Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. 26 Jan '08 15:22
    When you're clearly losing a game, do you sometimes gamble with a move that's clearly not the "best" but has some small chance of trapping your opponent? Any tips on when to try this? Or should I always make the objectively best move?
  2. 26 Jan '08 15:31
    Originally posted by Reverb
    When you're clearly losing a game, do you sometimes gamble with a move that's clearly not the "best" but has some small chance of trapping your opponent? Any tips on when to try this? Or should I always make the objectively best move?
    I sometimes gamble. If its a lost position even if you make the best objective move then you've still lost. I'm not the best person to answer, but my feeling is, if you've lost anyway, why not take a risk? Unfortunatly, I also sometimes take risks in postions that would be won otherwise or just throw anyway huge advantages. I've got an example, but its in progress, so I'll post it when its done...
  3. Standard member Ragnorak
    For RHP addons...
    26 Jan '08 15:31
    Originally posted by Reverb
    When you're clearly losing a game, do you sometimes gamble with a move that's clearly not the "best" but has some small chance of trapping your opponent? Any tips on when to try this? Or should I always make the objectively best move?
    I recently posted this here...
    "For example, in this game, I misplayed the opening, and decided I was pretty much lost at move 12, so I decided to sac the bishop to open the h file into the castled king. I still shouldn't have had enough, but the complications unsettled my opponent and I ended up winning. I reckon if I had just played passively, he would have ground me down.

    1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Bd2 O-O 5. a3 Bxc3 6. bxc3 b6 7. Nf3 c5 8. g3
    Ba6 9. Bg2 Bxc4 10. Ne5 Bd5 11. Bxd5 exd5 12. Bg5 h6 13. h4 hxg5 14. hxg5 Nh7
    15. Nxf7 Rxf7 16. g6 Rf6 17. dxc5 Nc6 18. Qxd5+ Kf8 19.
    gxh7 1-0 "

    Knowing when to do it is down to chess skill, I guess. You need to be able to decide when the game is turning against you. I may have been wrong above, but I felt that I had so many weaknesses, that normal play would have resulted in my opponent slowly picking me off pawn by pawn.

    D
  4. 26 Jan '08 15:33
    Oh yes, GMs and even club players frequently play strange moves to lure the opponent into a trap. This is called something in particular, but I can't remember for exactly what.
  5. Standard member Dragon Fire
    Lord of all beasts
    26 Jan '08 15:54
    Originally posted by Reverb
    When you're clearly losing a game, do you sometimes gamble with a move that's clearly not the "best" but has some small chance of trapping your opponent? Any tips on when to try this? Or should I always make the objectively best move?
    If you are losing you need to create counter play.

    In this context counter play means moves that give you the best possible chance of winning or drawing. These may not be the moves that delay the loss the longest, such moves being theorectically "best".

    This is where engines fail. They will never make an inferior move that gives winning chances if your opponent makes a mistake as they always assume that your opponet will make the best move.
  6. Standard member Ragnorak
    For RHP addons...
    26 Jan '08 16:01
    Originally posted by Dragon Fire
    If you are losing you need to create counter play.

    In this context counter play means moves that give you the best possible chance of winning or drawing.
    True. Sometimes surprisingly taking the initiative from your opponent can really mess with their heads.

    D
  7. 26 Jan '08 16:02
    I second/third that.
  8. Standard member hammster21
    Endgamer
    26 Jan '08 16:11
    If you lose slowly in 50 moves or quickly in 5, a loss is a loss. If you don't think you can win(or draw) down one path, then choose another.

