donderdag 25 mei 2017



How come that I one day beat a 2000+ elo rated player and the next day I have it extreme difficult to draw a 1400+ elo rated player? How comes that my playing strenght fluctuates so hard?

Where is the consistency? How does one be consistent? Is there a handy tool to learn to be consistent?

Is there a book that handles this topic consistency?

Please help!

Have fun playing chess.

maandag 15 mei 2017

Question Time

Last friday evening nothing stood on the program of my chess club. So we gathered just to play some blitz and have some conversation between a pint of beer or some cool beverage or some coffee or hot chocolate.

I saw my chance and ask our best players the question we, patzers, want to know.
What does it take to become a 2000+ rated player. Our 2394, 2180, 2028 and 1980 rated players answer the question. What follows is a summary of what they said.

1. Make no one move blunder

Think always minimum 1.5 moves ahead. Your move, the BEST answer of your opponent, your BEST reply. 

2. Boardvision

Always know where the pieces stand and what they are doing.

3. Patern recognision

Knowing paterns, like for example the basic mates, helps you to come up with best moves. They are you guidance to find the best moves.

4. Know the tactical devices

Knowing the tactical devices like pin, skewer, double attack, magnet, luring, ... makes your play more active and makes it easier for you to find combinations.

5. Last but not least ... don't be affraid and have fun

Don't be affraid, play your game no matter against who you are playing. Have fun playing chess.

Have fun playing chess!!!

maandag 8 mei 2017

My new favorite chess author

Forget about Jeremy Silman. Forget about Dan Heisman. Forget about John Nunn, Forget ...

Here is ...

Charles Hertan

Fide master from Massachusetts who has been teaching kids for more than thirty years. He has written a chess book for advanced players called Forcing Chess Moves: The key to Better Calculation, which was shortlisted for the Guardian Chess Book of the Year Award and won the Chesscafe Book of the Year Award.

Charles Hertan is the perfect chess teacher for kids. He has a great grasp of the material and, even more importantly, he makes learning chess fun, and understandable for kids of all ages.

Many of his books may have "for Kids" in the title but are also very readable for adults aswell. I as a 44 year old adult love his writing. Maybe I am still a big kid. Or it is the fact that my motherlanguage isn't english that makes his books so intresting and funny to read.

Have fun playing chess!

woensdag 3 mei 2017

Help wanted

A. Team competition is over

My chess club, Rokade Westerlo, has had a good team competition season this year. 

Regional team championship

In the regional competition (I think US players can compare this with a state team championship) the first team ended second in first division. The second team, the team I played in, became champion in the third division and promotes to second division. Our third team ended third in the fifth division.

National team championship

Here we only had one goal, namely to promote the first team to second division. 

The second and third team played in fifth division. Third team, our youth team, ended seventh. Not a bad result knowing that this was the first time that 3 our of 5 players played games longer then 30 0.

The second team ended fourth. Which is ok, but maybe next year we must think of playing for promotion to fourth division from the start of the competition.

Our first team didn't start that good. Losing 3 matchpoints in the first four rounds didn't give a good feeling. However, from round 5 to 10 all matches were won and so the team stood first after ten rounds. The final round our first team had to play against the second team in the standings. A draw match result was enough for our team. Helas, a draw was never in the books. Our first team didn't look back and got a surprisingly and big win of 5,5-0,5. Promotion to second division is a fact. The celebration party afterwards was fun!

B. Help wanted

Preparing for tournament

Now that the team competitions are over, and I am not playing in the club championship, I have plenty of time to prepare myself for the 40th Eastman Open International chess tournament Ghent  in july. 

However, I am not sure how one prepares for such tournament. I need your help.  Please put your answers on the following questions in the comments.

1. Openings

A. Openings are not important at our level. Only when you have more then 2100 elo it's time to study openings.

B. With the three golden opening rules, development, centre and King safety one get already far at our level.

C. Update the openings you already play with the newest theory.

D. Create an entire new opening repertoire.

2. Endgame

A. Just learn the basic endgames.

B. Learn the book 100 endgames you must know.

C. Learn the book Silman's complete endgame course.

D. I suggest you read ........chess endgame book.

3. Middlegame

A. Play over as much titled player games as possible

B. Play over as much titled player games as possible which start with the openings you play.

C. Read Reassess your Chess or another chess book that learns you a good chess thought proces.

D. Just learn tactics.

4. Playing Games

A. Don't play games while preparing for a tournament.

B. Play blitz games online, 5 a 10 games a day/week.

C. Play rapid games online. 5 a 10 games a day/week.

D. Play only correspondence games online.

Have fun playing chess!