Juniors and Beginners

Junior Chess Competition held 20th July 2019

The Library Chess Ladder

Great to see so many youngsters enjoying the challenge of the ‘Ladder’ competition, using clocks with 10 mins each, both fun and very serious chess was played over a number of weeks.

Winners were announced as season comes almost to an end, on 13th July we closed the Ladder tournament and presented the winners with Certificates and Medals.

Next week, our last Saturday before the summer break (back on the 7th September) we are holding a special in-house Tournament for all to be involved in.

GOLD STAR for Joey LI for being promoted from Bishops to Knights in the 11 0’clock club

10 o’clock club:-


11 o’clock club:-


The Knights are the more experienced players, the Bishops are beginners.

The goal of the competition is to move up the Ladder, ultimately to the No.1 position either in the Bishops group or the Knights group.

Players move up the Ladder by winning Ladder games. Players move down the Ladder when they lose Ladder games, and when other players move up the Ladder ahead of them.

  1. Initial positions on the ladder are determined randomly.  New members are added to the bottom of the ladder.
  2. You may challenge anyone who is one, two, or three, positions above you on the ladder.  If you are challenged to a ladder game, and you are not already in a game, you must play.  (A refusal to play is treated as a loss.)   Ladder games can be played with or without a clock.
  3. The player making the challenge plays White.  The person being challenged plays Black.
  4. If the lower-ranked player wins, the lower-ranked player takes the higher-ranked player’s spot on the ladder, and the higher-ranked player moves down one spot.
  5. If the higher-ranked player wins, there is no change in the players’ rankings.
  6. If the game ends in a draw, the lower-ranked player takes the spot just below the higher-ranked player.  A coach must approve draws by agreement.
  7. After a ladder game is played, at least one of the players must play a ladder game against someone else before they are allowed to play each other

The person at the top of the Bishop’s ladder can challenge the person at the bottom of the Knight’s ladder to become a Knight.

A promoted ‘Bishop’ will have a “Queen” or “King” sticker on that student’s ladder ID to signify the promotion.

Useful tips for Beginners and Juniors


Two simple words to help improve your game

When being attacked think of the word TRIP

T – Can I Take the attacking piece?

R – Should I or can I Retreat or Run away?

I – Can I Interpose or Block the attacker?

P – Can I Protect the attacked piece?


Three important points to remember in your Chess Game

Think of the word COT

C – Try and control the Centre of the board in the opening moves.

O – Rooks belong on Open or semi open files

T – Always be looking for Targets, especially unprotected pieces.

Report on the Dorset Junior Championship on the 9/2/19

Venue – Bournemouth Grammar School for Girls

We had a successful and very enjoyable Championship where 53 Juniors competed within 3 groups over 6 rounds and a time control of 15 minutes each.

Ages of Juniors/Seniors were from Year 3 (8 years) to Sixth form (17). The competitors came from all over the area and overall winner Ted Paul scoring 6/6 is a regular league chess player from Dorchester (age 15). Florence Spirling came from Swanage (year 5) and competed for the first time and came equal 3rd scoring 4/6. All the Juniors scored points and enjoyed the experience which will encourage them to continue chess through schools and the local various clubs.

It was great to see such a wide group of Juniors competing and playing chess which is the main objective of the day in one arena and the parents/guardians watching on so proudly.

A few senior players are playing in the local leagues however many of the younger Juniors specifically in years groups 3/4/5 were playing for the first time.

Details of the Prize and Medal winners over the age groups are published separately as are the Individual list of scores for all age groups.

Bournemouth Grammar School for Girls hosting the event for the 2nd year is an excellent venue and the facilities are perfect for this type of event, including parking, access and space.

I need to mention all the helpers which carried out such a creditable job and assisted with all, without them an event on the scale would not be possible.

Ian Clark/Bryan Lose/Graham Morris/Steve Bailey/Paul Errington and Dee Nustedt.

Eric Sachs

10 February 2019




Junior Chess competition at Bournemouth Library

Picture of the Junior competition at Bournemouth library held  Saturday 22/12/18.