    Game 4246243 *In progress so no comments*

    I didn't like the looks of my position so i sacrificed a pawn, then the exchange, then a bishop because i thought it would lead to better chances of a win.
  9. Standard member adam warlock
    Baby Gauss
    26 Jan '08 16:17
    Originally posted by ares3
    Oh yes, GMs and even club players frequently play strange moves to lure the opponent into a trap. This is called something in particular, but I can't remember for exactly what.
    Swindle
  10. 26 Jan '08 16:24
    Originally posted by adam warlock
    Swindle
    Oh yeah. Great word that.
  11. Standard member irontigran
    Rob Scheider is..
    26 Jan '08 19:35
    Originally posted by adam warlock
    Swindle
    ok, thats what it is.. i believe vishy did one of these in the 07 championship (at least thats what chess life said)
  12. 26 Jan '08 20:24
    Yes, but you have to be completely sure that you're clearly losing. I just lost an OTB game where I was up a pawn but under pressure to extract my bishop because I considered it positionally lost and went for a tactic that I knew didn't really work so as to hope for an error. Later, I noticed that moving the bishop to e1 was in fact just better for me and of course my opponent probably had skills that could exploit a big tactical error more easily than positional problems. You have to always be present and stay in the game.
  13. 26 Jan '08 21:19
    Originally posted by Dragon Fire
    If you are losing you need to create counter play.

    In this context counter play means moves that give you the best possible chance of winning or drawing. These may not be the moves that delay the loss the longest, such moves being theorectically "best".

    This is where engines fail. They will never make an inferior move that gives winning chances if your opponent makes a mistake as they always assume that your opponet will make the best move.
    Very true. I think Polgar once observed "chess is 90% psychology....I can't intimidate a computer".

    Counterplay is the only way to make good a losing position. I once played an ex-IM, who blundered against me, and then set about proving why it is active pieces, not material balance, that wins chess games! He took me apart despite being a rook and 2 pawns down. Put simply I played a passive game, content that each exchange would hasten my victory. He had other ideas. It was one of my greatest chess lessons
  14. 26 Jan '08 21:27
    Originally posted by Reverb
    When you're clearly losing a game, do you sometimes gamble with a move that's clearly not the "best" but has some small chance of trapping your opponent? Any tips on when to try this? Or should I always make the objectively best move?
    It all depends on what you mean by clearly losing, on the type of position, and also on your own skills (tactical, positional) and those of your opponent.

    If you're facing immediate catastrophe, then you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, by complicating the situation by attempting a cheap shot (which only becomes a "swindle" if it succeeds); that is, by attempting some tactical trap which, with best play, your opponent can avoid while maintaining his advantage.

    On the other hand, if you're in a situation in which your opponent may, with perfect play, grind you down in 20 moves, and you don't see any forced lines offering tactics (and you should always look for such lines), then you should probably play moves which improve your position the most and are the toughest for your opponent to meet -- which is to say the most sound. Taking your time here is important.

    Here's the contrast: in the first instance, your opponent must be able to see through a single tactical position; whereas in the second, your opponent must be able to consistently play strong moves, even as you are doing so. So, in the first instance, he needs good tactical insight into a one-shot; but in the second he needs to be consistently tough, move after move after move.

    Note also that in the second instance, while you should also be looking for forced tactical lines, you should also be looking for ways to get a draw should he err. As a player seeking a draw you also have certain advantages (e.g., you can try reversible moves that he may know how to meet, but if he insists on meeting them in the best way, you can force a threefold repetition of position). Perpetual check is merely a specific case of the threefold repetition rule. And don't forget that in certain instances stalemate can be achieved by forcing tactical lines. Finally, endgame knowledge is always good in a tough situation that your opponent can win on over the long term, but only if he plays perfectly. In such situations, don't just make one last desperate cheap shot, hoping he won't see it; at every move, try to improve your position and play the one move you would least like to see if you were him. By requiring superior play from him, move after move after move, you give him plenty of opportunities to make subtle mistakes (more likely to be overlooked perhaps than your desperado tactic).

    Of course, sometimes lines simply aren't clear. Then the decision whether or not to make a speculative sacrifice resolves to your own preferences. I suspect that, for many of the better players at least, such moves are made more often from a position of strength, because they seem good though they can't calculate to the end, rather than from a position of weakness due to desperation.
  15. 26 Jan '08 21:30
    P.S. Finally, and very importantly, note that there is nothing wrong with hoping for a trap to succeed, even if it is not forced, *provided that* the move(s) you make to lay that trap are good moves whether or not the trap succeeds. If you improve your position, and lay a trap at the same time (even if it isn't forced), that's fine: it may succeed, but if it doesn't you are playing well regardless.