17 August 2019

An Exercise

This week's lessons with my chess students have focused on queenside pawn majorities. We look at a couple of games played by Mikhail Botvinnik, an endgame that Seigbert Tarrasch blew against Emanuel Lasker, and this position that I created.

White to move

We start with the pawn exercise, and I do not initially tell the student who is to move, nor our theme concerning queenside pawn majorities. If the student thinks the position is equal, I play White. If they think one side is winning, they get that side and get to move first.

Try it against a friend or your computer.

Then, Lasker -- Tarrasch, St. Petersburg 1914.

Black to move

We play it out. I take White.

Then we look at Botvinnik -- Kmoch, Leningrad 1934 and Botvinnik -- Konstantinopolsky, Sverdlovsk 1943. If enough time remains, we go over a game that I played a few years ago (see "Excelling at Technical Chess").

The lesson and much of its content was inspired by Max Euwe, Judgement and Planning in Chess (1953).

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