Monday, 29 February 2016


As part of a chess tournament at KEGS last week I put three puzzles together suitable for players of different levels to have a go at.

The top two were courtesy of Essex Chess Association President Ivor Smith who kindly came along to present the trophy. The third was invented by American composer Sam Loyd about 150 years ago to trick his friends. All three are slightly unusual and good for group discussion. As usual white is moving up the board in all cases.

The question is simply how many different checkmates in one are there for white if it is white to move.

This puzzle asks the opposite question - can you find the only move for white that does not deliver checkmate?

This lovely puzzle by Sam Loyd simply asks you to find a checkmate in one move for white.

If you want any clues or solutions feel free to ask.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Tournament Standings

Below are the latest standings in our UK Chess Challenge Tournament. Stewart has joined Jerry on 12 points from 4 games and picked up his chess mascot. Being the holidays we were joined by our oldest junior (Alice’s granddad Colin) who took on Josh and Stewart and proved experience counts for something.


We also welcomed Findlay and his family to the club who have just moved to Chelmsford from New Zealand. He’ll be a great addition to the Chelmsford and Essex chess scene and kicked off his tournament with victory over Felix (sorry Felix – this was a tough match for you). Stewart and Jerry take note.

A number of our older juniors also come along to the adult club in Chelmsford on a Thursday evening ( This gives them a chance to take on some adult opponents as well as look at some chess with me and play among themselves. It will be great to have Findlay join us.

Best Wishes

Tactical Tricks

I like using chess puzzles as a way of coaching and have a large collection for players of all strengths. The sheet below is courtesy of Ivor Smith and is a nice way to introduce some basic tactical tricks. Now I’ve realised I can scan documents and add them here I’ll post some regularly.

Best Wishes

Friday, 12 February 2016

March and April club dates

Chelmsford Junior Chess Club meets every Tuesday at 4.30pm. Here are the dates and split up to the end of April. We'll continue to meet every week until finishing for the summer on 19th July. Anyone who has been outside today might think summer is a long way off.

February 16th (Half Term) – open to all.
February 23rd – club closed.

March 1st – Older Half
March 8th – Younger Half
March 15th – Older Half
March 22nd  – Younger Half

March 29th (Spring Break) – open to all.
April 5th  (Spring Break) – open to all.

April 12th – Older Half
April 19th – Younger Half
April 26th – Older Half.

Best Wishes

Monday, 8 February 2016

Delancey UK Chess Challenge Scores

We've started off the Delancey UK Chess Challenge and Jerry Zheng (Year 2) is our surprise early leader with victory in his first 4 games. Stewart Day (Year 5) and Ollie Etherington (Year 7) have 3 wins out of 3. Over 50 children have taken part so far and by Easter most players will have managed 7 competitive games and collected gold spots for their badges, furry chess mascots and a certificate. Below are the scores to date (before the meeting of 9th February).

February Chess

Springfield Primary School did a wonderful job hosting a National Primary School Chess Association tournament last weekend. There was plenty of room for the different schools to spread out between rounds and a great spread of homemade cakes. The greatest challenge in these events is getting players to slow down enough to do themselves credit but the offer of a cake periodically to the Moulsham player who had the longest game did help.

Congratulations to Moulsham U11s and U9s for qualifying for the national semi-final at Camber Sands in Kent in May. This will be a weekend away at Pontins for the players and their families.

Our club was well represented among the Moulsham, Springfield and St. Anne’s teams (12 players in all I think) and all 3 schools can be pleased with how their players conducted themselves on the day on and off the board.

This week (9th) is the younger half of the club. Next week (16th) the club will be open to everyone as it is half term. The following week (23rd) we’ll be closed because I’ll be at KEGS controlling a competition for secondary schools then from 30th February we’ll be back to normal with the club split by age and each half meeting fortnightly.

It will be particularly nice to welcome Moulsham High School, Boswells and New Hall to KEGS on 23rd February as these are Chelmsford schools not generally involved in secondary school chess competition. As the Moulsham team will be made up entirely of Year 7 and 8 CJCC players I’ll be cheering them on in a not very neutral manner.

Best Wishes