Cyber Monday Special Offers + Short-term and Long-term Advantages

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As you may know, we are providing all the RCA courses with a huge 30% discount to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. The offer is valid till Tuesday, 3 December – use coupon “ngo” before it expires tomorrow! Of all the sales made during this time, 10% will be donated to Defenders, an NGO that protects wildlife and environment. You can find more details about it here. Therefore, you can make your contribution to protect the environment by studying RCA courses. Plus, it also helps you improve your game. 😊

Additionally, today (2 December) is Cyber Monday. And we are doing something special again – if you purchase an RCA course on or before 3 December, in addition to the 10%, RCA will donate $5 USD to Defenders (the NGO). Sounds great, isn’t it! Let me give you an example:

If you buy the course “The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding” with a 30% discount (using the coupon “ngo”), you will have to pay only $97.3 USD, saving about $42 USD, and you will be donating $9.73 USD (10% of what you pay) to the NGO! In addition to that, RCA will donate $5 USD. Therefore, a total of $14.73 USD will be donated to the NGO!

What are you waiting for? Take action now! Browse our courses, study them, improve your chess, and save the environment!

Cyber Monday Special Offers

<< Shop Now and Save the Environment! >>

designOne of the most interesting and unexplored topics in chess is the long-term and short-term advantages. What do they mean?

Short-term Advantages

Short-term advantages are those that you can exploit quickly in a game – like a quick attack, getting initiative, having more development that the opponent in the opening stage. These advantages don’t last for a long time because your opponent would have chances to equalize them. For instance, your opponent can also develop his pieces in the opening stage and then it will be equal.

Long-term Advantages

As the name says, long-term advantages help you in the long run. The simplest example for a long-term advantage would be the material advantage, i.e. when you have an extra pawn or a piece than your opponent. Other examples could be having a bishop pair against a bishop and a knight in an open position, and even having a better pawn structure than your opponent. These are something that cannot be compensated easily.

So, the question now is – which is better to have, a long-term advantage or short-term advantage? Well, it depends upon the position, obviously. When you have a short-term advantage, you usually will have to make use of it quickly, otherwise it will be gone. Unless you exploit it quickly, a short-term advantage has no value.

Also, these usually come into play when there is a material imbalance. For instance, when a player has sacrificed a pawn to get some initiative, the one with the initiative has a short-term advantage, whereas the player who is a pawn up has the material advantage, which is long-term.

One great example to demonstrate this is the Poisoned Pawn variation from the Sicilian Defense Najdorf. After the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 and when White plays 9.Rb1 Qa3, we arrive at the below position:

Sicilian Najdorf Poisoned Pawn Variation

As you can see, White has sacrificed a pawn and in return he is ahead in development, which is a short-term advantage. And that’s why he has to maintain this initiative, make use of it and exploit Black before it is gone.

Manuel Ocantos has prepared an amazing video lesson in which he will present to you a few examples and analyses all of them with the perspective of long-term vs the short-term advantages. He will show you games of Mikhail Tal, Garry Kasparov, Nigel Short, Veselin Topalov, and Levon Aronian.



  • In many games, one side can have long and short-term advantages, but also long or short-term disadvantages.
  • Assessing them is critical because it will tell you how to play.
  • I recommend that you study my course “Your Winning Plan” that will give you an integrated system for middlegame planning.

How did you enjoy the video lesson? Have you ever played the poisoned pawn variation in the Najdorf? What are your thoughts about this concept? – please share them in the comments below.

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