SCBC Founder and CEO Coach Mike Callaham has a proven record of getting results at all socio-economic levels and all ages. Checks, Captures, Threats, and Sacrifices is the tip of the iceberg. His definition of a combination and SCBC’s “The Magic 10” move strategies are inarguably original and defiantly easy to learn and use!?! He can literally raise your playing strength with just 1 lesson!
He’s been balancing philanthropy and entrepreneurship for years as a means of proving that being a, “Total Chess Personality” is the key to rapid improvement and gaining the cooperation of virtually any adult you meet. The, Total Chess Personality plays, coaches, directs, organizes, writes, analyzes, and theorizes, in a way that elevates the play, services, and culture of the game.
This year, SCBC former students and coaches took top honors in the Under 1200 and in the Open Championship at the Virginia Closed. Saket Sambaraju’s picture and accomplishments are in the pages of this blog. His rating went up more than 1100 points in less than 70 games!!! His mom has no equal when it comes to following coaching instructions. Jason Morefield is a, SCBC Master Coach with more than 150 coaching appearances before he turned 18!! Having our 2 time state champion tell everyone that your company financed their career is every coach’s and organizer’s dream! Coach Mike has had the opportunity to live it. While SCBC was paying Jason $75.00 a stop, there were other companies that wanted to pay him less because of his age even after his rating passed 2000!?! His peak is 2382!
Here are the levels of instruction available to individuals and groups! 1.) Tutor, This is mainly games review and playing tips. 2.) Instructor, Lessons designed to give exposure to certain areas of the game. 3.) Teacher, This combines the Tutor and Instructor and has optional homework assignments. 4.) Coach is the transition to tournament play, tactics, strategy, and training habits. Homework is not optional!? 5.) Prodigy, Students are monitored on Chess.com, parents receive reports and SCBC selects the tournaments the student will play in, 6.) Campaign This is when we custom design an opening repertoire for the player for white and/or black for tournament play.
Whether you want to just get your feet wet or you want to go deep sea diving at chess, you are at the best place if you want value for your money. Why? Because there is valuable free overflow! Top 9% player, level III advanced team coach, local director, local and state organizer, published openings theorist, published analyst, news paper columnist and international playing experience. You can’t turn that down or off completely because sooner or later, the good students are going to ask you for it anyway! Coach Mike wants to share in your chess success while others only want to share in your financial success. Just remember, every time you hear, “We have to start somewhere…”, what that means is, they get paid, and you get nowhere!?! That’s why coached players are averaging 3, 4, and 5 points a game with a “k” of 50 points plus bonus!?! Our training is always designed to take you farther than you could have ever imagined. If you are not ready for coaching, we will get you ready for free. Rates as low as $30.00 per hour. Call today for a free consultation! 804-426-6058!
Tournaments require 38 pieces!?! You’ve got 34 chess people, a board, a clock, paper, and a pencil. If most players are honest, they will admit that the clock and keeping score gave them some initial difficulty! But getting used to the clock and knowing how to use it are 2 totally different things. I haven’t seen any books specifically on how to use a clock!?! If the game can be won or lost by how you use this piece, at least some type of study is in order! I’ve only seen 2 places where the times of the games were kept and published. Yeah you get to see it while it’s live, but I’m talking in a format where study and comparison can be done. That Bobby Fischer’s chess games, the Havana Match, and Kasparov Karpov III by Keene and Goodman. Some mention of the clock was also in Krogius’ book, Psychology In Chess.
Here are some guidelines:
Always get to the board early enough to set and check the clock. Check that the delay and/or the increment are working.
Always start the clock promptly at the beginning of the round. If you have no clock, the time will be split instead of your opponent taking the whole loss of time.
Record the clock time for you and your opponent on each move.
Always remember to press your clock!
If you must get up, get back to your board as soon as possible.
Grandmasters advise that you use your time for calculating variations and your opponents time for positional considerations and strategy!
When in time trouble, continue to record the game as long as you can. If neither of you are recording the game, there can be no scoresheet based draw claims.
