Player of the Week - MadWiryTank
Wow - what a brilliant effort. In June, MadWiryTank has played 583 fast chess games on ChessKid. What an effort!!! He has managed to win 478 of those games and his grade has gone up by 574 points to 1360 - again - what an effort. Player of the week!
Excellent efforts have also been made by WiseCrabbyCoconut and MerryJazz, playing 370 games and 185 games respectively. If you play chess and want to get better - these three have shown the best possible way - play lots and lots and lots of chess.
Well played to ORichards in the U1200 section with a perfect 3/3. Very well played also to SillyLimit and RedNuttyCactus, noth scoring 1.5/3.
In the open section, the honours went to RichSmoothPanda with a perfect 4/4, while ZanyHummingBook pipped GlumSuddenBacon to 2nd place on tiebreak score after both scored 3/4. Very well played to all.
"Drawn by Repetition"
Tonight, one of the games finished as "Drawn by Repetition". What does this mean? In chess games always finish in either a win for black, a win for white, or a draw. A win for either play is simple - either a player resigns, or else someone gets Checkmate. But with a draw, there are a number of ways that this can be achieved:
So what is "Drawn by Repetition"? In chess there is a rule that, should the pieces come to be in the same positions across the whole of the board 3 times, then the game is automatically declared a draw. I imagine Grandmasters are quite good at remembering positions and realise when this results in a draw. However, at the lower levels, it is often something that players are perhaps not aware of, or very often do not realise that this has happened. However, when playing on a website like ChessKid, the website will monitor for this and automatically award a draw if this happens. This can be really annoying if you are winning by a mile - because it will still be a draw if the position is repeated 3 times. I think the main thing is not to worry about it too much, unless you can spot a way to secure a draw if you need to get out of a muddle, or perhaps avoid it if you want to and have seen it coming. The game which finished as "Drawn by Repetition" is shown below - if you have not come across this before, it might be worth clicking through and seeing how this happened. On this occasion, a draw was certainly a very fair result.
Tonight MerryJazz returned to the top position to win the event for the second time - very well played. SillyLimit took the silver medal position, also for the second time, with an excellent 3 wins from 4 games. AbleLopsidedGiraffe and MeanCactus shared the bronze medal position with 2 wins each, both only losing to the players in the top two positions. However, very well played to all players. Very well played to squigglypencil for winning his first game!
3rd equal: AbleLopsidedGiraffe & MeanCactus
RichSmoothPanda won the event this evening with a perfect 4 wins from 4 games. ZanyHummingBook had an excellent evening in taking the silver medal, only losing to the eventual winner. WiseCrabbyCoconut had his best result in the this event in taking 3rd position - well played to all three and indeed all the competitors in both of tonight's events.
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see the full results and all the games at the following links:
NextPuffyJelly had a perfect evening in winning the U1200 section with 3 wins from 3 games. ORichards took 2nd place with 2 wins from 3, losing only to the eventual winner. In third place was MadWiryTank, also with two wins from three and losing out on tiebreak score to ORichards. Well played to all three, and everyone who took part tonight.
In the Open section, Rowantree took the honours with 4 wins from 4 games, winning a last round decider against the GlumSuddenBacon, who took 2nd place with 2 wins and a draw. LoudLeanMustang pipped WiseCrabbyCoconut to 3rd on tiebreak score with both having won 2 for 4. Again well played to all.
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see the full results and all the game at the following links:
Practice, practice, practice...
One sentence... the more chess you play... the more puzzles you do... the better your results will be... enough said...
Tonight's game comes from the Open section. I have chosen this game because there is a really good move at move 22 for Black. In the game Black 'took' the Knight on a3 with his Queen. At first, and perhaps second glance, this is a terrible move - surely White will 'take' Black's Queen? But he can't. In fact there is very little that he can do.
The position in question is shown below at move 22 with Black to play, and the whole game is shown further down and you can click through to see what happened. Have a look through the game and see what White played in his efforts to resolve this, and see what you think was the best solution for White, or if the position for white is lost.
