Chess Lessons by Lee Duigon: Lesson Seven

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Lesson Seven: More about Knights…

Now that you’ve mastered the L-shaped move, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Knights are your special forces, and the best place for them is near the center of the board on the fourth or fifth rank, defended by Pawns if possible. Old chess saying: “A Knight on the rim (of the board) is dim.” If an enemy Knight is posted on your third or fourth rank, it means trouble for you. Chase it away or capture it.

Among the most devastating chess tactics is the Knight fork: your one Knight simultaneously attacks two or more high-value enemy targets. Imagine your opponent has his two Rooks on squares B8 and E7, and you have a Knight on D4. If you move the Knight to C6, you simultaneously attack both Rooks; only one can escape, and you capture the other. Even if the Knight is then lost, you have come out ahead: a Rook is worth 5, a Knight worth 3.

Knight forks that include a check on the opposing King are especially deadly.
The Knight’s one drawback is its short range, so remember: the middle of the board is where you want to be.

Questions?

Lee Duigon (Dec. 1st, 2018)

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

To my readers, thank you for reading, and make sure you check out Lee’s blog and books!

Stay tuned for Lesson Eight!

Chess Lessons by Lee Duigon: Lesson Six

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Lesson 6

Time for a chess lesson! Introducing the Knight.

Your army starts out with two Knights on the b1 and g1 squares (if you’re White: b8 and g8 if Black).

The Knights are the special forces of your chess army. They excel in producing the unexpected. You can’t win a war with a couple of Navy SEAL companies, but they can set up situations in which your more powerful units can strike a decisive blow.
This is mostly because the Knight has sort of a weird L-shaped move–and can leap over pieces that are in the way, regardless of color. Let me see if I can succeed in posting this diagram.

Aah, didn’t work. So take out your chessboard and put a Knight on square e5.

From there he can move to any one of the following squares: d3, f3,g4,g6, f7,d7,c6, or c4. Even if he were surrounded by adjacent chessmen, he could still move to any one of those squares–by leaping over them.

A lot of beginners find it hard to learn the Knight’s move. I learned it as an L-shaped move, so that’s how I’ll teach it.

The Knight is the only back-row piece that can make your first move, by leaping over the front rank of Pawns.

The Knight’s shortcoming is his short range. He is the only piece that can’t go from one end of the board to the other in one move.

Again, the cool thing about Knights is that they can surprise an opponent. Many beginners’ games are won or lost by failure to anticipate a crucial move by a Knight.

We’ll get into more of the details in the next lesson.

Lee Duigon (Nov. 22nd, 2018)

Check out Mr. Duigon’s blog at LeeDuigon.com!! Don’t forget to give him a follow!
I really recommend The Bell Mountain Series by Lee Duigon!

Stay tuned for Lesson Seven!

Chess Lessons by Lee Duigon: Lesson Five

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Lesson 5: a few more thoughts on Pawns.

You need to move your Pawns in order to create space for your Pieces, starting on the back row, to operate. This takes some good judgment. If you move too many Pawns too far, your defense will suffer. But if you hold too many Pawns back, you’ll cramp your own army.

Most chess games start with moving the Pawn in front of the King, creating space for your Queen and bishop to come out: e4 if White, e5 if Black. Starting with the Queen Pawn is also popular: d4 or d5. Any Pawn, of course, can be moved for your first move, but for beginners the Pawn move, e2-e4 or e7-e5, is best. Note these Pawns are taking advantage of the opportunity to move two squares instead of one.

Remember, Pawns are the only men who can never move backward, never retreat. Devote some thought to any Pawn move.

During a game, as a result of captures, you may wind up with “doubled Pawns”–for example, on e5 and e4. This creates a weakness because Pawns are only able to capture diagonally: doubled Pawns can’t defend each other. This doesn’t seem to bother experts very much, but it’s relatively easy to attack a beginner who has doubled Pawns. Try to avoid them–but don’t try too hard. If capturing an enemy Rook leaves you with a doubled Pawn, you’re coming out ahead.

Always be on the lookout for the deadly “Pawn fork,” the first tactical coup I ever learned in chess. Imagine you have a Rook on c5 and a Knight on e5, and your opponent has an unmoved Pawn on d7. If it’s his move, he can move that Pawn to d6 and simultaneously attack both your pieces, each of which is much more valuable than a Pawn. Very hard to escape without losing one or the other!

And that, I think, is enough for you to digest for now.

For the next lesson we’ll take up the topic of your chess army’s special forces–the Knights.

