21 April 2017

Tactics: Basic and Advanced

Lesson of the Week

Bobby Fischer has been my theme this week. Most of my students have seen various positions derived from his brilliant win against Donald Byrne at the Rosenwald Trophy Tournament in New York, 1956. The whole game is posted at "Byrne -- Fischer, New York 1956". The students in my advanced club did not have difficulty finding the smother checkmate that might have occurred, but struggled to work out the game's finish without moving the pieces.

Black to move
After 18.Bxe6 (not played)
 Black to move
After 36.Kf1
Fischer found a checkmate in six, but there was one in five. Either would be acceptable if my young students could describe the sequence in chess notation without moving the pieces.

Students in my clubs were also presented with the worksheets Essential Tactics 7-10. There was no expectation that they would complete all four, but only the suggestion that they spend fifteen minutes solving exercises before playing chess.

These exercises are extracted from my eBook, Essential Tactics: Building a Foundation for Chess Skill (2017). Originally created four years ago as the worksheets Beginning Tactics 1-18, I have revised them as Essential Tactics 1-25. The same 150 exercises are on the worksheet sets and in the book. However, the first set of worksheets used chess pieces in some of the diagrams that the students found confusing. I switched all to the pieces ChessBase calls Fritz (used in the diagrams in the post). The number of worksheets increased in the revised set because each sheet contains six exercises. In the original series, worksheets 5-18 had nine exercises each.

To my surprise, my top second grader struggled with this exercise.

White to move

A few of the exercises on Essential Tactics 10 get to the core of finding two move combinations.

White to move

White to move

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