The Chess Angle

The Chess Angle

The Chess Angle is the official podcast of the renowned Long Island Chess Club in NY. We discuss chess, tournament play, and improvement at the amateur and club level. Featured guests include titled players and dedicated amateurs. New episodes drop on Sundays. Web: Twitter (X): Email: Thank you for listening and we hope you win your next game!


June 16, 2024 38 mins

Like it or not, the clock is just as much a part of tournament chess as the board and pieces. Poor clock management is a consistent problem for many players. We cover:

  • Why clock management is essential for tournament success
  • Common causes of time-trouble (and how to avoid it)
  • The dangers of perfectionism and obsessing over the "best" move
  • An interesting trick you can use to get your opponent into time trouble


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You hang one pawn, then eight moves later you hang another, and then your opponent easily wins the game while you're still processing where you went wrong. This is all too common at the club level. In addition, Neal dives into the Listener Mailbag.

Game Referenced: Neal vs. 1490 (G/90;d10)

1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 Bf5 3. e3 e6 4. Bd3 Bd6 5. Bg3 Nf6 6. Bxf5 exf5 7. Qf3 Qd7 8.
Bxd6 Qxd6 9. c3 Qd7 10. Qe2 O-O 11. Nf3 Nc6 12. O-O Rfe8 13. Qc2 Q...

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National Master Nick Panico returns to the pod for some "chess coffee talk" and shares his insights from the tournament scene. We cover:

  • Developing a tournament routine
  • Playing while distracted
  • What to do when the guy next to you won't stop coughing
  • Our thoughts on caffeine consumption as a chess player
  • Preparing for OTB play

📧 If you have a question or topic idea for a future episode, e-mail us at

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This week we take a deep dive into the psychology of draw offers for the club-level player. Strategically offering or accepting a draw can add quite a number of points to your rating. We break this down in detail.


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This podcast recently crossed the half-a-million download mark! Thank you all for your support of The Chess Angle.

This week's guest is International Master Michael Rahal. Michael is a professional trilingual chess coach, content creator, and FIDE Press Officer. In this jam-packed episode, he provides thoughtful insight on the challenges of improving at chess as an adult and why there's not always a positive correlation between che...

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This week's pod is an updated and revised version of Episode 12: Chess Improvement Hacks for Busy People. Neal offers some practical time-saving hacks for busy adults with limited study time and argues that social media overload may harm your chess progress.  

If you're enjoying the pod, please consider telling your chess playing friends about us and giving us a 5-star review on your podcast app of choice. We appreciate your suppor...

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This week, Neal shares some tips, tricks, and harsh realities he learned from playing in chess tournaments over the years.

📧 If you have a question or topic idea for a future episode, e-mail us at

🎯 Our Links: 

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This week, Neal puts on his tournament director hat to discuss rule violation scenarios using real examples from amateur chess tournaments. We also include common mishaps and misunderstandings at the club level regarding rules and procedures. Amateur players of all levels should find this episode both informative and entertaining! Special thanks to Pat Barron, friend of the pod and fellow TD from Pennsylvania whose correspondence w...

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This week's guest is Australian Grandmaster Max Illingworth. Max is a coach, author, and blogger who has lots of experience working with adult chess improvers and a sincere interest in helping them get better. His blog is instruction rich and formed the basis of our conversation. Max shared his thoughts on why many adult players have trouble improving, including the erroneous thought processes and approaches that hinder p...

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Welcome to Season 7!

As a reminder, you can become a Patreon member of The Chess Angle. For just $2 a month, you can support the show while receiving a few perks including access to a members-only blog, Neal's personal episode notes/outlines, priority consideration for questions/topic suggestions, and early access to select episodes. 

If you're interested in a single donation, we also have a Buy Me a Coffee page, where you can buy ...

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This episode is our Season 6 finale. We'll be taking a short break and will return with Season 7 on April 14, 2024. This week, we discuss ten common reasons why players at the club level lose games:

1 - Non-processing

2 - Rushing against odd opening moves

3 - Neglecting development/premature attacks

4 - Misplaying castling

5 - Rook posing

6 - Too much French pastry

7 - Trading down to a losing King and pawn ending

8 - Trying too ha...

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This week's guest, Tim Just, is a major figure in tournament directing and chess administration. He is a National TD, editor of the 5th-7th editions of the US Chess Rulebook, author, and columnist. When it comes to directing amateur chess tournaments, he's done it all and seen it all. In this episode, Tim shares a number of wild and entertaining anecdotes from the amateur chess scene. You can't make this stuff up!

Links for Tim Jus...

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Nick Visel is a dedicated club player with a long term goal of achieving the title of National Master. He is well known in the adult improver community and is very popular on Twitter/X. You may be interested in subscribing to Nick's Substack where he shares book reviews, analysis of his OTB tournament games, and more. This week, Nick joined Neal for a candid conversation about chess improvement, the ups and downs of playing at the ...

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In this jam-packed episode, return guest Grandmaster Daniel Gormally discusses the upcoming 2024 Candidates Chess Tournament: the players, controversies, history, and more. The winner of this event will challenge Ding Liren for the title of World Chess Champion. The Candidates begins on 4/3/24 in Toronto, Canada.

Links for the Candidates Tournament:

Links for GM Daniel Gormal...

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Welcome to our 100th episode! Be sure to check out our new and improved website. Same address, updated look. This week, we explore five universal responses for Black. These can be played against any first move by White. 

In this episode:

  • Listener Mailbag
  • 1…g6 (Modern Defense)
  • Hippopotamus Defense
  • 1…e6 
  • ...
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Chess improvement can be overwhelming and daunting for beginners looking to reach the intermediate level and beyond. This is especially true for busy adults with limited study time. In the episode, we provide a general overview of what we believe beginners and advanced beginners should focus on and provide a number of suggested resources to get you started.

Suggested Books:

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The week, Neal dives into the listener mailbag to discuss the parallels between music and chess, handling losses, and dealing with frustration at the chessboard. This is followed by an open and candid discussion about mindset and attitude at the chessboard during OTB tournaments. There's definitely an emphasis on chess psychology for this episode.


(00:00) - Intro

(00:48) - Chess and Music

(07:38) - Dealing with Losses


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This week's guest is National Master Daniel Lowinger, a high school Chinese teacher who cut his teeth playing chess on the New York scene. Dan offers some thoughtful and philosophical ideas about amateur chess improvement, titles, being honest with oneself, and much more.


(00:00) - Intro

(03:48) - Dan's Beginnings

(06:24) - Thoughts on Chess Titles

(23:44) - Honesty with Oneself

(29:43) - Adult Improvement

(44:18) - 3...Q...

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Our guest this week is English Grandmaster Daniel Gormally. Daniel is a professional chess player and coach who has written several books on the game. He is also the author of a 3-part Chessable series entitled Sharp Middlegames. In addition, Daniel has represented England in the European Team Championship and is a two-time winner of the English Rapid Play Championship. He earned his final GM norm in 2005 in a tournament where he s...

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This week we discuss how to analyze your chess games with an engine to increase learning, avoid mistakes, and explore your thought process. Neal addresses some listener mail and then reviews one of his OTB games where he was having an off night. There were miscues from both players throughout which is typical at the club level.


1. d4 Nf...

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