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A Zen idea is that of that to do nothing is already to be doing something. And this is what I have been doing for so long a lapse of time: thinking about Chess,  thinking about  Chess programs and how to counter them at CC, winning games and some events, losing games and ending bordering disaster, drawing games too. I have also set up a new opening repertoire that is working well but which still needs several adjustments . The idea is to win as many games as possible avoiding drawish lines  and turn losses into draws as much as possible. Of course, easier said than done.

(The red threat is that at CC draws have increased by the ton. So many opening lines that are excellent for OTB Chess, are completely drawish at CC, where the element of  error is near to zero -always bearing in mind the “ceteris paribus” clause.)

The first step is to decide -as White- if you are going to play the same first move against any opponent (mine range between 2000 and over 2300 -remember I only play Correspondence Chess), or if you decide your opening according to your opponents’ strength. I exchanged a lot of ideas with other CC colleagues and took a decision.

The second step concerns my play with the Black pieces. I had played too many Sicilian Najdorf, Taimanov, Kan, variations etc. I have played excessively too many QID , Nimzoindian even Benoni and Grünfeld lines. I began to lose and draw excessively (by exhaustion of ideas ?!)

Some people use the “draw with the strong and beat the weak” approach. So they play different openings according to the opponent’s strength. This is a good idea and, correctly applied, works. But I began to wonder if there would be a good repertoire that included safety and active play at the same time.  And I found it for Black.  So I began to play a Sicilian variation I had never played before and a new line valid against 1.d4 /c4/Nf3. And it worked.

Now the White pieces. At first, I decided I would play 1. e4 against “the weak” and 1. d4/c4 against “the strong” -taking the ELO rating as reference. Why, because at CC only the Sicilian offers possibilities of a fight. All the rest are drawish -again the “ceteris paribus” clause, except if you are ready to take very risky paths and make experiments with your own ELO rating at stake. (By the way, this was one of my friends’ ideas). In my case, it did not work… All right, I managed to draw against ratings higher or much higher than mine, but with 1.e4 I was unable to get anything but draws against ELO ratings lower than mine. Then I realized that it would be better to change the plan: play 1. e4 against the strong -leaving them the task of taking risk to force positions, – and 1. c4 against  weaker players leaving them the task of understanding complex strategical positions. And this is working well so far. (By the way, in case of similar ratings or doubts I tend to play 1. c4 or 1. d4).

These days I am facing a curious challenge: I am playing my country (13th edition)  CC Cup Final: 13 games against a terrific field: I am the lowest ELO (2199)  and  it includes  players with 2311 , 2289, 2351, 2382 , 2398(IM) , 2349, or 2422 (IM). So I am clearly their lamb to slaughter, and feel myself as a small kitten surrounded by hungry wolves and  hyenas ready to kill me so as not to lose a single ELO point in their games with me. 

Will this be a correct approach?. Would it be better to play the same openings without looking at your opponents?. One thing is clear: today’s CC is a highly specialised task and we must learn to live with computers and Chess programs. I do not see it as a problem but as a challenge. It makes me think about different things, possibilities, stratagems and ideas. So, all is well that ends well…

(The following problems are for you to solve. I hope they are right. If not, drop me a line. Thank you so much.)

QChess.

 clausen-1932

Clausen 1931. Mate in 3  . “Tricky” according to my notes.

behting

Behting 1888. Mate in 3.

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Written by QChess

January 14, 2017 at 4:41 pm

The Non-Human Factor . (Part 2)

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(Note: You may notice sometimes I employ some terms which would be  more appropriate for human beings. It is for the sake of clarity. I would like to make it clear that a machine is a machine  and a human being is a human being. Bear in mind though that  any Chess program has a human team working in the shadow.)

Q.3.- This is evident: they see every tactical trick, they see the strongest points in their openings and the weakest of moves in yours. They are able to exploit the slightest of inaccuracies and make you commit more mistakes. In zeitnot positions, you are ,simply, lost.