Difficulty - Hard.
Tonight we had a really big U1300 section which was great. So, in a tough section, a score of 4 wins from 4 games is always a good result. That accolade went to AbleLopsidedGiraffe who secured victory with a perfect set of wins. The final round saw a very close match between AbleLopsidedGiraffe and MerryJazz, with both on 3 wins from 3. With the game level, MerryJazz thought he saw an opportunity to take the initiative by putting his opponent in Check, but unfortunately there was a Bishop lurking and he lost his Rook and in the end the game as well. But other than one mistake, it was a great game and is shown below. MeanCactus and Kolifl0w37 finished level on 3/3, with MeanCactus stealing third on tiebreak score. Very well played to all the players.
In the Open section we also had the top two players playing each other in the final round with the winner taking the top position. This week it was rafcalum and theworldoflegend who were battling each other. rafcalum won this tight match with a series of accurate moves to secure the win. GlumSuddenBacon also had a successful night taking third place, also finishing on 2 points.
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see the full results here:
Open Section: https://www.chesskid.com/tournament/open-friday-sevens-revisited-38291/results
U1300 Section: https://www.chesskid.com/tournament/u1300-friday-sevens-revisited-38290/results
AbleLopsidedGiraffe vs MerryJazz
rafcalum vs theworldoflegend
We had a shorter evening tonight with just played 3 rounds per event, which was no bad thing with some schools having restarted.
FlatUpbeatFalcon took the spoils tonight with 3 wins from 3 games - very well played. In second place, we had three players who could not be separated by either score or tiebreak - so very well played to them also. Special congratulations to MadWiryTank on his best result to date in taking second place - very well played.
2nd equal: MadWiryTank , NextPuffyJelly, Koliyfl0w37
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see the full results and all the games here: https://www.chesskid.com/tournament/u1200-tuesday-chess-jam-37408/results
Tonight was a return to the top position for Rowantree who took first position by winning all of his games. ZanyHummingBook, rafcalum and RichSmoothPanda all ended equal on points with ZanyHummingBook taking second place on tiebreak, with rafcalum and RichSmoothPanda in joint 3rd position.
3rd equal: rafcalum , RichSmoothPanda
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see the full results and all the games here: https://www.chesskid.com/tournament/open-tuesday-chess-jam-37407/results
Chess Problem - White to move and win two pawns...
I can remember that when I used to play chess at school, I did not think that pawns mattered very much. I have since learned how wrong I was. In most games, a good player will be confident of winning, or at least securing a draw, if he or she gets just a single pawn up.
I was watching one of the games in the U1200 this evening and FlatUpbeatFalcon found a brilliant way to win two pawns. The position is shown below - can you see how he did it? The full game is shown at the end of this post and you can click through to see how he did it. This position is at move 18 for White.
For those that can find a way to win two pawns, there is actually an even better option for White from this same position - can you see how to win both a pawn and a Rook for the loss of a Knight? - answer at the end of this post. This is a difficult puzzle...
Chess Problems - the answers...
Win two pawns:
18. Qxh7+, Kf6
19. Qh6+, Ke7
20. Rxe5+ winning the second pawn
Win a Rook and a pawn for the loss of a Knight:
This is very similar to the above solution, but with a difference...
18. Qxh7+, Kf6
19. Qh6+, Ke7
20. Qe6+, Kd8
21. Nf7+, Rxf7
22. Qxf7 winning the rook having just lost the knight
By the way... in case you do not know... the slightly complicated codes above describe the moves in a game of chess. While they look complicated, they are actually pretty simple. This is called Chess Notation and is used by players to record games. If you understand notation, you can record your own games which is a requirement at major tournaments, and you can also see what moves were played in other peoples games. The following article on Chess.com will teach you all you need to know: https://www.chess.com/article/view/chess-notation
Tonight we had a game of Seven's - not Rugby Seven's - we had a chess tournament with 7 minutes on the clock per player and an additional 7 seconds per move - "7+7". Some of the faster players managed to finish their games with more time than they started with, although this is not perhaps the best tactic...
