Friday, November 16, 2018

In Case You Missed it- Jim Egerton's Business on the Board Talk at UBS

Thanks to all who showed up for our Business and Finance Event at UBS in Midtown Manhattan last evening! In case you missed it, here's the full video of National Master Evan Rabin's introduction, Business on the Board CEO Jim Egerton's talk and Rabin's World Championship Update:

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

First American World Champion Since 1972?!

First American World Champion Since 1972?!

Image result for fabiano caruana magnus carlsen

This Friday, November 9, World Champion Magnus Carlsen will take on Fabiano Caruana, the first American challenger since Bobby Fischer in 1972 in the first game of the 2018 World Championship Match in London!

In 2016, I had the opportunity to attend one of the games of the match Magnus played against Challenger Sergey Karjakin in our home turf of New York City. I even had the honor of getting on Norweigian television as I stood by Magnus' manager Espen Agdestein during the press conference!:!/video/134450/mann-forvirrer-direktesendingen

One day in 2000, my former teach Alan Kantor took me to the tournament, warning me that as a 1000-rated player, I would likely lose all of my games. After losing eight or nine straight games, I saw an eight-year old kid and thought to my self "Wow- I could finally win a game in this tournament". I started playing against him and he blundered a queen. Sure enough I ended up blundering one back and went on to lose the game. I asked him what his name and rating was; he shockingly told me he was "Fabiano Caruana" and had a rating of 1833. At the time, I heard of his name but didn't know what he looked like.

Since that day, I had the pleasure of watching Fabiano grow up a chess player in New York. Gary Ryan, the co-organizer of our 1st Annual Grace Church School and Brooklyn Friends School Grand Prix, was one his first teachers.

One day many up and coming juniors, including GM Robert Hess, GM Marc Arnold, Fabiano and I were running around, letting off some steam between rounds at a Marshall Chess Club tournament. Fabiano's father Lou told him he couldn't hang out with us and had to prepare for the next game.

A year or two later, Fabiano was already a strong master and moved to Europe to take chess on as a full-time career. I do have the honor of being able to say I drew him in one action game at one of his last few tournaments at the Marshall before he moving to Europe when he was already a master:

In 2006, I saw Fabiano at the Eastern Open when his dad Lou expressed how that was one of the few tournaments he would play at the U.S at the time as it was mostly 1 game per day.

In 2015, Fabiano returned to the United States, living in St. Louis and has been the top player in the country.

To date, Fabiano has played Magnus in 33 classical games. These were the results:

-10 Magnus wins
-5 Fabiano wins
-18 draws

The match, which will last from 11/9 to 11/28, will be directed by Stephane Escate from France.

Time Magazine, NY Times and The Guardian have already covered articles about match; let's see how much the major publications cover the match as it begins.

While you can follow the mainstream media, you can also keep up with the match via these four platforms:


2)Revealing the Power of Chess to the World of Business & Finance/ World Championship Update, 11/15



Let's go Team Fabi!!!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Premier Chess Group Class on Upper West Side

Premier Chess Group Class on Upper West Side

Group Class at Saint John Villa Academy 

Students at our Summer Camp at ZPlay

Are you looking for a great opportunity for your child to learn chess but his school doesn't offer it and private lessons too expensive? Does your child play in his school's program but want more practice for tournaments? If you answered yes to either question, you can consider signing your child up for Premier Chess Group Class:

Premier Chess CEO and I Love the Upper West Side Writer Evan Rabin will teach opening, middle game and endgame strategy, review tactical themes and get students ready to compete in tournaments. 

Here are some of reasons you should consider taking class: 

•   Benjamin Franklin once said “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.” Chess will help you think strategically!
•   Prepare for local chess tournaments, City Championships, State Championships and National Championships (tournaments are not required but are encouraged)
•   Chess is also great way to meet new friends, both in school and out. Premier Chess CEO’s National Master Evan Rabin has played chess in 9 different countries and has connections literally around the world through the game! 

