CHECKS, CAPTURES, THREATS, AND SACRIFICES FOR KINGS, QUEENS, AND ROOKS!?!(STRANGE)

White to move! Can you see where everyone can and can not go!?

Chess isn’t easy by a long shot but it’s definitely more fun than difficult when it’s taught correctly. Chess, above all other things it’s called, is a discipline!!! The challenge is what are you supposed to be disciplined about? There’s a correct way to do everything. Chess is no different. Checks, Captures, Threats, and Sacrifices is the beginning of your discipline training. Lombardi said we are going to get very good at the basics. Your punches, and kicks aren’t allowed o be sloppy because everyone knows you are a Black Belt!? Ask a chess player what they are supposed to be disciplined about and the answers will make you laugh more than provide guidance. The answer should have a common level of acceptance and then gain depth and diversity!! Read your chess instructions again for the 1st time and you will understand that there are things that you are supposed to be looking for on every single turn. Once you know what to be disciplined about and follow it, it’s like making people play any other sport in slow motion!?!

Checks: In the above position, The king has 0 checks, the queen has 6 at d2, c2, b2, e1, d1, and b5, the rook has 1 check at f5, the bishop has 3 at f6, e7, and c1, the knight has 1 at f7, and the pawns have 0. To evaluate the position correctly you should 1st see how many there are then see what your opponent’s response can or can not be for each one. It’s a rotation, so you may get the answer at any time. The key to getting answers is an open mind! You can’t say, “If I play that, they’ll just take me” Ok, if you play there they will take you, but should they, can they, without any risk or penalty? The more disciplined you become about the answer to that question the more you will discover about where everyone really can or can not go!!

Captures: If you did not figure out where to go by looking at the checks, now it’s time to look a the captures. The king has 0 captures, the queen has 1 capture at b2, the rook has 3 at d5, e6, and f5, the bishops, knights, and pawns all have 0. The procedure is the same! Look at each capture and see if they really can take you back or not or where they can or can not go. Again you must look a couple of moves to see should they, can they, without any risk or penalty? This is where the w,b,w,b,w, and b,w,b,w,b, I’ve been sharing with you in the last couple of blogs comes in to play.

Threats: If you’ve looked at the checks and captures and still don’t have moves to play, it’s time to look at the threats. Remember it’s a rotation! You don’t need patience to play chess, you need patience to win at chess. That’s why your blitz and puzzle ratings keep going up, but you still keep losing when you sit down to a real game! You don’t need skill to identify checks and captures, so don’t get all proud of yourself because you got the number right! Identifying threats will require that you use the Magic 10. Look at every piece and asses their range, speed, power, force, time, space, mobility, initiative, their affect on king safety, and if they can snatch any material. The features of the magic 10 in this position are range, force, time, and king safety… Anytime your opponents king, queen, or rook has no escape square, or has to stay on a square, all it takes is 1 good check/threat to take them down. You’re going to have to talk yourself through it. All you need is 1 check on the a1-a8 diagonal and black is toast. How or who has the range, speed, time or force to help me get my queen or bishop on that diagonal? My own rook is stopping my queen and their rook is stopping my bishop.

Sacrifices: The worst trick that has been played on the mind of chess players is that a sacrifice involves the temporary loss of something!! In chess, sacrifices involve the temporary gain of something!! That gain is a change in the Magic 10. Every time a check, capture, threat, or sacrifice happens, the Magic 10 of all the pieces changes!!! So here the question is how can I sacrifice with force and gain time to get my queen to e5? “I know, Rf5!? then if they take my queen, I take their rook and mate on g8!! Oh that won’t work, they just take me with their rook. Let’s look at something else” No, let’s finish looking at what we were looking at. The key to finding a combination is to constantly be looking the length of a combination. Here is the key to the entire system. You must look at the checks until all the checks are gone, you must look until all the captures are gone, you must look until all the threats are gone, and you must look until all the sacrifices are gone. That may take 3, 4, 5, 6 even 7 moves but at the end of your analysis, you will be 100% sure of where everyone can and can not go. So, after 1. Rf5!!(check) Rf5 you must keep checking, capturing, threatening, and sacrificing until they are all gone to get the correct answer about 1.Rf5!!(check)

Checks, captures, threats, and sacrifices until they are all gone!!!

