Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Seattle Chess Club

For any other Washington residents, the Seattle Chess Club is a great place to play a tournament or skittles games. They offer monthly quads and sectional "tornadoes", with other events sprinkled at times in as well. The events often have a strong showing, with multiple Masters and Experts in the Open section. They also provide a reserve section, which is helpful for beginning players. The tournaments have between 20 and 50 people the majority of the time, except for the multiple day tournaments which usually bring more.

Sorry for the inactivity... school has taken most of my time away. I will add more posts later!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Opening Preparation

     One of the main topics which comes to light in the topic of chess improvement is the topic of opening preparation. It is a common pattern that the player with a higher amount of knowledge in the position often gets an advantage.
     A common mistake which many people make is to spend too much time researching openings- would it matter if you knew the first 20 lines of the Queen's Gambit Orthodox if you overlooked simple tactics? It is hard finding the perfect balance between tactics and openings, yet I find that I use about 20% of my time on openings.
      There are many tools out there which you can use for practice and research. One software program which is well-known is Chess Opening Explorer. You can create your own opening database, and there are many practice options you can choose from. I also like MCO 15- it is an encyclopedic book crammed to the brim with main lines and variations of almost all openings.
      Another important part is to make sure you choose an opening which you enjoy- if you like playing attacking, open games, then openings like the Queen's Gambit are not for you. Remember, the point of the game is to have fun! Always keep that in mind as you progress in your chess career.