Class will be held at ZPlay School, located at 150 West 72nd Street, Suite 2A, New York, NY, 10023  

Register here.  Use promo code "iluws" for $50 off if you sign up by end of week. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Tying for First in the USA Chess Tour Brooklyn Championship!

by CEO National Master Evan Rabin 

with Organizers IM Milos Scekic, GM Vladimir Romanenko and Ekaterina Romanenko

In Action against Christopher Tyau from Hawaii!

When you think of the big chess tournaments in the United States, you think of one organization, Bill Goichberg’s Continental Chess Association. A bulk of the major tournaments, including the World Open, Chicago Open and Philadelphia Open are run by them. However, Goichberg does not have a monopoly; several other organizers, including the Charlotte Chess Center and USA Chess Tour are starting to organize big money events. This past weekend, I had the honor of participating in and tying for the first in the U2200 section of the USA Chess Tour’s Brooklyn Chess Classic this past weekend. 

Don’t let the name fool you; the tournament took place in Manhattan. USA Chess Tour is organizing championships for each of New York’s 5 boroughs, but they are all taking place at the Stewart Hotel on 31st and 7th Avenue in Manhattan. The tournament had nice conditions with chess sets and clocks supplied. Every round they raffled off Amazon gift cards and magazines, courtesy of American Chess Magazine. The winners of each section took home large trophies, in addition to prizes. Since there was a small turnout, a large percentage of participants took home money. 

The tournament was flexible with two 2-day accelerated schedules, one for the early birds starting at 9:00 AM and another starting at 1:00 PM for those like myself who wanted to sleep in. 

I had a fast start to tournament, going 4–0 in my first four games. In round 5, I drew IS 318 Alumni National Expert Mubassar Uddin, who ended up tying for first with Jelvis Arrandela Calvelo and I. In round 6, I outplayed the top seat of the tournament National Master Noah Thomforde-Toastes. 

Here is my round 3 win against Expert Eden Diano:

Going into the last round, I was a full point ahead of the field with a score of 5.5/6. Calvelo and Uddin both had 4.5 points; therefore a draw or win would secure the match. Psychologically this can be a difficult situation as it is very tempting to play conservatively to the point where you are too passive. 

In Calvelo’s game against Uddin in round 4, he played 1.d4, d5, 2.c4, Nf6?!, which is a dubious move that gives white an easy advantage with a big center. I looked into online databases and saw he played this Nf6 moves several times. Therefore, for the first time in a long time, I played 1.d4 instead of my usual 1.e4. He then shocked me by playing 2. C5, the Benoni defense. Fortunately, I used to play the black side of the Benoni so knew the theory pretty well and got an advantage. However, I eventually made a few errors and blundered a pawn in some of the tactical complications and went on to lose. 

Too be honest, never did I ever feel so bittersweet about tying for first in a tournament. On one hand, I had a great tournament and won a nice $933; on the other, a few simple stakes costed me almost $700. Clear first place was worth $1600. 

Nevertheless, I am certainly happy I played in this inaugural event of the USA Chess Tour. I look forward to playing in the “Queens Championship” at the Stewart Hotel December 7-9: They also have an amazing IM-GM tournament coming up November 1-5: 

Monday, September 24, 2018

What Makes Chess and Psychologists a Winning Combination?

by Dr. Eric Padol, Licensed Psychologist at 
On-Site Psychological Services

Dr. Eric Padol is an articulate and reliable health-care professional with nine years of experience meeting clients’ needs through interpersonal contacts and thorough, well-researched written communications. He has a BA in Psychology from Binghamton University and a MS and Doctorate from Nova Southeastern University. 

I can utilize my years of experience as a therapist, tournament chess player, and spiritual chess player to help people learn life lessons from the game of chess, and to enjoy the dance, win, lose or draw! 

Specific life lessons include:

n  Plan, work hard, and absolute miracles will happen!
n  Don’t force things – forcing can lead to a losing result, while simply letting the situation unfold can create opportunities.
n  Don’t worry about results- Enjoy the process, get out of your comfort zone, and find you are stronger than you ever knew!
n  Love your opponent – he or she is a life teacher, not an adversary.

And much, much more!

