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It’s been a long time since I talked to you all, I mean literally. That’s why, I’ve decided to find some time to talk to you all and break the ‘ice’. I’ll be conducting an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) Event on the RCA Instagram Handle/Page (@RemoteChessAcademy) on Friday, 19 July at 2 p.m. UTC (check UTC timings here). The duration of the event is 40 minutes.

What’s an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) Event?

An “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) Event is an online live event, where I’ll be answering YOUR chess-related questions for 40 minutes. You can ask me any chess-related question to clear any doubts that you may have or you can ask a few questions about RCA, its courses, etc. Simple, ask me anything (about chess)!

How to Watch the Live Event on Instagram?

1) First, you need to have (install if you don’t have) the LATEST VERSION of the Instagram app into your mobile phone (Andoid/iOS). If you’re having an old version, we recommend that you update it.

2) Then, you have to follow the RCA Instagram Handle/Page. All you have to do is click on the ‘Follow’ button. Below is a screenshot:

Follow RCA on Instagram!

Note: You can find more details about RCA on Instagram in our recent blog-post here.

3) Watch the Live from Desktop/Laptop/PC – You can also watch the Live from your desktop or laptop (PC). You just have to install an extension to Chrome (browser). You may add to your chrome extensions either of the following two: “Web IG Story“, which is like a mobile version of instagram, or you may add the extension “IG Stories for Instagram“.

If you don’t know how to add an extension to your Chrome, you may check this following YouTube video. As explained in the video, if you’re using Windows OS on your computer, you may also install the Instagram application from the Microsoft Store.

4) When the live starts, you will be able to find the RCA profile picture at the top of Feed with a colourful ring around it and the word “Live”. You just have to tap the profile picture (RCA logo) to watch me live. You can find a detailed information in the Instagram’s official help page here.

How to Ask Questions?

To ask a question, all you have to do is tap the “Question” symbol right next to the comments section. Type your question and send it – it’s that simple!
If you have further queries, you may contact our support team by sending an email to support@chess-teacher.com

P.S. Don’t forget to join the event (and invite your friends) and. Most importantly, get ready to shoot some interesting questions and clear any doubts you may have!

The post GM Igor Smirnov’s “Ask Me Anything” Live on Instagram! appeared first on Remote Chess Academy.

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I am very happy to inform that RCA has made its entry into one of the most popular social media platforms, Instagram!

What is Instagram?

In case you don’t know, Instagram, also called as IG or Insta, is a social media platform where people post photos and videos to share with their friends, colleagues, etc. It was first launched in October 2010 exclusively on iOS, and in April 2012 for Android devices. It is currently owned by Facebook.

You can also use some fun and crazy filters for your photos and videos, and even chat with your friends on Instagram through direct messaging. You can also explore profiles to see what else you might have interest in. To start using the service, you’ll need to sign up for an Instagram account. You can log in with Facebook, or provide your name, email address, and set a username and password.

RCA Instagram

Now you can follow the official RCA Instagram Handle at https://www.instagram.com/remotechessacademy/ – or you can search @remotechessacademy on Instagram if you’re already there. All you have to do is click on the ‘Follow’ button. Below is a screenshot:

Follow RCA on Instagram!

What’s there in RCA Instagram?

If you are following the RCA Facebook page, then might probably guess what could be there on Instagram. We will be posting interesting chess puzzles, funny memes, videos, chess quotes, and also chess news (info about tournaments) from time to time. But that’s not it – there’s a lot more which we will post soon, so make sure you follow us there!

The post Now You can Follow RCA on Instagram! appeared first on Remote Chess Academy.

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How powerful are two bishops? In what positions it is good to have a bishop pair? How to make use of the advantage of two bishops? Are two bishops better than two knights? Or, is a bishop better than a knight? How to understand their difference in value in various positions? This is exactly what our new guest coach FM Coto Mederos will teach you today.

When Are Bishops Better than Knights?

The bishops are better than knights in open positions, where there are long diagonals, so that they can cross the board in just one move, and also control long distances and many squares. Let me illustrate this with an example.