They always see any attacking possibility, as well as the way of carrying the attack out without hesitation by using direct attacks, weird regrouping of pieces, intermediate moves, etc.

They also perceive all the drawbacks in any move immediately pinpointing it and taking advantage of it. They never tire, so they are always looking for the strongest attacking move in every position. When calculating, they never change the move order by mistake, forget moves and they continually put you under a stressing pressure .

Q.4/Q.5: When you play against one of this programs, you feel a terrible pressure.(They play on your nervous resistance too). This is because they always manage to turn the position into a tactical battle. Even in closed positions they are always  building up pressure by the continual creation of threats. The more they put pressure on your position, the quicker it will be torn apart (with your pieces lacking coordination until the position is impossible to be hold together and breaks down). Their amazing opening book and their skills at assessing positions (the more tactical the better but I think they are no longer afraid of strategical positions either) turn them into formidable opponents. When they clinch something, it is forever, no matter if it is an advantage or material. This is why gambits for the sake of them are disappearing from CC (remember: you cannot speculate against a computer. Your way of seeing things is not “their” way of the same.) Another feature is that they abandon their own opening book when they find something better while analysing. A human chessplayer only leaves the book when his opponent does it first, when s/he has a TN of his/her own , when s/he forgets the moves or when the book line ends.

Threats, threats, threats: they are always creating threats and forcing you to take defensive measures, having to change your best-placed pieces and keep the clumsiest ones.

Another amazing skill is the apparent easiness with which they provoke play with heterogeneous forces. They are very cunning in this field. While you may be contemplating lines with the same balance of forces they are always exploring changes ( Queen vs. 3 pieces or 2 pieces and 2 Pawns, or vs. 2 Rooks, etc.) They seem to possess an extreme ability at assessing these positions and go for them. So the human opponent , only thinking in the same correlation of forces may be abruptly woken up by a sudden change in that correlation of forces.  (Boris Spassky has always said Bobby Fischer was the first in showing a computer-like style of playing, and Bobby was very good at this method too (see my post “A Contribution by Bobby Fischer”, published on Feb 1st, 2014 in this same blog). Another feature opposite to humans in many cases is that they do not particularly feel any leaning towards keeping the Bishops/ exchanging BxN, but when they decide to keep the Bishop pair it can be lethal . They have reached a deep insight into what to change / what to keep in the matter of B’s and N’s.

Q.6.- Of course an absolutely strong GM could beat a program any time or at least one time. The problem is how many times in a row and after how many previous (human) defeats in a row too, etc. I think nobody would try to do it in short-time scheduled games like blitz. Perhaps a good test would be a 40-move-in-two-and-a-half-hour game  + a classical adjournment with home analysis using a computer to analyse (so as to level the chances. After all, the program has a program to analyse too! But the matter of openings should have to be somewhat rebalanced. Or perhaps not, to leave the human being to their own devices  ). Moreover, considering that players use programs in CC and victories keep taking place, I tend to think that a hole , leading to some sort of mistakes , does exist…Where is it if any?

(So as not to tire the reader, I will leave the matter of the possible weaknesses of programs and the answer to the 7th question for the next post.)

 williams

Mate in 3 moves. P.H. Williams 1904

wieck

F.G. Wieck 1859. Mate in 3.

Happy New Year 2016 to all my readers!.

QChess.

Written by QChess

January 1, 2016 at 9:05 am

Some Tricks of the Trade

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In todays CC tournaments many people think there are too many drawn games. In some OTB events it happens the same. A matter of openings?.  What I am going to say may be seen as too speculative.

Breyer wrote that after 1. e4 White´s game was in his last throes. He was a hypermodernist and favoured hypermodernist ideas. The problem is that today it seems the prophecy is about to be fulfilled. Winning with 1. e4 seems more and more difficult (in CC games). I have been a 1. e4 player for nearly 30 years. But today I have felt myself struggling for an advantage in many lines in the Ruy Lopez, the French and even the Sicilian. So in my last tournaments I have shifted to closed openings.  At the same time, against 1.d4 you can safely play the Grünfeld, for instance, and achieve some very decent positions.

