Friday, 26 August 2011

My school friend

Hi everyone,
On this post I would like to talk about a game I had with a friend of mine, but he is not just any friend, he has been a student of mine. I will not disclose his name for confidential reasons. I met him at the start of the year, he knew how to move the pieces, some very basic tactics, and mostly taught himself how to play. When I first met him I would have estimated his rating to be about 800. Nothing special, but he has been very eager to learn and every lunchtime on Mondays and Thursdays he would ask me to have a game with him, during which I would teach him something new.

The first thing I taught him was the 3 golden rules of the opening, which he understood pretty well. New things he learned included different tactical motifs, the importance of the initiative, the value of a piece in any given situation and much more. I am still teaching him but I would like to share with you the game we had on Thursday. Throughout our games and lessons he has been claiming that he is not improving even though I was telling him otherwise. In the following game, he played better than he ever had before, so much so that for the first time I was not multitasking against him, rather I was in full concentration, as he was playing extremely well and was meeting every tactic perfectly. He showed his intuition was becoming a valuable tool as he made some of his moves on feel rather than logic.

We analysed the game with the help of a computer and he finally realised how much he had improved when he saw that he played many moves as the best moves! He is without a doubt a much stronger player than he used to be, and I would now estimate his rating at, at least 1350. The reason I am saying all this is simple. The aim of a chess coach is to teach a student so well that there is nothing left to teach them, so that they can be passed on to the next coach. For some coaches this is easier than others, a coach that is rated around 1000 won’t find this too hard. But for me, it is much harder, and my friend has improved so much that I am beginning to run out of thing to teach him.

Here is the game, and I would like really appreciate your comment on this game, for me, or my friend as I can pass on all messages to him. For those who are having trouble seeing the games I have put the game in pure word format below. This was played with a limited amount of time and his mistake at the end came under time pressure as the bell had just gone. The rightful outcome in my opinion should have been a draw.

White: Anthony’s Friend Black: Anthony Hain
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.b3 g6 3.Bb2 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Nb8 7.Bc4 0–0 8.Qe2 Nbd7 9.Nc3 Nc5 10.Nd4 Bd7 11.0–0–0 a5 12.Kb1 c6 13.f4 b5 14.Bd3 Nxd3 15.Qxd3 a4 16.dxc6 Bg4 17.Ndxb5 axb3 18.c7 bxa2+ 19.Nxa2 Qc8 20.Rhf1 Be6 21.Nac3 Qa6 22.h3 Nd7 23.f5 Nc5 24.Qe3 Bc4 25.f6 exf6 26.Qf4 f5 27.Rxd6 Qa5 28.Rfd1 Nxe4 29.Rd8 Nxc3+ 30.Kc1 Ne2+ 31.Kb1 Qa2# 0–1

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