Killer Chess Training Newsletter 22 June 2021

Killer Chess Training Newsletter 22 June 2021

Members in action

Results of the Las Vegas National Open here; Christopher Yoo was 20th in the Open, Jennifer Yu 28th, Ryo Chen 29th, Kirk Ghazarian 66th and Bryan Xie 95th out of the 135 participants. Congratulations to you all and especially to Ryo, who almost made an IM norm!

Manish becomes IM!

Manish Anto Cristiano from India has completed his IM-title requirements in a tournament in Vezerkepzo, Hungary after 8 of the 9 rounds have been completed. Today he was better with Black against GM Gabor Nagy. But a draw was enough to secure the final IM-norm required, no matter the result in the final round. Manish has two previous norms and was over 2400 in 2019, so at the next FIDE congress, Manish will get the title. Congratulations, Manish!

You can see all the cheering for the two in this forum post, with Brendan corresponding flawlessly every day.

Petra in July and August will play in Austria (St. Veit open – B, as she has not played a lot recently), then two open tournaments in Croatia (Split and Šolta open).

Speaking of members in action, we want to congratulate all of you for being active and making your membership worth the money you spent. Kallia was checking something else, and she noticed that 75% of you had logged in the last 2 days and 98.5% in the last 10 days. We know that life happens, and it can be too much sometimes, but don’t forget that you are here to do something for you. So, even if you haven’t logged in for a while, just take it easy and start with watching your favourite class.

Trainers in action

GM Ivan Cheparinov proceeded to the next round after winning against young IM Polina Shuvalova 4,5 -1,5 in the San Fermin Banter Blitz Cup and then he faced GM Alan Pichot in the final. You can follow the game on Youtube here, and on chess24 here.

Julen and the Valencian U-16 team won the bronze at the Spanish Championship.

Sam Shankland made 5.5/7 in Prague Masters and won 18.3 rating points, taking him to the number 31 spot in the World. Sam’s play was by no means flawless, and he and Jacob had several discussions during the tournament. But it was still good enough for a 2905 performance.


With OTB tournaments returning, a Strategy Camp is just the perfect thing to prepare! Danish GM Sune Berg Hansen is joining GM Jacob Aagaard, GM Julen Arizmendi and GM Sam Shankland.

Anyone who becomes a yearly member at €749 until the camp begins, gets the camp as a welcome gift from us. A special price for the members will be at €125. Still time to join!

Sunday Tournament

Tarun from Ireland took first in an early morning blitz tournament, Sunday the 20th. If you want to play in our tournaments, join our lichess team here: https://lichess.org/team/killer-chess-training-blitzrapid-tournaments

Next tournament is on Sunday, at 15:55 UK time; a Heart attack before the lesson! Join here.


A reminder that yearly members can renewat €599 until the 30th of June, due to the sales tax we have to apply on the 1st of July. Afterwards, it will be more expensive for you and for us as well.

Position of the week

The series is continuing; video number 9 is up!


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Over the last few weeks, we have seen positions solved by GM Sam Shankland and GM Jacob Aagaard together. Sam continued from Scotland to the Czech Republic where he won the Prague Masters top group with 5½/7, a rating performance of 2905.

But even when you make out of this world performances, you do not get everything right. In the following position, you will have a chance to play better than Sam. All you have to do is to slow down and look for more possibilities than the most obvious move.

Essay: The key secret to Sam Shankland’s success – by Jacob Aagaard
It is clear that there is such a thing as talent in chess. It is also clear that there are certain degrees of it. Mark Dvoretsky said of Artur Yusupov had he had no more talent than me or Peter Heine Nielsen, and that it was serious and consistent work that took him to no. 3 in the world.

The same can be said of Sam. He had the talent of a local champion. Many of us do. But Sam has always had a decent work ethic. Even during the pandemic, we had regular interaction online, with playing positions and solving exercises. He did some ChessAble courses to earn a living and worked a lot on the rook ending book (due out in 2022).

Although the three weeks spent training in Glasgow helped Sam a lot before Prague, they were only the visible top of the iceberg. As I have been saying to everyone throughout the pandemic, the training done now will provide us with a big advantage over those streaming, playing blitz and watching the same sort of things…

If you have goals in chess and want a sure way to achieve them, it is consistency. Do regular training. Here are a few key points:

    The first thing to understand is that every day you work on chess, you improve. There are things happening when we sleep, meaning that every day we work on chess, changes our brain. Doing seven times the amount of work, but only once a week, does not give the same improvement.

    Thus, develop consistency. Try to learn something each day. Even if it is just for 10 minutes.

    Attend a few lessons or watch the recordings. Decide on one or two courses you want to watch till the end and remember to watch them every week. Try to solve the positions. If you are watching the video, stop it and put up the positions on a board. If you are watching live, try. Even if you get everything wrong, the habit of making decisions is important to establish.

    Start with the homework club sheet on Wednesdays. Do the Mixed Sheet in one session. Solve the Calculation sheet in a different session. Or two! If you are not doing much other solving, do the MS on Wednesdays, the Calculation on Thursday and Friday. And submit! Then have a look at the positions again when you get the feedback. Find one or two things that you did not see the first time around. It’s a start.

Consistency is the key. Recently I read this on 9GAG: “Everything that is worth doing, is worth doing badly.” The point was that 10 minutes of half-hearted exercise is better than no exercise. The same goes with chess training. Not every day is going to be a good training day. But the work you do at bad training days are no less important.

Share your games, your questions, your thoughts on the Forum! We look forward to hearing from you, even if you are not our member!

Your friends at Killer Chess Training,

Sam, Jacob and Kallia

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