26th October 2013 - Starting Out
Brett Rossi, Karen Weldrick & Daniel Nelson
All three joined us for a first time today. Thank you, Daniel & Karen & Brett, for your friendly company; and I do hope you will all return!
In the photo above, they had reached a position a little like this:
Black has a big advantage in pieces, but they are not well placed. I think this comes about because Brett has been helping Daniel along a little, having earlier got a very strong position and then deciding that the boy of about a third his years shouldn't be bullied! Thank you, Brett. So black has one rook in an active position and another in a very uncomfortable position. Black's queen is not well-placed either, and is serving only to protect his bishop.
White's queen is well-placed, and white's rooks are very well-placed indeed. Doubled up on the only open file! That is very good.
After this game, Karen and Daniel played a game, and in this I thought that Karen did very well.
If I try to summarise the things I like about what Karen has played here, then it might include these points:
- white has occupied the centre with pawns, and has lots of space to play in.
- the knights and bishops are centrally placed, too, focussing on the central four squares of the board.
- the king is castled behind connected pawns
- the queen is on the second rank, protected by pawns and minor pieces but taking a central, organising role for further development
- the rooks are connected
This means that white has completed the tasks of the opening.
- The chess opening is often the first third of a game, taking up 10 to 20 moves. As Karen has played it,above, white is in a good way to begin the middle game, now.
- The middle game often contains confrontations between opposing pieces in the most densely populated stage of the chess-board. Some people say that it ends if or when queens are exchanged.
- Then we have the endgame, which can be decided with just a king on one side versus king, bishop and knight on the other. With just the help of a bishop and a knight, you can checkmate the opposing king! You can also do so with 2 bishops, or with one rook, or with a queen. So if you have a single pawn with your king, then you may also win if you can get your pawn to the end and turn it into a queen, or a rook.