Professionals‘ Best Chess Tips




“One of the fundamental principles in chess demands quick piece development. Every piece must be brought into the game as early as possible, while the necessary actions for each and every particular opening strategy must be taken into consideration. An undeveloped piece neither contributes to a player’s offense nor defense. The player with a number of underdeveloped pieces is literally in substantive disadvantage, which appears especially when the opponent was able to develop his.” (Max Euwe)

“One has to take into account that thorough knowledge of openings is impossible, when the player lacks a satisfying end game cleverness in evaluating the variance of possibilities.” (José Raoul Capablanca)

“Even in the very first opening moves we do not only strive for developing our pieces and Pawns quickly and reaching strategically beneficial opening positions, but at the same time we constantly strive for hampering our opponent’s development and limiting the activities of his abilities to take away important squares from him.” (Alexander Koblenz)


Strategy & Tactics

Once a player has realized that the moment of decision has come, he must thoroughly observe the positioning from all angles. He must weigh his own strengths and weaknesses against those of the opponent and evaluate all details of the positioning – the arrangement of Pawns, location of the opposite King, existence of open and semi-open lines, etc.. Who misses the opportunity of making a plan, aimlessly wanders from move to move or relies on tactical chances of the moment that can be advantageous for himself.. It is important to have goals, and a plan to reach these goals.(Max Euwe)

“Not results shall be kept in mind, but methods. Methods are flexible, they provide basis to all situations in my life.” (Emmanuel Lasker)

“It is a common rule that one should open a position when better developed than the other; moreover, it is applicable for almost all positioning that one should attack advanced Pawns.” (Max Euwe)

“A far advanced open Pawn can disarray the opponent’s entire game. If the Pawn has come forward to the sixth (or third) row even, it is so strong that in combination with two other figures (especially when a Rook is involved) it is superior to the Queen.” (Siegbert Tarrasch)

“The initiative is a meaningful element in chess. Sometimes it is worth two Pawns, and sometimes even more than that.“ (Max Euwe)

Dominating an open line with a Rook or even both is a significant advantage, especially when it is the only open line and the opponent cannot position his own Rooks on it. Once a player has occupied an open line, he certainly seeks to avoid occupation through an opposite Rook by introducing another heavy figure into the lines.” (Siegbert Tarrasch)

„A Pawn is called isolated when the Pawns around him are not on the board – in other words, when he is not protected by any Pawns. An isolated Pawn can be a serious weakness due to two reasons: Because it is not protected by Pawns, it must be covered by other figures which limits their mobility. Furthermore, the opponent is often able to occupy the square in front of the Pawn with a figure that the Pawn can’t attack. This is a meaningful square for the opponent.” (Max Euwe)

Maintaining the maximum number of physical forces is in the interest of the one dominating the larger space at a given moment.” (Alexander Aljechin)

“A captivation occurs when a figure cannot move because it would cause the King to be in threat of check or it would mean losing an important piece. Captivation is an effective weapon, as it hinders the captivated figure to freely participate in the battle.” (Max Euwe)

“A very general rule that is of major importance in all stages of the game: One strives to obtain the highest capacity for action for all own figures and to hinder the opposite figures as much as possible.” (José Raoul Capablanca)

“If both players have castled in different ways, they most often aim for attacking the King on both sides. Who manages to attack first is in substantial advantage.” (Max Euwe)

Pawns are by no means equal to one another. Close to the center they are strongest, and lose importance the further away from the center and closer to the edge of the board they are positioned. If one is able to beat two Pawns with one figure, it is most desirable to do so in the center.” (Siegbert Tarrasch)

“A player combines all his general goals to an overall strategy; it gives him a guideline for his actions. Through tactics he will take advantage of opportunities that every single move of the opponent offers him.” (Ma Euwe)

“A Rook`s Pawn that is advanced to h6 (h3) or a6 (a3) is a persistent threat in the midst of the game when one has castled to that particular side. It appears like an Officer and supports check-attacks, and often even offers the opportunity of check-attack in combination with the Queen. The Pawn is especially strong when there is no Bishop to cover him.” (Siegbert Tarrasch)

“Make your opponent nervous and force him to use his pieces to cover your Pawns. Once he reveals a weak spot, try to make it grow or provoke a second weakness in a different spot to cause the opposite positioning to fall apart. If the opponent is able to fix one of the weaknesses, make sure that he will face another weakness instead.” (José Raoul Capablanca)

