Practical play


Players in secondary schools can struggle to practise. Your computer or smartphone can be a sparring partner, but that's not the same as playing real people. You can play online but the behaviour and language of some adults is pretty terrible.

But now...

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Exeter 1½-4½ Newton Abbot (HOME) Sat 25th Jan 2014

Exeter 1½-4½ Newton Abbot Sat 25th Jan 2014

Regis, David 0-1 John Fraser
Marjoram, William 0-1 Nijad Rahimli
Earnshaw, Terry V ½-½ Trefor Thynne
Palmer, Edward John 1-0 Andrew Kinder
Bonds, Thomas S 0-1 Nathan Mills
Finch, Taylor 0-1 John Allen

Exeter 1½-4½ Newton Abbot

A couple of rather under-strength teams met today with Newton Abbot
running out clear winners in a match featuring much enterprising
sacrificial play. Tom Bonds' King's Gambit was met with some robust
tactical ripostes that gave the visitors an early win. Will's

Exeter Juniors 4-0 Newton Abbot Juniors 9th Jan 2014 (AWAY)

A cracking start to the season, with Newton Abbot blooding some new talent. I hope this result doesn't discourage them! In fact, the opposition board 1 scored ahead of the entire Exeter team at the Devon Championships, so as is often the case, the result is more lop-sided than the games.

Reece Whittington 1-0 Jim Knott
Taylor Finch 1-0 Ben Sanders-Wyatt
Edmund Kelly 1-0 Toby Donaghue
Leif Hafstad 1-0 Calum Germain

[Event "Bloodworth Cup"]
[Site "Newton Abbot"]
[Date "2013.??.??"]
[Round "?.4"]
[White "Germain"]
[Black "Hafstad"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C00"]

Exeter 3½-2½ Tiverton (AWAY) 4 Jan 2014

Exeter 3½-2½ Tiverton (AWAY) 4 Jan 2014

Boyne (w) 1-0 Edgell (b)
Paulden 1-0 Littlejohns
Regis ½-½ Richardt
Body 0-1 Bartlett
Pope 0-1 Hewson
Earnshaw 1-0 Annetts

Exeter 3½-2½ Tiverton

Giving away plenty of grading points on the lower boards against the
Tiverton All-Stars, we picked up an early win from a dramatic turn-around
on Board 6 and after a win by Andy on top board it was all to play for.
Dave's opponent declined to win the exchange and offered a draw in an OCB
endgame, which left El Presidente to find a way through in a blocked

The pieces at their best

How pawns make life easy (and hard) for pieces.

[Event "The best Bishop in the world ever"]
[Date "1970.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Fischer, Robert J"]
[Black "Andersson, Ulf"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A01"]
[PlyCount "85"]

1. b3 e5 2. Bb2 Nc6 3. c4 Nf6 4. e3 Be7 5. a3 O-O 6. Qc2 Re8 7. d3 Bf8 8. Nf3
a5 9. Be2 d5 10. cxd5 Nxd5 11. Nbd2 f6 12. O-O Be6 13. Kh1 Qd7 14. Rg1 Rad8 15.
Ne4 Qf7 16. g4 g6 17. Rg3 Bg7 18. Rag1 Nb6 19. Nc5 Bc8 20. Nh4 Nd7 21. Ne4 Nf8
22. Nf5 Be6 23. Nc5 Ne7 24. Nxg7 Kxg7 {[#]} 25. g5 Nf5 26. Rf3 b6 27. gxf6+ Kh8


"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

[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"]


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.


{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! }


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Chess Quotes

"Well, hmmm, endgames, yes, they are important, Yaaaaawwwwnnnnn!"