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Chess For Everyone!

Thursday Evenings – Online with FM Michael Humphreys

PREVIOUS COURSE: Openings Management for the Club Player

FM Michael Humphreys previously taught a Thursday evening course called "Openings Management for the Club Player." This great course started on Thursday, February 9 and ran until Thursday March 23, 2023. Here were the individual 8 classes being taught by Michael:

  1. Punishing Opening Mistakes
  2. The Battle of the Tempo
  3. Principles of Hypermodern Chess
  4. Recurring Themes in the Opening
  5. Modern Opening Strategy
  6. Methodology in the Opening
  7. From the Opening to the Endgame
  8. Psychology and Risk Management in the Opening

Here’s what Instructor FM Michael Humphreys said about this course for adults:

"'Don’t bother memorizing tons of theoretical variations, simply adhere to these basic opening principles.' Some version of this hackneyed cliche appears in almost every opening manual written in the last 20 years. For developing players it can be quite frustrating to hear this. To begin with it seems condescending. 'Yes, I learned about developing my pieces and controlling the centre when I was a junior, now please teach me something worthwhile.' The same books which offer this advice often fail to go much further than just the basics which leaves aspiring players to their own devices.

Many players in this situation end up memorizing reams of variations after all, since they’re unsure of how else to make progress. Sites like Chessable focus extensively on making this memorization process easier but this—at least by itself—is also insufficient. What’s important to recognize is that making good decisions in the opening requires genuine skill. These skills may be supplemented through memorization of variations, but they cannot be replaced by it. Everyone understands this simple fact when it comes to calculation or endgame technique, but somehow the presence of thick theoretical tomes full of engine analysis blinds us to its application in the opening."

In this 8-week course, FM Michael Humphreys showed how to develop and refine your opening skill set, but be advised to be prepared. The development of any skill requires continual practice and effort. This course is not for the faint of heart! During the course, Michael drew upon many excellent historical games and throughout each class, he challenged the students to find a good move or sequence of moves in a given opening position and also to explain their choices using the principles learned. Several homework problems wereassigned after each class as a refresher before the next week's class.  The solutions to the homework problems were reviewed at the start of the following class.

A new 8-week, Thursday evening course beginning on March 30, 2023 was announced under our new "Marvellous Chess" series of independent classes.

Note from George Supol, ACC Club Manager: "I'm really enjoying taking this course, especially doing my weekly homework assignment, and I learned how to potentially punish opponents who forget to apply sound development practices in their openings."

Compare with Tuesday Evenings – Online with IM Mark Plotkin

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