Amid all the chaos around due to COVID19 and my personal OKRs irreversibly impacted, I’m still trying to get closer to some of the goals. One such is to pick up a new hobby. Though Chess isn’t a new game for me, that’s the only one I played since childhood consistently. I never “learned” professionally or got coached.

So when I’m in search of at least one single “good news” to brighten up my day, I came across this MasterClass | Garry Kasparov Teaches Chess.

Inquisitive, I finished through the trailer, saw some teachings on YouTube by Kasparov to know his style of teaching and immediately plunged on to get access to masterclass (a shared, $ split account).

chess masterclass

Here’s the notes I took down while watching the first 10 sessions (incl intro) from the masterclass.

1. Intro

Nothing can make people happier than find ideas & engage in the process of exploration

Talent + Hard word = Winning combination

Tactic = Knowing what to do when there’s something to do. Short term

Strategy = Knowing what to do when there’s nothing to do. Long term.

Patterns can be recognised only with practise

Timing is everything. Don’t rush. Sometimes stop & let opponents make move. Offer a chance to make a mistake.

Sense the important moments

2. Double Attacks - 1

A black bishop attacking two white pieces - rook & knight

Double attacks with pan & knight =
a. pan attacks with support from knight. forks.
b. Sacrifice a pawn and next step, fork with the knight

Don’t underestimate a pawn.
Complicated & powerful in end games

Don’t pan under attack.
With a move you can both save piece + prevent by just a move. Not all visible threats are dangerous.

Defend against double attach Rooks can defend against each other, if they are on same file

Try to check to avoid a double attack and save the other piece

Pay attention to opponent’s threats

Create immediate threats + solid configuration. a. Bring rooks together is the instinct. But if our king is in trouble, remember not to ‘a’, but give a check and remove the other rook too from the attack.

You can either
a. Protect
b. Counter attack
Make adjustments.

Amateurs always makes checks. It’s recommended if you are in double attack

Never stop searching for opportunity to create attacks. Looks for tactical opportunities Know the right moment, to use positional advantages to convert into a material advantage

Be comfortable with different patterns

3. Double attacks -2

Two elements of double attack
a. Defensive: stalemate
b. Attacking: promote to a rook & checkmate

2knights + king. No force mate. It’s a draw.
knight+bishop. Has a force mate
We’ll learn in end game lesson.

Find good moves Celebrate great combinations. Chess should make you happy.

Rook sacrifice + kind move + queen sacrifice + knights double attacks continue

4. Skewers

a. Queen - king in a row. Rook moves to check the king
b. Knight - knight. bishop attacks both knights. Diagonal.

Classical skew:
a. Bishop attacks two pieces
Maximise the effect. The first skew is good. See if you find a better skew

Skew in endgame: Pattern with rooks

Sacrifice to see if you can skew in the next step

Understanding geometry

Escape by counter attacking
Or find an opportunity to give a check

Skew vs Double attacks

5. Discovered Attacks

Make a move (unblocking) and attacking, while another attack is discovered.

Discovered checks are deadly consequences.

Danger, is we don’t see the piece behind and opens an another piece

Double checks is most dangerous discovered attack With knight these are deadly

Final blow
Discovered attacks accompanied by a check 1991: Kasperov vs Karpov

1925 Moscow Intl tournament: Torre vs Lasker

6. Pins

Powerful in end games
Rook pins opponent’s rook with king behind.

Pin + sacrifice for pawn promotion is classic in end games

Pins are mostly in end games, because the pinned pieces can’t be defended due to lack of pieces

Raging Elephant: 11:00

7. Deflection / Attraction

Attract with a sacrifice, to deflect opponents gaurd.

Escape a double attack with a sacrifice, creating a skew.

In queen ending:
Check + Q threat. Q gets sacrificed. Pawn is promoted to Q now with K check & opponent’s Q behind; skew.

Skewer & attraction

1position, 3 themes:

1986: game 16: Kasperov Vs Karpov
1993: Kasporav Vs Anand

Deflection can limit the potential of a very strong piece too. Pawns in end game: 17:40

8. Interference

A form of tactic that disrupts harmony in communication of enemy pieces. = Cuts communication

E.g: Block the two rooks that are on same file supporting each other. Now, they are at risk.

Kasporav Vs Kamsky 1993
Fischer & Benko 1963
Sacrificed, to block the opponents path with their on piece.

Interference in end games:
Sacrifice pieces to stop the opponent’s rooks for us to promote the pawn to Q.

9. Overload

Too many jobs at once
= A piece supporting two other pieces. So, when the opponent takes up one of those, the support counter attacks and in the process leaves the other piece hanging.

Most effective during end-game mates.
Bottvinik Vs Petrosian 1966

10. Winning Trades

Exchanging favours - trading of pieces of equal values. In most cases the exchange works win favour of only one side.

Eliminate trading / exchange of pieces of equal values if you know who’s going to benefit out of it.

e.g: End games force exchange (with a check to K, pinned) for pawn to get promoted to Q.

Learn rook exchanges to know who has advantage. Dangers could be caused by the exchange suggested by opponents

In End games:
One rook each, important to learn how to safe guard & when to offer/force exchange rooks for our pawn to make unstoppable progress to get promoted to Q at the end.

Queen’s endgame. For exchange with double attack / skew. Get the pawn promoted.

A good trade could be a very powerful trade to advance our position or force for a draw during endgames.

UpNext: End Games


The first 10 lessons are solid. If you are under 1600 FIDE rated, I’d strongly recommend this course for you. I bet the next setup of lessons will dig deeper into more tactics & strategies with some mind blowing games Kasporav played in the past.

I believe only few #1 people in their respective fields can be a good at teaching their mastery to others. Garry Kasporav is one of them.

Can’t wait for the next weekend to complete more lessons.