Category Archives: Videos

Chess Is Also A Physical Sport

Below is an interesting new interview with Vishwanathan Anand. Of particular interest to many players will be the second part, in which Anand describes the importance of physical fitness. In his case he does quite a bit of yoga, as mentioned here.

Nigel Davies

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Inventing Your Own Lines

A great way to improve your chess is to try inventing your own lines. Unlike the ‘monkey see, monkey do’ approach to openings that many adopt, trying to find new ideas engages and helps develop chess skills. You need to understand typical plans and then find ways to implement them on the board.

Is it necessary to find something completely new in order to be inventive? No. You can take an established line and try to come up with some new wrinkles later on, say around move 10 or 12. Of course it helps if the lines you investigate are not the most fashionable ones as these can get picked apart rather exhaustively.

One of my own efforts in this field was the development of 2.d3 against the Sicilian (1.e4 c5). I’d seen an article by Lawrence Day on ‘big clamp’ formations and wanted to formalize his strategic concepts to create an anti-Sicilian repertoire. It worked quite well and I subsequently made a video on it for Foxy Openings which can now be found at my Tiger Chess site.

Here’s some more about the 2.d3 video which you can add to your Tiger Chess membership whether you’re a full or video member:

Nigel Davies

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Converting The French Into A Universal Repertoire

One of the useful things about playing the French is that it can be fairly easily turned into a low maintenance universal repertoire. A few years ago I made a DVD for Chessbase on this topic in which Black would combine the French with Bogo-Indian type lines, meeting 1.d4 with 1…e6 and then on 2.c4 playing 2…Bb4+. The emphasis here was on solidity rather than anything else and the French lines I gave featured the Romanishin System with 3…Be7 against 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 or 3.Nd2 together with super solid lines of the Bogo. This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s a good way to get a universal 1…e6 repertoire up and running.

For more adventurous souls I recently made this one in which the Owens Defence is used as a supplement to the French. I don’t recommend the Owens against 1.e4 because of 1…b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Nd2, but it can be playable after 1.d4 e6 2.c4 b6. Here’s a sample that’s on Youtube:

Finally there’s a more traditional option for Black is to combine the French and the Dutch, and this you can do with playing 1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5, which has the advantage of avoiding gambit lines like the Staunton (1.d4 f5 2.e4!?) plus other anti-Dutch ideas. If you’d like to go this route I show the ideas on this video at my Tiger Chess site:

Remember that players at club level really just need plans, ideas and concepts whilst they get on board an opening, in my opinion it’s plain madness for them to buy a huge tome full of variations played and analyzed by top GMs. I do explain this and more on my Tiger Chess site with some video lessons that are available to both full and video members.

Nigel Davies

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Tiger Chess Analysis Training

One of the most popular features at my Tiger Chess site is the recently introduced Analysis Training feature. It is very different to tactical chess problems of the ‘White to play and win’ genre in that the positions may be tactical or strategic in nature and call for a quite different type of thinking to the usual calculation of forcing moves.

Here’s my Youtube video about it:

Nigel Davies

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The Polgar Variant

This new film by the Israeli film-maker Yossi Aviram looks interesting. Meanwhile it’s interesting to reflect that all three sisters are now retired from tournament play.

Nigel Davies

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Blindfold Chess

A controversial improvement method is to play blindfold chess. Blindfold exhibitions were banned in the Soviet Union in 1930 because they were thought to be a health hazard, though I have yet to see any evidence that this is true. And I’ve found that it has helped my own game to practice visualizing ahead in my mind rather than moving the pieces on the board.

Here’s a recent blindfold exhibition by Magnus Carlsen in which he takes on three opponents simultaneously. A bit of a walk in the park for him, but entertaining nonetheless:

Nigel Davies

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Sun Tzu, Chess & War

I found this documentary interesting, especially the comparisons between chess and go in their applications to warfare. My view is that chess wasn’t actually designed as a war game at all, and that instead it evolved from fortune telling rituals. This would certainly explain why chess thinking doesn’t necessarily work so well if applied to military scenarios.

Nigel Davies

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