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  • Glenn Julich

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

As I re-boot my studying of chess, I was thinking I would start by reviewing the Italian Game and working on it in matches and with the computer. 

To review, The Italian Game is characterized by this opening:

Now to review the specifics ins and outs, and where to go after white's bishop to c4m, I'd like to recommend a video. I found this fantastic video from by a channel I subscribe to on YouTube called "thechesswebsite." 

Even though I have been playing for years, I am an utter novice when it comes to theory, so he breaks it down very nicely and I realized I need to review a couple of other items he mentions as well: 

  • Blackburn Shilling Attack

  • Fried Liver Attack

  • The Rousseau Gambit

Be sure to check out his channel if you haven't already.  His content is fantastic.

  • Glenn Julich

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

I recently downloaded the app by called Dr. Wolf. I've used it for about two weeks now and wanted to share my experiences with it from the perspective of a novice player.

After I did a few sample games with the app, I enjoyed it enough to go ahead and sign up for a subscription. At the time of this writing, the subscription cost is $4.99/month.

After about two weeks, I have found that I have learned quite a bit from it and I'm enjoying the plain-English explanations of why my moves were good or bad. I enjoy playing this better than an unresponsive computer opponent, anyway.

Often, he will teach you something before the game and when you play him in the next game, he will setup (usually) that scenario that you can learn to recognize that pattern. Okay, that's pretty cool!

I especially enjoy the feature where he recommends we flip sides after I make a blunder so I can better appreciate my mistake.

My main complaint about the software is that it is a subscription model. I get that this is the most common means that software companies are going about making money these days, but I would rather pay up to $29 once for this app and be done with it, rather than have a subscription. So my plan at this time is to work with it daily for a few weeks and see how it goes.

Also, I readily admit that this is no replacement for a chess coach. I am consider this in order to get me off to a good start and see if it would work for someone as busy as myself. Right now I'm just trying to get some basics down before I make that jump.

I should add that I have read in the forums several complaints about the app by more seasoned chess players. They feel there are a number of inaccuracies about the recommended moves. I'm not really qualified at this point to make this assessment, but I did appreciate their reviews.

To learn more about this app, visit the official Dr. Wolf page:

(All images are from

  • Glenn Julich

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

Image created with Crello. Used with permission.

I thought I would just drop in a quick post about my goals since I recently invited other similar newbies like myself to follow along with this blog.

So I'm in my mid-40s, and I recognize that I will never become a grandmaster.  Fortunately, I'm not looking for that. 

I have always enjoyed the game of chess and have studied it off-and-on for years.  But I always felt like I never got better, so after a few months I would drop out.  The last time I was playing seriously a few years ago, I was actually starting to improve.  I found myself looking for forking and skewer opportunities, which was definitely an improvement for me.

And here I am again!  A few weeks ago, I started to get serious again for chess.  So what does "serious" mean for me?  At best, an hour per day; at most.  I'm a busy professional, so I doubt I can commit any more time than that.  Oh to be 8 years old again and have hours and hours to play chess with a mind exceptionally better at learning than this old man!  LOL  Yeah, those days are forever gone.  So I just want to see improvement.

So my goal is to get up to about 1200-1400 or so in the next year.  As I write this, I'm bouncing around 600-800 which I think is what you get if you manage to put the pieces on the board in the right place.  LOL

What am I doing to go about this?  I will write more about that later.

Thanks for reading.