Author Archives: Jonathan Whitcomb

Chess Tournaments in Utah in 2017

By the Utah chess teacher Jonathan Whitcomb Chess Tournament for Children ($5 at the door) I’m looking forward to directing the first annual Young Living Chess Tournament for children, to be held at the Young Living Lavender Farm near Mona, … Continue reading

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Lessons From a Tournament Chess Game

By Jonathan Whitcomb, a chess tutor in Utah UCER Ratings in Utah Certain chess clubs in the Salt Lake Valley have their games rated using the UCER system (Utah Chess Estimated Rating), which is similar to the national rating program used … Continue reading

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Free K-12 Chess Tournament in South Jordan, Utah

From the chess instructor Jonathan Whitcomb of Murray, Utah The public library in South Jordan, Utah, will host a free student chess tournament on Saturday, October 29, 2016, from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.. This is the library just a bit … Continue reading

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An Instructive End Game at the Harman Chess Club

By the author of the book Beat That Kid in Chess: Jonathan Whitcomb I’m a chess tutor in living in Murray, Utah, and am active in the chess club of the Harman Senior Recreation Center in West Valley City. Recently I played an endgame there against … Continue reading

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Ropen – a Living Pterosaur

By nonfiction cryptozoology author Jonathan David Whitcomb Why is this post, about eyewitness accounts of apparent living pterosaurs, published on a chess blog? There is no connection between the Dragon variation of the Sicilian chess opening and legends of large flying … Continue reading

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Lessons From an Informal Chess Game

By the chess coach in Murray, Utah: Jonathan Whitcomb The following game I played yesterday at the Harman Chess Club in West Valley City, Utah, with a tactical combination that allowed me to quickly win. White: Jonathan Black: Jerry 1) … Continue reading

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Learn Chess With Lessons in the Salt Lake Valley

[Updated June 16, 2017] Jonathan Whitcomb, author of Beat That Kid in Chess, is now offering lessons in his home in Murray, Utah (a few miles south of Salt Lake City). The $25 chess lessons include one free copy of his … Continue reading

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San Francisco Scholastic Championship

The following shows the top nineteen players who each scored at least three points in this four-round tournament: the San Francisco Scholastic Championship on March 12, 2016. Pre-tournament regular ratings are given after the tournament score. The ages and grades … Continue reading

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2016 Utah Speed Championship

By Jonathan Whitcomb Chess Grandmaster Troff wins by four points in the open section Fourteen wins in as many games—that gave 17-year-old Kayden Troff a clear victory at the University of Utah, on Saturday, February 27, 2016, in the open … Continue reading

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Tactics in Chess Books

What do some chess books have to say about tactics? A great deal! The following brief book reviews relate to tactics in the royal game. We’ll stick to simply quoting from these five books. Beat That Kid in Chess (by … Continue reading

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Avoiding Blunders in Chess

First we need to separate two sources of error: Tactical ignorance for a particular position Temporary weakness of body or mind (including fatigue) This division of cause does not mean a blunder must come from only one of the above. … Continue reading

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A Rare Chess Opening Move for White

Larsen’s Opening (1. b3) has taken over fifth place, narrowly pulling ahead of g3 in the popularity race for White’s first move. Out of 281,678 games played in major tournaments in the years 2014 and 2015, Larsen’s (1. b3) numbered 2,049 … Continue reading

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Chess Books — What a Variety!

Countless thousands of books have been published on the game of chess, for a variety of players and readers. Your best choice can be greatly influenced by the following: Are you a beginner, post-beginner, lower-ranked club player, or tournament player? … Continue reading

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Javelin in the Queen Versus Rook

Introduction I’ve enjoyed watching Youtube videos by Derek Grimmell, instructional productions on various aspects of the queen-versus-rook end games of chess. I don’t recall even one of them that would not be of great value to an average (or above … Continue reading

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Cutting Deeply with the Knife of a Fork

Many chess books teach the tactic of the knight fork. Let’s examine two puzzles from the 1955-published book 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations, by the well-known chess author Fred Reinfeld. (Most of the problems in this publication are more challenging that … Continue reading

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Free Chess Tournaments

Chess books have been the subject of posts lately, but we now turn to something new on this blog: free chess tournaments. Most such events are probably for children and teenagers, at least in the USA, but some tournaments include an … Continue reading

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