Computer Chess 40 moves in 2 hours Mainlines and Variants A00-E99

It is finally here!  I , a Computer Science Major and programmer, have seriouslly  the world of Computer Chess!

Have you ever wondered what moves your chess computer would play if you gave it a long time to think? Do you have a chess opponent that you just cannot beat and want to see how it is finally done? Well then, join me for a deep dive investigation of all the openings and march toward the path of victory! This is the book you wish you had 20 years ago!

Book highlights include: 

• Over 2000 full Computer tournament games cover all major Openings and their variants!
• 573 pages of Openings with diagrams
• All chess endings fixed with 7 piece endgame table base!

• All games played using tournament time controls 40 moves
in 2 hours + 1 hour after move 40!
• Learn how the computer seeks out to destroy the opposition!

Back to Basics: Basic Opening Principles

By CEO National Master Evan Rabin


Every employee needs a job ; they cannot all stay at home. Well during COVID-19, they all did but they have all remained productive on a million Zoom calls. In the opening, the first 10-15 moves of a game, one should castle, develop all his pieces and castle. 

One castles to mitigate risk by making his king safe. On our last Annual Make a Difference Teaching Chess Africa TripLuis Cuerdo compare to the Lion King, where King Mufasa remains safe while others roam around. In a large majority of games, both players will castle within the first 5-10 moves and let the other pieces work.

To develop pieces, simply means to activate them. One should develop his pieces to the most optimal squares where they are most valuable. While a knight is worth three points, it does not live up to that number when sleeping on the first or eight rank.

Let’s consider this position from the famous 1858 Paul Morphy vs Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard game:

When I ask beginners what white should play here, they often correctly say they would like to develop their dark-squared bishop; however many will pick the sub par move 9. Be3, which allows 9… Ng4 and a decent amount of counterplay. It is much better for white to play 9.Bg5, pinning the knight on f6 to the queen on d8.

When pieces are in the center, they have more control.

A knight in any corner, such as h1, controls two squares. In a central rank but side file, such as at h4, it controls four squares. In the center, such as at d4, it controls eight squares. That is four times more squares then when it was in the corner. In Business on the Board, our 154th Podcast Episode Jim Egerton writes about how Fedex  is headquarted in Memphis, Tenesseee, which is near the center of the United States and allows packages to easily travel north, south, east and west. Similarly, in chess. when pieces are deployed in the center, they can easily travel to the queenside or kingside quickly.

In the opening, players should not be too creative. If one follows basic opening principles and thought process, he could come an intermediate player (1400+) fairly quickly. Every single move in the opening should relate to at least one of the following:

Castle
Develop
Center

While it is imporant to castle, develop and control the center as quickly possible, it is also important to  consider one’s opponent moves. Several times I’ve seen beginners blunder pieces just becuase they were so set on developing or castling, that they did not see their oppponent made a threat. Guidelines are not the same as rules; one needs to think on his feet.

 

How Dating is Like Chess

By Amber Lee, Founder of Select Date Society 

Chess has been used as an analogy for many things in life and it makes a great analogy for how we approach finding and keeping love! You need to approach dating with a strategy, like the way you approach a game of chess. The first step in chess is setting up the board properly, making sure all your pieces are accounted for. The reality is that life experiences may have left you broken, and that’s okay. You just must pick up the pieces and make sure they are all accounted for before you’re ready to focus on dating. Chess starts with an opening move. Your opening move is your first step in positioning yourself to win. The same is true with dating. How you start often leads to how it will go, so you want to make the first move with confidence. If a man fails to open the game strongly, he may end up stuck in the friend zone, with a much longer path towards victory.

In chess, the king is the most important piece as it can never be captured; however, the Queen is the most powerful piece. The Queen can move in any straight direction, as far as possible, as long as she doesn’t move through any of her own pieces. The King’s moves must be more deliberate as he can only move one square at a time. Being that his moves are limited, the King must be thoughtful and considerate about every move he makes. The same is often true in dating. The man must put thought and effort into the moves he makes. He must be deliberate and unwavering in his pursuit. The woman, however, is truly the one that holds the power.

Like chess, dating requires a strategy and an end goal. If you approach the game with carelessness, you will end up making the wrong moves and left defeated. You need to get clear on what your goals are. In chess, your goal is to protect your King, while capturing your opponents. In dating, your goal may be to protect your heart while winning over someone else’s, but you need to be even more clear on how you want the game to end. Do you want to end up married? Having children? Moving in together? It is important to be clear on your desired outcome. 

