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  1. 15 Feb '09 21:31 / 1 edit
    When I play against people I don't know, I obviously play the board. However, I play around 4 or 5 otb games a week against a really good friend of mine. I know his style very well. Almost any chance he gets, he'll trade down pieces to quickly get to an end game. He doesn't like complicated positions or closed games. Should I alter my play based on this knowledge when I play him?

    We are about equal in strength. Our record is probably 50-50.
  2. 15 Feb '09 22:23
    I would play closed openings and really frustrate him since he likes open games. Also, try playing for wrecking his pawn structure and his endgame will suffer. Go the chessgaems.com and look at openings that suit your style of play and not his. This works for either white or black. Look at Caro-Khan. You might like it.
  3. 15 Feb '09 22:49
    You should always play the board and then if you can,
    impose your style on it.

    Don't alter the way you play to unsettle a player.
    Heading for complications if you are not a 'dog's diner' player
    will rebound on you.

    The thing I find with all these tit-bits of information chess has
    is remembering them at the board.

    Maybe I should come up with a routine at the board to run over
    these rules of thumb before each move.
  4. 15 Feb '09 23:06
    Originally posted by Jakal
    When I play against people I don't know, I obviously play the board. However, I play around 4 or 5 otb games a week against a really good friend of mine. I know his style very well. Almost any chance he gets, he'll trade down pieces to quickly get to an end game. He doesn't like complicated positions or closed games. Should I alter my play based on this knowledge when I play him?

    We are about equal in strength. Our record is probably 50-50.
    I try to always play "my" style, no matter who (whom?) my opponent is. Having said that, if you reach a position in which you have a choice of moves that all seem of about equal value to you, then you might want to consider playing the move that you think might unsettle your opponent. In general, I think that when one tries to alter their style based upon their opponent, that they tend to unsettle themselves more than their opponent. But then again, everyone's different, so altering your style to unsettle your opponent might work in this particular case.
  5. 16 Feb '09 02:01
    Originally posted by gaychessplayer
    if you reach a position in which you have a choice of moves that all seem of about equal value to you, then you might want to consider playing the move that you think might unsettle your opponent.
    Solid advice. If there is a "shining star" best move, then it would be foolish not to play it. But I have read several Grandmaster comments like, "It wasn't the best move, but I knew he hates cramped positions, so that's what I gave him". Of course our judgement is a few light-years below a GM. Perhaps you need to look for the "best" move, and then weigh what the second best move might gain you against a paticular player. A related question is "Do I play a second best move (trappy), if the payoff is big?"
  6. Subscriber AttilaTheHorn
    Erro Ergo Sum
    16 Feb '09 12:44
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    You should always play the board and then if you can,
    impose your style on it.

    Don't alter the way you play to unsettle a player.
    Heading for complications if you are not a 'dog's diner' player
    will rebound on you.

    The thing I find with all these tit-bits of information chess has
    is remembering them at the board.

    Maybe I should come up with a routine at the board to run over
    these rules of thumb before each move.
    >I agree. In the movie, Searching for Bobby Fischer, the professional chess teacher always advised playing the board, in contrast to the man in the park who advised always playing the man. For a while it looked like the professional would be proven wrong, but in the end he was correct.
    >The truth is on the board somewhere. Play the board, but do so in your own style. However, if you know your opponent doesn't like a certain kind of game, try to play that, but do not oppose your own style to do so. You're better off dancing with the partner you came with.
  7. 16 Feb '09 21:07
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    You should always play the board and then if you can,
    impose your style on it.

    Don't alter the way you play to unsettle a player.
    Heading for complications if you are not a 'dog's diner' player
    will rebound on you.

    The thing I find with all these tit-bits of information chess has
    is remembering them at the board.

    Maybe I should come up with a routine at the board to run over
    these rules of thumb before each move.
    hehe, streetfighter advices the oposite in his book...
  8. 16 Feb '09 21:33
    Originally posted by vipiu
    hehe, streetfighter advices the oposite in his book...


    In my games I try to strike a balance between aiming for positions which I am comfortable with/knowledgeable about, and in which I feel my opponent isn't comfortable with/knowledgeable about.

    This isn't always easy, but it is something which is almost totally ignored by most club-players.

    Simply 'playing the board' isn't necessarily the best option, because we are all very limited in our knowledge of chess (compared to strong GM's for example).
  9. Standard member Korch
    Chess Warrior
    16 Feb '09 21:47
    This evening I played in OTB blitz tournament. One of my games was against young guy with higher rating than mine. I had Black. I knew that my opponent has decent knowledge of opening theory, but he feels not too confident against openings/opening lines in which he has no experience. I played against him original line in French 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Qd5!? (invention of Boris Katalymov - guy with many original opening ideas. I`m planning to devote my next blog post to him). My opponent was surprised and I reached good opening position. I won that game.

    P.S. And I won that tournament with decent result +7=4 ahead of some good blitz players
  10. 19 Feb '09 01:29
    Originally posted by MontyMoose
    Solid advice. If there is a "shining star" best move, then it would be foolish not to play it. But I have read several Grandmaster comments like, "It wasn't the best move, but I knew he hates cramped positions, so that's what I gave him". Of course our judgement is a few light-years below a GM. Perhaps you need to look for the "best" move, and then wei ...[text shortened]... . A related question is "Do I play a second best move (trappy), if the payoff is big?"
    By nature I'm likely inclined to agree with any player from the Hill Country, like Monty. And he has good, shrewd advice.
    I would take it a step in a new direction: when you play against a computer, or against a brain-dead cheater whose moves are dictated by his computer, you definitely play the computer.
    Some players use Bird's Opening effectively against an engine, or just use openings with a lot of advancing pawns against 'puters. What I find slays the silicon mind is to tempt it -- let it believe it will be checkmating me in, say, just 6 more moves -- come 'n' get me. And then mate it in 5. Very hairy, very on-the-edge play -- but temptation works better in chess with computers than with people, electronic brains are even more predictable. Especially the sorry ones like Shredder. Not that anyone here would let a computer do his figuring for him.
    Yes! there are areas where human strategy beats computers every time. Computers master knowledge and memory -- but We master understanding and judgment. (And that's a big advantage over an engine in game phases like the transition from middlegame to endgame.)
  11. 19 Feb '09 04:09 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Shamash

    Yes! there are areas where human strategy beats computers every time. Computers master knowledge and memory -- but We master understanding and judgment. (And that's a big advantage over an engine in game phases like the transition from middlegame to endgame.)
    Since good chess computers crush GM's like clockwork, I wouldn't say that the GM's advantage in understanding and judgement (which clearly still exists) comes even close to compensating for the computer's ability of calculate perfectly.

    In fact, the days of Human vs. Computer matches are all but over. Whenever a GM plays against a strong computer these days, the human receives some sort of handicap (e.g. an extra pawn, or more time, etc.)
  12. 19 Feb '09 19:41
    in Jakal's initial post, it seems like he's frustrated with playing boring games that move rapidly to even endgames that are likely to end up as draws. He wants games with complex positions, because that's when chess gets fun...

    since the idea here is to have fun, why not make some high risk moves that will create interesting situations for both sides? -- if you end up losing, so what? - it's not a tournament

    also - the other guy is probably used to seeing the same types of moves from you - so try something different, experiment with new tactics - become the opposite of what you usually are -- the worst that can happen is you lose the game and then you can learn from your mistakes.