Our first match

Our First Match

Well, ouch! We lost four-nil, but I hope you thought that, however big and strong they were, they weren’t that much better than us, and they didn’t do anything very special to beat us. (Is that a good thing?)  But I was very pleased and proud with how well you played, how well you fought, and how well you concentrated.  It wouldn't have needed much luck for us to come away with 2-2.  They're just tall, that's all...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di1-bB1w4wM

In the end, we fell for a few simple tactics and there were a couple of chances that we missed, and that all comes with time and practice. The best books to start to practice spotting tactics are the blue one I wrote with Tim (Chess Puzzles in One Move) and a yellow book by Tony Gillam, Simple Chess Tactics. If you think those are too easy, try the website http://chess.emrald.net/

These will help, but the main thing is to think for both sides. There's no point in spotting all the ideas for your side, but ignoring what your opponent can do to you.   Check each check and each capture on every move.

Also, we do need some better openings to put pressure on our opponents. I have written a little guide that I think I’ve given to all the team players, but everyone can have a copy PDF if they like. The idea is to play the Scotch Gambit against 1…e5 and to go for IQP positions against everything else.

[blockquote] "There are no hopeless positions; there are only inferior positions that can be saved.

There are no drawn positions; there are only equal ones in which you can play for a win.

But at the same time, don't forget that there is no such thing as a won position in which it is impossible to lose."

-- Grigory SANAKOEV [blockquote] "Playing safe is too dangerous" -- Dr.Dave. Click on [...] to see list


[Event "EJCC vs. Newton Abbot"]
[Site "Palm Handheld"]
[Date "2009.12.11"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Batten, Adam"]
[Black "Billings, Alex"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B10"]
[PlyCount "50"]

{You never really got going in the opening and then fell for a a couple of
one-movers... Grim!  But I don't think Black did anything very brilliant, it
was just that Black didn't have any problems to solve.  So, as well as trying
to spot your opponent's threats before they happen, you could also learn a
couple of lines to put pressure on the Black game.} 1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 {
That's the best second move against 1...e5, but not here.} ({I recommend} 2. d4
2... d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 (4. Bd3)) 2... d5 3. exd5 (3. Nc3 {
sets a positional trap:} 3... dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bg4 (4... Bf5 $2 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6
7. Ne5 Bh7 8. Qh5 g6 9. Bc4 e6 10. Qf3)) 3... cxd5 4. d4 Bg4 5. Be2 Nc6 6. Nc3
$6 6... e6 7. a3 7... Qb6 $1 8. Qd3 (8. Na4 Qa5+ 9. c3 9... Rc8 {
doesn't look great for White, but is better than what happened.}) 8... Bxf3 9.
Bxf3 Qxd4 10. Qxd4 Nxd4 11. Bd1 Nf6 12. Be3 12... Nc6 {#} 13. O-O $2 {Oops.}
13... d4 {Did you see this one coming?} 14. Nb5 {
Could have been worse without this move!} 14... dxe3 15. Nc7+ Kd7 16. Nxa8
16... exf2+ {#} 17. Rxf2 $2 {
Ouch, another simple oversight, and that makes it a whole piece.} 17... Bc5 18.
Bf3 Bxf2+ 19. Kxf2 Rxa8 20. Rd1+ Kc7 21. Rd3 Rd8 22. Rxd8 Kxd8 23. b4 b5 24.
Be2 Kc7 25. c3 25... Kd6 {... and I couldn't follow the rest of the game, but
I don't think anything unusual happened.} 0-1

[Event "EJCC vs. Newton Abbot"]
[Site "Palm Handheld"]
[Date "2009.12.11"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Sugden, Freddie"]
[Black "Gabriel, Joe"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C21"]
[PlyCount "93"]

