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  1. Standard member choochoo2247
    icemancometh
    25 Jun '10 15:28
    I'm ranked in the low 1500s. Do you have any strategies for playing against higher ranked players, say 200 points higher than you?

    One thought I keep in the back of my head is to trade pieces when given the opportunity. My rationale is that the higher ranked player can probably see the board better than I can (and can anticipate deeper move combinations). So if I can take a lot of pieces off the board, that advantage is minimized.

    Thoughts?
  2. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    25 Jun '10 15:48 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by choochoo2247
    I'm ranked in the low 1500s. Do you have any strategies for playing against higher ranked players, say 200 points higher than you?

    One thought I keep in the back of my head is to trade pieces when given the opportunity. My rationale is that the higher ranked player can probably see the board better than I can (and can anticipate deeper move combinati ...[text shortened]... ns). So if I can take a lot of pieces off the board, that advantage is minimized.

    Thoughts?
    This struck me as funny (by that I mean "interesting funny", not "humorous" ), as I am more inclined to trade pieces when I am playing someone 200 points lower.

    My experience is that players in the middle teens are sometimes relatively strong tactically, but are horrible at strategic play and endings.

    With lots of pieces on the board (and with me having too many games going), I may miss a shot and lose an upset. With fewer pieces on the board, I can have a pretty clear endgame plan in place and actually play easier and quicker. And lower rated players often play less than optimal endgame moves, so the win comes quicker than I work out ahead of time.

    I don't think there is one correct answer. I would recommend:

    1) Know yourself, and play to your strengths.

    2) Try to check your opponent's prior games ahead of time, and look for things you can use.
  3. 25 Jun '10 15:51
    Many have tried this trading down scheme only to get outplayed in the endgame.And don't forget it takes two to tango.


    My advice,play as usual and don't look at the numbers.

    toet.
  4. 25 Jun '10 15:58
    I would say your best shot would be to create complications to the point were neither of you know the right path. In simple positions, the player rated 200 points above you will pretty much always play better moves. In a very complicated position, the chances for a blunder increase and other times, you'll randomly emerge out of the position with an advantage. If you blunder, it's no big deal, your expected to lose anyways.
  5. 25 Jun '10 16:31
    Forget the numbers. They mean nothing once the game starts.

    (Else the higher graded player would win every game.)

    DO NOT PLAY SOMETHING ODD IN THE OPENING.
    SOMETHING YOU HAVE NEVER PLAYED BEFORE.
    .

    Hoping to catch him out in a postion 'new' to him.
    It will be new to you as well and the chances are if it's not book
    then it's no good and you have done exactly what he wanted and
    expected you to do.

    Play your own game, if you like hairy scary positions, go for it.
    If not then keep it solid and sound.
    The more you go without an obvious blunder the more he will sweat.

    The onus is on him to prove the grading points are valid.

    If you see what you think a good move for you and cannot see
    what he may have up his sleeve. Play it.

    If you are lost, I mean really lost. Resign and ask him to show you
    where you where he thinks you went wrong.
    Most will give advice.

    Unless you have them made play out 30 moves in a totally lost positon.
    Then you will often get just a surface remark and goodbye.
  6. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    25 Jun '10 16:41
    Don't forget to look over the games you lost. Take a look, for instance, at the game you recently played with 'SzitZa' who is rated maybe 50 points higher. There were a lot of missed shots on both sides. Take a close look at that game, maybe you will see tactical shots you missed during the real game.
  7. 25 Jun '10 16:43
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Forget the numbers. They mean nothing once the game starts.

    (Else the higher graded player would win every game.)

    [b]DO NOT PLAY SOMETHING ODD IN THE OPENING.
    SOMETHING YOU HAVE NEVER PLAYED BEFORE.
    .

    Hoping to catch him out in a postion 'new' to him.
    It will be new to you as well and the chances are if it's not book
    then it's no good and ...[text shortened]... moves in a totally lost positon.
    Then you will often get just a surface remark and goodbye.[/b]
    DO NOT PLAY SOMETHING ODD IN THE OPENING.
    SOMETHING YOU HAVE NEVER PLAYED BEFORE.

    That's good advice, I've beaten so many players in the opening because they wanted to suprise me with something unusual. But unusual is that way for a reason, because it's terrible! They think you as a better player has memorized every variation 15 moves deep if he plays normal moves, but it's simply not true.
  8. Standard member Nowakowski
    10. O-O
    25 Jun '10 16:53 / 1 edit
    GP34 is right.

    There is no need to get crazy - although sometimes that can be fun. Don't forget
    chess is fun, and playing better opponents, well thats even more fun. The fact is
    that the better player is better for some pretty simple reasons.

    He puts his pieces on good squares, points them at good targets - and does his best
    not to make silly blunders.

    ...if he's a better player... what should you do? - maybe the same?

    Going out of the ordinary is not something I'd suggest until you start breaking 2000
    where your opponents are studying YOUR openings. Below that, develop as fast as
    you can and don't make any rash decisions - just play cool calculated chess, and
    keep the board as simple as you can. That does not mean removing pieces
    unnecessarily, just don't over-complicate - otherwise you'll give the good player a
    chance to show you some of the different things that he knows.


