Junior coaching ... keep it simple !

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


“It is better to be a pawn down with active pieces than to have material equality with a passive position.”

GM Levenfish and World Champion (1957-8) Smyslov, in their famous book on rook endings.

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“Don’t relax too soon, even if it seems to you that the goal is already attained – your opponent may take a completely different view.”

Famous GM and trainer Lev Psakhis

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"In rapid games, I mostly play main lines that I know well. I know the ideas behind these lines. On the other hand, in classical chess, I try to play new variations, because in the longer format my opponent is prepared for me."

GM Sergey Fedorchuk

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.

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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.

One of the strongest tournaments of the year starts this week. The FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss takes place in the Isle of Man 10th to 21st October 2019. Leading players: Carlsen, Caruana, So, Anand, Yu, Karjakin, Grischuk, Aronian and many more.
The official website is
but no doubt it will be extensively reported at all the major chess news websites.

GM Max Illingworth surveys an old and very sharp line against the Sicilian Dragon, revived recently by Ivanchuk:

GM Simon Williams presents a video analysing his loss to GM Stephen Gordon in the 2019 British Cgampionships:

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