13 October 2015

Cutting Off

Beginning chess players prefer direct attacks. In order to become adept at finishing a game with an advantage of overwhelming force, players need to learn to restrict the opponent's choices. Instead of endless checking, which leads nowhere, a beginning player must learn to first cut off the escape.

My beginning students this week were presented with a worksheet that has six diagrams. I asked them to set up each position on a chessboard and find the checkmate that required the fewest moves. After they had spent ten minutes on the worksheet, we went over all of the correct solutions on the demonstration board.

For readers needing to develop these skills, several of my previous posts my be helpful: "Checkmate with Heavy Pieces" links to a video that I made; "Lesson of the Week" (November 2011) and "Teaching Elementary Checkmates" offer instruction with static diagrams.

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