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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

Beginner Tips: How to Make Fewer Mistakes

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One of the best measures of improvement to check your progress is how frequently you make mistakes. There are three types of mistakes that you can make in chess which I’m basing from lichess’s analysis system: inaccuracies, mistakes, and blunders. The difference among these three types is the level of significance or the impact that they make on your position and subsequently, how much worse your position is against your opponent.

In a perfect game, both players should be equal and end in a draw. But that doesn’t happen often, if at all. Even in the top echelons of competitive chess, there will be differences in knowledge, skill, experience, and mental fortitude. So even if you go up against a master, there is a good probability that you could beat them, if you make fewer mistakes than they do.

Although be careful to think that simply making fewer mistakes would give you a slight edge or even a chance at beating very experienced players because chess is not just about mistakes. If you both don’t make a lot of mistakes, then there will be other factors that could tip the scales for one side over the other.

One of those factors could be a deep strategic understanding of the game and the position. That is, if they know the goal that they are striving toward and stick to their plan, keeping in mind the moves that you make, then they are already one step ahead. But making plans would be a topic for another article. Right now, we want to minimize the number of mistakes we make per game.

Watch out for tactics

I think this is pretty basic and I know you would be thinking, “Well, of course! One of the things that you need to be vigilant about is falling into traps or tactical combinations.” But the thing is, there are certain tactics that aren’t always obvious because they would depend on whether it gets “activated” and they catch unsuspecting victims by surprise. It is like stepping on a land mine or a ticking time bomb.

These types of tactics are situational and oftentimes, they try to take advantage of the placement of pieces and timing. If your position has a lot of holes in it or if you have many hanging pieces or if your queen is overworked, then there is a great chance that those little nuances of the position would be exploited if not addressed immediately. Sometimes, a seemingly harmless, ordinary move that you make would suddenly set off a tactical combination and it would be difficult for you to recover.

I want to show a game that I had recently. I think it would be able to illustrate the concept of how things can turn around in the blink of an eye if you are not careful.

We are going to look at the game from 24… Nb5. White had a slight edge in the position and if I had made the best move then I could have kept the advantage. However, I panicked because I was going to lose one of my center pawns so I tried to assuage or reduce the impact of the threat which only made things worse.

The next few moves seem reasonable until my opponent made a blunder with 31… Rf8 which basically allowed my forces to penetrate his territory. However, I did not do that. My queen and rook would have formed a good battery on the seventh rank and dominated the position. Instead, I played Bd5 which made the position equal.

My opponent could have saved his position with 32… Rc2+ but he didn’t and we exchanged a pair of rooks. Then he makes another big blunder that ultimately cost him the game, 34… Rxf8 which the computer assesses as a mate in seven.

The game I showed was already in the middle game portion but there are instances when tactics appear in the opening so the best way to deal with that is to have a solid foundation.

Take it slow, develop, and prepare

Don’t rush into things especially when you are just at the beginning of the game because that will quickly lead you to muddy waters. In one of the openings I had been studying on Chessable, there is this line in the Queen’s Gambit Accepted line that I think would exemplify the need to just continue development and not be hasty.

You saw how quickly the opening can turn into a big disadvantage for one side so always stick the basic principles and guidelines in chess. Oftentimes, that was how I found myself in a worse position coming out of the opening. So I have learned to prepare my king and my forces before I go into the fray.

But also you have to watch what your opponent is doing. Don’t just keep making moves without realizing that your opponent has already launched an attack against you and you find yourself being bulldozed. Chess is a jousting game. Your opponent makes his move and you try to counter that while advancing your own forces and enacting your plans.

Go over your own games

When you look at your own games, you find that you may have a tendency to panic or to react too quickly when your opponent makes a menacing move. So identifying those mistakes you made in past games would help you learn from them and more importantly not to commit the same ones in the future.

There are many platforms that offer analyses for your games. Lichess and both have really good analysis boards with help from engines so you could go there and look at your games, find patterns or habits that you have which cause you to make mistakes, and change the way you play the game.

The Game of Mistakes

I wrote an article previously in which I said that chess is a game of mistakes. And it is true because whoever commits the last big mistake will eventually lose the match. Although as I have said, there are other factors involved that would put you at a disadvantage over other people especially if you both play a virtually “perfect” game.

These are just some tips to help you avoid making mistakes in a game of chess. Probably the best thing I can say is to just stay calm, focus on the game, and enjoy playing the game as well.


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