My victory against a grandmaster from Portugal.

A tough game, where I was defending for a while. I had a nice advantage, actually, I believe for a good portion of the game, once my opponent decided to capture the pawn on c4. But things sort of went a little awry due to time pressure. This is, after all, a 3 minute game. Full of errors. Which is what you must expect. However, overall, I am pretty satisfied with this win.

A game I won using the English Opening.

This began as a symmetrical opening. Eventually, one side or the other will have to deviate from the imitation of the others’ moves. It is at that point when they game can finally be decided. But try to win some material while you’re at it!

I’d just like to mention, the endgame in this particularly match up is quite instructive. I really do love these rook vs. rook endings. You can do a lot by just improving your rook’s position from 4th rank, to 7th rank. There are a lot of nuances one has to really pay attention to when studying rook endings. Though this ending is not perfect, I felt fairly proud of being able to win this game, when I traded queens without having any material advantage.

Part 2 of my video series on playing the Caro Kann.

My draw against a grandmaster. This video should provide some insight on how to handle the black pieces in the #CaroKanndefense, particularly when coming under a fierce kingside attack.

There were chances for both sides. I feel white may have overlooked a critical opportunity to play for a win when he had a chance to send a rook to my 7th rank, creating real pressure on my queenside pawns. However, overall, I was satisfied with my play. Though I am sure this game deserves to be analyzed to determine the best course for both sides.


My victory over an American master.

The opening here is a #queenspawnopening . Not sure of the exact classification.
Black doesn’t really have much to work with, and I should have played a bit more aggressively in the opening, I feel. Patience turned out to work in my favor. I hoped my opponent would make a critical error in a semi-closed position. When I saw an opportunity to complicate things, tactically, I took advantage of that. It was strange that he chose to use so much time thinking about his next moves, though.

A win in the French Defense.


I imagine there are a number of guests here who are unfamiliar with the #Frenchdefense . A great system to use if you want to create some complications, and real chances for victory for black.

The French defense is rather stodgy. A semi closed opening, it never really opens up too much, as for example, in a double king pawn opening. It is more reminiscent of a turtle, hiding in it’s shell, waiting for you to get your hand too close…before you end up losing a finger! A snapping turtle!

I have added a game where I employ the black pieces in a #Frenchdefense , #advanced variation. (The name advanced is used because white advances his king pawn early to e5, thus creating a strong point from which to attack black’s king.)

Often, it is said, it is best to avoid doubling your pawns. Allowing pawns to be stacked, one atop the other, usually creates problems for your pawn’s mobility. 100% true! However, the pawns, when doubled, can defend certain key squares, provide open lanes for the rooks, and can even offer some support squares for a bishop…perhaps.

The point being…never become dogmatic in chess, as in life. When someone says “You can’t do this. Or you can’t do that.” You really have to ask “why?” If they don’t give you a reasonable, sound explanation to your liking, then I would suggest you keep an open mind to ideas about what you CAN and CANNOT do in life. Just about every rule in physics, for example, has to be re examined ever so often as new developments are occurring all the time. New developments which help to re write text books. So never abandon an idea…just because someone said it won’t work. Prove it for yourself. In this case, well, doubled pawns are sorta bad…but they offer some positives as well.

That concludes that short lesson. If you wish to learn more, just sign up for a lesson. THANKS!

National Master

Kofi Tatum

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My draw against an International Master from Chile.

Alas. A game which should’ve been won. However, I am playing on this website which shows advertisements all the time. The advertisements, with my poor connection, cause an awesome amount of lag in my games. I can barely even move the pieces when I am in a time scramble. Alas, the result was a drawn game when I have an extra queen and plenty of time to checkmate. Sorry, guys. I hope to have better luck next time around.


Upcoming tournament in Ontario, California. Link provided below. July 14th-16th.


US Chess Junior Grand Prix!

