02 February 2013

Watching Youth Competition

As a youth chess coach, I have recurring frustration watching games between players who lack fundamental skills. Among elementary players, and sometimes older beginners, easily won positions are often drawn. I have watched many dozens of draws by agreement, repetition, fifty-move rule, and stalemate when one player has a queen or rook and the other only a bare king.

There are many similar tragicomedies in youth chess. Yesterday afternoon, at the Spokane high school individual championship, I watched a bishop move with check revealing a discovered attack of rook against queen. The players shuffled the bishop and opposing king back and forth as the aggressor appeared oblivious to her attack on her opponent's queen.

Meanwhile, at another board, the following position was reached.

Black to move

The game ended in a draw.

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