. I should make sure to stay with my small 2 hour a week goal. Anyway, I just studied a nice game between Alekhine and Euwe. Here it is: Click Here

Klein Chess Camp 2006

The 2006 Klein Chess Camp will be held June 5-9. I highly recommend the Klein Chess Camp. This will be my fifth time teaching there. I have to say that this is one of the most well run chess camps that I have taught at, and I am honored to be a part of it. Jim Liptrap puts countless hours volunteering with Texas scholastic chess and he organizes this wonderful camp. For more information, please visit

A "must read" article for those interested in improving or helping someone else improve

I agree with almost everything in this article and I highly suggest you read it!

Dallas: March 17 through March 20

I just finalized my plans to go to Dallas on Friday March 17 and return to Houston late on Monday March 20. To the parents of my students, I will be missing classes for those days. I will remind you again closer to the date. After that, I don't plan on taking any out of town trips until the summer. Thanks!

Funny Stalemates

A Stalemate is type of draw that occurs when the person to move has no legal moves and is not in check. You often see this happen in games between inexperienced players due to one side being a bit careless. Sometimes at more advanced levels of chess you see tactics executed by the losing side that result in a draw by stalemate. One time former World Champion Anatoly Karpov carelessly stalemated Judith Polgar when he was ahead a queen and bishop (he was very low on time). In the following three games you will see some of the most unique stalemates in chess history. These games are "compositions". Both players first memorized these clever moves, then played them out in a game to result in a friendly draw. Click here for the stalemate "compositions". (I also included the game where Karpov stalemated Polgar).

New exciting game

I've shown this game to many of my classes. White plays a somewhat simple game with a very nice attack on Black's king. I hope you enjoy! For the less experienced players: when viewing the games on this website, do not get caught up too much in the "side variations". Concentrate on the main lines (the moves in bold print). Click here for the game! Updated November 4, 2013: There is a broken link above. I will try to find the game. I believe it is Waterman-Pachmann. It is a Ruy Lopez where Waterman plays this exciting Qc6 move.

State Championship and clutch performance by a 2nd grader!

Congratulations to all of those who played in the State Championship this past weekend. I have the privilege of working with several chess teams and individuals who took home great awards. So many people did well that I don't want to start naming specific teams and players because I know I will accidentally leave someone out. One of my 2nd grade students showed me a great game he played. He won this game in the final round in only 14 moves. This win gave him 5 points out of 7, not only guaranteeing himself a huge trophy, but helping his team become the State Champions. I would post more games that I see, but this is the only one from the tournament that I memorized. If you have a good game you would like posted on this website, feel free to email it to me. My student has the White pieces in this game. Click here to see it!

Getting ready for the State Championship.

A lot of the readers have an important tournament coming up next weekend. The Texas State Championship held in downtown Houston. During this week I will concentrate on posting extra work for those participating in the event. Mark Dvoretsky who is arguably the world's most famous chess trainer recommends tactical practice on the days prior to a chess tournament. He even suggests completing some moderately easy excercises the day of the tournament to warm up. This is comparable to a musician practicing scales on the day of a recital. If you complete these puzzles, please email the answers to I will list the names of everyone who completes this successfully (unless you ask me not to list it). Click here for the puzzles and good luck!

All Girls Tournament

Good luck to everyone playing in the Susan Polgar All Girls tournament in Corpus Christi this weekend. I know at least 8 who are going and I sincerely hope they all do very well.

I discovered a new great game! Iskov-Plaskett

I have never seen this game until this week. I find it to be very instructional and entertaining. This game does a very good job of illustrating the attack on a castled King, when both sides castle in opposite directions. In this game Plaskett does a great job of punishing Iskov for playing a strange opening. Iskov-Plaskett: The "Can-Opener" Activity #1.5 By the way, I recently discovered that the java chess program and this overall site works better with Internet Explorer than Mozilla Firefox.

The Dragon Opening Interactive Lesson

I teach many of my students to play the Dragon or "Accelerated Dragon". This is a very good study aid for those who play the opening. It mainly focuses on learning the ideas and the general setup. Activity # 1.4 Accelerated Dragon Interactive Lesson   Broken Link :( 

First Interactive Worksheet

I will put up more worksheets like this as homework for students. Please give me any feedback as I am still in the experimentation process. Activity # 1.3 Click here for the "Loose Pieces Drop Off" worksheet. Rating Level: 0-1400 The answers are listed under the "comments". I will do this with all of my puzzles and online worksheets.

Morphy's Puzzle

Activity # 1.2 Black to play, mate in 2. For the answer, look under "Comments" Difficulty: 0-1400 Please post your answer under "comments" or email if you think you know the answer

Welcome to my new blog!

Hi everyone. This is my first post. I plan on putting up various homework items and material for extra training. Feedback is greatly appreciated. I just made a sample "newsletter". I hope you enjoy! Activity # 1.1 Ruy Lopez Exchange (Rating: 0-1000)

Coaching at Nationals in Orlando Florida and Columbus Ohio.


Show more