Of course, dating is not actually a game, but looking at it through this lens allows you to put thought into how much time and energy you are investing in meeting the right person. Ask yourself if you are both even playing the same game? If you are playing chess, but she is off in Candy Land or Chutes & Ladders, you should probably start looking for someone else to play with! Are you ready to master the art of dating and find a great relationship? The matchmakers at Select Date Society have decades of experience in curating meaningful connections. Call them at 877-344-9544.

Back to Basics: Promotion

By CEO National Master Evan Rabin

What happens when a pawn gets to the other side of the board? Despite what a lot of beginners say, you do not “get your queen back”. While 99% of the time a player will promote to a queen, he could also transform his pawn into a rook, bishop or knight.

Here are some common conceptions beginners have about promotion: 

  1. One can only promote to pieces that have already been captured.A pawn can promote to a queen, rook, bishop or knight, irrrespective of what pieces have been captured. One can in theory have up to nine queens on a chess board, one that he started with and eight that started as pawns. In practice though, it is rare to have two or more queens as usually queens will have been traded by the time one player is able to promote.
  2. Pawns should remain on first or eight and rank and the promoted piece should be placed on its starting square ( for instance white queen on d1). 

When promoting, one needs to take the pawn off the board and replace it with the piece it is promoting too.

Why would one ever underpromote to anything but the queen, the most valuable piece?

…..These are the two types of instances: 

  1. Avoid Stalemate
    In the Saavedra Position, if Saavedra played the obviously looking 6. c8=Q, black would be play 6… Rc4+!, forcing 7. Qxc4, which would be stalemate. Therefore, Saavedra found 6.c8=R!  Most of the time, king and rook vs king rook is a dead draw but but after black plays 6…Ra4, which is forced to stop Ra8# and mate in two, white plays 7.Kb3 with double attack, threating 8. Rc1# and 8. Kxa4.
  2. Checkmate in 2

    While white of course has many ways to win this game, the best move here is f8=N#.Promotion is one of the rules that most of beginners have heard of it but do not fully understand. It’s important to review the basics! As our 27th podcast guest National Master Elliott Neff writes in A Pawns Journey, pawns are like people; they constantly improve themselves. While one normally promotes to queen as it is the most valuable piece, there are some exceptions! Rules are not the same things as guidelines.

Back to Basics: En Passant

 

By National Master Evan Rabin

There are two types of special moves in chess- castling and en passant. Most beginners have heard of castling but do not know all the rules about it. Two years ago I was shocked when I was reviewing a 1200 rated student’s game and he didn’t realize that he had the opportunity to do en passant and be up a pawn for nothing.  En passant is a fairly rare type of move that means “in passing” in French.

Our 131st podcast guest FIDE Master Sunil Weeramantary explains en passant as “when your pawn moves up two squares and your opponent has a pawn on either of side of it, he could capture you as if you went only one square.” 

For instance in example up above, back moved his pawn two spaces to d5. White can play exd6,  as if black played d6. 

Later is too late; en passant needs to happen right after one moves his pawn two squares and his opponent has a pawn on either side of it.  For instance, if white plays Nf3 in position above, instead of exd6, he cannot do en passant on the next move.

Many beginners that do know en passant make the mistake of doing it at every opportunity. One should only make a trade, one of the three types of transformational moves, if it benefits his position.

Let’s take a look at this position:

Should white play 4 exf6?…….

No. 

Right now, white has a strong control of the center and black cannot develop his kingside knight where it wants to on f6. Playing 4. exf6 will allow black to start freely developing the rest of his pieces with 4… Nxf6.

While en passant does not happen often, it is important for all players to know the rule before they start playing in tournaments. It is best to teach it to children after castling and before basic strategy and adults in the beginning when teaching how the pawn moves.

Back to Basics: Castling

By National Master Evan Rabin


A few years ago I visited our program at Torah Academy of Bergen County  and witnessed National Expert Joe Lux teach the students castling. While most students knew what castling was and generally how to do it, they did not know all the rules. Despite what alot of beginners claim, castling is not simply when you swap the king and the rook. Castling is a special move in chess, in which the king moves two steps either to the king side or queen side and the rook swings right around after the pieces in between get out of the way. 