In today’s CC games -as White-  you will have to achieve very decent positions if you want to win your games. And to do that the first thing in today’s CC is to have a good opening repertoire and have confidence in the openings you are going to use. Some players use the same opening one time after another. I prefer shifting from time to time to refresh my ideas and stop playing as by inertia. To change my openings implies facing new positions, and this is refreshing for my mind. But it takes two to play a Chess game. The second important thing is to end the opening if not with an advantage at least with a position rich in possibilities. A “position” in Chess is something “static”. Its dynamism depends on the number of possibilities at hand. To have an advantage is good, but remember that Chess implies “I move-s/he moves”, and so on. How many apparently advantageous positions ended up by petering out to a draw?. On the contrary: levelled positions can be deceiving and both players must play carefully so as not to slip and fall in a disadvantageous one. So to “have an advantage” is a static assessment: now you have to be able to impose it. To have a position more or less levelled but full of plans and possibilities may be as good. Remember that in Chess absolutely everything is relative, and is connected to many factors which are not always apparent. With the present state of theory and the analytical possibilities offered by engines, CC is a highly specialized game, and the openings -sometimes from the very first move- is the first battleground where the game starts to be lost or won.

Bear in mind too that transpositions may play a very important role in your opening decisions. In general , 1.e4-players and Queen Gambit-ones has little concern (or not…) But beware if you play the English because if you try to avoid some lines you may fall in positions you do not know well. (If you do not like 1. c4 , e5 you may try to start with 1. Nf3, but then after 1… d5/ 2.c4 you must be ready for 2…, d4/ and perhaps this is not the type of English you had in your mind when opted for 1. Nf3…). (In the case of 1. e4, today’s theory shows too many instances of drawish lines even in well-know robust positions for White -remember the Berlin against the Ruy Lopez and all the mess around it these days… But -and this is only an example- you play 1. e4 and after 1…, e5 / 2.Nf3 your opponent plays 2…, Nf6/ Now 3. d4/Nxe5 is a normal Petrov. So normal that a Karpov , able to extract water from a stone, would be required. After testing this and that you decide to make your opponent bit the dust: 3. Nc3. All right!. But now you must try to prove that the ensuing lines are less drawish -and boring!- than the Petrov’s ones…) . In the fifties (past century) a player like Petrosian used to say that he played normal (be that what it may) moves in the openings so as to leave all the fight for the middlegame. Today it would be useless if not suicidal, and more in CC. Today the battle starts with the very first move, and a filigree fencing technique starts too, with both players trying to reach their aims with every weapon at hand. and bear in mind that ,again, transpositions are very strong weapons.

(For those interested in this important matter, here is a book by a leading Chess writer: Andrew Soltis: “Transpo Tricks in Chess”) .

Now time to train:

Wieck

Wieck, 1859. Mate in three moves.

And for those who prefer something different, here a study which will require a few more moves to be solved (I will give the solution though):

Nechayev 1935:

Nechayev

White to move wins:

1. g7 Bd8 2. g4 Kh6 3. c6 Bc6 4. Be7 Be7 5. g8N Kg6  6. Ne7 Kf6 7. Nc6 winning

QChess.

Written by QChess

December 28, 2015 at 7:08 am

Of Model Chessplayers

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What chessplayer do you want to imitate?. Do you follow  Fischer, Botvinnik, Alekhine, Tal, Korchnoi, Lasker, Capablanca,Nimzowitsch, Steinitz,…?. Then, you are studying these players’ games , play their openings, and so on. BUT one of he striking facts -which is more conspicuous in CC – is that many of the opening variations these gentlemen played are now outdated. In CC you try to play the Sozin against some Sicilian lines like Fischer did only to see that, as White, you have ended up on the receiving end…

During my Chess career I have found  many people who admired Lasker (to mention one of them). But, in Lasker’s days, the Sicilian was nearly unexplored. Or the King’s Indian, the Grünfeld, etc. So you are nearly reduced to very 0ld Ruy López variations and the French.  So, what to do?. 

