28 April 2017

The Final Lesson

My after school chess clubs meet from October through April. The end date varies from year to year, but corresponds with the Washington State Elementary Chess Championship. This year, the state championship is tomorrow in Tacoma. It has been in Spokane twice. I was the principle organizer in 2009 and the tournament director in 2015.

This week's lessons were kept light and fun. The children played chess. When one group seemed to want some instruction, I showed them an extremely complicated game more for entertainment than instruction. Another group opted to all play me in a simul. There were six players in the group. I played perhaps ten games against these six. One of the young players who will be at the tournament tomorrow was beating me until he hung a rook as we were running out of time.

Other activities have interfered with my planned study of this game this week, but I have been over it a few times.

Polugaevsky,Lev (2558) -- Nezhmetdinov,Rashid (2554) [A53]
RSFSR-ch 18th Sochi, 1958

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 e5 4.e4 exd4 5.Qxd4 Nc6 6.Qd2 g6 7.b3 Bg7 8.Bb2 0–0 9.Bd3 Ng4 10.Nge2 Qh4

White to move

It was worth pointing out to my beginning students the threat: 11.O-O Qxh2#. I pointed out that Rasgip Nezhmetdinov did not play 10...Qh4 in hopes that he would get a quick checkmate. Rather, his aim was to delay White's ability to castle while also bringing his queen to an aggressive square. Already in the game, it seems as if Black has the initiative.

Castling queenside drops the pawn on f2.

11.Ng3 Nge5 12.0–0 f5 13.f3 Bh6 14.Qd1 f4 15.Nge2 g5 16.Nd5 g4 17.g3 fxg3 18.hxg3 Qh3 19.f4 Be6

White to move


20.fxe5 would be a mistake in view of 20...Bxd5. Then, 21.exd5 gives Black a forced checkmate in two.

20.Rf7 21.Kf2 Qh2+ 22.Ke3 Bxd5 23.cxd5

Black to move


Black opts to leave his queen where White can win it.

24.Rh1 Rxf4 25.Rxh2 Rf3+ 26.Kd4 Bg7 27.a4 c5+

White to move

Most of the students in this group did not know how to play chess six months ago. Even though we have been over en passant several times, they struggled to find White's only legal move.

28.dxc6 bxc6 29.Bd3 Nexd3+ 30.Kc4 d5+ 31.exd5 cxd5+ 32.Kb5 Rb8+ 33.Ka5 Nc6+ 0–1

When the state chess tournament was in Spokane, the local PBS station produced this video. I showed it to the students who will be attending the state tournament for the first time. It's hard to imagine what it's like playing chess in a room with one thousand or more fellow competitors. This video helps reduce the shock that afflicts many newcomers on Saturday morning.

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