Yorkshire Chess News





ECF Chess Moves, July 2022 - and a Preview of the August Issue (possibly)


The July 2022 edition of the ECF’s e-magazine ChessMoves landed in ECF Members’ in-boxes yesterday.  At 66 pages, it is, frankly, more than the present writer has time to wade through, and if you have the same problem then you may not have noticed that starting on page 44 is an article submitted by Steve Westmoreland, under the heading Interview with Holmfirth Chess Club’s Rob Mitchell.


If you are not an ECF member, you can still access this issue of ChessMoves via



There is the possibility of another article by the same author appearing in the August issue, which, incidentally, will be the last by the present editor, Danny Rosenbaum, though ECF Board minutes seem not to refer anywhere to his stepping down or to a successor editor.


The article in question might not, of course, be included in ChessMoves, so, lest it be lost to posterity, you can see it below.  Essentially, Steve Westmoreland gives a game he played as a junior, and comments on its use in coaching juniors.  The Olivia and Jacob mentioned are of course Steve’s daughter and son.  Those confused by the reference to “IM Bill Lumley of East Bierley Chess Club” should note that Bill Lumbley is an ICCF correspondence chess IM, not a FIDE over-the-board IM.  Incidentally, “Smyslow” is how Smyslov, or Смыслов in Russian, spelt his own name in the Latin-based rather than Russian alphabet, adopting the Polish usage of “w”, though “Smyslov” is the usual rendering in accordance with English transliteration conventions.


The question arises as to whether there has ever been a shorter serious game actually played and ending in double check and mate??


Never Give In – A Lesson for Juniors

Olivia was struggling at school with her maths and general concentration.  She was in Year 2 and a few things had gone wrong.  To help with this, I decided to start teacher her how to play chess, having returned to playing myself after a back injury permanently stopped me playing cricket.  Her brother, Jacob was staring at me and the boards as I was teaching her. ‘Why are you not teaching me this instead?’ was the look my four-year-old son gave me.

I guess that was the moment I started coaching.

There is one game from my youth that is permanently seared in my memory that I frequently use to teach juniors some valuable chess lessons.  It often elicits laughter from adults too.  My (ahem) ‘brilliance’ was also published 30+ years ago in the Bradford Telegraph and Argos, by my long-suffering and wonderful coach IM Bill Lumley of East Bierley Chess Club.

Here we go!

Date: Not sure. Sometime around 1991. It was a very early competitive game

Location: East Bierley, West Yorkshire

White: Memory does not go that far back

Black: Steve Westmoreland

1.     e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6

Graphical user interface, application

Description automatically generated

The Petrov’s Defence! Named after the Russian Alexander Petrov from the mid-19th century.  With a drawish reputation it has been adopted by many of the greats of the game, such as Smyslow, Petrosian and Karpov.  The opening has huge pedigree and I should have felt huge pride in adopting such a classical approach.

Actually, what I was thinking was ‘I wonder what happens if I do this?’.

Lesson one – try to know what you are doing when starting a game of chess…

3.     Nxe5 Nxe4 4. Qe2 Nf6

Graphical user interface, application

Description automatically generated

White playing Qe2 has a 73% win rate for white on my chessbase app. The following by myself gives the opportunity to wallop this up to 95%.

Pause the lesson – What is the BEST move for white here? Think about discovered checks…


5.     Nc6


 Graphical user interface, application

Description automatically generated

I am an idiot.  Can I say that?  I certainly felt it at the time, with my cheeks hotting up and head in hands.  For those juniors that have not noticed it, wannabe GM Westmoreland is just about to drop his queen through the previously hinted at discovered check.

6.     ..Be7 moving the win bar to white to 97% 7. Nxd8 Kxd8 8. d4.

Graphical user interface, application, table

Description automatically generated

It is time for white to now crush the moron.  d4 commences this task, allow pieces to be freed.  I wanted to resign at this point but..

Lesson two – Never give in! Many games can be won or lost from incredibly good positions. Make your opponent work hard.

7… Rd1 with the idea to attempt a pin on the queen.  I thought the potential to pin the queen with my rook may help a bit.  Note Chessbase has white at 100% here. 8. Qd1.

Graphical user interface, application

Description automatically generated

Frustration!  I again nearly threw down my King and in annoyance played my idea anyway.


Graphical user interface, application, table

Description automatically generated

My opponent tried to block with his c-pawn but I pointed out the Rook had him in check.  He then went to move his bishop but my bishop had him in check!  We were both puzzled.

At that point some of the adults started laughing and a crowd gathered.

Question: Why were people laughing and how does white move out the checks?

Answer: White doesn’t.  It is double check and mate. #

So, what are the key take aways here:

·       Look at the consequence of your actions on the board

·       Try to know a bit about what you are doing when starting a game of chess

·       NEVER give in

·       Chess is won by the person who does not make the last big mistake.

So, what happened to a young Steve after this game?

·       Did he get that dreamed of title?  Absolutely not and I remain the clubbiest of club players.

·       Did he walk away knowing he had just refuted a key line in the Petrov?  I had not and did not know the name of the opening for a long time after.

·       Did he take up the Petrov from here and play it with success over many more years?  No, as a junior I just played Nc6 on move 2 from then on. Like most other people.

·       Does Steve feel the pain of his coaches based on his actions as a junior? Yes – sorry Bill, Eric and co.  A huge thanks for your patience and support through my teenage years.