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
Tryfon Gavriel, also known as "Kingscrusher" on the Internet. I am a FIDE Candidate Master (CM), and British Regional Chess Master, and run a popular Youtube channel for many years with over 114k+ Subs as of 2021 and a Silver Button Award.
I have done many shows on commercial chess servers. I am also the Webmaster of the correspondence-style chess server Chessworld which emphasizes game quality and research.
Over 35 years of playing activity both online and offline. Peak ICC blitz rating of 2625 (18-Jun-1999). Peak ICC 5 min auto-pairing of 2383 (29-Jun 2012). ECF Grading peak classical: 212 (A) ECF. Peak Rapid rating: 217 (C).
Lichess marathon top 10 finishers in 4 marathons so far. Top 50 finisher in 8 marathons so far. Top 100 finisher in 4 marathons so far. And top 500 in 2 marathons so far. Won quite a few tournaments at lichess - in fact giving me 3rd rank overall behind Lance5500 and papasi in a recent detailed statistical blog analysis titled "Lichess Marathon Statistics".
One of my earliest Over-the-board achievements in Chess was winning the Lloyds Under 18 national UK tournament in 1989. My trophy was awarded to me by Grandmaster and Ph.D. Mathematician Dr John Nunn.
I have done teaching in Schools and also have done teaching online with several Lichess students on a regular basis, and have a very good coaching rating at lichess.
Played twice in the main British Chess championship. Many of my Youtube viewers claim big rating increases after watching my videos.
I particularly love attacking chess, chess tactics, and combinations, and it is probably no accident that my "Complete Guide to Chess Tactics" has been a best-seller shortly after its release here at Udemy.
In general, I will try and give you greater enthusiasm for the game and in particular the dynamic attacking, aggressive tactical aspects of playing chess. My favorite heroes are mainly Attacking style tactical players: Paul Morphy, Alexander Alekhine, Mikhail Tal, Bobby Fischer, and Garry Kasparov. if you want to be a dynamic aggressive attacking style player, I may be able to encourage you and find you relevant resources on that path. The dynamic aggressive attacking players were particularly strong tactically and would often trade off pawn structure neatness and material to try and checkmate the opponent's kings. Checkmate does win the game :) They were masters of finishing combinations naturally as they sought to reduce the king's safety of the opponent in various ways including bringing the King out for often beautiful mating combinations.
In terms of concrete openings to make use of potentially teaching here at Udemy through courses. I like King-Attacking aggressive openings even with the black pieces like the King's Indian Defence to 1.d4 which my heroes Fischer, Kasparov, and Tal made use of extensively.
As White, I sometimes like Solid openings on such as the London System. I also like provocative openings like the Knight's Tango systems to encourage weaknesses from opponents.
I am also at faster time controls especially, particularly fond of aggressive openings and gambits. For example, the Smith-Morra Gambit vs the Sicilian Defence, and other gambits can be used aggressively even with the black pieces such as the Albin Counter Gambit. Gambits vary of course in soundness and it is important to teach what "ticks many boxes" for use in various time controls. Also, I like surprising opponents with openings such as the Nimzo-Larsen attack, the King's Indian Attack, The London System, and Queen's Knight attack system 1. Nc3, all of which I have courses for here at Udemy.
In the search for the ideal courses to provide you, I like to search within myself for my core strengths and passions within the passion of Chess.
I truly hope you enjoy my courses and they improve your chess and your enjoyment of chess generally - and life generally :)