Diagram – 1: This is an OPEN POSITION

In the above position, the bishops have long diagonals and the pawns have mobility. Also, the fact that there are pawns on both sides of the board (kingside and queenside) is very good White. Additionally, the a-pawn has the potential to advance and become passed, which is great for White.

Diagram – 2: This is a CLOSED POSITION

As you can see, this is a closed position, and the bishops do not have long diagonals (they are hitting the White pawns), and there is a great outpost for the Black knights on d4. The knights can also enter into White’s camp via h4, as they are very easy to maneuver.

Bishop vs Knight – which is better?
  • A knight can control any square on the board, no matter what color it is. A bishop can just control a half of the total number of squares, but it can move much faster.
  • When you have a bishop pair, the fact that there are pawns on both sides of the board will help a lot, as in diagram-1 above.
  • The potential to create passed pawns is another factor that definitely will help bishops, as in diagram-1 above.
  • A knight works better than a bishop when the opponent has some weak pawns (some people forget this, and get into bad endings and lose games without not even knowing why they lost).
  • In “General Treatise on Chess”, Roberto Grau said something I’ve never forgotten. In other words, he stated, that in open positions the two bishops are worth 7 points. This means, that in general, even if you are down a pawn, you will still have compensation.
Suggested: You may also like our lesson “3 Ideas to Play Better in Open Center Positions
Illustrations of the Power of a Bishop Pair

Now, let’s see this game, where Artur Yusupov used his two bishops to get a great victory in a nice endgame:

About the author – FM Coto Mederos

Michel Coto Mederos is a FIDE Master from Cuba and is rated more than 2350 currently. His peak rating is 2404, and he has a blitz rating of 2427. He also has 2 IM norms. He was placed first in his Province Championship 2018. He also played the famous Capablanca and Carlos Torre Memorials. One of his biggest achievements is winning the International Navidad in Margarita Island, Venezuela 2016.

P.S. Now RCA is on Instagram – follow us there for interesting puzzles, videos, funny memes, chess quotes, chess news, etc. Check out our blog-post about it for more details.

The post Bishop Pair: When Are Bishops Better than Knights? appeared first on Remote Chess Academy.

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Chess never fails to make someone completely baffled! Or is it the chess players who do that? The history of chess has seen several astonishing and mind-blowing games, played by Tal, Fischer, Morphy, Kasparov, Carlsen, and so on; several games played by players from different periods and generations. Today we are going to see one such game, what is probably called the “Game of The Year 2017”, played by the number one Chinese Grandmaster, Ding Liren.

This game was played in the Yingmei Cup, the Chinese Team Championship 2017, in which he proved to the world that he has the ability to demolish his opponents with his aggressive play. He was playing Black against Bai Jinshi, and the way Ding Liren played is truly spectacular.

Game of The Year 2017 by Ding Liren

What’s so special about this game? What exactly happened? Well, here we go, jumping into the core of the game. The following position arrived in what could be called as the opening-to-middlegame stage, because White has not yet castled his king.

Black to play

And how would you play here as Black? To give you a little context, Black has almost finished his development; only his c8-bishop is yet to come out. He has also ‘opened up’ his kingside by playing g5 in the process of kicking White’s dark-squared bishop away from that annoying diagonal. With the pawn on d4 and knights aiming to fly to the center, one could say that Black is targeting the not-yet-castled white king in the center of the board.

Suggested: You may like to study our lessons “How to Attack a King in the Center?” and “How to Attack Your Opponent’s King?

After calculating all possible variations, you can watch the video analysis of this game by our Academy Manager, Aggelos Kesaris (who is also one of the authors of the course “Exchange Pieces like a PRO”), and find out why this is called the game of the year 2017.
 

Game of The Year 2017 by Ding Liren - YouTube

 
You can also download the PGN of this game below:

 

The post Game of The Year 2017 by Ding Liren appeared first on Remote Chess Academy.