Well, you may keep on studying all those GMs from the past to learn strategy,planning , endgame technique and combinations, But you should forget about playing their opening variations unless you find a forgotten move in one of the old lines they played. And you should not forget that OTB Chess has nothing to do with CC. (Several years ago I tried to play Korchnoi’s lines in my CC games ending up in sheer disaster. So never more!. In OTB Chess there is the factor of time (the clock!) and the fallibility of the human being. In today’s CC time is irrelevant and nobody is going to miscalculate because our Chess programs will immediately detect the slightest of errors.

I still remember the 80`s (20th century) when we played without programs, with postcards and stamps… Then you could employ Karpov’s or Kasparov´s latest innovation (if you managed to get it in those old printed magazines) and be happy…. I waited well over a decade to use the following line used by Karpov in Baguio: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5, a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5 . 0-0 Nxe4 6.d4  b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. de5 Be6 9. Nbd2 Nc5  10. c3 d4 11. Ng5 !!?. And when I employed it against a Dutch opponent I found myself struggling for a draw which I finally managed to achieve… On those days I had no a computer. I never knew if my opponent was using one (a pre-historic one anyway!). Karpov used to say that in the good old days you could find a TN and employ it a couple of times -or even more- before all your opponents knew it and found countermeasures, while today every TN can be used only once. In the past every chessplayer had to get as many Chess magazines as possible to keep abreast of the latest innovations. Today you may get it at home simply switching on your computer. One of the most important lessons to be learnt today is that in CC it is better not to speculate. Sacrifice a Pawn (or what be even worse: a piece!) for a nebulous attack and your opponent will take it and beat you in a consistent way. Remember: there is no zeitnot in CC, computer programs do not feel nervous or feel anxious. Forget about playing like Tal because he played OTB Chess, not CC.

I do not know why, but when I was a boy and was starting studying Chess seriously, I used to say  “I like this or that player. I want to play like him.” and so on. Now over thirty-eight years have elapsed and I find I can only speak of “influences”. Of course ,some of them are much stronger than others and it is very curious to see how one tends to go back to the very first one of them.

I must say that if you are an OTB chessplayer you would learn a lot by engaging in serious CC games. CC will teach you how to be practical without being speculative, how to be a rounded chessplayer instead of a gambler (or a “coffee-house” one) , how to look for the best and strongest move in every position without speculating with the clock. But remember that CC is a very serious matter: people here are out for blood and rating points (not for money). So, if you are not going to take it seriously, it would be better for you (and your ego) not to put your head into the lion’s mouth. It may hurt a lot…

(For those who admire Karpov and like learning endgame technique from complete games I would recommend the following book:  Karolyi’s & Aplin’s : “Endgame Virtuoso Anatoly Karpov”)

Now, here is something for you to train:

Dobriski

Mate in 3 moves Dobriski/Shinkman 1883.

Agapov

Agapov. Mate in 4 moves.

QChess.

Written by QChess

December 20, 2015 at 7:15 am

BACK AGAIN

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A long time has passed since I last wrote a post. I have been thinking , reading and playing CC. I thank you all the readers who have continued reading the different posts. So this post will be a recollection of readings, ideas, opinions.

I have read that Spassky never understood the way Karpov thought.(Nevertheless, in 2007, Boris told me he would be never afraid of Karpov any more…)

I have read that some critics believe Fischer never faced the strong opposition Soviet players faced in Soviet/world tournaments (we should  remember  some of the gruelling events held in the now defunct Soviet Union). (I must admit I have thought about this matter some time ago. It is very easy: make a comparison between the events Fischer took part in and the different tournaments players like Spassky, Korchnoi, Geller, Tal, Smyslov ,Keres ,etc. had to play in the same period of time. Could any US Chess Championship be compared to any USSR Chess Championsip of the same period? The answer is in the negative, in my opinion).

