Cheating Scandal Rocks Romanian Chess Championship

In Romania, a chess player has been expelled from the Romanian Chess Championship after he was caught cheating. Paul-Stelian Mihalache, who has a FIDE rating of 1698, was caught using a mobile phone in the restroom during a fifth round match of the Romanian championship. The arbiter found the phone in one of the restroom cubicles during a random check and noticed that a few chess apps were running. The apps showed Mihalache’s game after 15 moves, with the engine Stockfish 15 running, and a Google account was active with Mihalache’s name and email address.

Although Mihalache denied the phone belonged to him, the information on the phone suggested otherwise. He was confronted with the evidence but still denied ownership. He was then expelled from the tournament by chief arbiter Dinu-Ioan Nicula and tournament director George Necula. The matter has been brought to the attention of FIDE’s disciplinary commission, and Mihalache may face a considerable ban from playing FIDE-rated events.

This isn’t the first time that such an incident has happened in chess. In 2015, Georgia’s grandmaster Gaioz Nigalidze was caught using an iPod touch with a chess app running. He was expelled from the Dubai Open Chess tournament, faced a penalty, and even ended up losing his Grandmaster title. In 2019, Latvian-Czech grandmaster Igors Rausis was caught cheating in a tournament in Strasbourg, France, as he used a phone in the restroom. Later that year, FIDE banned him for six years and stripped him of the GM title. World champion Magnus Carlsen has also accused Hans Niemann of cheating and even pulled out of the competition as he found his behavior suspicious. Many chess tournaments are now stepping up their anti-cheating measures to ensure that the game remains free from malpractices.

Getting Children Invovled in School Chess Programs

Chess is an excellent activity for children, promoting mental skills such as problem-solving, concentration, and critical thinking. If you’re interested in getting your child involved in a chess club, there are many local resources available to help.

One option is to search for local chess clubs or organizations that offer programs for children. Many schools also have chess clubs that meet after school or on weekends. If there isn’t already a chess club at your child’s school, consider speaking to the school administration about starting one. You can offer to help organize and run the club, and encourage other parents to get involved as well.

To support your child’s chess learning at home, encourage them to practice by playing against friends or family members or by using online resources such as chess puzzles or instructional videos. You can also consider purchasing chess books or instructional materials to help your child improve their skills.

In conclusion, the benefits of chess for children are numerous and well worth considering for any parent. Encourage your child to get involved in a chess club and watch as their mental skills and confidence grow. And don’t forget to take advantage of the local resources available – it’s never too late to start learning this timeless and rewarding game.

Hikaru Nakamura’s Secret to Chess Success

Chess is a game of strategy and skill, and to become a master or champion requires years of dedicated study and practice. One player who has reached the pinnacle of chess success is Hikaru Nakamura, a five-time United States chess champion and one of the highest-rated players in the world.

So, what is the secret to Nakamura’s success? According to the player himself, it’s all about putting in the work. Nakamura is known for his rigorous study and practice routine, often spending several hours a day analyzing games, studying openings, and working on tactics. He also credits his success to his use of, a popular online platform for chess players of all skill levels.

But becoming a chess master isn’t just about putting in the time at the board. It’s also about developing a deep understanding of the game and being able to think critically and strategically. This means not only studying the moves of other masters, but also learning how to anticipate and react to your opponent’s strategies.

For aspiring chess players, the path to mastery may seem daunting, but with dedication and the right resources, it is certainly possible. In addition to studying and practicing regularly, seeking guidance from more experienced players or trainers can be incredibly helpful. And with platforms like, it’s easier than ever to access a wealth of knowledge and play against opponents from all around the world.

So if you’re looking to take your chess game to the next level, remember that it’s all about putting in the time and effort to study and improve. With the right approach, you too can become a chess master like Hikaru Nakamura.

The Importance of Chess in School


Most people think of chess as a game for nerds. And while it’s true that chess can be very complex, it also has a lot of benefits for students. Chess teaches kids how to think critically and strategically while they play. It’s also been shown to improve their mental health and academic performance, not to mention social skills as well! Rather than banning the game from your child’s school curriculum, encourage them to play.

Improved Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking is a skill that many employers are looking for in prospective employees. It’s also an important life skill, as you will have to make decisions based on your own critical thinking abilities.