When in time trouble, never move instantly! Use the delay or the increment time to double check your move.
Never remind your opponent to hit their clock. It’s not good sportsmanship, it’s a rules violation!
If you always have time left and you are losing more than half of your games, you are moving too fast!
What do you do when it’s your opponent’s turn to move? You are supposed to be looking everything else except variations. I have my list of everything else and so should you. I call mine the magic 10! They are: Range, Speed, Power, Force, Time, Space, Mobility, Initiative, King Safety, and Material. This is for a piece or group of pieces. This is what you do leading up to, during, and after your skirmishes! Unlike Checks, Captures, Threats, and Sacrifices, something about the magic 10 goes in and out of balance on every move.
40 moves in 2hrs. What does that mean!?! No it doesn’t mean 3 minutes per move!? There is no time limit for a move and you must accept that some moves will require a lot of time!
The other clue I got was from Test Your Chess IQ Book II by Livshitz!! In the master section they actually tell you how long it should take you to solve each puzzle. Take a look at #936
The thing to understand is that when you use this type of time, it’s for several moves, not just 1 move!! If you have calculated properly the next 4 or 5 moves will only take a few minutes.
Lastly, always take a minute or 2 to regroup and reorient yourself once a time control is reached. My goal is to have an equal or winning position by the end of the 1st time control, and then finish them off if I can in the 2nd one.
Want to win more games…. Learn how to use the 36th piece!?! Group and private lessons and coaching are available. Ask for Coach Mike 804-426-6058. If you are not ready for lessons, we will get you ready for free!!
You funny!?! The whole point of having a campaign is that every move they make is either expected, slightly off the beaten trail, or bad! You actually have 3 choices every time your opponent moves… You can continue the campaign because you still have tons of stuff to do, abandon your original campaign for the alternate campaign, or punish them for making a mistake! Remember this is all about variations, transpositions, branchpoints, and errors. The only reason to abandon your campaigns is to collect your reward for your opponents errors. If your opponents are constantly causing you to abandon your campaigns and lose the game, your campaigns are too small, rigid, ill conceived, or not properly researched! Let’s get started.
No matter which one they pick, black’s move will be 7… c7-c6. The game continued, 7.Re1 c6 8. a4 Qc7 9. dxe5?! dxe5 10. Bg5?!
This is a vote chess game. A whole team of players had 3 days for each move. It’s obvious to me that they spent no time on books written by grandmasters, databases, or moving the pieces around. Having a campaign let’s me know that I already have a substantial advantage! More importantly, it let’s me know that my opponents don’t have a campaign or a plan. They are on their own, I’m still reading directly from my homework!! 10…Nc5!? 11. b4? (11. h3 Rd8 12. Qc1 Ne6 13. Be3=) 11…Rd8! 12. Qe2?! Because shadowing the queen is part of my campaign, I have to prepare for the most creative types of redevelopment for her. I actually got this idea after studying the London’s recapture of the knight on b1. Analysis taught me that if I refuse the queen a home on the e and d files, I’d need to be ready for this development of the queen… (12. Qb1! Ne6 13. Qb3 h6 14. Bh4 a5 15. b5 Bb4 16. Red1 Rxd1+ 17. Rxd1 Nc5 18. Qb2 Bg4 19. bxc6 Bxf3! 20. gxf3 Qxc6=/+) Diagram
12… Ne6! This is the end of the campaign! From here black should be able to win! 13. Be6?! Bxe6 14. Rab1 h6 15. Bh4 a5! 16. b5 Bb4 17. Bxf6 gxf6 18. Qe3 cxb5 19. Nxb5 Qxc2 20. Rec1 Qxa4 21. Nc7 Rac8
22. Qxh6? Rxc7! 23. Qxf6 Rxc1+ 24. Rxc1 Rd1 and white resigned.
The next game is another vote chess game. I used to play a lot of vote chess until it got to be too much work! There was always early voting or garbage 1/2 moves instead of whole continuations to compare. It did teach me a lot about how lazy most chess players are. Fun, fun, fun, all the time. They lack the discipline to follow grandmaster advice to end or consistency!?! It was very encouraging to realize that learning to win more games was going to be infinitely easier than I had originally thought!?!
