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Only Chess Forum

  1. Joined
    12 Jul '08
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    13024
    08 Jun '19 16:481 edit
    I think one major obsticle I had to overcome is what I believed was the purpose in chess. I thought the purpose in chess is to checkmate your opponent.

    I suppose that is the goal but it is not the point of most moves. The point of chess is to counter the person you are playing, try to place your pieces on good squares for what you want to do, and taking advantage of opportunities when they arise. At least that is my improved point of view.

    For most of my time playing chess I have only been looking for opportunities to checkmate and opportunities to win material. I think the reason for this is that I had very weak visualization skills as well as terrible board vision. That is not a good combination.

    Until you have board vision, know mating nets, end game ideas and tactics you do not have the basic skills to learn to improve your position or counter your opponent.

    Until then all you can do is learn an opening and start an attack hoping for the best. That in a nutshell is how I thought chess was played.

    If you want to help people you have to meet them where they are. So any advice on where I can improve and any questions on how to get better would be cool.
  2. Joined
    04 Jun '19
    Moves
    484
    08 Jun '19 17:34
    Playing for checkmate is wrong.
    Win a pawn...win the game.
    I'm only 1700 on a good day but you need to focus on endgames.
    If you can't master 3 pieces in an endgame how are you going to deal with 32 pieces on the board in the opening?
    Master basic endgames and work on combinations in the middlegame and THEN you are ready for opening analysis.

    There was a guy I used to play almost every day. He ALWAYS played for checkmate.
    He never won.
    He said my chess was boring.
    I said my chess was WINNING.

    Tactical chess wins are rare against strong opponents. This isn't 200 years ago where attacking at all costs was the norm.

    Also...you can't pick your style.
    I'm a passive/defensive player waiting for a slight mistake.
    I would love to be an aggressive attacking player but I lose horribly when I try to play that way.
    You don't get to pick your style.

    I dunno...
    I've had 4 beers for breakfast so maybe I'm just rambling.
  3. Joined
    12 Jul '08
    Moves
    13024
    08 Jun '19 17:42
    @Practical

    Combinations, are they not just a complete tactic? Unless they are just three move things that result in a mice tactic I do not know what a combination is.
  4. Subscribervenda
    Dave
    S.Yorks.England
    Joined
    18 Apr '10
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    61276
    08 Jun '19 20:50
    @eladar said
    I think one major obsticle I had to overcome is what I believed was the purpose in chess. I thought the purpose in chess is to checkmate your opponent.

    I suppose that is the goal but it is not the point of most moves. The point of chess is to counter the person you are playing, try to place your pieces on good squares for what you want to do, and taking advantage of opportu ...[text shortened]... they are. So any advice on where I can improve and any questions on how to get better would be cool.
    A good way to improve your board vision and see mating nets is to do chess puzzles.
    There's lots to go at on here.
    At the bottom of any page click on chess puzzles and have a go at them.
  5. Joined
    12 Jul '08
    Moves
    13024
    08 Jun '19 20:56
    @venda said
    A good way to improve your board vision and see mating nets is to do chess puzzles.
    There's lots to go at on here.
    At the bottom of any page click on chess puzzles and have a go at them.
    I usually do at least 5 minutes of chesstempo everyday. Some days do much longer but the habit of doing it everyday is what I want.
  6. Behind the scenes
    Joined
    27 Jun '16
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    1470
    09 Jun '19 01:47
    @eladar said
    @Practical

    Combinations, are they not just a complete tactic? Unless they are just three move things that result in a mice tactic I do not know what a combination is.
    Eladar - Practical and Venda are on the right path here. Please listen to them.
  7. Joined
    12 Jul '08
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    13024
    09 Jun '19 01:50
    @mchill

    I thought I agreed with them.
  8. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
    Court Jester
    lacking discretion
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    26 Nov '04
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    124916
    09 Jun '19 15:33
    Checkmate IS the proper goal to play for.

    Evidence? How about the game I lost in the "Hey man, nice shot" thread. Set up a nifty mate, and all other considerations go out the window. Further evidence: the many master games filled with brilliant sacrifices to achieve mate.

    The other goals are secondary goals; the reason one needs to go for them is that there is no obvious path to checkmate at the moment. The instant that that changes, forget about those goals and kill that King.
  9. Joined
    12 Jul '08
    Moves
    13024
    09 Jun '19 15:43
    @bigdoggproblem said
    Checkmate IS the proper goal to play for.

    Evidence? How about the game I lost in the "Hey man, nice shot" thread. Set up a nifty mate, and all other considerations go out the window. Further evidence: the many master games filled with brilliant sacrifices to achieve mate.

    The other goals are secondary goals; the reason one needs to go for them is that there is no ...[text shortened]... checkmate at the moment. The instant that that changes, forget about those goals and kill that King.
    Thanks for reaffirming what I am saying.
  10. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    09 Jun '19 15:51
    @eladar said
    Thanks for reaffirming what I am saying.
    I'm not sure you understand your own writing at times. What we both said doesn't quite match up that well.
  11. Joined
    12 Jul '08
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    13024
    09 Jun '19 15:531 edit
    @bigdoggproblem said
    I'm not sure you understand your own writing at times. What we both said doesn't quite match up that well.
    It matches perfectly.

    This was my point boiled down to one sentence I wrote...

    I suppose that is the goal but it is not the point of most moves.
  12. Joined
    04 Jun '19
    Moves
    484
    09 Jun '19 18:43
    Of course you will go after checkmate if it is possible but constantly playing for mate when no mate is possible is bad play.
    You're hoping your opponent makes a mistake?
    None of us are any good so playing that way might work against bums but when you get good you will see that playing for mate all of the time will leave you in bad positions against strong opposition.

    To each his own.
    I play a passive/defensive style so what do I know right?
  13. Joined
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    13024
    09 Jun '19 18:53
    @Practical

    Seems to me that if you see a sac that will lead to mate go for it. Is that not considered a combination?

    But as dog said, if nothing is there you play something other than the attack which is the improvement of your position while preventing your opponent from improving his as best you can.
  14. Joined
    04 Jun '19
    Moves
    484
    09 Jun '19 19:29
    That would be normal chess.
    Playing for mate is when you go after the king at all costs. It doesn't work.
    To give an easy example:
    1.e4...e5
    2.Bc4...Nc6
    3.Qh5 white is "playing for mate"
    Black plays 3...g6 to stop it.
    4.Qf3 white is still "playing for mate"

    That is a basic example of playing for mate.
    Sacrifices to achieve checkmate is not playing for mate. That's winning chess.

    Playing for mate works on bums.
    After your opponent defends properly you could be left with a bad position.
  15. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    09 Jun '19 19:39
    @practical said
    Of course you will go after checkmate if it is possible but constantly playing for mate when no mate is possible is bad play.
    You're hoping your opponent makes a mistake?
    None of us are any good so playing that way might work against bums but when you get good you will see that playing for mate all of the time will leave you in bad positions against strong opposition.

    To each his own.
    I play a passive/defensive style so what do I know right?
    I don't disagree that it's bad to mindlessly attack. I'm mainly pointing out that a clear path to mate opens up more often in games than some people realize.

    As far as hoping the opponent makes a mistake, to swindle someone, you usually try to make the position more chaotic to increase the chance of a mistake in your favor.

    GM's do this to one another on occasion, and they ain't bums.
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