Coaching sessions Summer 2018

Coaching programme 2018

24 July
Looking for weaknesses
31 July Creating and exchanging Strong pieces
7 Aug Openings round-up (Bird's, Budapest, second openings)
14 Aug Creating, spotting and dealing with threats
21 Aug [Something will happen this week I hope, possibly Time Control]
28 Aug The London System
4 Sep
Changing habits
11 Sep
Endgames

 July 24 Looking for weaknesses

A short task, but not an easy one:

1. Write down all the things you need to do to be a good chessplayer
2. From the list, tick all the things you are good at
3. From the list, put a cross against the things you need to improve

The responses:

Feature

Tick
Cross
Look at your poorly protected pieces T
/

Look at your pawn structure S
/

Look at your King protection T
/

PLay with all your pieces S
/

Look at your opponent's pieces ST
/

Play according to attack or defence G
/

Look for tactics for both sides T
/

Exchange off your opponent's strong pieces S

x
Opening repertoire
O
/

Checking threats/tactics
T

x
Develop pieces
O


Have a plan - strategy
S
/

Control the centre (directly or indirectly)
S


Create threats -- give your opponent a chance to go wrong
T

x
Endgame basics
E
/

Handle time pressure
G

x
Research opponent's openings (if possible)
O


Battle even if position is lost
G


Study opening theory
O
/

Tactical awareness
T
/

Positional understanding
S
/

Clock sense
G

x
Play the opponent, not just the position
G
/

Be patient
G

x
Be a risk taker
G
/

Calculate ahead
T
/

Poker face
G


Endgame theory
E

x
Don't accept draws in better position
G

x
Don't blunder pieces
T


Activate your pieces
S


Look at opponent's possibilities as well as your own
GT


Time management
G


Don't leave King exposed before endgame
TE


Push passed pawns
E
/

Don't allow opponent good outposts
S

x

GOSTE = Openings / Tactics / Strategy / Endgame / General

The weaknesses I will try and turn into future sessions.

We had a few opening queries:

  • How do you play the London System?
  • How do you play the Caro-Kann?
  • What's a solid line against the Budapest Gambit?
  • What's a good non-main-line system against the Bird's Opening?
  • Do you need a second-string opening?

31 July Strong pieces

7 Aug Opening workshop

  • Opening recommendations for beginners
    • Your choice of opening will rest (or should rest) on several considerations: your style and temperament as a chessplayer, your time and aptitude for study, and your ambitions as a player.  The standard recommendation for a junior with little experience is to play open, attacking lines with 1.e4 with both colours -- this will let them some fun, will get their eye on for important basic tactics, and instil a sense of the importance of activity and development that should last them the rest of their lives, and they will likely enjoy learning a few lines and traps.  But for an older player, perhaps more interested in getting a playable game while doing as little study as possible, then the Colle System or London System might suit better as White, and the French or Caro-Kann and Slav as Black.  For someone with more affection for attacking chess, the Vienna and Closed Sicilian could suit.
  • Do you need a second-string opening?
    • All else being equal, yes!
    • This does not mean, mugging up on a new system the night before (many risks to this)
    • It means, keeping a second opening system simmering in the background (friendlies, occasional serious games) all the time
    • It helps if your second-string system is:
      • Low on theory - nothing sharp
      • Easy to learn - using a similar set-up in each game
      • Related to systems you already play
    • Because of this last point, it isn't easy to recommend one for everyone, but:
      • Low on theory/easy to learn: Colle, London, King's Indian Attack, Closed Sicilian; Fort Knox, Stonewall, Scandinavian, Old Indian
      • Related to systems you already play: e.g. Worrall Attack for a Ruy Lopez player, Keres Defence for a Nimzo/Bogo player, King's Indian for a Modern Defence player, Accelerated Dragon for a Dragon player,
  • Playing White against the Budapest Gambit
    • Bf4 or not Bf4
      • Nc3 or not Nc3
    • The slow system with Nf3: e3 or a3?
    • Lines without Nf3
  • A non-standard line for Black against Bird's Opening
    • From's Gambit (1.f4 e5) may not be satisfactory -- and you have to be prepared for a transposition to the King's Gambit with 2.e4 -- while White can be relied upon to know the main lines with 1...d5.  What else is there?
    • Richard Palliser recommends in Beating Unorthodox Openings to play either 1...d5 2.Nf3 Bg4 or 1...d6 with the idea of an early ...Bg4 and ...e5.  This system is missing from Taylor's popular book.
  • The Caro-Kann

14 Aug Creating and responding to threats

  • Creating threats
    • Good threats
    • Bad threats
    • Advanced threats
  • Responding to threats
    • Tactical threats
      • ABCD(X)
      • A bit about calculation
    • Positional threats

21 Aug Clock control

28 Aug The London System

4 Sep Changing habits

  • ff

11 Sep Approaching the endgame

  • Know your onions
  • Cultivating the soil



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