Chess Lessons for Intermediate Players

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From January 26th until March 30th Hart House Chess Club and its experienced coach and ex-Varsity member Jonathan Yu offered a series of lessons for intermediate level players. Activities included practice games, problem solving tactics, endgame theory, middlegame strategy, and master game analysis. The worship ran for 8 Fridays, it attracted more than 15 students and it took place in the Hart House Reading Room 6-7 pm.

The course was mainly aimed at upper beginners to intermediate players (CFC 1200-1750). It built on what was learnt in the previous semester with Panayoti Tsialas and attempts were made to cover different topics. The workshop emphasized practical play (80% Practical, 20% Theory) and the main topic was exchanging pieces. To accommodate the potentially diverse skill level of the class, starting from lecture 2, two examples were given at once to illustrate important concepts. One was labelled “interesting” and the other more “complex”. The instructor first introduced fundamental positions and tried to cover the result of them. Then he invited the class to reach these positions in their games through exchanges.

According to Jonathan, “the primary objectives of the course were to have fun learning chess and hopefully we become stronger players; including myself!”

The topics that were covered included: Attacking the castled king, focal points and “the Greek Gift” / Intro to Chess – An overview of the Course / Mating Nets / Won Endgames / Middlegame – Isolated Queen Pawn / Introduction to Exchanges / Middlegame – Exchanges of uneven material (sacrifices), trading bad pieces for good pieces / Endgame – Exchanges of even material.

Teaching material and ideas were taken from The Art of Attack In Chess, by Vladimir Vukovic, Reassess your Chess, by Jeremy Silman and from other sources.

It was a very popular workshop and Jonathan would like to thank all his students for attending the class and contributing their energy and innovative ideas! Hart House Chess Club wishes to extend a heartfelt thanks to Jonathan for the precious time an effort, which he generously volunteers to the club. He’s been an amazing source of inspiration for all of us.