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Basil
09-02-2007, 05:18 PM
Both life and chess are filled with educational opportunities. How many times have we learned something and felt stronger for it ... only to make the same mistake AGAIN? (and again and again and again :uhoh:)

Perhaps one of the indicators of successful people in their various pursuits is the ability to ACTUALLY learn from mistakes :wall:

I received this from Frosty today:


My heart bleeds for you Howard ... a rather depressing result after you got into such a good position in the game. However we must be strict here, and I have decided on your punishment! I hereby sentence you to 2 weeks study of the games of Tigran Petrosian, because you did not extinguish all possibility of counterplay before launching your attack. ;)

And so I dedicate this thread to chess lessons once learned, that should stick!

Basil
09-02-2007, 05:19 PM
1. Extinguish all possibility of counterplay before launching your attack.

Spiny Norman
10-02-2007, 11:45 AM
1. Extinguish all possibility of counterplay before launching your attack.
Of course, you DO realise that for each lesson there is an equal and opposite lesson? ;) "Look before you leap" is counter-balanced by "He who hesitates is lost".

Perhaps Lesson #0 should be: "Learn, above all, which lessons to apply in any particular situation".

Rincewind
10-02-2007, 04:18 PM
2. Don't waste time remembering aphorisms.

Basil
10-02-2007, 04:36 PM
I don't know if that's intended as witty, or as a genuine belief. So in blissful ignorance, I will respond to it.

I think guidelines such as the ones I hope to see listed here are useful guides. Certainly they may be of interest for players of an even lower rating than me.

The art of when to break the rules comes later in a player's development. These building blocks of ideas and concepts probably serve more good than harm - I'm not sure if that applies to your offering in this thread.

For those wondering about my dalliances with off topic incursions into threads, I draw the line at directly counter-productive statements.

Axiom
10-02-2007, 04:43 PM
I'm wondering what to conclude, when , knowledge is power, but, ignorance is bliss ?

Aaron Guthrie
10-02-2007, 05:56 PM
1. Extinguish all possibility of counterplay before launching your attack.

Mr. Karpov, is that you?

"Funnily enough, he has effectively denied Steinitz's pronouncement: if you have an advantage you must attack, otherwise, you will lose it. When having an edge, Karpov often marked time and still gained the advantage! I don't know anyone else who could do that, it's incredible." - Kramnik, Kramnik Interview: From Steinitz to Kasparov (http://www.kramnik.com/eng/interviews/getinterview.aspx?id=61)

Garvinator
12-02-2007, 12:36 AM
From the aus juniors annotated game:


the best way to get a large advantage is to play for a small one.

Garrett
12-02-2007, 12:50 PM
'Check all checks, check all captures' is the best piece of advice that I can't seem to follow.

Rincewind
13-02-2007, 07:35 PM
I don't know if that's intended as witty, or as a genuine belief. So in blissful ignorance, I will respond to it.

It was itself formulated as an aphorism, so perhaps that is a clue.

I like the "look at all checks and captures". I think "look at all moves" is even more useful.

Moves can usually be looked at on your opponent's time. However, after the opponent has moved be sure to take into account all new possibilities from their last move. I think not doing this accurately has been the cause of many of my blunders.

I'll leave it as an exercise for the interested reader to come up with a suitibly pithy summary of the previous paragraph. Perhaps "Re-check all analysis carefully on your own time".

Basil
13-02-2007, 08:38 PM
Roger that, Captain. Thanks for the clarification and the contributions.

Basil
13-02-2007, 10:19 PM
... is the best piece of advice that I can't seem to follow
Yes, thanks George. This sums up my sentiment I was trying to express at the top of the thread exactly.

Basil
13-02-2007, 10:21 PM
1. Learn, above all, which lessons to apply in any particular situation
2. Extinguish all possibility of counterplay before launching your attack
3. The best way to get a large advantage is to play for a small one
4. Check all checks, check all captures
5. Look at all moves / Look at the whole board
6. Moves can usually be looked at on your opponent's time
7. After the opponent has moved be sure to take into account all new possibilities from their last move

Zwischenzug
13-02-2007, 11:16 PM
8. If you play a move hoping your opponent won't refute it, he probably will :D

Spiny Norman
14-02-2007, 08:01 AM
Every time your opponent moves, s/he leaves something behind (e.g. a newly opened diagonal/file/rank, a weakened piece/pawn/square).

