Chess Lessons by Lee Duigon: Lesson Sixteen

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Let me introduce the subject of chess openings. This is not cutting-edge opening theory. It’s just me, going by experience. And I think we ought to start with general principles. Way too many openings for anyone to learn, but these general principles pretty much always apply.

1. Try to be strong in the center of the board: either directly, by moving pawns and pieces there, or indirectly from somewhere on one or both flanks, stationing your men so that they can get to the center quickly.

2. Knights are best somewhere around the middle of the board. Chess saying, “Knights on the rim are dim,” is usually true.

3. Usually it’s wise to castle as soon as possible.

4. Develop as many pieces as quickly as you can–don’t leave them in their starting spots unless you have a good reason for it. “Develop” means to put them in position to attack or defend as needed.

5. Rooks do best when they have room to shoot to the other end of the board, and when they are in position to support or defend each other. Sometimes the Queen can join them, forming what we call a battery. Try not to cut them off from each other unless there’s a good reason for it. (Any chess move ought to be made for a reason. But you’d be surprised how hard that can be for a beginner to learn.)

6. Bishops like clear diagonals, the longer, the better. If your Bishop winds up bottled up behind your own pawns, we call that a bad bishop. Try to position bishops where they’ll have some room to operate. Unlike Knights, Bishops can be tucked into corner squares and still be powerful.

7. Remember that pawns can never move backward; so when you move one forward, it ought to be for a reason–either to defend something (Pawns are good at that) or to open up room for your stronger pieces.

8. Pawns that wind up back-to-back, aka doubled pawns, can’t defend each other and are best avoided–until you know a lot more about chess. Then it’s not such a big problem.
If you keep these principles in mind, practice them, and use them to direct your moves, you won’t be discomfited by any opening which your opponent might use.

– Lee Duigon on March 13th, 2019

Are you looking for some good books to read? Well, may I recommend to you…

The Bell Mountain Series!!!

Chess Lessons by Lee Duigon: Lesson Fifteen

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All right, let’s try this–nothing ventured, nothing gained. My friends and I sort of invented this opening before we were old enough to read chess books. It served us well until we got better at chess.

We call this the Playground Opening. It will work if your opponent is inexperienced, or if he takes you so lightly that he isn’t really thinking. You have to be playing White to do it. Here it is.

1.e4, e5 2. Qh5, g6 [this is the careless move that kills him] 3.Qxe5 check, Ne7 4. Qxh8, $#@#$!

After this, your chief concerns should be to get your Queen out of there and develop more pies (Nf3, Bc4, etc.). The temptation is to leave the Queen in Black’s territory and pick off some Pawns–but don’t do that, she might get trapped.

Remember that the opponent, in chess openings, very often doesn’t make the moves he’s supposed to make. Don’t let that discourage you. Just keep playing and try to gain experience.

Let me know how you make out!

– Lee Duigon on March 3rd, 2019

I highly recommend the Bell Mountain Series by Lee Duigon!!

Lesson Sixteen is coming next Wednesday!

Chess Lessons by Lee Duigon: Lesson Fourteen

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I want to get you started on chess openings. It’s a complicated subject, and I’ll take it slow. Openings are probably my favorite part of chess.

A few general remarks. A lot of players don’t bother to study openings. For one thing, there are too many of them; no one can learn them all. For another, players get annoyed when they study and opening, want to use it in a game, and the opponent just won’t do what the book said he should do. I dream of the day when, as Black, I play the Albin Counter-Gambit and White stumbles into the Lasker Trap. This has happened for me only once, ever. *sigh*

I recommend two things. First, learn general principles that apply to most openings, if not all of them. Because you’re bound to encounter openings you’ve never seen before, and you don’t want to be confused and surprised. So learn the general principles that govern them all. More on that next time.

