Exchange Sacrifices

Actively sacrificing a Rook depends on you having an open file and something to aim at. So the best-rehearsed exchange sacrifices are ...Rc8xNc3 in the Sicilian, ...Rf8xNf3 in the French and to some extent the Dutch, Rf1xf6 against the Sicilian... You need some compensation for your Rook: either a good central pawn, or the weakening of the opposing King's defences, or all three!

White sacrifices for attack on f6 in the Sicilian

Nezhmetdinov R. - Tal M. [B85]

White sacrifices for attack on h5 in the Sicilian

Fischer R. - Larsen B. [B77]

Ish's Opening Stats


This season, I have decided to take Webb's advice from Chess for Tigers and do a statistical analysis of my openings. I have arranged them by opening, written the opening outcome (advantage to white, black or equal), and outcome of the game. I have included some tips for preparing to play me. Unfortunately, I'll be in china next year, so you won't have the chance to use this stuff to thrash me just yet!

White Pieces

Classical rocks

I was wondering about 1. e4 e5 and 1.d4 d5 openings - would you recommend exploring some of these? I'm not enjoying being squashed as black any more and thought I'd make a longer term plan to learn a (very) few classical openings instead. I wondered about French (winawer?) but thought I try a complete new tack (why swap an early d6 for an early e6 ?!!)

My first thought was, I don't know how long you've been getting back into the game, but I'd leave the job of taking on two or three whole

Defending against 1.e4

I had a call about a player who "doesn't like playing the Two Knights', so what else is there?".  This is a longer version of what I said on the 'phone...[br /]

Playing Black after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3

Classical repertoire

Defending the Italian Game with the Two Knights' Defence and the Ruy Lopez with the Classical or other variation has always seemed to me to be [a href="http://exeterchessclub.org.uk/content/cool-tips"]good advice[/url] (even if it isn't advice I've ever been very good at

Planning in the endgame

Lessons that can be applied elsewhere, I hope; if you have examples of games where you have struggled, send them in.

How to plan, anyway (from Jeremy Silman).


Here is a breakdown of the different imbalances:

1) Material (owning pieces of greater value than the opponent's).

2) Space (the annexation of territory on a chess board).

3) Superior Minor Piece (the interplay between Bishops and Knights).

4) Pawn Structure (a broad subject that encompasses doubled pawns, isolated pawns, etc.).

A Planning Challenge

With my usual arrogance, I was offering Charlie some notes on a game, and he remarked afterwards:

"The move I sweated over for so long, you passed over without comment, as though it was the most natural move in the game!"

What would you have played?  Make your mind up (that is, write it down) before reading on!

Minor Piece Endgames

The minor pieces are bishop and knight (and the major ones are rook and queen).  They are of roughly equal value (3 pawns, we often say), but have such different powers of movement that they have very different uses in the endgame.


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