The Complete Guide to Positional Chess
What you'll learn
- Be able to play positionally when there are no tactics as positional play becomes the main factor
- Be able to improve long term strength of position and generally safeguarding position
- Be able to improvement the placement of pieces and harmonise with pawn structure
- Be able to limit the good moves and opportunities of opponent
- Be able to steer pawn structure in a favourable way
- Be able to create weaknesses in the opponent's position
- Be able to fix weaknesses in the opponent's position with the option of eliminating them later
- Be able to prevent opponent's threats and strongest sources of counterplay
- Be able to coordinate pieces to common goals
- Be able to improve the worst placed piece
- Be able to appreciate the downsides of pawn breaks played too quickly and the value of preparing pawn breaks
- Be able to appreciate that when tactics break out, the better placed pieces side will usually do better
- Be able to improve either strengthening own position or continually not creating downsides or its possibility
- Be able to say "no" to opponent'd threats and not give opponent option because have been strengthening own position or no downside policy
- Be able to play a bit more like GM Michael Adams - spider style
- Be able to make use of longer term approaches to building up great positions
- Be able to use a positional opening repertoire with examples from Adams and Karpov especially the Caro-Kann usage
- Know how the chess pieces move
Many of the world chess champions excelled at positional play and often hardly lost including Jose Raul Capablanca and Tigran Petrosian. Petrosian was an inspiration to Anatoly Karpov who made comments in a key Gibraltar interview that he essentially used Petrosian's style but to win and not be content as much with drawing. The more modern world champions such as Vladimir Kramnik and Magnus Carlsen also excel at positional play.
This course looks at the foundations set out by the first official World chess champion Wilhelm Steinitz and consolidated by Emanual Lasker and shows how the positional world champions took the concept of accumulating advantages and managing counterplay to new levels.
This course provides important positional patterns for making slight improvements to your position and accumulating small advantages. Doing these things whilst also making sure control is kept of the position through minimizing the opponent's counterplay can lead to very one-way controlled games.
A positional chess pattern architecture
The course does not wish to be overly prescriptive as this may result in concepts being the driver of one's own games instead of one's own thinking about the unique challenges and resources one faces. Instead of "principles", the course makes use of "Patterns". The "patterns" are structured in this course into:
Control Patterns - making sure control is not lost in the position and therefore it becomes much harder to build any sort of advantage. Control patterns including simplification and minimizing counterplay.
Imbalance Patterns - how differences in the position can be a great way to both liven up games but also provide key winning opportunities with positional play focused on one's own favorable imbalances
Structure Patterns - Philidor has indicated "Pawns are the soul of Chess" and it seems the positional players really aim for pawn structures in general that are healthy and have great prospects for supporting the pieces and great positional plans
Waiting Patterns - how the opportunities to win can often be amplified if only the opponent is given the opportunity to weaken their position further or crack under the positional pressure
Endgame Patterns - showing how the Endgame has its own particular positional themes
Overwhelming Patterns - showing how positional pressure can be made to overwhelm opponents
Piece Quality Patterns - showing how small improvements to piece position can really be important
Center Patterns - showing the importance of the center and the hypermodern view of control vs occupation.
Weapon Patterns - including passed pawns, thorn pawns, bishop without a counterpart
King-safety patterns - Checkmate still ends the game even for positional players
Activity patterns - making sure one's pieces are active
Crowning patterns - standard ways of making use of positional advantages
Full game examples are taking for the positional great players such as Steinitz, Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Petrosian, Karpov, and modern super grandmasters such as Michael Adams. Games are analysed in great detail using the very best modern engine technology with Neural network capabilities which make their analysis more positional grounded than in the past.
Who this course is for:
- Beginner to intermediate players
Dive deep into the intellectual universe of chess with Tryfon Gavriel, famously known to enthusiasts as "Kingscrusher." Beyond my titles as a FIDE Candidate Master and British Regional Chess Master, I am a dedicated chess educator, committed to spreading knowledge and passion for the game.
Decades of Strategic Pursuits My engagement with chess is a 35-year-long odyssey marked by competitive achievements both online and offline, including a peak ICC blitz rating of 2625 and an exceptional ECF grading of 212. My early triumph in the Lloyds Under 18 national UK tournament back in 1989 set the stage for a life steeped in chess, culminating in numerous top finishes in Lichess marathons and more.
Udemy's Chess Luminary While I once enjoyed sharing insights and high-level analysis on my YouTube channel, my current passion lies in crafting comprehensive chess courses for Udemy. My dedication has been recognized with the "highest-rated" award for my detailed course on José Raúl Capablanca's strategies and the "Best Seller" accolade for my "Complete Guide to Chess Tactics," which garnered widespread acclaim shortly after its debut.
Pedagogy that Transforms Teaching chess goes beyond explaining moves on a board. For me, it's about igniting a passion for the sport and developing a deep, enduring understanding of strategic thinking and tactical decision-making. Drawing inspiration from chess titans like Paul Morphy, Alexander Alekhine, Mikhail Tal, Bobby Fischer, and Garry Kasparov, my courses offer more than knowledge—they provide a window into the minds of chess's greatest masters.
Your Journey Towards Chess Mastery My offerings on Udemy are designed for learners at all stages of their chess journey. Whether you're just starting or seeking advanced strategies, my courses are a gateway to deeper comprehension and appreciation of chess. Through meticulously designed lessons, I aim to equip you with the skills, confidence, and strategic acumen to elevate your game.
Join me in this exploration of chess, delving into the intricacies that make it a timeless classic. With each lesson, we'll unravel the complexities and joys of chess, fostering not just better players, but lifelong enthusiasts.