“The most common way to undermine a line a Pawns is to attack the basis with one Pawn. If the opponent wants to maintain his line of Pawns (which is the usual case), he will make it stronger by supporting it with another Pawn. The attacker then has the option to either extend his own line by advancing his Pawn, or to switch Pawns at the basis which will cause a weakness in that spot and give a target opportunity. As it is usually desirable to break up the opposite line of Pawns, attacking the peak can even be auspicious at times. In such cases, the line is broken up when switching Pawns; if it is supported by own Pawns, on the other hand, it might lead to line opening with significant opportunities to attack.” (Max Euwe)

“The most important element in mid-game is tactics. It is important to see everything that is more or less hidden. To exploit the opportunity to create combinations, when they occur! There is a fake defense, there is an uncovered figure, there is opportunity for a captivation or a double-attack and so on..” (Siegbert Tarrasch)

“The advantage of paired Bishops lies in the fact that a harmonic interplay of the two can significantly hamper the opponent’s freedom of movement, can help control the diagonals, and in a given (advantageous) moment, can help one to easily let go of the pair. The pair of Bishops has no significance in the game when the positioning of Pawns is blocked.” (Alexander Koblenz)

Narrow positioning is the seed of all failure.” (Siegbert Tarrsch)

“The combination is a sequence of moves that may not make sense individually, but aim for a certain purpose all together. Combinations usually include a sacrifice. There are combinations without sacrifice, but instead one has to work with threats, to limit the possible number of opposite reactions. In any other case, the number of variances to calculate would be too large.” (Max Euwe)

“All pieces must be covered if possible. The safest of covers is provided by Pawns. Uncovered pieces often come along with trouble. They are attacked while another threat is developed, get stuck in uncomfortable captivation, or even face a double attack.” (Siegbert Tarrasch)

“Focus on physical successes. Take what your opponent offers you, unless there is a good reason not to do so.” (Robert James Fischer)



“During a Rook endgame, the weaker party often has the chance of a tie until the very end.” (Siegbert Tarrasch)

“It is usually a good strategy to attack the opposite wing with a fianchittoed Bishop. Executing this plan, though, is ties to many preconditions.“ (Max Euwe)

“The battle for an open line is often crucial for the final outcome of a duel. The main value of dominating an open line lies in the opportunity for the Rook to advance to the second-to-last or second row. Once a Rook has penetrated this row, the player scores a major advantage during mid- and end-game, as he attacks Pawns on the left and right and threatens the opposite King. Other forces to support the Rook and when only a single light piece is left to provide protection, checkmate is near. Therefore, the defending player must try to counteract the opposite Rook with one of his very own in the occupied row as soon as possible.” (Siegbert Tarrasch)

“Statistics of many tournaments prove that 50 percent of all endgames rely on Rook endgames. For this very reason, studying these end games has such great practical value.” (Vassili Smyslov)

“During the entire game, as well as during the endgame, the Bishop is generally slightly superior to the Knight – with one exception: A Knight in the center, covered und impossible to banish, is stronger than a Bishop. Even in blocked positions the Knight often proves to be handier than the Bishop.” (Siegbert Tarrasch)

“To improve your game, you must look at your endgames first. While the endgame can be studied and solved apart from everything else, openings and mid-games must always be studied with regard to the endgame.” (José Raoul Capablanca)

Find more tips to improve your game in Chessimo’s 101 Chess Tipps – short and to the point and presented in graphics!

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

Russia Scores at World Mind Games in Beijing

From December 11 to 17 Beijing was stage to this year’s SportAccord World Mind Games.

Participants competed in tournament style in the disciplines Bridge, Chess, and Checkers, as well as the Asian strategy games Go and Xiangqi, which have not yet gained popularity in the western world.

World Mind Games 2014

32 players from 15 countries competed in our favorite discipline chess – 16 men and 16 women. Amongst them were several Chinese prodigies, one of them current World Champion of Women Yifan Hou. Others were Asian Women’s Championship runner-up Ju Wenjin, Grand Master Wang Hao and WGM & GM Zhao Xue (who impressed with an ELO performance of 2828 points at the 2011 edition of the Grand Prix).

France, India, Poland, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Hungary, Cuba, Sweden, Bulgaria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Israel, and Germany sent further top-class players, such as Etienne Bacrot, Hari Krishna Pentala, Radoslav Voitaszek, Alexander Grishchuk, Leinier Dominguez Perez, Levon Aronian, Boris Gelfand, and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, which added the little bit of extra spice to the event.


