My chess team -Chess First! Academy-overcame a slow start to post a 5-4 win and collect two match points. With two rounds to go we should make the playoffs.
My young opponent rushed in the opening and gave me his d-pawn for free; then we reached this position where he is losing the f2-pawn.
One pawn is bad enough but two pawns down makes it hard to hold the endgame. Now check out the position later in the game.
Black promoted two queens and mated the white king. Now the match score was 4-4 and Len Molden offered a draw, which would have tied the match 4.5-4.5. His opponent declined and promptly lost his queen. This was the crucial point we needed to win the match 5-4.
One word of caution to online chess players. In the position below black promotes his pawns into two queens. But when you play exclusively online you get sloppy like me last year. I pushed a pawn and mechanically pressed my clock which made it an illegal move. The arbiter gave the game to my opponent and his friends wondered how an NCM-titled player can't promote his pawns!? Hahaha.
So, promote your pawn, grab a queen and place it on the board, then press your clock. It sounds obvious but online the queen appears automatically or you get a prompt before the move is completed. When that becomes a habit you can run into problems over-the-board.
The obvious solution is to play more over-the-board chess.
NCM Vas Sladek
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