Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Holidays and episode #8 update

Barbara and I wish you a very happy and safe holiday!

A couple days ago, we filmed at the Burlingame Chess Club for episode #8.
It was a great success! We interviewed club members and filmed players focusing on their game.

We will also have another video clip in this episode regarding chess and music.

If you have any more ideas for episode #8, feel free to e-mail us!

The actual production of the show will take place in March 2009.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We wish you a great Thanksgiving holiday! Hope you play a lot of chess during the holidays!
If you have any ideas for episode #8, please let us know!

Friday, November 14, 2008

play an online chess game that feeds hungry children

Play in Bob Burkhalter's online chess tournament.
It only costs $2 to sign up and part of this money will go to the Second Harvest Food Bank.
If he gets enough players to play, you'll also be part of the Guinness World Records too.

The San Jose Mercury news wrote an article about him.
Check it out here!

Please don't miss out on this online event! This is a win-win situation!
Sign up here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chess Diva #6 won the WAVE award!!

This is Lauren!
Two days ago, I flew to Denver, Colorado to the 2008 WAVE award ceremony. I had a fun time.
Anyway, "Chess Diva" won the 2008 WAVE award for the "best instructional" category!
Barbara and I invite you to watch our show and give us feedback!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Watch Chess Diva #7 now!

Hi everybody!
You can now watch Chess Diva #7 on the internet!
The link is here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

WAVE Awards

Our sixth episode is a 2008 WAVE award nominated finalist for
the "best instructional" category.
On October 24th, 2008, let's take the award home and celebrate!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chess Diva #7 will be online soon

I just added the "Chess Diva" #7 web page.
You will be able to view the episode online soon.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Chess Diva #7

Hello everybody!
Barbara and I produced our seventh episode of "Chess Diva" last night! It was a really fun show.
We teach you what to do in some positions, show an educational five minute blitz game between both of us, and
we teach you what you need to know when you play in a tournament!
I should post our seventh episode on Google video sometime next week.
-Lauren and Barbara

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Chess Diva #7

We are planning for episode #7. If you have any ideas or suggestions for this next show, please e-mail us at
Thank you!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

more on Jessica Lauser

Hello everybody!
Jessica Lauser is a special guest in our 6th episode.
She recently wrote a nice article for the United States Chess Federation.
If you want read the article, please click

Friday, July 18, 2008

Chess boxing, a new sport!

Lauren here!
Check this article out about chess boxing by clicking here
I think this game is very interesting by mixing up two games together.
Maybe in the future, we'll have checker-tennis, or maybe poker-swimming...
What's the next combined sport going to be?

Today, I went to the computer history museum in Mountain View, California to learn
more about computers.
When I walked in, I discovered that they a great chess exhibit on chess and computers.
Learn how computers can play chess really well.
The admission to the museum is free so I would suggest going!
Click here for more information

Here's Barbara!

Lauren and I are entering our Chess Diva TV show in the Western Access Video excellence Award.
This award applies to the western states, Hawaii, Nevada, Colorado, California and others.
We have a good chance of winning an award!!!! :-)

We are planning to produce episode #7 in early September.

One interesting fact about computers and perfect play. Computers are incapable to play perfectly.
Why? The number calculations is simply too high to perform.
However, some very strong chess programs such as Fritz are able to play perfect endgames.
This only applies for about 4 pieces on the board.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Chess Diva #6 success

Hi this is Lauren!
Yesterday, Barbara and I produced our sixth episode of Chess Diva. If you live in the towns of Menlo Park, Atherton, Stanford, Palo Alto, or East Palo Alto, you should be able to watch it on TV. We'll let you know what channel and the times are.
After the TV studio is finished with the master DV tape, we'll obtain it and put the episode on Google Video so everybody can watch it.

Hello! Barbara's here!

Our special guest 7 year old Alisha Chawla was mention in Susan Polgar's Chess for Girl's blog. She is from Fremont, California.
Read about her here
We made a three minute video clip of her on this episode. She will also represent the USA in Vietnam this year.
Happy winnings Alisha!

Our other guest is Jessica Lauser, who is legally blind. She is the highest rated blind woman chess player in the USA. She talks about how blind people can play chess (with a special board and pieces).

