Efstratios Grivas – Repeated Motifs

by Efstratios Grivas
12/20/2023 – As it is already well-known, chess is a game of repeated motifs; a game of repeated knowledge! Once you carefully and correctly learn a motif, a pattern or an opening, your subconscious carefully stores it for use when time comes and demands! Here is a valuable lesson from a world-class chess trainer on the subject. There is a lot to learn!

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


Do not try to remember everything you are learning – you will simply fail! Try to understand and subconsciously store it - this is the secret of knowledge!

Trainees are trying hard, spending enormous time to learn and remember. Which basically it's a mistake. You just need 'quality' procedure and a logical amount of time – nobody likes too much work!

But let's try to 'understand' the concept of the subconscious knowledge. We will examine two important motifs in the endgame:

Example 1 - Repeated Motifs

The position remains drawn after 1.Ra2+ or 1.Ra1, but not after the attractive but careless 1.Ra4? This is because of 1...Rh3+!! $2.gxh3 g3+ 3.Kh1 g2+ 4.Kh2 g1=Q# 0-1. Execute the moves on the diagram above and memorize the motif. It is a strategy that occurs in the following examples.

And here comes the second motif:

What should White do - how to stop the black pawn? I do not think that many players can find the next move, especially if they do not have enough time at their disposal! And who has any time left in such a late stage of the game?

You can enter white moves on the above diagram and try to win. Black will defend. If you don't find the correct strategy – the correct first move – you will not be able to win. The game and the solution are given in the following replay window:

An important technique to remember (and apply of course) in many endgames is the 'shouldering' - the approach of the enemy king must be not allowed! The '5th Rank' concept is quite important, although not many understands it perfectly!

Efstratios Grivas

Efstratios Grivas lives and works in Dubai. His full CV is provided at the end of this article.

Efstratios (30.03.1966) is a highly experienced chess trainer and chess author. He has been awarded by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) the titles of International Chess Grandmaster, FIDE Senior Trainer, International Chess Arbiter and International Chess Organiser.