Understanding before Moving 121: Chess history in a nutshell (3)

by ChessBase
4/16/2023 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In the 121st instalment of his ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving", Herman continues with his new series "Chess history in a nutshell". | Photo: Pascal Simon

Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2 Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2

In this two-part course the emphasis will be on typical pawn-structures.


François André Philidor (2)

We continue our series with a second video about François André Philidor. As is well known, he was a great musician who - when he devoted himself to chess - also proved to be of exceptional class.

He initially moved in the chess circles of Paris, the famous Café de la Régence being his main meeting place. It is said that his teacher, Legall de Kermeur, taught him to play chess and gave him rook odds, a well-known handicap in their games.

But in just three years Philidor managed to outplay his teacher and then measure his strength against stronger players, including the Syrian Phillip Stamma, whom he defeated in a duel in England in 1747 by no less than 8.5 - 1.5. It was no surprise, then, that he was considered the strongest player of his time, and we can even consider him the first (unofficial) world champion.

In those days Philidor played many simultaneous games, including blindfold simultaneous exhibitions. He also sometimes played games in which he offered odds to his opponents, as his teacher used to do. In the video we discuss a game in which he starts with Black with no pawn on f7 and manages to win beautifully.

And we, of course, also look at a game in which his famous statement that "pawns are the soul of chess" is reinforced in an instructive way by the use of two connected passed pawns.

But first of all you might want to try analysing the pawn endgame shown in the diagram below. White is a pawn up, but he needs to make a few clever moves to secure the win. It is up to Black to investigate the possibilities 1...Kd7, 1...Ke7, 1...Ke6 and 1...Kc7, the main moves of Philidor's analysis.


Master Class Vol. 12: Viswanathan Anand

This DVD allows you to learn from the example of one of the best players in the history of chess and from the explanations of the authors how to successfully organise your games strategically, and how to keep your opponent permanently under pressure.

This week’s show (for Premium Members only)


Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.