Lee Duigon (Nov. 14th, 2018)

Check out Mr. Duigon’s blog at LeeDuigon.com!! Don’t forget to give him a follow! I really recommend The Bell Mountain Series by Lee Duigon!

Stay tuned for Lesson 6!

Chess Lessons by Lee Duigon: Lesson Four

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Lesson 4 – a bit more about Pawns.

The job Pawns do best is to defend your Pieces and your territory. Remember, they can only capture diagonally. Whole books have been written on this subject, but I can’t do that here.

“Pawn chains” often play a major role in defense. A simple chain of three Pawns might be placed on, for example, squares C5, B4, and A3. The A-Pawn defends the B-Pawn, and the B-Pawn defends the Pawn on C5. The weak link in the chain is the A-Pawn, which cannot be defended by another Pawn. When you have to attack a pawn chain, always aim for the weakest link.

There is a dirty trick in chess involving any Pawn you might have on the 5th rank. If your Pawn is on, say, E5, your opponent may attempt to move a Pawn *two* squares, as its first move, to D5 or F5. If he does, on your next move, *and only then*, your E5 Pawn may capture it by moving diagonally to D6 or F6, just as if your opponent’s Pawn had stopped there, having moved one square instead of two. This move is called Capturing En Passant, “In Passing.” It’s a legal move, and you should always keep an eye out for it. I find that when you take an opponent’s Pawn en passant, it usually shocks and confuses him: he loses his cool, and sometimes his train of thought as well. It’s not a move that shocks a very experienced player, it’s a perfectly legal move, but it often has a disproportionately powerful effect on the game. Personally, I’m always on the lookout for it.

The next lesson will be more about Pawns. I’ll try to stick to the basics. But as the 18th century French master, Philidor, famously said, “Pawns are the soul of chess.” So don’t sell them short.

Lee Duigon (Nov. 3rd, 2018)

Check out Christian fantasy author Lee Duigon’s blog at LeeDuigon.com!! Don’t forget to give him a follow!

I really recommend The Bell Mountain Series by Lee Duigon! There are 12 volumes altogether!

Stay tuned for the next chess lesson!

Chess Lessons by Lee Duigon: Lesson Three

(It has been 6 months since I posted the last chess lesson by Lee Duigon, so here’s Lesson Three, the first chess lesson I will share in 2020!)

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Lesson 3 – Moving the Pawns ♟

You start with 8 Pawns lined up on the 2nd rank, in front of your pieces. Individually expendable, Pawns are nevertheless important. Beginners often don’t realize that, because it takes experience to get good use out of them. But before that, the moves.

On its first move, and only then, a Pawn may be moved either one square forward or two squares forward. All other moves are either one square straight ahead–or one square diagonally, when making a capture.

In chess, all captures are made by moving one of your men onto a square occupied by an opponent’s man, who is then removed from the game. When a capture is made, the capturing man’s move ends.

So a Pawn cannot advance if there is another chessman directly in front of it.
If a Pawn is moved all the way to the opposite end of the board, it is cashed in for a Piece of higher value. Usually that’s a Queen; occasionally, a Knight.

During the course of the game, Pawns are valuable mostly in a defensive role.

Only the Pawn can never move backwards. Remember that when you decide to move a Pawn: it can’t retreat.

The next lesson will deal with some finer points about Pawns.

Feel free to ask any questions! I’ve never done this on line before, so I may sometimes leave out something.

– By Lee Duigon, October 26th, 2018 (Posted with permission)

Check out Mr. Duigon’s blog at LeeDuigon.com!! Don’t forget to give him a follow!

I really recommend The Bell Mountain Series by Lee Duigon! You really should read those exciting books! Here’s a post about The Bell Mountain Series.

Chess Lessons by Lee Duigon: Lesson Two

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Lesson Two–Relative value of the pieces.

This is very important for beginners, who tend to make bad trade-offs. A good position is even more valuable, but it takes experience to gauge this.

For the time being, keep these numbers firmly in mind: Pawn-1, Knight or Bishop-3 (although two Bishops are a little better than two Knights), Rook (or Castle)-5, with both Rooks together being very valuable indeed, and Queen-8 (because it’s like having a Rook and a Bishop in one piece).

The King is priceless, because if you lose your King, you’ve lost the game.

These values become less important as you gain experience, but for the time being, they’re very important to your play and understanding of the game.

