Monday 12 October 2015

Max Euwe- The Legend

Hello, Readers you might have heard about a proverb “Jack of all trades, but master of none” however, never about “master of all trades but jack of none” which will exactly suite the 5th World Chess Champion Machgielis Euwe popularly known as Max Euwe. 
Max Euwe- 5th World Champion

He was the very best in every activity under taken throughout his life. He was a fine mathematician (who invented theorems about the infinite sequence of 0 and 1’s with no 3 identical consecutive sub sequences of any length), an engineer, an astronomer, computer genius, world chess champion and by the end of his life became President of FIDE who has witnessed the realm Fischer and Karpov. 

The Dutch genius never been regarded as a professional chess player, but, he had an exceptional acumen for the Royal game and with all the knowledge he laid a solid foundation for the evaluation of computer chess during his time.

Max Euwe was born on 20 May 1901 in Watergraafsmeer, near Amsterdam, Netherlands. He learnt chess from his parents Elisabeth and Cornelius Euwe at the age of 5 and soon start winning against them. He excelled in mathematics when he was in school at Amsterdam. In 1911, when he was just 10 years old, he played his first chess tournament, a one day Christmas congress and won every game. He became a member of the Amsterdam chess club when he was twelve years old and by the time he was fourteen he was playing in the Dutch Chess Federation tournaments. 

From 1921 to 1952 Euwe participated in many Dutch Chess Championship and won all the tournaments. His 12 titles in the Dutch Championship are the record still holds today. In 1928 at Hague he became World Ametuer Chess Championship.

After the end of World War I, Euwe made his first trip abroad to participate in the famous Hastings Chess Tournament in England where he secured fourth place. In 1930 he won the Hastings tournament ahead of Capablanca. However in a Euwe - Capablanca match which was played later Euwe lost 0 wins to 2 with 8 draws. The year 1932 was a very successful one beating Spielmann, drawing twice with Flohr and taking second place behind Alekhine in a tournament in Berne.

During 1933-34 he played very little chess while he concentrated on mathematics. Then, in the summer of 1935, he challenged Alekhine; the match began on 3 October. It was held at twenty-three different locations in Amsterdam, The Hague, Delft, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Gouda, Groningen, Baarn, Hertogenbosch, Eindhoven, Zeist, Ermelo, and Zandvoort.

The dramatic result of his first match against Alekhine is old history. Three points down after seven games, he pulled up to equality, only to see his redoubtable opponent draw away again. Battling gamely, he was still two down at the two-thirds stage, but won the twentieth, twenty-first, twenty-fifth, and twenty-sixth games and retained his grip on a now desperate adversary to the end. On Dec. 15, 1935 Euwe defeated Alekhine and became 5th World Chess Champion. He was trained by Geza Maroczy for the world championship.

Euwe was the first player to study openings with scientific precision. His repertoire was designed to prevent Alekhine from unfolding his best chess qualities. He was the first to begin preparing professionally for world championship matches by giving more attention to physical, practical and theoretical preparation. His greatest strength is tactical and combinative play. He had written many chess columns and books which are very instructive in nature. If you add Euwe's talent for precise calculation, his sense of initiative plus his outstanding nervous constitution, you can see where Alekhine's problems came from. Forced to play without the initiative, the Russian made many mistakes, mainly due to psychological impatience.

Euwe is the essence of caution. To win the world's championship and to secure a place only half a point behind the winner on caution alone is impossible, there must be depth and imagination, but the outstanding impression to be gained from his games is caution and dogged perseverance.

Despite this overall impression of caution, it is worth noting that Euwe shared the prize for the most wins in his score during the tournament. While Euwe was World Champion he changed the way that players competed for the title. From that time on the rights to organise World Championship matches was given to FIDE (Fédération Internationale des échecs - the World Chess Federation). The one exception was the return match between Euwe and Alekhine which went ahead according to the conditions already arranged at the time of the first match.

In his return match with Alekhine things went badly for Euwe after winning the first game, and he lost the match by a margin of five points. Various reasons have been put forward as to why he was defeated so heavily, but the main reason was almost certainly the fact that his advisor, Reuben Fine, had taken ill with appendicitis and could not assist him.

After this Euwe went through a rather bad spell as regards his chess. His teaching duties made it difficult for him to concentrate on tournaments and in the Dutch championship which followed his defeat as World Champion he could only play matches in the evening as he had teaching commitments through the day. For other tournaments, although he did receive time off from his teaching duties to play, he had no time to prepare as he would teach up to the last moment.

