Archive for July, 2010

Everyone makes mistakes.  I remember back in 1974 when I was the newly crown Australian Chess Champion and was about to play in the first round of the A Grade Interclub competition.  Eddy Malitis stood up and made a short speech congratulating me on my win; everyone clapped; then we sat down to play our games.  I was paired against John Hanks and I had decided to try an new opening with 1…b6.   Five minutes and 12 moves later I had blundered and resigned the game.  Such is life.  It even happens to World Champions!

Take a quick 5 second look at the position below.   What would you play as White?

This position is from the game between Larry Christiansen, the USA Grandmaster, and Anatoli Karpov, the former World Chess Champion and one of the most solid players of all time.   A win against Karpov was something rare and to be treasured.   Karpov has just played 11…Bd6 so as to be able to answer 12.Be2 with 12…Nf4.   Christiansen did not play 12.Be2.   Can you spot the move he played which resulted in Karpov’s immediate resignation?

[fen caption=”White to play]r2qk2r/p2p1ppp/1pbbp3/7n/2P1P3/P1N1B3/1PQ2PPP/R3KB1R w KQkq – 4 12[/fen]

Archive for July, 2010

Archive for July, 2010

Gabrielle, Stephanie and Kassandra are three sisters who all attend Morang South Primary School.   They really enjoy playing chess and Chess Club with Frank.

The girls all agreed that:  “Frank is a great Chess Coach.”

At home they play against each other;  sometimes using a chess set and other times using the computer.  Dad also occasionally joins them.

Stephanie said:  “I like chess cos it is fun and helps my memory. I try my hardest in tournaments.  I only get a participation certificate but I am working towards a medal”.

Archive for July, 2010

Archive for July, 2010

I was talking to my friend Sam the other day.  He’s trying to make a come-back to chess after a 10 year break.   He’d just blundered horribly against Rujevic and was bemoaning his new-found tactical ineptitude.   “I just make so many mistakes” he complained.   I know the feeling.   As you get older your brain does not want to analyse variations and tends to lack its former decisiveness.

The worst type of positions we oldies could get is a Q+P v Q endgame.  There are just so many checks to look at and the game drags on for ages.  I remember Botvinnik once winning with Q + knight pawn v Q after about 90 moves going around in circles.

Take the following position I was looking at the other day.  I’m Black and I’ve nearly got my pawn through to queening but how do I avoid those nasty checks?   What I need is someone like you with a young brain who can work it all out for me quickly.   So off you go.  What should I play?

[fen caption=”Black to play]8/8/2Q5/7q/8/4K3/6p1/7k b – – 0 1[/fen]

Archive for July, 2010

Archive for July, 2010

Cate and Tom came into the Chess World shop to purchase a wooden chess set for Tom’s 12th birthday.

She wanted to spend around $100 and I suggested that they purchase a set for $119 which also included backgammon and checkers.

They did buy it and Tom was thrilled as he really enjoys chess and looks forward to learning and playing backgammon.

Tom told me:  “I think chess is great fun.  Not only do I play at school with my mates, I often give mum a game.”

Cate said:  “At the moment I still win but I can see that Tom is getting better and better and it won’t be long before he is beating me.”

Archive for July, 2010

Hi David,
Im from Wesley Vale Primary school you came to vist us about a month ago.
Thank you. I will always rember your vist.
It was proble a one in a life time chance with me
I use to no nothing about chess but now I love it.
Bye for now Claire.

Archive for July, 2010

Chess, like life, is all about decision making.   We have a number of options, but which do we choose?  How do we decide how we make decision – what are the criteria?   What if we make a mistake?

It’s all pretty difficult, so today I thought you might like a chance to fine tune your decision making skills.

Have a look at the position below.  White has just played 1.e6+ and now Black must decided between 1…Nxe6 to get his pawn back; 1…Kc8 to hide his King away in the corner or 1…Kc6 to keep his a8 rook in the game.  (I’ll ignore 1…Kc7 as even I can see 2.Bxd8+ is no good for Black).  One move is OK, one is pretty bad and one is a shocker!   Which would you choose?

[fen caption=”Black to play]r2q1bnr/pp1k1Bpp/3pP3/2p3B1/3nP3/3P1b2/PPP3PP/RN1Q1RK1 b KQkq – 0 1[/fen]