Praxis

Practical play

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

Exeter Juniors 2½-1½ Torquay Boys Grammar School

This agreeable annual match is always a friendly and well-contested occasion. As usual, most of the games, and therefore the match, could
have had a very different result! Well played all.

Board 1. After missing a chance to win a piece in the opening, White fell into a
wicked trap.

[pgn]
[Event "EJCC vs TBGS"]
[Site "HSC"]
[Date "2013.02.08"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Blackmore, Joshua"]
[Black "Keat, Sam"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C44"]
[PlyCount "64"]

{After missing a chance to win a piece in the opening, White fell into a

Move order

Just a little practical example of something I often talk about: move order in analysis.

If you have a good idea, try it with a different order of moves: it might be even better!

For example:

[pgn]
[Event "Peter Rooke Semi-Final"]
[Site "Teignmouth"]
[Date "2013.01.25"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Amos, J."]
[Black "Ariss, John A"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A20"]
[PlyCount "26"]
[EventDate "2013.01.25"]
[EventType "team-match"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]

1. c4 e5 2. g3 f5 3. Bg2 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Nc3 O-O 6. e3 a6 7. Nge2 Qe8 8. a3

Exeter Juniors ½ -3½ Tiverton

I'm a bit bored of writing this, but the result doesn't reflect the closeness of the contests! Great result by Reece, saving us from the whitewash, but some great moves and terrific heart shown by all.

[pgn]
[Event "Exeter Juniors vs Tiverton"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2013.01.16"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Brinkley, Alan"]
[Black "Finch, Codie"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C50"]
[PlyCount "65"]

{In a common type of position, Black lost a piece early on. Although Black
found some nice attacking ideas, a Knight got stranded on a5 and White found a

Exeter Juniors 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 Exeter Gambits

Well, a loss for the juniors, but by the narrowest of margins, and
against a team who were a bit stronger than they looked on paper. A
couple of the Gambits players have had much higher grades in the past,
and in the end I think experience told.

[pgn]
[Event "Exeter Juniors vs Gambits"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2012.11.23"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Earnshaw, Terry"]
[Black "Finch, Codie"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D02"]
[PlyCount "83"]

{Black couldn't get started in the opening and soon lost a piece. Black then
really started playing, creating a counter-attack that was enough

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

Every mistake has two sides

In making notes on games, I've probably explained lots of chess mistakes, and why they were mistakes. I might say, this Black move is a mistake, because White now plays A, and this works because if B then C and if D then E. (Or, White should have played A, etc.)

But there is another side to each mistake, which I can't tell anything about, but which perhaps you can, and you should try. A mistake in a chess move is also a mistake in thinking.

Examination of a Game 1

"The unexamined life is not worth living" - Socrates
"The unexamined game is not worth playing" - Dr.Dave

Warming up 1

Play through this game and see what you think. I have omitted the final
moves, which are left as an exercise for the reader.

[pgn]
[Event "Exeter Chess Club Championship"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2011.11.01"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Waley, Jonathan"]
[Black "Southall, Chris"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A40"]
[PlyCount "59"]

1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 b6 3.Nf3 Bb7 4.e4 c5 5.g3 Nc6 6.Bg2 d6 7.0-0 Nf6 8.d4 cxd4

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

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Chess Quotes

"In the eighteenth century they announced their first rule: "Sortez les pieces" - "Get the pieces out". "It took a hundred years before a new rule was announced. Anderssen, the winner of the first International Tournament, that of London, 1851, said:

  "Move that one of your pieces, which is in the worst plight, unless you can satisfy yourself that you can derive immediate advantage by an attack"

 "A few decades went by [...] the masters evolved a "public opinion":

— LASKER, Manual of Chess (second book)