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!

Book Recommendation: The Bell Mountain Series By Lee Duigon

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My favorite series to read is the Bell Mountain Series by Lee Duigon. I first found out about the Bell Mountain series when I got it as a gift from my grandma.

There are currently 12 books in the series, with 2 more coming soon!! Here I will introduce you all to the fun and exciting Christian fantasy series: The Bell Mountain Series!!

In the Bell Mountain Series, you will meet two adventurous kids, Jack and Ellayne, living in a village called Ninneburky, who go on a mission given to them by God to ring a mysterious bell which, according to the “Scriptures,” is said to be on top of a high mountain called Bell Mountain. Other fantastic characters include the wise hermit, Obst, who loves God, the powerful man of the woods, Helki the Rod, the brave and fearless hairy little man-like creature named Wytt, the evil First Prester (High Priest) of the Temple, Lord Reesh and his professional assassin, Martis, sly and crafty Ysbott the Snake, greedy and covetous Lord Chutt, the ruthless warlord and supreme leader of the Heathen army called the Thunder King… and much much more!!

This series is a great way to learn about God and to learn wonderful insights!

The first book of the series is called Bell Mountain

BOOK 1: BELL MOUNTAIN

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This book has won the Bronze Global E-Book Award!

Finally… Faithful Fiction that Reveals the Kingdom of God!

Introducing Bell Mountain, by Lee Duigon, the first novel from Chalcedon’s new label, Storehouse Press!

The world is going to end… as soon as Jack and Ellayne ring the bell on top of Bell Mountain. No one has ever climbed the mountain, and no one has ever seen the bell. But the children have a divine calling to carry out the mission, and it sweeps them into high adventure.

For the world is already changing, and fast: legends come to life, strange beasts emerge from the forest, bandits and slave traders hunt the helpless, and war rumbles on the borderlands. The children must make their way through all these perils — not knowing that a professional killer has been sent to stop them.

For there are others who know the secret of the bell… a terrible secret, only hinted at in the sacred writings. But do they understand God’s plan any better than the children?

The world has been shaken to its foundations before. Will this be the final shaking?

Great for young adults.

You can read the first chapter of Bell Mountain here!!

BOOK 2: THE CELLAR BENEATH THE CELLAR

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This book has won the Silver Global E-Book Award!

VIEW

BOOK 3: THE THUNDER KING

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BOOK 4: THE LAST BANQUET

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(This is my personal favorite in the series!!)

BOOK 5: THE FUGITIVE PRINCE

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BOOK 6: THE PALACE

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BOOK 7: THE GLASS BRIDGE

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BOOK 8: THE TEMPLE

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BOOK 9: THE THRONE

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BOOK 10: THE SILVER TRUMPET

See the source image

BOOK 11: THE TEMPTATION

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BOOK 12: HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOREVER 

His Mercy

BOOK 13: THE WIND FROM HEAVEN is coming soon!

BOOK 14: BEHOLD! is now being written by Lee Duigon!!

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I really hope that you will get interested in reading this exciting series! Please click “Books” for blurbs, sample chapters, and more information!!

Please visit and follow Lee Duigon’s blog!! He posts great content every day!!

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Here are some videos about the Bell Mountain Series!

Sorry, I Can’t Give You Final Victory — Lee Duigon

The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.

– Psalm 110:1

“Final victory can only be achieved, and will be achieved, by Jesus Christ.”-Lee Duigon


 

The Lord of the Rings ends with all the bad guys destroyed and only good guys left. Why can’t my Bell Mountain series end that way? At least one reader has called for me to stop the series and cap it with some kind of “final victory.” Sorry, but I just can’t do it. My […]

via Sorry, I Can’t Give You Final Victory — Lee Duigon

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 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!

The Spirit of Caleb — Lee Duigon

Caleb was a man who trusted in God in spite of the odds that met him and the Israelites when approaching the Promised Land (Numbers 13). We need more people like Caleb who will stand up for the Lord in the cause of Jesus Christ!

Read this post by author Lee Duigon! Please pray that our faith in Christ will grow more and more each day through the help of the Holy Spirit!

It’s not too late to put our trust in God and get to work like we mean it. Repent of our sins and get busy! – Lee Duigon


Are we really just grasshoppers? You’ll remember from the Bible how the children of Israel, having reached the border of the Promised Land, sent spies to find out what it was like (Numbers, Chapter 13). The spies came back loaded with fruit and other good things. It’s a land flowing with milk and honey, all […]

via The Spirit of Caleb — Lee Duigon

Chess Lessons by Lee Duigon: Lesson Nine

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Chess Lesson 9: the Rooks (aka “Castles”)

Knights and Bishops are Minor Pieces; Rooks and Queens are Major Pieces, because they’re much more powerful. Your two Rooks start the game at opposite ends of your back rank, on the A and H squares. This is ironic: because Rooks work best when they work together, they could hardly start worse off than to be separated by the whole rest of your army. So as you make moves early in the game, you’ll want to position your Rooks so that they can work together and support each other.

The Rook moves straight ahead–forward, backward, right or left, as far as you want it to go, provided nothing else is in the way. Unlike a Bishop, a Rook has access to every square on the board and can often get there in a hurry. Think of your Rooks as self-propelled heavy artillery, well-suited to breaking open a defensive position.

Together, the Rook and the King can execute a peculiar move called “castling,” the only time in chess when you can move more than one piece at a time. There is Queen’s side or “long castling,” to the left of the King, and King’s side or “short castling” to the right of the king.

Rules of castling: Neither the King nor the Rook involved can have moved before: the castling must be their first move. None of the squares covered by the castling move may be subject to enemy attack at the time. No other piece can be in the way between the King and the Rook.

Short castling, if you are White: King on e1, Rook on h1, King moves two squares to the right, to g1, and the Rook hops over him to f1. This is all counted as a single move. For long castling, King on e1, Rook on a1, King moves two squares to the left to c1 and Rook hops over him to d1. If you’re Black, the squares are e8, de8, a8, h8, f8, and c8.
Castling tends to confuse beginners, but eventually they get it.

Reasons for castling: It puts your King in a safer position, and puts your Rook in a more advantageous position from which to cooperate with the other Rook and maneuver offensively.

There’s a lot more to it, of course, but this is probably enough for now.

Lee Duigon, on December 19th, 2018

Lee Duigon is the author of the Bell Mountain series, which currently has 12 volumes. I definitely recommend his books for both kids and adults!

Stay tuned for Lesson Ten!