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Mate in Four to Morphy: Gorti on the Schein-Friedman Camp Print E-mail
By Akshita Gorti   
March 20, 2014
The 2nd Schein- Friedman chess camp kicked off with a big bang on Feb 26th and the major storm Titan concluded the camp on March 2nd.  The Schein - Friedman Scholastic Recognition Project was created to help some of the strongest young champions in our country to improve and succeed at chess.  This camp was possible by the generous support of the Schein- Friedman Foundation, and our host Saint Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center, which served as an excellent venue for us. We would like to thank our campers and parents, and most of all the club for their superb hospitality and accommodation

The concept of the camp is to expose the participants to some unique, high level instruction by a qualified coach, associate with other youngsters like ourselves, who are enthusiastic about chess, and get ideas and inspiration of how to get better.  Thirteen students attended an intense week long camp, at St. Louis. The class was from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, with three breaks (including lunch).  It’s a privilege to have GM Ben Finegold, an accomplished player to be our coach.  And, we are honored to have some lectures by GM Yasser Seirawan during the camp.

The camp started with FM Aviv Friedman. He gave an orientation, and introduced all the campers to each other.  After a brief introduction, GM Finegold started the camp with 20 important points.  Here are some of those points (exaggerated in his comical style):  Never trade, never offer a draw, or accept a draw, never sacrifice, losing is ok; more important is learning, never underestimate your opponent and the most important is looking at the opponent threats. Lastly, BE CALM DURING THE GAME!!  BE MAD, HAPPY, SAD AFTER THE GAME!  Most of these points are related to our games.    Some sacrifice a lot, while others trade a lot of pieces, and in some cases, the game ended in a draw in less than 20 moves.

Next, Finegold showed some Paul Morphy games.  All Paul Morphy’s games were based on a specific theme.  And the theme was:  Activate all your pieces, and then take an initiative. Paul Morphy was also very good at combinations.   Some of his games had brilliant combinations.  We also analyzed many games of legends and World Champions like Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Viswanathan  Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, Bobby Fischer and of course our coach Ben Finegold’s own games.

FM Aviv Friedman and GM Ben Finegold

The main theme for the entire camp was to make students understand the concept of developing their pieces, and to look at the opponent threats.  In relation to this we saw some classic master games like Rotlewi, Georg- Rubinstein, Akiba and Aronian- Anand.   
One of my favorite games: This game makes it clear about piece development, the main theme of the camp.

The next game is about looking for opponent’s counter play. Karpov uses fine technique to watch for opponent’s ideas and threats, while carrying out his own plan.

Students also worked on problems and studies. We would set up the position, evaluate and then go into variations.  We could do it in groups or individual effort.  While solving the positions, we tried our best to calculate. Finegold would always stress more on calculations, while solving these positions, rather than blurting one or two move answers. 

GMs Yasser Seirawan and Ben Finegold

Watch out, you might get this position in one of your games! 


1. Qxe5 Qa5+ 2.Kxa5 Kb7 3.Qb2+ Ka7 4.Qb8+ Kxb8 5.Ka6 e1Q 6.g7 Qa5+ 7.Kxa5 Kb7 8.g8Q e2 9.Qa8+ Kxa8 10.Ka6 e1Q 11.e7 Qa5+ 12.Kxa5 Kb7 13.e8Q Nd2 14.Qa8+ Kxa8 15.Ka6 Nxc4 16.f6 Nd6 17.f7 Nxf7 18.a5 


Another interesting position. This one is White to Mate in Four. Try it yourself!

Show Solution

 It was really helpful to look at classics and positions.  We collectively looked at around sixty-five games, positions and studies.  Students were able to gather knowledge about development, exchanges and looking at opponent threats.

Students had also fun activities.  We played bughouse with Finegold and Friedman.  We also composed our own mate in two positions, and shared them with the class.

Parents and students are thankful to Mark Schein, Aviv Friedman and Ben Finegold, for giving us a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the camp. 

Students: Akshita Gorti, Annorjan Naguleswaran, Carissa Yip, Andrew Titus, Ethan Li,  Angel (Josh) Hernandez-Camen, Emily Nguyen, Anthony Nguyen, Rachel Ulrich, Matthew Miyasaka, Marcus Miyasaka, Maggie Feng and Joey Kelly.