Lichess4545 Ledger 021

Lichess4545 Ledger

Issue #021 - April 10, 2017

State of the League

Round 2 is now complete and 5 teams are tied at the top with an undefeated 4 match points. Truth is, Caro Can't holds the tiebreak with most game points won. 

With 30 teams there are plenty of games that players will not be able to view or will not remember. To avoid great games being forgotten for the-end-of-season youtube review, the moderators have opened nominations during the season and are allowing 3 nominations per player. We strongly encourage you all to nominate great games throughout the season. To nominate games send @chesster a direct message (DM) with "nomination 45" and you will get a link to enter your nominations.

Here are just a few quick updates on the other leagues.

  • Lonewolf: We now have a feedback survey for Lonewolf #6! Let us know how you liked it, what you want from lonewolf, and when you want season 7 to start.
  • Competition is still going strong in #ladder as they near 200 played games. Still no changes at the top of the standings.
  • #Blitz-battle #10 was held on Sunday with a clear winner. @alex_s1987 scored a perfect 8/8 to win. The blitz-battle will be off the upcoming weekend on account of the Spring Marathon and Easter.

Coaches Corner

This is a new feature in the Ledger and hopefully other chess coaches in our community will find time to contribute their ideas.

Here’s a tip on what makes a good chess coach by @TonyRo. Originally posted on the chesspub forums July 2015.

1. They should show up prepared - if you want to analyze your games that's totally cool, and I think it's very helpful, but if not, I think a good coach will show up ready with enough prepared material to fill the lesson, and hopefully that material will be related to some skill in which you're lacking.

2. Related to the above, that coach should try his best to ascertain your current level, and strong and weak points. Whether that be through games against each other, perusing your tournament games, testing out your abilities in some kind of an assessment, or just figuring it out over the course of a few lessons. I have tried out quite a few online coaches, and I get the sense that some regurgitate the same lessons to all of their students, regardless of rating levels or specific skills.

3. They should be assigning meaningful homework. After all, you're only together for 1-4 hours on month on average - providing more work is only upside!

4. It's helpful if that coach has experience or analysis on a wide variety of opening systems. Being able to quickly get students into openings that suit their play or help them improve is important, and again, being able to provide material that students can use in their own time is HUGE.


Notable Lichess4545 community member video/contributions:

@Fuzz0410 says: "A very complicated game between GnarlyGoat and me in round 1 of the Lichess 45+45 Season 7! Things get hot and heavy quick with 8.d4 and the position becomes very hectic with so many different captures and variations. After several missteps by both players and even a missed forced draw(!) White makes the fatal error and I go on to win! Exciting complicated stuff!"

ChessLeagueTV Episode 3 with @DETERMINATION, @doberm4n, and @Sleightly. They covered @quirked vs @mariuseg and @Alegre_River vs @hicetnunc

@Atrophied's heartbreaking game in Round 2 vs @cyanfish.

@chessicstudent continues his self analysis series. See here for his announcement video about the series.


Stats from Round 2 of 45+45: Thanks to @somethingpretentious for his work to automate the process of coming up with these stats. It is much appreciated!

  • Biggest upset: 170 point difference cyanfish 2179 beats Atrophied 2349 Gamelink
  • Lowest ACPL game: 7 ACPL by KFerapont against TMaus Gamelink
  • Lowest combined ACPL game: 16 combined ACPL H_Badorties vs Alex_slow Gamelink
  • Highest ACPL game: 138 ACPL hive in loss to Petruchio Gamelink
  • Highest combined ACPL game: 250 combined ACPL Petruchio vs hive Gamelink
  • Longest game: Reached move 99 the_fischer_king vs Bojans_88 Gamelink
  • Quickest mate: Mate on move 22 by toj against dorhinj1 Gamelink
  • Fastest draw: Ends on move 21 Narikyo vs metalpawn Gamelink
  • Fastest resign: Resignation on move 13 by Pat6578 against DETERMINATION Gamelink

Finally as always feel free to join #lichessledger on slack if you want to help or contribute in any way to this newsletter.

