Blunder-proofing your game

Three quite shocking examples from junior chess.

[Event "Blunder-proofing"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015"]
[Round "?"]
[White "NN"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "*"]
[FEN "r2q1rk1/1pp2ppp/p6B/3pPb2/1n1P4/5NQ1/PPP2PPP/R4RK1 b - - "]
[Setup "1"]

1...Nxc2?? 2.Qxg7#

[Event "Blunder-proofing"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015"]
[Round "?"]
[White "NN"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "*"]
[FEN "r3kb1r/ppp1pppp/8/3q4/3N4/7P/PPPPbPP1/R1BQ1RK1 w kq - 0 10"]
[Setup "1"]

10.Qxe2?? (10.Nxe2!) *

[Event "Blunder-proofing"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015"]
[Round "?"]

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!


Cotswold Congress 23-25 May 2015

Cotswold Congress

At King’s School, Gloucester, Whitsun Bank Holiday, 23rd – 25th May 2015

Exeter 2-6 Tiverton, Peter Rooke Final 25th April 2015

Exeter 2-6 Tiverton, Peter Rooke Final

1 Simon WATERS (165) [B] - Mike Richardt (184) [W]
2 Andy FRANGLETON (151) [W] - Brian HEWSON (174) [B]
3 Sean POPE (144) 1/2-1/2 Ivor ANNETTS (162)
4 Piet DOBBER (138) 0-1 Keith ATKINS (157)
5 Jonathan WALEY (135) 0-1 Jon DUCKHAM (152)
6 Will MARJORAM (132) 0-1 Stephen THORPE-TRACEY (104)
7 Eddy PALMER (131) 1/2-1/2 Joe FLANAGAN (99)
8 Reece WHITTINGTON (124) 0-1 Gregor FOTHERINGHAM (70E)
Exeter 2-6 Tiverton

Tiverton established an early lead in the middle order, and some

The most important mistake in chess

I have been writing about the games from the U14 county team events for many years now (12) and often end up saying the same things. This year we had a couple of particularly clear examples of "the most important mistake in chess" ... which is:

ignoring your opponent's threats!

Here's a simple example:
Black has just played 14...Nb4 and White replied with 15.Bh6

Black went ahead with their plan to gobble the c-pawn: 15...Nxc2??

Exeter 4.5-3.5 Newton Abbot Peter Rooke Cup Sat 10th Jan 2015

1 Waters, Simon (B) 1/2-1/2 Brooks, Paul (W)
2 Frangleton, Andy (W) 0-1 Hui, M (B)
3 Pope, Sean 1/2-1/2 Kinder, Andrew
4 Dobber, Piet 1-0 Taylor, Wiilf
5 Waley, Jonathan 1/2-1/2 Ramesh, Vignesh
6 Marjoram, Will 1/2-1/2 Allen, John
7 Palmer, Eddy 1/2-1/2 Barber-Lafon, Jacquie
8 Whittington, Reece 1-0 Narayanan, Nandaja 4.5-3.5

Things to have available at a chess match

  • milk
  • tea
  • coffee
  • sugar
  • biscuits/snacks
  • tables
  • light
  • heat

Gambits galore

We welcome to the club a bunch of new members, among whom is Ian
Simpson, who comes to give us better weather, or, at least, better
weather forecasts.

Ian is a big gambit fan and is looking forward to the Rex Willis
Memorial Gambit Blitz Tournament in the Spring.

Ian has his own website which discusses lots of gambit lines:
Looks good! And essential revision material for the Rex Willis event...

Exeter & District League - Games 2014/15

Games 2014/15 (NEW!)

E&D Premiership: Exmouth Elephants 1-3 Exmouth Eagles, 2014.10.15

Board 1 - Steve Murray* 1/2-1/2 Chris Scott
Board 2 - David Thomson 1/2-1/2 Bob Jones*
Board 3 - Fred Hodge* 0-1 Malcolm Belt
Board 4 - Tom Badlan 0-1 Simon Blake*

[Event "E&D Premiership: Exmouth Elephants vs Exmouth Eagles, Board 1"]
[Date "2014.10.15"]
[White "Steve Murray (Exmouth Elephants, Board 1)"]
[Black "Chris Scott (Exmouth Eagles, Board 1)"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C50"]
[PlyCount "61"]

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Chess Quotes

"In the eighteenth century they announced their first rule: "Sortez les pieces" - "Get the pieces out". "It took a hundred years before a new rule was announced. Anderssen, the winner of the first International Tournament, that of London, 1851, said:

  "Move that one of your pieces, which is in the worst plight, unless you can satisfy yourself that you can derive immediate advantage by an attack"

 "A few decades went by [...] the masters evolved a "public opinion":

— LASKER, Manual of Chess (second book)