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Chess Diva 6 recording tomorrow!

We are having the 6th episode tomorrow. This episode is going to be
very different than the other episodes. It will feature two chess female champions as special guests!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Chess Diva #6

Chess Diva #6 is coming up at the end of this month. We will be having two top USCF female chess players
in this episode!
If have any chess pictures, share it with us and we'll put it up on our 6th episode!
Our e-mail address is

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chess Diva #6 picture help!

We are currently working on episode 6. It will feature top chess players. This episode will come out at the end of June.
We need your help with this episode. There's a lot of chess in the community, such as a big chess board at a busy town square, a chess bumper sticker on somebody's car, chess tables at a coffee house, and etc.
Where do you see chess in your community? Take a picture of it and we'll share it on this episode!
Please send pictures to us no later than June 27th.
We also need your first/last name and where the picture was taken.
We prefer jpeg picture format. Our e-mail address is

Friday, May 23, 2008

CalChess State Scholastic Championship! and episode 6

The 33rd CalChess State Scholastic Championship was played last weekend, in
San Jose, California. By the way, San Jose's population will go over 1 million very soon!

In the highschool division, a couple of people tied for first, including Boglarka Erdos.
She's a strong chess player from Hungary! I'd like to congratulate her. Barbara and I actually played
her last year at the 2007 all female chess tournament in Palo Alto, California.

Chess Diva #6 will be recorded next month! We'll be having a special woman guest in the studio!
More on this later!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Here is Barbara!

Lauren and I both want to congratulate Nicholas Nip
for being the youngest chess master in USA history.
(This is a milestone) :-)
He recently flew to the Big Apple (New York) to be
a special guest on a TV show.
Congratulations Nicholas Nip!

Here is Lauren!
We interviewed Rebekah Liu in a previous
episode. She just played in the 5th annual national
all girls' tournament in Texas. She did well in the
tournament with 4/6 points.

Next month we will be getting video footage for our 6th show. Please e-mail us for suggestions and your ideas. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Chess Diva 5 finally up on Google video

Hi everybody,
A couple days ago, I uploaded our fifth episode on Google video. I also updated our website.
Check out the thirty minute episode from our website:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Chess Diva 5

Lauren here!
We recorded Chess Diva 5 yesterday night and it was a success!
Learn how to play the pawns properly and watch exclusive footage of the People's Replacement tournament,
played in Santa Clara, California. Meet some masters and some other players!

I listened to some viewers suggestions and ideas, so this episode is improved!

Once they put it in the TV system, I'll let you know what channel and time you can watch it.

Next week, I"ll put the show on our website!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Chess Diva 5

Barbara and I are getting ready for the fifth episode, which will be recorded next Tuesday! We are so excited!
Today I'm editing the People's Replacement tournament footage for our fifth episode. It is fun to edit video footage, but it takes a long time.
I edit on mostly on Final Cut Express. Note to other video editors: (Final Cut Express is practically the same program as Final Cut Pro)

Hope everybody had a nice Easter!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Daniel Naroditsky wins another award

Lauren here!
First of all, happy St. Patrick's day! Be sure to wear green so you don't get pinched!

We interviewed Daniel Naroditsky in our second episode. He won the Schein Friedman award, which goes out
to the top nation's chess players.
Congratulations to Daniel!
To read more about this, please go to HERE


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Want to get better by a chess coach?

Getting a chess coach is a great way to get better. Often times, she or he will give you homework to
complete. When I taught chess, I also went over my students' games. You need to be serious about getting better
or it won't work. Listen to your coach.

If you don't do your homework that the coach gave you, you are wasting the coach's and your time!
This applies to other things in life too.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

over the board or computer chess?

Lauren is writing this.
Do you like to play over the board chess better than internet chess?
There's no wrong or right answer here.

I like to play both. If I feel very outgoing, I like to play over the board chess since I can see my oppenent.
Playing on the internet is cool too, but most of the time, I don't know who the person controlling the enemy pieces.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Youngest master in the USA

Meet USA's newest master, Nicholas Nip. He's just nine years old!!
I'd like to congratulate him for breaking the record of being the youngest master in the USA!!
Since he is from the San Francisco bay area, I have some good stories about him.
Last year, he won the the California chess championships in San Mateo, I think for (K-8th ?) grade open section.
I was volunteering at the huge tournament since they needed help. I remembered when he just won the tournament and a tournament director told me, "Boy, he really knows how to play chess!" I though that was a nice compliment towards him.

