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Kevin Bonham
22-12-2005, 01:07 AM
Simon Webb's "Chess for Tigers" is among the best-known (and in many respects the best) books written in what could be called the chess self-help-book genre. Not that that is much of a compliment, but anyway ...

According to Webb, the Tiger is a player with good natural ability who makes the most of it by playing to win. This includes such things as tailoring playing style to an opponent, criticising your own weaknesses, playing different ways against different strengths of players, swindling, clock control etc.

Now, while I do very well at most of these, especially swindling, I have often doubted that I really was a Tiger. Not only do I irrationally engage Rabbits in tactical firefights rather than positional slogs (frequently acheiving dead lost positions which the Rabbit stupendously fails to convert), but the positions I win from, repeatedly, are far too undignified to associate with any noble predator.

For a while I thought if I wrote such a book it would be Chess For Hyenas. The hyena is a shabby beast that after poorly-considered half-hearted sorties against live prey, escapes with its life but little of its fur intact, and lurks on the sidelines, looking foolish and forlorn. Only suddenly, when the enemy is felled through something the hyena really had little to do with, does it move in lazily, help itself to a truly enormous meal, and slouch off victorious with an embarrassed and undeserving look upon its face.

Then somebody else came up with something that fits my playing style even better. Not the exact quote but it went like this: "Bonham gets such terrible positions. You see him sitting there, and its obvious he's suffering, you can read it in his face, but he just won't die, he wins them all the time. He's harder to kill off than a cockroach!"

So I think that Chess for Cockroaches would be my book. It would include sections on openings designed to cramp your own style as much as possible, devote about seven of ten chapters to how to suck your opponent into crushing you badly enough that you need to resort to a swindle, and contain helpful hints about how to avoid, at all costs, getting a space or pawn advantage in the opening. It would also include details of how to increase your swindling chances by making your body language even more dejected than your almost crushed position quite deserves.

What would your chess animal be?

Brian_Jones
22-12-2005, 06:24 AM
Chess for Tigers at http://www.chessaustralia.com.au/index.cfm?p=detail&o=071348988X

Chess for Zebras at http://www.chessaustralia.com.au/index.cfm?p=detail&o=1901983854

Dozy
22-12-2005, 06:54 AM
Nice one, Kev.

Tiger sounds great. That's what I would be if I could be but it isn't going to happen so I'd better cast around for something a little more appropriate.

I love early attacks accompanied by (usually unsound) sacrifices. That's kinda tigerish, but falls short of the definition. It doesn't matter who I'm playing my style is much the same, but after losing the first three rounds of a Swiss I often get away with it in the last few games.

I'm all teeth and rattle and if those teeth were able to reach your backside they'd draw blood but, unfortunately, my legs are too short.

My book? Chess for Chihuahuas!

Spiny Norman
22-12-2005, 08:02 AM
I think mine would have to be Chess For Donkeys.

The common Ass (Equus asinus) is a beast of burden and frankly has few redeeming features. A notable trait is stubbornness in the face of incredible adversity. I display this in many games, finding ways to "lose slowly" rather than quickly. Donkeys probably think of themselves as horses when they dream, but the reality is they will always be asses and everyone knows it. Chapters in my book would be:

- how to delay losing in clearly lost positions
- how to accept when your opponent dangles a carrot
- various types of stonewall defences
- donkey dreams: the road to grandmastership

pballard
22-12-2005, 11:24 AM
Awesome thread.

Since I usually do better with black than white, and some of my best scalps have been from dogged defence and generally getting out of difficult positions, I would like to annouce the forthcoming publication of:

"Chess for Weasels"

Chapters include:
- How to weasel out of lost positions (of course!)
- How to fight for your life after totally misplaying the opening.
- How to play weaker players ("rabbits") - scratch and fight, though sometimes you'll lose.
- How to play stronger players ("heffalumps") - scratch and fight, though usually you'll lose.
- The fine art of neglecting your fortress (king) to go hunting for scraps of food (pawns).
- How to tell if pawn is poisoned (if you're a weasel: almost never!)
- Positional play, weasel style (single page, double spaced, large font).

Davidflude
22-12-2005, 12:03 PM
I actually saw a mongoose while in Fiji. They attack like fury and dodge the cobras strikes with stunning defence.

