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  1. 07 Nov '13 19:20 / 1 edit
    I was reading some chess literature and the author was stating that its imperative that a chess player should, 'retain the greater option'. What does this mean in chess terms?

    Zen master - Robbie
  2. 07 Nov '13 19:27 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    I was reading some chess literature and the author was stating that its imperative that a chess player should, 'retain the greater option'. What does this mean in chess terms?

    Zen master - Robbie
    hello Zen master. Maybe it means mobility - not moving your pieces in the way of one another?
  3. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    07 Nov '13 19:58
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    I was reading some chess literature and the author was stating that its imperative that a chess player should, 'retain the greater option'. What does this mean in chess terms?

    Zen master - Robbie
    I'd hope he gave an example.
  4. 07 Nov '13 20:16
    I wonder if it's to do with not committing yourself too early. For example, in the Kings Indian when Black has pawns on f5 and e5 he often doesn't push one of them until White has made a concession (e.g. moving a knight to f3 so e5-e4 gains a tempo on it).
  5. 07 Nov '13 20:30
    Originally posted by e4chris
    hello Zen master. Maybe it means mobility - not moving your pieces in the way of one another?
    will you become my disciple? i will make you famous.
  6. 07 Nov '13 20:32
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    I'd hope he gave an example.
    sadly no, I don't understand it, it appears to me that its simply an inducement to keep ones options open, but that could mean anything. Its really annoying.
  7. 07 Nov '13 20:33
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    I wonder if it's to do with not committing yourself too early. For example, in the Kings Indian when Black has pawns on f5 and e5 he often doesn't push one of them until White has made a concession (e.g. moving a knight to f3 so e5-e4 gains a tempo on it).
    Its was from a Purdy article, but i suspect it could mean not committing.
  8. 07 Nov '13 20:33
    One more question : why is chess960 not called Fischer random?
  9. 07 Nov '13 22:04
    I vaguely remember that the guy who was promoting it heavily in the late 1990s / early 2000s wanted a more respectable name for it. Fischer's name was already mud at that stage.
  10. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    07 Nov '13 22:14
    "Retain the greater option" is possibly a re-formulation of "the threat is (sometimes) stronger than the execution".
  11. 07 Nov '13 22:17 / 2 edits
    A quick Googling suggests that the phrase "Reserve the greater option" was originally coined by James Mason in 1890 or thereabouts.

    In The Art of Chess he wrote:
    When it seems a question of developing one of two
    pieces, prefer the one of lesser range. For instance, if it
    be otherwise a matter of indifference, whether you bring
    out Bishop or Knight, let it he the latter. Reserve the
    greater option.

    Funnily enough I offered a form of this advice to a beginner a few weeks ago when he asked me why beginners are told to develop knights before bishops. I said it was because we normally have a better idea about where we're going to develop the knights, whereas with the bishops their best square might not be clear until your opponent has developed a few of his pieces and pawns.

    Anyway, what are you reading Purdy for when you admitted on this forum just a few days ago that you had never played through Alekhine's greatest games?
  12. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    07 Nov '13 22:28
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    sadly no, I don't understand it, it appears to me that its simply an inducement to keep ones options open, but that could mean anything. Its really annoying.
    Maybe it's similar to Nimzovich's "the threat is stronger than the execution".
  13. 08 Nov '13 08:21
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    I vaguely remember that the guy who was promoting it heavily in the late 1990s / early 2000s wanted a more respectable name for it. Fischer's name was already mud at that stage.
    I knew there was skulduggery afoot, chess960 is a meaningless term, it should be called Fischer random, he invented it.
  14. 08 Nov '13 08:29
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    A quick Googling suggests that the phrase "Reserve the greater option" was originally coined by James Mason in 1890 or thereabouts.

    In The Art of Chess he wrote:
    [quote]When it seems a question of developing one of two
    pieces, prefer the one of lesser range. For instance, if it
    be otherwise a matter of indifference, whether you bring
    out Bishop or Kn ...[text shortened]... d on this forum just a few days ago that you had never played through Alekhine's greatest games?
    yes this seems to make sense, when faced with two choices we reserve the greater option, in that in the case of knight v bishop, we develop the least active piece, a bishop may already be semi developed on its original starting square if it has an open diagonal. I have a Purdy book, two infact, one I ordered from Australia itself, I don't have any books on Alekhine. The one that this phrase was taken from is The search for chess perfection.
  15. 08 Nov '13 11:55
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    I knew there was skulduggery afoot, chess960 is a meaningless term, it should be called Fischer random, he invented it.
    As I'm sure you know, the "960" comes from how many possible starting positions there are.

    Fischer didn't really invent the game from scratch, "Shuffle Chess" is centuries old. What Fischer did was to experiment with different Shuffle Chess set-ups and decide that the game was more playable if each side had a light square and a dark square bishop (i.e. not both on the same colour square) and if some sort of castling was possible, so the king had to be between the two rooks.