I’m exhausted!   I’ve just spent the last hour in depth chatting with David and Carl about what we are going to teach at the Chess Kids Chess Camp on Philip Island in July.  The topic is “Defence.”  Not perhaps the usual main-stream chess topic, and when I searched through my library for books on defence in chess I struggled to find any!  There are two or three books that I found on-line but I don’t have copies.  In desperation I’ve grabbed a book of Petrosian’s best games to read over lunch in the hope that that may have some material I can use.

After we got chatting however I soon realised that there were a heap of things that could be taught under this topic.  Initially of course you have to get the kids to identify that they are being threatened/attacked.  The next step is to then learn techniques that you can use to prevent the attack from being successful.  Blocking the threat, exchanging pieces, moving in more defenders or counter-attacking in the centre are some ideas that spring to mind.  Beyond that there is “what to do when you are lost.”  Looking for chances to get a stalemate or a perpetual check or set up a fortress could come under this heading but generally just finding the line that survives for longest or gives your opponent the most chances to go wrong would be valuable skills to learn.  Many players just give up and perhaps stake everything on a last (obvious) threat in the hope that their opponent may miss it.

Another topic would be “swindling.”  Everybody loves a good swindle.  I can think of a few famous swindles where even top grandmasters fell for a surpass stalemate, so that could be a fun lesson as well.

For this week’s puzzle let me place you in the position of being White in the diagram below.  Clearly you are hopelessly lost being down three pawns for nothing.  “Resigns” is probably your best move but if you are good at defending perhaps you can find an idea to justify playing on?   Good luck.

[iframe width=”500″ height=”685″ src=”http://chessmicrobase.com/microbases/1565/games/52722?token=ceoooppv&embedded=1#hcp-” frameborder=”0″>]

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