Desmond
14-02-2007, 10:30 AM
The thing I think is hardest in chess is weighing things up. Pieces of advice, which often come in the form of aphorisms, are constantly at odds with each other. For instance, take two good pieces of advice:
1. A pawn is worth a little trouble.
2. Don't go pawn-hunting in the opening.

They are both good advice and both worth knowing. But that is not much help when your opponent offers up a pawn (say with the Benko or some such garbage ;)) and you have to decide on which side of the ledger the offering falls.

Garvinator
14-02-2007, 12:39 PM
Always consider general considerations, unless the specifics of the position demand another move.

Aaron Guthrie
14-02-2007, 02:07 PM
The thing I think is hardest in chess is weighing things up. Pieces of advice, which often come in the form of aphorisms, are constantly at odds with each other. For instance, take two good pieces of advice:
1. A pawn is worth a little trouble.
2. Don't go pawn-hunting in the opening.

They are both good advice and both worth knowing. But that is not much help when your opponent offers up a pawn (say with the Benko or some such garbage ;)) and you have to decide on which side of the ledger the offering falls.
A pawn is worth a little trouble, but don't go pawn-hunting in the opening.

Desmond
14-02-2007, 02:08 PM
A pawn is worth a little trouble, but don't go pawn-hunting in the opening.A pawn is worth a little trouble, but don't go pawn-hunting in the opening, except when you should.

Basil
23-02-2007, 05:59 PM
An opponent does not, I REPEAT DOES NOT have to accept a sacrifice :wall: :wall: :wall:

Garvinator
23-02-2007, 06:32 PM
From Novice Nook, Dan Heisman's latest article on www.chesscafe.com.


Of course, if accepting a sacrifice leads to mate in three and declining it only loses a pawn, then clearly you should choose the latter. However, in most instances, if the player sacrificing captures material, you should “hold your nose” and capture the sacrificed piece. (my bolding for effect).

Kevin Bonham
23-02-2007, 10:58 PM
Very good advice indeed. Quite a lot of sacrifices played in tournament games are one of the following:

(i) Unsound, either blatantly or with the most correct defence
(ii) Sound, but accepting them is better than going down material for nothing.
(iii) Winning, but followed up incorrectly.

Here is a game which taught me the lesson above:

Tindall-Bonham, Aus Champs 2001-2

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Qc7 7.Nf3 Bd7 8.Bd3 Nc6 9.0-0 Nge7 10.Be3 c4 11.Be2 Nf5 12.Bf4 f6 13.Qd2 g5 14.Bg3 Nxg3 15.fxg3 g4 16.Nh4 f5 17.Qg5 Ne7 18.Bxg4 0-0-0 19.Qxe7 Rde8 20.Qb4 a5 21.Qb2 fxg4 22.Rf4 Reg8 23.Raf1 Qd8 24.Rb1 Qc7 25.Qc1 h5 26.Rf7 Qc6 27.Rf6 Be8 28.Nf5 exf5 29.Rxc6+ Bxc6 30.Qb2 a4 31.Rf1 Bd7 32.Qb6 1-0

The critical moment is move 18 when White sacrifices a bishop. By not taking it I left myself a pawn down in an already loose position and things went downhill from there. Whether or not I would still have lost I should have taken the bishop and found out - not taking it against a player this strong was totally pointless!

(If anyone wants to put the position at move 18 through a spiffy new program I'd appreciate that. Ancient Fritz only gives white a draw but there are some lines where white has nebulous long-term compensation, so I don't entirely trust that.)

Aaron Guthrie
23-02-2007, 11:22 PM
(If anyone wants to put the position at move 18 through a spiffy new program I'd appreciate that. Ancient Fritz only gives white a draw but there are some lines where white has nebulous long-term compensation, so I don't entirely trust that.)

I'm without programs, new or old, but I'd like to see your lines.

