Breaking the ‘rules’

When we teach youngsters the finer points of the game, we suggest that it’s a good idea to exchange pieces if you have a material advantage.   Nothing wrong with that, I hear you say.


Playing in the European Youth Championships in Montenegro this week, 9-year old Anita Somton was a pawn ahead in her first game, and a knight and a pawn ahead in her second game.   But she lost both games because she tried to exchange queens.

This was the first game:

Anita now played 31. Qxb7?, missing the convincing 31. Qe8+   Bf8   32. Nc6   Ra8   33. Rd8 etc.   She later missed a pin and lost the game.

In her second game, Anita (Black) was winning easily, although her king was poorly placed.   Here she thought a queen swop would be fine, and played 34… Qc6??, allowing 35. Rb8+   1 – 0

After five rounds, Anita is on two points.   Manningtree’s Adam C Taylor, playing in the Under 16 Open, is on 1½ points.

Tomorrow is a rest day; the final four rounds commence on Saturday, finishing on Tuesday.

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