Practical play

Nagy vs Regis, April 2011 (1/2-1/2)

White missed a big chance early on with his home-made system, then kept the lid on Black's initiative later. White dropped a pawn while trying something on the King's-side, but when Black pushed his luck got a monster passed pawn. In the end, Black was grateful to be offered a perpetual check.

[Event "Friendly ECC"]
[Site "Palm Handheld"]
[Date "2011.04.08"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Nagy, Dan"]
[Black "Regis, D."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D00"]
[PlyCount "79"]

1. d4 d5 2. Nc3 (2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bf4 {is the London System}) 2... Nf6 3. Bf4 {

Exeter Juniors vs Newton Abbot Juniors 1st April 2011 (3-1)

Ken Bloodworth, who donated the Cup for this junior chess league, died just over a week ago aged 96, playing chess even in his last year. A wonderful man and a player, who did so much for junior chess, not just in Devon but all over Britain.

Obituary at Keverel Chess:
Biography at Keverel Chess:

{This back-and-forth game was settling into a tense endgame when White allowed
a snap mate. Both sides allowed and missed chances!}


Exeter Juniors vs Seaton, 25th March 2011 (2½-1½)

[Please ignore the stupid number of page visits, I think someone's robot threw a wobbly]

White eventually took a loose pawn and played good aggressive chess to wrap up.

[Event "Exeter Juniors vs Seaton"]
[Site "Palm Handheld"]
[Date "2011.03.25"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Frey, Adam"]
[Black "Marsh, Brian"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D00"]
[PlyCount "77"]

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 (2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Bg5) 2... Nf6 3. Nc3 {
These square-knight openings are usually pretty duff, do find another one!} (3.
e3 e6 (3... Bf5 4. c4) 4. Bd3) (3. c4) 3... Nbd7 (3... Bf5) 4. Bg5 4... b6 {

Exeter Juniors vs Exeter School, 11th March 2011 (1-3)

Lots to enjoy in an evenly matched contest.

Board 1

{A well-played game by both sides. We don't see close endgames very often in
junior chess, and this was a fine one.}

[Event "Exeter Juniors vs. Exeter School"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2011.03.11"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Royle, James"]
[Black "Senior, Tom"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C50"]
[PlyCount "110"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 3... h6 {
Ooh, too slow. Playing quite that safe is dangerous!} 4. d4 exd4 5. Nxd4 Qf6
6. Be3 Bc5 7. c3 {White is a move ahead on the usual Scotch Game.} 7... b6 (

Devon U14 Jamboree games & comments

I've recently completed reviewing the games from the West and Wales Junior Jamboree event, held this year in Merthyr Tydfil.

The booklet is a PDF which can be seen/downloaded here: U14 Jamboree match booklet 2011.

This is the latest in a series; other editions can be found here:

Return Match against TBGS 11th Feb 2011

Another close match, well done to all!

Board 1


[Event "EJCC vs TBGS"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2011.02.11"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Worsey, Elliot"]
[Black "Royle, James"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C44"]
[PlyCount "50"]

{Black gets his King displaced early on and it gets caught by White's busy
pieces.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 {The Scotch Opening, a good system for
White which creates an immediate clash in the centre.} 3... d6 $6 {This allows
White to upset Black's development. I think you did that in your last game

Why do you lose at chess?

Want to improve your chess? Start here! I have watched and analysed and commented on many junior chess games over the years, and I am pretty clear now about the most common reasons for losing a game [or drawing a game you were winning]. They are:

* missing basic tactics
* not sure what to do in the opening
* not sure what to do *after* the opening
* mistakes in finishing off and endgames

Here are some cures:


Make sure you know all the basic tactics

Practise spotting tactics

EJCC vs Torquay Boys' Grammar 21 Jan 2011

I was unsure whether to put in a team this year, but the squad put up an excellent fight last week to lose a close match to the visitors. The return fixture is in Fenruary.

I have the scores of two games:

[Event "EJCC vs TBGS"]
[Site "Heavitree Social Club"]
[Date "2011.01.21"]
[Round "1"]
[White "James"]
[Black "TBGS"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C00"]
[PlyCount "67"]

{Good play by Black early on gave White the worse position, but White
gradually swung it around to a winning endgame, yet slipped just as victory

Winning Chess for Humans

Junior Chess Games

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Chess Quotes

"What distinguishes a Grandmaster from a master? Chess-lovers often ask questions like that. To many people it seems that Grandmasters simply calculate variations a little deeper. Or that they know their opening theory slightly better. But in fact the real difference is something else. You can pick out two essential qualities in which those with higher titles are superior to others: the ability to sense the critical moment in a game, and a finer understanding of various positional problems."
— Yusupov, in Opening Preparation