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The Fox and the Grapes

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Many people (both inactive and active chessplayers) today disparage Chess, no matter if they played/are playing OTB or CC. Of OTB they say there are too many and too long opening variations, that players tend to play the safe side by shooting 25 or 30 book moves and then if the opponent makes a mistake they try to cash in on it and if not the game may peacefully end in a draw without further ado. They say this way of playing Chess is boring and that the aim of the super-GMs is not to lose valuable ELO points. They say other things too…(One of the problems is that they are not super GMs…)

Of CC they say that the use of computers have killed the game. They do not need to add any more.

Well, Chess is something you can choose to play or not. If you are an OTB professional, you will have to accept the new way of doing things and try to earn your living.If you are not a professional it’s up to you : either you play Chess or not. Easy.

As for CC (a field with no professional players) some people complain against the use of computers, and even some people with a blog like this one rail against CC with real disgust… One post after another they snivel and whimper about how good they could have been but for the damned computer their criminal opponents use against them…(Incidentally, I tend to see this as a clear case of “the-fox-and-the-grapes” tale:  to put it simple: they were bad in the past when there were no computers and they are bad now but having something to put the blame on. And moreover they boast about their blogs and include their games  to show how well they played . Do they really believe their potential readers will waste their time reproducing such things when they can reproduce games by Capablanca, Fischer, Karpov, Alekhine, Keres, Tal, Spassky, etc???)

The Internet has created a communication revolution. In a matter of seconds you can have access to tons of information or can generate your own messages in webpages or personal blogs like the present one with the possibility of reaching thousands of readers with a single click of the mouse. It has its  drawbacks as you know too. (I read different Chess blogs/webpages, of course. But I will never visit again those I consider destructive or , simply, “crap”. Let be clear.) This is why I insist so much in telling you that here you will find my own opinions (never absolute truths) and this is why I stress on the importance of doing your own work, your own research, to reach your own conclusions. 

I do not want to be “followed” , and only when I write about historical facts I try to be as objective as possible,by using my Chess library to checks facts, dates etc. Otherwise, I try to tell my first-person experience about those things I had the luck of witnessing. My aim is , only, to mention as many topics / ideas as possible for you to investigate, never to teach anything to anybody. You must remember that the essence of Chess is in the thousands of books written by time-honoured Chess trainers, World Champions and all the leading chessplayers in the history of our game. (If you had never studied, say, Keres, and by reading one of my posts you begin to get interested in his life and Chess legacy, that is the idea!). 

On the other hand, let me recommend you not to fall under the influence of those who write simply to dismiss, devaluate, denounce, protest against, even insult everything that moves. Be positive. Studying the history of Chess is like studying the history of music, of painting, etc. Bruce Lee said that every type of knowledge was, in fact, a way to self-knowledge , your self-knowledge

Nobody owns a thing like “the absolute truth”. The better a man/woman is in the field of his/her election, the humblest they tend to be. Or they will never become “the best”


(Since the page has started to create problems and untill I will be able to solve them (or stop writing forever…) here is the position to solve:

White: Kb2 -Bg2 – Qh2 – Ra6.

B.:  Kc5 – Nf7 – Nb1 -Pawn b4 

This is  a mate-in-three problem by Bull, 1932. In my notes there is a small note: “very difficult”. Problems of mate in three moves may be very deceptive. But remember they are an ultra-precise filigree work. And the less pieces, the more space, so the more fleeing squares for the King under attack… In any case, an excellent training ground for one’s tactical skills.



Written by QChess

May 15, 2014 at 6:15 pm

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