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  1. Subscriber Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    21 Jun '12 08:48 / 2 edits
    Chess Principles of Play, #101


    1) In the beginning, seek out games with stronger opponents (how else will you ever learn); 2) As you progress, play opponents with similar ratings; 3) Once you're winning (and drawing) more games than you're losing, return to Principle 1); 4) Make it a point to successfully learn a few opening lines and defenses, before getting too fancy and experimental; 5) With E4-E6, as black, it's usually prudent to play E7-E6 and A7-A6 as early as possible; 6) Think twice before moving too many pawns (remember that once moved those foot soldiers can never retreat or get back home);

    7) Get the knights and bishops off their pleasant seats and into the fray before even thinking about allowing rooks and her majesty across the great divide of the center board; 8) When in doubt, castle (early and often whenever possible); 9) Look for or attempt to create the opportunity to swap queens against stronger opponents (those gals are far more dangerous in a stronger opponents hands than yours); 10) Use the RHP 'Flip Board' feature to see the battlefield from the opposing general's eyes, before entering your predetermind move (you'll be surprised at how many times you'll trash the original move in favor of a new one; 11) Don't be afraid of doubled pawns, providing you've still got at least one bishop in play; 12) By the same token, strive to eliminate at least one bishop from your opponents arsenal; 13) Against all opponents, adhere to the principle of simplifying when ahead and complicating when behind; 14) When you're grappling between several possible moves and aren't quite sure which one to go with walk away, sleep on it, save the decision for another day; 15) Don't be reluctant to employ the psychological warfare ploy of making high risk/reward openings and defenses for the sake of momentary shock value;

    16) Try to avoid wide open, slashing attack and counter-attack openings against far superior players, by fortifying your humble real estate with closed, hedgerow type positions; 17) If and whenever a game is clearly lost, give it it up by resigning gracefully and inviting a new one; 18) Before engaging first time opponents do a little homework, by studying his or her style of play in recent games; 19) You're a permanent student of the game, so read and acquire a modest library of chess books beginning with MCO; 20) Consider keeping a casual chess diary to note new observations, insights and possible answers to unanswered questions; 21 Best kept secret, even among friends, is that often the correct course of action is no action, i.e., making what an early mentor, E.M. Reubens of the Boylton Chess Club in Boston referred to as "a high class waiting move". Thanks for reading this far. I'm looking forward to reading your own'Chess Principles of Play'. -gb

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  2. Standard member Thabtos
    I am become Death
    21 Jun '12 13:13
    1. Practice tactical puzzles daily.

    2. Spend more time on endgame theory than opening theory (I of course fail this.)

    3. When you analyze games, don't turn your engine on until you've run through the game you've played for at least 5 hours, and primarily use your box to check your variations, not for what the "best move" in the game was.

    4.Memorize a few Morphy games. It will give your good player friends something to analyze and talk about, and patzers will fear you because they'll think you're a genius.

    5. Try to play against computer opponents as little as possible. Houdini may be the strongest engine on earth, but Chessking's idea of an 2000 player is a 1500 in these parts.

    6. If your opponent makes a strange or interesting move, ask them why they did it after the game.

    7. If you want to play blitz all the time, have at it. But don't be surprised when someone whose a lot weaker at a fast game crushes your soul at slow time controls.

    8. Don't let your obsession with poker impede your chess study.

    9. DO NOT BUY ANOTHER CHESS BOOK UNTIL YOU'VE READ THE ONES YOU HAVE.

    10. Chess is already a mind game, don't be untoward your opponents by slamming pieces, making noise, or being a general chode OTB.

    11. Always play by your assessment of the position at hand, and never by general principles.
  3. Subscriber Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    21 Jun '12 13:24 / 1 edit
    Unintentionally omitted: 22) Be a plodding artisan when you must and an exquisite artiste when you can. Effective underpromotion (especially when it simultaneously delivers a check)

    impresses me with its sheer beauty of economy. 23) Similarly, checkmate with a king and pawn, especially center board, is about as good as it gets in this lifetime. -gb

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  4. 21 Jun '12 13:49
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]Chess Principles of Play, #101


    1) In the beginning, seek out games with stronger opponents (how else will you ever learn); 2) As you progress, play opponents with similar ratings; 3) Once you're winning (and drawing) more games than you're losing, return to Principle 1); 4) Make it a point to successfully learn a ...[text shortened]... . I'm looking forward to reading your own'Chess Principles of Play'. -gb

    .[/b]
    Strongly oppose #9

    Like the stronger player's queen is better than yours so will his minor pieces be.Even more so!In my experience the difference in strength is enhanced with only minor pieces on board.

