Saturday, January 27, 2018

Start of the 2018 LCCC 960 Tournament 012218 - Casual Chess Next Week

Our "960" tournament has started. There is still time to enter as we did have one entry with no opponent. So be here Monday and take that last spot!

If you have never played 960 chess, you will find it exciting. The difference is - the pieces on the back ranks are randomly mixed up! So it takes any opening knowledge a player might have over you and throws it out the window.

Come give it a try.

Now for a chess lesson on the separate skills of the chess pieces:

One of the first things we learn about chess is that it is a game of war. A battlefield in miniature. And one of the hardest things to learn after that - is the nature of the weaponry.

As in war, chess weapons can be primarily offensive or defensive. But some are better at one than the other.

For example, the Queen is a great attacker, but a lousy defender. This is true because the Queen can be driven away simply by being threatened by ANY piece your opponent decides to or can use.

After 1. .....Qc7, Black's defense against the c-pawn queening is busted with 2. Qb7 and now the pawn gets there whether Black trades queens or not - because after 2. .....Qxb7, 3. cxb7 and the pawn queens next move.

Or 2. ...Qd7 or Qd8, then 3. c7 and the pawn can't be stopped.

But what if we use our Queen as the attacker she is made to be?

1. ........          Qf4
2. Qb7?         ........

White thinks the game is over and doesn't see Black's offensive threat of:

2. .......           Qc1+
3. Kh2           Qf4+
and Black has a perpetual check to to save a draw from a lost position.

If White tries:

3. g3              hxg+
4. fxg             Qf2+
and White cannot escape continuous checks.

At the end of the food chain is the pawn. It makes the best defender.

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