Overview of Laureates
Event Date Medal Name Country
Men’s Rapid Event FRI 12/12 GOLD GRISHCHUK Alexander RUS
Women’s Rapid Event FRI 12/12 GOLD GUNINA Valentina RUS
Men’s Blitz Event MON 12/15 GOLD GRISHCHUK Alexander RUS
Women’s Blitz Event MON 12/15 GOLD HOU Yifan CHN
Men’s Basque Event WED

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Women’s Basque Event WED 12/17 GOLD HOU Yifan CHN


Russia took home six medals – more than any other participating nation. China lies closely behind with five medals, while France ranks third with three medals.

Find detailed information on the official website:

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

Happy Birthday, Hikaru Nakamura!

American Grandmater with Japanese origin and World Champion of Chess960, Hikaru Nakamura, celebrates his 27th birthday today.

Hikaru NakamuraAt this special occasion, we would like to give you a summary of his greatest successes, and we look forward to many more of his brilliant moves in the future.

+ Nakamura playes his first chess tournament at the age of seven.

+ At ten years and four months, he becomes National Champion – the youngest in the history of the United States.

+ In 2001 follows the silver medal at the Junior World Championship (U14).

+ He is announced youngest American Grandmaster when he was only fifteen years old surpasses even Bobby Fischer.

+ A successful performance at the Pan-American Championship guarantees him participation in the FIDE World Championship 2004, where he droppes out in the round of the last sixteen after losing against Michael Adams. In 2004, seventeen year-old Hikaru Nakamura defeats Sergey Karjakin with a three point advantage in Cuernavaca.

+ He wins the 2005 edition of the United States National Championship, along with the Foxwoods Open and World Open in Philadelphia.

+ The same year he is runner-up at the Junior Championship in Lausanne, Switzerland.

+ At the Chess Olympics in 2006, his flawless performance helps the American national team win the bronze medal.

+ The victory at the North American Open at Las Vegas follows promptly.

+ Hikaru Nakamura impresses in Gibraltar (shared 2nd) and Barcelona (1st) in 2007.

+ Again, he competes at the Chess Olympics as a member of the United States national team and contributed to yet another bronze medal in 2008.

+ Moreover, Nakamura dominates the Gibtelecom Chess Festival and the Rapid Chess Tournament in Cap d’Agde the same year.

+ He secures the United States National Championship title a second time in 2009 and dethrones Levon Aronian in the discipline Chess960.

 + In 2009, he defeats chess legend Magnus Carlsen at a Blitz Chess Tournament in Oslo (3:1).

+ The following year he prevails at the online tournament Dos Hermanas“ (three minutes thinking time per duel).

+ Nakamura wins the 2011 edition of the Tata-Steel Chess Tournament and a competition against Ruslan Ponomarjov.

+ The third victory at the United States National Championship follows in 2012.

+ He comes off 2nd at the FIDE Grand Prix and Sinquefield Cup in 2013 which lets his influence in the world of chess grow significantly.

+ In January 2014, Hikaru Nakamura achieves a personal record in his ELO-rating of incredible 2789 points.

+ A few weeks ago he ranked 3rd at the FIDE Grand Prix in Tashkent and achieved the same ranking as at the FIDE World Blitz Championship in the summer. His performance at the Zurich Chess Challenge earlier this year was just as remarkable.

+ Yet another triumph dates back only two days – Nakamura wins gold at the two-day “Super Rapidplay” of the London Chess Classics with 9.5 out of 10 points.

We wish Hikaru Nakamura a great day of celebrating with all his loved ones and many more successes at both Black and White times 🙂

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

Qatar Masters Open



The ‘Qatar Masters Open’, organized and carried out by the “Qatar Chess Association”, began on November 25 and ended yesterday evening. The stunning prize fund of 100,000 USD, 25,000 USD of which were the victor’s reward, lured in many chess players from all over the world. Amongst them were fourteen top-class players with ELO-ratings of over 2700 points, such as Anish Giri, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Vladimir Kramnik, Arkadij Naiditsch, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Doha at the Arabic Gulf was temporary home to 154 players who had high hopes in winning a share of the prize money.

The participants played nine rounds in Swiss Tournament System.

Anish Giri was able to secure the position as favorite tournament competitor in the early stage of the event and won the first six rounds flawlessly. When facing his strongest opponent, Vladimir Kramnik, in round seven his winning series came to an end. After Kramnik had prevailed, the two of them shared first rank with each six points.