We are going to keep going until everything is gone. Now the queen has 13 checks!!! e5(3), d2, c2, b2(2), e1, d1, b5, f3, e4, and g4. the bishop has 3 checks f6(2) and c1, the knight has 1 check f7 and the pawns have 1 check g4. We started with 11 checks and now we have 18! We used a forcing sacrifice to gain range, time, and more compromised king safety. We are in the middle of our combination now so we will be going through our rotation using the most forceful moves we can find to accomplish the objective we had set!. 1. Rf5!!(check) Rf5 2. Qe5! Re5 3. Bf6 mate! Visualize everything until they are all gone.

How many checks, captures, threats, and sacrifices do you see?

Our last example was using a check against the rook to change the Magic 10 in our favor. The rotation will always be the same. By that I mean we always go in the same order Q, R, B, N, then pawns.

Checks: The queen 9 at b5, c6(2), c4(2), d3, e2(2), and f1, the rook 1 at b4, the bishops 2 at c2(2) and the pawns have 0. If you’ve found the combination by just looking at the checks, then there is no need to go any further. My suggestion is to continue through the rotation until you are 100% convinced and sure that they have no way out and you haven’t missed a defensive resource!

Captures: There’s 1 for the queen at c6, 1 for the rook at b2 and 2 for the bishops at g5 and d4.

Threats: What does the magic 10 say? My pieces are good and that check on c4 looks killer. In this position instead of using the magic 10 for me, I have to use the magic 10 against my opponent. The only thing holding that position together is the Queen. How do we zap her range, space, and mobility?

Escape squares are most limited for kings, queens, and rooks!! Check them! lol

Sacrifices: Here we know the problem. It’s the queen and here mobility. Oh wow!? the queen doesn’t have any escape squares either! 1…Rb4!!(check) They have to take with the pawn or I win the queen. 2. ab? Qc4 3. Kd2 Qd3 4.Kc1 Qb1 5. Kd2 Qb2 6. Qc2 Qc2 mate. They can’t take with the pawn, so I win the queen and get to keep my attack!!

Sometimes the checks will tell you what to sacrifice, sometimes the captures will tell you the threats, sometimes the threats will tell you which check to use! The point is, if you go through the checks, captures, threats, and sacrifices, every time, you are going to know the magic 10 of both teams, not just your own! You have to win more games when you know where everyone can and can not go for both sides!!

Now you have some idea of what to be disciplined about to win more chess games. It will only take one game of you using the information in these blogs to change the amount of fun you have when you play! This is still the tip of the iceberg. I promised you secret stuff that you’d never heard of that would explain why our students do so well so fast. how am I doing? There’s more coming!!! Your game, your inner talk and thoughts have to evolve. Remember we are a tournament chess training company. If you read and then try to discipline yourself to use this information during blitz games you missed the point!?! You must play longer time controls or be doing extremely difficult puzzles at a board to see how this works! At the beginning, doing what I say will shorten the length of your games, it’s not designed to save you time. For what I’ve explained to shorten your games and save you time. you must take these disciplines and make them habits!!!

Want to learn and see more? Get some lessons/coaching. Got a question, contact me. Mike Callaham 804-426-6058. Until then take what I’ve given you and beat the snot out of somebody!?! lol

SCBC Coaches Score 10.5/15 At The George Washington Open

This weekend 3 SCBC coaches played in the George Washington Open in Reston VA.  Mike Callaham played in the Under 1800, Master Coach Jason Moorefield played in the Major, and Coach Avijith Rajan in the Under 2100. Mike earned 4/5 = 3 wins 2 draws and 0 losses, finishing 2nd, 2nd/61, Coach Jason earned 3.5/5 = 3w 1d 1l finishing 3rd, 8/64 and Coach Rajan earned 3/5 = 3w 0d 2l, finishing 4th, 12th/48!  Our carpool of fun and laughs was from left to right; Mike Callaham, Mike Valentino, Patrick Spain, Avijith Rajan.

