We restarted our “Chess for Life” promotion tour on November 3rd at Ealing Chess Club.
After a brief introduction by Matthew, Natasha started the ball rolling with a quick multimedia-enhanced tour of “Chess for Life”!
After that, it was into the chess. The theme for the evening was “Learning from practice” and each of the 3 lectures investigated different facets of this theme. Matthew started off with “Learning from the Classics”, demonstrating how the clean attacking games of Paul Morphy (a hero of Nigel Short, one of our role models in Chess for Life) can help you to understand more complicated attacks in modern games.
Natasha continued with “Learning from Modern Players” in which she demonstrated positional themes from the games of the English grandmaster Keith Arkell.
After a brief exposition of Keith’s favourite ideas, Natasha demonstrated the game Arkell-Mannion from the Natwest Young Masters tournament of 1987 and invited the audience to guess Keith’s moves at crucial stages. The themes had obviously stuck well as the audience was very successful indeed!
Matthew was due to round off the lectures with “Learning from your own games” with an example of a hard lesson from the great Viktor Kortchnoi in 1999 helped him at a crucial moment of the Haarlem weekend tournament of 2016. However, the discussions after Natasha’s lecture led the last lecture into unexpected territory. A discussion about Keith’s record in the rook and bishop versus rook endgame led Matthew to give a quick explanation and demonstration of Philidor’s wonderful analysis (published in 1749!) of this position:
After a short break for coffee, biscuits, chatting and book-buying and book-signing, it was time for blitz! While Natasha took on all-comers individually, Matthew repeated an experiment that to our knowledge is a novelty of the “Chess for Life” tours: a blitz simultaneous in which Matthew takes on up to 8 opponents at 5-5 blitz! Many pieces and flags dropped (including quite a few of Matthew’s!) and it was a lovely couple of hours of fun and chaos!
We’d like to thank Trevor Bates and the Ealing Chess club for their warm welcome and a wonderful organisation! If you’d like to have a “Chess for Life” event at your club, don’t hesitate to contact either Natasha or me!