I was watching a game between NextPuffyJelly and ORichards in the second round, and the following position came up. It is White to play and there is a really good move which White can play which will win the Rook for the loss of the Knight. You can play Knight 'takes' the Pawn on C7 threaten the Rook and put the King in Check - this is noted as Nxc7+ ('N' for Knight, 'x' for takes, 'c7' indicating to put the piece on the c7 square, and '+' indicates that this is check. Black now has to save the King and White can now take the Rook, after which Black will probably then use his other Rook to take the Knight. This is called a 'Knight Fork' - named due to the Knight 'forking' two pieces and threatening both.
This is a move which will be very familiar to the stronger players in the SJC ChessKid club. But for those less familiar with this move, see if you can find a way to play the move - and try to make sure you don't give someone the opportunity to play it against you!
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see the whole game at the following link: https://www.chesskid.com/fastchess/game/25987652
As you can see above, Forks can be a great way to win pieces. While the position below, taken from tonight's game between GlumSuddenBacon and FlatUpbeatFalcon, may look quite different to the position above, once again there is the chance of a Knight Fork; however, this time it is not as obvious. The Black Knight on f4 can move to d3 and say "Check". You may think that the pawn can take the Knight, but it can't - why not? - Answer below.
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see the whole game at the following link: https://www.chesskid.com/fastchess/game/25988618
Answer - the Pawn can not take the Knight because it is Pinned to the King - in other words, it can't move because it would then be Check.
What a good evening for one of our newest members, NextPuffyJelly, winning for the first time - very well played. AbleLopsidedGiraffe had another strong evening with 3 wins from 4 games, losing only to the winner. Koliyfl0w37 also won three games, losing only to AbleLopsidedGiraffe, and only missing out on second position by tiebreak score. Very well played to all three - and to everyone who entered.
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see the whole game at the following link: https://www.chesskid.com/tournament/u1300-friday-night-sevens-36690/results
What a close event! The players in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd all finished on 3 points from 4 games and could only be separated by tie break score. We had a perfect final round with the players in first and second place playing each other in a match that decided the event. On this occasion, RichSmoothPanda got the better of RowanTree and won the event with RowanTree finishing in second place. You can see the whole of that game at the end of this article. ZanyHummingBook completed the top 3 by winning in the final round with a win over LoudLeanMustang. Incidentally. LoudLeanMustang had a tough evening - playing all three of the players who finished at the top of the leaderboard - what a tough set of matches!
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see the whole game at the following link: https://www.chesskid.com/tournament/open-friday-night-sevens-36691/results
Rowantree vs RichSmoothPanda
The game below is tonight's decider between Rowantree and RichSmoothPanda. Click through and see where RichSmoothPanda outmanoeuvred Rowantree to claim victory.
Congratulations to AmazingTania on a first win in the SJC events on ChessKid, and also to Koliyfl0w37 on coming second for the first time, and with BentHuskyBullfrog coming 3rd these players were the best of the U1200 section this evening. Congratulations to these players - and all who competed this evening.
In the Open Section, it was a return to top position for rafcalum who was victorious with 4 wins from 4. GlumSuddenBacon snatched second place on tiebreak score from ZanyHummingBook after both finished with 3 wins from 4 games. Again, congratulations to these players and all who took part this evening.
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see the full results at the links below and look through the games.
A night of lots and lots of chess, and little time! Tonight we had three tournaments; the evening started with an U1350 and an Open running alongside each other and finished with a 3 minutes + 3 seconds Open tournament. It was also a night for deciding matches, as seen below.
U1350 - Blitz - 5 minutes each
A fast win tonight for ORichards and 4 wins from 4 games - this is a player who seems to like his Blitz chess - very well played. In the final round, ORichards and AbleLopsidedGiraffe were neck and neck on 3/3 each and they faced a shootout for 1st place. It was a really well played game with lots of great chess - all the more impressive given the time pressure. You can see the whole game at the end of this post, and a position from the game is also featured as tonight's chess problem, below.
