Meat and potatoes

Exeter Chess Club: Meat and potatoes - three phases of a tough game.

Peter Lane and Dave Regis


Dave thought this would be a good idea to do as a coaching session because:
  • we're often looking at master games, not club games
  • when we do look at a master game, we often play through it pretty quickly and often use it to illustrate only one chess point
  • when we see master annotations, they tend to give a reassuring and definitive judgement about a position, instead of a

Bird lives!

Ah, not Charlie "(Yard)Bird" Parker, whose untimely departure in 1955 prompted jazz fans to write this graffito all over New York, but Henry Bird, who left us two sprightly variations: the Bird Defence to the Ruy Lopez, and his very own opening, 1.f2-f4.  2008 is the 150th year since Bird died, and at this year's Paignton Chess Congress, there was a special prize for the best game played with his opening.  This resulted in a bigger crop of Birds than usual, as you might expect, and the prize winner was the following game (courtesy of Bill Frost at

Material imbalance: Queen for Two Rooks

I have to say, if this is the aspect of your game most in need of fixing, then count yourself lucky, but there are some general lessons to be learned.

Example games:

Ish follows some theory:

Ramdewar I. - Edney R. [B76]

Kramnik wins with the Rooks:

Leko P. - Kramnik V. [C42]

Fischer wins with the Queen:

Portisch L. - Fischer R. [E45]

The Queen on the attack:

Janowsky - Lasker

The Rooks make a team:

Euwe - Rubinstein [D05]

So, what features favour the Rooks, which the Queen?

Yusupov loses to the Queen:

Jussupow A. - Shaked T. [E81]

Lessons from Tartakower

Lessons from Tartakower

Savielly Tartakower was the wittiest of masters, and, it was said, "too in love with chess to ever become world champion". According to his translator, Golombek, he would reject a simple advantageous line in the hope of creating something more worthwhile with a more complex line. This is undoubtedly an expression of Tartakower's taste: less for him could mean only less, and Capablanca's trademark efficiency and elegance had no personal appeal for SGT.

Lessons from Petrosian

The wiliest, boringest, most elusive, most modern of world champions, Petrosian remains a difficult and contradictory figure. His play combines deft tactical awareness with an acute sense of prophylaxis , so that opponents have the greatest difficulty in laying a finger on him. And for his own part, he often seems content holding the margin of the draw than undertaking any heroics in pursuit of a win. In the analysis room, and in blitz games, Petrosian's abundant tactical skills were apparent to everyone, but to the spectator of


Subscribe to RSS - A