Junior coaching ... keep it simple !

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


“At lower levels (...) the quickest way for most players to achieve better results is to improve their tactical ability.”

GM and author John Nunn.
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“I think you shouldn’t play only blitz, but playing some blitz is definitely pretty useful, especially when you’re developing as a young chess player. For me, it was very useful to develop my instinct, my tactical eye, and just plain training.”

World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen
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"One of the main things we should avoid doing is giving up good openings entirely for emotional reasons due to a bad result. Try as hard as possible to be objective and avoid openings ‘blaming’. By giving up the opening, we also let go of all of the experience we have accumulated in that opening, which we probably will not be able to apply in other openings."

IM and popular trainer Eric Kislik

A Longson coach (4)

3Cs also 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 took charge of one of the club's coaching sessions. Alex also organises the Delancey UK Chess Challenge along with his wife Sarah who has also assisted 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.

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Official Staunton Chess Company & Chess4Schools
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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.

The FIDE World Cup is taking place Mon 9th Sep to Wed 2nd Oct 2019 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. This is a 128-player knockout event, featuring many of the world’s top players, including Ding Liren, Giri, Vachier-Lagrave, So, Nepomniashchi, Aronian, Mamedyarov and many others. The official website is

An extensive survey of ideas and developments in the popular Rossolimo variation of the Sicilian Defence:

GM Kevin Spraggett instructively annotates the recent win by Ding Liren against Fabiano Caruana:

Some ideas on using chess engines by GM Max Illingworth:

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