Today, every CC player has a computer at home. Some people do not use a chessboard + pieces any longer… They see the position on their screens, analyse, check the moves and send the them. No chessboard required.. Is this good or bad?. I must confess I have done it a lot of times… BUT: I keep buying brand new chess pieces because from time to time I like to make a review of all my games (I am playing over 100 CC games at the moment) using chessboard and pieces to understand the positions. So, my advice to you would be as follows: in many instances,you will receive your moves, analyse them, check them out with a program and sent your move. But it would be better for you to set up the board and chessmen and make an analysis of every game you have in play.

If you are wondering how it is possible for me to have over 100 games in play, my answer would be because I love playing CC. CC is not a money-making activity and it has always been a sort of therapy to me. 2015 has been terrible to me, so I am trying to use CC as a therapy. It compels me to open my e-mail page, my ICCF page, take down the move and find an answer to it.

As for training, let me recommend you to keep on solving 3-movers or 4-movers. (I have read Lasker used this system too.) So here I am going to leave some homework to you.

And thank you very much for being there..

Pos3

Mate in 3 moves. H.M. Prideaux.

QChess.

Written by QChess

December 17, 2015 at 1:27 pm

QUESTIONS

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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.

QChess.

Written by QChess

October 28, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Openings and Scattered Thoughts

with 2 comments

Chess does not change. It is the player who changes. And perhaps this can be seen and even analyzed from a psychologicl point of view. Chess is a wonderful tool to self-examination. Chess is your Mind in action. This is why I think that in the matter of our game, the sum of the parts is greater than  the whole itself. Don’t believe it?

In CC you do not need to memorize openings. (This is one of the differences in relation with OTB Chess). CC players use books, magazines, databases personal notes , etc. Another difference (and there are many) is that CC players may have several games in progress at the same time. And a third difference would be that there are no professional players in CC. But there are World and European Champions, there are GMs and IMs, and so on. All of us struggle to maintain and improve our ratings, try to become IMs or GMs, etc. Different people, different approaches to Chess, different motivations, different personalities, different reactions to victories and losses…

In the particular matter of openings, I suppose there are several approaches too: there are players with a clear idea of the openings they want to use and , consequently, they employ them on a constant basis with the adequate update, and there are players who like using different openings depending on their mood at the time of starting a new tournament. Some players prefer complicated openings while others try to avoid long, involved variations and prefer getting out of the book (databases) as quickly as possible.

In my case (the one I best know…) I have played different openings/defences during my CC practice. At first (28 years ago) I used the set-ups I was using for OTB Chess: 1. e4 , the Sicilian  and the Nimzoindian/Queens Indian/Orthodox . As soon as I became more and more interested in playing CC, I began to use those other openings that had attracted my attention when studying GMs’ games: the English, the King’s Indian Defence and the Sicilian. Shifting from the English to the Queen’s Gambit is a natural step, so for a long time, I became a CC 1. d4  player (while for OTB Chess, 1.e4 kept on being my main option. (I remembering reading an article in a Correspondence Chess Bulletin in which the matter of the first move was discussed no databases/computers yet-.The author defended that since CC and OTB Chess were so different, the openings should be different depending on which king of  game you were going to play. ) All opinions should be respected.

Today, in 2014, we do not use stamps and postcards to play CC (there are events still arranged under that formula though, but the major part of today’s CC is played through the Internet). The amount of information is immense and most of the players can have access one way or another to it. (I still remember how over 30 years ago some games were published months after they had been played and this if they were published, with professional OTB chessplayers trying to get as many local and foreign Chess magazines as possible to try to get information about the latest TNs’… On those days “the Soviet chessplayers” were feared like the plague: they seem to be factory of new players and unknown opening novelties found by the players themselves, their trainers or even some obscure player in a remote region to be used in their games against the rest of the world. -In this respect , when I was a boy I read the following  story: Before the Candidates’ Final between Petrosian and Fischer in Buenos Aires 1971, Petrosian had to play against V. Korchnoi. A relatively unknown player, the then Candidate Master V. Chebanenko, found a TN in the Taimanov Variation of the Sicilian. He left his finding in a sealed envelope  that had to be given “to the winner of the Petrosian-Korchnoi match”. A wonderful example of loyalty to true Soviet principles! -Another version states that , in fact, the novelty 11…d5! had been found by Suetin -Petrosian’s second- and kept secret for nine years But aren’t nine years too many years to run the risk of other people, even Fischer himself, finding this move???)

