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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

Should I Memorize Variations?

Source: Wikipedia

When I started to take chess more seriously, I was thinking that the first thing I need to get a grasp on was openings because intuitively that’s the first phase of the game and I thought that having a good grasp of opening variations would give me an edge. So I bought a book that would show me the first few moves of different variations and the author would explain the rationale behind the moves and even give sample games where those moves were played.

After a while, I began to feel like there was just so much information to take in since the variations and move orders were endless, perhaps thousands of combinations for just the first eight moves alone, so I began to get overwhelmed with the vast array of positions that could arise after just a few moves. Furthermore, most of the openings that I studied didn’t really come up in the games that I played so I was left to my own devices most of the time. I thought then that opening preparation didn’t really matter at all in the lower levels of play because there were much more important concepts to take hold of before memorizing elaborate lines, theory, and different opening variations.

What’s more important, I found out, was to have first of all, a good grasp of positional fundamentals such as fighting for the center, developing your pieces, getting your king into safety, piece activity, and pawn structures. Furthermore, there is really no need to memorize 10 or 20 moves of a certain opening because it would prove to be useless in lower levels of play. Grandmasters usually do that when they prepare for a certain opponent when they know that their opponent is more likely to play a specific opening so they prepare 10 or 20 moves in advance for a specific opponent but it would be tedious and unnecessary for players like me who don’t really go up against masters every so often.

Another is even Magnus Carlsen doesn’t pay much attention to openings, he’s quite notorious for simply trying to get a comfortable position out of the opening and not preparing as much or studying as much because his strength lies in middle game strategy and end game technique although it has also been said that Magnus can recall 10,000 chess games that has ever been played so he knows the positions well and there's very little that one can do to surprise him in the opening, I guess. And from what I have heard from various podcasts, Youtube videos and channels, and other chess resources, what’s most important for beginners and intermediate players with a rating below 2200 is tactics and end game technique and the best way to improve is to just keep playing.

Should you memorize variations? Well, you can try there’s no harm in that but you would probably tire yourself out. Think about the tactics and know the different end game positions because those will come in handy. I’ve recently started learning rook and pawn endings, and how to mate with bishop and knight. Afterward, I will try to get a grasp of the king and pawn endings because those matter. And you can do that easily by going online and looking for chess resources or chess websites that could give you a wealth of information that could help you train yourself in these positions. I would recommend Chessable which I have found really convenient and helpful in improving end game technique and they have some of the best chess players helping out.

Lastly, playing chess should be just as enjoyable as it is scholarly or pedantic at times. It's okay to not know all the openings because it does get boring to try to learn all of them at once, getting better at it takes time and usually, just keeping in mind the strategic principles of chess would be enough to get us past the opening and into the middle game which needs more imagination and creativity than simply memorizing moves. We shouldn't get distressed if we make mistakes or if we can't get a certain opening variation or an end game position right because it takes years to become like the grandmasters and it takes a lot of skill, hard work, and even a bit of talent to get to their level so just keep playing the game, learn from others, and enjoy and love the game as you do.


So, that’s just my take on the subject and I hope that it would encourage you to never give up even if chess feels like a lot of work sometimes just so you can improve. But just always have fun in it, don’t take it too seriously since we’re not really professionals and those guys, the masters usually spend at least 4 hours each day preparing and training themselves to become better plus they’ve spend most of their lives studying, learning, and playing the game of chess so they’ve got a big advantage over us mortals.


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