Eastern Style

Comments: 24

I just came back from my trip to UAE (United Arab Emirates) and would like to share 1 interesting observation with you.

Although there are not many professional chess players in Arabic countries, a lot of people enjoy this game. I mean they really ENJOY it.

People gather in a café, play chess, drink tea or coffee, and sometimes smoke shisha 🙂 (it’s smoking equipment where smoke goes through the water). It looks like this:

This creates a really pleasant atmosphere: you play chess, communicate with your friends and have fun.

Playing chess via the Internet can’t replace it.

Traditional tournaments often create too tense and competitive situation. Players become nervous and sometimes even angry. Somehow we become too focused on results and forget to have JOY during the process.

At the same time, it’s impossible to get great results without having a real enthusiasm and joy for chess. The world’s best players (like Aronian, Carlsen, Anand) treat tournaments rather as a HOLIDAY.

Yes, they put in a lot of effort while preparing & playing, BUT they are excited about it. They are HAPPY about what they are doing. And this is one of the main keys to their success.

When you are focused solely on results, playing chess becomes a nerves activity, and training becomes your duty. Don’t fall this trap.

When parents of a chess-playing child PUSH him/her towards getting results, it often brings an opposite effect. This child loses interest in chess and gets frustrated about results.

Chess is an exciting GAME. So keep having fun while training and playing! Then your results will improve naturally.


In order to help you have a joyful mood, I’ll paste a few funny photos from my trip to UAE.

This country is located in a desert and you need to have special transport to get there 🙂


This is a view from the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa at 829 m (2722 ft).


Mainly I visited my chess students in UAE, but got some unexpected new friends as well:

We asked this camel to say “cheese” while we took a photo. 🙂


It’s me and an electric ray. Don’t ask how I got this photo 🙂


I hope you are having fun, and it’s a very suitable attitude for playing chess. So let’s test your skills in a few interesting positions.

Kamsky – Ibarra
White’s turn

White is attacking, but how can he finish the game?


Navara – ShortBlack’s turn

The Black’s knight is attacked. How would you proceed as Black?

After you come to the right move and calculate all resulting variations, you may download a solution (for both puzzles) here: LINK

Note: if you can’t open chess games in *.pgn format – read this FAQ: LINK

Comments: 24

Comments 24

  1. good its nice to see u back sir. please tell me which book to buy so that i could really enjoy the game and learn mote. I fear about the chess result and the opponent so please give me advice on both.

  2. I noticed that the solution in Navarra-Short involved moving a pawn forward as opposed to moving the hanging knight back. Not certain that was objectively “best” but it certainly seized the initiative. I wonder who the chess teacher was who taught me to notice that?

  3. Oh my god i went to all thoses places,

    Bhurj khlifa ate lunch on the 121st floor,

    Went to he dessert in a van which got REALLY bumpy,

    and that pic with a shark or something I think its in thee Dubai mall in the aquarium rit?

  4. but what opening is this girl on the shisha pic playing? Looks like a g3, Bg2, b4, a4 (otherwise she couldn’t have set free the Ra1) structure…and the only developed pieces are the Ra1 and the Nb1 (or are they already off the board?) Maybe the shisha fog somehow has blurred her vision on the board? Or the weed was seriously hampering the brain function…at least she is seriously violation the principles conveyed by your openings course 😉

  5. Hi Igor,

    Did you go to Burj al-Arab? Did you go the underwater restaurant by any chance with a fish tank with all those fish???


    1. Glad to know you’ve been there as well. I’m sure you enjoyed it!
      Not sure about the “underwater restaurant”, but I was in a boat that swims into this aquarium. Our guide said there are sharks and other predatory fishes there, and he didn’t advice us to put arms in a water 🙂

  6. In the Kamsky game, as is some others, where you say “white won,” I don’t see (exactly) why. I play through and it seems far from over. Is the white win ending already inevitable? Or, did black give up?

    1. “White won” implies Black gave up in that position (and in other examples as well).
      In the Kamsky game (final position) White has a material advantage and is threatening Nh3, Qg7 etc.

  7. wow those are nice photos of your trip, it was a nice trip I think. one day if you have time please come to Bali and enjoy the beautiful of Bali Island and having fun in playing chess, I would to beat you. ha ha ha,,,……..

    I wish you have always good day and future.

  8. Once again, you´re right… The only tournament I have won, is the one I didn´t took seriously, I didn´t even prepared for it! (in short term)… I focused on this idea: “Well, I´m going to play a little, doing one of my favorite things in life, have a few laughs with my friends, and go home…”, and went back home with a first place diploma, a prize, and a note with me in a photo in the local newspaper the next mornig! wow!… Regards.

  9. that is 100 % correct what you have said to me. it is true that playing chess is fun. we can forget all problem that we have yeeeee it is really really fun for i never thinking about the result even I lose many times.

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