Either in 2006 or in 2007, Barbara and I played a couple casual blitz games with him at a chess tournament.
He kept beating us! Just by playing him, I knew he was going to go far in chess!
Congratulations Nicholas!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Chess Diva #5

We will be recording our fifth episode on April 1st, which is April's Fools Day.
We will having a video clip on the Santa Clara tournament which was played last month.
It will feature interesting people and etc.

We are also thinking about talking about Bobby Fischer, who died pretty recently. He was the world champ.

If you have any ideas what to put on our show, please let us know!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Chess differences

I noticed on the top 100 list, there's a lot of strong chess players in New York.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Having a plan is important!

Lauren here!
In chess, it is important to have a plan! What do you want to accomplish in the position?
How do we do that?
You need to identify the strengths and the weaknesses. There are weak and strong squares. There are also
your pieces too.
You can transfer your chess planning skills to other areas in life.

Here's a great example about planning ahead. Yesterday, my friend and her friend and I took a day trip to Seattle and it required planning skills.
But we needed to figure out the specific details. How did we get there? There were two options: a bus and a car. We took a bus.
If you choose to take a bus, you have to figure out what bus routes to take. Plan ahead! We did research on the computer
to figure out the bus route to Seattle.
In chess, you might think, "Oh, I'll launch an attack and deliver checkmate." But you need specific moves to do this, such as
doubling up your rooks on the 'g' file, and moving the 'h' pawn up and etc.

But this leads us to another couple questions: Where did we want to get off in Seattle? What did we want to do once we get in the city? We could take a walk, take a ferry, go to the Space Needle, etc. Once we figured out what we wanted to do, we had to learn what street it was on in Seattle, so we can know what bus stop to get off at. How much does the bus cost? What time would we get to Seattle?
Once we did more research on the computer we had the entire day planned out. In chess, it is very important to be flexible too. It is also important to be prepared. It rains a lot in Seattle, so we came prepared with our raincoats. We had to be flexible in Seattle. For lunch, the cafe ran out of wraps and we really wanted one. We said, "No big deal, just find another place to eat." And that's what we did. In chess, you might find yourself that you need to switch plans. If you wanted to open the 'g' file, but your oppenent locked the pawns on the file, then you need to alter your original plan (maybe try to open another file, etc). See no big deal!

Hope you can learn from this.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Chess in Seattle

Lauren here!
In the city of Seattle, there's a lot of special things about this city.
Starbucks, Microsoft, etc.

Seattle, Washington has hosted the U.S chess championships a couple of times (From
1999 to 2006). In 2007, the US championship was hosted in Oklahoma.
I think it's great that Washington hosted it for a good number of times. That means that Washington
loves chess! Does that mean
a lot of chess players play in Seattle? Maybe on a specific street? Today, I didn't see any chess players in
downtown Seattle. I'm sure they play on a specific street. If you know, please let me know.
Anyway, please click HERE for the Seattle Chess club.
In San Francisco, many chess players play on Market street, but I don't reccommend playing there
because of various reasons.

Fun facts!
One of the most famous landmarks in Seattle is the Space Needle.
It really stands out because it is far away from the main downtown buildings!

Here's my funny joke, I hope you get it:
I went to see Attle, my friend!!! Ha Ha!

Friday, February 29, 2008

time pressure story

Lauren here!
Here's a interesting story I'd like to share....

A couple of years ago, when I played at the all women's tournament,
I remember when my opponent got
into time pressure (about less than 1 minute) and so
she started to move really fast. I was in a winning
position and had about seven minutes left.
Since she was moving so fast, I ended up moving my
pieces quickly too, which was a big mistake. I ended
up stalemated her! She got really lucky that I
didn't beat her!!

Here's what we can learn: don't move fast unless you really have to!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Triva question answered!

The question was: What famous singer knew Bobby Fisher?
The answer is Barbara streisand!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Famous people and chess

Here's Barbara!

Here's a trivia question.

What famous singer knew Bobby Fischer?