Winners and runners up of the Major & Minor are from the left  Yash, Souyara, Jamie, Jake and overall Champion Larissa Cubert.

22 juniors took part in a hugely enjoyable event over 5 rounds. Larissa scored 5/5 and is progressing with promise as she continues developing her chess.

Jamie Doyle from S Africa now living locally has already represented SA is now a member if Poole chess club and will be playing in the Bacchus league for the Bishops.

Many thanks to all the helpers, coaches, and parents for supporting Junior chess.


Chess for Beginners

Chess is a beautiful “Game”, it’s not easily mastered, even experienced players can still learn more, but you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy playing Chess.

Over the following weeks, we will guide beginners through the basics and more, hopefully you’ll discover the enjoyment that Chess can give you.

The following topics are what will be covered  to help Juniors and beginners get started on this epic journey.

Board / Pieces setup

Note white square bottom right hand corner.

There are FOUR simple things that every chess player should try to achieve

1) Protect your King

Get your king to the corner of the board where he is usually safer. Don’t put off castling. You should usually castle as quickly as possible. Remember, it doesn’t matter how close you are to checkmating your opponent if your own king is checkmated first!

2) Don’t Give Pieces Away

Don’t carelessly lose your pieces! Each piece is valuable and you can’t win a game without pieces to checkmate. There is an easy system that most players use to keep track of the relative value of each chess piece.

How much are the chess pieces worth?

At the end of the game these points don’t mean anything – it is simply a system you can use to make decisions while playing, helping you know when to capture, exchange, or make other moves.

3) Control the Center of the Chessboard

You should try and control the center of the board with your pieces and pawns. If you control the center, you will have more room to move your pieces and will make it harder for your opponent to find good squares for his pieces.

4) Use All of your Chess Pieces

 Your pieces don’t do any good when they are sitting back on the first row. Try and develop all of your pieces so that you have more to use when you attack the king. Using one or two pieces to attack will not work against any decent opponent.


Pins / Forks / Skewers / Discovered attacks

Forks: A fork is when a piece attacks more than one piece at a time, in a way that, whichever piece is moved or protected, the other will be able to be captured. Knights are usually the most dangerous.

Pins are when a piece cannot move without exposing another piece to capture.

Skewers are somewhat the opposite of pins, because here the more important piece is in the front and must move out of the way, exposing another piece behind it.

How to Draw a Chess Game

Occasionally chess games do not end with a winner, but with a draw. There are 5 reasons why a chess game may end in a draw:


Touch-move – If a player touches one of their own pieces they must move that piece as long as it is a legal move. If a player touches an opponent’s piece, they must capture that piece. A player who wishes to touch a piece only to adjust it on the board must first announce the intention, usually by saying “adjust”.


Recording moves in your game

Rows are lettered from A – H,  Files or columns are numbered 1 – 8

It is important to learn this so that you can understand Algebraic Notation, check out the website below for further information.



Scholar’s Mate is the most common trap a beginner falls into, as White you may win a few games against beginners, but it’s not a good practice to get your queen out early.

The following game illustrates Scholar’s Mate. This is a checkmate whereby the Bishop and Queen attack the weak f7 pawn. This pawn is weak because, in the starting position, it is only protected by the King.

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Qh5 Nf6 4.Qxf7#

Image result for scholar's mate in chess

This game can be played through in real time from GAMES in the menu bar.

To avoid Scholar’s mate Black should play 3………Qe7, then if 4Qxf7+?  Qxf7  5. Bxf7+  Kxf7 leaving Black a Bishop for a Pawn ahead.

Middle Game Tactics / End Game Hints and Tips

These topics will be covered in more detail either at the Poole Chess Club or on Saturday mornings in Bournemouth Library.

Junior Chess Tuition starts at Bournemouth Library on 8th September 2018 and continues into the Summer of 2019.

Sessions are from 10 am to 11 am and 11 am to 12 am – cost is £4 per Junior,