Tuesday, July 17, 2012

chess teacher quiz!

Want to test your chess teacher skillz? See if you have what it takes!
Start by downloading the following chessbase file. (or pgn here)

In the first part, you have a collection of games, one but sometimes two from a player*, and you need to figure out what the player's main problem is. You can choose from:

looks only one move ahead
doesn't look at what opponent is going to do
doesn't develop pieces
doesn't castle
doesn't know typical opening traps
trades too much
makes pawn breaks too quickly
doesn't make pawn breaks

Not all weaknesses are used.

In the second part, labeled "Whose Opening is Better?" you have a few positions that an engine or theory calls equal, but which in scholastic chess strongly favor one side. Determine which side is winning and explain why.

it's for a teacher training I'm doing. thanks.

*especially notice Bryan Parra is the first and last game.


Keith Ammann said...

Let's see how I did . . .

1. trades too much
2. doesn't develop (enough)
3. doesn't look at what opponent is going to do
4. doesn't look at what opponent is going to do
5. looks only one move ahead
6. makes pawn breaks too quickly
7. doesn't know opening traps
8. makes pawn breaks too quickly -or- looks only one move ahead
9. black is better despite exposed king because of extra pawn, tight pawn structure and initiative against c4-bishop
10. black is better because of two well-developed knights (white's b1-knight is blocked from effective development) and control of e5
11. black is better because his bishops and queen are all aimed at white's king and working together
12. black is better because white has no idea what he's doing and is going to get his butt kicked on the e1-h4 diagonal if he doesn't wake up fast
13. yep, trades too much

Anonymous said...

It seems that none of these kids were taught the simple rule to finish trades and not start them.

Elizabeth Vicary said...

1/13 -- correct: trades too much

2/3 -- doesn't know the typical tactics in his openings (in game 2, he misses both 9. d4 and 16. Bxh6; in games 3 he misses 6. Nxe5 and 7. Nxe5, plus fianchettoing the dark squared bishop is weird).

4. I would describe this as not paying attention to the opponent's resources-- Earl misses 4... e4, both players miss 5...g5, 9. f4 is just horrible, allowing ...Bc5+ and ...Ng4.

5/ 6. Isaiah makes pawn breaks too quickly.

7. Maria develops all her pieecs, but then just moves them around, rather than trying to organize d4 or f4.

8. Alex is looking ahead only one move, and making the most aggessive move in all situations without really looking at it.

9. Black might be better in a "real" sense, but in a game between kids rated 1200, white wins 80% of the time. She has open lines to black's king and easy, prefab attacking ideas. Kids don't know how to use more subtle advantages like 2 bishops, better pawn structure, or the initiative.

10. White is better here because white's plan is to attack the king, which wins, and black's plan is a minority attack, which wins a pawn.

11. This is a theoretical position in the French Tarrasch that I see a lot, as my students play it for both sides. It is much better for black, despite white being up the exchange, because black's plan is easy to understand (g5, Qf7-h5, and attack, or Bd7, Rae8, attack the d4 pawn) and white's is mysterious (Rae1, attack the d5 pawn, trade pieces.)

12. It's silly to play the From Gambit as black. All Bird players stay up at night studying these ridiculous lines and they are so happy* you've finally given them the chance to play it.

Thanks for playing, Keith! (I made up all the games except Earl's, but I think they are fairly realistic.)