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

8 03 2011

Part 5


Don’t play automatic moves. Make sure you understand the opening before playing it.

Understanding, not memory, is the essential key to chess success. The chess player who understands why will consistently defeat the player who only knows how. Play by sound general principles adapted to the specific requirements (offensive opportunities and defensive necessities) in each position.

If your opponent controls more space, advance pawns to gain space yourself.

If your opponent has greater elasticity in his position, loosen your own position, strive for more freedom or flexibility (perhaps by exchanging one or more pieces), then look for your own least active piece or pieces and develop a plan to make it or them active.

If your opponent controls the center, challenge it with pawns.

The surest way to consistently win chess games is to anticipate & nullify your opponent’s plans, and to create no weaknesses in your position for your opponent to attack.

Chess is a creative process. Its purpose is to find the truth. To discover the truth, you must work hard, be uncompromising, and be brave.

Play as if the future of humanity depends on your efforts. It does.

 There must be no reasoning from the past moves, only the present position. Logically, the previous moves in a game should not affect one’s play in the slightest, as each move creates a new position.

The best practical rule for a winning game: destroy your opponent’s counter-chances. It may be slower, but it’s surer.

When your opponent is short on time, try to continually present him with problems that will require a lot of time to analyze.

Never take a risk for material when you already have a win.

The chief factor in chess skill is the storing of patterns in the mind, and the recognition of such patterns in actual play.

The closer to the time trouble your opponent is, the more tactical your game should be. This way you will pose the most unpleasant problems for your opponent. He or she is much more prone to miscalculate in such a situation.

While a stockpile of principles, guidelines, rules, and basic positions can be very useful in any chess player’s arsenal, one should never forget that there is no substitute for analysis.   A general idea or guideline is not the end, but the means to an end.

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