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Before getting into the lesson, first we’d like to apologize to you for the inconvenience caused as our site went down and, for that reason, you might not have been able to grab our latest course “Top Secrets in Rook Endgames” with the special offers we’ve provided you with. That being said, we’ve extended the special offers for two more days.

The 30% discount coupon “rook30” on the course will be valid till Thursday, 4 July (inclusive). Using this coupon will save you about $24 USD on the course. If you don’t know how to use the coupon, please see this FAQ page. Also, the combo offer we’re providing you with – the course “Master Sicilian Pawn Structures” and “Top Secrets in Rook Endgames”, both authored by IM Mateusz Kołosowski, has been extended as well; you can save almost $40 USD if you buy them together on or before Thursday, 4 July. Also, don’t forget to use the coupon “rook30”, which will save you an additional $24 USD.

<< Grab the offers now >>

Backward pawns require special attention in rook endgames, whether you’re attacking the backward pawn or defending it. There are certain principles and strategies that a player must know in order to play better in such positions. Indeed, having a backward pawn is a weakness, but there’s a truth in chess that the presence of weakness does not necessarily mean that the weakness is ‘exploited’. That is, in this case, when your opponent has a backward pawn, which is a weakness, it does not always necessarily mean that you can take that pawn and gain material advantage.

You always need to have more than enough resources (more number of attacking resources than the defending resources your opponent has) in order to take full advantage of that weakness, exploit it, and gain advantage. Otherwise, that weakness is not actually a weakness. Makes sense, right?

Let me help you understand some key differences in different pawn structures involving backward pawns. Take a look at the positions below:
In the position on the left, we can see that Black has two backward pawns (b6 and d6), and both these pawns have a weak square in front of it; i.e. a square which is not protected by any other black pawn, and White is able to occupy them. Whereas, in the position on the right, we can see that Black is able to defend the backward pawn on d6 quite easily, because there is no other weakness for Black to be exploited by White. Yes, that’s the principle of two weaknesses!

So, what’s all this mystery behind backward pawns in rook endgames? How to attack them the right way? How to defend them the right way? That’s exactly what IM Mat Kołosowski has explained in the sixth lesson of the course “Top Secrets in Rook Endgames”, and we’ve published that lesson FREE for you. You can watch the video lesson below:
 

How to Attack/Defend Backward Pawns in Rook Endgames? - YouTube

 
Did you like the lesson from the course? If yes, that’s great, because the course has so many other interesting lessons as well, where the author explains how to create and exploit various weaknesses in rook endgames. Don’t miss this golden opportunity to grab the course with the amazing offers that are mentioned at the top of this article. Good luck!

The post How to Attack/Defend Backward Pawns in Rook Endgames? appeared first on Remote Chess Academy.

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The rook endgame is one of the complex phases of a chess game, even for the most experienced players. They are tricky, especially when it is easy to go wrong under the pressure of a game. Usually, in a chess game, the rooks are kept reserved during the opening and the middlegame stages. Also, they are not traded off in the earlier stage of the game as opposed to the minor pieces. That’s why rook endgames are one of the most common, frequently occurring endgames, compared to the others. To help you play better in this endgame, we have released our new course “Top Secrets in Rook Endgames” today!This course will help you prepare to play better in the rook endgames, as the author IM Mateusz Kolosowski will teach you what weaknesses are in a rook endgame, the various pawn structures that may come in this endgame, and also about creating weaknesses for your opponent and exploiting the same.

Course Curriculum
  • Lesson 1 – How to define weaknesses in rook endgames
  • Lesson 2 – How to define weaknesses in rook endgames-2
  • Lesson 3 – Can a king be a weakness in rook endgames?
  • Lesson 4 – Doubled pawns
  • Lesson 5 – Isolated pawns
  • Lesson 6 – Backward pawns
  • Lesson 7 – Creating a weakness
  • Lesson 8 – Exploiting weaknesses (1) – multiple weaknesses
  • Lesson 9 – Exploiting weaknesses (2) – zugzwang
  • Lesson 10 – Dealing with weaknesses – active play
About the Author

Mateusz Kołosowski is an International Master from Poland. He is a multiple Polish youth championship medallist. In 2010, he took 5th place in the European U-18 Championship. During the course of his chess career, Mateusz won many international tournaments.
Apart from being a player, he is also a chess coach who has experience in working with students from more than 20 countries. So far, he has helped a few of them in obtaining their own international titles. Mateusz has also performed live commentary of Polish and European Rapid and Blitz Championships. He is also the author of our course “Master Sicilian Pawn Structures”.

