What to expect

The time I started my chess journey, there were no computer engines.

Studying the opening and deciding on opening repertoire player needed to understand the ensuing middle games. There was no engine evaluation or engine to tell you what the best move was.

I have (for example) built (most of mine) ‘White repertoire’ based on Botvinnik (and later Kasparov) games because I liked and understood the ensuing middlegames.

Those years my coach was fearless attacker Dragoljub Velimirovic. I liked his ‘minor sacrifices’ very much, but on the other hand I did not like his ‘sacrifice the house’ (Tal like) approach in many positions.

I do remember endless analyzing days (with Velimirovic) and me understanding that ‘minor sacrifice’ positions I do understand and play very well, while Tal like chaotic style was not my cup of tea.


Nowadays similar decisions are often influenced by computer evaluations.

I have seen many aspiring players making a mistake trusting computer evaluation (as to which opening line to choose) rather than trying to evaluate/understand ensuing middlegames. Computer engine may evaluate 0.50, but if player does not understand the position, it will soon be 0.00 or worse.

My coaching approach is helping player build a versatile middle game knowledge, try to understand his strengths and weaknesses. Road to improvement takes time (and mentioned is part of the process).

In lecturing I try to be practical.

It always makes me laugh seeing a title like ‘100 endgames you must know’. Really? Try to know 25-30 you are likely to get!

Game Sokolov Kasparov

Middlegames, I try to teach having databases on particular themes based on good practical examples.

Which middlegame theme do I mostly teach or how do I approach them? Most people teach similar subjects/themes, but one may have better examples or teaching abilities that the other.

I try teaching middlegames to combine ‘general chess improvement’ value with ‘practical value’.

For example, ‘pawn majority in center’ is one of the most popular themes (lectured by many), but if we combine understanding those dynamic positions with improving practical knowledge on most popular variations those positions arise from (like semi-Tarrasch or Petrosian/Kasparov variation QI) this brings an extra value to an aspiring competitive tournament player.


Saemisch Nimzo double c-pawns pawn structures perhaps best can be understood studying Botvinnik’s games, but if we add modern Carlsen’s games plus fresh ideas, we have a weapon to use in practical tournament play.

Garry Kasparov, best Black side Sicilian player ever retired 15 years ago. How did Garry play with White versus his bellowed opening gives us a great insight (of what really dangerous for Black might be)! We than add the best top games from the past 15 years (to the lines Garry played) and we do not only get an excellent understanding of those positions, but are also well armed for our next tournament.