I am recruiting new chess players for the Vancouver rapid chess league.
Chess rating is important but commitment is crucial. There is one round every month, usually one Saturday evening.
Players are expected to make their own way to Vancouver (Alma Street).
Three rapid games in one evening with 15 5 time control. Unrated. Strong opposition and guaranteed fun.
Please message Vas or text 604-562-3736
The common advice from chess coaches is to place rooks on open files and to double them on the second or seventh ranks for maximum effect. But there is one more 'trick' you should know about.
You can also lift your rook so it can help you in your attack. Let's see two examples from my training games with a bright 7 year old student.
A) Black to move
Yes, 1. Ne6 followed by Nf4 would also be a good way to play but let's work on rook lifts.
1. Re6! Black has time for this because White is down a piece without any compensation.
a5 2. Rh6 Rfe1
Here I turned it into an exercise by asking the boy to find two mates in two. He saw them quickly.
3. Qxh3+ Kg1 4. Qh1# OR 3. Rxh3+ Kg1 4. Rh1#.
B) Black to play
1. ...Re5! To deliver mate the Queen needs help. Also note how Black has time for the rook lift.
2. h4 and again here my student took over and passed the test!
2. ...Qg4+ 3. Kh1 Qxh4+ 4. Kg2 Qg4+ 5. Kh1 Rh5#.
Remember: rooks love open files and doubling up on the second or seventh rank; but they can also lift and aid in your attacks.
Deflection is an important theme in chess and you must be aware of it. It basically involves moves that deflect your opponent's defenders from key squares. Let's see one example from my training game.
White is clearly winning because he has an extra piece- the dominating bishop on e5 and he could even take the rook on b8. But we're looking for the BEST move, one that would deflect the Black Queen from defending the mating square f7.
WHITE TO MOVE
1. g4! deflects the queen from defending the mating square f7. 1. ...fxg4 2.hxg4 doesn't change anything, if Qh3 3.Qf7#.
Use deflection in your own games and don't forget to share them.
Discovered checks are a part of basic training. This blog post shows two examples where the Queen is lost after discovered checks. So before you make your moves, double-check on your Queen. Is she safe?
1. Black to play!
1. ...Qxd4?? is a blunder. Why?
2. Black to play!
This should be easy. What does Black play?
1. This is a classic discovered check. 2. Bxh7+ Kxh7 3. Qxd4 +-
2. 1.Nd3!+ and the Queen will go down on the next move.
The game below isn't anything special but it illustrates how you must first equalize as Black and stay patient. Luckily in the endgame my King was mobile and the bishop was stronger than White's knight. Note how easy it was to attack doubled and disconnected pawns.
So when you play Black, aim to equalize and then see what you can do.
[Event "Live Chess"]
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. b3 d5 3. Bb2 c5 4. e3 Nc6 5. d4 Bg4 6. Be2 e6 7. Nbd2 Be7 8. O-O
O-O 9. Rc1 Rc8 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. c4 Qe7 12. cxd5 Nxd5 13. Ne4 Bb6 14. a3 Rfd8
15. Qe1 a6 16. b4 Bf5 17. Ng3 Bg6 18. Ne5 Nxe5 19. Bxe5 Rxc1 20. Qxc1 h6 21.
Qb2 f6 22. Bc3 Rc8 23. Rc1 Kh7 24. Bf3 Nxc3 25. Rxc3 Rxc3 26. Qxc3 Qd7 27. h3
Bd8 28. Be4 Bxe4 29. Nxe4 Qd5 30. f3 Bb6 31. Kf2 f5 32. Nd2 f4 33. Nf1 Qa2+ 34.
Ke1 Qxg2 35. Qd3+ Qg6 36. Qxg6+ Kxg6 37. exf4 Kf5 38. Ke2 Kxf4 39. Nd2 Kg3 40.
Ne4+ Kxh3 41. Nd6 Kg3 42. Nxb7 h5 43. Nd6 h4 44. Ne4+ Kg2 45. Ng5 h3 46. Nxe6
h2 47. Nf4+ Kg3 48. Nh5+ Kh4 49. Nxg7 h1=Q 50. Nf5+ Kg5 51. Ng3 Qg2+ 52. Kd3
Position after 37. ...Kf5 -+
Black's King is mobile, his bishop is stronger than the knight and the white pawns are weak because they're doubled and disconnected. Once the h-pawn falls, Black's simple plan is to get a Queen.
NCM Vas Sladek- GM Horeeet, lichess.org 2 1 bullet
I'm doing fine here and my passed pawns are starting to roll. But this is bullet chess and I dropped the ball with 1.b7? totally forgetting that the f4 knight is pinned. Almost any King move would have been fine. 1. ...Qxh3+ and it got worse from there.
Lesson: break pins as soon as you can and work on your tactics. Then maybe you'll collect a GM scalp.
Always consider the safety of your King before opening up the position. In the diagram below Black is already in trouble and he opens up more lines to his own King with:
16. ....cxd4?. Then it goes downhill fast.
17. cxd4 Bg7
18. Rc1 Bxe5
19. Bxe5 Rd7
20. Bxh8 Ne4
Lesson: open up lines to the enemy King when you're attacking NOT when your own King is under pressure.
Eliminating defenders is a common theme in chess. One piece is holding up your progress or attack so you eliminate it even at the cost of material.
One easy example is from tonight's online rapid 15 10 event. Black, a 2050 player, is clearly losing. His own King is cut off by the rook and the bishop can't hold everything. Note White's active King. In endgames you must activate your King if you want to win.
White to move.
Level: easy. I saw the move even before Black played Bd5.
1. Rxd5! Of course! White eliminates the last defender and the a pawn Queens. 1-0
Remember to eliminate defenders.
1. Ba6!! and Black will get mated on b7. Yet another example of power imbalance where White's extra material makes it easy to find killer moves.
My chess training regimen includes puzzle/tactic training on sites like chess.com and lichess.org. Correct solutions give you points; mistakes take your rating down. I recommend puzzle training to all of my students.
Today I found out about the Woodpecker Method, developed by GM Hans Tikkanen. It consists of puzzles that you have to solve but it doesn't stop there. Once you go through the puzzle set, you do it again except faster! And then again, faster.
This approach has huge benefits:
better play when in time trouble
The Woodpecker Method by Axel Smith and Hans Tikkanen is published by Quality Chess.
Easy tactic: spot it in seconds.
WHITE TO PLAY
1. Bxd5! Eventually Black got roasted on f7. Another example of being down a piece without any compensation.
NCM Vas Sladek
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