Tales from the Club (2)

“Chess is the gymnasium of the mind.”
Blaise Pascal

Last week we had the level 4 (rating range 1,100 to 1,400) graduation exam. It was the first time when we did it online: one hour to solve 20 puzzles. A simple arithmetic look at it gives the student 3 minutes per puzzle. Any saved time from the easy puzzles (anything you know how to solve is easy, right?) could be used for the harder ones. It is interesting to note none of the students thought about it this way. We are going to talk about it this week when we go over the solutions.

The final result was pretty good. All but one passed the test. It is true this year I lowered the passing grade from 75% to 50%; still in the old format more than half would have passed it. I was quite pleased of it given the hard year we went through together. In the same time this gave me the idea to share with you and 3 most challenging puzzles based on the answers received. Let’s see how well you do. Each one of them is worth 1 point. Solve them in 9 minutes or less:

How well did you do? Did you get them all in time? If you did, congratulations! Your rating should be at least 1,400. Possibly the puzzles are not very complicated; however they need a bit of care in putting the solution together. Finding the winning idea is the first step. Next step, one needs precision in executing it all the way to the end. See the solutions below. If your solutions are not identical, deduct points accordingly. My students also got a quarter or half a point if that was the case.

Eugen Demian

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Valer Eugen Demian

Author: Valer Eugen Demian

The player – my first serious chess tournament was back in 1974, a little bit late for today’s standards. Over the years I have had the opportunity to play all forms of chess from OTB to postal, email and server chess. The journey as a player brought me a lot of experience and a few titles along the way: FIDE CM (2012), ICCF IM (2001) and one ICCF SIM norm (2004). The instructor – my career as a chess teacher and coach started in 1994 and continues strong. I have been awarded the FIDE Instructor title (2007) for my work and have been blessed with great students reaching the highest levels (CYCC, NAYCCC, Pan-Am, WYCC). I am very proud of them! See my website for more information. I have developed my own chess curriculum on 6 levels based on my overall chess knowledge and hands-on experience. A glimpse of it can be seen in my first chess app:
I can help you learn chess the proper way if this is what you seek! View all posts by Valer Eugen Demian

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