Praxis

Practical play

Haste

"Haste (is) the great enemy" -- Eugene Znosko-Borovsky It was good to see so many players yesterday at the Riviera tournament. My spies in the next room told me that the crucial game in the U9 tournament yesterday was over in 8 minutes, with both players bashing moves out at high speed. I didn't see the game, but I suspect there were some mistakes on both sides.

Games from the English County Junior Chess Championships 2013

[pgn]
[Event "English County U18"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2013.06.24"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Sudhakar, Ragul"]
[Black "Keat, Sam"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C55"]
[PlyCount "65"]

{Some natural moves by White led to the win of a piece, almost by accident.} 1.
e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. c3 d5 (4... Nxe4 {
This central pawn is OK to take.}) 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. d3 Be6 (6... Bg4 $5) (6...
Be7 $1) 7. Ng5 Qd6 (7... Bf5) 8. Qf3 $14 8... Be7 9. Nd2 h6 (9... Bxg5 10. Ne4
Qe7) 10. Nde4 Qd7 11. Nxe6 11... Qxe6 $4 (11... fxe6 $1) 12. Bxd5 $1 12... Qg6

Lucky escapes

Simon Webb in his book Chess for Tigers identified the "secrets of swindling":
(1) Be objective. The first prerequisite to a swindle is to be objective enough to realize early on when you have a lost position and start playing for a swindle while your position still has resources. If you wait until your position worsens and becomes hopeless, it will be too late.

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

EJCC 2-2 Newton Abbot Juniors

A match of mostly short games, where the outgraded Newton Abbot team
must have been pleased to hold us off. There are some lessons about how
to win a game here:

1. Recognise when you are playing in a risky way - and do so only if you
have to.
2. Don't be afraid of ghosts!
3. If you like open games, then don't close the position.

You can download the games&notes in the PGN file.

(1)

{A shame to miss a win at the end, but you had the more promising
position throughout, so don't regret the missed win, take some pride in
the good game! }

[pgn]

Wales and West of England Junior Jamboree 2013

Downloadable PGN games and PDF booklet are attached; the booklet has more and better comments

than the PGN file and this page.  Copies will soon be in the post for players.

{A well-organised king's-side attack in the Stonewall rather missed its mark
when Black refused to castle. In the end the open lines were used by Black to
attack you instead, but there was a little undermining tactic which would have
helped you, and a pin that would have helped your opponent.}
[pgn]
[Event "WWE Jamboree"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2013.03.23"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Susevee, Greg"]

EJCC 2-2 Seaton

Another close match which could have gone either way.

Some homework study may be required!

{Some simple tactics decided this game. In fact, they are the tactics most
often missed in junior games: discovered check, outnumbered, undermining.}

[pgn]
[Event "EJCC vs Seaton"]
[Site "Heavitree Social Club"]
[Date "2013.04.05"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Marsh, Bryan"]
[Black "Hafstad, Leif"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A00"]
[PlyCount "85"]

1.e3 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 (2... e4 3. Nd4) 3. c3 Nf6 4. d3 d5 5. Qe2 Bf5 6. Nbd2 Bc5 7.

Exeter Juniors 3-1 Sidmouth Juniors

A terrific performance, I've rarely been more proud of a team.

We were giving away nearly 100 grading points over 4 boards, but came out on top without a single loss.

As always, things could have turned out differently, and Sidmouth fought for every square on every board.

{After some vague opening play on both sides, Black dropped an exchange.
After that, White gradually converted but Black had chances to draw (or do
even better) with some little tactics.}

[pgn]
[Event "EJCC vs Sidmouth"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2013.03.15"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Hafstad, L."]

Dr.Dave's Adventures at East Devon, 2013

FRIDAY: I've lost my last 5 games of chess and familiar doubts about my
chosen hobby are pressing. I could park my grade and retire to publishing and
coaching, but that's not an admirable way to behave. Besides, having lost my
last 5 games, my grade wouldn't be quite as wonderful at the end of the season,
so, time to shape up!

{Black was unlucky to play a line I had
recently reviewed, and conceded a pawn. Despite some oversights by White in
analysis, it was actually Black who came up with a blunder.}

[pgn]
[Event "East Devon Open"]
[Site "Exeter"]
[Date "2013.03.01"]

A French Encounter

[pgn]
[Event "ECC"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2013.02.12"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Body, Giles"]
[Black "Earnshaw, Terry"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C02"]
[PlyCount "90"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 {The Advance Variation, usually leading to a slow and
mysterious struggle on the wings.} 3... c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6 (5... Bd7 {
is my preference.}) (5... Nge7 {and}) (5... Nh6 {are also played.}) 6. Be2 (6.
a3 {John Watson} 6... c4 (6... f6 {John Watson I have suggested this move as a
good weapon in every edition of 'Play the French', and I'm continually

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Chess Quotes

"Chess rules and exercises - 5 hours
Elementary endings - 5 hours
Some openings - 10 hours
Combination - 20 hours
Positional play - 40 hours
— Em. Lasker, Manual of Chess