    When your position is going downhill,as it is likely to go when your opponent is stronger,then your queen provides the best chance to find a draw (only going into a rookending might be better).You might even win with a trap using the powerful queen!

    Keep her on!
  5. Subscriber Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    21 Jun '12 14:13
    Originally posted by Wilfriedva

    Strongly oppose #9

    Like the stronger player's queen is better than yours so will his minor pieces be.Even more so!In my experience the difference in strength is enhanced with only minor pieces on board.

    When your position is going downhill,as it is likely to go when your opponent is stronger,then your queen provides the best chance to find a draw ...[text shortened]... nding might be better).You might even win with a trap using the powerful queen!

    Keep her on!
    Respect your opinion. Thanks.
  6. 21 Jun '12 14:20
    opinion?

    My good man!I speak the Gospel!!

  7. Subscriber Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    21 Jun '12 14:30
    Originally posted by Wilfriedva
    opinion?

    My good man!I speak the Gospel!!

    And Jesus wept.


  8. Subscriber Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    21 Jun '12 14:31
    Originally posted by Thabtos
    1. Practice tactical puzzles daily.

    2. Spend more time on endgame theory than opening theory (I of course fail this.)

    3. When you analyze games, don't turn your engine on until you've run through the game you've played for at least 5 hours, and primarily use your box to check your variations, not for what the "best move" in the game was.

    4.Memorize ...[text shortened]... ys play by your assessment of the position at hand, and never by general principles.
    Well conceived. Thanks.

    gb
  9. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    21 Jun '12 15:43
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]Chess Principles of Play, #101


    1) In the beginning, seek out games with stronger opponents (how else will you ever learn); 2) As you progress, play opponents with similar ratings; 3) Once you're winning (and drawing) more games than you're losing, return to Principle 1); 4) Make it a point to successfully learn a ...[text shortened]... . I'm looking forward to reading your own'Chess Principles of Play'. -gb

    .[/b]
    Here's mine (I would call them 'Principles of Chess Improvement'.

    1) In the beginning, go to a real chess club with real tournament players so you can get rid of the idea that you are a good player just because you beat your dad, your brothers, your cousins and friends. Once you are crushed a few times, you will realize that there is a lot to learn if you're going to play even moderately well. If you lack a local club with strong players, then play a computer a few times on its hardest level until you are convinced you have zero chance to ever win a game.

    Proceed to step 2 if your ego can take it and you are still fascinated by the game.

    2) As you progress, avoid playing weaker players and stick to players at least your own size, or preferably a bit better. For computer users, start at a level that allows you to win about 3 out of 10 games on average. Bump up the level if you start winning more than that.

    The idea is to play stronger players, but not too much stronger. I'm not saying you should turn down a game with a very strong player. I just don't think they should be your first choice of opponent.

    3) Pick up an old opening book like Reinfeld's How To Win Chess Games Quickly. This will not teach you to memorize common opening lines. What it will do is show you why certain plausible moves fail in the opening. There is a set of common opening mistakes, divided into chapters. For example, there is a whole chapter on winning when the enemy Queen is out of play. You will learn to avoid these common violations of opening principles and learn to punish your opponents for doing so.

    4) At some point, you will find that merely following opening principles doesn't get you very far against stronger opponents. Only then should you study opening theory. Picking the opening depends on knowing your style of play. Your computer can usually let you practice all of the different possible openings. Try several of them, for white and black both, until you find some that suite your style.

    5) Record and study your own games, especially the losses. This is hard on the ego, but without it, you will hit a wall and not improve anymore. Do it without the computer at first. Try to identify the mistakes and find out why you lost the game. Take notes on what you find. Be thorough. Only then should you let a computer analyze the game, and mainly with the idea of improving your own ability to analyze. The computer can show you tactics that you commonly miss. It can also tell you if you are being too critical of moves or not critical enough.

