A Collection of Chess Wisdom-Why Didn’t Somebody Tell Me These Things?

6 03 2011

Part 3

 Don’t eat a heavy meal before playing. Keep your energy level up by snacking on healthy items like fruit or fruit juice. Avoid junk food or anything with too much sugar.

If you blunder, don’t immediately resign, and don’t play as if you’re going to lose. Fight on as if the fate of the world depends on it. Quite often after you make a blunder, your opponent will relax and let his guard down, and then make an even bigger blunder himself. If you blunder, take a few minutes to compose yourself and get your head back into the game. Instead of playing aimlessly, as if the game is hopelessly lost, take a few minutes to evaluate the position and figure out a strategy to maximize your chances. Present your opponent with as many problems and difficulties as possible, and make him earn the win. There’s always a best course of action, even when lost. Make sure you find it.

Expect to win, whenever the opportunity arises – opening, middle game, or endgame. Remember that checkmate is the goal.

To find the best moves, and avoid becoming intimidated or overconfident, play the position on the board, not the opponent.

Stay calm, relaxed, and focused during each game. Tension and panic destroy logical thought.

When even or ahead, play hard. When behind, play harder.

Use time wisely. Think and plan on your opponent’s time during the game. Avoid time trouble. When in time trouble, try to think and play calmly.

Do not relax and become overconfident and careless when ahead. Apply the “killer instinct” throughout the game.

Keep the normal value of the pieces in mind (queen=9, rook=5, bishop=3+, knight=3, and pawn=1), but remember that these values vary according to the position, mobility, and potential of the pieces. Whether attacking or defending, count the number and consider the values of both attackers and defenders on a target piece, pawn or square before exchanging or occupying, to insure against losing material.

Chess is not Solitaire. Sound chess begins with respect for your opponent’s ideas, moves, threats, plans and ability.

Determine the purpose of each move by your opponent. Ask yourself, “What is the THREAT?” and “What has CHANGED in the position?” after each of your opponent’s moves. Concentrate on offense and attacking, but recognize and answer all threats.

To win a game of chess, you must first not lose it. Avoid mistakes, such as leaving pieces en prise (unguarded) or exposing your king. Before each of your moves, ask yourself, “DOES THIS MOVE IMPROVE MY POSITION?” and “IS THIS MOVE SAFE?” Avoiding mistakes is the beginning of improvement in chess. THINK before you move!

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