Second, study a few favorite openings thoroughly–very thoroughly. I, for instance, like unusual openings that may make my opponent underestimate me. I favor gambits over safe, uneventful openings. As White I’ve carefully studied the Polish Opening, 1.b4, because most opponents see it and think I must be stupid. As Black I favor Philidor’s Defense (1.e4, e5; 2. Nf3 [or something else], d6) because Black’s second move, d6, makes him look timid–but you’d be surprised how quickly the Philidor can be turned into an offensive campaign. If White opens 1.d4, I favor the Albin Counter-Gambit (1.d4, d5; 2. c4 [offering the Queen’s Gambit], e5) which can turn a dull Queen-pawn game into a real brawl. The point is, I’ve spent much time studying these openings and little time on others, trusting in my grasp of general principles to see me through to the middle of the game.

Regardless of whether I’m playing White or Black, I try to go on the attack as soon as possible. Chess is more fun that way.

– Lee Duigon on March 2nd, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Duigon, for the chess lesson!

I highly recommend you read The Bell Mountain Series by Lee Duigon! It’s a Christian fantasy series and you will find it hard to put the book down once you start reading it!

Stay tuned for Lesson Fifteen!

Two Outstanding Blogger Awards!

Thank you, Elisha McFarland and Lydia Potter, for nominating me for the Outstanding Blogger Award! Go give these guys a follow!!

Elisha’s blog: https://elishamcfarland.com/

Lydia’s blog: https://inhisserviceandlovingit.wordpress.com/blog/

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The Rules:

  1. Provide the link to the creator’s original post. Outstanding Blogger Award by Colton Beckwith.
  2. Answer the questions provided.
  3. Create 7 unique questions.
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers. Ensure that they are aware of their nomination. Neither the award’s creator, nor the blogger that nominated you, can be nominated.
  5. At the end of 2020, every blog that ping-backs the creator’s original post will be entered to win the 2020 Outstanding Blogger Award.

Questions from Elisha McFarland:

1: What (or who) inspires you?

My father, mother, and brother inspire me! The Bible inspires me most of all!

2: What is your favorite blog to read?

Lee Duigon’s blog, and many more, of course!

3: Do you enjoy writing?

Yes, I do! I write in my diary every day (since 2015, and I’ve written a few entries when I was younger before the year 2015).

4: Do you have a specific goal for your blog?

My goal is that God will use this blog to reach even one of His elect.

5: What is your favorite conversation topic?

I like to talk about my favorite movies.

6: Do you write about this topic?

I mentioned movies before and I’m posting some on my blog, but I don’t get into detail about movies. So, the answer is close to “No, I don’t.”

7: Do you like coffee?

YEEEEEEESSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!! No morning passes by without a cup o’ coffee in my mouth! (Except when I oversleep, that is… 😅)

8: Do you, like me, have a specific snack you eat while blogging?

I don’t eat snacks when I blog. (I don’t spend too much time on my blog, and most of the stuff I post here are just videos, so I don’t really have to spend too much time.) BUT! As I’m writing this post, I declare I’m eating an éclair! 😅

9: Who taught you how to write?

My dad and mom taught me how to write.

10: What is your strongest conviction?

My strongest conviction is that Christ died for my sins, paid the price of my sins, and secured my salvation. By the everlasting grace and mercy of God, I am convinced that I will go to Heaven when Jesus comes back or when I die, not because of what I have done, but by the merits of Jesus Christ alone!

11: Do you have vision for the future? If so, explain.

My vision for the future is… well, there’re quite a few clouds covering up my future (’cause I don’t have the ability to see through the future, obviously 😅), so I can’t really see well, but I’m hoping, if the Lord wills it, that I will get a good job, become a teacher and/or translator and/or evangelist, get married, etc.

12: What activities (besides writing) do you enjoy?

I really enjoy reading, teaching English, translating, Instagramming (if that’s even a word 😅) etc.

13: Do you think social media is good or helpful?

I think it’s helpful, especially when trying to spread the gospel, but it’s not that good in that it takes a lot of time away from the individual, when more time should be spent with family members.

14: What is your greatest wish?

My greatest wish is that Jesus Christ will come back soon and rule!

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Questions from Lydia Potter:

1: What is the most important part of each day to you?

The times when I pray to my Heavenly Father in Heaven!

2: What is your favorite way to exercise/work out?

I like to exercise with dumbbells. Do I use them often? No. Period. 😅

3: What is a food you could never get tired of eating?