During the war Euwe led work to provide food for people through an underground charity organisation. After the war he won the London Tournament in 1946 and it looked for a while as though he might challenge again for the World Championship. However after some impressive play in the couple of years following the war, he then began to look past his best. Euwe became interested in electronic data processing and was appointed as Professor of Cybernetics in 1954. In 1957 he visited the United States to study computer technology in that country. While in the United States he played two unofficial chess games in New York against Bobby Fischer, winning one and drawing the second.

He was appointed director of The Netherlands Automatic Data Processing Research Centre in 1959. He was chairman, from 1961 to 1963, of a committee set up by Euratom to examine the feasibility of programming computers to play chess. Then, in 1964, he was appointed to a chair in automatic information processing in Rotterdam University and, following that, at Tilburg University. He retired as professor at Tilburg in 1971.

In 1970 Euwe was elected the president of FIDE and held that position until 1978. His role as arbitrator of the Fischer - Spassky World Championship match in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1972 was a very difficult one which he carried out with great tact and skill. He was unfortunate that during his time as president negotiations for the World Championship match between Fischer and Karpov became extremely difficult. Euwe made huge efforts to ensure that the match was played but, unfortunately, despite every effort eventually the match had to be awarded to Karpov by default.

In 1981, Max Euwe died of heart attack at the age of 80, leaving the history as a chess player. Max Euwe is the only person to beat Alekhine in a world championship match.

In his view a world champion should love chess more than his own life and of course more than his own fame. He should love chess like Steinitz and process the endurance of Lasker, the tact of Capablanca, the intelligence of Chigorin, the fury of Alekhine, the educated thinking of Botvinnik, the discretion of Smyslov, the audacity of Tal, the imperturbability of Spassky, the ambition of Fischer and the calmness of Karpov.

We can see the greatness of Euwe in the words of elite chess players below:

In the words of Botvinnik, Euwe is an extremely impetuous, active player. Even when defending he is always aiming for counter play. He likes to play on the flanks. He likes positions without weaknesses, with some freedom, and he makes disconcerting long moves. He aims for development. With the positions advantage he does not avoid exchanges, but satisfies himself with a better endgame. He exploits mistakes excellently. With a material advantage (a pawn, the exchange), he plays with redoubled strength. He has a subtle, excellent technique, not without tricks. In general he is a very good tactician. He knows the openings very well.

In the words of Smyslov, Euwe was familiar with facets of versatile chess activity: His books showed that he was a splendid teacher, the novelties employed in his games and his analyses in chess magazines showed that he was an outstanding theoretician. His aggressive handling of the opening on a realistic positional base, and his unexpected manoeuvres, his amazing skill in finding a veiled way out of a difficult position demonstrated the Dutch grandmaster is a wonderful tactical gift. Later he was also able to appreciate fully the other fine qualities of the fifth world champion- Industriousness, stamina, self-control and his gentleman-like attitude to his opponents.

In the words of Tal, Max Euwe was world champion for only two years, but his services to chess were very great. Tal said that Euwe was a genius of organisation. Through preparation exceptional concentration, strength of will anybody can learn from Euwe.

In the words of Petrosian, “I was 13 or 14 when Euwe’s manuals, which have now become bibliographic rarities, fell into my hands, I still remember well that his course of chess lectures was my favourite book and I studied it very thoroughly.

In the words of Spassky “the fact the Euwe played better in the 1935 match is quite obvious. The fact that although not a professional, he nevertheless managed to defeat Alekhine must be regarded as a competitive and creative feat and in addition the quality of the games was pretty high. By winning against Alekhine he thereby joined the galaxy of chess stars.”

In the words of Karpov, “I have the warmest memories of Max Euwe. I will not forget that moment when, as FIDE president he laid the laurel wreath on me and wished me well, expressing his confidence that I would not become “king for a day”. His course of chess lectures is one of the first books from which I gained an impression of the ways that chess though develops, and about the contribution to chess of its first classics. The games of Euwe himself in which the logic for a mathematician is combined with keen combinative vision demonstrate that his surge in the mid-1930s and his ascent to the top of chess were quire logical. 
Euwe’s entire life is an example of selfless devotion to chess.

His Complete games can be downloaded here:

Max Euwe’s opening repertoire for white with 1.d4 in PGN format can be downloaded here:

Wednesday 7 October 2015


Dear chess friends, students and parents of chess students…

There are several questions which are unanswered and nobody dared to ask openly to your chess coaches or discussed in any open forums because of so many unexplainable reasons.

We have just put all of them in this blog which you should think seriously before taking chess coaching and spending time & money on it.

Here is the 


1. Can anyone (whether talented or not), become a grandmaster?

2. Can anyone find strong moves by ticking off a to-do list?

3. Is it possible to reach master level without ever making a plan?

4. Is it possible to prepare for a grand master title by learning main line openings and learning all the recent and past games from those openings from both colours?