Find out tomorrow!

Do you know that Tiger Woods, Dustin Diamond, Albert Einstein and Will Smith plays chess?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

another simple chess website.

If you are starting out in chess and just learning the game, I recommend playing at: Click HERE to check it out!
It's a great site to just quickly get a game with another beginner player.

If you are advanced, I don't recommend playing here.
If you know of any other great playing sites, please let me know...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Watch "Chess Diva" on TV

Lauren is here!
For the local folks who live in Palo Alto, Atherton, Menlo Park, Stanford, and East Palo Alto in California,
you can watch "Chess Diva" on television. Click HERE for times!
Chess Diva #4 should be airing very soon now.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Basic Queen mate

Lauren here!
Black is checkmated by White's queen and king. If white's queen was a rook, would it still be
checkmate? The answer is yes!
Most of the time, you'll promote your pawn to a queen, but this a great example why you don't have to
promote it to a queen!
In rare cases, it is a good idea to promote a pawn to a knight, or and bishop!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cute street name

If you go to Foster City (about 20 miles south of San Francisco) in California,
there's actually a street called Chess Drive! Chess Drive is a busy street.

Do you know of any other street names that involve chess?

Friday, February 22, 2008

17 year old girl chess player article

Lauren here!
My dad just e-mailed me an article and I'd liked to share it with everyone.
The article is about a 17 year old teenager who had to face very difficult
challenges when she was growing up. She found chess very relaxing!
She will be honored by the local Boys and Girls Club in the San Francisco bay area.
I find her story very inspirational.
If you want to read the entire article, please click HERE

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Chess Diva #5

Lauren is typing this.
If you have any suggestions and ideas about what you want on
our fifth episode, please let us know! We'd like to hear from you!
We will be recording the episode late next month!!

For the girl chess players reading this blog:
The Kasparov Chess Foundation is hosting their fifth annual all girls'
national chess champioinships in Texas!
To find out more information, click HERE!

In case you don't know who Kasparov is, he is the former world champ!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More about triple pawns!

Barbara here again!

Triple pawns
Triple pawns are almost always bad. Try to avoid having this weakness.
These pawns are unable to support and protect each other.

Triple pawns are when there are 3 pawns of your own on the same file.

Lauren here!
About tripled pawns...
Do you know of any master game where the triple pawns occur in the game?
Do you know when tripled pawns are practical?
Have you seen a game where there has been "quadtuplet" pawns? How about "five or sixtuplet" pawns?
Please let us know because I haven't seen a game like that before

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

pawn tips

Lauren here!
There are so many pawns in chess.

How to take care of your pawns in your game:
Pawns like to support each other. Pawns are generally not happy if they are isolated because they are weak and will
most likely be a target. If this happens, then try to trade the pawn.

It is important to have good pawn structure. Try to have the least pawn islands as possible.
Try to make a pawn chain (where the pawns support each other).

If you have isolated pawns, then try to trade them off.

In this position, black has four pawns islands. The pawns on the 'f' file are isolated double pawns. None of his pawns are not supporting each other.
White has better pawn structure, so white has a better chance of winning this position.

Monday, February 18, 2008

People's Replacement tournament results

Lauren here!

The People's Replacement tournament ended yesterday and it was a really fun tournament to go to.
There were a lot of children and adults competing.
I ended up undefeated with three draws and a bye.
Barbara ended up with 1.5 out of four points.
There were a lot of tough chess players at this tournament.

Michael Aigner, a local master won the 'Open' section with a perfect score!

If you want to see pictures of the tourney, click HERE
Click HERE to see the results of the tournament!

I got about 40 minutes of footage of the tournament, so we'll be using this footage for our fifth episode of "Chess Diva"!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

chess tournament!

Lauren here!

Today, Barbara and I went to the People' Replacement Tournament, which is a four round tournament.
There were two rounds today and both of us have one point out of two.
I drew in the first round, but I made a couple mistakes towards the end.
At the end, there was a bunch of pawns and no one could break through.
Barbara won her first game, then lost the second...

In the second round, I took a "bye" so I filmed for the fifth episode of
"Chess Diva". I will continue tomorrow to film between rounds.

Barbara Here!

