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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

How to Decide on Positional Trade-offs

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First off, what do I mean by positional trade-offs? Well, one of the most basic things I’ve observed and learned from watching various chess personalities, instructors, and chess masters play is that they seem to know whether to trade off their knight for a bishop thereby getting the bishop pair or conceding it. Another common decision point is when to release the tension between pawns, between pieces because as the pressure builds up at a certain point in the board, the better it would be to know what the proper timing is to break open the position and let the pieces loose, trading them off until you finally find yourself in an end game where you either are better or worse depending on the decision that you made several moves earlier.

These aren’t really strict rules or principles, more like guidelines on making the decision when you’re over the board and you find yourself in tension laden positions. I’m not even saying that these are the best tips or whether they’re right but I would just like to share a few insights that I’ve gathered on making decisions on positional trade-offs.

I believe it really is a matter of personal assessment of a certain position whether you should keep the bishop pair, sacrifice the exchange, or start releasing the tension. Oftentimes, most chess players would prefer having the bishop pair because in the end game they would be much stronger versus a bishop and knight however, if you see that the position is relatively closed and your opponent’s knights dominate more squares or his bishop and knight are more superbly placed on the board, then you better think about how you want to do moving forward in the position.

The same goes for when you might want to decide to sacrifice the exchange. Should you give up your rook for a bishop or knight? What are the pros and cons? How do your pieces coordinate or work together in the position? These are some questions that might be helpful in deciding on this. It doesn’t matter if you have two rooks versus a rook, knight, and bishop when your rooks don’t even have space to control or they’re crammed in. The best thing to do is to look at the position and ask yourself, how are my pieces contributing to the improvement of my position? Are they defending key squares? Do they have any prospects for attack or maybe I should just give it up in exchange for my opponent’s stronger piece? How do I move on from here?

There was a game I had over the board when I struggled on whether to sacrifice my queen or not. It wasn’t even for two rooks, it was just a bishop I think but I believe that I had the upper hand in the position and my pieces were primed for attack. Also, I think that I had a passed pawn with a knight and a bishop supporting it. I decided to sac the queen, partly because I saw no other alternative that would help me alleviate pressure and further the attack, and partly because it felt great to sac your queen and still have the initiative. When the momentum is on your side, you have to keep pushing and you have to put pressure on your opponent as much as possible. I learned there that you should never be afraid to give up your pieces, even your queen, when you think you can keep the initiative going and eventually gain the upper hand.

Lastly, when should I break the tension? Honestly, I do not have a direct answer because usually in these situations, you would have to calculate and then assess what your prospects are after pieces and pawns are traded. Although, there is no saying what the perfect time is and indeed, I think that depends on the disposition of the player but for me, I usually break the tension when I feel that my pieces are prepared for what’s to come. When the center breaks apart and pieces are being traded, at the end of it all, what am I left with? Do I have enough compensation? Do I have a better end game? It all depends on the player’s judgment and assessment of the position.


Chess is a game of decisions and trade-offs all toward the goal of checkmating your opponent’s king. One thing that somebody who wants to play chess and win must have is tenacity, the determination to keep pushing, and the ability to stay composed even when the going gets tough because at the end of the day, it only takes one key decision to win or lose the game.


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