5. Is it possible to become a strong endgame player by just studying endgame manuals for few years?

6. Is it possible to become a strong middle game player by studying numerous books written on middle game and pattern recognition?

7.Is it possible to become a master by merely creating a learning plan with mainline openings and playing tournaments and analysis of tournament games?

8. Can anybody tell how many tournaments an average player needs to play to become a chess master after knowing how to play good openings, studying middle game books and endgame manuals?

9. Is it possible to become a grand master by exclusive use of computers, video lectures and chess engines?


We think it’s better to answer these questions before we venture into chess coaching. We need to know the exact answers before investing our efforts in chess coaching. Otherwise time, money and efforts will be lost and we will face a situation where we can’t come back or go forward. 

All the best…

Sunday 13 September 2015

How to be a young chess grand master?

Have you ever wondered how a boy/girl become a Chess grandmaster before 20 years of their age?

Do you want to know the secrets of their success?

Want to make your child a Chess Grand Master?

This blog is exactly written to cater your needs...

These are the principles of Manufacturing young talents I share after a lot of research and analysis... 

Here we go... 


*** Best Grand Masters always started chess with building up their knowledge in the endgame

They always used main line chess openings since their childhood in their opening repertoire.
For example Bobby Fisher, Magnus carlsen, Sergey Karjakin, Nakamura, Kasparov, Wassely So, Aronian, Anish Giri used Ruylopez, Scotch, Sicilian Defense, Queens gambit, Grunfeld, Queens Indian, Nimzo Indian, French Defense as their main opening repertoire. They used second grade openings only to surprise the opponents occasionally. More importantly they used these openings from both colours

*** They improved their planning skills by thinking originally about target of action & piece play

The Lightening Kid
*** They improved their tactical skills by knowing the principles of tactical play not by solving as many tactical puzzles as they can.
For example Anand's tactical vision cultured by learning the principles of piece play, forcing moves and playing blindfold games during his childhood

*** They started searching for good coaches early in their childhood and trained with them for considerably long time. 
Simen Agdestein & Carlsen,  Nakamura & Sunil Veeramantry, Yury Dokhoyan, Sergey Karjakin & Alexander Motylev
Here is an interview of the coach GMChuchelov about their training methods who trained top child prodigy grandmasters Caruana and Anish Giri 

Kasparov & his trainer Mikhail Botvinnik
*** They played proper tournaments to test their skills. 
In an interview Gary Kasparov said that his trainers are very selective about the tournaments to be played by him. 
Now-a-days after introduction of "K-factor" by FIDE in chess tournaments it is very important for the children to select right tournaments for their faster rating progress and avoid loosing rating points in a random manner. If you want to know more about "K-factor and tournament rules read the following articles.

FIDE Rating chart of a player who played with out proper training & ignoring K-factor
Hence, if a player with out proper training plays a FIDE rated tournament he is risking of loosing K-factor  and so his rating will be reduced if he doesn't choose tournaments wisely. The same was true when he is playing under-rated tournaments with higher level of talent.

*** They never used computer engines for analysis of their games on first time analysis. However they used to check their analysis using engines after manual analysis. They used this process not only for their own games but also for studying master games as well. They used to play some practice games with the engines only to check their level of play.

*** As children they concentrated more on acquiring good endgame technique than anything else

Ding Liren is a Chinese chess grandmaster. In August 2015, he became the second Chinese player after Wang Yue to break into the top 10 of FIDE rating list. Ding is the highest rated and the highest ranked Chinese player ever to date.

*** They offered least concentration on the opening stage of the game as children though they tried to play all the openings from both colours and never tried to reduced their opening repertoire. Their primary aim from the opening is to get out of it and get a playable and comfortable middle game position where they can use their cultured strategical and tactical skills to fight for the advantage

*** They started learning chess very early stage of their childhood around 4-10 years of their age
For example follow this spread sheet.

Various Internet resources and my own physical references

This is a list of top grand masters of fide rating list released in September, 2015.


This is a list of young grand masters in the history of chess.

It is clearly evident that top players started their chess careers early in life and took best coaching and became grand masters before 20

*** They have great parents who always supported them through out their careers because chess requires a lot of time, money and sacrifice on part of players, parents and coaches

*** They always tried to play quality chess never bothered about the result of the game. These young prodigies improved day by day and learned from every mistake of their games. They constantly observed their games and always tried to improve quality in terms of positional play, tactical play, planning etc., using the algorithm set by their teachers

*** They always studied the master games and analyze them to understand the style of old masters, world champions and compared their style of playing with them

*** They always did a physical exercise to keep their body in good condition. These are some of the greatest quote from the mouth of masters

*** They analyze their games both won and lost