Hello! I'm just doing OK in the first day so far. I won the first game and lost the second game.

Friday, February 15, 2008

another cool website about chess!

Lauren here!
A great website to learn about chess is!
They have daily puzzles to learn from. They also have great forums so you discuss anything about chess!
They have a lot more too!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's day!!!

Lauren here!
Hope everybody has a great day today! I heard a lot of people eat chocolate on this special day!
Did you know that they make chocolate chess sets?! I have never played on one but I'm sure it'll be so much fun playing on one.
Have you played on a chocolate chess set before? After you capture a piece, then you can eat it! Yum, yum! Make sure you don't play in a hot place that has direct sun, or all of the pieces will melt by the sun.

Anyway, yesterday, I added the "Chess Diva" #4 page on our website.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

answer and cool web link

Lauren here!
Yes, you can checkmate the long enemy king with just your king, one bishop, and one knight!

I'd like to share a wonderful website that has a lot of pictures of the world's top women chess players!
The website is HERE

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Two bishops Solution

Barbara again!

Yes! It's possible to checkmate the lone king with the two bishops and the king.
I've done the checkmate practice against Lauren. At first, the checkmate is hard.
Once you've know the pattern well, the checkmate is easy.

False or True? It is possible to checkmate with a knight, a bishop, a king vs. a lone king.

I'll answer tomorrow.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Two bishops

Barbara here!

Two bishops vs. one rook

In a open position, which piece is generally the strongest in an endgame?

Generally in an open position, the two bishops are stronger than the rook.

Why? The two bishops can dominate the rook by working together.

True or False? A checkmate is possible by using one king, and the two bishops.

Find out tomorrow!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Strongest female chess player in history

Lauren here!
Judit Polgar is the strongest woman chess player in the world.
Her two sisters, Sophia and Susan are very strong chess players too.
Judit became a grandmaster in 1991, when she was 15 years old.
She is from Hungary, a country in Eastern Europe.
I feel that since she is so good at chess, she has a great chance to became
world champion!!
What do you think?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Chess Diva #4 is here!

Lauren here!
I finally finished editing "Chess Diva" #4, our latest episode.
Visit San Francisco's Mechanic Institute's all women's chess class.
Barbara and I also play a five minute blitz game with our comments.
There are a lot more goodies in this episode!
Check it out HERE!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Daniel Naroditsky on magazine cover!

Lauren here!
We interviewed Daniel Naroditsky on our second episode. He is on the cover of the latest United States
Chess Federation's "Chess Life" magazine. I also want to say "Happy Chinese New Year" to everybody!
It is the year of the rat!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

queen sacrifice

Yes, the queen is the most powerful piece in chess.
Sometimes, you can sac it to checkmate the enemy queen.

I have done this once or two times.
Check out this problem:
It is black to move. He can force a checkmate in three moves.
First, how can black create a weak back rank?
Hint: Use your queen.
Each move has to be a check otherwise, white will checkmate black first.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Answer to puzzle

Lauren here!
The answer to yesterday's puzzle is Bishop takes the knight on d5. Black
can't take back because of the weak back rank. If Black does take back on d5, then
White's rook will simply checkmate the black king by going to e8.
There's a lesson to be learned. Both players should move a pawn next to king, so he'll
have room to breathe.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Back rank tips

Lauren here!
Once you get to a rook (or) queen endgame, it's a good idea to move one pawn up so you can avoid back rank checkmate.
In this puzzle, how can White take advantage of black's weak back rank?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Quickest Checkmate in Chess!

Lauren here!
Here is the quickest checkmate in chess and Black delivers the checkmate, not white.
This checkmate is called "Fools Mate". Notice that White moved pawns that opened the king's diagonal.
I have never delivered this checkmate before, how about you?

There's actually an opening for white called the "Bird's Opening" where the first move is pawn to f4 (which slightly exposes
the white king a little bit.) This opening is playable, but you have to be careful.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

KQED talk radio on Hip Hop chess

Lauren here!
We have some very exciting news!! A couple days ago on KQED radio, they had a talk show on chess hip hop, which
was hosted by Michael Krasny. Special guests included Daniel Naroditsky (watch our second episode of "Chess Diva"),
Joshua Waizkin (author of "The Art of Learning"), and Adisa Banjoko, the creator of the Hip Hop Chess Federation.
If you keep on listening, Michael Krasny also mentions our "Chess Diva" TV show too!!!!
We hope our "Chess Diva" TV show will motivate more women and girls to play chess!

