ch week I will be looking at a player from our Chess @ 4 series. This will be the player of the week and it is possible to be Player of the Week more than once! To be considered for this position, all you need to do is score 15 points during the week in the Chess @ 4 series on Tornelo. Chess @ 4 is a series of 5 round events that run Monday to Friday, starting at 4:00pm. Between the rounds there are interviews with players, analysis of games and positions, and chat about other chess related things.
This week there was a good spread of winners in both Premier and Challengers events which made choosing a Player of the Week difficult. But the player who has impressed me most this week is Ben Harding. Ben has a long Tornelo history and has been above 1000 level for the past 3 years.
Ben also started playing in longer time events and adult events. He is an extremely experienced young player. Ben's most interesting aspect is his unusual openings. Last week he opened every game with White by playing 1.b4, a tricky flank attack. And as Black he likes the French 1.e4 e6, and the King's Indian and Benoni type positions where Black allows White to get a big centre, but then will try to attack it later.
Ben is always trying hard to find the best move in the position and sometimes gets into time trouble in these fast games. Though sometimes he plays some excellent moves.
With little time, most of us would have pushed our pawns with White here. Ben saw a mating pattern and was rewarded when his opponent didn't see it. See the best move here.
Here's a game that Ben won as White, but his opponent had a good tactic here. Black to move, what is the best move? See if you can find a better move than the Black player here.
And finally I think we should look at one of Ben's games with his favourite 1.b4 opening.
Black needs to remember not to move the dark squared bishop if g7 can be taken. Ben has gained from this a few times recently!
White to move and force mate in 4. Remember, always look for the best move! See the answer and the whole game here.