State Scholastics 26/27 March In Nearby Fredericksburg!!!

Those aren’t ratings silly!?! Those are the year the games are from! I blogged about this awesome book, ” The King Hunt”. Look at these positions… If every single move is a check, or a capture, or a threat, or a sacrifice, that should improve the chances of solving it, right?! If you can’t figure out the 1st 3 moves of the position even when allowed to move the pieces, you don’t need a tournament, you need a class!

In just the short time I’ve been reading this book and sharing these positions, I’ve heard so many excuses for not being able to write out the answer… It’s too long, it’s too complicated, you must have made these up, that’ll never happen in a real game. I just laugh!? Culture and competence go hand in hand with chess and that means one automatically leads to the other. If you’re new or low rated and not watching the classics, you are not following grandmaster advice!!

So me being the good Level III coach I am, I came up with a challenge:

If you present me with all the roads to mate from these 3 positions, I will let you select a book of your choice and give you a free entry into our February 27th tournament. That is over a $75.00 value!!! If you are not a paying student, you may make your submission any Thursday between 6 pm and 10 pm at the club meeting.

You have to be wondering, Why would he make a challenge like that when I can move the pieces around, put the position in a data base, put the position on an engine, etc? Because I want to prove to you that in chess, there is no cheating!!! What ever earnest or easy work you do will improve your game. Don’t think I let you off easy!? To accomplish this task will take you 3-4 hours. You have to show me every continuation to mate until you reach mate in 2. If there are 3 continuations that are mate in 6, 5, 4, or 3, I want to see them all. You’ll be amazed at how early they have to start throwing pieces on the sword to avoid mate and I want you to see that!!! You can’t cheat while you play, but compared to becoming good at anything else, you can cheat while you study and practice!!! If you think becoming good at chess is hard, you’ve been misled, misguided, and sometimes outright lied to.

Our classes expose these misleadings, misguidance, and lies, so that you can have fun while you learn and while you play. Visit this link to see when our February and March trainings are: https://scholarshipchessbusinesscenter.com/grand-reopening-dec-2nd/zoom-lessons/

Do you prefer private or small group lessons? We can do those to!

You’re not a hamster so don’t study like one!!

Get off the wheel and learn the truth about becoming a better chess player! Hope to hear from or see you soon!!

Keeping Your Half Is A Catch 2022!

When does everyone say enough is enough and start acting like chess players instead of other sports people? It seems the more informed your perspective is on what is actually a good result in chess, the more people question your intent to win!?!(Strange)

In chess, you don’t reach a stand off, the game actually starts as one!!

Each game starts with each player having half a point, not zero! In order for that to change, someone has to make a mistake, an oversight, or a blunder. At the less than Master level it will normally require that you make more than 1 mistake, oversight, or blunder. The skill that actually differentiates amateurs and masters is each ones ability to spot and punish mistakes. So when non masters play they are both making mistakes, oversights, and blunders, and the last one to get caught making 1 of those usually loses!

Statistics and training materials are your key to the real struggle!

Let’s take a look at how we keep score compared to other sports. In chess, what does it mean if someone has a record of 23-8-5? This means that they have 23 wins, 8 draws, and 5 losses. In every other sport it would mean 23 wins, 8 losses, and 5 draws/ties. That distinction is very instructive! Why? Because chess is the only sport in the world that when there is a tie, and you are following Grandmaster advice, there is still a winner and a loser!!

In every other sport they measure your win percentage. In the example above the person with a 23-8-5 record would have a winning percentage of 63.88%. In chess we measure our keep percentage! A person with a 23-8-5 record would have a keep percentage of 75.00%! Go to US Chess and look yourself up! Scroll down the, “General” page to, “game statistics” and then go to, “by year” and the number they will give you is your keep % not your winning percentage. If you want to know your winning percentage, you will have to do that math on your own!! Chess success is measured by what you keep! Every other sport goes from 0%-100%. We go from 50%-100% In chess being able to brag about your, “Not losing streak” is as good or better than other sports bragging about their winning streak.

Order is important!