The chess mongoose

Plays very accurate openings very fast and lots of dangerous obscure sidelines. (Many Australians are very lazy when it comes to openings). If it gets the advantage it does not let go.

Appears to be able to play either side of the same variations and win.

Positional sense may not be great but offsets this with attacking ability and ability to defend really well and stunning ability to spot tactical shots.

Has tremendous ability in the end game and can grind you into the dirt.

Tal was of course the ultimate mongoose. Frank Marshall was another.

The mongoose scares the poo out of steady positional players.

To see a real mongoose in action take a look at some of Thomas Winckelmann's correspondence games.

Watto
22-12-2005, 01:11 PM
Had a knee reconstruction this year so it has to be Chess for Erratic Limpo’s.

Often begin the game on my steadier leg, then switch legs and stumble as I lose the exchange or a pawn for nothing and then have to heave myself back into things, grabbing whatever resources I can find to steady myself. The game takes wild swings as I lurch from a middling position to a losing position to a winning position to a drawn position and so forth…

The key thing to aim for when you’re an Erratic Limpo is to finish on the good leg. All the while working to strengthen the bad leg. It’s a simple, strong message. Sure to be a big seller. ;)

* Erratic Limpo: half human/half monkey creature with a bad leg

Axiom
22-12-2005, 01:22 PM
im looking for reviews of the following titles:- Chess for Rabbits
Chess for Sloths
Chess for Geese
Chess for Ostriches
Chess for Anteaters
and of course the seminal, Chess for Chimps

Rincewind
22-12-2005, 01:41 PM
This thread reminds me somewhat of a successful series of Bridge books, Bridge in the Menagerie. From memory the authors were Victor Mollo and Frank Gardner. Most characters are those of animals. The two most central being the Hideous Hog, best and most boarish of the club, and the exceptionally lucky Rueful Rabbit, who invariable makes the right decisions for the wrong reasons. They are a great read if ever you get the opportunity although a vague knowledge of the rules of Bridge would be useful.

Edit: Looks like I got one author right (VM) but the other was a furphy. Here is a link to the book from an unknown Australian supplier...

http://www.bridgeaustralia.com.au/index.cfm?p=detail&o=0713479175

Careth
22-12-2005, 02:32 PM
The Chess Pet Rock came to mind first. But then one even better came to mind. The chess Rhino.

The rhino has extremely tough hide, and has an attacking horn, which is made out of hair and solidified by keratin, making a formidable weapon. These horns are also extremely expensive. While these two advantages are extremely strong, they can also run up to speeds of 35 miles an hour.

Being a rhino means you can attack quickly, and if you are a white (not being racist) rhino, you may take poison that others may die from. You can attack rapidly, swiftly, and take very little damage. You accept gambits that look interesting, yet can be overly defensive and cautious. You also tend to be a little impatient in long matches. Plus you are hunted by bounty hunters for your horn, which is your main weapon. Your main playing style is tactics, and you love gambits. Yet you overlook strategies.

An all round strong creature. Their only predator is a human. They develop their horn as they get older.

Alan Shore
22-12-2005, 02:50 PM
Perhaps mine would be Chess for Cats. I'm too lazy to learn opening theory and like to sleep, waiting out the opening and middlegame to awaken to the nocturnal endgame when I go hunting.

While I'm content to play positionally, I can bring out my claws for a sharp tactical battle if necessary and will fight the hardest when backed into a corner.

If I do something silly, I will nonchalantly lick myself, pretending it was all planned and nothing is amiss.

When I do hunt, I like grabbing what I can but also chasing a more a elusive and more challenging big prize. I also know when to run away - I'm a scaredy cat who plays solidly and doesn't often go for wild positional sacrifices, I hate being down material at any stage unless I can get it back quickly.

I'm also very curious and will sometimes play a move that may not be logically correct, but is more intuitive, just to see what will happen.

Axiom
22-12-2005, 03:16 PM
i saw david flude with a copy of Chess for Pit Bull Terriers..........i suspect he is mutating a hybrid mongoose/pit bull style of playing :)

Davidflude
22-12-2005, 04:13 PM
good one Axiom. Maybe I should use that as the title of the book that I am writing. It will have some bonzer over aggressive openings.

