Sunday, November 15, 2015

Web based Chess Improvement Schools , Part 5 : Tiger Chess of GM Nigel Davies is the Chess School of GM Nigel Davies. GM Davies did write many chessbooks and is author of many Chess DVD's of chessbase. There are many videos which explain the website very well. The full membership costs 4.95 British Pounds per month and the füll program takes 160 weeks which is a little more than 3 Years. Every week you have access to new videos ( maybe together about 1? hour of video per week )  and texts. You may cancel your full membership at any time but then you will have no access to your material anymore.
At the first week you get a lot of material ( several hours of video ) about all different chess aspects like: how many serious games to play each year, where to do tactic training ...

Learning method : Watch Videos of GM Nigel Davies about Strategy and Endgames, do a analysis of a position and watch a Video with GM Nigel Davies analysing the position. Additional advice to do Tactic Training at other websites or with other software and further trainings advices.

It seems to me, that GM Nigel Davies is mainly thinking of an adult clubplayer as student. As a fide elo 1900 player the material was not new to me.

EDIT: I insert a comment of Laurent S here:
BloggerLaurent S said...
You didn't mention another feature of Nigel Davies "full package", which I find very interesting. This is called 'member clinics'. You can submit OTB games to Nigel Davies, who picks 5-6 of them every month (among all members submissions) and comments them in 5-10' videos. The comments are with an emphasis on positional and practical play, rather than detailed computer lines. I find it very interesting to quickly identify typical mistakes in your play if you can't afford regular coaching.
November 15, 2015 at 3:48 PM

Improvement Method : Common ;) Play many (slow) OTB games, do a lot of tactic puzzles, learn strategy and endgames / endgamestrategy ...

Related material : At least the first lessons i saw where to a high extend taken from GM Nigel Davies books, especially "The Power Chess Program" ( and "The Chess Player's Battle Manual" ). In combination with a good book about endgames this might be a good and much cheaper replacement. ( Information by Video is always muuch more expensive than the same amont of information by paper )

The English of the videos is simply wonderful, its fun to listen Davies talking, the explanations are to the point and easy to understand even for a "weak" clubplayer ( i think ).

The first Month of the school is for only 4.95 British Pounds ( less than 8? US-Dollar) really worthies to be tested. But if you want to continue you need to see by yourself... i did stop soon, but weaker player with less chessbooks at home, may benefit a lot.

About Tactic puzzles: You should do a lot of them and you should try to get as good as possible in tactics. Buut.. older player tend to reach a "sealing" where they have problems to get better anymore. Then they should switch to other things like pawnstructures.

Overly exaggerated : 

  • GM Igor Smirnov ( Remote Chess Academy ) says: "play like Tal (attack, initiative, activity) "
  • GM Nigel Davies ( Tiger Chess ) says: "play like Philidor / Kmoch ( Pawnstructures ) "
  • GM Andrei Istratescu ( International Chess School ) says : "play like Steinitz"

More school-reviews to come :

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Web based Chess Improvement Schools , Part 4 : International Chess School

The International Chess School gives valuable and detailed hints about tactics, openings, visualisation, calculation,...  but mainly its about strategy. The "core" course is the "Grandmaster Package" . For 1 year you pay $33.95 US per month and you get access to 38 - 100++ pages each month. The head of the School is GM Andrei Istratescu a 2700 ELO player.

Learning Method Reading, a view videos ( high! quality!, but with an accent which makes it hard for me to listen for a longer period of time ) and solving complex! strategic puzzles .

Related material: "How to reassess your chess" from Silman, "Complete Chess Strategy" of Pachman, "The middle game" of Euwe, "My System" of Nimzowich

The material of the ICS is of a higher level, its more to the point, with deeper explanations, more examples and harder puzzles than any of these books above.

I think you should have studied!! one of these books before you join the ICS. And if you want to finish the whole material in one year.. get rid of family , job and any hobby's

Improvement Method: Learning positional and strategical analysis of the "traditional" Steinitz-type. Implementation of a thinking method...

Overly exaggerated : 

  • GM Igor Smirnov ( Remote Chess Academy ) says: "play like Tal (attack, initiative, activity) "
  • GM Nigel Davies ( Tiger Chess ) says: "play like Philidor ( Pawnstructures ) "
  • GM Andrei Istratescu ( International Chess School ) says : "play like Steinitz"

More school-reviews to come :

Monday, October 26, 2015

Web based Chess Improvement Schools , Part 3 : Remote Chess Academy

The Remote Chess Academy is a website of GM Igor Smirnov. The business plan is : to sell special offline lessons. There is plenty of very! interesting free material at this website, buut you will find "advertisement" ehh.. quite often. Which is OK, this man has to pay his bills too!!!