{A good fighting game: defence is always a lot harder to play than attack, and
you did well to keep going.  In fact, you had an opportunity to go ahead, but
I think White bluffed you out of it.    (I know you used to play the Danish,
because you used to play it against me, but did you notice the way I often
used to defend against it?)} 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 {# The Danish Gambit.}
3... dxc3 (3... d5 {has for a long while been regarded as equal after} 4. exd5
Qxd5 5. cxd4 Nc6 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. Be2 Bb4+ 8. Nc3 8... Bxf3 $1 9. Bxf3 9... Qc4 $1
({not} 9... Qxd4 $4 10. Bxc6+) 10. Qb3 Qxb3 11. axb3 {and now} 11... Nge7 {
is safe and} (11... Nxd4 $5 {is riskier})) (3... Ne7 {
is another idea I have just come across} 4. cxd4 4... d5 $1) 4. Bc4 Nc6 (4...
cxb2 5. Bxb2 d5 6. Bxd5 Nf6 7. Bxf7+ Kxf7 8. Qxd8 Bb4+ 9. Qd2 Bxd2+ 10. Nxd2 {
is also fairly level.}) 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Qb3 d5 7. exd5 Na5 8. Qb5+ 8... c6 {#} 9.
dxc6 bxc6 (9... Nxc6 {keeps the Knight in play; you never did take the Bishop.}
) 10. Qa4 Bd7 (10... Nxc4 11. Qxc6+ Bd7 12. Qxc4) 11. Nxc3 {#} 11... a6 $2 {
I don't understand that one: get your pieces out and get castled!  But you're
allowed to take that big Bishop first.} (11... Nxc4 12. Qxc4 12... Be7 {
and the long-term chances might be Black's because of the Bishop pair.}) 12.
Ng5 Nd5 (12... Nxc4 {still looks best, that Knight is rubbish!}) 13. Bxd5 cxd5
14. Qd4 Be6 15. O-O (15. Qa4+ $1) 15... Nc6 16. Qe3 16... Qd7 {#} 17. Re1 (17.
Nxe6 fxe6 18. Re1 d4 19. Qxe6+ Qxe6 20. Rxe6+ 20... Kd7 {
also leads to trouble for White.}) 17... d4 18. Qh3 {#} 18... Kd8 {
You're always going to struggle now with that exposed King.} (18... dxc3 $1 {
had to be worth a try:} 19. Nxe6 fxe6 20. Rxe6+ Be7 21. Bg5 21... O-O $1) (
18... Be7 {looks right but} 19. Nxe6 fxe6 20. Na4 $1 {is awkward for Black})
19. Nxe6+ fxe6 20. Bg5+ Be7 21. Ne4 Kc7 (21... e5 $5) 22. Rac1 Bb4 23. Nc5 Bxc5
24. Rxc5 24... Kb6 {#} 25. Rxc6+ $1 {That's a very good move.} 25... Kxc6 26.
Rxe6+ Kc7 (26... Kc5) 27. Re7 Rad8 28. Rxd7+ Rxd7 29. Qd3 Re8 30. h3 Re1+ 31.
Kh2 Ra1 32. Qc4+ Kb6 33. Qe6+ Kc7 34. Bf4+ Kc8 35. Qxa6+ (35. Qe8+ $1) 35...
Kd8 36. Qa3 Ke8 37. Qb3 d3 38. Qg8+ (38. a4 {
is a reasonable way to go about winning}) 38... Ke7 39. Qxg7+ Ke8 40. Qg8+ Ke7
41. Qxh7+ Kd8 42. Be3 {I think there must have been a Queen move here.} 42...
d2 43. Bxd2 Rxd2 44. Qh4+ {
This pursuit of checks hoping for a blunder is not the right approach.} 44...
Kd7 45. Qg4+ Ke8 46. Qe6+ 46... Kf8 $2 (46... Kd8 {hangs on to the Rook}) 47.
Qh6+ 1-0

[Event "EJCC vs. Newton Abbot"]
[Site "Palm Handheld"]
[Date "2009.12.11"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Head, Sam"]
[Black "Kurek, Pawel"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D02"]
[PlyCount "111"]

