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Making Tactics Work

1. A chess tactic is an unstoppable threat.  Often you can Avoid, Block, Capture or Defend your way out of a threat, but if you can't, you're probably on the receiving end of a tactic.

2. Tactical themes include:

  • jumps, mates, forks, nets, pins & ties

A fuller list of tactical themes might be:

Novel Opening Play

Jonathan wanted to have something on this session thinking about the English Opening, but, in case you don't play that system, I'll broaden it out a bit.

The experience of meeting novelty
---------------------------------

It needn't be a completely new move, of course, just new to you.

Let's see if we can create that experience for you.

Some examples that we came up with:

As White, facing 1.d4 e5!?
As White, facing 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4!?
As Black, facing 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4!?

What are we going to do now? 1/2

[pgn]
[Event "PC2 12/7/11 23:45"]
[Site "Palm Handheld"]
[Date "2011.07.12"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Southall, Chris"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "r1bq1rk1/2pn1pbp/1p1p1np1/pP2p3/2P5/2N1PN2/PB1PBPPP/R2Q1RK1 w - - 0 10"]
[PlyCount "26"]

10. d4 {Chris says: "Move 10 was where I wasn't sure what to do. I had
developed my minor pieces and felt like I needed to challenge black's solid
setup and open lines for my bishop which is somewhat blunted. I was also wary
of black's knight getting into c5. I also had an eye on the c6 square as black

Bobby Fischer Against the World

Just been to see Bobby Fischer Against the World at the Exeter PictureHouse.

Lots to say about it (I'm a Fischer nut, but there were loads of stills I hadn't seen, and live footage) but I mentioned one error I thought I noticed:

The breakthrough Game 3 of Spassky-Fischer was indeed notable for its unusual opening play by Fischer, but it was a defence he had played before, contrary to what I think people were saying in the film.

[pgn]
[Event "Interzonal"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Date "1970.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "22"]
[Result "0-1"]

Opening development and coordination

Summary

There are useful opening 'rules' (really, guidelines) which should be known and adopted at least until you know better.  Sadly, even strict obedience to the rules can lead to trouble, so you have to learn some specific opening lines.  You don't have to know every opening, but you need at least one system for White and a couple as Black.  Which ones you choose depends on your style and your appetite for study.

Opening principles

It's useful to review and rehearse the

Openings Workshop 2011

Knight Work

Charlie Keen

I don't have notes but I do have this very nifty slideshow.

The 65th square

The secret of Grandmaster play is to make use of the hidden 65th square on the chess board. I'm sure you've all had the experience of having a piece come at you, apparently out of nowhere, to take one of your army. That piece came from the 65th square.

I can't show you the square, because it's not on the usual 8x8 grid system, but I can show you that it is there.

Playing for a win

Jonathan had a frustrating game recently, where his hopes of an interesting game with chances to win came to nothing. Have a play through this one and have see what you think.

Murray-Waley, 2011

With hindsight, the various exchanges and the symmetrical pawn formation with likely further exchanges of Rooks were strong drawing factors. So we can suggest:

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Chess Quotes

"I find that chess is very useful when travelling alone in Turkey. ...Take yourself to the nearest teahouse. Order a glass of tea, and another or Raki, and set up a chess problem. Within seconds Turks will appear. they won't play chess with you, but it starts a conversation.

 "I did this once and someone asked, "Can I practise my English with you?" His first question was: "How many princesses have you slept with?" So now you see the point of chess."

— Bryan SEWELL