They say that one of the best ways to improve your chess skill is to go over your games. Unfortunately, most of the Junior Joust games are not recorded because of the fast time control. But, the good news is that TCC’s DGT boards and software not only let us broadcast the games on the big screen, they let us capture the game scores.

Below you will find 16 of the JJ games played last Saturday, June 12, 2021. I have lightly annotated all 16 games with the help of Stockfish 11. Hopefully, by reviewing these annotated games you can pick up some chess tips to improve your game.

I also looked for patterns.

On the positive side, the opening play was very good. Most games followed a book line for awhile. We had several Scandinavians, Ruy Lopez’s, Two Knights, Four Knights, and a few Queen Pawn openings. We even had a Fried Liver Attack. Most games saw both players Castling early, a very good thing. It seems to me that only a few games were lost due to lack of opening knowledge. Overall, time management was very good: I don’t recall seeing one game flag, at least on the top boards.

On the need-to-improve side, there were many outright hung pieces, and three hung Queens. There were three back rank self mates, and three missed mate in ones. Of course, it is painful when we make these kind of mistakes. And, we all make them, especially in fast games. But, these errors are correctable by doing a safety check before you move. “Sit on your hands” as we have been coached, and for good reason. As expected, there were many missed tactics. Many were one- or two-move combinations. While it takes more work to hone this skill, it can be done. And, the answer is to do chess puzzles every day.

Good luck and I hope you enjoy the games as much as I did.

Chris Roberts

View on iPhone here.

Alternative game viewer here that may display better on a smart phone.

PS. The viewer has a chess engine that you can enable by clicking on the following icon: