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.