This is an informant. It is a FIDE publication that features top games and puzzles from top games in it. The feature that stands out is when you go to the puzzle section, The 1st puzzles are for checkmates, the second set of puzzles is for draws, the 3rd set is for material, then a section for all other themes. The puzzles are set up in order of importance!! Win, Draw, Material, Everything else.

1-2-4 equals 76 points when you play up!

Do you know how to play up? Grandmasters agree that the only way to improve is to play up. Each player must decide what their comfort zone is. Playing in the, “Under” section is ok, when you are within 50 points of the cap. Example… your rating is 957 and you are playing in the, “Under 1000” section. Your rating is 1369 and you are playing in the, “Under 1400” section. Other than that, you should be playing the spread. Your rating is 690. You should choose the, “Under 1000” over the, “Under 800”. Your rating is 1028. You should choose the, “Under 1400” over the, “Under 1200”. No matter how confident you are, you should not be 1231 playing in the, “Under 1800” section unless you are there strictly as a discovery exercise. After 400 points, your odds of winning the section go to almost impossible.

You either need the right class, or the right books, or both!!

You don’t need to be a grandmaster to train like one. The fun part of our training is everything is a shortcut! We followed the advice from great books, we did the work suggested by great books, and we discovered things you only learn by doing exactly what you are told. Now we offer these improvement methods to you at a fraction of the time and money it would take you to discover and implement them. We guarantee that our methods and techniques are 100% unique and the result of decades of reading and following the advice of World Champions, Cycle Competitors, and Grandmaster Theoreticians So, we encourage you to sign up for a course, come by the club for some free training, or purchase some of the hand selected books that we know will take your game to the next level

SCBC Brings OTB Back To Richmond Dec 2nd!!

We are back! I played in a couple of tournaments with a mask on and I found the bandanna works best for me. I’ve researched and talked extensively with US Chess and it seems that If we just do things right, the likely hood of transmission is extremely low! It’s time to do things right and get back to the work I love… Finding new talent, putting them on the true path to becoming a complete chess personality, and helping people of all ages use chess to help themselves!

Masks, Sanitizer, and Thermometers are here to stay!

We’ve had a banner year in 2021! US Certified Coach, 8 year old Anagha Sinkar, took 1st place in the K-3 Division of the Virginia Scholastic Championships. Anagha is a student of ours that became a middle school head coach when she was only 6 years old!! I keep telling parents, if you want them to play more conscientiously, get your child involved in coaching and refereeing as soon as possible! Anagha’s peak rating has gone up more than 600 points since she started coaching!! Life Master, US Certified Coach, and US Certified Tournament Director Jason Morefield joined our coaching staff when he was 11 years old back in 2014. This year Jason won the Virginia Closed State Championship. He is one of the few to win both the Open and Amateur Titles! His rating has gone from over 1800 to a peak of 2354 while he’s been coaching for us! Again tapping into the total chess personality made the child a better player! Anagha achieved her peak of 1440 in just 178 games. Jason achieved his peak rating of 2354 in just 413 games!! Both of these kids have played 40% to 50% less tournament games than other children their age that have the same ratings!! That saved their parents thousands of dollars while they were earning money too!! That’s a life lesson!! Head Coach, Chief Tournament Director, and Organizer, Mike Callaham received his, US Chess Level III Advanced Team Coaching Certificate this year! His application boasted 163 team appearances in the last 90 months! He is 1 of only 43 people that hold that title across the USA!! If you want to get the most out of the time you invest in chess, your search for leadership is over!

Our club is both an Arena and a playground!?

We are a tournament chess, professional development, and entrepreneurial training company. We are experts at the, ‘play, analysis, reflect, repair, and repeat‘ of tournament chess. We know many secrets and shortcuts to chess success. We hope that is why you come, but if you just like to play, you are also welcome!? We need as many types of sparring partners as we can get!! Click on, “Club Meetings” for information about the benefits of club membership!

The proving grounds of chess!

Last Saturday Open Swiss Tournaments: Nothing compares to sitting down to a complete stranger with a clock, a scoresheet, and rating points on the line. This activity more than any other is what begins and sustains the improvements to the personality, character, and mental prowess that we all believe and want from chess!! Without a stranger, clock, scoresheet, and rating points on the line chess is just another toy!! Click on, “Tournaments” for a complete schedule of up coming tournaments!!