ElevatorEscapee
22-12-2005, 05:42 PM
How come no one has mentioned any native Australian animals?

Axiom
22-12-2005, 06:46 PM
perhaps we have stumbled onto a magical marketing idea for chess!
imagine teams of top players separated according to their animal style!
you'd have cockroaches v hyenas, donkeys v rhinos, mongeese v pit bulls, even, rabbits v chimps if you wanted.
players would have to visit, say an accredited dr.chess(and maybe vet :)) or panel,who would diagnose
their animal style! once with dr.certificate in hand you are able to
join team of like style....................imagine the marketing potential, i can see the animated promos now! make great tv!
no more meaningless football team animal logos!(like tigers, rhinos,sharks,etc), this is the real thing! animal style combat interfaced with chess!............would splice nicely with that documentary tv series ,examining the hypothetical fight between 2 different animals....................i wonder which team kramnik would be in?

Spiny Norman
22-12-2005, 06:48 PM
I'd be devasted if I found out I was a rabbit instead of a donkey! ;)

Kaitlin
22-12-2005, 06:49 PM
How come no one has mentioned any native Australian animals?

Yep ..cause im a quoll :)

Axiom
22-12-2005, 06:57 PM
kevin, you made your case well for a donkey, im sure you could demonstrate your skills to the said panel, and make the donkey list.....i actually think donkeys v mongeese...could be an entertaining match from the chess perspective

Axiom
22-12-2005, 07:07 PM
correction, frosty, not kevin!

ElevatorEscapee
22-12-2005, 09:48 PM
I vote Axiom as the Chess Axolotl! ;)

(PS understandable confusion, Frosty was once referred to as "Kevin Frost" by someone who is no longer with us on a site that no longer exists. :))

Axiom
23-12-2005, 12:09 AM
Thanxalotl :)

Kevin Bonham
23-12-2005, 02:57 PM
How come no one has mentioned any native Australian animals?

I actually had in mind the big native black bush cockroach when I mentioned mine, although the person who gave me the cockroach label is ex-Sydney so probably was thinking of the exotic ones. Down here, the only exotic cockroach is very small and a black native species is quite common in near-bush houses like mine.

I had an exceedingly embarrassing moment coming back to the boarding house I was staying at during a zoological conference in Sydney in 2000. Having not been to NSW or Qld for nine years at that time I had forgotten about feral cockroaches. I spied one on the balcony and said to a Sydney-resident invertebrate zoologist "Wow, what a spectacular beetle!" ... and then I realised what it was. :( :(

PHAT
23-12-2005, 03:30 PM
The ACF needs to read a book called, "Chess Administration for Tamagotchi."

PHAT
23-12-2005, 03:36 PM
I need "Chess for Road Kill." I offer my last game as evidence.

M.Sweeney 1300 vs A.Nother 1800

1. e4 e5 2. f4 Bc5 3. Nf3 d6 4. Bc4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Nf6 6. d3 a6 7. a3 Qe7 8. f5 Bd7 9. Qe2 g6 10. Bg5 h6 11. Nd5 Nxd5 12. Bxe7 Ndxe7 13. g4 O-O-O 14. O-O-O h5 15. f6 Ng8 16. g5 Bg4 17. c3 b5 18. Bxf7 Rf8 19. Bd5 Nxf6 20. Rhf1 Nxd5 21. exd5 e4 22. dxe4 Ne5 23. h3 Bxf3 24. Rxf3 Rxf3 25. c4 Rf2 26. Qe1 Nxc4 27. Qc3 Rhf8 28. b3 Bxa3+ 29. Kb1 Bb2 30. Qe1 Na3+ 31. Ka2 Bc1+ 32. Ka1 Bxg5 33. Rd2 Bxd2

ElevatorEscapee
23-12-2005, 03:55 PM
Is that the first ever recorded victory of A.N.Other? ;)

Axiom
23-12-2005, 05:52 PM
or was that A.NUTTER?

Axiom
23-12-2005, 05:54 PM
or was that A.Nutter?

PHAT
23-12-2005, 06:43 PM
OK OK. The black player was Mavroidis in St George Chess Club.