22nd annual Pacific Coast Open
July 14-16 or 15-16, 2017 – Ontario, California

6SS, 40/100, SD/30 d10 (2-day option, rds 1-3 G/45 d10), Ontario Airport Hotel & Conference Center, 700 N. Haven Ave, Ontario CA 91764 (I-10 to N. Haven Ave). Free parking.

In 6 sections. 3-day & 2-day schedules merge after round 3 and compete for same prizes.

Open Section: 
Open to all. $3000-1500-1000-500, clear or tiebreak win $100 bonus, top U2300/Unr $1200-600. 150 Grand Prix Points (enhanced). FIDE rated.
Under 2100 Section:
Under 1900 Section:
Under 1700 Section:
Under 1500 Section:
Under 1250 Section: $800-400-200-100, plaques to first 3, top U1000, U800, Unrated. 

Mixed doubles bonus prizes: best male/female 2-player “team” combined score among all sections: $1000-500-300-200. Team average rating must be under 2200; teammates may play in different sections; teams must register (no extra fee) before both players begin round 2; unrated limits do not apply to mixed doubles.

Unrated may enter any section, with prize limit U1900 $600, U1700 $450, U1500 $300, U1250 $150; balance goes to next player(s) in line.

Top 5 sections entry fee: $135 online at by 7/12, 3-day $138, 2-day $137 mailed by 7/5, $150 (no checks, credit cards OK) at site, or online until 2 hours before round 1.  U1800/Unr in Open Section, $50 more. GMs free; $120 deducted from prize.

Under 1250 Section entry fee: All $50 less than top 5 sections entry fees.

Online EF $5 less to Southern CA Chess Federation members.

$70; not available to go from Open Section to Open Section.

Special 1 year USCF dues with magazine if paid with entry. Online at, Adult $35, Young Adult $22, Scholastic $15. Mailed, phoned or paid at site, Adult $40, Young Adult $25, Scholastic $17.  USCF membership required.

July official USCF ratings used: .
Unofficial ratings usually used if otherwise unrated.

3-day schedule: Reg. Fri to 11 am, rds Fri 12 & 6, Sat 12 & 6, Sun 10 & 3:15.
2-day schedule:
Reg Sat to 9 am, rds Sat 10,12:45, 3:15 & 6, Sun 10 & 3:15.
All schedules:
Half point byes OK all, limit 2, Open must commit before rd 2, other sections before rd 4.

Hotel rates: $97-97, 909-980-0400, request chess rate, reserve by 6/30 or rate may increase.


Car rental: Avis, 800-331-1600, use AWD #D657633 or reserve car online at


Room or travel sharing: Post a request to share on the USCF “All Things Chess” Forum.
If you have trouble posting, email your post to Continental Chess and we will post it for you.

CCA electronic devices policies       Prizewinner tax info       Foreign player rating info

Entry: Continental Chess, Box 8482, Pelham NY 10803. $15 service charge for refunds.  Questions:, DirectorAtChess.US, 347-201-2269.  Advance entries posted at (online entries posted instantly).

Bring set, board, clock if possible- none supplied.




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My victory against a Fide master, playing the English Opening.

This game went pretty well for me. Black bringing the bishop out early to c5 has never really posed a huge problem for me. Particularly in slow games, when I can figure out how to blunt the pressure of the bishop along the g1-a7 diagonal.

My opponent’s handling of the opening seemed to leave something to be desired. I think black lacked forceful play. Allowing me to damage his pawn structure, with little compensation for it, was probably not the best thing to do. Also, black should have tried not to have allowed me to win a pawn so early in the game. This was what gave me plenty to play for in the middle game.

A Draw I obtained against a grandmaster.

I am looking over this game, using my analysis engine. Of course, it's often difficult to find the best move in a blitz game of 3 minutes. However, my instinct told me that the endgame was winning for me.

Maybe one of my guests can point out the best choice for black in the endgame. My hunch says I should have pushed BOTH my king side pawns in order to play for a win. What say you?