Stamina and concentration from, “no mute” lessons!!

The pandemic sent everyone to the computer. South Park ran skits of darkened screens and muted participants. The problem, people didn’t know how to prepare a thinking environment so they had to make sure they didn’t get caught and embarrassed by what they we saying and doing or what the people in their households were saying or doing. By forcing our students to leave the microphone on, it did 2 things… 1.) It made them find a quiet place or made everyone else respect that they needed quiet for this type of work. 2.) It made the students pay closer attention because they could be required to answer a question at any time without the warning of being told to,”unmute”. It’s been very successful for us and the students love the special treatment and attention. Click on, “Lessons” for more details about class times, class material, and costs!!

Information Overload!?

Camps are about taking in a whole bunch of information then reviewing the information over and over, and using it over and over again until the improvements become permanent! Our camps aren’t like other camps!? When you ask our participants if they understood everything that was in the camp, instead of yes, there answer will be, no, I need to look over the booklet again!? We are offering this intense training the 20th-23rd and the 27th-30th. Click on, “Camps” for more details!

Check out all the details under, “Grand Reopening”!! If you’d like details about any of the programs at SCBC please call 804-426-6058. Ask for Coach Mike C.

VA Championship Wrap Up

One of the most basic guidelines we use to teach chess is, “Look at every Check, Capture, Threat, and Sacrifice Every Time!?! Regardless of what you think… Whether they can take you or not… Whether it makes sense or not… to see where everyone can and can not go for Kings, and Queens and Rooks!?!” Except for threats you have to know what the other 3 are just to say you play chess! But, to employ this rule in a game takes discipline. I laugh when other chess companies have, “non compete” agreements. We’ve never used them and never will. Why? Because being great at chess is a matter of discipline. Knowledge is “power”, but it takes discipline to become a “force”!!! I told you last month that I’m not holding back on my secrets anymore! The stuff I’m giving you in the notes to these positions is guaranteed to make your game blunderproof!!! When you finally acknowledge that discipline, not knowledge is what wins chess games, winning and losing at chess becomes a choice of whether or not you care. When you care, you will win or draw…When you don’t care, you will win, draw, and lose.

What you are about to see are the Va Novice and Amateur Follies. Every position you are about to see is from an actual game! Some players left a pawn out there, some missed mates in 2, and 3, and 4 moves. Others broke the rules of the opening, middle and end game. Some where stuck in the, “you take me, I take you back” mentality. But the reason they all failed to take advantage of their opponent’s mistakes or their own opportunities was because they did not consider every check, capture, threat, and sacrifice! Well start with the simple and work our way up to the complicated!

White just played Qf3??

Black just takes on d4. If white takes on d5, the knight will take on c2

Black just played Nd4?

Chess needs philanthropist, but not at the board! lol White has no worries taking the pawn on e5. If by reflex black tries Ne4?, white’s Nf7! will remind black just how different the position is from when that would work!!

Black just played Bd6??

Black should have exchanged queens and took the loss of the piece. Lucky for black that white played 2. Ne5?? instead of 2.Ne7 and 3. Qg7 mate!

Black just played Qa4??

In the game white played Rac1?? What they missed was 2. Qd5!! cd 3. Rc8 Re8 4. Re8 Qe8 5. Rb1! and the king and queen are unable to get off the back row a the same time. White will play 6. Rb8 winning the queen and remaining a piece up! All combinations get easier to calculate when the moves in the combination are checks, captures, threats, and sacrifices!?!

Here white played Ne4??

The whole purpose of putting the bishop on the long diagonal is that everything in front of a bishop, a rook, and a queen, should be treated like it’s a ghost. White wins material by playing 1. Nd4!

Here white played gf??

Same game with a chance to hit the long diagonal again! White wins material again, this time with 1. Ne5!. If the queen takes they win the knight and the rook. If the knight takes then it’s 1… Ne5 2. Bf4! (Yes, it’s better than taking the rook!?) Bg4 3. Qe1! 0-0-0 4. Be5 with a huge advantage!

Here black played Qb2??