Chess can help students develop this skill by developing their ability to plan ahead and predict the consequences of their actions. These skills can help students be more successful in school, at work and even in their personal lives

Mental Health Benefits

The game is also a great way to improve mental health. In fact, it can help children develop skills that are crucial in ensuring they lead healthy and successful lives as adults. By playing chess, children build their focus and decision-making capabilities, learn how to solve problems more efficiently, and increase their memory capacity. The game also helps them develop critical thinking skills, creativity and self confidence—all of which are essential for a child’s development into an adult who is able to function well in society.

Higher Test Scores

Chess develops skills that are essential for academic success. Studies have shown that kids who play chess do better on standardized tests than their peers who don’t play chess, and it’s not just a matter of IQ. Chess teaches kids how to study, learn, memorize information and think critically. It also helps kids develop their math skills by teaching them about patterns, shapes and numbers.

In short: if your kid is struggling in school because they’re not good at tests or remembering things from class—get them playing chess!

Increased Academic Performance

Studies have shown that students who play chess see an increase in their academic performance. Students who play chess are able to learn faster, and retain more information than those who do not. Chess also teaches students how to problem solve, and develop critical thinking skills. Additionally, playing chess improves a student’s creativity and concentration by making them think outside the box.

Improved Social Skills

As a classroom teacher, you know that teamwork is important. Chess can help children develop these skills by giving them the opportunity to communicate with their peers in a fun environment. As they play the game together, they’ll learn how to manage frustration and work well under pressure.

The chess board is a blank slate where any number of scenarios can be played out in real life: two armies face off on opposite sides of the board; two friends argue over who gets paid first when working at a lemonade stand; an army captain asks for volunteers from his troops as he leads them into battle against another army…. These are just some examples of how chess can be used as an opportunity for cooperative learning among students.

chess is the perfect compliment to school curriculum and the benefits are extensive

Chess is absolutely the perfect complement to school curriculum.

Chess teaches critical thinking skills, which are essential for success in life. Chess helps children develop their minds, allowing them to think ahead, plan ahead and visualize future events. This promotes creativity and imagination as well as providing important cognitive benefits such as self-confidence, focus and concentration on tasks at hand (known as selective attention).


Chess is a great way to improve critical thinking skills, but it also has many other benefits. It can be used in the classroom to improve academic performance and test scores, enhance social skills, and increase mental health. As educators continue to search for ways to help students succeed in today’s world, chess should be considered as an important tool that offers both mental health benefits and academic achievement.

Chess Master Secrets- Annotate Your Games!!

National Master Jesse Cohen is BACK bringing us more grandmaster secrets to training and improving your chess skills. In this video, Jesse covers the importance of reviewing (annotating) your own chess games. Only in this way can we practice the critical art of plugging the holes in our own game. The key takeaway from this video is: 1) review your own games 2) hire a chess coach to review them a second time 3) compare your notes to that of your coach 4) this will reveal your own weaknesses and give you deep insight into how you should be training to breakthrough plateaued rating everyone eventually suffers from. Enjoy! Don’t forget to LIKE, SUBSCRIBE & RING THE BELL so I’m motivated to make more content. Thanks! Check out the most amazing tournament series Colorado has to offer ► Register for online classes and private lessons ► Follow us on Twitch ►​​​​ Follow us on Twitter ►​​​​ Join Summit School of Chess Discord ►​​​​

How to get really good at #chess

Chess Master Secrets


Chess is a lot like life. The rules are simple and easy to learn, but mastering them is another matter entirely! It takes time, effort, and perseverance to master the game of chess. You have to practice new ideas over and over again until they become second nature. You have to visualize where each individual piece may go so you can anticipate how a particular move will affect your overall strategy. You need focus in order to see patterns in the position on the board—and then break from those patterns when new opportunities present themselves so that you can create future opportunities for yourself!

Learn new ideas

Learning new ideas is one of the easiest things to do in chess. You can learn new ideas by reading books, watching videos, or playing games against stronger players. To get the most out of learning from other people’s ideas, ask them to explain their reasoning carefully so that you can understand the logic behind their thinking. You should also try to play against people who are better than you so that you have no choice but to improve your own game!

