I’ve taught people as young as 3 years old and older than 80 years old about chess. I’ve worked with people who have never played before and don’t even know how the pieces moved, and I’ve worked with some very strong players trying to win National Titles. So when I go around to my weekly classes in schools and at the Chess Kids Centre, I’m always on the look out for some great play and great ideas. This past week I’ve been really lucky. Most of my classes have been playing a “Thematic Opening Tournament” which means that they all have to play the same first few moves. All the kids learn some strategy and tricks about the opening and then try to put it into practice. Our opening of the week was called the Italian Opening and was invented by Italian players in the 1500’s and 1600’s. It is a great attacking opening for white who will try to dominate the centre of the board. The centre is really important in all chess positions, but especially in the Italian Opening. Mostly I’ve noticed that the player who has been controlling the centre is the one that usually goes on to win. Not always, but mostly.

See how our best under 8 players used this opening. There were some very interesting games.

 [iframe width=”500″ height=”469″ src=”http://chessmicrobase.com/microbases/123/games/24918?token=o7rz3zr9&embedded=1#hmcp-sG” frameborder=”0″>]

Also we have to remember tactics, and checkmates. I’ve seen hundreds of pins this week, and some excellent checkmates. Take a look at these positions:

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Checkmate of the Week! Look at black’s king, stuck in the centre and trapped by white’s knights and bishop

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Black’s queen is attacked, but he didn’t move it. What piece do you think black moved and where to?

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White threatens checkmate in 3 moves. Can you see how? The boy who was white saw it and won an excellent game!

Did you get the answers to the pin tests I set last time? I’ll give you all one more week before I give the answers, and I’ll give the answers to these positions at the same time.

 

 

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