Wednesday, 28 October 2015

If you are an aspiring junior player ignore this as it could lead you into bad habits. 

Chess puzzles are a god way to improve when you are invited to find a checkmate or clever tactic and I have a wide selection to share for juniors of all ages and levels. This is the opposite – a self-mate puzzle.

These are my favourite type of chess problem. It is white to move. If he wanted to win he could deliver checkmate immediately in two different ways. No challenge there. But the problem is for white to move and force black to checkmate him. Black will play legal moves but pick the worst possible legal move. As usual white is moving up the board.

Doing this with juniors I cast the black player as King (or Queen) and the white player as a chess genius who needs to lose to this utterly useless but regal opponent to carry favour in court.

Warning: allowing the black pawn to promote on a1 won’t work because black picks a knight! This is generally the first try and gets a laugh when I stop the black player picking a queen. If you need the solution ask me but there are limited tries so you should get there pretty quickly.


Best Wishes

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Directions and Thanks

Dear Chess Parents and Chess Players

Chelmsford Junior Chess Club is all set for the first meeting after half-term on 3rd November (one week to go!).

We are in Room 1 in Christ Church which is at the front of the building on the lower level. Access to the building is via the car park which is accessed via Lower Anchor Street off London Road. It is simpler than it sounds. Below is a link to the URC site which gives you a google and hand-drawn map.

Thank you to the Essex Junior Chess Association who have donated a digital chess clock to the club. The EJCA website is the best source of information on all aspects of junior chess in Essex.

Thanks also to the adult chess club in Chelmsford who have provided financial support. You will find me there on Thursday evenings looking after the junior players. Some of Chelmsford’s older juniors represent the club in league matches.

Any questions about the club (or junior chess in general) please get in touch.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Club Introduction

Chelmsford Junior Chess Club will meet every Tuesday from 4.30-6.00pm at Christ Church in London Road. We’ll welcome young players of all ages and strengths and will provide a social and safe atmosphere for everyone to have fun playing and improving their chess.

The club is organised by an experienced and DBS-checked coach who did once have a grade over 200 (note for non-players – this is quite high) but now uses his talents to find ingenious ways to lose gracefully to 7 year olds.

There will be coaching at the club but the emphasis is on children playing and having fun with their chess. Chess is a game that children of almost any age can enjoy at a variety of different levels and improve logic and other skills at the same time.

The initial cost is just £2 per week plus a little (or a lot, depending on appetite) more for drinks and snacks. A junior chess club like the army marches on its stomach.

Please email me for more details and let any potential players know about the club.

 Robin Slade