Basic tactics in chess Part 1 – Pins in Chess

Once you are familiar with the movement of pieces and the general rules regarding chess. You have to level up your game by learning the basic tactics. As they say, strategy and tactics go hand in hand. So first we should learn tactics that will assist our strategies.
So from now, we start a series of articles on basic tactics.

Pins in Chess –

Black to play

Try to think in the above position what can be the best move. Here you can move your Queen to b7 and freeze the Rook on e4.

Pins in chess is like just imagine – someone tied your hands with rope. Now you know that you have hands, you can even sense them, but you cannot use them. Similarly, when you pin an opponent piece, then it is not possible to move it as either it will be an illegal move or it will lead to material loss.

Absolute pin –

An absolute pin is a position where the pinned piece is in front of the king. So in this scenario, if it moves, then it will be a check to the king. It is illegal to have your king in check with your opponent to move. Examples of absolute pin –

White to play
The White Rook pins the Black Knight
White to play
Pinning the knight
Black protects it with a pawn and white attacks it with his pawn!
The Famous – Nimzo Indian Defence starting with a pin!

Relative pin –

A relative pin is a position where the pinned piece is in front of a major piece and not a king. So if the piece moves, it will lead to loss of material. But as in relative pin, the piece can move so sometimes it might lead to a reverse tactic.

As a Black knight can move, it is called a relative pin

Let’s see a few ideas you can use by pins in chess –

using the advantage of an absolute pin, white threats to mate with Qxg7
Black prevents it with g6 and white plays Qh6 and now the checkmate is unavoidable

Puzzle –

White to play, can white play Nxd5

The answer will be posted in the next article of this series.

The above were a few examples and ideas on pins in chess, I hope you all liked it and would visit again for another tactic in store for you.

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10 best applications to play and learn chess!

There are various chess applications that are useful for preparation and play chess. some websites are famous but their apps are not that good. Here is the list of the 10 best apps that you can download and enjoy chess.

There are famous chess apps and most of them have their own websites also. Generally, websites are more effective than apps in the chess world.

1- is the biggest and largest visited chess website. Their app is also one of the best. in 2019 they have completely changed their application look and include various functions. Their app doesn’t lag. You can do everything on their app which generally you do on their website.

You can play with friends, solve puzzles, read blogs, read the news, watch live games, see databases, and many more things. also offers premium membership which you can buy from the application. Read more about the premium membership form here.

Download the app from here 

2- chessbase 

This is paid application. This application will cost you 10USD. This will be your one-time purchase. But this is the best application to prepare. As this application works on tablets and Ipads, It is excellent to use between rapid games.

There are various features on This app that make this app unique. You can watch games by filtering as per your preferences, You can use the engine also. All latest games are automatically updated on weekly basis.

Download the chessbase app from here 

3- Follow chess

Follow chess is an Indian startup by Mr. Azim. Follow chess recently got acquired by Square off. Follow chess is an app-based platform that mainly focuses on live chess games. They run on a freemium model. Their subscription starts at 0.50$ per month. They also have a huge follower base.

Download the follow chess app from here 

4- Play Magnus

Play Magnus is the largest app in the chess world. Play Magnus is created by the play Magnus group which is owned by the play Magnus group. This is an exclusive app for playing with the Magnus Carlsen bot. Play Magnus is the most download app that is exclusively dedicated to playing.

Team play Magnus has acquired many companies in recent years such as chess24,, new in chess, chessable, etc.

Download the play magnus app from here 

5- Lomonosov Tablebase

This is the best application to use 7 pieces tablebase. In simple terms, 7 pieces tablebase means if you arrange any 7 pieces on a chessboard, they will directly show you that it is a win or it is a loss. Every chess player must have this app in their smartphone.

Download the Lomonosov tablebase app from here 

6- Chess Free by AI factory limited

Chess free has a huge amount of download. This application is downloaded by 50 million-plus users. Definitely, this is the most downloaded chess application on the google play store. This application is very simple and you can easily play with computer levels. This application is perfect for beginners.

Download the chess free app from here 

7- Chess clock by 

You cannot carry a chess clock every time or if want to play chess blind fully then it is easy to use a mobile chess clock. This is very simple and best chess clock on android. This application takes very little space.

Download the chess clock app from here 

8- Chess endgame studies by Chess king

Chess king has published many chess applications on the google play store. This application allows users to solve chess studies and sharpen their brains. They also have many apps. You should definitely check that also.