To me, Chess -apart from many other things-, is also a self-psychological tool. I mean I try to understand myself through Chess (once again let me recommend GM Rowson’s books and Abrahams’ “The Chess Mind” among many others). So, today I still continue using different openings as White while as Black my all-time hypermodernistic approach has changed perhaps not towards full classicism but to a more eclectic approach (in short: these days I prefer seeing my Pawns on the centre than seeing my opponents’ ones with me trying to attack them from the sides…) So the Sicilian in its various forms keeps being my pet defence against 1. e4, but against 1.d4/1.c4/1.Nf3 I prefer a more classical approach, avoiding extreme defences like the Benoni or the Grünfeld. Even the Nimzoindian/queen’s Indian are being substituted by set-ups with the move …d5 (Orthodox or Ragozin, for instance. BUT WHY?

Another important matter concerning the differences between OTB Chess and CC is that in CC you never see your opponent. So, is the human being ready to accept a fight when the fighters cannot see one another?. Then,don’t we try to apply analogical processes to a strange situation because our mind needs some guidelines to act?. If so, how this process is done?. Once again, what I am writing is only my personal experience but after nearly 30 years playing CC I have noticed that the rating of the players involved is the first red thread everybody tries to follow. (The second would be te outcome of previous encounters with the same opponent). Since I do not want to state certainties, I will put it down in the form of questions:

When you are playing against some opponent with the SIM,IM or GM title, haven’t you noticed s/he never accepts a draw offer unless the position is absolutely drawish ? The same when your opponent is 40/50 or more ELO points above you. Isn’t it? 

When you meet that same titled player or the one with more ELO points that you and in a first encounter you had made a relatively easy draw as Black, if you have to play against him again, hasn’t it happened to you that s/he changes his opening for another perhaps more complicated one? (These days I m playing -as Black- against an opponent above me in the ranking. I had played before against him and in a Najdorf I had got an easy draw as Black against his 6.Be2 variation. This time I knew he was not going to play 6. Be2… And in our game he has just played 6. Be3 (!). The thinking process is clear: “I have more ELO than my opponent so I’m better than him. This time I will play aggressively to smash him because I’m better:”)  How many assumptions does this way of reasoning contain???  But “assumptions” both in Chess and life can be absolutely devastating: they are related to analogies and suppositions, and , in my humble opinion, they may lead you to a parallel non-existent world, especially when you continue linking one assumption after another to justify or explain your decisions. (After all, ratings are comparative evaluations, games have to be played and there are many circumstances surrounding the players and the process of playing Chess. In 1972 Fischer nad never beaten Spassky : some draws and three clear victories for Boris could have been considered  a terrible handicap for the American…)

When one takes something irreal as real, then the consequences derived may be also very real. And curiously, this seems to work only for bad consequences…

As time has been passing by, I have become an absolute relativist concerning Chess.Chess is so complex that every game always shows a sort of  a rather unstable balance. This is why games continue being won and lost. No matter if you are aided by a computer. In the end the computer find moves because the manufacturer has added an evaluation element.  In the end again, you have to play one move in a position and this implies analyzing, evaluating, using your intuition and experience, using your ability to anticipate your opponents’ threats/ideas, and so on. BUT all ths take place into your mind. Can we be sure the process we are using are correct????

(In the meanwhile, the human being keeps playing Chess throughout the world. Isn’t it wonderful?)

Zeppler

Kraemer and Zeppler. Mate in four moves.

QChess.

Written by QChess

September 26, 2014 at 7:15 am

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