08 January 2016

Lesson of the Week

Remove the Guard

The students in my beginner's group solved nine problems on a worksheet and one on the demo board. Among the printed problems were two designed to help the young players perceive the solution to this position.

White to move
After the unplayed 10...Qh4??
This position originates in "what if" analysis of Anderssen -- Staunton, London 1851. While playing through historic games with young chess enthusiasts, we look at many moves that were not played. In some cases, we consider a move that a master such as Howard Staunton would have rejected instantly. Staunton would have found the tactical refutation as fast as he would have seen the plan to swap off Adolf Anderssen's strongest attacking piece.

In the game, Staunton played 10...Qc7. Even here, his position has several problems (see "Guioco Siciliano").

Beginning students, however, do not see such tactics instantly. Often, they do not see them at all. Training develops their vision. The solution to these two problems requires the same tactical idea that refutes a move that Staunton rejected.

White to move

White to move

My advanced students wanted a chess ladder to structure competition within the team, so they played the first round of our annual ladder tournament. Time for instruction was limited, but we went through part of the first game from the Anderssen -- Staunton match at the First International Chess Tournament, London 1851. We discussed White's advantage in mobility and piece coordination after Black's tenth move.

Despite the unenviable nature of Black's position, Staunton missed a chance to equalize six move later when Anderssen muffed the move order of his attack. A different tactical idea from the one above leads to equalization. Staunton should have seen it.

Black to move
After 16.g4?

No comments:

Post a Comment