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Let's Play Chess



Saturday, March 11: Idaho State Scholastic Chess Championships. This is the big annual tournament for Idaho students, grades K-12 (no out-of-state entrants). It is likely to be the largest chess event ever held in Idaho, with entries totaling between 200 and 300. Location: Riverglen Junior High School in Boise at 6801 Gary Lane. There will be four separate playing divisions: Grades K-3, 4-6, 7-9 and championship 10-12. Contestants in grades 7-9 and championship 10-12 will play five games and those in grades 4-6 and K-3 will play six games. The winner of the championship 10-12 division, including any students from lower grades who wish to "play up," will be crowned 2006 Idaho State Scholastic Champion and is eligible to play in the Arnold Denker National Tournament of Champions. Entry fees: $10 if received by Thursday, March 9, by 10 p.m., and $20 after March 20, or on-site Saturday morning.

Approximately 100 trophies will be offered, including three overall places in each division, plus six grade prizes. State team trophies will be awarded in the three lower grade classifications. All students in each division from each school play for their team championship, but only the top four placers contribute to team points. Teams must have a minimum of three members. Teams may represent public, private or charter schools, organized for academic purposes and recognized as such by the State of Idaho.

Both early and late registration check-in is 8-8:35 a.m. Games begin at 9 a.m. All registrants must report during the check-in period. The tournament will likely take the entire day, including trophy awards. Snack food will be available for purchase.

Entries and checks should be delivered to Dick Vandenburg, 2316 Regan Ave., Boise. For a tournament flyer or additional information, contact Dick at 342-2056 or e-mail Information is also available at the Idaho Chess Association Web site at


Again, we have a complicated position involving a multiple-move combination. White is on the move and has most of his pieces aimed at Black's king, which is protected behind some pawns. Part of Black's pieces cannot get involved in the action and this is what you want to accomplish in your games—get more of your pieces concentrated in the action area than your opponent has, planning your attack ahead of time. See if you can spot White's first move that permits the formation of a winning advantage.

ANSWER: 1. Bg6! And after the queen moves, 2. Rh5! Sets up a killing sack on h6, e.g., 1 ..., Qe7; 2. Rh5, Kg8; 3. Rxh6!, gxh6; 4. Qxh6 and wins. Or, 1 ..., Qg8; 2. Rh5, Nxh5; 3. Qxh5, threatening 4. Qxh6. Other variations for Black end up losing a major piece and eventually the game.