U14 squad post-jamboree review

There will be an afternoon of feedback/activities on Sun 1st March, from 2.00pm in Exeter at the Heavitree Social Club EX1 3BS, where you can pick up a printed copy of the booklet and other materials. 


Sunday, March 1, 2020 - 14:00


Heavitree Social Club Exeter EX1 3BS


Chess isn't the most important thing in the world nor is getting better the only goal in playing.  But if you do want to get better, how is this to be done?

  1. Step 1: what are your strengths and weaknesses as a player?
    1. Make a list of all the things a chessplayer needs to do (or avoid) to play well
    2. Look at the feedback from your games
    3. Look through the list of 'tips' from the booklet -- what are you good at, what don't make sense?
    4. What are the three most important things you could work on?
  2. Step 2: what is going to help?
    • I can't make you a better player in an afternoon but I can tell you what will make you a better player!
    • We had available:
      1. openings booklets (including those listed on the secret webpage)
      2. tactics tests
      3. 'paranoid' tactics tests (where the result wasn't known and you may fall into a trap)
      4. positional puzzles
      5. endgame puzzles
    • There's more where they came from!

On the day, the sorts of things we decided to look at were:

  1. playing White against 'dodging' (if not dodgy) defences -- half-open games and Indian defences
    • I recommend you pick systems that fit together -- resulting in positions that have similar themes or at least 'feel' similar
    • We looked at how to play for and against an IQP
  2. Spotting tactics and avoiding blunders
    • Three sorts of puzzles are helpful:
      1. Puzzles that are a little bit hard for you -- to extend your range and imagination
      2. Puzzles that are easy for you -- to improve your speed at spotting simple tactics
      3. Paranoid puzzles -- where you don't know the 'right' outcome 
        • These include the Hit/Miss/Trap collections from me
        • Practical Chess Exercises by Ray Cheng
    • You can also do exercises that improve your sight of the board
      1. like the 8 Queens puzzle
      2. I have 12 more examples as part of the card pack 52 different things to do than play chess
  3. Lastly, play, write your moves down, and review the game afterwards
    1. Review with yourself
    2. Review with a friend
    3. Review with a computer
    4. Send me the moves for comment -- I will always do this for you