Sunday was a very exciting day at the Kids Unlimited Centre in Mt.Waverley.  Around 20 of our keenest young players turned up to the lecture by visiting Indian GM Ramesh.  I wasn’t there but was told that he spoke very well and emphasised the importance of thinking about king safety, then piece activity then material.  Sounds good to me.

I arrived a little later in the morning to watch his simul against the juniors which went a little over-time with 3 or 4 games unfinished.  The GM won all the completed games and of the remaining games only Sam Trewin seemed to be still in the game with a chance of a draw.

Thirty-six players arrived for the monthly RJ Shield and we ended up with a triple tie between Sam Trewin, Matthew Zillman and Daniel Poberovsky all on 6/7.  Sam was awarded the title on count-back.  I was busy trying to record some of the games of my students but caught a glimpse of the other boards as well.  There was a little Indian girl there who seemed to play quite well (I later found out that it was Ramesh’s daughter!) and it was amusing to watch her game with Elijah.  They were in a N+pawns ending when Elijah foolishly played f4 trapping his King on e5.  I was expecting the reply Nc6 mate (!) which was there for two moves but went unnoticed and Elijah stumbled on to victory.  Even the higher boards were not immune from such disasters.  In the big game between the top two seeds Sam was a pawn ahead in an ending against Matthew when he hastily moved his B from f6 to capture a N on c3.  Matthew did not recapture but instead chose Rd8 mate!  In the following round the boot was on the other foot when Matthew had Qc7 mate against Oliver but instead chose to capture a Bishop!  Thirty moves later he achieved the same result.


Matthew, GM Ramesh, Daniel and Sam.

For today’s puzzle I want to do something a little different and give you a “positional” puzzle from a game in Sunday’s RJ Shield.  It is a test.  Do you think like a junior or like a master?  Let me explain.  It recently dawned on me that some of my younger students basically have only one plan … to threaten something.  I’m trying to get them to think like a General in charge of the whole army whereas they a thinking like an individual soldier who is looking for someone to attack.  A master would look at the position below and ask himself where he wants his pieces so that he has the initiative and his opponent is tied down to defence.  He would then build up his position before landing the final blow on his opponent’s position.

So have a look at the diagram with White to play.  I give you the line actually played in the game and the line that I think a master would play.  Which did you pick?

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