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Plenty of Chess at the 2016 Summer School

The Ulster Chess Union runs it annual Summer School. The location, the beautiful setting of Ormeau Bowling Pavilion - brilliantly organised by Damien Cunningham and the local council - many thanks. Three days of chess, chess, chess....

The setting, the hall of the bowling alley of Ormeau Pavillion was brilliant - a large hall and plenty of light with windows onto a green of bushes and bowling green. The venue was kindly provided by the local council. Me, Geoff Hindley and James Fairley - prepared the tables the sets and boards.

14 excited chess enthusiasts arrived ready to enjoy three days of chess. The bowling green through the gate in the surrounding wall.




Activities over the 3 days weds, thurs. fri 3rd/4th/5th August included an individual Swiss tournament, problem solving, team games where players were paired up and played in a swiss tournament with the rule that teams had to discuss their plans with their teammate so that the other team could hear their plans - to encourage chess conversation, a better game as the opponent knows your plans and decision making in a group to negotiate who decides each move. Players recieved a folder to keep worksheets which varied from endgame themes including King Opposition, middle game tactics like removing the defending peice and openinng best practive - develop. develop.

The results of the tournament:

Summer School - 6 round swiss


Place Name                 Score M-Buch. Buch. Progr.

  1   Zelenchuk Daniil     5.5      14.0  21.0   19.0
  2   Cormac Sheridan      5        10.5  16.5   18.0
 3-4  Thomas Sheridan      4        15.0  22.0   14.0
      Aaditya Singh        4        11.5  16.0   13.0
 5-6  Anjali Singh         3.5      14.5  21.5   16.0
      Adam Fitzsimons      3.5      12.0  19.0   12.0
  7   Ben Murray           3        11.0  16.5   10.5
8-10  Adam Lundy-Glenn     2.5      13.5  19.0   12.0
      Ushnik Banerjee      2.5       9.5  16.0    9.5
      Aodhan Murray        2.5       9.0  13.5    7.5
 11   Jonah Corr           2        11.0  17.0    3.0
 12   Benjamin Lundy-Glenn 1.5      11.5  17.5    6.5
 13   Joe Dynes            1        11.5  19.0    2.0
 14   Johnny Shaw          0         7.0   7.0    0.0
by Swiss Perfect (TM)


Activities throughout the day included worksheets. This year they were based on an excellent book - Chess Training by Nigel Povah. Sheets covered such subjects as: reading writing chess moves, Pawn and King endings, King opposition, Middle game tactics, the opening principles.

To practice end game play we played battle chess where each players side is hidden and they place their King and 4 pawns before showing their opponent the whole board and the game proceeds as normal. So learning from experimenting with the initial positions of the pawns and the pawn play. A fun and quick game.

Some photos...

chessday2-3 chessday2-4
chessday2-5 chessday2-room

At intervals players paired up and played as teams. Discussing moves and working out plans.




Time for lunch and a choice of board games ancient and modern. Games included Mastermind (working out the code), The Game of Ur, Othello, The Viking Game, Fanorona (Game from  Madagascar), Mancala. A good way of learning and enjoying other games that involve logic and different strategies. Also youngsters teaching each other the rules of play.


Problem solving provided another activity of chess fun. Here are some problems (solutions at the bottom of the page).


1. White to mate in 2


2. White to mate in 2

3. White to mate in 2


4. White to mate in 2


5. White to play and win

Alapin-Levitsky 1911


6. Black to play and win

Alburt-Georgadze 1971


7. Black to play and win

Alden-Nilsson 1972


8.Black to play and win

Alekhine-Naegli 1932





chessday3-3 chessday3-4


We ended the course looking at as a resource. Solving some of the tactical problems as a group.

Each player recieved a certificate. and a photo of the squad (below).

Thanks go to Geoff Hindley and James Fairley for volunteering and assisting with the activities. Thanks also to the local council for allowing us to use such a beautiful venue.

and last but not least thanks to the young players for making the event fun.


prob 1.


1. Re8+ Rxe8
2. Rd7#


prob 2.

1. Bh7+ Kxh7

2. g8(Q) #

prob 3.

1. Be4 threatening Qxg6#

or Qxg7#

prob 4.

1. Bh6+ Kxh6

2. Qg5#

prob 5.

1. Qxg8+ Kxg8

2. eRxg7+ Kh8

3. Rg8+ Kh7

4. R(2)g7#

prob 6.

1. ... Qh2

threatening Nf6#

prob 7

.1. ... Qc6

Qxc6 or Rxc6

then 2. ... Rd1#

prob 8.

1. ... f5

Black threatens Qg3+

3. Qxg3 Rh5#

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