Chess is a game that simulates war, and it’s not a bad simulation. Think of the Pawns as foot soldiers, Knights as special forces, Bishops as tanks, Rooks as heavy artillery, and the Queen as a bunch of heavily-armed helicopters. And then always try to devise the best way to blend their different powers and abilities into a productive combination.

(October 22nd, 2018, from The Scrabble Game)

Check out Mr. Duigon’s blog at leeduigon.com!!

Chess Lessons by Lee Duigon: Lesson One

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I am very grateful to Mr. Lee Duigon for teaching me how to play chess! Thanks to Mr. Duigon, I can play chess now! Here is the very first lesson he gave me…

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OK–the first thing you have to learn is how to read the board. It’s the same as a checkerboard, but in chess, each square has a name. This is called chess notation.
Set up the board with a white square in the lower right-hand corner. The back row, the row nearest you, is lettered, left to right, “a” through “h”. The a1 square is in your lower left-hand corner, with h1 on the right. These horizontal rows are called “ranks.”
The vertical columns, 1-8, are “files.” Your back row is a1 through h1, if you’re playing White. Black’s back row is a8-h8. You need to learn this simple notation so you can read and replay chess games. That’s Lesson One.
When you’ve mastered the notation, we’ll go on to the next lesson.

(By Lee Duigon, October 21st, 2018, on The Scrabble Game)

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Please follow Lee Duigon at: http://leeduigon.wordpress.com/  And I highly recommend his Bell Mountain Series!

8 Months!

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Yes! Today marks the eighth month of my blog!

My heartfelt thanks to all those who followed my blog, commented, made friends with me, “Liked,” and viewed!

And my special thanks to God for leading me to make this blog. May He use it for His glory. Amen!

I thank you, Mr. Duigon, for recommending me to make a blog and for teaching me how to play chess!! Thanks to you, chess has been added to my game repertoire! And now I  have more friends!

Adieu for now. 😀

♟♞♜♝♛♚Geri’s Game♔♕♗♖♘♙

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Ha, ha! Checkmate!!

Geri’s Game is my favorite Pixar short animation. I first saw this on VHS. This short animation was a bonus feature in A Bug’s Life. It’s about an elderly man named Geri who plays chess all by himself. I must add that you have to click on the link that leads to YouTube to watch this. Please enjoy this Academy Award winning 1997 animation.

Quite a talent he has there! Also, I think he had too much free time.

Thanks for watching.

 

 

The Battles of The Two Brothers

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“Alright my men, the enemy has arrived! The time of the battle has come!” yelled Grand Admiral Swanson. “Prepare my ships for battle!”

Meanwhile…

“Hoist the colors! Prepare for action! To action stations, all of you, and nuts to those who dilly-dally around!” shouted Commodore J. M. Swanson.

“Is your ship on… I-12?” yelled the Grand Admiral on the radio transmitter to his enemy’s leader.

“MISSED!!” the Commodore sneered back. “Now it’s my turn… is your ship on… W-89?”

“… What on earth are you talking about?!” shouted Grand Admiral Swanson. “There is NO W-89!!!”

“Oh… sorry, let me try again. Is your ship on… E-5?”

Admiral Swanson stared blankly at his side of the game board. “But… how… YES, HIT!!”

About an hour later, the Commodore smiled at his victory. Grand Admiral Swanson’s whole fleet had sunk.

“‘Twas a good game and a really close battle!” said I, shaking my brother’s hand. “Maybe you can win next time! Well played, buddy!”

Thus ended the Battleship game.

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A few minutes later, my brother and I played a game called Othello, also known as Reversi.

“Well, well!” I thought to myself. “It looks like another winning game! He, he, he!”

It would probably have been, if Mom hadn’t crept towards bro and gave him a hint!

Every move counts, and that one move of bro’s changed the outcome.

This time, he was the winner!

Well done! Well done!

The next day, Mom and I played Othello, and…

Mom won!

And I lost two Othello games in a row…

To cry or not to cry… that is the question… WAH-HAH-HAH!! 😭

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I am now learning how to play chess from Mr. Lee Duigon, author of my favorite Christian book series, the Bell Mountain series, and I hope to be able to play chess sometime in the near future. With Mr. Duigon’s help, I want to add chess to my game repertoire!

“My opponents make good moves too. Sometimes I don’t take these things into consideration.”— Bobby Fischer

“The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake.” — Savielly Tartakower

“All chess masters can play one game blindfolded.” — George Koltanowski

“Chess is a game that simulates war, and it’s not a bad simulation.” — Lee Duigon