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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

The Ferocity of Quiet Moves

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How ironic is it that the quiet moves are the fiercest in chess? Like the calm before the storm, they are eerie and make you squirm with unease. You feel uncomfortable because you don’t know what your opponent is thinking behind that move. You don’t know what his intentions are.

That’s why it’s called a quiet move. They are seemingly harmless and irrelevant, or they may seem pretty ordinary or normal. But they pack a very big punch and you won’t know it until it hits you.

Quiet moves are usually simple preparatory moves that have a hidden agenda which you will only see a few moves after they were done. Only then will the true purpose of that confusing move be revealed. Unless you are able to preempt what the move entails, they would often catch you unawares.

Though I can talk to you about how quiet moves can become decisive weapons, it would be best to show a few examples. I looked around on the internet to find some good sample games and here are the ones that I found.

Fischer-Myagmarsuren, Sousse Interzonal, 1967

When I reviewed this game, there were some awesome moves that Fischer played against his opponent, which made for an exciting match. But there was one move that, at first glance, confused me and only after a second look that I realized what its true purpose was.

That move was 29. Bg2. We will only see why Fischer had made this move after a few more moves at which point, his opponent resigned. The last move that Fischer did was 31. Qxh7+ which appears to be the star of the show because it is such an epic sacrifice that it overshadows the reason why it actually works.

In this line, if it had been played out until checkmate, Bg2 enabled this queen sac to effectively end the match. If we continue this match it would go 31… Kxh7 32. hxg6++, and if Kxg6 33. Be4 would be checkmate. And now we see the purpose why Fischer retreated his bishop to c2, which was to deliver the final blow in this line. Of course, other moves like Kg8 would also lead to checkmate with Rh8#.

This is just one of the examples that showcase the power of quiet moves. They are silent but deadly weapons in your arsenal if you are able to use them correctly.

Charousek-Maroczy, Budapest, 1897

This next match shows one of the coolest quiet moves that I have seen while looking for some games. Maroczy had pretty much destroyed his opponent in this game who had been making some pretty weird moves in the French defense. He was able to build a solid center and make use of his pieces efficiently to respond to White’s provocations.

The climax of this game was 26… Bc8, a beautiful move that punishes White’s na├»ve aggression. The finesse of this move comes from the fact that the White queen is trapped. Moving the bishop back was the last nail on the coffin. After Bxg5, the queen has no safe square.

White does have one saving grace and that is the move Bxh7+. If 27. Bxh7+ Rxh7 28. Qg6+ will allow the queen to retreat with the concession of a piece. But the idea behind Bc8 is brilliant and that was why his opponent had no choice but to resign.

Petrosian-Pachman, Bled, 1961

Petrosian was known as one of the most tenacious defenders and positional players in the world. Defense was his main weapon of attack. He often builds an impenetrable position and chips at his opponent bit by bit until their whole position crumbles.

In this game, we see a different side to Petrosian. He was able to show that he was not merely a positional, defensive player rather he was a tiger lying in wait for the opportune time to strike.

I would go on to say that, in this particular game, there were two quiet moves that shone brilliantly. Even Fischer singled out these moves specifically as preparing for a beautiful finish. These two moves are both deadly and subtle.

The first move was Re4 and the second was Bg7. After these two moves, no matter how you slice it, White was finished and so there was no point in continuing the game except to put on display the genius of Petrosian.

After 21. Bg7, there are a few moves that Black could try but they all lead to checkmate. If 21… Kf5 then 22. Ne3+ Kg5 23. h4+ Kh5 24. Bf3#. If 21… Kh5 then 22. Bf3+ Kg5 23. h4+ Kf5 24. Ne3#. Lastly if 21… e5, we have 22. Ne3 Nf5 23. h4+ Nxh4 24. gxh4+ Kh5 25. Bf3+ Bg4 26. Bxg4+ Kxh4 27. Bf6+ g5 28. Ng2#.

Making your own quiet moves

I don’t think that quiet moves can only be done by the masters. We can also make our own quiet moves and use them to our advantage. But it takes a lot of practice and hard work to be able to build our skill in developing good plans and thinking of creative moves to execute those plans.

Looking at these games can also give you inspiration to find these types of moves in your own games. Studying grandmaster games will allow you to see moves that you normally wouldn’t in your own games so it would be a great idea to immerse yourself in these games.


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