Alan Shore
24-12-2005, 02:46 AM
Man... sorry, but that's one of the worst games I've ever seen. It makes a mockery of your chessmen. Both you and your oppoent must have been either extremely drunk or under the influence of some kind of nerve agent!

Of course if it was a 1-minute game it'd be understandable.. or extreme time pressure, but if not, then wow.

PHAT
24-12-2005, 08:19 AM
Man... sorry, but that's one of the worst games I've ever seen. It makes a mockery of your chessmen. Both you and your oppoent must have been either extremely drunk or under the influence of some kind of nerve agent!

Of course if it was a 1-minute game it'd be understandable.. or extreme time pressure, but if not, then wow.


:snooty: Mate, I did put it up as an example of stupidity. He gave me his Q for two pieces and then I got scared. He was 500 points above me so, I offered a draw which he refused by asking "Why?". I assumed he could see deeper than me and would soon come up wit a combo to win a third piece to equalise. I kept jumping at shaddows and thus gave him stuff that I thought he had already won. I realy should have played MY game and not played HIS. :(

Also remember, most people only put up their best games. That way we all get used to seeing good games displayed. Most OTB games at club level are shit - this was one of them.

Rincewind
24-12-2005, 08:32 AM
Also remember, most people only put up their best games. That way we all get used to seeing good games displayed. Most OTB games at club level are shit - this was one of them.

Maybe we should have a poll on the what was the worst move of that game.

PHAT
24-12-2005, 08:42 AM
Or we could pore over the entrails of this:

Sweeney V Cox. ;)

1. e4 c5 2. f4 g6 3. f5 Bg7 4. fxg6 fxg6 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Bc4 e6 7. O-O Nh6 8. h4 O-O 9. d3 Nf7 10. a3 Nce5 11. h5 Nxf3+ 12. Rxf3 d5 13. hxg6 dxc4 14. gxf7+ Kh8 15. Qf1 cxd3 16. Qxd3 Qe7 17. c3 Bd7 18. Be3 b6 19. Nd2 Rxf7 20. Rxf7 Qxf7 21. Rf1 Qe7 22. Nf3 Be8 23. Rd1 Bg6 24. Bg5 Bf6 25. Bh6 Rd8 26. Qe2 Rxd1+ 27. Qxd1 Bxe4 28. Qe2 Bxf3 29. Qxf3 Kg8 30. Qg4+ Bg7 31. Bxg7 Qxg7 32. Qxe6+ Qf7 33. Qg4+ Kf8 34. Qc8+ Kg7 35. Qg4+ Kf8 36. Qc8+ Kg7 37. Qg4+ Kf8

Rincewind
24-12-2005, 08:44 AM
Or we could pore over the entrails of this:

Yeah, you didn't play nearly so crap in that game (it was no where near my worst game of the year). I had my chance to win but assumed you would play more like you did in the first game so I waited for a better chance. Alas, it did not arrive before time trouble for me. :)

Phil Bourke
24-12-2005, 11:37 AM
Also remember, most people only put up their best games. That way we all get used to seeing good games displayed. Most OTB games at club level are shit - this was one of them.

Obviously Matt, we all like to remember the good wins, though to paraphrase some good teaching advice, we learn much more from our losses.
I have some games to match yours :) They are hidden in the folder on the hidden drive in the other computer so that no one can accidently load them and see just how bad I can play at times :)

Adamski
17-08-2008, 11:59 PM
Awesome thread.

Since I usually do better with black than white, and some of my best scalps have been from dogged defence and generally getting out of difficult positions, I would like to annouce the forthcoming publication of:

"Chess for Weasels"

Chapters include:
- How to weasel out of lost positions (of course!)
- How to fight for your life after totally misplaying the opening.
- How to play weaker players ("rabbits") - scratch and fight, though sometimes you'll lose.
- How to play stronger players ("heffalumps") - scratch and fight, though usually you'll lose.
- The fine art of neglecting your fortress (king) to go hunting for scraps of food (pawns).
- How to tell if pawn is poisoned (if you're a weasel: almost never!)
- Positional play, weasel style (single page, double spaced, large font).Peter sounds like me - Hence my book will be "Chess for Weasels 2" (a la Refuting Evolution 2, Rocky 2, Spiderman 2 etc. ad infinitum).