Game of the Week – Week 3

Game of the Week

Every day, we are faced with hundreds of decisions that could change the course of our future. For most of us, fortunately, the majority of these decisions are not life-changing. However, consider if you were the leader of an organization in which many of the decisions you make could potentially be critical for your company.

For example, imagine when one of the founders of Yahoo!, David Filo, was approached in 1998 by two students offering to sell him their search-engine prototype. If someone had warned him that this would be a critical decision for his company, would he have ever advised them to strike out on their own, eventually creating Google? 

As the saying goes, chess is a model of life. What happened to David Filo may happen to chess players every time they play. They have limited time and cannot afford to think deeply about every move, so the best thing they can do is try to recognize which positions are critical and spend most of their time working through these.

Understanding critical positions is one of the top skills that strong chess players have, similar to strong decision-makers in life. Fortunately, training on this ability in chess is much easier than in the less predictable circumstances of real life!

Critical position: Where one decision may significantly alter the outcome of the game.

You might be wondering how to recognize a critical position in a game. It is not practical to explain this concept in a short blog post; however, I’ve found that the easiest way to improve upon this skill is by solving as many puzzles with critical positions as possible. Eventually, you will begin to recognize patterns and spend more time in those positions. Hopefully, you will not only be able to recognize these critical positions, but also find the best ways to work through them!

From now on, before reading our game analysis, you will have an opportunity to solve critical positions and compare your reasoning with what actually happened in the game. 

Game of the Week

While everyone’s eyes were still on the Tata Steel Chess festival, a great opening preparation with an astonishing execution happened this week at the Lozovatsky Memorial tournament held in Chelyabinsk, Russia.

The Game of the Week is: Andrei Zhigalko vs. Viachaslau Zarubitski

Critical Position 1 – White to move (very hard)

Critical Position 2 – White to move (hard)


Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article, please click the “Share” button, and if you find any noteworthy games that you think should appear on Game of the Week, please send us a message on Please note that Game of the Week will cover games played from Saturday to Saturday of each week, and any games played on Sunday will go to the next week. See you next Sunday!


Grandmaster Vasif Durarbayli

Grandmaster Burak Firat

Edited by Della Almind

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