B

Class B (1600-1800)

Dr.Dave's Adventures at East Devon, 2000

This tournament somehow escaped record until 2016... I was going through a 1.e4 phase in a vain attempt to sharpen my game.

{It's always nice to start a tournament with a win. White plays the
theoretically-pointless Exchange French and gets a standard IQP attacking
position out of it. Surprisingly, everything worked out well for me, Black
never getting any counterplay going despite a cheeky Rook manoeuvre.}

[pgn]
[Event "Exeter Premier"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2000.03.03"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Regis, D."]
[Black "Evans, DK."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C01"]
[WhiteElo "1816"]

A coaching challenge

I played at the East Devon Chess Congress earlier this year alongside my
longstanding friend and team-mate Charlie Keen. During a break between
games, we went over one of his encounters, looking for tips for next
time. The critical position was this one:

[Event "East Devon"]
[Site "Exeter"]
[Date "2013.03.03"]
[Round "?"]
[White "charles, keen"]
[Black "terence, greenaway"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Annotator "Critical position"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "r4rk1/2p2ppp/p1n2q2/1p2pP1n/1P2P3/P2BB2P/2P3PK/3RQR2 w - - 0 20"]
[PlyCount "0"]

1-0

Basic Rook Endgames

We lost on board count to old rivals Teignmouth in the Peter Rooke Cup
at the end of January. One of the last games to finish involved a
simple-looking Rook endgame. Just as it was getting crucial, White,
short of time, found a time-saving blunder:

[Event "Exeter vs Teignmouth"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2013.01.26"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Gorodi"]
[Black "Pope"]
[Result "0-1"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "8/8/8/8/4k1R1/4p3/r7/5K2 b - - 0 1"]
[PlyCount "1"]

1...Kf3 0-1

So what should the result have been? I discussed it briefly with my

The Bogoljubow Paradox

"When I am White I win because I am White, when I am Black I win because I am Bogoljubow." - Efim Bogoljubow.

I'm still thinking about this, so bear with me, and comments invited...

I pounced on Nunn's Chess Openings when it came out, and found some things that I found puzzling.  Openings like the Dutch Stonewall, which I had always thought of as being fundamentally flawed, were being shown as equal, while superior approaches like the Classical Dutch were coming out as +=.

Isolated Queen's Pawns - another go

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:

Botvinnik-Vidmar 1936

Examination of a Game 1

"The unexamined life is not worth living" - Socrates
"The unexamined game is not worth playing" - Dr.Dave

Warming up 1

Play through this game and see what you think. I have omitted the final
moves, which are left as an exercise for the reader.

[pgn]
[Event "Exeter Chess Club Championship"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2011.11.01"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Waley, Jonathan"]
[Black "Southall, Chris"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A40"]
[PlyCount "59"]

1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 b6 3.Nf3 Bb7 4.e4 c5 5.g3 Nc6 6.Bg2 d6 7.0-0 Nf6 8.d4 cxd4

What's the point of learning opening theory?

A four-board match played away at Exmouth one Saturday:

The top board players each made a mistake on move 5: 1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 f5 4.Nc3 Nf6 now 5.e3(?) was possibly inaccurate, allowing 5...d5! (see Kosten’s book) but Black didn't play it, preferring 5...Be7.

A Queen sacrifice

I played an extremely boring last-round game at Torquay, choosing the English Defence, which is usually good for a scrap at my level.

Archer-Lock,C - Regis,D Torbay Open Riviera (5), 20.11.2011

1.d4 e6 2.c4 b6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e4 Bb7 5.Bd3 f5 6.Qh5+ g6

The Queen check is supposed to weaken the black King's-side, but it also has some benefits for Black; f5 is strengthened and the g7 square can be a bolt-hole for the black Queen.

7.Qe2 Nf6 8.Bg5 fxe4 9.Bxe4 Bxe4 10.Bxf6 Qxf6 11.Qxe4 Nc6 12.Nf3 0-0 ½-½

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

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Chess Quotes

> Does anybody know the etymology of skittles?
"Once in a Moscow chess club I saw how two first-category players knocked pieces off the board as they were exchanged, so that the pieces fell onto the floor.
It was as if they were playing skittles and not chess!
"
Think Like A Grandmaster by Alexander KOTOV

Michael Trent, michael@shogi.demon.co.uk