EJCC's blog

Towards a self-explanatory chess set

I had a cheerful exchange recently with a correspondent, who wanted to teach her daughter how to play chess, and was attracted to the Children's Chess Set (from Devon's very own House of Marbles).  I like that set a lot, and in a similar vein you can still get hold

Eton ruffles

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
Results: http://www.bjca.org.uk/results.php?eid=1716

Exeter Juniors 1-2 Sidmouth B

A tale of three discoveries: a discovered attack proved the winning move in all three games.

Unmasked threats - discovered attacks and discovered checks - are the
most difficult threats to spot. You pay attention to the piece that
moves, but the threat comes from the piece behind.

I've attached a discovered attack training page - get your eye in! In 2010, the Devon U14 team lost an awful lot of points (or a lot of awful points) to discovered attacks, and the puzzles are all things that they missed.

{Some over-cautious play by Black gave White some chances early on, but it

Exeter Juniors 2½-1½ Seaton

Our first win! Even without the point from 'super-sub' Ray Shepherd, we had a draw in the bank, and that would have been a good result too.

So, well done all round. In both other games there was a big chance for our side early on - so make sure you think right from the start, don't 'warm up' during the game!

{A bit of a tired performance by White: Black picked up pawns every few moves
and went into an endgame four pawns ahead. There were a couple of chances to
hit back, and the one on move 8 might have given a very different result.

Exeter Juniors ½-3½ Tiverton Testosterones

{A terrific scrap where both sides took and missed their chances. In the end
the struggle with the 32 pieces on the board was decided as much by the clock
as by the moves.}

[pgn]
[Event "Exeter Juniors vs Tiverton"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2012.05.02"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Knowles, John"]
[Black "Keat, Sam"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D40"]
[PlyCount "106"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. e3 {
No threat to Black's survival, of course, but solid enough.} 4... Nc6 5. Nc3
Nf6 6. Bd3 {An invitation to play an IQP game.} 6... Bd6 (6... cxd4 7. exd4
dxc4 8. Bxc4 8... Be7 {

Exeter Juniors 1½-2½ Sidmouth UPDATED

UPDATE: Taylor's game added

{White avoided an early Queen swap, which might have been a nuisance, but it
was a move leading out of the frying pan into the fire.}

[pgn]
[Event "Exeter Juniors vs Sidmouth"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2012.04.28"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Keat, Sam"]
[Black "Martin, Steve"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B30"]
[PlyCount "52"]

1. e4 1... c5 2. Nf3
Nc6 3. c3 d5 4. d3 $6 (4. exd5 $1 4... Qxd5 5. d4 cxd4 (5... e5 $5) 6. cxd4
6... Bg4 {with pressure on the d-pawn, but it's actually safe because of} 7.

What went wrong there?

After this quick loss, Black was not sure what he did that was so bad. Come and look for clues with me...

[pgn]
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2012.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Rutland, William"]
[Black "Stuart, Ben"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C55"]
[PlyCount "29"]

{After this quick loss, Black was not sure what he did that was so bad. Come
and look for clues with me...} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 3... Nf6 {
Nothing wrong with any of that - this is the fine Two Knights' Defence.} 4. Nc3
Bc5 (4... Nxe4 $1 {is the easiest way for Black to get at least an equal game.}

EJCC 1-3 Exeter Gambits 30th March 2012

A close match ended in a 1-3 defeat for the youngsters. As so often in
chess, it wouldn't have taken much to reverse the score!

The juniors, unusually, fielded a team which had a majority of girls.

{1. A well-fought game: White got some attacking ideas muddled and lost a piece,
but pressure won the exchange leaving an exciting RvNN endgame.}

[pgn]
[Event "EJCC vs Exeter Gambits"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2012.03.30"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Trott, Tomas"]
[Black "Scholes, Richard"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C41"]
[PlyCount "91"]

Solitaire Chess

Visiting the hospital recently I spotted a nice new game. You'll know the game Solitaire, where you reduce a set of pegs by capturing to a single survivor.(Peg Solitaire to the Yanks [what they call Solitaire, played with cards, we call Patience]).
http://www.web-games-online.com/peg-solitaire/

ThinkFun have produced a chess version, available as a physical set, or a mobile phone app that you can try for free.
http://www.thinkfun.com/solitairechess

You're given a position, and have to make a series of captures to reduce the number of pieces to one.

A fairly easy one:

Mate in Two

Oliver and Leo had a go at this one, a favourite of mine:

RNB----k
--------
-------K
--------
--------
--------
pppppppp
--------

Over to you!

Need some help?

Read on...

Some points for starters:

If the Knight and Bishop move, that's checkmate, and in fact, no other mate in two seems possible.

Those are 8 black Pawns about to Queen, however.

So, move the Bishop somewhere, say, 1. Be6, to prevent the black King escaping.

Now, 1...a1Q 2.Na6#

And even 1...c1Q 2.Nc6# and 1...e1Q 2.N any #

But if Black promotes another pawn, it might be mate, but not in two.

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Chess Quotes

"Life is too short for chess."
— -- BYRON