J

Juniors

Dr.Dave's Brain Sharpening Kit

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:

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.

Making it up as you go along?

"I thought I would try something different."

This doesn't usually go well! Here are two examples:

[pgn]
[Event "Exeter Juniors vs Sidmouth"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2012.04.28"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Warburton, Ralph"]
[Black "Royle, James"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A60"]
[PlyCount "49"]

1. d4 e6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 Nf6 4. Nc3 d6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 b6 7. e4 Bb7 8. Be2 Nbd7
9. Nf3 g5 10. Bg3 Nh5 11. O-O Nxg3 12. fxg3 Nf6 13. e5 dxe5 14. Nxe5 exd5 15.
Qa4+ Ke7 16. Rae1 Qd6 17. Bf3 Ne4 18. Nxf7 Kxf7 19. Bxe4+ Ke7 20. Bxd5+ Kd8 21.

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 {

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:

Kriegspiel

Kriegspiel is a great game for three people and an audience. The audience has the most fun. It's like a cross between chess and battleships.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battleship_%28game%29

You're White, you have a chessboard and a set of chess pieces, your opponent has their own chessboard and pieces and plays black. You sit back to back. An umpire lets you know when your opponent has moved, if there is a capture or a check, and keeps a score. And that's more or less it!

http://www.chessvariants.org/incinf.dir/kriegspiel.html

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Chess Quotes

There is, of course, a very famous saying from Rueben Fine:
"I'd rather have a pawn than a finger."

  It's often quoted during analysis.

  One of my favorite sayings, though, came as a response to this.

  About 40 players were watching an online broadcast of a major match.

  One of the players was a pawn down, and there was some argument as to how much compensation the other had.

  One of the masters present quoted Fine, "As Reuben Fine said, "I'd rather have a pawn than a finger."

— -- Duif