Anytime you can threaten mate, you must look for at least a w,b,w,b,w, or a b,w,b,w,b, to see what your opponent can do!? The minimum length of a combination is 2.5 moves. If you can’t or won’t look that far ahead, all of your games will be filled with missed opportunities!! 1…Ng4! (b)is a killer move! After 2. Bf4 (w) Qd4 (b) 3. Kh1(w) Nf2(b)( that’s what I meant by a w,b,w,b,w, or a b,w,b,w,b.) 4. Rf2 (or face a smothered mate!) Qf2 5. Qh3 h5 and black is an exchange and a couple pawns to the good!

Here black played Rg3??

Everyone can see checks, captures, and sacrifices. Heck, if you can’t see those, stop telling people you play chess!! Tell people you are a piece mover?! LOL. Looking at the checks, captures, and sacrifices, will lead you to irresistible threats!! White is in a mating net after 1…Nf5! From here all white can do is keep throwing players on the sword until it’s over. 2. Rf2 Rf2 3. Rg1 Be5!! ( If you play these fianchetto systems, Be4 and Be5 have to constantly be on your mind!) 4. Qf2 Qf2 5. Ne5 Rb8 6. Nd3 Ng3 7. Rg3 Rb1 8. Ne1 Re1 9. Rg1 Rg1 mate.

Here black played Rh3??

Yes, the last 3 examples are from the same game. That knight on h6 should be able to collect retirement for how long it’s been sitting there doing nothing. Why not 1…Qd5!! 2. Qe3 Qh5! 3.Qf4 Qh3 4. Rh2 Rf3 5. Rh3 Rf4 and wins easily.

Here Back played bc??

Oh come on, it’s a Sicilian and your king is still in the center! No way could black take that pawn. Black had to just take his licks after 1… 0-0 2. Nd4 bc 3. Nc6 Rfe8. At least in that continuation white still has to figure out what to do. Instead black got punished swiftly with 2. Bd6 Qb7 3. Rc6 Ra7?? 4. Be7 Qe7 5. Rc8 mate. Black could have fought longer with 3… 0-0 4. Rc7 Qb6 5. Re7.

Here white played Rdg1?

One of the biggest errors amateurs make is looking at their opponents rating instead of at the board. White has a strong advantage every way you look at it by just taking on d6. Let’s see what happens as the game progresses

Black played b5?

Everybody knows or should know that getting rid of your backward pawn is a priority. Everyone knows that the way to counter an attack on the wing is by activity in the center 1st then possibly on the other wing. Here black misses their chance to take the initiative by playing 1…d5! 2. e5 Ne8 3. Kb1 Nc7 4. h4 d4 5. Ne4 c4! 6. Qd2 Nb5 and it is the black team that is marching! 1… d5! 2. ed Nd5 3. Nd5 Qd5 4. Bd5 and where did the attack go. One of the things about castling queenside is you will nearly always have to spend a move to get your king to the b file because they are still too exposed. If you ignore this guideline it can get you in big trouble!

White just played Qe3? instead of the forced Qa3

This is the type of over exposure I was talking about. Here, the magic 10 take over. They are Range, Speed, Power, Force, Time, Space, Mobility, Initiative, King Safety and Material. These 10 things are affected by checks, captures, threats, and sacrifices! Being able to see w,b,w,b,w’s and b,w,b,w,b’s are how you increase yours and take away your opponent’s!! Here black eliminates white’s attack and steals the initiative by improving the range, speed, power, and mobility of their team with checks, captures, threats, and sacrifices!! 1… Bb2! 2. Kb2 Qf6 3. Be5! {Black has to close the diagonal. 3. Kb1 is worse, ex… 3… Rae8 4. Qa7 Re7 5. Qa6 Re2 6. Rh2 Rh2 7. Bh2 Qc3!! 8. Rg6! hg and wins. If 3. Qc3 then 3… Qc3 (3… Qf4? would throw it all away because of the beautiful move 4. Bd3!!. Black can’t take with 4… cd in this line because of 5. Rg6! hg 6. Rh8 Kf7 7. Rh7 Ke8 8. Qc6 Kd8 9. Qd7 mate!!) 4. Kc3 Rf4 5. Kb4 Re8 6. Rh2 Re5 7. Ka5 Rd5 is winning for Black.}. 3…de 4. c3 Rad8 5. Rd1 Rf7 black has a winning position. If you think these are long sequences for novices and amateurs, break them down into the 2.5 or 3.5 moves at a time and it won’t seem that way. Remember, 2.5 moves is the shortest a combination can be. A smothered mate, which every chess players love to watch is 4.5 move if you count from the 1st check!!

