Exeter Chess Club [MAP] is a strong and thriving club in Devon (South-West England), established in 1895, which plays in the Exeter and District Chess League and the leagues organised by the Devon County Chess Association.

This website tells you about the club and its junior wing and keeps members and visitors up to date with developments; you might be particularly interested in our coaching materials and Dr.Dave's Chess Coaching Blog.



Getting started with the Coaching stuff...

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Coaching Programme Summer 2015

Coaching Programme Summer 2015

Tuesdays 7.30pm Small Bar, Heavitree Social Centre

7th July Opening workshop (move orders in the Accelerated Dragon, home-made openings, suggestions from the floor) http://exeterchessclub.org.uk/content/opening-workshop-2015
14^th July: Passed Pawn Pandemonium http://exeterchessclub.org.uk/content/passed-pawn-pandemonium
21^st July: Tactical knockouts with Tim
28^th July: “To take is a mistake”: tension on the board
4^th August: Blunder checking
11th August: Time management

Passed Pawn Pandemonium

Passed pawn tactics: the breakthrough

[Event "passed pawns"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015. 0. 0"]
[Round "?"]
[White "PPPvsppp"]
[Black "breakthrough"]
[Result "*"]
[FEN "k7/5ppp/8/5PPP/8/8/8/K7 w - - 0 1"]
[Setup "1"]

{A familiar idea} *


[Event "Chess Choice Challenge"]
[Site "Test 1/18"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "KNPPPP"]
[Black "KNPPP"]
[Result "*"]
[FEN "5n2/7p/4pNp1/4P1P1/5P1P/4k3/1K6/8 w - - 0 1"]
[Setup "1"]

{Our analysis ran:}

Opening Workshop 2015

A bit of perspective

Your opening choices are determined by:

Your style: are you a Steady Eddie or a Bonkers Billie?

Your memory: can you commit the key traps and variations to memory?

Your study time: can you find and absorb what you need to play this system well?

Your aims: are you trying to get a playable position? are you trying to
set your opponent problems, so they make a mistake? are you inviting
your opponent to waltz with you blindfold on the edge of a cliff? are
you trying to lure them into unfamiliar territory, or a trap?

Trouble with b6

"I'm having trouble getting ...b6 to work against 1.e4"

1.e4 b6

[Event "Coaching"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015. 0. 0"]
[Round "?"]
[White "NN"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "*"]
[FEN "rnbqkbnr/p1pppppp/1p6/8/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 2"]
[Setup "1"]


"I'm not surprised!"

Any opening is only as good as the ideas you bring to it. I don't think
I heard much from you about what your ideas were in playing ...b6: what
sort of position do you hope to get to play?

The ideas behind some systems can be pretty straightforward - for
example, I think the Evans Gambit and the French Defence and the Colle
System can be picked up pretty quickly by club players, and the extra
ideas you need as your opponents get better at meeting your new opening
can be added fairly easily. The French Defence in particular often
leads to the same sort of pawn structure (white Pd4 Pe5 vs black Pd5
Pe6), so, even if you don't recognise the exact variation, you can still
have a good idea about the best plans for both sides.

1...b6 is a rarity - you will struggle to find many books to read, or
games to follow. If you look it up in the books, you will find most of
the lines end in +=. The ideas behind the opening are hard to find or
understand: I think it can be best interpreted as a hypermodern defence,
letting White occupy the centre then hoping to get play later, either by
deciding on your own central setup once you have seen what White has
done, or using the centre as a target. I think it ends up as += because
that is hard to do! Also, you aren't going to get the same structures
and ideas in each game, and you are going to lose games that you don't

My advice: pick something else!


Things to take to a chess tournament

As before, mostly to help me, but might help you,comments invited.


pairing cards

tournament sheet

pairing software?

Things to say before a junior chess tournament

Notes for my own benefit!  But might benefit you... Comments invited.