Marines And Mindfulness

I’m often touting Chi Kung as a way for players to develop more energy and be more relaxed during tournaments. So it was interesting to read that the US Marines have been testing the effects of meditation, another member of the family of Asian arts, with some interesting results. According to this article by Vanessa […]

The Crying Game

I often go to a number of local junior chess tournaments to closely examine the tournament’s inner workings, players, etc. I do this so, when I eventually take my students there to play in a tournament, I know what we’re getting into. I had a chance to visit a tournament that was geared toward very […]

The King’s Gambit

There was a time, not so long ago, when chess was played in a daring and romantic way. During the 19th Century, Gambits were King and swashbuckling sacrifices were the order of the day! One opening, the King’s Gambit, was commonly played and led to some of the most exciting chess games of this period. […]

For The Love of The Game

When we start playing chess as beginners, we play because we are intrigued with the game. We play purely for the pleasure of an intellectual challenge! I say this because when I started playing I did so because I was fascinated by the game. I was fascinated by the endless positional possibilities within a single […]

Chess & Mental Differences

Nobody can deny the fact that chess players as a whole are a somewhat eccentric bunch. It needs a special kind of mind to devote vast swathes of time to a board game that is so intense and so abstract, most ‘normal’ people just don’t get it. I don’t know of any studies on the […]

Flexible Plans

One of the hardest problems facing the beginner is planning. If I ask a roomful of young beginners to define the word “plan,” I get a variety of answers ranging from “I don’t know” to “I’m going to checkmate my opponent on move thirteen with my Queen and a Rook.” Then there’s the student whose […]

A Golden Rule For Good Concentration

There is a golden rule for ensuring good concentration, and that is to limit your focus to simply finding the next move. The problem is that it is easier said than done. All sorts of unhelpful thoughts visit our minds during a game, from chess related things such as rating, qualification and prize money to […]

Dan Staples

Dan Staples lives in Battersea, London. He’s married to Anna and they have a young son, Sam. He teaches chess to beginners in a number of schools in London, which he greatly enjoys. An active player, Dan plays for a number of clubs in several leagues, some county games, tournaments and in the 4NCL. He […]