Special Offers

To celebrate the successful launch of our third course about endgames, we wanted to provide you with some cool offers on the course.

#Offer-1: You can get the course with a huge 30% discount, saving about $24 USD. All you have to do is use the coupon “rook30”. If you don’t know how to use a coupon, please see here. It’s a limited-period offer – the coupon will be valid from today till Monday, 1 July (inclusive).

#Offer-2: Save almost $40 USD by buying both the courses “Master Sicilian Pawn Structures” and “Top Secrets in Rook Endgames”, by IM Matt Kolosowski. If you buy them on or before Monday, 1 July, you will get an ADDITIONAL saving of about $24 USD, by using the coupon “rook30”.

<< Grab the offer now! >>

The post Release of “Top Secrets in Rook Endgames” Chess Course appeared first on Remote Chess Academy.

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The Rook and Pawn vs Rook Endgame is one of the most important endgames that every chess player must know. The smallest difference in material, a pawn, between the two sides determines the result of the game – win for the player with the pawn by means of promotion, and draw for the player without the pawn, stopping the prevention of the opponent’s pawn by means of perpetual checks and cutting off the king.

The basic rule (in most cases) is that if the player without the pawn can make his king reach the queening square of the pawn, the result is draw, otherwise the player with the pawn wins the game. Today we are going to learn two of the most important endgame positions in rook vs rook and pawn endgames. They are:

1. The Luceana Position

In the Luceana Position, the player with the pawn can win by either cutting off the opponent’s king along the rank or from the pawn’s file, and wins the game with the Luceana Position by building a bridge (also called as the bridge building); i.e. the player with the pawn shields his king and pawn with his rook, preventing the player without the pawn from checking the king.

White rook cuts Black king off the f-file

In the above position, after cutting off the Black king, White builds the bridge by playing 1. Rf4. And then he would bring his king to e7 with 2.Ke7. And when Black starts giving checks (there’s nothing else he could do), say 2…Re3+ 3.Kd6 Rd3+ 4.Ke6 Re3+ 5.Kd5 Rd3+ 6.Rd4 the rook guards the king and the pawn, and White wins.

2. The Philidor Position

In the Philidor Position, the player without the pawn fights for a draw with an important strategy. Before explaining that, the following are the characteristics of the Philidor Position:

  • The defending player (without the pawn) has his king on the queening square of the pawn or adjacent to it.
  • The pawn has not yet reached its sixth rank (which is the third rank for the defender)
  • The player with the pawn has his king beyond the defender’s third rank
  • The defender has his rook on the third rank, cutting off the opponent’s king from getting to that rank.

White rook cutting the Black king off the third rank

White will keep on playing his rook on the third rank until Black pushes his pawn to e3. And when Black does that, White will take his rook to the eighth rank and give checks to the Black king and draw the game.

Summary

Therefore, to sum things up, the Luceana Position is ‘used’ by the player with the pawn to win the game, and the Philidor Position is ‘used’ by the player without the pawn to draw the game. Our guest coach CM Tryfon Gavriel (who is the author of the course “Crushing the King”) has prepared a very instructive video in which he teaches you this beautiful endgame. You can watch it below:
 

Rook Endgames: Philidor and Luceana Positions - YouTube

 

Suggested RCA video lessons: Suggested RCA chess courses:

P.S. Did you like the video lesson? Please let us know your feedback in the comments below.
 

The post Rook Endgames: Philidor and Luceana Positions appeared first on Remote Chess Academy.

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