Click HERE for the audio file!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Answer for the Smothered mate

Lauren here!
Sometimes, you can sacrafice your queen to deliver checkmate! How cool is that?
The answer to the problem below is:
1. Qxh7 Qxh7
2. Nf7 Checkmate!!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

smothered mate puzzle

Lauren here! Here's checkmate in two! If want a hint, read the previous blogs.
I really like the solution.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

smothered mate

Knights are special pieces because they are the only ones that can jump over pieces.
Because of this idea, if the enemy king is entirely surrounded by pieces, the knight can checkmate
the king by suffocating him! The king can't move anywhere.
This mate is called smothered mate.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Chess Diva #4

Lauren here!
I am editing the newest Chess Diva episode, #4.
It should be on the web at the end of the week.

Chess Diva #2 should be on our website soon.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

chess and tennis; fastest checkmate

Lauren here!
Here is another interesting thing about chess and tennis.
As you probably know, it is very important to control the center in chess.
In tennis, it is the same thing-always try to control the center.
If you watch professional tennis, the players always run back to the center of the court after they hit ball. Why?
They have more coverage of the court. This is the same in chess.
I want to congratulate Novak Djokovic for winning the men's 2008 Australian Open yesterday.

Barbara here!

Good afternoon. What's the fastest checkmate in chess? Can Scholar's mate be the fastest?
I'll answer tomorrow.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

History of chess

Lauren wrote this!
Did you know that the history of chess origanated in India? And there was no queen in the game, probably because
there were no queen rulers in India.
When chess spreaded into Europe, the queen piece came into the game because there were queen rulers in
I find this fact very interesting!!

Congratulations to Maria Sharapova for winning the 2008 Australian tennis Open!!!
She is a sharp tennis player. I remember watching her a couple years ago in Aussie.

Even though tennis is a physical game, there's a lot of strategy to it, like chess. And there's different playing styles too!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Recording your moves

Lauren here!
When you play in a tournament, you are required to record the moves in the game.
It is a very good idea. After the game, then you can look over the game and see what you did.
If you don't write down the moves of the game, then you could get in trouble with the TD (tournament director).

When I first started to play, I would always make my move, then hit the clock, then write down my move.

Now, I make my move, write down my move, and then hit the clock.

How about you? What works for you?

Thursday, January 24, 2008


This is Barbara!


Underpromotion is where a pawn is promoted anything less than a queen on the 8th rank.
Underpromotion is sometimes better than regular promotion.

Do you know any game that has done underpromotion under practical circumstances?
e.g. saving the game by stalemate or winning a lot of material?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More about time control

Lauren here:
In some tournaments, the time controls forces the game to flow. For example,
There could be a time control that says 30/60. This means that you must complete at least 30 moves in 60 minutes. Otherwise, you will loose on time. After you complete 30 moves in less than 60 minutes, there will probably be a sudden death control, such as game/30. This means that for the rest of the game, you have 30 minutes.

Barbara is here!

One additional comment about time control. If you have less than 5 minutes on your time, recording your moves is optional. I suggest to stop recording your moves at the 5 min. time limit.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

chess clocks

Lauren here!
When you play in a tournament, chess clocks are required.
For shorter time controls, usually both players get 30 minutes each.
That means that the entire game can last 1 hour.
If somebody runs out the time, he or she will loose the game regardless of the position.
(However, under special positions, the game can be a draw.)

In some tournaments, you can use time delay too. This means that every time you push the button on the
clock, the clock adds a couple seconds on your clock. Some people like this and some people don't. I like time delay.

If you go to a big tournament, usually players get 3 hours on their clock, meaning one game can last six hours!
Medium size tournaments games can last about 2-4 hours, since players are given 1 to 2 hours each.

A couple of hours seems like a long time, but when players start to play, then the time goes by very fast!!!

Barbara is better at quicker time controls than me. I'm better at longer time controls.

I will post more information about time controls tommorow.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Chess and other games

Lauren here!