    -GIN
  9. 25 Jun '10 17:18
    As above. Rather play a move that you understand than a move that you think will impress.

    Solid, direct moves are your best bet. Don't dither about. Your stronger opponent will just continually improve his position until the inevitable attack. (But do play within your capabilities. An attack needs more than one or two pieces!)

    Find a plan (eg. kingside attack, queenside play, play in the centre) and stick to it. Will you play with pieces, pawns, or a combination?

    Analyse every position and only make a move when you're happy that it will not lead to a disadvantage.

    Play the opening that you know best.

    Play shorter time controls but put in more analysis than your normal games.

    Make moves that are flexible: do more than one thing.

    Remember to centralise your pieces.

    Don't make any tactical errors and watch your opponent sweat!


  10. 25 Jun '10 18:09
    Originally posted by choochoo2247
    I'm ranked in the low 1500s. Do you have any strategies for playing against higher ranked players, say 200 points higher than you?

    One thought I keep in the back of my head is to trade pieces when given the opportunity. My rationale is that the higher ranked player can probably see the board better than I can (and can anticipate deeper move combinati ...[text shortened]... ns). So if I can take a lot of pieces off the board, that advantage is minimized.

    Thoughts?
    Play your normal game.

    In the middle/end game make several conditional moves.

    OK it may be a pain setting up 30 or more potential moves but second guessing the higher rated player may make them doubt their strategy, especially if they are looking several moves deep and don't expect you to be doing so.

    Oh and once you beat them, add the games to your profile as a permanent reminder of how well you did.

    🙂
  11. 25 Jun '10 18:58
    Originally posted by choochoo2247
    ... is to trade pieces when given the opportunity. My rationale is that the higher ranked player can probably see the board better than I can (and can anticipate deeper move combinations). So if I can take a lot of pieces off the board, that advantage is minimized.
    it would probably work against me (seriously) as I know s**t about the chess theory and tactics, lines and gambits, and whatnot.. have indeed noticed that I'm struggling to come up with anything decent in games where I had 'agreed' to exchange pieces or left them exposed (still protected, though) to be traded.. when there are, say, just a knight, bishop and 3 pawns left for each of the sides (as a result of this 'technical' exchange) , I'm lost
  12. 25 Jun '10 19:07 / 2 edits
    FYI, here's a thread Thread 113730 where I once asked very much the same question..


    p.s.
    nice to see that GP34 is being consistent with his advice regarding odd openings 🙂


    greenpawn34, 03 Jun '09 17:50
    For some reason weaker players play odd opening moves thinking their better (higher graded) opponent knows all the theory. They don't.
  13. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    25 Jun '10 19:28
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Forget the numbers. They mean nothing once the game starts.

    (Else the higher graded player would win every game.)

    [b]DO NOT PLAY SOMETHING ODD IN THE OPENING.
    SOMETHING YOU HAVE NEVER PLAYED BEFORE.
    .

    Hoping to catch him out in a postion 'new' to him.
    It will be new to you as well and the chances are if it's not book
    then it's no good and ...[text shortened]... moves in a totally lost positon.
    Then you will often get just a surface remark and goodbye.[/b]
    Here's a game that will help refute the myth of the error-free higher rated player. My opponent (who shall remain nameless, but who has been over 2050 on the site, and is better than me) and I saw the same thing at move 24, but we were both wrong!

    I quickly noticed a shot at trapping the black queen, so set a tactic in motion. He saw the same thing, and moved to prevent it.

    It was only after I moved again that I realized ...there was a mate in one! 😞

    I remember sitting in front of my computer, thinking "Geez, this is some stupid $#&@%."

    We repeated the position, and then I delivered mate. In my mind, we both lost, but I got lucky. And some day in the future, the payback's going to be hell!

  14. Standard member ua41
    Sharp Edge
    25 Jun '10 19:47
    Always take your time (no matter what the rating is). I like to review the position a few times before I make a move- which reminds me I think I moved a bit quick my last turn on my current game with Paul Legget 😉

    Watch pawn breaks, chances are your higher rated opponent knows what he's going better with these. Contend half open files if they're critical.

    Watch for moves you opponent might make that will force you to respond.

    I find if I keep the opening basics in mind, I can be in a fairly even position in the midgame. Endgames are rough and the transition into it is usually where the high teens+ get me. If you're going to opt for the making the board simpler/trading pieces way keep what YOU want for the end game, I think that's ultimately what the progression to the end is.

    Personally, I try to avoid making it simpler, sometimes complications and tensions are good. If you find yourself in such a position, sit down with the board for a while. Sometimes its in your advantage to keep it that way and make the opponent release it.
  15. Standard member ChessPraxis
    Cowboy From Hell
    25 Jun '10 22:02
    Originally posted by choochoo2247
    I'm ranked in the low 1500s. Do you have any strategies for playing against higher ranked players, say 200 points higher than you?


    Thoughts?
    Play good moves.