Sunday, November 18, 2012

Recap of Chess Class 11/17/2012

On Saturday morning, in the chess class conducted by Columbia Academy at Caldwell College, students handed in their homework assignments. All but one had the correct answer 1.Qd6 which forces checkmate in two moves. The other student liked 1.Rb1, forcing checkmate in three moves, which is the natural move from the diagrammed position. In fact, 1.Rb1 is what most masters including myself would have played in a real game, as opposed to a composition where counterintuitive moves are the key.

At the demonstration board, I analyzed two recent endgames of mine from a tournament at the Marshall Chess Club. The first ending featured opposite colored bishops; the second, rooks and minor pieces. Ninety percent of endings with opposite colored bishops are drawn, even when one player has an extra pawn. Bobby Fischer once drew such an ending when he was two pawns down! Rook and minor piece endings can sometimes be won by sacrificing an exchange (rook for minor piece), as happened in a variation from my game.

The class finished with a practical session. We will meet again in two weeks. There is no class next Saturday, due to the holiday weekend.