Download the chess endgame studies app from here 

9- Magnus Trainer

This is an amazing application by Magnus Carlsen company. This is a completely paid application and they charge 10USD per month. This app ensures essential chess skills are developed in a fun and effective way. They offer 3 types of premium subscriptions (1 month, 1 year, lifetime)

If you don’t want to take coaching or if you don’t have enough resources to take coaching then I think this is the best chess application to learn.

Download the Magnus trainer app from here

10- Lichess

Of course, lichess should be in the top 10. But frankly speaking, lichess should improve their application quality. Lichess is an open-source engine and it is completely free to use for everyone. Lichess will defiantly become the number 1 chess app and website in the coming year.

Download the lichess app from here 

Other than this application, There are many other applications such as chess tempo, chess kid,, tactics frenzy, etc. If you know other applications then let us know in the comment section!

Introduction of FIDE titles in chess

Hello, In this article we will see what are FIDE title and how you can get it. Getting fide titles is not an easy job and you have to work hard for it. Let’s quickly see what is FIDE.

FIDE ( Fédération Internationale des Échecs ) is an international organization based in Switzerland that connects the various national chess federations and acts as the governing body of international chess competition. Fide was founded in pairs in the year 1924. Currently, there are 195 federations are registered with FIDE. FIDE decides all rules of chess for international level tournaments.

Back to today’s article, Fide has created some titles after achieving a particular level in chess. There are also titles for arbiters such as IA and FA. Let’s see each title in detail.

Fide official logo


1- GrandMaster

Grandmaster is the highest level title in chess. The basic criteria to become a grandmaster is to reach your rating 2500 and score 3 Grandmaster norms. You can click here to get more details about the criteria to score norms. FIDE first awarded the grandmaster title to 27 players in 1950. To achieve the grandmaster title players have to study hard and get into a deep knowledge of chess.

When a player gets the grandmaster title, he becomes famous automatically in the chess world. Average grandmaster charges between 30$ to 60$ per hour for coaching and top grandmasters charge anywhere between 80$ to 250$. From playing full-time professional grandmaster who is below 2650 earns anywhere between 1500$ to 5000$ per month and a grandmaster who is above 2650 can earn anywhere between 3000$ to 15000$ per month.

2- International Master

To become an International master Player need to cross the 2400 FIDE rating and score 3 IM norms. You can click here to get more details about the criteria to score norms. Becoming an International Master is not also easy. Generally, a beginner can become IM in 7-10 years if studied properly and if all went well. International master Charges anywhere between 15$ to 50$. Of course, some are exceptions who charge as high as 100$. Generally, the beginner should try to learn from the International Master from the start of his career. International masters get some conditions in tournaments such as Free stay, Free entry, Free Boarding, etc. depends on the organizer.

3- Fide Master

When your Fide rating will reach 2300 then you can apply for this title. For fide master and candidate master title, you didn’t have to score any norms. Basically Fide master has a much lower value than International Master. Fide also awards this title to some players directly after winning or placing in top ranks in certain tournaments. Generally, a Fide master who is making money through full-time coaching earn around 10$ to 25$ per hour or 750$ to 3000$ per month

4- Candidate Master

When the player reaches the 2200 fide rating, He can apply for a candidate master title. Fide also gives the title to many players who win certain tournaments. Generally, a candidate master who is above 2200 rating can earn anywhere between 600$ to 2000$ per month on average.

Women Titles in chess

To encourage women’s chess fide introduces women title such as women grandmaster, women international masters, women fide masters, women candidates master, etc. Women’s titles don’t have value compared to men’s titles.

for example, generally, Women Grandmaster which is the top title in chess is weaker than International master or equal to Fide Master. Achieving these titles are very easy compared to open titles. We will cover women’s titles in chess in a separate article.

There are also other titles dedicated to organizers, arbiters, instructors. These titles are like IO, FA, IA, FI, SI, FT, SFT, etc.



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Nimzo Indian Defence – Introduction

What is Nimzo Indian Defence? Against which move is it applicable? Who are the top players to follow in the opening? What are the plans? What are the variations? Is it dynamic or is it Solid? Who invented it?


These are the common questions related to the opening. Speaking about Nimzo Indian Defence, It is one of the most solid openings in reply to 1.d4. Nimzo Indian Defence was developed and implemented by Aron Nimzowitch.. Nimzo Indian is employed by almost all the world champions and with a lot of success. It is one of the safest openings and a lot of positional masterpieces have been produced from this opening.

I have been playing this opening since 2015 and I enjoyed playing it with both colours. I was amused by a lot of plans. Today I plan to discuss the opening brief and I ensure I will come up with some articles based on this opening in future. So let us have a look at what exactly Nimzo Indian move order is.



