About the Author: AlanB

You don’t need to be a master to publish a great chess course. If you’re like Dr. Alan Bester, your passion and dedication for the game are all you need to become a hit Chessable author. 

Alan, better known by his Chessable username AlanB, started studying the game about 10 years ago and fell in love with it. Completely self-taught, he would spend hours going through the games of his favorite players, particularly Bobby Fischer, deconstructing them so he could learn and employ the same tactics they used. 

He absorbed a lot from them too – in just those 10 years as a hobbyist, he’s hit an ICCF correspondence rating of 2122 and online blitz rating of 2041! Now, he’s beating titled players and on the verge of becoming a master himself. No coach, no chess camps, just a love for the game and plenty of time reading books and watching videos. 

What really solidified his knowledge was Chessable. But Alan didn’t use Chessable in the way most of us use it, simply getting the courses and putting in the reps on MoveTrainer (though he certainly did a lot of that too!); Alan decided to make his own courses. 

Alan at his desk
Where the magic happens – Alan at his desk in Johannesburg, South Africa

It was an enriching experience for him. He could solidify his own knowledge by explaining it, help other chess improvers learn by sharing what he learned, even make some money from it, and it was fun for him. 

And his passion shined through to people taking his courses. The quality fruit of his labors led users to show their own love in the form of rave reviews and downloads of his other courses.

If you’re looking to improve your tactics and calculation skills, Alan’s courses are definitely worth a look. He’s become an expert on breaking down positions from master games and explaining the thought processes so you can see how the pros calculate their winning combinations. Take a look at this problem from his course Moves Ahead 2: Calculation Fundamentals. 

Which of these moves leads to checkmate? (for the answer and explanation, see the bottom of the article)

27.Qf5+

27.Qh3

27.Qh7

Potkin - Pruess 2009

But this article just doesn’t do his work justice – see for yourself by visiting his Chessable author page. You can find plenty of great courses to hone your chess tactics, including several free ones – and you can support an amazing author spreading the power of chess. 

Answer to puzzle:

27.Qh7 is the right answer, threatening Qxg8# or Rxg8#. If Black plays 27…Qf7, 28.Rxg8 makes Black play 28…Qxg8, but then e7 bishop is undefended. 29.Qxe7#! 

If 27.Qf5+, simply 27…Qf7 stops it. 27.Qh3 threatening 28.Qh6+ is met by 27…Qf7 28.Qh6+ Qg7 29.Rxg8 Kxg8. 

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