Archive for September, 2015

Dear Reader, I need your help.  Last week-end I went to watch some of my students at the “Best in the West” weekender and also the U11 Victorian Youth Chess Championships and I watched many of the live games on the internet from these events.  My problem?  How can you stop juniors from just making one move threats and playing for traps?

Let me give you an example.  My student is playing Black and has an easy win if he just completes his development.   Instead see what happens.

Another problem with juniors is to get them to stop taking.   Just because you can take a piece doesn’t mean that you should!  Taking (or recapturing) however is easy.   You don’t have to think.  They take you … you take them back …. what could be simpler?   Of course most times people have a reason for taking something.  Perhaps it is a sacrifice and they want you to recapture!  If someone does a sacrifice against you surely your first response should be one of suspicion.  Why are they sacrificing?  If I accept the sacrifice something terrible will happen to me?  I remember an anecdote about a Capablanca v Lasker game where Capablanca thought for a long time then did a sacrifice.  Lasker immediately declined the sacrifice with very little thought.   After the game he explained “if Capablanca offers a sacrifice it is bound to be sound so I declined it.”   Would that my students thought along similar lines.   For today’s puzzle let me show you a position from the Vic Youth Championships.   White is a piece ahead and has a won game.   Black therefore looked around for a way to get back into the game and found a sacrifice.  What was the sacrifice?  White of course accepted the sacrifice and immediately lost.  How did he lose and what should he have done instead?

Archive for September, 2015