As we all know we should control the centre right from the start of the opening. A lot of times we try to control it with the pawns but in the case of Nimzo Indian, we control the centre with our pieces. The Dark Bishop goes and pins the Knight on c3 thus stopping white from expanding with e4. The opening keeps on evolving with players making some contribution at regular intervals.


Now we look at the possible variations in Nimzo Indian, all the possible options on 4th move for white.


    1. e3 – The Rubinstein Variation
    2. Qc2 – The Classical Variation
    3. Nf3 – The Kasparov Variation
    4. f3 – The Saemish Variation
    5. a3 – Also known as the Saemish Variation as it leads to same positions
    6. g3- A classical approach to fianchetto.
    7. Bd2- There is no specific name but it is used quite often.


4.e3 – The Rubinstein Variation

Rubinstein Variation provides white with a simple yet lively position. It can be turned into a complex position if white plays a specific move order orelse there are a lot of theorotical lines which have forced draws in this variation.

4.Qc2 – The Classical Variation

Classical Variation has been explored a lot in recent times and is leading to a lot of complicated positions and also, Black must know what he is doing in this line.

4.Nf3 – The Kasparov Variation

The Kasparov Variation is employed to reach hybrid positions from the Queens Indian ( 1d4- Nf6 2.c4-e6 3.Nf3-b6 4. Nc3- Bb4). This also transposes to a lot of other structures like the Hedgehog, or even to the Ragozin and also Maroczy type of positions.

4.f3/a3 – The Saemish Variation

The Saemish is a sharp way to deal with Nimzo Indian and is also trending as it was employed by Caruana against Kirill in Candidates 2020. It is also covered in Moskalenko’s Attacking with 1.d4. Recently those who used to bang their head to find advantage in the Nimzo Indian are trying it out to catch their opponents off-guard.

4. g3- Catalan type approach

A classical approach to fianchetto is more of a positional approach where white aims to transform it into some Catalan type of positions. Black can go for some closed Catalans to play solidly.

4.Bd2. or 4.e3 and 5. Bd2

Bd2 in Nimzo Indian is a variation used by GM Sandipan Chanda. You can have a look at his games to see how things unfold in this line. It is a harmless variation.

There are a lot of move orders to avoid Nimzo Indian Defence.

This was a brief intro of Nimzo Indian, If you are excited and want to look at the games in Nimzo Indian before our next article, you can follow games of Former World Champion Anatoly Karpov, Former World Champion Vishwanathan Anand, Super GM Peter Leko, Super GM Fabiano Caruana, Super GM Vidit Gujrathi.


Those who aim to look for dynamic options, FM Nikhil Dixit has covered Kings Indian Defence in his articles. He shares books, Dvd’s and players to follow is covered. Following are the links of those articles.

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Book Review – Fundamental Chess: Logical Decision Making

Author of the Book – R.B. Ramesh

Publishing Year – 2018

Published By – Metropolitan Chess Publication


Fundamental Chess: Logical Decision Making is one of those books which one can read at any point of life. The book is very instructive and explains the best possible way to practice fundamental chess.

What to Expect?

As the name suggests, this book is all about the thinking process, applying the knowledge of general principles in one’s game. This book is divided into 3 Parts.

  1. Logical Reasoning
  2. Practical Chess Play
  3. Fundamentals of Chess Training

A good amount of concepts are covered in these topics. The narration and analysis are well balanced which is a good blend for people who are reluctant to heavily analysed books.


What is a Unique thing in this Book?


To explain this, I will share my experience when I attended a camp of R.B.Ramesh sir in 2017, organized by I-Lead Chess Academy which is headed by Hemangi Gupta. When I started to read this book, it was a sheer resemblance to Sir’s words from the camp. I felt as if I am attaining his lessons 1-1 while going through the chapters.


For whom will this book suit the best?


Anyone above 1400 up to 2400 is the best-suited group according to me. Especially the tips given at in Part 3 on Fundamentals of Chess Training is useful to everyone.


What did I like?


The words used are very simple and easy to remember during games. Also, the anecdotes given at regular intervals made an impact on me. The material in this book is presented in a very systematic way.


From where can you buy this Book?

 Amazon link for the book is here.

About the Book Author-


GM R.B. Ramesh is a well-known chess coach and also was a strong player before switching to coaching. He was an expert commentator in Carlsen – Anand World Chess Championship 2013. He was also the coach of Indian Team in Chess Olympiad 2018, Batumi, Georgia.


The Publisher –


NM Gupta Ankit is the commissioning editor of  Metropolitan Chess Publication. Their intention is to promote and support the game of chess through community outreach and local, national and international partnerships. They are creating their own DVDs and other chess Content.