It has been nearly five years since I was last in Saint Louis. In 2014, shortly after I became a Grandmaster, I was invited to be the Grandmaster-In-Residence at the Saint Louis Chess Club – a position I had not even known existed.
In recent years, the way that chess is studied, played, and consumed by the general public has changed quite a bit. While chess books, magazines, clubs, and tournaments have their place, a lot of the attention has been shifted online where bullet and blitz chess are gaining popularity. Bullet chess is usually played with a time control of 1 minute with no increment, and blitz chess at either 3 minutes with no increment or 3 minutes with 2 seconds increment per move.
Since I teach, I keep saying to my students: one of the most basic things when calculating in chess is to analyze all possible checks, captures, and threats. We should also start with the checks that we intuitively think are more dangerous, captures of heavy pieces and the most important threats, starting with mate.
This may sound like a cliché title, but the more I think about my less fortunate experiences in past tournaments, the more I realize the nuances of routine in my daily life, as a player in particular and a professional in general. Many chess players, as well as other sportsmen, have the tendency to repeat things that help them win
By International Master Vitaly Neimer
There is no dispute between chess experts that the opening is one of the most important phases of a chess game. One’s opening can ensure fighting chess which will lead to victory, or make one’s game go down in flames. Either way, choosing an opening repertoire might be one of the most important decisions a chess player can do in his or her career.
Chess styles are diverse. Some players play aggressively from the first move, blitzing out sharp theory and trying to apply immediate pressure from the word go. Others prefer to avoid known paths, seeking to outplay their opponents on unfamiliar terrain. Some are open positions aficionados, while others prefer the long maneuverings of locked games.
Back in July of 2016, my family decided to move from New Jersey to Saint Louis in order to help support my chess ambition. Moving to the chess capital of the country was an exciting change as it allowed me to be closer to the heart of U.S. chess. Upon entering 2018, I thought it fitting to indulge in some nostalgia and relate my experiences over the last year-and-a-half as a member of the local Saint Louis chess community.