Oh, I’ll never get tired of eating… POTATO CHIPS!!! I have to confess unto you all… I’m quite fond of junk food… 😅

4: What is your birthday month?

Good question! My birthday month is January. Coincidentally, the numbers in my birthday are the same numbers as the age when the Biblical Joshua died. (Egyptian Prime Minister Joseph also died at the same age.)

5: What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

The scariest thing I’ve ever done was teaching a class all by myself for the first time.

6: How often do you get a headache and how do you get rid of it?

I used to get a lot of headaches when I was younger, but recently I haven’t gotten very many, thanks to the Lord. When I want to get rid of it, I pull some of the hairs on my head upward to let the blood flow more freely inside. That way the headaches subside a little, if not altogether.

7: Have you ever told a joke to a bunch of people, but you were the only one that thought it was funny?

Almost all my jokes are only understandable by my brother, Jeremy, and I don’t really joke around other people other than my brother. Oh, I just though of something that is a little relevant to this question: I once said to a friend, “What do you spell with the letters, S-H-O-P?” My friend said “Shop.” Then I said, “What do you do when it’s a green light?” And then my friend said, “Go”… YOU’RE SUPPOSSED TO SAY “STOP!!!” Auuughhhhh!!!!

Yes, that joke was made up by Ray Comfort. Those who have watched his videos at Living Waters would have known that probably.

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Thank you so much for those amazing questions, Elisha and Lydia!! I enjoyed them!

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My Nominees:

Lee Duigon

SlimJim

Bonnie Hawkins

Mr. Holliman

Mrs. Holliman

Cathy

Steve McLeod

Joah Pearson

Greg Dennison

Sheila D.Currie Blake

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Questions for my nominees:

1: What was the exact date when you started your blog?

2: Do you remember how you became a Christian?

3: What kind of music do you like?

4: Have you ever evangelized or passed out tracts to anybody?

5: What place in the world would you like to go to someday?

6: How often do you watch videos on YouTube?

7: Do you listen to songs on Spotify?

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Thank you all for reading this!

Chess Lessons by Lee Duigon: Lesson Thirteen

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Quick chess lesson:For the time being we’ll skip check and checkmate, which you probably already understand, and move on to Stalemate.

Stalemate happens when it’s a player’s turn to move, he’s not in check, but he cannot make a legal move. The game is declared a draw.

For most of us stalemate is the result of simple carelessness, and it’s the most common way of coughing up a game you should have won.

Example: Black to move, and the only piece he has left is the King on h8. White has the King on f7 and the Queen on g6. It’s Black’s move, but he can’t make a legal move. Any square he can reach would put him in check, and thus be an illegal move.

The players might also have a bunch of Pawns still on the board blocking each other from moving at all.

It’s hair-tearing frustration when you’ve got the game in your back pocket but have to settle for a draw because you carelessly allowed a stalemate to occur. It’s something you have to think about as the game nears the end; and you can avoid it just by being careful about your moves. So don’t be overconfident and don’t be careless.

I expect you have some questions by now, about this and that and the other. We ought to address those before moving on to my favorite part of chess–the openings.

– Lee Duigon on February 8th, 2019

Lee Duigon is the author of the Bell Mountain series, a great series of books that I recommend for young adults (and all people)!

Stay tuned for Lesson Fourteen!

Chess Lessons by Lee Duigon: Lesson Twelve

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Chess lesson: the King; check and checkmate.

You probably know this stuff already, but I might as well be thorough. I’m sure you know that the loss of the King is the loss of the game.

“Check” is when your opponent makes a move that puts your King in danger of being captured on the next move. You are obliged to get your King out of check, either by moving it, putting another piece or pawn in the way of the attacker, or capturing the attacker. Note: It’s against the rules to castle out of check, or to castle “through a check”–that is, moving the King through a square subject to enemy attack. Any move that fails to get the King out of check is not allowed.

“Checkmate” is when the King is in check and can’t get out of it by any means. The game is then over.

