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is chess in the Olympics

  There is currently no chess in the Olympiad. The Chess Olympiad is a chess competition officially organized by FIDE since 1927 and takes place in even-numbered years. Before World War II the event was occasionally held every year. There was also an unofficial Chess Olympiad series that ended in 1976. Although chess is covered in the sports sections of many newspapers around the world, it is not one of the recognized sports in the Olympic Games. However, FIDE is now a member of the International Olympic Committee and follows its rules. This means that chess could one day become an Olympic event, although most knowledgeable observers say this is unlikely. The World Chess Championship is a competition held annually by the international chess organization FIDE to determine the World Champion of chess. Both men and women are eligible to participate in this championship. The World Champion does not have to be the player with the highest Elo rating: the 2006-2007 World Champion, Vladimir Kr

Tactics Puzzle #1: Checkmate in 6 Moves

Solving tactical puzzles is one way of improving your game. As was previously said in another article, tactics can improve your play especially when you are still dealing with intermediate level players or those below 2000 in rating points however, it would be much difficult to go against higher level of players with just tactics in your arsenal but for now we will be focusing on tactics since they really are very direct and swift. Additionally, most of the time, it would not require much calculation because the moves are forced so there is really not much need to grind yourself in calculating the moves and their follow-up because they have already been laid down before you, however, as I have found out and as you will too, strategic planning is very much essential to having a good tactical game as much as having a positional game. 

Anyways, these tactical puzzles can help train our calculative ability and our visual-spatial ability. Think of it like an exercise where you combine all the tactical themes that you know to deliver checkmate to your opponent. Whenever you have a superior position and you notice that your opponent has a weaker king position which you can take advantage, then you must watch out for those tactics and mating nets especially when the king is so exposed to attacks that there is virtually no reason why you should not be able to mate him. Always be aware of these types of positions because if you have a very good understanding of chess strategy and if you have a stronger position, know that there will be tactics lurking.

Here let me give you a brain teaser of a puzzle although I would say that it is not as difficult to see that White is in a very good position and Black will be done for in a few moves. Don't worry, this is actually an easy one because the idea is so obvious, you simply need to work out the sequence in your head and calculate the moves as scrupulously as you can, making sure that there are no loopholes or defenses that would thwart your attack. It is White to move and he is able to mate black in six moves.

There are more ways than one for White to win here since he is leagues better than Black. For one, his pieces are more active than Black's especially those knights which are very deep in Black's position while only Black's queen and knight are doing something. Black's bishop is currently biting on granite and Black's h-rook is really quite short-sighted at the moment. Black's other rook is the only defender to his king and it is not really doing a great job at it being that it is so passive and since the king is still very much open to White's impending attacks. If you try to assess the position, Black does not really have any concrete threat against White even though that h5-h4 move may seem menacing but seriously, White's attack will be a lot swifter and more decisive than Black's.

Having said that and knowing that White has a big advantage, this is not necessarily forced in the sense that it is not a successive scheme of checks and sacrifices unless Black cooperates well with you so it is not really that clear-cut yet. Also, it would be a different story if it were Black's turn to move in which he will be able to create some counterplay with the move h5-h4 however I believe that move would still be too slow for Black so I think the best move that Black can actually do if it is his turn would be to play d5 because then, the king would not be open to a discovered check from White's queen since the diagonal will be blocked by a pawn so it would take more effort from White to actually break through but it should not be a difficult task since White has a superior position already. It is also possible, if it were Black's turn to play Be7 because it would open Black's other rook to the defense of the king as we will see later on since the back rank is actually a very important key to White's success and so is the control over the e-file. Anyway, it is White to move in this position and he can create numerous threats and double attacks that force Black to be backed up in a corner, literally and figuratively.

I came up with this position last year while I was trying to study the English Opening and it led to a very sharp position where Black was much at a loss for some reason although the annotation to that game has long been gone since I just started to move the pieces without recording them any longer because it just became too exciting. I decided to play against myself to be able to think up of the best possible moves for both White and Black. One thing led to another and I found myself in this very sharp position where Black is at a clear disadvantage because of his inferior development and incredibly exposed king which is vulnerable to attacks. See if you can find the best continuation in this position.

Here is my analysis of the position:

Overall, this tactical exercise is quite fun and exciting to do because you are already winning so you just have to find the best way to win or if you are more meticulous, you would probably try to find the most beautiful way to win. Either way, the objective remains the same, it is your aim to capture the enemy king at all costs even if you have to sacrifice the most valuable piece in the game besides the king of course. Come to think of it, tactical motifs can occur in any part of the game, whether it be in the opening, middlegame, or endgame phase unless of course, you are dealing with a theoretically drawn endgame position in which case, there are no tactics to be found. Remember that you should treat tactics more of as a means to improve your position than to quickly deliver the fatal knockout punch not unless you have already maximized the full attacking potential of all your pieces then you can go all out against your opponent and just keep slamming those pieces on the board until it is checkmate.


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