Chess is a fun game that requires a lot of calculations.
Do you like to play other games besides chess too that involve lots of calculations?
What other games require a lot of calculations?
I know that backgammon, poker, checkers, scrabble and risk, involve a lot of strategy and calculation.
There are tournaments for these games too. If you like playing chess, then you probably will like playing these games too.

A lot of games involve some luck too, such as monopoly and backgammon.
I feel that chess has some luck even though dice isn't involved.
About one year ago, two top grandmasters were playing each other... One of the grandmasters missed an easy checkmate
in one!! I think that's luck.
What do you think?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

down the exchange in chess

Lauren here!
Sometimes you will loose the exchange (e.g: you loose your rook for a knight) for nothing when you play chess.
Even if you are down the exchange, never resign because the game is not over. You still have a slight chance to draw or even win the game.
This has happened to me a couple times. I was down a rook for a knight. (Remember, rooks are generally stronger than knights.) I remember I kept on playing and I ended up drawing the one of the games..
The game is not over when it's not over!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Bobby Fischer

Bobby Fischer, world champion, just died at 64 (also the same number of squares on a chess board too).
He was born in Chicago and was became a grandmaster when he was a teenager. To read this more about
his recent death,
click here:
I went over some of this games, I thought his play was very creative.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

pawn promotion

This is Lauren!
One thing about the pawn is it can be promoted to any piece except for the king once it gets to
to end of the board.
Most of the time, the pawn is promoted to the most powerful piece on the board, the queen.
That means that it is possible to have 9 queens at once in your army! (This situation is very rare since all eight pawns and your queen can't be captured)
Do you know any reasonable games where the army has 9 queens? I'm very curious about this.

In tournaments, I have seen players promote their pawns to rooks, knights, and even bishops!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

instant online play

Lauren here!
I'd like to share a website where you can play basic online chess with real people:
They find a game for you and the game is started. It's really simple.
After the game, you can go over it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Chess B**** book written by Jennifer Shahade

Lauren here:
Chess B**** is an interesting book by Jennifer Shahade who is an American
woman grandmaster and chess champ.
She writes about the top women chess players
from all over the world. And she talks about her own chess experiences too.
For more information, you can click on this link.

Monday, January 14, 2008

rating system continued

Lauren here!
When people play in tournaments, sometimes they get very Intimidated by their opponent’s very high or low rating.

They may change their entire playing style because they are scared of their opponent’s rating.
Or, they might underestimate his or her opponent.

I recommend some things to avoid getting intimidating by somebody’s rating.
During pairing time, try to not look at your opponent’s rating. Just play your best… This has helped me a lot.
Never underestimate your opponent.

Also, just have fun playing chess!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Harry Potter movie

Lauren here!
Have you seen the Harry Potter movie where the main characters plays chess?
The chess position was created by an international master, Jeremy Silman. He has wrote many
great books on chess. I recommend reading them.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

USCF rating system

Lauren here!
USCF means "United States Chess Federation".
There are about 90,000 members in the USA. When you play
20 or 25 rated games, you get a national rating.
If you get a rating of 2200 or above, that means you are a master!
2000-2200 means that you are an expert.
The world champ is around 2700-2800.
The average rating in the USA is around 1300.
My sister and me are in class "A", which means that my rating falls between 1800-2000.

How does your rating go up or down. If you loose a tournament game, you loose points. If you when a tournament
game, you gain points.
For example, if your rating is 1500 and you beat a 1515 player, you will gain about 15-20 points!
If you loose against a 1400, then you will loose around 15-20 points.

Some fun facts: did you know that the youngest person who hit master (2200) was ten years old?!
I find that very impressive.
If you hit 2200 or above, you are in the top 1% of the strongest chess players in the USA!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Lauren here!
How do you practice to get better? Do you play 5 minute blitz to get better?
Do you play on the internet?
I often play 5 minute blitz with Barbara. It teaches me to think quickly when I'm in time pressure.

I also like to play on the internet, but this is so much different than OTB tournament chess. I usually play 5, or 10 minute games.

What do you do?

Hello! This is Barbara!

What do you do to improve in chess?

Praciticing tactics and positionally is always good for all levels of plays.

My best advice is to practice everyday or be consistent.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Episode #1 now on You Tube!