{I thought you played the first part of the game very well and at one point
you had the chance to get an advantage.  Sadly one mistake at move 21 meant
that the roof fell in, but I hope you feel that you did well - Sam has played
for Devon.  By the way, Pawel, I  think you should have been White!} 1. d4 d5
2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bf4 {I don't like this opening for juniors; it's hard to put
pressure on the Black game just by shuffling the pieces.  Normally you need to
aim for c2-c4 or e2-e4.} 3... g6 4. e3 Bg4 5. Nbd2 Bg7 6. c4 {Better!} 6... O-O
7. Qb3 b6 8. Bd3 Nc6 9. Rc1 Na5 10. Qc3 10... Nb7 {I was a bit worried that
this Knight was going to get lost, but you made good sense of it.} 11. h3 Bxf3
12. Nxf3 12... c5 {# We now have that clash of pawns that I wanted.} 13. O-O
Rc8 14. Ne5 Nd6 15. Qb3 {#} 15... dxc4 (15... b5 $1 {puts pressure on c4:} 16.
dxc5 (16. cxb5 c4) 16... bxc4 17. Qb4 Nde4) 16. Nxc4 Nxc4 17. Rxc4 cxd4 18.
Rxd4 Nd7 19. Rc4 {#} 19... Rxc4 (19... Nc5 $1 {wins material.}) 20. Bxc4 e6 21.
Rd1 {# White's pieces look good but Black should be OK.} 21... Qe7 $2 {
After this, Black loses lots of material.} (21... Qc8 $1) 22. Bd6 $1 22... Qe8
23. Bxf8 Bxf8 24. Bb5 $1 24... Qc8 25. Bxd7 Qc7 26. Qc3 Qb8 27. Ba4 Bg7 28. Qc6
28... Bf8 {
And while the game went on for a lot longer, Black never really had a chance.}
29. Bb3 Kg7 30. Rd7 Qe8 31. Qxe6 Qxe6 32. Bxe6 Kh6 33. Rxf7 Bg7 34. b3 a5 35.
f4 b5 36. g4 g5 37. Kg2 Kg6 38. f5+ Kh6 39. Rb7 b4 40. Rb6 Be5 41. Bd5+ Kg7 42.
e4 h6 43. Kf3 Kh7 44. Ke3 Kg7 45. Kd3 Kh7 46. Kc4 Bc7 47. Rb7 a4 48. Rxc7+ Kh8
49. Bc6 axb3 50. axb3 h5 51. Kd5 hxg4 52. hxg4 Kg8 53. Ke6 Kf8 54. Bb5 Kg8 55.
Kf6 Kf8 56. Rc8# 1-0

[Event "EJCC vs. Newton Abbot"]
[Site "Palm Handheld"]
[Date "2009.12.11"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Woolcott, Edward"]
[Black "Frey, Adam"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B06"]
[PlyCount "113"]

{After losing a piece in the opening, you fought back very well and got White
in a terrible pin.  By the time control you were right back in the game but
then sadly missed a trick.   Overall I thought you played a great game - but
how long did you spend over your moves?!} 1. e4 1... g6 {# The Modern Defence.
I don't like this opening for juniors: you get quite different structures from
game to game and it can be hard to get the hang of it.  Also, there are some
easy ways for White to set up the game, and some clockwork attacks against
your castled King, so I think it can be easier to play for White than for
Black.  (I think this also because I used to play it!)} 2. d4 d6 3. Nf3 Bg4 4.
Be3 Nc6 5. Bb5 {#} 5... Qd7 $2 (5... a6 $1) 6. d5 a6 7. dxc6 bxc6 8. Ba4 Bg7 9.
c3 Bxf3 10. Qxf3 e5 11. O-O Ne7 12. Rd1 O-O 13. Bc5 Qc8 14. Be3 Qb7 15. b3 c5
16. Nd2 d5 17. exd5 Nxd5 18. Bxc5 Rfd8 19. Rac1 (19. c4 $1) 19... f5 20. Qe2 e4
21. c4 $2 21... Nc3 22. Qe1 Nxd1 23. Rxd1 Bc3 24. Be3 Qb4 25. Bc6 Rab8 26. Bd5+
Kg7 27. Bf4 Rbc8 28. Qe3 c6 29. Be6 Ra8 30. c5 30... Rd3 $1 31. Qe2 31... Rad8
$1 {# Black is about equal here.} 32. Bc4 32... R3d4 $2 (32... Rxd2 33. Bxd2
33... Bxd2 {The opposite-coloured bishops are a drawing factor as a rule, but
if you get an attack going, your opponent won't find it easy to defend.}) 33.
Be5+ {Oops...} 33... Kf8 34. Bxd4 Rxd4 35. Nb1 Rxd1+ 36. Qxd1 Bd4 37. Bxa6 Qxc5
38. Kf1 e3 (38... Bxf2) 39. fxe3 Bxe3 40. Ke2 Bf2 41. Qd2 41... Be3 $2 42. Qxe3
Qc2+ 43. Nd2 Qxa2 44. Qc5+ Kg7 45. Qxc6 h5 46. Bc4 g5 47. Qd7+ Kh6 48. Qxf5 Qa8
49. Qf6+ Kh7 50. Bd3+ Kg8 51. Qxg5+ Kf8 52. Nc4 Qxg2+ 53. Qxg2 Ke8 54. Qg7 Kd8
55. Nb6 Ke8 56. Bg6+ Kd8 57. Qd7# 1-0

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