Practice the ideas

The more you practice the ideas, the better you’ll become. You’ll learn to play games with a plan and execute moves that help achieve your goal. And then you can use your knowledge in future games, which will lead to more wins, which leads to even better plays…and on it goes!

You can’t become good at chess without practice. In fact, there are probably people out there who think they’re good at chess because they’ve never had an opportunity to play against someone who knows what they’re doing—or worse yet, someone who has been playing for years and years (because let’s face it: those guys are usually pretty good). So if you want to be good at this game (and by “good” I mean “beat all comers in online chess tournaments while gaining worldwide recognition”), then there’s only one thing left for me to say: go practice some more!

Focus on patterns in the position

If you’re reading this, then it’s likely that you’ve already noticed some patterns in the chess positions. These patterns are easy to spot, but hard to remember. It’s a bit of a paradox: if you’re able to notice them, then they must be obvious enough for even me to see; but if I can see them, why can’t I remember them?

Fortunately, there is a simple solution: write down your observations and keep track of your mistakes! This will enable you to quickly review those positions again and make sure that they stick in your memory. Don’t worry about forgetting—there are lots of studies out there showing how consistently writing things down helps improve memory retention by as much as 500% compared with studying without writing anything down (source).

Try to see the big picture

You might not be able to see what the next move is, but you should be able to see how it fits into the overall picture. Or maybe you can’t see how all of these pieces will fit together at the end, but if you have a few minutes, think about what kinds of things could happen if they did.

Visualize where pieces may go

Visualizing the position is a powerful way to gain insight into your opponent’s plans. The more you visualize, the more you’ll know what they are doing and how they will react when you make a move. Visualize where pieces may go and why they might move there.

Visualize the opening. Visualize what your opponent could do in response to certain moves, then visualize how he or she might respond to your counter-moves and back again until you have a full picture of the opening sequence that could play out between you two.

Visualize the middle game . The middle game is when most games are won or lost, so this stage is worth paying special attention to! If you can successfully predict which tactical setups will arise from each possible development, it’ll give you an advantage when playing against strong opponents who rely on tactics themselves (and vice versa).

Take a risk and break from long-established plans and ideas to create opportunities for new ones.

When you find yourself in a situation where the game is going against you, take a risk and break from long-established plans and ideas to create opportunities for new ones. This doesn’t mean that you should abandon your strategy completely, but rather that if you have been playing defensively for a while, it is time to attack. If your opponent has been applying pressure on one side of the board and has neglected the other, then it’s time for them to pay for their negligence.

In chess there are few absolute rules except that which says: “Do not think outside of the box.” Being creative requires stepping outside of what’s familiar—and even more importantly—doing so purposefully. Don’t let yourself get stuck in one style over and over again; try something new every once in awhile!

Choose an opening that you enjoy playing and suits your style.

One of the most common mistakes in chess is to play an opening that’s too complicated. If you’re relatively new to the game, it’s best to start with an opening that’s easy for you to remember and understand.

  • Choose a style that suits your playing style: Do you prefer aggressive or passive strategies? Do you like complex positions that require careful calculations and planning or would rather rely on intuition and quick reflexes? Your choice of openings should take into account which sort of player are you—and if possible, find one where both players will enjoy themselves!
  • Choose an opening that suits your style: When choosing an opening, choose one that fits with how much time and effort (or lack thereof) it takes for someone who plays a certain way. If they’re very short games with little strategy involved but lots of tactics then maybe something like King’s Gambit wouldn’t suit them so well because even though it has been proven over centuries as being effective against weaker opposition because there isn’t much strategic thinking required there won’t be any room left for creativity at all–everything has been predetermined beforehand so no chance exists for improvisation from either player–but still this could work well against stronger opponents who don’t mind using time inefficiently

The ideas are easy to learn, but require lots of practice and visualization to master!

The ideas are easy to learn, but require lots of practice and visualization to master!

The goal of this book is to provide you with a set of basic principles that will allow you to improve your chess game. As we’ll see shortly, these principles are generally easier than the ones taught in other books on the topic. You’ll be able to implement them right away, giving your game an immediate boost. The challenge lies in taking what you’ve learned and making it part of your long-term habit set. This process takes time and effort—at least six months for most people—but if you stick with it, then I think that you’ll find yourself enjoying better results than ever before!


