Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

ChessWITH THE KNIGHT

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

ChessWITH THE KNIGHT

Article excerpt

CHESS is seen by many as a very difficult game to play. And in three respects it can be viewed as such..

Firstly, there are six different pieces each with its' own characteristic moves. Most beginners find the knight with its L shaped move a bit tricky to start with. But they soon learn to love it because of its ability to jump over other pieces to wreak havoc in the opposition troops. In practice, I have found that more mistakes are made with the pawns which have four different moves. One of them, En Passant, isn't even in English!

Having spent many hours teaching both children and adults how to play the game, I have found strategies for getting past these issues and the majority of learners clear this hurdle relatively quickly.

Secondly, there are a lot of rules, but this is true of most games, and the chess rules are easily understood in time.

Certainly, there are none as complicated or as misunderstood as the offside rule in football or what constitutes a fair tackle.

Even some Championship referees cannot distinguish between a fair tackle and a wrestling hold. It's the third respect that is the real challenge.

Your opponent makes moves as well. And these moves can get in the way of your plans, even taking the pieces you needed to execute them. At a slightly higher standard, it is more often that your opponent's moves have denied your pieces safe access to the squares you wanted to control.

That is the next level up, the ability to envisage sequences of moves that will simultaneously improve your position and sabotage your opponents plans.

I'm not particularly good at that but it doesn't stop me enjoying playing the game. If you want to learn to play, the best place to do it is in a chess club. You will struggle to start off with but will soon improve and find players of a similar standard to have good games with. If you are ambitious to do so you will try to play some games against stronger players who will help you raise your game.

For a full list of local clubs go to the Northumbria chess website. …

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