Sorry if that sounds a bit alarming! What I mean is, after the summer break, you might find that your usual tactical sharpness has gone a bit rusty.
To get back to your normal diamond-honed sharpness, you just need you get your eye back in with some practice.
Some things to practice are:
We were on display last Sunday at CCANW [ http://www.ccanw.co.uk/ ], and one of the things I thought to show the crowds was Kriegspiel - one form of chess that might count as a spectator sport. It's a sort of a cross between chess and battleships. We had a go on Tuesday night with Jeremy, Charlie and Jon.
White looking North
Black looking South
The way it works is this:
Two things to think about today: a study by Dierdle and a game by Capa. We did each as an exercise, trying to work out the best moves for each side.
[Event "K+P vs K+P"]
[FEN "8/6k1/8/8/p7/8/1PK5/8 w - - 0 1"]
[White "Capablanca, Jose"]
[Black "Kupchik, Abraham"]
Two open gambits
Richard was interested in the Urusoff Gambit and Eddie in the Scotch Gambit.
Gambits offer a pawn for fast development and/or control of the centre. I approve very much of this way of playing, and it's the first thing I offer juniors as an alternative to playing Old Stodge with both White and Black in every game.
Here's a starter for each:
[Event "Urusov Gambit"]
Isolated Queen's Pawns - another go.
If you have an Isolated Queen's Pawn, you have outposts on c5 and e5, a half-open e-file, more space, more mobility, and more chances of attacking - on either side, I guess, but the e5 outpost suggests the King's-side. On a good day, it works like this:
A report of the visit of the Devon County U18 Chess Team to compete in the English Junior County Championships.
National report: http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3777&hilit=eton&start=15#p...
Local Report : http://www.chessdevon.co.uk/HTML/News/TBGS/base.htm and PHOTO http://www.chessdevon.co.uk/DSCN2758.JPG
In making notes on games, I've probably explained lots of chess mistakes, and why they were mistakes. I might say, this Black move is a mistake, because White now plays A, and this works because if B then C and if D then E. (Or, White should have played A, etc.)
But there is another side to each mistake, which I can't tell anything about, but which perhaps you can, and you should try. A mistake in a chess move is also a mistake in thinking.
A few years ago I was interested in David Pritchard's account of an original
French game (Tempête sur l'échiquier) in his book of chess variants. I found
the artwork a delight, and was curious recently to try and discover what had
been made of it since - in particular, if there is now an English version.
Indeed there is, released by Steve Jackson games:
And it has a fan page:
The team at Chess Variants led by the indefatigable Hans Bodlaender give