A famous saying goes “chess is 99 percent tactics.” Here are three tips for studying tactics:

Practice calculation and solve puzzles at least three times per week. Your ability to spot tactics successfully during a game will depend upon pattern familiarity, which is built up over time when you consistently solve tactical puzzles.

Review the solution to every problem you attempt to solve, in case you missed anything. By reviewing the solution, you will be exposed to many different ideas at once, adding to your tactical intuition later on.

Look for tactics during analysis. There doesn’t have to be a mate-in-one in front of you for you to study tactics. Look for potential tactics during analysis of your own games and when playing through master level games. If a tactic you spot wasn’t played, try to figure out why.

The best way to train your tactical ability is to practice on Chess.com’s Tactics Trainer, which provides you with thousands of exercises for all levels ranging from beginner to grandmaster. Be sure to also check out Chess.com’s videos and articles about tactics to improve your understanding. Happy solving!


Nov 09, 2022

FIDE World Rapid & Blitz Championships Dec. 26-30

The FIDE World Rapid & Blitz Championships will be held December 26-30, 2022 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The International Chess Federation confirmed the dates and the host city on Monday in a press release.

Traditionally, two of the most exciting events on the chess calendar are held in the last week of the year, and this year will be no different. Between Christmas and New Year’s Day, once again the world rapid and blitz championships will be held. This time, the host city is Kazakhstan’s largest metropolis, Almaty—10 years after the event was held in the capital, Astana.

The main sponsor of the event is Freedom Finance, an investment company that is a part of Freedom Holdings (Nevada, U.S.) which is engaged in investment banking, asset management, and capital markets services. The company owns the Kazakh bank Freedom Finance, the online store Freedom24, and the Kazakhstani broker Freedom Finance JSC among other assets.

FIDE’s Director General Emil Sutovsky confirmed to Chess.com that the format of the two tournaments will remain unchanged. This means that the world rapid championship will be a Swiss system with 13 rounds for the open tournament and 11 rounds for the women’s tournament, played over three days. The world blitz will be a Swiss system as well with 21 rounds for the open tournament and 17 rounds for the women’s tournament on the last two days.

Last year, the events were held in Warsaw, Poland, where GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov won the rapid tournament and GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave won the world blitz. In the women’s sections, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk won the world rapid and IM Bibisara Assaubayeva the world blitz.

The world rapid and blitz championships have used this format since 2012. In the open sections, the rapid was won three times by Carlsen, in 2014, 2015, and 2019. The Norwegian GM won the world blitz four times, in 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2019. GM Hikaru Nakamura, who recently won his first world title at the Fischer Random championship, hasn’t won gold yet in either the rapid or blitz but is always among the top favorites. So far, names of participants haven’t been announced yet.


Jan 27, 2017

Tata Steel 2017, round 10: Wesley So picked up another win

Wesley So has now climbed to 2820.1 on the live rating list after his efforts in the Haarlem Philharmonia. He has opened up a 1-point gap on the field with only three rounds of the 2017 Tata Steel Masters to go. He outprepared the brilliantly prepared Radek Wojtaszek and went on to make the rest look very easy.

Wesley had made it his trademark to claim 9-round events by winning 3 games and drawing the rest, so perhaps it was fitting that in Round 10 he picked up another win and greatly increased his chances of starting 2017 with a supertournament victory. It’s noteworthy that he’s already played all but Wei Yi in the 5-man chasing pack.

The victory over Radek Wojtaszek was yet more evidence that So has added superb opening preparation to his already formidable practical skills. Wesley was in his own private “theory” until he played 18.b4:

Levon Aronian scored a beautiful win over Richard Rapport to move into a tie for second with Carlsen, Eljanov, Wei Yi and Sergey Karjakin, with the latter winning the all-Russian derby against Dmitry Andreikin. In the Challengers the leaders drew to allow Jeffery Xiong to join them in the battle for a Masters place next year.

After the rest day the final three rounds take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In Round 11, So has Black against Andreikin, who’s on a run of two losses in three games, while Carlsen had probably pencilled in White against Adhiban as a must-win game, at least before the tournament began. Wei Yi – Karjakin will be another important clash in the race for first place.

source chess24

Apr 21, 2021

Magnus Carlsen: it was a “very, very, very good game”

Anish Giri won what Magnus Carlsen described as a “very, very, very good game” to beat Wang Hao in Round 9 of the FIDE Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg and move to within just half a point of leader Ian Nepomniachtchi. Fabiano Caruana had a great chance to catch Nepo but was held to a draw by Kirill Alekseenko, while MVL is also just half a point back after narrowly avoiding a second loss in a row. He escaped with an 88-move drawn that Magnus called the “last nail in the coffin” of Ding Liren’s chances of winning the tournament.

Every round is massive now, and in Wednesday’s Round 10 we have a clash between two of the chasing pack, MVL-Giri, while Nepomniachtchi-Alekseenko is a game Ian is probably targeting for a full point, despite Kirill’s excellent restart. Caruana-Ding Liren, it goes without saying, is a heavyweight clash, though Fabiano by now has a lot more to play for.

Magnus Carlsen warned us off making any predictions for the final result, since he recalled how the final four rounds of his only Candidates Tournament, in London 2013, had been pure mayhem. “Something weird always happens,” he noted – in short, you don’t want to take your eyes off this event!

Don’t miss all the Round 10 action, with Magnus commentating alongside Tania Sachdev and David Howell, from 13:00 CEST exclusively on chess24.

See also:

  • Official website
  • FIDE Candidates Tournament games on chess24
  • FIDE Candidates Tournament stopped at halfway
  • FIDE Candidates to resume after 389 days
  • Carlsen to play 5th World Championship in Dubai this November
  • Magnus Carlsen to commentate on the Candidates
  • Jan, Laurent & Peter preview the Candidates
  • Alexander Grischuk on the FIDE Candidates