Hopefully, this blog post has given you a glimpse into the mindset of a chess master. If you’re interested in learning more about how to play chess, there are many resources available online that can help you get started! Happy chessing!

How to be an Great Chess Coach

Since 2012 I have dedicated my life to bringing chess to thousands of children across Colorado and the world. I’ve had time to reflect on what it means to be a great coach and I’ve made many improvements to my own technique.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

  1. Be a fun/entertaining coach. Students learn best when they’re having fun. You could be the most knowledgeable person in your field and yet find that you’re an ineffective coach that can’t keep students. Why? The most likely answer is that your students aren’t smiling or laughing during the lessons. I make it point to make my students smile regularly. I make the learning fun for them. Being a chess coach has its advantages because we already play a game. We have a head start! However, many strong chess players haven’t spent time developing the necessary social skills and awareness to observe their clients aren’t having a great time. Many coaches are focused on the quality and effort that went into their lessons. They are pounding their students with knowledge in a dogmatic boring way. This is not the way to retain students or to be an effective coach.

  2. Have structure – everyone thrives better in an environment that is predictable. When conducting lessons with my students they know we’re going to start off with tactics, followed by endgame training, move on to some important drills and finish off with finding the right plan just as a WARMUP before we play chess and review afterwards. We very well might spend a day just going over their lastest tournament games or driving home a really important concept, but for the most part I stick to this structure. It provides security/predictablity for the student which in turns provides a safe environment. From this safety the student feels the self comfort needed to grow.
  3. Keep it simple – Many coaches I meet wonder why their students aren’t growing, understanding and retaining the information being taught. I’d like everyone to try your best and remember back to K-12 or college. We’ve ALL had a teacher that was absolutely brilliant but also spoke and tried to convey new complex ideas in a way that was extremely hard to follow. This is the teacher who unfortunately makes the mistake of teaching others the way they understand it themselves. We must put ourselves in the shoes of the novice. There are so many patterns, basic skills and foundation that are inherently lacking. We can’t teach Mate in 1 if our student is having trouble remember how the pieces move. When we do teach advanced concepts we need to break it down into basic language, relating to other real life examples, that drive home these points.

2021-2022 Colorado Chess League Season Results with a forward by Vice President Jesse Cohen.

Hello everyone,

The Colorado Chess League, formally the Denver Chess League,
has been around for over 20 years. I was asked by Bruce Galler in 2013 to take over managing the league. While we saw strong numbers, they slowly began to decrease as time went on. In 2020 I turned control of the Colorado Chess League over to the CSCA. I did this with the belief that their nonprofit status and greater sphere of influence would increase the scholastic participation of the league across the state. Funny enough, when I was asked to take over the role of Vice President – the job of managing the league fell back into my lap.

I’m not going to sugarcoat things. This has been a trying
season for the league. Between the pandemic, reluctance from some to transition the league to an online format, and trying to educate parents on how to navigate; things became frustrating and confusing for many. This was a trial by fire season but the good news is that we learned a lot! One of the biggest things we learned was the importance of finding student leaders at schools to spearhead their chess clubs because, frankly, we don’t have enough parents/staff members stepping up.

All struggles aside – I want to say how proud I am of our board, this league, and the students/staff that stepped up to make the league
happen this year. We ended up with 14 teams that competed in a round-robin format and one playoff game to determine 3rd place.

I am personally putting a request out to all readers. If you, or someone you know, can help increase participation in the league for our 2022-2023 season (beginning Oct 2022) PLEASE LET ME KNOW. Thanks, J.

Here are your final standings for the 2021-2022 Colorado
Chess League:

1st Place – Cherry Creek High School

2nd Place – Chatfield High School Team A

3rd Place – Regis Jesuit High School



White to play.

Answer: Bxf7+!! Kxf7 (if Kf8 Bd5 c6 Nxd4!! Bxd1 Ne6+!) Nxe5+




White has just played Bg5??

Black to Play

Answer: Bxf3!! Bxd8 (if Qxf3 Qxg5 0-1) Bxd1 0-1




White has just played g4 to launch a Kingside assault but has missed something.

Black to Move.

Answer: e5! Bishop moves e4! Winning a piece.




Black to play.

Answer: Qh4!! 0-1