the boys

We came we saw and we did some damage.  I’m never going to tell my students that with what we teach, it’s Ok to lose chess games.  I see and hear it all the time!  You can’t win them all, you have to get experience, you learn more from your losses… It’s all nonsense! I encourage my students by telling them, “Your opponent’s parents, coaches, friends and family expect them to lose games in this tournament!  Your job is make sure you don’t disappoint them!!  At SCBC we’ve got a formula that explains success and failure at the chess board!  The formula can be used by anyone that knows when a chess game is over!  Winning and losing are now a will or won’t not a can or can’t.  As your rating increases and the opponents get harder, the only thing needed is more discipline!  Why am I so serious?!  For years I’ve been telling everyone around me, if you’re losing with the SCBC system, it’s because you don’t really care about winning! I’ve listened to student after student and class after class repeat word for word what they are supposed to be doing at the board.  Then when they get to a tournament they’re as bad as a chef who keeps trying to turn, ‘over easy” eggs with a fork, a knife, spoon, an ice-pick, toothpick, or anything  instead of a spatula?!  Our system is so simple that if you’ve been taught it and won’t use it, it could be said that checks, captures, threats, and sacrifices just aren’t important to how you, “want” to play chess?!  I don’t make this stuff up, I’m just reporting. lol

The looks my wife would give me if I told her we are going for a 2 hour drive to pay to enter a tournament, pay for lodging, pay for food, take up the whole family’s day or weekend, and I will habitually be ignoring checks, captures, threats, and sacrifices that exist for both sides!? LOL!

Our mantra has 4 parts!  We gave out part 1 of the rule in 2011, then part 2 of the rule in lessons, classes, lectures, camps, training guides and videos. Rajesh Pandit’s whole family increased over 1200 points in just 6 months.  We’ve had tremendous success at getting kids over 1000 but they have other activities and the proximity of events that will test them requires travel.  I’m working on it and that’s beset with many unique and hidden challenges as well!  We continue the never ending search for another Jason Morefield, Jennifer Yu or Praveen! Someone that wants to win and is willing to work!  If parents, spouses, and coaches got the Mike’s wife face more often instead of coddling them with,  ” Do you understand? “, that would cause their ratings to go up a lot faster!?

Thanksgiving newletter 096

I’ve decided to just go get the examples of the system in action myself!  Last year I set a goal to see just how unbeatable I can become using discipline and my SCBC System!!

gwo 1

The 6 points and 8 winning positions I produced in the World Open in July did little to change peoples behavior!  They were still doing the chant without doing the dance!?  So I decided that 1, whether they use it or not, I will teach it to my coaching staff.  Then 2, I will lead by example!

tired 1  new cbd line up

At 57 the biggest challenges are fatigue, being able to make good decisions from the information my system gives me about the position, and having the fortitude, strength, discipline and character to fight relentlessly for a win, a draw, and no losses.  I’m usually abhorrent about things like 5 hour energy and the like but for this tournament in addition to my CBD, I used our, “My Daily Choice” Boost and the Brain sprays before the beginning of each round.  The change in my alertness was instantaneous, invigorating, and enduring.  I didn’t have so much as 1 yawn while I was playing.  The also helped me get to form faster!  I should have used them at the World Open!!  I won’t play in a tournament without them again!  Don’t get me wrong, I need to be in better shape and I need to study, but it’s a relief knowing that I won’t be falling asleep at the board anymore!

I’ll be posting the games from the GWO just like I did for the games from the World Open!  Round 2 and 5 may be of theoretical importance.  Next stop is The Northern Va Open 20-22 March!!

