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  1. 17 Jul '06 06:08
    While I'm not a GM, I think I know a bit about chess that can help others. In fact, I think everyone on RHP can offer some useful advice. So the purpose of this thread is to offer advice on how to play better chess.

    I will start if off, but I hope many others will contribute.

    1. Play for initiative. If a pawn is attacked, try not to passively defend it. Instead, try to counterattack. If you feel like you're being constricted to death, don't be afraid to sacrifice a pawn. "Wounds may not be fatal, but suffocation usually is." Create problems for your opponent with each move.

    2. Do NOT involve yourself emotionally into a game. Play each move as if you were simply solving a puzzle. Do not think about the result, just play the best move. This is one I struggle with immensely. However, when I manage to apply this simple concept, it feels like I've gained 300 rating points. Every move feels so natural and so logical that I have mated my opponent with no work at all.

    3. Do not create false problems for your opponent when it means weakening your own position. For example. do not play Bc4 and then Ng5 in the opening. You will not win a pawn after 0-0, and you have only weakened your position.
  2. 17 Jul '06 07:06
    LOL, that's a typo. ...thread
  3. 17 Jul '06 07:38
    Originally posted by exigentsky
    Do not think about the result, just play the best move.
    "Do not think about the result"??? Isn't the whole point of each move to produce a certain result, such as an improved position? Doesn't "play the best move" mean to find that move which produces the most favorable result? What am I missing here?
  4. 17 Jul '06 08:10
    "when you find a good move, stop. look for a better one." i probably messed up the quote.
  5. 17 Jul '06 08:13 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by basso
    "Do not think about the result"??? Isn't the whole point of each move to produce a certain result, such as an improved position? Doesn't "play the best move" mean to find that move which produces the most favorable result? What am I missing here?
    The result refers to a win, draw or loss. I'm advising people not to complicate their thought process with thses ideas and simply play the best move. The best move will bring about the most favorable result anyway.

    When I thought about the result, I became too self-conscious and made less natural and less powerful moves. Even when I was winning, thoughts about how wonderful the win would be distracted me from the task at hand and pushed me to a loss or a draw. From my experience, simply playing my best without worry has given me the best results.

    BTW: Good advice from TheDarkKnight
  6. 17 Jul '06 15:49
    I forget where I read it but-never attack the knights on f3, c3, c6 or f6 if you are not willing to trade after h3, a3 a6 or f6
  7. 17 Jul '06 16:12
    My advice to others is to learn basic chess strategy. Its surprising to me how many players (at my level at least) focus on tactics but pay little attention to strategy. Their precious tactics won't help them if their in a closed position and don't know what to do.
  8. 17 Jul '06 16:12
    If your opponent fianchettos kingside it is wise to fianchetto queenside, and vice versa.

    Develope knights before bishops.

    These are more guidelines the rules.
  9. 17 Jul '06 16:22
    Originally posted by chesskid001
    My advice to others is to learn basic chess strategy. Its surprising to me how many players (at my level at least) focus on tactics but pay little attention to strategy. Their precious tactics won't help them if their in a closed position and don't know what to do.
    That works both ways.If you don't know tactics all the strategy in the world won't help you cause you'll miss every single tactical shot that your good strategy provided you with.You'll also miss your opponents tactical shots which may end the game very soon,even in a closed position.
    And let's not even think about what would happen when you find yourself in an open position with lots of traps and tricks.
    Obviously one will need to learn both but tactics come first imo..
  10. 17 Jul '06 16:24
    Originally posted by c guy1
    I forget where I read it but-never attack the knights on f3, c3, c6 or f6 if you are not willing to trade after h3, a3 a6 or f6
    I think this is bad advice. Most of the time you will move the bishop diagonally back one square to maintain the pin, even though your opponent can often then break the pin by advancing the knght pawn two squares.
  11. 17 Jul '06 16:33
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    I think this is bad advice. Most of the time you will move the bishop diagonally back one square to maintain the pin, even though your opponent can often then break the pin by advancing the knght pawn two squares.
    Yeah,it would be better to say think twice before you attack a knight on f3/f6/c3/c6.Often such a move is played automatically without any idea behind it and sometimes it's bad.Thus,think twice
  12. 17 Jul '06 16:41
    Enjoy all positions, its too easy for us to start hating certain openings and/or positions. If we all enjoyed every part of chess we'd all be better plays.


    I find that a lot of people who study intensely tend to lose sight of the fact that the game is fun.
  13. Subscriber BigDoggProblem
    The Advanced Mind
    17 Jul '06 16:48
    Originally posted by exigentsky
    While I'm not a GM, I think I know a bit about chess that can help others. In fact, I think everyone on RHP can offer some useful advice. So the purpose of this thread is to offer advice on how to play better chess.

    I will start if off, but I hope many others will contribute.

    1. Play for initiative. If a pawn is attacked, try not to passively defen ...[text shortened]... the opening. You will not win a pawn after 0-0, and you have only weakened your position.
    1. You can't always have the initiative. Attempting to take the initiative when you do not have the 'right to attack' (as Steinitz put it) leads to disaster.

    2. I generally agree with this one; however, a few players are at their best when they are emotionally involved in the game. Former world champ Em. Lasker said of rival S. Tarrasch, "[he] lacks the passion that whips the blood." Bobby Fischer once said, "I like the moment when I break a man's ego."

    3. It's dangerous to use principles to discourage specific moves. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 is a perfectly playable line of the Two Knights defense. (Of course, Black isn't in a position to play 0-0, which makes white's 4th move more effective.)
  14. 17 Jul '06 16:52
    Originally posted by c guy1
    I forget where I read it but-never attack the knights on f3, c3, c6 or f6 if you are not willing to trade after h3, a3 a6 or f6
    I think I read something similar in Teach Yourself Better Chess (a handy little book). If I remember correctly, it's more like don't arbitrarily pin a knight on f3(6), c3(6) unless you already know how you plan to answer the a(h) pawn push. This is a bit of practical advice for OTB play, based on the author seeing many novices let their time dwindle away because they didn't anticipate this often obvious response by the opponent.
  15. 17 Jul '06 17:01
    I must admit that my seven year old son will often move a bishop to, for example, c4 or f4 (as White) and then, if his opponent moves a knight to c6 or f6, move the bishop again to get the pin.

    In my limited experience of teaching kids to play chess it seems that they find it quite easy to understand the idea of a pin, though it takes a bit more effort for them to learn how to use a pin, for example attack the pinned piece again or take the pawn which the pinned piece is no longer defending.