Chess For You

Chess Club Experiences

by @chessicstudent for the Lichess4545 Ledger

I became a chess coach at my son’s K-8 school this year, and I was asked to share my experiences. It started at my son’s birthday party just a couple weeks into kindergarten. I was talking to several of the parents, telling them about how I’ve been teaching my son to play chess. They mentioned that they’d love for their kids to learn to play, too. I figured that, if there were 3 kids just in my son’s small class who wanted to play, then surely there were others in the school. So I started seeing what I could do to make it happen.

When I first put the word out, I heard back from parents of about 10-15 students, I think. However, the day of the first club meeting, 50 showed up! Unfortunately, I only had ten boards with me that first time. So, we started in the school auditorium, where I put up a display board. We talked about the starting position, and walked through how all the pieces move. This is something that is very hard to teach to a big crowd like that, and it took about 40 minutes, too, so that was probably not ideal.

Then we had a week or two, where I just let them find games with whomever they wanted to play, and just have fun with it, no pressure. I did print out some “cheat sheets”, showing all the legal moves in pictures, which were a big hit. But 50-60 kids continued to show up every week (I bought 20 more sets before the second week), and that makes for a hard environment to teach in. So I really wanted to start separating out kids who knew something from those who didn’t.

My first attempt was to create pairings every week. So I would take the names of those who signed up, put them in a spreadsheet, and assign them board numbers. I explained to them that only that first game did they have to play who we told them to play, and then they could play whomever they wanted again. I also told them that everyone needed to be quiet for that first game, because it was a “formal” game. Yeah, that didn’t go over so well. Many of the kids didn’t like being told who to play. And they certainly didn’t take seriously the bit about being quiet . Plus, it was a lot of work trying to record all the scores and do all the pairings. With a smaller, more willing crowd, that might have been a better system.

So then we tried something else: I let the bulk of them play whomever they wanted without reporting results. Meanwhile, I set up several boards and basically did a teaching simul. So I assigned them all levels: they all started at level 0. When they came and played me, for a level 0, I would have only my king, and they would have all their pieces. For a level 1, I would get 1 pawn, and so on. The idea was that, depending on how well they did against me, I would bump up their level. This gave me a good opportunity to explain things like checkmate and stalemate in more detail. And as each game ended, we would have the next student in line step up and start a new game. We had some success with this; though, with 50-60 kids, it was taking a long time to get through all the kids who wanted to play me and level up.

Anyway, after about 2 months of meetings, the school decided to end it for the year. They feel that we need to come up with a better system that doesn’t involve so many kids at once. Plus, there were issues with kids’ parents not showing up until late, meaning the faculty advisor had to stay late.

The next thing that I’m going to propose we try looks like this: I’ll start a brand new rating pool, which will encompass anyone who wants to take part. I’ll leave some boards at the school, and let them play whenever they want, whomever they want, and report the results back to me. Then I can post the ratings somewhere at the school, and update them every week. Then we’ll spread a series of 6-week classes throughout the year with 20 kids at a time in a class. At first, the classes will probably just be open to anyone, but then, once ratings are better established, I might do an under-1200 class, or an over-1400 class. That way, I can focus lessons better for who’s in that class. I also intend to provide game-annotation and puzzle worksheets as a service. So, any game score that they give me, I’ll give them back a week later with annotations, and any set of puzzles they give me, I’ll correct and give them a new set.

All in all, I think this was a good start, though it certainly didn’t look the way I expected it to look. Still, the kids learned some things about the game, and they got excited about it. I think my favorite story was the mother who told me that her daughter had had a sleepover with another girl in her class. Their parents found them up at 6 am the next morning, playing chess! Certainly, any exposure to the game is good for them. It certainly dispelled the notion behind one question I got at the beginning of the year, when some parents asked “Is this chess club going to be only for boys?” I hope that these experiences give someone out there ideas to try with a club!


Chess Puzzle

From a round 2 game in 45+45 on board 3: @h_lector vs @somethingpretentious. White just played Bc4 which turns out to be a blunder. Black to move. How does black take advantage and get a winning edge?

For the answer see gamelink.



Creative Commons License

Lichess4545 Ledger #021 ©2017 by Thienan Nguyen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Thanks to the lichess4545 mods for their contributions. Thanks to @chessicstudent for "Chess Club Experiences" Thanks to @petruchio for his help in editing this issue.