World Open U1800 Game 8 and Thoughts

tired 3[Event “World Open U 1800”]
[Date “2019.07.07”]
[Round “8”]
[White “Andrew Zhang”]
[Black “Mike Callaham”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “B07”]
[WhiteElo “1820”]
[BlackElo “1741”]
[Annotator “Scholarship,Chess”]

Game 8. It only took a few moves to realize that I was getting tired. I hadn’t played in 10 months! 1 loss out of 7 games still had me feeling good though. I also knew that I was working with part 4 of the rule. I decided to just draw on much discipline as I could, and hoped that would have to carry me through. I knew I had probably fallen out of any serious chance at 1st place, but that wasn’t why I was there. I wanted Scholarship Chess Business Center methods to carry me as far as my energy would allow. I’d never played 9 rounds straight before! As you will see, energy and discipline are heavily intertwined. I lasted 7.5 rounds! 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. Bg5?!world open 8-1This system has nuisance value but is considered by all of theory to be one of the weakest answers to the Philidor!} c6 6. Qd2 Qc7 7. O-O-O Be7 8. h4 b5 9. Bd3 a5world open 8-2It’s amazing to me how these young players find such good moves at times. Black has equalized and is slowly creeping up on the initiative. White’s next move is the computer’s top choice.  That for me is very instructive!} 10. Ne2! h6 11. dxe5? I know that calculating ed and de every turn is annoying!  It’s one of the features I like about this opening.  According to Kosten and the article I published in 2010, black has the better center because he has pawn control of d5 while white does not have control of d4. There are other benefits but hey, I’m not going to tell you everything and leave myself nothing to play?! LOL (11. Be3 Ng4 Black has a small advantage here. White had to play Ng3, Kb1, h5, Kb1, Nh2, or c3.  de was 11th on the list. 12. Ng3 Ndf6 13. Qe2 a4 14. a3 Bd7 15. Rhe1 O-O Black is definitely in the drivers seat.) 11… dxe5 12. Bxf6 {Just retreat the thing for crying out loud. This is where studying would have paid off.  This move aids my development and gives me the bishop pair! Nxf6 13. Qc3 Bd6
14. Ng3 O-O 15. Qd2world open 8-3

It appears that the pressure on f2 can begin now! That means no forward movement for either knight. That’s so cool!} Bg4?  (15… Bc5! 16. Nf1 Rd8 17. Qe2 a4 18. Ne3 a3 19. b3 Ng4 20. c3 Qa7 21. Rhe1 Be6 22. Kb1 Rab8 Putting the squeeze is better than what I played. I wanted to pin the knight down and maybe play rad8 but, that strategy is for when they are on the kingside!) 16. Kb1 Rfd8 17. Qe3 Be6 18. h5 {?!} Ng4 19. Qe2 world open 8-4Qb6?! According to the computer 19 …Bc5 is stronger and it’s also begging for a5-a4. I’m exhausted and I’m just relying on our methods and procedures to get me through the game!} (19… Bc5 20. Rdf1 a4 21. Nf5 a3 22. b3 Qa5 23. Qd2 Qa7 24. Qc3 b4 25. Qe1 Nxf2 26. Rh4 Rd7 27. Nxe5 Bxf5 28. exf5 Re8 29. f6 gxf6 30. Qd2 Rxe5 31. Qxh6 Rxd3  Wins the game!!) 20. Rhf1 Bc5 21. Rd2 a4 22. Nf5world open 8-5

