GTC Lesson 1: Basic Combinational Themes Material Vs. Time

The following is the first lesson from General Treatise on Chess by Roberto Grau (from now on referred to as GTC). Material Vs. Time Piece value is based on what the pieces are doing and not because the piece is on the board. The following example shows how an advantage in time can be superior…

General Treatise on Chess

Recently a Spanish language set of four chess books by the name of el Tratado General de Ajedrez  by Argentinian Chess Master Roberto Grau was recommended to me. The book has been called the Bible of Latin American Chess, and it is highly regarded among Latin American chess players. Grau’s work which is composed of 4 volumes, is…

12 Chess Endgame Principles

Chess Endgame

1. In the endgame the King is a fighting piece and it should be centralized and used actively. 2. Material advantage wins in the endgame. Hold on to your material! 3. Be wary of sacrificing pawns for development. Only in rook and pawn endgames is an active piece worth material. 4. Try to gain tempi…

A Matter of Technique

When reviewing master games, the expert annotator usually does not cover the last few moves of the game and attributes the remaining moves to “The rest is a matter of technique.” Well, I came across the following explanation by Mednis in his excellent endgame book Rate Your Endgame Play, on just what exactly is a…

10 Steps to Chess Improvement

The road to chess improvement is a long and winding one, but with these 10 tips will help you survive the journey and increase your chess level. Chess Improvement Tips 1. Eliminate blunders. 2. Become proficient at finding offensive and defensive tactics. 3. Stop playing “hope chess“. Analyze at least 4 ply deep, and make…

Improving Analysis Skills

According to Dan Heisman in his great article Bootstrapping Analysis Skills The following are what make you a good analyst: Will to analyze the position correctly, move after move. Patience to analyze the position thoroughly (but keep in mind the clock – see “g”). Analytical thought process to know what steps to take. Board vision…