Lauren here!
Episode #1 (the ten minute version)
is now available on You Tube!
Meet the winner and organizer of the 2007 Sojourner Truth all girls'
chess tournament and learn to play the opening better!

Click here to see:

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Lauren here!
Here's an interesting idea:
Do you think you can tell a person's personality by playing them?
For the opening, e4 is more of an aggresive and more tactical opening.

Maybe these people are more of a risk taker personality?
For me, I am an e4 player because I like to attack.

d4 is more conservative. Maybe they just want to keep life simple as possible.
If your oppenent are into gambits, they aren't afraid about risks because they are sacrificing material
for development. The most risk taking gambit is the "Danish Gambit", where you sac two or three pawns for deadly development of the two bishopson the long diagonals.
Personally for me, I'm not into gambits because I don't like taking that risk of sacrificing pawns.
You just need to know what works for you and that takes time...

What do you think?

Barbara here!

I agree with Lauren. In chess, tactics are short-term plans.
Positionally are long term plans. Probably with a
person who plays positionally (opens up with d4, c4) have more long term plans
than people who play tactically. Positionally players are usually more comfortable of what they're doing
in general because of they are sure of themselves.
For me, I am a positionally player and likes to open up with c4.

It takes time to figure out what opening(s) works for you. The most important thing is to be comfortable playing it and of course, have fun.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Hi there! This is Barbara.

When you lose a game, avoid being discourage.
Treat losing games as a lesson to be learned.
Go back to your game and see what you can do better.
This can be done with your opponent, books, coach, computer, etc.
After you know what you can do better, you can apply that knowledge and win that next game.
In other words, you will become a better player.

This is Lauren!
I don't like to loose too. When you go over a game, just learn from your mistakes.
So, you don't have to repeat the same mistakes next time!
If you win or draw a game, I would still go over the game too. There might be a quicker win than you did,
or etc...

Monday, January 7, 2008

chess and computers

Lauren here!
I hope everybody had a good weekend.
Do you like playing against a computer or a person?
I like playing against people better than computers.
People have different playing styles and they come up with unique plans.
Did you know that computers do not actually come up with a plan-
all they do is calculate!!
If you are tired of loosing to your computer, try this cool tip:
Try to get a very locked/closed position against the computer.
Since the computer has no plan, the machine will most likely
move pieces back and forth, wasting moves.
This is the time to take advantage of the computer!!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Chess as an educational tool

This is Lauren!
A lot of schools teach chess because they realize the educational value.
When you play chess, you need to play with a plan. In life, you got to have a plan too.
Often times, you have to be flexible in life, same as chess.
Focus on your strengths in your position, not your weaknesses. Same in life.
Focus on what you are good at. Don't focus on your weaknesses because it will probably won't help you.
When you see a great move, there might be a better move out there. Same as life.
Think positive and don't be afraid!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Chess movies

Lauren here!
There are a couple good chess movies out there.
I believe the most popular one is "Searching for Bobby Fischer".
I saw this one and I thought it was very interesting that it was based on
a true story on Josh Waitzkin. Did you know he is a martial arts world champ too?!!!
He's a very talented guy.
"Fresh" is another chess movie. I haven't seen it yet but I heard it was good.
Have you seen this movie before?

If you know any other good chess movies out, please us know.
Maybe we'll share the list on our next episode of "Chess Diva".

Friday, January 4, 2008

What's your favorite piece?

Hello! This is Barbara. What's your favorite chess piece?

My favorite piece is the pawn. The pawn can be promoted to any piece except the king once it reaches the
8th rank. So, the pawn can go a long way.

This is Lauren. My favorite piece is the queen because it's the most powerful piece.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year!

We hope everybody had a great holiday.

In our second episode, we interviewed Daniel Naroditsky. Last month, he won the an international tournament
in Turkey. Check out this link:
Congratulations Daniel!

You can play on giant chess boards around the world. They are often in public downtown places.
The pieces are about two feet high and often attract lots of attention.
There's a giant chess board at the Squaw Valley ski resort village in Lake Tahoe, California.
There's also one in downtown Christchurch, New Zealand.
Barbara and I love playing on giant chess boards.
Do you know of any other places that have giant chess boards?