Nxf2?? It was here that I got scared. I realized I was going blind.  That’s when you start having hind sight instead of foresight! LOL   The smoke and mirrors of chess exhaustion had began to show it’s ugly and repugnant head!!} (22… a3! 23. b3 Qa5 24. c3 Qxc3 25. Rc2 Qb4 26. Qd2 Bxf5 27. exf5 Qxd2 28. Rxd2 Bxf2 29. Be4 Rxd2 30. Nxd2 Rd8 31. Nf3 c5 32. Bc6 c4 33. Rc1 cxb3 34. axb3  Black is winning hard!) 23. Rxf2?? Mistakes come in pairs!! (23. N3h4 Qa5 24. a3 Nxd3 25. Rxd3 Bf8 26. Rg3 Kh8 27. Qf3 Qd2 28. Ne3 Rd7 29. Qd1 Qa5 30. Qe1 b4 31. Ka1 Rb7 32. Rgf3 bxa3 33. Qxa5 axb2+ 34. Kb1 Rxa5 Enough said) 23… Bxf5! Smoke and mirrors!! I actually thought that taking the rook was a better move. I expected this combination… (23… Bxf2 24. Qxf2 Qxf2 25. Rxf2 (25. Ne7!?+  Forgetting about this until I had looked at it again for a long time. Kf8 26. Ng6+ fxg6 27. Rxf2 Kg8) 25… Bxf5 26. exf5 e4 27. Be2 exf3 28. Bxf3 Rd6) 24. Rf1 Bg4 25. Qe1 a3 26. b3world open 8-6Be3?  What am I doing?? (26… Bb4 27. Qf2 Qa5 28. Rdd1 Bxh5 29. Qh4 Bd2 30. c3 Qxc3 31. Rxd2 Bxf3 32. Rc2 Qxd3 33. Rxf3 Qd1+ 34. Rc1 Qd4) 27. Re2 Bxf3 28. Rxe3 Bxh5 29. c4 bxc4 30. Bxc4 Rd1+ 31. Qxd1 Bxd1 32. Rxf7world open 8-7.jpg

I sat there for 20 minutes trying to figure out Q takes at e3 and thought I couldn’t move the g pawn.  I don’t need to move the g pawn with mate threats. lol  I was obviously confused so what did my opponent do?  what every smart one should, offer a draw.  I broke that rule too.  Whenever a kid offers you a draw it’s because they are losing.  double check very closely.  I was getting to tired and lost confidence and accepted the draw.  to be honest, if I hadn’t, I’d have probably taken the rook.  That’s winning too.  Until we got to the analysis board I didn’t know it was a win!} Kh8 33. Rg3 Qd4 34. Kc1 Bh5 Threatening mate!tired 2My last round won’t make it to the analysis. I could have simply withdrawn. I was absolutely useless. You could have set up 50 winning positions and if they were beyond a wbwbw//bwbwb I would have blown them all.  My 1st World Open was a smashing success for me and the principle I teach.  I’m very happy.  1/2-1/2

 

Game 7 World Open U 1800

[Event “World Open U1800”]
[Date “2019.07.05”]
[Round “7”]
[White “Mike Callaham”]
[Black “Max Li”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “D00”]
[WhiteElo “1741”]
[BlackElo “1705”]
[Annotator “Scholarship,Chess”]

