Category: Training

Another Look at the Maróczy Defence Pawn Grab!

In the last game I played as Black against my regular opponent, he opened with 1. e4 and I replied with my repertoire move, 1… d6. A few moves later we found ourselves with a situation that seemed familiar!

  1. e4 d6
  2. d4 Nf3
  3. Nc3 e5

We arrive at the Maróczy Defence by transposition. (The pure Maróczy Defence is 1. e4 d6, 2. d4 e5…)

Next, my opponent decided to advance his Queen’s pawn, which the Chess.com engine rates as “good,” which really means just “okay.” Clearly, the chess engine prefers to exchange pawns, which often leads to an early exchange of queens (4. dxe5 dxe5, 5. Qxd8+ Kxd8).

I responded with 4… Be7 and realized that if my opponent were to play 5. Bg5 the “Maróczy Defence Pawn Grab” (as I call it) would be in play…

Back in April I completely missed the opportunity (see my previous blog post and video) when the exact same situation occurred. This time around, my opponent had completely forgotten about that game and conveniently played 5. Bg5? again, just as he did in April!

Continue Reading

Don’t Miss This Chance To Grab White’s d5 Pawn in the Modern Defence…

I wheeled out the good old Modern 1… d6 Defence to 1.e4 in this game against my regular opponent, but I missed a great opportunity in the fifth move to claim an advantage with 5… Nxd5!

Here are the opening moves:

1. e4 d6 2. d4 e5 3. d5 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Nc3 Nxd5!

This sequence is a variation of the Pirc Defence known as the Maróczy Defence, which brings out Black’s central pawns in the first two moves, delaying Nf6.

The “easy chess tip” in this game is easy to learn but not so easy for a casual player to spot if unaware of it.

Continue Reading

Don’t Forget En Passant!

The en passant chess move is a pawn capture that can only happen immediately after a pawn makes a move of two squares from its starting square and lands on the same file as an adjacent enemy pawn.

The adjacent enemy pawn may immediately capture the pawn as if the pawn had only moved one square forward.

En Passant Giphy

Here’s a video I made about a situation that arose in a chess game between two unrated amateurs in which the en passant chess move could have preserved White’s advantage had he used it…

Video: Don’t Forget En Passant!

(NOTE: I forgot to remove Black’s h8 Rook from the analysis board in the video! It should not be there. The illustrations below show the correct set up for this situation.)

Continue Reading

Simon Williams v Charlie Storey: British Championships 2019, Round 3

Here’s the Ginger GM, Simon William’s video account of his victory over Charlie Storey in the third round game of the British Chess Championships in Torquay in the summer of 2019.

I am posting this game because both Simon and Charlie are acquaintances of mind and occasional quaffing partners. I have learnt a lot from both of these professional players. Indeed, Charlie was the first person I met when I participated in my first ever chess tournament at the British Chess Championships in Torquay back in 2013.

Continue Reading

The Marshall Defence Fails To Deliver…

If there’s ONE Easy Chess Tip I’d like to impress upon you it is this: When you are playing as Black against a d4 opening, do NOT go for the Marshall Defence!

Just a quick recap… The Marshall Defence occurs when Black moves his Knight to f6 on the second move in this sequence:

  1. d4 d5
  2. c4 Nf6

It is an inferior defence that poses no problems for White. Indeed, against an experienced player it practically guarantees that Black will never gain parity, will fail to gain control of the centre and will most likely go on to lose the game.

Yet, the Marshall Defence is a relatively common response to the Queen’s Gambit in casual chess games, probably because it seems to make sense to develop a Knight early on, and a Knight on f6 is at least defending the d5 pawn.

Continue Reading