    6) Do not adopt a different playing style for stronger players. This is exactly what they want. You will end up playing in a way that is not familiar to you, and they'll crush you. Your best chance for an upset is to be true to yourself.

    7) Pick up Yermolinsky's The Road To Chess Improvement for a no-BS view of the chess world and what it really takes to improve.
  10. Subscriber Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    21 Jun '12 16:17
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    Here's mine (I would call them 'Principles of Chess Improvement'.

    1) In the beginning, go to a real chess club with real tournament players so you can get rid of the idea that you are a good player just because you beat your dad, your brothers, your cousins and friends. Once you are crushed a few times, you will realize that there is a lot to learn i ...[text shortened]... provement[/i] for a no-BS view of the chess world and what it really takes to improve.
    Thumbs Up!
  11. 21 Jun '12 18:02 / 1 edit
    Hi Gramps.

    Not sure if it's principles or a mixture of how to improve and use the principles.

    5) I cannot quite get what you mean about 1.e4 e6 and the need to play a6 ASAP.
    It is too vague.

    8) reads better as castle because you have too. (it can be either a defensive
    or attacking move.) not because you can.

    9) Only swap Queens if you are getting a plus reason for the exchange.
    Advice that one should always do it can be misleading.
    Sometimes it the correct strategy other times not.
    The rule of thumb is if behind in material then keep the Queens on.
    As Wilf mentioned it's you best chance for creating complications which you
    mentioned in No.13.

    11 & 12) are again subject to what the position on the board is.
    Fear not doubled or isolated pawns period.
    But swapping Bishops for (I assume) Knights willy nilly is a common
    strategical and tactical error at the lower levels.

    10,14 & 18) Apply to games being played on RHP. No.15. The shock value of
    an unexpected move is for OTB play.
    BTW the shock value of a bolt from the blue cannot be over-stated.
    Again not sure if this is a principle or just advice. Look out for an opportunity
    to play shock moves but don't go playing shocking moves.

    19) Yes build up a library but at the weaker level no MCO.
    It is simply columns of moves with no explanations.
    Playing opening moves without having at least a smattering of why they are
    being played is asking for trouble. Better with a systems book or an ideas
    behind the opening style of book. (again priniple or advice.)

    16) Is an individual style thing but on general principles I would not tell
    a weaker player to dig in v a stronger player. The principle being it is harder
    to play a cramped position, you need to time your break perfectly and have
    eyes as big as organ stops.
    Tarrasch said that cramped positions carry the seeds of defeat.
    Today we know that is not always the case but it takes a good player with a lot
    of experience to prove it wrong.
    There is a chance the stronger player may over-reach himself but here is
    an even stronger chance the weaker player will just be crushed as Swiis G
    said in his No.6.

    Good posts Gramps. These threads tend to throw up all kings of suggestions
    and as various players contribute you always see new ideas and a pattern emerges
    about what is generally accepted as good advice or a good principle.

    The bit about keeping notebook (again advice) is good.
    I have dozens of books full of skittle s games I played, positions I ve seen
    in books, endings, opening ideas....
  12. 21 Jun '12 18:30
    Swapping queens because the better player is better with queens seems to be a bit of a contradition with wanting to play better players.

    Swap the queens because you'll stand a better chance of winning! If you are interested in winning, play lower rated players! If you want to get better than let the stronger opponent demonstrate the power of the queen!

    Only trade off pieces when it is better for you to do so.
  13. Subscriber Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    21 Jun '12 22:17
    Thread 147144 (page 3)
  14. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    22 Jun '12 00:51
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    Here's mine (I would call them 'Principles of Chess Improvement'.

    1) In the beginning, go to a real chess club with real tournament players so you can get rid of the idea that you are a good player just because you beat your dad, your brothers, your cousins and friends. Once you are crushed a few times, you will realize that there is a lot to learn i ...[text shortened]... provement[/i] for a no-BS view of the chess world and what it really takes to improve.
    This is exactly what I would have written. #1 in particular is chapter one of my chess biography LOL!
  15. Standard member ChessPraxis
    Cowboy From Hell
    22 Jun '12 02:01 / 1 edit
    1. Play the best move you can think of.