Improving Your Chess | Workshop #01

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Integrated chess study is the way to understand chess, master it and become exceptionally good.
In this workshop, I've chosen positions which are both easy and difficult in no particular order for instructive value from all phases of the game.

Although it might seem difficult for some to solve the exercises, it's very much beneficial for one's chess growth. These weekly exercises have practically been proven fruitful with great results for myself and my friends, without taking too much burden i.e no studying chess for hours daily.

One important thing to keep in mind is “Nobody can study chess for you”. Having passion and making conscious effort is required for improving in chess. After all, no pain no gain.

If you find something difficult to grasp or you're unclear about the position, ask away in the comments. I'll try to answer your queries to the best of my knowledge.
Any suggestions for workshop structure are highly recommended.
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1.Opening:


Studying every opening for some extent is necessary to understand the essence of the openings. Choosing one opening out of many popular choices for hive workshop, was a difficult decision for me. I asked someone for suggestion, as a club player, he suggested "The Benoni". Let's go with this for this week. You can suggest your choice of opening for upcoming workshops in the comments.

Benoni is of the oldest opening with surprise value and attacking chances for black.
Following major variations can be observed in practical play:
(check lichess study links below diagrams for example games)

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Old Benoni
lichess study link
Czech Benoni
lichess study link
Hromádka System
lichess study link
Modern Benoni
lichess study link
Snake Variation
lichess study link

Study each example game from lichess study links and try to grasp the middlegame plans for the emerging positions.
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2.Middle-game:


Certain positional and tactical patterns occur repeatedly in chess. Having working knowledge of essential patterns and motifs during a game could do wonders. It's said a chess grandmaster can recognize upto 100,000 patterns with ease.
Hence, for middlegame, thematic patterns are presented, which would help improve ones positional and tactical sight.

Test Your Planning, Black to Play

If you were playing this position, what would be your evaluation of this position. Should you stop white advancing pawn or do something else?

lichess study link
Test Your Positional Sight, White to Play

If you were playing this position, what would be your evaluation. How would you improve your position?

lichess study link

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3.End-game:


Evaluating and especially calculating endgame over-the-board is a very tedious work and requires preciseness. Even the world champion challenger could not draw the theoretically drawn endgame in game 6 due to lack of knowledge of that particular endgame. Therefore, having working knowledge of important endgames is vital.

Test Your Endgame Technique, Black to Play

If you were playing this position, what would be your evaluation. How would you save your position?

lichess study link



Solving the positions:


Try to solve these positions by

  1. Evaluating the position, finding who's better i.e white or black.
  2. Studying the positions one by one, without rushing.
  3. Calculating different variations no less than 5 minutes each position, for better understanding.


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Credits:

    Positions courtesy of these sources (for my notes) but not limited to:
  • Lichess Database
  • Nunn Chess Openings
  • Keep it Simple Series
  • Encyclopedia of Chess Openings
  • Wesley So’s Chessable Course
  • Grivas Opening Laboratory
  • The Complete Manual of Positional Chess
  • Positional Decision Making
  • Train Your Pattern Recognition
  • Nunn Chess Endings
  • 100 Endgames You Must Know
  • Silman's Complete Endgame Course

Note:

  • Workshops will be published every Wednesday.
  • Positions have been taken from my notes collected over time from various books from my ever-growing chess library.
  • These positions were taken based on their educational value.
  • Any suggestion and/or criticism highly accepted.
Thanks for Your Attention!
-Regards
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