Alekhine was the 1st player to condemn Bg5?! in the Philidor. It is a relief that black will not have to deal with any fireworks on f7 or in the center since the f3 knight can’t get to g5. I’m getting help with my campaign on the 5th move of the game! 5… c6 6. dxe5 dxe5 7. Bc4 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Qe2 Qc7
Some you may be wondering why I’m not rushing to play …b5. My campaign analysis has proved that if I play it too soon, the pawns will become targets. It’s better to let my opponent play a4 and then a5 so that I get the tempos and the stealth I need to mask my kingside intentions. To run a campaign you must have patience! 10. Rad1? Wrong move and wrong rook. Remember, how many times I’ve said you must watch games in the openings you intend to play to learn where to put the rooks? They had to play 10. a4. (10. Rfd1 b5 11. Bb3 a5 12. a4 b4 13. Nb1 h6!?= would have kept things level) 10… b5 11. Bb3 a5 12. a4 b4 13. Nb1 Ba6 14. Bc4 Bxc4 15. Qxc4 h6??
Campaign protect you because you always have possibilities. Here I could have played 15…Nb6! and followed it up with c5 and c4. Again, mistakes come in pairs so my opponent didn’t take. Knowing when to abandon the campaign for other gains can be as difficult as conducting the campaign itself!I played 15…h6?? with an eye to doubling in the knights, control of f4, g and h files, King lifts and slides, etc... Every time you analyze a game, there is room to tweak and improve your campaigns. Don’t miss them!! The game continued with the new campaign being to put the queen in jail!! 16 Bh4?? Nb6! 17. Qb3 c5 18. Nbd2 c4 19. Qa2 Rad8 20. Bg3 Bd6 21. Rfe1 Rfe8 22. h3 Rd7 23. b3?? c3 (the nail in the coffin)
24. Nc4 Nxc4 25. bxc4 Qc6 26. c5? Qxc5 27. Nxe5 Bxe5 28. Bxe5 Rxd1 29. Rxd1 Rxe5 30. Rd8+ Kh7 31. Qxf7 Rxe4 0-1 Their team abandoned the game!
“Look for opportunities to play d5” I didn’t used to get many opportunities for d5 until I reread my analysis of the main line and realized that 90% of the time I would not take back immediately if they played e4xd5. Some of the best ideas in your campaign have been overlooked because of improper piece development and placement. This game breaks from the normal campaign and shows how you can still make a killing of what you have left. This used to be the main line of the Hanham Variation until I busted it. 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. Bc4 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Qe2 c6 8. a4 Qc7 9. a5 h6 10. Bd2 Re8 11. Ba2?
The bust goes… 11….exd4! 12. Nxd4 d5 13. exd5 Bd6! 14. Be3 Bxh2+ 15. Kh1 Ne5! and black has a complicated but real initiative. Now watch this game and see how they played something different but I still did the same thing!!
e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Qe2 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. c3!? Not a bad move in and of itself. The position is equal with white still having a little 1st move initiative left. The game continued with 6…c6 7. d4 Qc7 8. Rd1 Bg4! With the queen being the only protector of the e pawn, Be3 is unlikely for a while, and h3 may never get played. (induce h3 or f3) 9. Nbd2 Nbd7 10. h3 Bh5 11. Nf1 Rfe8 12. g4 Bg6 13. Ng3?
13. exd4! 14. cxd4 (14. Rxd4 d5 15. exd5 Bd6 16. Qf1 cxd5 17. Bb5 Bxg3 18. fxg3 Qxg3+ 19. Qg2 Qd6-+) 14…d5 15. exd5 Bd6 16. Qf1 cxd5 17. Bb3 Bxg3 18. fxg3 Qxg3+ 19. Qg2 Qd6 and black won. A 7 move winning combo that I didn’t have to give 1 thought to because the elements of my campaign were present. 19 moves of absolutely stress free chess! Schmampaign that!!!