What many beginners don’t realize is that late in the game, with most of both chess armies off the board, the King comes into his own as an attacking piece. The King moves one square in any direction, as long as he doesn’t move into check. Often the King gets the job of shepherding a Pawn to the opposite end of the board.

Castling is usually the best way to keep your King safe, so try to do it early in the game.

**Beware the back rank mate! If the King is all alone on the back row with Pawns in front of him, an enemy Rook or Queen can slide down and mate him.

**Beware the skewer, also known as the X-ray: in which you have a valuable piece adjacent to the King, and an enemy makes a move that would be check if your intervening piece weren’t there, Example: your King is on e1, your Queen on f2, and along comes an enemy Bishop to h4, attacking the Queen–which can’t move away, because that would put the King in check. And let’s say the attacking Bishop is protected by an enemy Rook on h8. The best you can do is to take the Bishop with the Queen, whereupon the Rook takes your Queen and you come out way behind. So be careful where you put your Rooks and Queen in relation to your King.
enough for now. Questions?

– Lee Duigon (January 18th, 2019)

Lee Duigon is the author of the Bell Mountain series, a great series of books that I recommend for young adults (and all people)!

Stay tuned for Lesson Thirteen!

The Lure of the Prequel — Lee Duigon

I highly recommend the Christian adventure series, Bell Mountain, written by Lee Duigon! Please check out his website here and his books here!


I’ve been chewing over this idea for years now, and a few readers have encouraged me in it. Why not write a Bell Mountain book about things that happened before the events so far related in the series? 194 more words

via The Lure of the Prequel — Lee Duigon

Chess Lessons by Lee Duigon: Lesson Eleven

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Lesson 11: the Queen.

The Queen is your most powerful piece in your chess army: air-mobile troops with gunships. She combines the moves of a Rook and a Bishop–diagonal or perpendicular, as far as she can go (if there’s nothing in the way).

Many beginners make the mistake of expecting too much of the Queen, bringing her out too early, too aggressively, and wind up losing her. I like to save my Queen for a move that has a chance of being decisive. Like any other piece, the Queen can be sacrificed to achieve a strategic coup; but don’t bring her out early and let her get trapped.

The longer the game goes on, the more scope for your Queen to act decisively. In the opening game, Pawns, then Knights, then Bishops. In the middle game, Rooks and Queen. Wait for some of the troops to be cleared away before committing your Queen.

Of course, when you do see a chance for the Queen to strike a telling blow, think it over, and if it still looks good–take it! The Queen is your big bopper and ought to be used accordingly.

Before I take up the King, check, and checkmate, I’d like to answer any questions you may have.

– Lee Duigon, on January 4th, 2019

Thank you so much for this lesson, Mr. Duigon!!

Check out Lee Duigon’s blog and books at: https://leeduigon.com/ !!

Chess Lessons by Lee Duigon: Lesson Ten

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(This lesson was a Christmas present to me by Mr. Duigon! Thank you, Mr. Duigon!)

Lesson 10: More about Rooks

There are two important things to remember about Rooks. 1) They work best when they work together. Unlike Bishops, they can defend each other. Unlike Knights, they can do it at long range. Rooks at a1 and a8, for instance, provided there is nothing in the way, defend each other the length of the board. 2) The principal of “sliding Rooks”: although the Rook is a high value piece, it can often be sacrificed–for instance, by taking a Pawn that is protecting the opposing King, blowing a hole in the defense–when the other Rook is able to “slide in” to replace it on your next turn. Example: Rooks on h1 and g1. The g1 Rook sweeps down to g7 to capture a defending enemy Pawn and threaten (“check”) the opposing King. The King, due to circumstances we won’t go into here, has no alternative but to capture your Rook on g7. When it’s your turn to move again, your h1 Rook “slides” to g1 and again attacks the enemy King–who no longer has a Pawn in front of him to defend him.

There is a saying in chess, “When you can move either of your two Rooks, you almost always end up moving the wrong one!” So take the time to carefully consider your moves.

– Lee Duigon, December 25th, 2018

Want to read an engaging series? Well, I recommend the Bell Mountain Series by Lee Duigon! I guarantee that you will find it hard to put the book down once you start reading!

Read some sample chapters here!