And the suspense did not cut off: In round eight Kramnik defeated Salem (ELO 2586), which was not surprising, and thus scored his seventh point. Giri, on the other hand, had a  hard time and finally lost against Chinese player Yangi Yu (ELO 2705). With 6.5 points on his account Yu enhanced to 2nd place, leaving Giri in 3rd at 6 points.

The ninth and final round of the tournament ended with Kramnik losing against Yu, who then advanced to 1st rank. Giri was able to prevail over the Armenian player Vladimir Akopian, scored a whole point, and ended up with a shared 2nd rank.

Therefore, twenty year-old Yangi Yu takes come 25,000 USD reward money, which he certainly deserves after the 2905 ELO point performance at this tournament.

Kramnik and Giri share 2nd and 3rd place at 15,000 and 10,000 USD prizes, and even 4th place, taken by Russian player Sanan Sjugirov, was rewarded with 7,000 USD.

Georgian player Bela Khotenashvili came off Best Female Player at the tournament and takes home 5,000 USD for her great 27th rank (ELO 2504).


written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

The Best Christmas Gifts for Chess Fans

Are you still looking for a Christmas Present for you’re a chess enthusiast, whether it’s your grandfather, friend, or boss? Are you a chess fan yourself and yet again, like every year, don’t know what to put on your wish list for Christmas? Stop worrying – Chessimo has collected a few neat gift ideas for any budget that will lift the spirits of chess fans!

Little somethings for low budget gift-givers (under 20 EUR)

Christmas Under 20EUR

For only 4.20 USD zazzle offers different sets of Chess-themed Poker Chips, some of which you can even design yourself! They are available in the US, almost all of Europe, Brazil, Asia, and other countries. The perfect gift for chess fanatics with a weak spot for card games.


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If you want to give a gift to someone who not only loves chess but also culinary goodies, a Christmas Stocking is an ideal choice! It can be spiced up with all kinds of delicious stocking fillers and is a great example for how to make someone happy on a low budget. (In Germany available at for 12.99 EUR)


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For those who love to party. This popular Chess Drinking Game is available in any imaginable version. offers it for 14.95 EUR, Amazon even has an edition with glass board for under 8 EUR!


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Who can’t stop thinking about chess even at the office, will certainly appreciate a mouse pad or a coffee mug that unmistakably belong to him or her. Several Mouse Pads, Mugs, Note Pads, and Calendars with cool chess designs are available at man only shops worldwide at prices ranging from 10 to 20 USD.


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Guitar Picks with different chess design are the perfect present for all your friends who have a thing for music. Available for 16.95 USD at zazzle.

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Unforgettable Gifts at a medium budget

Christmas Under Medium Budget

Some of us like to make fashion statements. You will surely please those with Shirts, Neckties, or Aprons with chess motives. A large number of websites around the globe offer a wide range of products with great designs for 20 to 40 USD. Check out Endgame (USA), Cafepress (Germany), and almost worldwide zazzle.


Christmas Under Medium Budget 2

Austrian Motive-themed Coins can be a real surprise for coin collectors and chess fans. Waiting for your order at MA Shops for 50 bucks!

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Chess players are said to be couch potatoes. It is time to show the world otherwise! One way to do so are the Chess-themed Ping Pong Paddle, seen at zazzle for 31.95 USD.

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Christmas Under Medium Budget 4

For about 50 USD you can buy Cell Phone Cases with great chess designs. Technology freaks will most likely love Notebook Cases or Portable Speakers that show their love for check! All items seen at zazzle (available in the US, almost all of Europe, Brazil, Asia, ..).

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Exquisite presents without price limits

Exquisite PresentsCollectors love extraordinary Chess Boards with creative chess pieces. These are available in many editions made from wood, metal, plastic, glass, or even gold, diamonds, and carbon. There are absolutely no price limits. Who owns millions might be interested in some of the most expensive chess boards in the world. Starting at 816 EUR, Hand-made Sets are available at H&H, a southern German company. You can, however, find significantly less expensive high-quality boards in the World Wide Web that aren’t any less interesting and individual.


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At Amazon we have found this Chess Table with removable board and a hidden Backgammon board on the inside. Not exactly a bargain buy, but portably an incredibly valuable treasure to passionate players.

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Exquisite Presents 3For 80 bucks you can sign up for an Annual Magazine Subscription of the New in Chess Magazine. The deal currently includes four extra publications for new subscribers. ANY chess fan will love this present, if he or she isn’t already a subscriber of this treasure of chess literature.

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Now we’re ready for Christmas!

 written by Sarah, translated by Birthe