Friday, April 24, 2009

The CHESS SCHOLAR ASCF Chess Magazine...

Hello one and all!
It looks like I am now a contributor to "THE CHES SCHOLAR" chess magazine which is the ASCF's scholastic chess publication. I will be contributing articles based upon the games of my students and on my own games so that is something that we can all look forward to in future editions of this publication.
The first article in the magazine was done by Leo Lacrimosa and covers my win against GM Susan Polgar during her Simultaneous Chess Exhibition held on February 15th of this year (2009). For his notes please consult page ten of the latest issue... which is issue 31.

Enjoy! -Coach Sean.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009



A position that all chess lovers should be familiar with... the World Famous SAAVEDRA study. Enjoy this one... the history of this problem is well known!

-Coach Sean.

An update from Coach Sean.

Been busy for quite awhile now... I need to become much more efficient in my time useage! I have so many irons in so many different fires right now that it is hard to keep track of them all. But keep track of them all I must!

My game against GM SUSAN POLGAR was published in the ASCF's "CHESS SCHOLAR" Scholastic chess magazine. The annotations were not done by me... although I should have submitted some I was focusing in on my other commitments and obligations at that time and so did not manage to get those to Leo Larcimosa, the Editor. At some point in time I shall have to put that game up here on this blog for everyone's viewing enjoyment. Quite a game... considering the circumstances under which it was played. To get a win against a GM like Susan Polgar always means something, even if the GM did not play her best. These GMs do not lose often nor easily and so it is always interesting to play them Win, Lose or Draw. If you get a win in a Simul against a GM you should treasure that experience! Better still if you ever do manage to take one down in an Open tournament you should treasure that game forever.

My plans for 2009? Continue to coach my students, help them improve and to help them all see the bigger picture as regards chess in their lives. Chess alone as an interest is not desirable... chess as one of many interests is highly desirable. Well rounded is the goal and to play chess well, to keep those young minds healthy and engaged is the ultimate goal no matter how far my students take their game. When I am no longer able to help them improve then I will point them in the direction of a high quality chess coach who can.

I will be running my Super Groups throughout the Summer of 2009 and I will be running some chess camps in addition to the private chess lessons that I will be offering as well. I want to get all of my ASCF students up to speed and into the Champ sections of the ASCF events as quickly as possible and this can only be accomplished if I can work with them and help them to correct the defects in their games that I see every chess club meeting... Of course at every level of understanding the "errors" are of a different nature and how we tackle them, as Coach and student, can determine how prepared the student is for clearing the next set of chess hurdles that loom up on the horizon of their understanding.

As regards my personal chess plans for 2009 I fully intend to compete in some major chess tournaments. Time to bang the rust off of my game! I am intending to play up in as many events as I can... playing in my section is of no interest to me as you only get better by grappling with those more skilled than yourself and for me to do this I have to play in the U2200 or Open sections of chess tournaments. I would prefer to play in the Opens! Playing up is the way to go people!!

Make it a great day -Coach Sean.

Friday, April 10, 2009



Now how many of you have seen this?

Great first move by the first player...

COPYCAT 1.e4 e5

Everything is fine so far...
Everything is still good... so far.

Whenever someone plays this move the second player should have an alarm bell going off somewhere... the Bishop is staring at a big weak square for Black, the f7 square. Something that needs to be protected.
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nc6

Black has played the best move in the position... his Knight comes out to help defend the e5 square. This position occurs hundreds of thousands of times a day... if not more! This tabia is quite popular. A "tabia" is a common opening position that many, many players agree to play and that the game usually does not really start until the "agreed" upon position arises during actual play.
3. Qh5?
3. Qh5? Fishing for trouble?
3. Qh5 should be an easily repulsed attack. The threat is to simply take advantage of two weak diagonals that lead to the weak f7 square. With correct defense this move 3. Qh5 is rubbish... it just wastes too much time and allows the second player to equalize and or to take over the initiative.
This move is seen at all ASCF events by about round 3 and is pulled out by youngsters looking to register either an easy win or their first point. In any event knowing how to play this trap is a stage that all players go through... but this should not be the weapon of choice during a chess tournament. Save it for friends and family!
* * *
3. ...Nf6 to "attack" the queen and lose the King.

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nc6 3. Qh5? Nf6??
If you take two people give them a chess board and a set of chessmen and then lock them into a room eventually one of them will figure this checkmate out. It is a natural progression... most players make a pit stop here during their journey learning chess. To know this trap allows you to defend against it... which is very important for all ASCF players!

Only to realize that this trap is really a waste of time after 3. g6, 3. Qf6 etc... But to learn this and to use this trap is a pit stop that 99% of all ASCF players seem to make. A necessary part of the learning process... to learn about weak diagonals this "trap" is a useful tool for all Chess coaches. Of course it is an even better example of how to teach defense against uncoordinated attackers!

FOOLS MATE and the SCHOLARS MATE both require the use of weak undefended diagonals. A good place to start teaching defence in chess to youngsters! -Coach Sean.

Chess Tournaments...

Hello everyone...

Let me share some of my chess objectives with everyone here on my blog... Hopefully this year I will get back to playing in some of the really big chess events. I am hoping to play in the WORLD OPEN and then even some more events towards the end of the season. I have a lot of work to do on my game and hence will be picking my opening repertoire for the upcoming year in addition to working on my overall game playing ability. So much work to do... so little time.

As of right now though I have been taking up the physical part of my training so as to be in the best possible playing shape that I can be in. I have started running again, stretching, push-ups and swimming. In about a week or two I hope to hit the Gym and start some resistance training as well. For those of you who find this hard to believe a chess player needs to be in shape because of the stress levels that competitive play generates. Besides everyone should want to be healthy anyways and that means working out/doing something other than just sitting around.

The teaching of chess in the Schools requires high energy levels of any coach who really cares about doing their best for their students. Another reason why I have started to work out again. On Wednesdays I have three schools that meet where I am the coach and let me tell you by the end of the day I am totally wiped out physically. So I need higher energy levels to be even more effective at my job.

Once I start playing in tournaments again you can look forward to finding many of my games posted here on this blog for your enjoyment. Till then... the random postings will continue! :P

-Coach Sean.

Friday, April 3, 2009

"TWISTER" in Kyrene tomorrow...

I have 30 students attending!

It will be a chess festival tomorrow... a lot of fun. We shall see how everyone does, including this chess coach!

-Coach Sean.