The next couple of weeks should be quite exciting for Chess Kids.  Next Friday night my little “super group” is having their monthly meeting in which we have a puzzle competition then play a tournament game and I go over the games afterwards with the players.  It’s a good chance to compare yourself with your rivals.

Next Sunday of course is not only another RJ Shield in the afternoon but in the morning players have a chance to have a lesson with GM Ramesh from India followed by a simul against the grandmaster.  I always loved playing in simuls when I was a junior …. it should be great fun.  For those who are really serious about their chess the GM is also giving two 3 hour lessons on the Monday (two groups divided according to standard).  If you are interested in any of these activities details are on the Chess Kids website.

The following weekend is Easter and many chess players will be journeying to Canberra for the annual Doeberl Cup – Australia’s biggest and strongest Open Tournament.  It’s a good chance for Australian players to play against overseas grandmasters and I’m looking forward to following the live games on the internet.  At least two of my students, Atlas and Sam, will be playing so good luck to them.

In my lessons this week I decided to focus on Bishops.  I normally concentrate on rook endings, which are by far the most important, but after playing through a game where Chris Wallis disposed of a player rated 2172  I noticed that even a player of that standard did not realise that he should try to put his pawns on the opposite colour to his Bishop.  That’s the very first thing that you need to know about Bishops!

I plan to give my super group a Bishop ending puzzle on Friday which is similar to the puzzle that I have for you today (see diagram below).  To solve the puzzle, rather than just launching into analysis, there is a three phase method that you should use.  1. Identify White’s problem.  2.Identify a solution to that problem.  3.Work out whether or not you can bring about that solution.  Try using this method in the puzzle today and see if it helps.

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