Black played Kh8??

By now, you should be getting tired. If you are, that’s a problem of stamina!? Having to look at all of this is why they give you 90 minutes for 30 moves and then 1 hr sudden death. It’s because you waste so much of your time at the board looking at unimportant moves, continuations, and positions. Playing on line and doing puzzles on line does not build stamina because all the toys/tools do the thinking for you. Using a chess engine is supposed to provide a comparison not a discovery!? lol Here black panicked themselves into a mating net. The game concluded with 2. Rg6! hg 3. Be6 Kg7 4. Bh6 Kh8 5. Bf8 Rh7 6. Rh7 Kh7 7. Qh2 Bh4 8. Qh4 mate. Black missed the winning 1… Qa2!! 2. Be6 Re6! 3. de Bb2 4.Kd1 Qb1 5. Ke2 Qc2 6. Kf1 Qf2 7. Kf2 Re8 8. Re1 Bc3 and white will have to give back more than a rook to stop the pawns.

White played Ba2??

It’s late in the game, you may be tired, but you must continue to look for mate. Here white missed 1. Rg8 Kh6 2. Bf5!! Rg1 3. Kh3 Rg3 4. hg g4 5. Kg4 Bg7 6. Rfg7 a1(Q) 7. Rh7 mate

In this position white played f4??

I watched a lot of players trying to be aggressive while actually missing the most aggressive moves they could make. Why isn’t 1 or 2 pawns enough? White has a forced continuation at their disposal. After 1. Nc7 Rc8 2. Ne6 fe 3. Be6 Rc7 white is up a pawn with plenty of attack left! If black tries to get cute with 1… Bc4?!, then 2. cd Rc8 3. Nd5 Nb4 4. Nf5! still makes it clear who is in charge! It’s not black. You don’t need to open the f file to dominate black!?

White’s last move was Ne4?!

In this position black played …d5 letting white off the hook. The dark squared bishop has no retreat! If black is to seize their opportunity, they must play 1… f6!(b) 2. Bf4(w) g5(b) 3. Bd6(w) Be4(b) 4. Re4(w) Qd6(b). This was a, b,w,b,w,b,w,b. This is what we call a, “4 banger”!? If you intend to compete against players that have all the time in the world to decide what they want to play, 3.5, 4.5, and 5.5 combinations have to be a part of your arsenal. I can guarantee that when you finally start considering combinations that are this long, each move will be a check, capture, threat, or sacrifice that drastically alters the magic 10!!!

White’s last move was dc??

I saved this one for last for 2 reasons… 1.) It embodies at the highest level the secrets that no one is talking and writing about in chess books, and 2.) Because only the people who made it all the way through to the end deserve to understand this trajectory altering secret!!! The king is not the only piece that can be in check!?! No bold, no italics, just the truth!!! Once you realize that kings, queens, and rooks, can be in check it will change the way you look at a chess position. “I take you, you take me back”, is the 1st hurdle in a 20 hurdle race!? This whole combo is because of the queen being in check, not the king! 1…d4-d3! (check! When you are one of our students, this is a check!) 2. Qd1 dc (check!) 3. Qc2 Nd3 4. Kh1 Nb4 (check!) 5. Qd1 Bg2 6. Kg2 Ne1 7. Qe1 bc and black is winning. For those of you who were wondering, on 2. cd? there follows 2… Nd3! 3. Kh1 Ndf4!(check!) and white loses their queen!

Thanks for all the games!! They were a joy to read and more instructive than I could put in this article. If you want to learn more about our form of chess discipline, please contact us!! if you are not ready for lessons or coaching, we will get you ready for free!!! We hope you learned something unbelievable!! Coach Mike C 804-426-6058