Not In Front Of The Children

This post is really a follow up to my previous post, The Instructional Value Of Amateur Games. I am about to explain why Grandmaster games can be totally unsuitable for kids to watch.

The following game is an exceptionally subtle effort by one of Garry Kasparov’s former seconds, Rustam Dautov. Does it have instructional value? Well it does for me, and maybe a lot of players over 2200 or so. But as anyone who teaches chess to children will know, you need to discourage them from moving their rooks’ pawns in order to develop their rooks:

This actually gives me a major headache, that if my son starts to watch me play (and the comeback is scheduled for when he can hold his own in adult tournaments) I need to set a good example. The problem is that for maximum effect I would probably need to try and do things my opponents don’t understand, things like this Berlin Defence. But would this then encourage some early rooks pawn moves, and weird rook development via h6 and a5? Probably.

Nigel Davies

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About NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in Southport in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days he teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 14 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game.