Even if someone designs a campaign for you, there will be a good amount of material you will have to study. I’ve got more openings, games, and campaigns coming every week! Do you have a campaign? Do you want a campaign, or do you want to keep having fun, fun, fun, whether you win, draw, or lose? I want to work with some people that are determine to never lose!? Chess isn’t about winning all the time, it’s about never losing. You started with 1/2 not zero!! It’s time you learned how to keep yours and take theirs.
Your coaching dollars will never be better invested!?! Call Coach Mike and let’s get started today! 804-426-6058. If you are not ready for coaching, we’ll get you ready for free!!
1st of all, Congrats to the ACC for it’s Grand Re-Opening! Chess is getting back to normal in so many places. Rumor is that the competition is fiercer than ever before. Some people have been pulling a Botvinnik! That simply means studying and not playing until it counts. They know their openings, they improved their tactics, they’ve even begun studying the endgame, but do they have a, “Campaign”? For the last 2 months this blog has been about variations, transpositions, branchpoints, errors, and now the campaign. What tools does one need to create a campaign? When does the campaign start? How long does it last? When is it done?
The tools you need are a grandmaster written book on the variation you are aiming for, a database of what has been played by masters, a chess board, a notebook, an engine, and most importantly, a willingness to watch whole games that were won, drawn, and lost by grandmasters! Leaving out any one of these items is a recipe for disaster, not a campaign. So let’s explain…
Books talk! I can’t stress enough about the tidbits, secrets, and maneuver information that’s in books. The books when compared to the database let you know how well the general field of players are preparing. Books also give you comparisons, contrasts, and history. There are gems in the notes of books that are rarely being played even when the results are both favorable and desirable! The best lines are always in the notes!?! Depending on the year it is published, the book should explain all the moves you are seeing in the data base.
The database you pick is very important. Chess.com, Lichess, and ICC have databases. You can not design a campaign strictly based on what online players are playing!! Why?! 2 reasons… 1.) It’s online… none of those players ultimately cares deeply about their performances. I watch 2600, 2700, 2800, and 2900 players make blunders all the time. I’ll guess a move, they play something else, I check it with the engine, and I was right, but that game still goes into the database. 2.) All the online databases are made up of games were at blitz or near blitz time controls. If you are preparing for a blitz tournament then it is a great database. If you are preparing for a real tournament with real time controls, you need to give more reliability to your books and your engine!?!
A student and I were going through a variation. We decided to ask the engine what was the best continuation. Even when we made sure to match our settings, the engine lines, evaluations, and order of priority never agreed!!! Do you know how to get the truth out of an engine?
Let’s face it, if we could really just snap our fingers and have someone prepare, or teach us how to prepare a logical and reliable campaign that’s good for 15, 20, 25 moves, it would be a no brainer. Just pay for the training or pay for the preparation!?! Grandmasters know it’s possible but for the mere mortal, human, novice, amateur, or never read a chess book cover to cover chess player, it’s an impossibility… The beauty of campaign training is that you only need to be shown 1 time and you can use it for life! After that, you’ll always know if you are getting what you paid for!
This is a game played on line in 2015. We each have 3 days to decide on our move. Most players that are playing e games just look at the board without ever moving the pieces around, without checking a book, or a database!?! This is how that got punished. 1. e4 e5 2. f4 Bc5 3. Nf3 d6 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. d3 Nc6 6. a3?! It’s the 6th move of the game and already white has made a serious error!? 6… Bg4 7. h3 Bxf3 8. Qxf3 Nd4 9. Qd1 b5 10. Ba2?! Diagram (10. b4 Bb6 11. Ba2 O-O -/+)
The game concluded with 10… Nxe4!! 11. dxe4 Qh4+ 12. Kd2 Qf2+ 13. Kc3 Ne2+ 14. Kb3 a5 15. a4 Nxc1+ 16. Qxc1 Qd4 17. c4 Qd3+ Resigns
How long can a campaign last? I have documentation for a campaign lasting 22 moves!! That’s right 22 moves!! I published my campaign for the Callaham Attack in the Hanham Variation of the Philidor Defense in the 2010-1 issue of the VA Newsletter. All campaign work has to start with the main line and usually after castling. This was considered to be the main line of the Hanham Variation. 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nd7 4. Nc3 Ngf6 5. Bc4 Be7 6. O-O O-O. Every player can make it this far.
