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Those who play CC will recognize it immediately. 

You ask your national CC body to be inscribed in a another tournament. After a while, you receive the  list of players and the start date. You check the list and you see that some of the names there are familiar to you because you have already played against them or perhaps your new opponents are totally unknown to you. You know you have several games as White and several as Black. And your goal is to win the event.  Here  two possibilities may occur, both with the White and the Black pieces: 1) You have a fixed and tested opening repertoire and you will play your all-time favourite openings as White and as Black, or you begin to “negotiate” (with yourself)  what you are going to do. (In any case, CC players are always negotiating things with themselves, since the only clue you can get is a name and a rating. No body language, no feedback. Nothing at all from your opponent.)

As White: 1) You decide to play your chosen first move in all the games. O.K. 2) You decide to play your favourite first move (1. e4)  against  the players with a similar ELO as yours but to be a bit conservative against those with a higher rating (1.d4 or 1.c4) .

QUESTION: Are 1. e4-players more leaned to shift to 1. d4 than 1.d4-players to shift to 1. e4??

As Black: 1) You decide to play your favourite defences against your opponent no matter who s/he is. 2) You play your favourite Sicilian and Grünfeld/Benoni against players with a similar ELO as yours but decide to play the Caro-Kann and the Orthodox against your opponents with a higher rating…

QUESTION : Do you have full confidence in your defences or do you choose them according to rating factors??

Chessplayers are a curious lot… Have you ever try to understand why you decide to do what you decide to do?

(Tip: Let me recommend you the following book : “SUBLIMINAL”, by Leonard Mlodinow.)

QUESTION : If you are a CC player and use programs to check your moves, do you think that this way of acting changes the way you play OTB Chess?.  The question is relevant because in CC you always try to find the absolutely best move and you never expect your opponent to make a mistake. So you get used to expect  “always” the absolutely best opening line from your opponent and the absolutely best reply to your moves: factors like being short of time , tiredness or speculative play are ruled out, since the program will always give you the refutation to speculative play and, in a 99.99% of cases, you and your opponents have plenty of time for every move.

QUESTION: If you are a CC player, have you ever reach the conclusions that the more CC games you play the less you understand how Chess is played and  that you would find it impossible to teach somebody to play Chess?

QUESTION: When you are playing a CC tournament (or several), do you answer your opponents’ moves as soon as they arrive and you get a response to them, or do you retain your answer for  some time while re-checking them once you have decided what to play? (To rephrase it: do you take tournaments as a block or as individual games? After all, ICCF ratings are calculated over the number of finished games in a period of time, independently of the events they belong to.)

QUESTION: The more CC games you play the more questions you pose to yourself or the more answers you get from doing it?

QUESTION: Do you think playing Chess is also a way to knowing yourself)

QUESTION: Do you think Chess exerts a deep influence in the way you see life?

QUESTION: Do you think Chess builds your character and personality or otherwise it “shows” them?

QUESTION: The “Big One” : Could you live without playing Chess???

It would be interesting to hear your opinion. For some of these questions I have an answer. But several others are there, hovering over me like ghosts, without a clear or definitive answer. Somebody said that all knowledge is a sort of self-knowledge. What is your opinion?. If any of these questions open a new way of seeing things, this post will have fulfilled its purpose. (But don’t ask me why…)

Mate in 3

Mate in 3 moves.



Written by QChess

October 28, 2014 at 1:00 pm

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