Focus, focus, focus. When you’ve played an awesome game and one mistake
blows everything out, it can zap your energy. That satisfaction of a job well
done can refill your battery! This was one of those games where not following
your own procedures makes it hurt even more. Time trouble, count the delay
while writing the move and double checking the clock. Do your look and make
the best move time will allow. 38. f5? Came as a shock to me. Was so caught up in the stuff going on with c4, forgot the check had to go 1st.  Didn’t follow procedure. After the game I felt like Homer Simpson at the plant. I knew I’d played well or at least thought I had.  That’s ok, will never go off procedure again ever! I’ve been working this new variation of the London. I made a misplay on move 8 and handed over the initiative. I’d told my friend…”dude, there are a lot of 2 knight endings in this system. I hate endings!? not cause I can’t play them but because they’re usually no play in them. This one was different.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Bf4 c6 4. e3 Bf5 5. f3 e6 6. g4 Bg6 7. Bd3 Bd6world open 7-18. Bg5? This move is no good in the Nc3 London System. The best thing to do was keep
developing. (8. Nge2 Bxf4 9. Nxf4 Nbd7 10. h4 Qb6 11. Qd2 O-O-O 12. O-O-O=) 8… Nbd7 9. h4 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 Qc7 11. Nge2 h6 12. Bxf6 Nxf6 13. O-O-O O-O-O=world open 7-314. e4 dxe4 15. Nxe4 Be7 16. Qb3 (16. a3 This would have brought it back to dead equal!) 16… Nd5 17. Kb1 Qb6world open 7-418. Qxb6?! {I’d asked him if he was looking for a a draw with that move. he said he wanted to play on. Probably shouldn’t have taken. I didn’t know it was that good for him. (18. Qd3!? h5 19. g5 Nb4 20. Qb3 Nd5 21. Qd3 Nb4 22. Qb3 draw!) 18… axb6! 19. Rdg1 g6 20. Nf2!? (20. h5 g5 21. c4 Ne3 22. Rc1 f5 23. Rc3 Nxc4 24. gxf5 exf5 25. Rxc4 b5 26. Rc2 fxe4 27. fxe4 Kb8 =) 20… c5 (20… Kc7 21. Nd3 b5 22. Ng3 Kb6 23. h5 g5 24. Ne4 Nb4 25. Ne5 Rhf8 26. c3 Nd5=  ) (20… h5 21. g5 Bd6 22. Ne4 Bf8 23. c3 b5 24. Nc1 He’s going to keep a small edge.) 21. c3 (21. Nd3 cxd4 22. Nxd4 Nb4 23. Nxb4 Rxd4 24. Nd3 h5 25. g5 just above equal) 21… c4 22. Ne4 b5 23. Nd2 Kd7world open 7-2Looks like it’s time to attack the A file. It’s instructive how black takes over the file! 24. a4 Ra8 25. axb5 Ra4 26. f4 Rha8 27. Nf3 Bd6world open 7-528.Ne5+ {Diagram #} (28. Kc2 f6 29. g5 fxg5 30. hxg5 h5 31. Nh4 Rg8 32. Ra1 Rxa1
33. Rxa1 $13) 28… Bxe5 29. dxe5 Ne3 30. Kc1 Nxg4 31. Kd2 h5 32. Rb1 Ra2world open 7-633. Ng3? (33. Rhf1 Kc7 34. Nd4 Rd8 35. Rg1 Kb6 36. Rge1 Nh6 37. Kc2 Rda8 38. Rbd1 R8a5 unclear) 33… Kc7 (33… R8a5 34. Ke2 Kc7 35. Rhd1 Rxb5 6. Rd2.  The lead is a static pawn but it’s going to be hard getting it back!!) 34. Ne4 Rd8+ 35. Nd6 Nf2 36. Rhe1 Nd3 37. Re4 Nxb2 38. Ke3world open 7-7All of blacks choices lead to an edge for white from here! This ending is
more instructive than I could have imagined!} f5??  (38… b6!? 39. Rd4 Na4 40. Rb4 Nc5 41. Rbxc4 Rf8 42. Ne4 Ra5 43. Nxc5 bxc5 44. Rxc5+ Kb6 45. Rc6+ Kxb5 46. Rc7 Kb6 47. Rdc4 with a slight edge to white)  39. Rxc4???+ (39. b6!+  This wins in all lines! I hate blundering when their’s a check!! Kb8 Black could have played Kd7, Kb6, and Kc6.  They all lose but the lines are just to long and complicated to leave you with a definitive analysis in the time I have.  Stop By and we’ll talk about it!  40. Rd4. Surely I had enough time left for these 2 moves! The next 15 moves, I’m not sure! It’s instructive as well!}
Nd3 41. Rxc4 Nf2 42. Rc7 Ng4+ 43. Kd3 Nf2+ 44. Kc4 Ne4 45. Rxb7+ Ka8 46. Rc7 Kb8 47. Rd1 Ng3 48. Rc6 Rb2 49. Rd3 Ne4 50. Nxe4 Rxd3 51. Nd6 Rxd6 52. exd6 Rd2 53. Kb5 Rd5+ 54. Ka6 Rd2 55. c4 {and wins}) 39… Nxc4+ 40. Nxc4  There was no fighting my way out and I later resigned.  0-1