Junior coaching ... keep it simple !

By Phil Adams (3Cs' chief coach)
His ability as a chess coach ? Just look at 3Cs' records !!!


“Self-confidence is very important. If you don’t think you can win, you will take cowardly decisions in the crucial moments, out of sheer respect for your opponent.”

World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen
“If you study modern opening theory, you may well conclude that if Black does not want to have to defend carefully during the first part of the game he must give White something: more space, healthier pawn structure, the bishop pair, or simply a pawn!

GM Bent Larsen (1935-2010), one of the most successful tournament players of the late 1960s and early 1970s.


In preparation for the Oldham schools' under-9s' town-team events in the near future there will be some special coaching sessions at 3Cs by Dale James for players involved with the squad.

The sessions will take place at 3Cs (St.Edward's Parish Hall, Spring Lane, Lees, Oldham) starting at 6.30pm on the following Thursday evenings...
February 20, March 5.

A Longson coach (4)

3Cs often ask other people to sometimes assist with coaching at the club so as to gain different points of view. Above is shown FIDE Master Alex Longson (grey top near the door), himself a product of the 3Cs' coaching system and a former England junior international, who has taken charge of many of the club's coaching sessions. Alex also organises the Delancey UK Chess Challenge along with his wife Sarah who also assists at the club.

A suggested thinking routine after your opponent has moved ...

1: Write the move down.

2: Check it is a legal move (Some people may try to cheat or bluff you).

3: Is there a threat ?

4: Can I ignore the threat ?

5: What are all my options ?

6: What seems to be my best option ?

7: Give your proposed move a final "blunder check" before touching the piece.

Website sponsored by ...
Official Staunton Chess Company & Chess4Schools
Details via "Sponsors" section of drop-down box on "Welcome" page


It seems that nowadays there are strong tournaments taking place world-wide nearly every week. Usually the best starting point for chess news is TWIC: http://theweekinchess.com

but there should also be good coverage of events at other sites, e.g.
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GM Alex Colovic ‘guested’ for 3Cs 1 in the recent 4NCL weekend (Division 1). Here he annotates his draw against GM Luke McShane (FIDE 2677):

A new book that can be warmly recommended for all players below approximately ECF 110 grade, written by one of the most experienced junior coaches in the UK, at present available only in Kindle format: Chess Openings for Heroes by Richard James;

3Cs' head coach Phil Adams providing valuable instruction to 8 year old Zayeem Alam as well as his dad Shahed who also plays for the club ..... We will refrain from discussing which one of them is in more need of Phil's coaching !

x Shahed

Click on this link to access coaching information by 3Cs' player Paul Keech, one of the officially recognised coaches for the Chess in Schools and Communities programme.

Learn these simple rules ...

a: Often the best moves do TWO good things; most notably the double attack (eg: a fork)

b: Always look at the forcing moves

c: f2 and f7 are the weakest points in the first part of the game

d: In the opening, don't move the same piece twice without a good reason

e: When ahead on material, exchange pieces not pawns

f: When losing on material, exchange pawns not pieces

g: With the safer king, keep the queens on

h: When under attack, try to exchange queens

i: When attacking, invite everyone to the party

j: Every pawn move creates a weakness.
(ie: Don't move a pawn when stuck for a move - try to improve your worst piece instead)

k: Chess is two-way traffic - always look at what the opponent is trying to do