Castling only happens with the king and rook. Some students will mistakely think ‘castling queen side’ is with their queen and queenside rook. It is importat to remember that castling only happens with the king and rook and that it can only happen once per side in a game.

These are the special rules:

1) One cannot castle with a king or rook that has moved, even if it is has returned to its starting square.

2) One cannot castle through, into, our out of check.

In this position, can black castle?

Often beginners will respond “yes” as the king is currently safe on g8 and would be on e8. I then will explain how the bishop is controlling f8 and students will respond castling is not possible as the rook would get captured, not realizing, that the move is not bad; it is illegal. Had castling been allowed in the position, it would be a bad move since the rook would be en prise; however, it is not even legal as the king would be walking through check.

Thus, it is important for students to know alll the rules of castling. Not only a student should know how to castle, it is importat for him to know how urgent it is to do so, to make the king safe. In a large majority of master games, both players will castle within the first 5-10 moves to make their kings less vunerable.

Twas the Day of the Chess Tournament

 

By our 38th Podcast Episode Guest and Author Molly Coy, Founder of Coys Camps and Classes 

Set to the rhythm of The Night Before Christmas,  Twas The Day of the Chess Tournament is the story of a team’s first time playing in a chess tournament. While it is a fictional story, the actions and feelings do occur with new chess players on a regular basis. This is the perfect story to give a child embarking on their first chess tournament although it would also be good for kids reflecting on their first tournament. Coach Coy is based on I, who believes healthy competition is important while still maintaining a great overall attitude. She also believes that chess is a great way to facilitate important life skills as well.

Back to Basics: Check, Checkmate and Stalemate

By CEO National Master Evan Rabin 

Last week I was teaching curriculum classes at one of our partner schools and a student asked me to learn about the Sicilian Defense, something I typically would not teach until students are rated 1200+. A few minutes later, he was playing against another student and attempted to capture his opponent’s king after he made an illegal move that did not get him out of check. He did not remember that kings never get captured in chess. Inexperienced chess coaches will often jump to instructing basic strategy, openings, endgames, etc. before students know all the rules. Knowing all the rules does not just mean piece movement; before students learn any strategy, they should know how to castle and know the exact definitions of check, checkmate, and stalemate.


Often when I ask beginners what checkmate means, I will get answers like “It is when the king cannot move anywhere”, “It is where anywhere the king goes, he will get captured”, “The king is surrounded”, etc.  All these answers are incorrect and will cause confusion to students when they are playing. Two years I was directing at our tournaments and a child raised his hand. When I went over to his board, he was excited as he exclaimed. “I won!” He thought it was checkmate as his opponent’s king had no legal moves but it was not in check. I told them to play on and a few moves later he made the exclamation. However, I had to be the bearer of bad news and explain to him why it was stalemate and how he only would get a ½ point for the round. I felt bad as he left the room crying but of course the rules were rules. While it may take a while for students to fully grasp the differences ad be able to independently describe the differences of these three related terms, this lesson must be done before students continue their chess study.

Check means “the king is in danger”. This means that the king is in a direct line of fire from one of his opponent’s pieces. If the king were any other piece (pawn, rook queen, bishop or knight), it would be able to get captured on the next move). In beginner classes, I will often say “Raise your hand if when your in check, you should get out of it”. Usually most of the beginners will fall for the trick and raise their hand…… One must get always get of check; it is not something he should do. As Nikki Church likes to say, ” the whole world stops until you get out of check.”

Checkmate means “the king is in check and there is no way to get out of check”. Every other type of answer may be close but is not correct. When a students says “checkmate is when there is no where for the king to go”, I will ask “is the king in checkmate in the starting position of a chess game?”.

Evan ready for a new round at a Tournament in Kiryat Ono, Israel in August 2018

“Of course, not”, the student will generally reply. He gets surprised when I explain to him how according to his definition of checkmate, the king would be in checkmate in the starting position.

Students will often suggest “checkmate is when the king is in check and there is no way for the king to run.” This is a better definition but is also not correct…. Is this Pirc Defense an opening that loses on the spot?

If white could play 2. Bb5#, I don’t think many top players like ….. would play 1….d6.

However, of course this would not be checkmate as black can easily block the check with 2…c6.

