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Chess Tactic: Pawn Fork

Mikhail Tal vs. Yakov Isaevich Neishtadt
URS, 1955; 1-0

Chess Lesson

One of the most common tactic in chess is the double attack. This takes place when one piece attacks two or more pieces at the same time. When we think of a fork, what usually comes in mind is a Knight Fork. Players often take for granted the power of the pawn to give a fork that results in material gain.

In this game, we see how a pawn guarding the castled King can give a fatal fork to win the game.

How Do You Spell Relief?! (No More High Heels at Work)

It is a very welcome news that women workers can no longer be required to wear high heels by their employers. It is indeed difficult to wear high heels in a work environment where you need to stand for hours or walk around the office to do several errands a day. If  your work or profession requires you to stand most of the time,  being required to wear high heels as part of the uniform is like being punished without you committing a crime. I do not want to exaggerate, but try to ask our female salespersons in stores and lady guards who need to stand for the longest time on how high heels can be excruciatingly painful and how it results in unwanted varicose veins. There is also a scientific study on the harmful effects of wearing high heels to the body.

The issuance of Department Order No. 178-17 by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) banning the mandatory wearing of high heels at the workplace is a long time coming reformfor the benefit of our countless women workers. Imagine…

Chess: The "Oh My God Trap"

Mikhail Tal vs. Josif Israel Zilber
Latvia Riga, 1954; 1-0

Chess Lesson:

If you are familiar with the "Oh my God chess trap" usually employed in a Giuoco Piano Opening, you will find it very amusing why Zilber tried this trick on Tal. One  strategic principle in chess is "to never move the same piece twice during the opening".

In this game, we see Black moving the Knight twice (3.__Nd4) in a Ruy Lopez Opening as if thinking that Tal will capture the pawn on d5. After Tal captured the Knight, Black's d4 pawn immediately became a liability.

Dress Code in Chess Tournaments

We all know that this year's Fide World Chess Cup has been marred by controversy regarding the issue of a dress code thoroughly discussed in this video which I would like to share.

I agree with the idea that there should be a dress code in chess tournaments. A dress code ensures "appropriateness" in the conduct of the event. The question however is how do we determine what is appropriate or not. Try to recall that incident where a twelve year old was forced to leave a chess tournament because her attire was considered to be "seductive"

While chess is a game where there is very less movement between the players, seeing them in action while in their appropriate attire evokes respect and can even affect their success.  I quote the following from the Business Insider on "How Your Clothing Affects Your Success":
"Whether you like it or not, your clothing communicates — and it can have a serious effect on your ability to achieve success.

'Let's b…

Travel Tips: Philippines

I have lived all my life in the Philippines and I have traveled to places where foreign and local tourists abound. I have been to several great areas here either alone or with everyone else. I can say that this country has lots to offer. When I say a lot, I mean something that is beyond what tourists books and promotion sites say. There are plenty of very unique places, animals, plants, heritage  and historical sights to see and explore. Filipino culture and way of life is something that you may want to get immersed with and learn about.

To fully enjoy your travel in the country, here are tips and additional tactics if you intend to visit the Philippines.

Consider the best time to visit - the Philippines is a tropical country with only two kind of seasons - the dry and rainy. The dry season is usually from November to May and the rainy season lasts from June to October. As expected, there are more tourists during the dry season. However, the already notorious traffic is multiplied durin…

Fide World Chess Cup 2017 (Tbilisi, Georgia; Semifinal Round)

While most Filipino chess fans have shed a tear after Wesley So lost in a hopeless Rook versus Queen endgame, we congratulate Ding, Liren of China for overcoming the pressure and winning against a higher rated opponent. Indeed, both players are worthy of praise for having done their best in this very prestigious event. 

Chess Lesson:

One principle in chess strategy is that the Queen should not be brought out in the early stages of the game. The underlying reason behind this principle is that deploying the Queen early in the game exposes her majesty to attack and gives the initiative to the attacking player. In this decisive game, when So played 14.Qb5, it exposed his Queen to attack by Black's Rook and Knight.

In this game, Black demonstrated how to exploit what is described as a "premature Queen sortie".

Fide World Chess Cup 2017 (Tbilisi, Georgia; Quarterfinals)

Wesley So Enters the Semifinals

Wesley So after drawing with Black on the first game won after 83 moves of a same colored Bishop endgame against Vladimir Fedoseev.

Chess Strategy: Weakening of the Kingside

In the second game, we see how Wesley So took advantage of  Black's Kingside weakness with (24. h4) move. In the diagram above, Black's Kingside pawns were advanced at f6 and g5. There is a strategic principle that pawns behind a castled King should not be moved unless necessary. Pawns once advanced cannot be taken back.

This game is worth the study given the lessons behind how to properly handle a situation where you and your opponent has the same colored Bishop in an almost drawn endgame.