Blimey! What do I have to do, to get 13 more comments? G’day! Byron the Quokka here, trying to whip up enthusiasm for what’s left of our comment contest! You’d think hitting 70,000 comments would be a source of wild excitement, a fabulous festive occasion–but no, here I am, trying and trying. If you win,…Only 13 Comments Left to Go! — Lee Duigon
Chess lesson: Time to start learning one of the openings. Remember, though, that every opening has many variations; so don’t be discouraged when your opponent makes a move that you haven’t learned yet. It takes time.
Giuoco Piano, aka “Italian Game,” or “Quiet Game.” The object of this opening is to get your knights and bishops set up near the middle of the board while holding that territory with a pawn or two, and then, usually, castle. This should make your whole chess army ready for action–while at the same time not creating unstable situations that require immediate action. That’s why it’s the quiet game. Here’s a sample.
1. e4, e5 2. Nf3, Nc6 3. Bc4, Bc5 4. either Nc3, Pc3, or 0-0; Black plays Nf6, Pd6, or Nc6
Rather than try to memorize a whole lot of moves, set up a board, play these four, and then play against yourself to see how a game shapes up. You should wind up with questions, maybe quite a few of them.
In beginners’ chess, players haven’t learned the openings and anything can happen. Giuoco Piano is good for beginners because it puts you in position to respond to a variety of enemy actions.
When the fighting starts, it often winds up focusing on who will control the d5 and d4 squares. Before long, you’ll want a rook backing up whatever forces you’ve assigned to the E or D files.
But I don’t mean for the lesson to get complicated. Set up the first four moves, then experiment. And have fun!
– Lee Duigon on May 3rd, 2019
Thank you very much for all the chess lessons you gave me, Mr. Duigon! I’m glad to share these amazing lessons with my friends on my blog!
Lee Duigon’s blog can be found here: https://leeduigon.com/
Explore the world of Obann with Jack and Ellayne! : https://leeduigon.com/books/
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…
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
Lesson Sixteen is coming next Wednesday!
<><><> This post is the “500th Post Special”!!<><><>
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…
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.
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!!
Here are some videos about the Bell Mountain Series!
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 […]
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
Stay tuned for Lesson Fourteen!
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)
Stay tuned for Lesson Thirteen!
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
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!