I then remind students of the acronoym of CPR as the three ways to get out of check:

Capture

Protect

Run

 

 

Stalemate means “the king is not in check and the player has no legal moves”. Today I set up this stalemate position in a class (Black to play).:

I asked the class why it was stalemate and not checkmate.  Most of the kids kept explaining how the black king had no legal moves. However in either checkmate or stalemate, black would have no legal moves. I had to tell them that the reason that it was stalemate, not checkmate, was that the black king was not in check. I repeatedly tell students “if the king is not in check, a position can never be checkmate”.

It is often difficult to teach young students the differences of these three important terms because it can require unteaching some previous bad habits, like capturing kings and thinking you a win a game because “the king is trapped and has no moves.” Chess teachers will often move on and start teaching basic strategy becuase it can take several weeks for children to fully grasp the difference of check, checkmate  and stalemate; however, it is necessary that students know the exact differences to get the results they desire.

Resources for Guiding Your Kids Through Every Age and Stage

By Daniel Sherwin, Founder of DadSolo 

Raising children comes with many challenges and rewards. If you’re like most parents, you’ve probably felt completely overwhelmed at some point while raising your kids. However, there are countless great resources for helping you through all the tough times and finding answers to all your questions. Here are some basic tips and resources you need to know at every stage of your children’s development below.

Image via Pexels

Premier Chess offers top-tier camps, classes, and programs for your kids. Learn about our learning options!

Babies and Toddlers

Infants and toddlers require special care and attention. This information will help you understand their needs and establish healthy habits in their first few years.

School-Aged Kids

As your kids get into preschool and grade school, they’ll become more independent. These resources will help them learn, grow and stay healthy as they try out their interests.

Teenagers

Many teens like to think they can take care of themselves alone, but they still need guidance, patience and understanding. Find resources for helping your teens navigate through these tough years below.

Each stage of raising a child presents its own unique set of challenges. By educating yourself and seeking out resources like these, you can get through any struggles you face together.

Sales is a Chess Game

By CEO National Master Evan Rabin

Before founding Premier Chess, I co-founded Pillar Sales, a sales outsourcing firm and closed deals upwards of 5 million dollars at Oracle and Rapid 7. When I would interview for new roles, hiring managers would often ask me the common question “Why do you like being in sales?” When I answered because I liked the analytical nature of it, my interviewers most often would not believe me, thinking I was just interested in the money. To the contrary, sales is analytical like a chess game. In both sales and chess, one should look for low-hanging fruit, recognize the process and review his games.


One of the biggest takeaways I got from my sales training at Oracle with Bill Petersen is that one should always look for the low-hanging fruit. When a sales representative first receives as territory, it can be overwhelming as he has lots of account and does not know where to start. While it may be tempting to go after the ‘whales’, the companies with the most revenue that may have a lot of buying power, it is best to go after one’s install base, identifying opportunities for his customers to upgrade where needed. Likewise, in a chess game, the goal of a chess game is checkmate, as that is the only way to win a game. However, one cannot blindly attack and aim for checkmate if the position does not justify such a plan. One should always look for his opponent’s weaknesses and determine an applicable plan.


For instance in this position, white would not go for a king side attack as black’s king is relatively safe. On the other hand, he would try to move his knight to c4 to put more pressure on the backward d6 pawn.

A chess game and sales both have distinct processes. In the opening of a chess game, a player develops his pieces, controls the center and castles to prepare for the middlegame. Likewise, in the beginning of the sales process, discovers budget, ability, need and timeline and identifies an opportunity. In the middlegame, a player  excecutes a plan, while a sales representative offers a proposal and negotiates. In the endgame, a player tries to increase his advantage to get a winning position, as a sales person tries to close a deal.

                                                                                                                                                                            In chess and sales, it is important to always analyze your mistakes and figure out what you can do better. The good thing about a chess game and a sales deal, is there is always another one. My former Vice President at Oracle Kevin Mcgee used to often say “there is only one way to overcome a lost deal- to go find another one.” To better on the next sale or game, one should objectively figure out his areas of improvement, whether it be in the opening, middlegame or endgame.


While there is no question one has to have a drive to make money to be sucessful in sales, an analytic mindset can also help. Whether you or sales person, entrepeneur or other revenue generating employee, chess can help. Off and on the board, look for the low-hanging fruit, recognize the process and review your games, and you will be sucessful.