Being a very keen chess player in your younger years is important if you wish to become a strong player. I’ve heard rumours lately that a couple of Victoria’s top juniors are losing their enthusiasm for chess so it was pleasing last night to see a keen junior, Sam Trewin, travel 5 hours from Yarrawonga to Melbourne to be my guest student for our Thursday night on-line chess lesson. Sam is staying in Melbourne for a few days to get some more coaching and to play in The RJ Shield on Sunday.

Last night we went through some of Sam’s games from the Australian Junior and the Tasmania Chess Camp and it is apparent that he, like most juniors, misses some tactical opportunities in his games. “Examine all checks and captures!” I keep saying to my students but it doesn’t always sink in. Young minds tend to see something good and play it without necessarily carefully working through all the consequences or other possibilities. Another thing that I tell my student’s to do (in the opening) is to “move each piece only once and place it on the best square.”

Today therefore I’d like to show you a position from one of Sam’s games in the Australian Junior. Sam’s opponent (Black) is considering playing 1…Nh5. This move clearly is moving a piece twice in the opening (breaking my rule) and h5 is generally a worse square than f6, so what’s Black up to? It’s OK to break the rules to take advantage of an opportunity in the position, so can you please advise Black. Should he play 1…Nh5 or not, and why?

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