Archive for August, 2011

[fen caption=”White to move and checkmate”]r2qk/1pp1n1p1/1n3Q1B/p1N6/b2P4/P7/1P3PPP/RB2R1K1 w – – 1 0[/fen]

Archive for August, 2011

Training your brain on chess puzzles is good for you no matter what your age.  If you are young, it can help your developing mind, or if you are old (like me) it can help to slow the onset of senility by exercising your grey matter.

I was mortified the other day when a tournament organiser invited me to play in a Seniors Championship at his club.   I pointed out that I was too young to be a “senior” but, never-the-less that day is approaching rapidly so I’ve decided to start training so that I can towel up all those old people when the time comes.   Each night, before retiring, I’m doing a few chess puzzles on “Chess Tempo” and am trying to increase my rating by 20 points a day.   It’s tough though!  The puzzles are hard and sometimes the computer tells me my solution is wrong when my answer is merely an irrelevant transposition of moves.   In the past I used to solve such problems by “seeing” (instinctively) what is probably the winning move and playing it without checking.   Alas this approach doesn’t seem to work that well these days and I find that I am forced to discipline my thinking and examine all the variations until I am sure that I have found the solution.   That can take some time, but as it’s a puzzle, you know there must be winning line there somewhere.   Consider how you go about trying to solve chess puzzles.   Do you keep searching until you find what you are sure is the answer or do you just try a flashy move and hope it is correct?

Test yourself with today’s puzzle, which should be easy as there are so few pieces left.

[fen caption=”White to Play”]6K1/8/7p/8/k7/2B5/1P6/8 w – – 0 1[/fen]

Archive for August, 2011

[fen caption=”Black to play”]r2qk2r/pppb1ppp/3b1n2/2p5/4p3/1P2P3/PBPPNPPP/RN1Q1RK1 b – – 0 1[/fen]

Archive for August, 2011

[fen caption=”White to move and checkmate”]3r1b1r/p1R1pk1p/1p1Pbp2/8/8/2B5/PP2BP1P/4K1R1 w – – 1 0[/fen]

Archive for August, 2011

Archive for August, 2011

Does being good at chess help you in your chosen career?  Being good at analysing and problem solving can’t be all bad but many good chess players are, well, just good at chess.   On the other hand some have gone on to be successful in other fields.

I was listening to a political discussion on the radio the other day and one of the speakers was Professor Rod Tiffen, Professor of Political Science at Sydney University.   Rod Tiffen! (I thought to myself).  That must be the Rod Tiffen who was board two in my school chess team at Haileybury in the 1960s.    Last week I was listening to a another radio discussion about the economic crisis in the USA and their guest was a Professor of Economics at Harvard University named Ken Rogoff.   Ken Rogoff! (I thought to myself).   That must be the American junior who played in my World Junior Chess Championships in 1971 and finished in third place.

Yesterday I was reading the newspaper over breakfast and one of the main articles was about a famous Italian Renaissance painting by Correggio that the State Library had just purchased for $5.2m with funds donated by Andrew Sisson.  Andrew Sisson! (I thought to myself).  Isn’t he the boy who finished runner-up to me in the Victorian U/14 Championships in 1966 and subsequently played board one for Melbourne Grammar in the Interschool Competition?   Andrew, the paper reported, is an investment banker worth around $125m!

Perhaps chess has played a role in the success of these eminent people, so let’s knuckle down to today’s puzzle and see if you can follow in their footsteps.

[fen caption=”Black to Play”]8/4p1k1/3pPbp1/p6p/4KP2/1B4P1/P1R5/3r4 b – – 0 1[/fen]

Archive for August, 2011

[fen caption=”Black to play”]2kr1b1r/pppq2pp/2n5/4pp2/1P2n1P1/2P2N1P/PB2QP2/3RKB1R b – – 0 1[/fen]

Archive for August, 2011

[fen caption=”White to move and checkmate”]r1b2rk1/pppq1p1p/5B2/b3Pp2/3P4/2P2N2/P4PPP/R1Q2RK1 w – – 1 0[/fen]

Archive for August, 2011

Our Australian Junior Training Squad has started a match against the Mildura Chess Club. We choose a move each Saturday during the session and Mildura Chess Club chooses a move each Friday night at their club. See the game in progress, feel free to make comments or suggestions as the game progresses.

If you want to see what else we’re doing – check out our page: Preparation for Australian Junior Chess Championships