Learning Method The lessons are a combinations of videos and puzzles/exercises.

Now i have to say : these lessons did fascinate me a lot; they are precise and absolutely unique, buut really not cheap. On the other hand.. instructions of a Chess master are not cheap either...The whole package is about $ 699,- . The central course is "the Grandmaster's Secrets" ( $ 57,- ) all other courses are related to this one.

Related material: This material is unique

Improvement Method: Implementation of a thinking system, developing skills and not "dead" knowledge, reduction to the most important aspects of the game and to tune the whole game according to this minimalistic strategy system.

About Tactic puzzles: Do some easy tactical puzzles as warm up before any other chess activity, main focus has to be to implement a thinking process which is valid for all types of positions.

Overly exaggerated : 
  • GM Igor Smirnov ( Remote Chess Academy ) says: "play like Tal (attack, initiative, activity) "
  • GM Nigel Davies ( Tiger Chess ) says: "play like Philidor ( Pawn structures ) "
  • GM Andrei Istratescu ( International Chess School ) says : "play like Steinitz"

More school-reviews to come :

Here a related post of ChessAdmin

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Web based Chess Improvement Schools , Part 2 : Chess Academy

Chess Academy is free of charge and simply good. Every chessplayer who wants to improve should study these lessons!!!

Improvement Method : Lern knowledge acording to your strength

Lerning Method : You have to play against an engine to get classified for your lessons. You will watch videos with high class explanations of masters about different subjects and you have to solve related puzzles to deepen you knowledge.

More school-reviews to come :

Here a related post of ChessAdmin

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Web based Chess Improvement Schools , Part 1 : with Chess Mentor

Chess mentor is an interactive Chess Training tool. Other Training tools at are not interesting IMO, you will find better alternatives for free in the net. Chess Mentor offers chess "lessons" of  all types, Strategy , Tactics, Openings, Endgames.. for "all" type of Players.. from almost beginners to experts. You will see positions with explanations and a lot of puzzles where you will have to find the right move ( sequence ) by yourself. Chess Mentor will help you to find the right move and will give you a rating. Well, the rating is a little "random", some lessons will give you rating points "for nothing" and others don't. So your Chess Mentor rating reflect to a large extend the lessons you take ( and not your present strength ). The system will give you hints at many wrong moves you might make.. or not. Sadly the puzzles are not engine checked, quite often you suppose to find the 2,3,4,5th best move.
Chess Mentor does not offer a improvement program like: first do this and then do that lecture. You chose by yourself which lessons you take and which not. I think Chess mentor could be a great tool.. if they would check their puzzles with an engine.
One year of "Diamond" Membership at is 99$ . One year might be enough time, to do the most interesting lessons/exercises. Here is a free demo!!!

Improvement method: Learn this knowledge and this knowledge and this knowledge...

Learning method: Examples with comments, interactive puzzles with many hints

A better?? Alternative  to Chess mentor could be the interactive chess courses (with "rating") at and

A offline version of chess mentor is available here:

More school-reviews to come :
Here a related post of ChessAdmin 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Komodo 9.2 Stongest Chess-Engine

At this moment Komodo 9.2 is the best chess engine. Its No 1 in at CCRL, IPON and CEGT.
The good thing about strong engines is: you need less time to analyse a game or a position with the same quality. Komodo 9.2 is about 30 Elopoints stronger than my Komodo 9.0, how much quicker could i get using the new engine?

To use twice as much time is about the same as using twice as much engines. CEGT provides Ratings of the engines with different numbers of CPU:

Seemingly there is some problem running multithread engines with only 1 CPU. Here the same plot without 1 CPU


 Twice as much calculation of an engine is equivalent to a rating gain of ~34.4 Elo-points.

So using the new engine could save me ~~ 50% of my computer time for chess analysis.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Memorizing Chess Games, new methods

I did start memorizing chess games  here. To memorize a chess game is not an easy task, it takes time and is quite some work. First i try to find  a game where i have plenty of annotations and/or videos about it. Now i found the free program "Chess Trainer 1.5.1" , this is a program to improve in visualization developed by Dietrich Kappe. One exercise can help to memorize a game too, its called "Blindfold". You insert the pgn of a game and the program will display moves and will ask questions about the position like : "where are the queens", "what are the capturing moves", "what are the moves to b3" and so on.

To play and analyse a game blindfold does help a lot to get the game into the memory. The other program for learning chess games is of course the brilliant free "Chess Hero" 
Chess Hero is "guess the move" program with engine support.

The combination of different methods to look at the same game should help to get it deeper into my memory, at least: this mix of methods makes the job less boring

Here are the hints on "How to memorize chess games" from Chess Coach  IM David Pruess