In third place was MadWiryTank, also with with 3 wins from 4 games, and he also lost only to the winner, so very well played to MadWiryTank !!!
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see the full results and look through the games here: https://www.chesskid.com/tournament/u1350-friday-night-blitz-35014/results
Open - Blitz - 5 minutes each
A final round showdown saw Rowantree and RichSmoothPanda battling each other for the win. A cagey game ensued with a draw agreed after 21 moves, with Rowantree taking victory on tiebreak. Another last round showdown saw GlumSuddenBacon secure victory over ZanyHummingBook. ZanyHummingBook looked set to win, when GlumSuddenBacon took an opportunistic win with a back rank mate. Time pressure in blitz can cause mistakes...
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see the full results and look through the games here: https://www.chesskid.com/tournament/open-friday-night-blitz-35015/results
Friday Night Special - Blitz - 3 minutes each and an extra 3 seconds per move
This was a shootout for the keen! 3 minutes on the clock and 3 seconds per move sounds tighter than 5 minutes. But with the extra 3 seconds per move, if you do start to get very low on time, you can sometimes even build time back up again if you play really fast - just don't make a mistake!!!
One thing you should be aware of is this. If you do get very short on time, you can sometimes be fairly sure of what your opponent is going to do, so you can be absolutely ready to play your move, and if you are fast you can play it within a second, and build your time back up again - once again - just don't make a mistake!!!
In this competition, it was another win for Rowantree, securing victory with 4 wins from 4 games. Well played. In second and third places were theworldoflegend and ZanyHummingBook, who both scored 3/4, and each lost only to the winner - very well played to all.
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see the full results and look through the games here: https://www.chesskid.com/tournament/friday-night-special-35018/results
Open - Friday Night Special...
Tonight's chess problem is fairly simple. It comes from the decider in tomight's U1350 between ORichards and AbleLopsidedGiraffe. It is move 12 and White to play. How can White trap Black's Bishop and then take the piece on the following move? To see the answer, have a look through the game at the end of this post.
Chess Game: ORichards Vs AbleLopsidedGiraffe
I was really impressed to see how well these two young players from the U1350 section handled the pressure to play really good chess in a 5 minute game. Below, you can click through to see all the moves.
Welcome to June!!! (dare I request some rain for the garden?) We are very pleased to welcome three new members tonight: RosePaleSquash, NextPuffyJelly, and dearsquiggily. You are all very welcome.
Tonight we held two events - an event for players with a ChessKid fast chess grade of under 1250, and an Open event for all.
AbleLopsidedGiraffe won for the second time in three weeks - which is very good and consistent form - very well played. AmazingTania had an amazing night taking second place with 3 wins from 4 games, only losing to AbleLopsidedGiraffe - again really well played. ORichards continued his excellent run of form in recent weeks with 2.5 points from 4, narrowly pipping JamesBlyth on tiebreak score. It was brilliant to see that everyone won at least one game tonight - so well played to everyone!!!
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see the full results and look through the games by clicking the following link: https://www.chesskid.com/tournament/u1250-tuesday-night-ruy-lpez-34053/results
It was a legendary night for theworldof legend, who took first place with a very strong performance, dropping on half a point during the evening with a draw against the second placed player. RowanTree continued his excellent run of results with 3/4. GlumSuddenBacon also had a great night, taking 3rd place with 2.5/4 - only dropping points to the players in first and second position this evening.
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see the full results and look through the games by clicking the following link: https://www.chesskid.com/tournament/open-tuesday-night-ruy-lpez-34054/results
Tonight's chess puzzle comes from the game between rafcalum and MerryJazz and it is white play in the position below. On the next move, White takes the Pawn on c6 with his Rook. At first glance, this simply loses the Rook. But - this would be a big mistake for Black - why?
To see this game, you can click through the game shown at the end of this post.
Answer - once white has taken the pawn on c6, if black takes white's Rook, White can put his other Rook on d8 and say "Check", and just one move later will hopefully be saying "Checkmate"
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