So here is black’s campaign: Gain space on the kingside to induce h3 or f3. Eliminate the useful forward movement of the knight on f3. Take 100% control of f4 to prevent the opening of the f file. Use the knights to pressure the g and h files as well as f3. The king will need to slide, lift, or both to allow the rooks onto the g and h files. The queen will need a couple of tempos to get over and out on the wing. The king may also need tempo help for his lifts and slides. Give away the whole queenside if you have to!! Eliminate white’s dark squared bishop if at all possible… pawns left on a5 or a7 will usually draw it out to where it can be taken with the a8 rook. Stay alert for opportunities to play …d5, and for bringing the knights into f4 and h4, even when g3 has been played!? Understand that any white pieces returning to save their king must use e2, f1, or the 3rd rank. Other squares are too far away and will take to much time. Lastly, remember that there is no turning back. Sooner or later something always comes if you’re ready to sac and attack.
This is white’s favorite position in the Philidor!? It is still subject to the campaign! The game continued… 10… Rd8! 11. a5 Nf8 12. d5 Ng6 13. Nd2 Re8 14. Qe2 Bd8 15. Rf1 Ne7 16. Qd3 Bd7 17. b4 cxd5 18. exd5! Nf5! 19. Bb5 a6 20. Bxd7 Qxd7 21. Nde4 Nxe4 Nxe4 Nh4! (…and for bringing the knights to f4 and h4 even when g3 has been played)!!
The campaign has been a success. Now that the opponent has been softened up, it’s time to reap the rewards. This was a vote chess game. That’s right, vote chess. It was coach against coach. His rating was 2178 and mine was 2117. He had actually insulted me before the game asking, “The Philidor is an inferior opening?! Why would someone ask for that kind of beating with trainees watching”!?! The game continued… 23. c4?! f5 24. Nc3 Bf6! The trainees kept asking why we weren’t pushing the pawns. I explained that it would make it too easy for white, and that we should patiently redevelop and wait for another melt down! 25. Rac1 Qf7 26. Bd2 Rad8 27. Ne2 Rd7 28. Kh2 Rc7! Redevelopment is complete!
29. c5? e4 30. Qg3 Ng6 31. Kh1 Bh4 32. Qb3 dxc5 33. bxc5 Ne7-+ They never responded and lost on time. No one on the whole team voted for 3 days to make that happen!!! This is the tip of the Iceberg!
Tournaments are back and they are close. Arlington has $1900.00 a month, The Atlantic Open 30K, The VA Closed in Sep, Fredericksburg Oct, Zofchak Nov, Eastern in Dec 25K, Northern VA Open in Jan, North Carolina Nov, National Chess Congress Philly Nov, K-12 Nationals in MD…
Every opening has a campaign, you just have to research it enough to discover what it is. If you don’t know how to do it, hire someone to show you how to do it or do it for you. We would love to be your coach or your 2nd to add campaigns to you road arsenal. Our rates are very reasonable and hurt a lot less than repeated weekend hotel stays that produce 12-15 rating points. At $600.00 + per weekend, (gas, food, room, entry fee, time off work, kennels, and baby sitters) not to mention the time away from your family, you are paying $40.00 – $50.00 per rating point?? That’s insane!
Call Coach Mike for a free consultation today. 804-426-6058. If you are not ready for coaching, we will get you ready for free. Let us save you some trips and some money!
Watch for more Campaigns and campaign games the whole month of August!