Wednesday night training on Playchess

by ChessBase
11/11/2009 – Sammy Reshevsky (1911-1992) was at one time one of the strongest players in the world. He did have some weird weaknesses, though. Apart from time trouble and carelessness in opening preparation he had an apparent blind spot to stalemate. This is the subject of the Playchess lecture at 9 p.m. ET by FM Dennis Monokroussos. Before that IM Merijn van Delft discusses current games. Schedule.

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Playchess training with FM Dennis Monokroussos

The late American grandmaster Sammy Reshevsky (1911-1992) was one of the strongest players in the world for the middle third of the 20th century. His credentials are many: a tie for third in the 1948 World Championship, a Candidate in 1953 (= 2nd) and 1968 (and qualified in 1950, but didn't play), seven times the U.S. Champion (and tied for first an eighth time, losing in a playoff), drawing a match with Bobby Fischer in 1961. And those are just some of the highlights. His great results go back as far as winning the U.S. Open in 1931, and continued up until he drew a match with Vassily Smyslov the year before his death.

Despite his great strength and many accomplishments, he had his weaknesses too. He was a time trouble addict, and although he generally handled it well it cost him from time to time. He was a bit lazy about his opening preparation, and that too cost him on occasion, though not that often back in the pre-computer days. And a somewhat weird weakness was an apparent blind spot to stalemate. It is this quirky flaw that will be the subject of our ChessBase show this week. On three occasions, each about a decade apart and always in an important event, Reshevsky let wins slip by missing his opponents' stalemate tricks.

This makes for a bit of schadenfreude-style entertainment for us, but it's instructive, too: by being reminded about this pitfall, we're less likely to fall for it ourselves, and more likely to wriggle out of a loss by using it on a hapless opponent. We'll explore this in more depth tomorrow, and I hope to see you then. To join in the fun, log on to the Playchess server at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday night/3 a.m. CET Thursday morning. Go to the Broadcast room and look for Reshevsky-Stalemates under the Games tab. The show is free for premium members, or 50 ducats for those who want to watch "a la carte".

Hope to see you there!

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). You can find the times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date, with exact times for most larger cities here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures.

Monokroussos in Mexico: World Championship 2007

Dennis Monokroussos is 43, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and has worked as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.

Playchess Training with IM Merijn van Delft

Everyone is invited to join this weekly training hour on Wednesday evening. Together we will have a look at the most recent grandmaster games. Recurring themes during our analyses and discussions are the latest opening developments and how to work on your own chess.

A word about myself: I was born (March 13, 1979) and raised in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands. In 1995 I won the Dutch U16 Championship and played the European Championship in Poland and the World Championship in Brasil. In 1998 I moved to Amsterdam to study psychology and had a great time there. In 2003 I met my wife Evi Zickelbein and ever since we've been living together in Hamburg, Germany. In 2004 I made both master titles: one at the university and one in chess. Since 2005 I've been working fulltime in the chess world: training, coaching, writing, organizing and still actively playing myself. By now I have about fifteen years of experience as a chess trainer. Together with my dad I wrote a book about chess training (Schaaktalent Ontwikkelen), of which the Dutch version is already available and the English version will follow April 2010.

IM Merijn van Delft's lecture starts at 20:00h Central European Time (Berlin, Paris, Rome), which translates to 19:00h London. You can find the times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. The lecture is in the "Broadcast" room of Playchess. It is free for Premium Playchess members (50 Ducats for others).


The lectures are broadcast live on the chess server If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!

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