I look forward to sharing with you, and receiving the gifts and lessons you have for me!
To learn more about Dr. Eric Padol, see

Monday, September 3, 2018

Advice from Bobby Fischer's Second Bill Lombardy- Go Over Full Games!

by Premier Chess CEO National Master Evan Rabin 

How many times have you caught yourself at a tournament bookstore or in your home searching online looking for that latest opening book to learn about some tricky side lines?
Chances are you one of the 95% of class players that spend an exorbitant amount of time learning the opening. If not, you likely spend too much time practicing tactics or endgames and not enough about positional understanding. To quickly become a well-rounded chess player, one should listen to the advice the late Grandmaster Bill Lombardy taught me- “Go over whole games!”

Image result for bill lombardy bobby fischer
A Young Bill Lombardy and Bobby Fischer 
Bill was Bobby Fischer’s second. Before that, he was a prodigy, winning 12-0 in the World Junior Championship. As portrayed in Pawn Sacrifice, Bill left the chess world to become a priest. After his priesthood years, he turned to his roots and taught chess in New York City. While I never the privilege of formally studying with him, we became friends over the years, spending time at the Marshall Chess Club, Washington Square Park, Union Square Park The Chess Forum the Washington Square Diner and other places.

One late night or early morning, depending how you want to put it, around 2:00 AM Bill gave me one of the most influential pointers I ever received at the Chess Forum: “Find a grandmaster that matches your style and go over all of his games; that way you could learn a lot of about the opening, middlegame and endgame all at once.”

I went home and immediately started brainstorming about who that special player could be. I looked at my bookshelf and saw British Grandmaster’s Michael (Mickey) Adams’ autobiography. My father Keith bought it for me several years prior but I never spent time to actually read it. After taking a quick glance at the games, I realized Mickey had a similar style to myself, often playing 1.e4, preventing counter-play and initiating an attack on around move 18-20.
Image result for mickey adams chess
Mickey Adams

Ever since then, I’ve been following Mickey’s games closely to develop opening ideas, attacking motifs, endgame transitions and more. This way I’ve been able to not just understand opening lines, but also the ways in which they lead to middlegames and endgames.

One thing to note, is your influential player should be a grandmaster but does not necessarily have to be a World Champion or Super Grandmaster Recently I recommended a student pick GM Varuzhian Akobian as she is also a d4 and French player.

Here’s one game of Adams that I went over recently; my notes are in red:

 [Event "2nd London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2010.12.08"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Adams, Michael"]
[Black "Howell, David W L"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Black Elo "2611"]
[ECO "C67"]
[Event Date "2010.12.06"]
[Event Rounds "7"]
[Source "Mark Crowther"]
[White Elo "2723"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 The Ruy Lopez is one opening I began to play inspired by Mickey.Nf6 4.O-O Nxe4 5.d4 Be7 6.Qe2 Nd6 7.Bxc6 Mickey gave up the bishop pair but Howell has development issues and less space. bxc6 8.dxe5 Nb7 9.c4 A helpful prophylactic  O-O 10.Nc3 f6 11.Re1 fxe5 12.Qxe5 Bf6 13.Qg3 Nc5 14.Bg5 Nd3 15.Re3 Nxb2 16.Rae1 Bxg5?( 16… Ba6, Ne4, Bxg5, Nexg5, Qf6 += 17.Nxg5 Qf6 18.Rf3 Qd8 19.Nce4 Ba6 20.Nxh7 Launching an attack right in that Move 18-20 range!  Rxf3 21.gxf3 Kxh7 22.Ng5+ Kg8 23.Qh4 Bxc4 24.Qh7+ Kf8 25.Re5 Be6 26.Qh8+ Ke7 and now Mate- in 2… 27.Qxg7+ Kd6 28.Ne4# 1-0

In many of Mickey’s game’s as in the one above, he will appear to have only a slightly better position and then all of a sudden find a tactical blow.

I am sad Bill unfortunately passed away last year but I am happy to carry on his legacy and share his teachings to Premier Chess students and others through articles like this. Now, go ahead and find a player that matches your style and go over all of his games!