Archive for July, 2011

The Aus Junior is once again being held in Victoria! Anyone with a rating of over 800 should be considering this event.

We have started a Training Squad for kids going to the Aus Junior every Saturday morning. The squad is now full, but for anyone wanting to work from home on the same training, lessons and homework you can access all our materials from:  Training Squad Resources Here

When is the Australian Junior?

Archive for July, 2011

Many years ago, when I was flying to Athens to play in the World Junior Chess Championships, guess which chess book I took to read on the plane.  I took “Rook Endings” by Smyslov and Levenfish, which was the most comprehensive book available on that subject.   Why Rook Endings?   Well rook endings are by far the most common form of endgame and if you could chose to be good at any part of chess, skill at rook endings would be the most useful to you.   Openings come and go, but rook endings will always be there!

Even endings with just R+P v R can be quite tricky.  We all know that if you are the side with just the R you must try to get your King in front of the pawn to stop it queening, but where do you put your rook?  There is a saying “rooks belong behind passed pawns” which is often the best spot, but sometimes you need to defend with your rook from the side or even from in front of the pawn.   If instead you go by the saying “rooks operate best from a distance” you can’t go too wrong.

What happens however if your King can’t get in front of the pawn?   Can you still draw?  Have a look at today’s puzzle and see how you go.  Can Black find a way to draw, even with his King cut-off, or will White still emerge victorious?

[fen caption=”White to Play”]3r4/8/8/8/k2P4/3K4/8/1R6 w – – 0 1[/fen]

Archive for July, 2011

Archive for July, 2011

Archive for July, 2011

The Victorian Junior Chess Championships finished last week with IM James Morris dominating the U/18  section with 9/9 and Karl Zelesco doing like-wise in the U/12 with 7/7.   The time control was 75 minutes plus 30 seconds per move which is a fairly leisurely rate compared with the 15 minute games that most players play these days.  This should give players plenty of time to check their moves before they play them but, alas, many young players just rush their moves and suffer the consequences.

In today’s puzzle, Max Lee Chew is playing David Cannon in the U/18 section.   Max finished runner-up, a very good result, and in the position below he has already castled and has a lead in development.   However, it is Black to move.   Should he too rush to castle with 1…Bg7, or perhaps control a bit of the centre with 1…Nbd7 first, or just go for broke with 1…h5 and start an attack on White’s King.  The move chosen by Black turned out to be a blunder.  The puzzle is which move did he chose and why was it a blunder?

[fen caption=”Black to Play”]rn1qkb1r/pbp1pp1p/1p1p1np1/8/4P3/2N3P1/PPPPNPBP/R1BQ1RK1 b – – 0 1[/fen]

Archive for July, 2011

There are many aspects to becoming a good chess player.  Rudolph Spielmann, a famous attacking player at the start of the 20th century, once bemoaned that he could see combinations just as well as the world champion (Alekhine), the only trouble was that he didn’t have Alekhine’s ability to achieve the positions where the combinations were possible.

Spielmann perhaps under-rated his ability in this area as today’s position demonstrates.  The position is from one of his simultaneous games in 1912.   Spielmann is a pawn down but his pieces are all attacking whereas his opponent’s pieces are not co-ordinated.   Were I White I would look at 1.Ra7 Qe7 2.Qxc6+ which leads to a R ending where White has a very active R and is probably winning.  Perhaps Spielmann can do better?   Can you?

[fen caption=”White to Play”]1rk4r/1p3pp1/1Qpp3p/R3pP2/2P1P2q/8/2P3PP/1R5K w – – 0 1[/fen]

Archive for July, 2011

I remember playing in the Best in the West tournament as a junior nearly 20 years ago. The deciding factor for me to play was that International Master Guy West was playing…I just wanted to be there when he won. What a headline “West is Best in Best in West“…sounds like Dr Seuss!

While Guy West now lives in the far east of Melbourne, and may or may not be competing, I am sure there will be other International Masters playing in this event. And these days a large number of juniors play in weekend events, when I played I was one of only 2 or 3 juniors in the event. I’d recommend anyone who’s winning RJ Shield prizes or has a rating pushing upwards from 800 towards 1200 to start playing some Open Weekend events.

Held on the weekend of August 20th and 21st in Footscray.

See details of the tournament on the Hobson’s Bay Yarraville Website.

Archive for July, 2011