The Instructional Value Of Amateur Games

One of the problems with the idea of chess as a ‘spectator sport’ is that the games played tend to be utterly incomprehensible to those who are supposed to be watching them. This is why chess teachers tend to use games which were decided by rather simpler means.

A good source of these are games from the early 20th century as the best players would play some one sided games against lesser lights. But there’s also a modern source of instructive games which has been largely overlooked, the games played by amateurs.

Some strong modern amateurs would be top players if they could be transported back 100 years, and they get to play against players much weaker than themselves in swiss events and casual games. So they produce games in which they win with some clear and instructive plans with the added benefit that their openings will be more modern.

Is there a good source of these encounters? Actually they’re very difficult to find, but I did locate the following game in Fred Wilson’s excellent book, Simple Attacking Plans:

Nigel Davies

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About NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens 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 Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Besides teaching chess, Nigel is a registered tai chi and qigong instructor and runs several weekly classes.