Garvinator
24-02-2007, 12:02 AM
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Qc7 7.Nf3 Bd7 8.Bd3 Nc6 9.0-0 Nge7 10.Be3 c4 11.Be2 Nf5 12.Bf4 f6 13.Qd2 g5 14.Bg3 Nxg3 15.fxg3 g4 16.Nh4 f5 17.Qg5 Ne7 18.Bxg4 now instead of 0-0-0, Rybka 1.0 beta gives 18... fxg4 19. Rf7 Kxf7 20. Qf6+ Kg8 21. Rf1 Nf5 22. Nxf5 exf5 23. Qg5+ as draw

Basil
24-02-2007, 12:26 AM
Garvin, does Rybka give this line as best play for both sides?

Garvinator
24-02-2007, 12:33 AM
Garvin, does Rybka give this line as best play for both sides?
Yes. Meaning that if either side were to play a different move, they would be worse than in the computer line.

Basil
24-02-2007, 12:43 AM
HIARCS 10 agrees.

Kevin Bonham
24-02-2007, 02:43 AM
Yes, that's what I had as the key line too, there's no question White can get a draw. Whether there are lines in which the computer shows White at (say) -1 but over several subsequent moves that switches around to a plus for White I'm not sure about, but I can't find any. Thanks for checking with fresher silicon. ;)

Aaron Guthrie
24-02-2007, 02:49 AM
Yes. Meaning that if either side were to play a different move, they would be worse than in the computer line.
Except there are a few different ways to draw, right?

I don't think Kevin was referring to Rf7 when he mentioned long term compensation. I expect he was referring to 19.Qg7 Rg8 20.Qxh7 Kd8 21.Rf7 now after Re8 the most obvious move is 22.Raf1 and now it will take real analysis to find the best way. I suggest 22...Qa5 preparing to take the pawn on a3, which will defend the knight, and give a passed pawn which can disrupt whites attack.

Aaron Guthrie
24-02-2007, 02:49 AM
I guess not then :)

Kevin Bonham
24-02-2007, 02:55 AM
Except there are a few different ways to draw, right?

I don't think Kevin was referring to Rf7 when he mentioned long term compensation. I expect he was referring to 19.Qg7 Rg8 20.Qxh7 Kd8 21.Rf7 now after Re8 the most obvious move is 22.Raf1 and now it will take real analysis to find the best way. I suggest 22...Qa5 preparing to take the pawn on a3, which will defend the knight, and give a passed pawn which can disrupt whites attack.

You are right - I'm interested in whether some move other than ...Rf7 gives long term compensation for white that black can't deal with. 19.Rab1 also deserves consideration.

With 22...Qa5 in that 19.Qg7 line White has play with 23.Ng6 that is worth a look.

Aaron Guthrie
24-02-2007, 02:56 AM
I guess so then :)

Kevin Bonham
24-02-2007, 03:11 AM
If someone wants to try the position after 18...fxg4 19.Qg7 Rg8 20.Qxh7 Kd8 21.Rf7 Re8 22.Raf1 as suggested above that may be well worth a look. All black's moves in this line to here are forced as Mangafranga has already noticed.

An interesting idea for Black is 22...Ba4 - the point is to protect e7 by moving the bishop off that square, hence blunting the threat of Ng6 which is a problem (not necc. fatal but I suspect that white is better) in the 22...Qa5 line.

(It's all pretty much academic because no matter what the outcome the point is I should have taken the bishop, but interesting all the same.)

Aaron Guthrie
24-02-2007, 03:39 AM
Even if Black loses the Knight that a pawn can be a killer. I think it's as likely to be good for Black as good for White.

22...Ba4!
A) 23.Ng6 Bxc2 24. Rxe7 Qxe7! --++
B) 23.Rg7 Qa5!? 24.R1f7? Qxc3
C) 23.Qg7 Qa5! (23...Bxc2 24.Rf8)
D) 23.Rf16!? Qa5!? 24.Rxe6! Qxc3 25.h3
E) 23.Qh6!?

Kevin Bonham
24-02-2007, 05:01 PM
Even if Black loses the Knight that a pawn can be a killer. I think it's as likely to be good for Black as good for White.

22...Ba4!
A) 23.Ng6 Bxc2 24. Rxe7 Qxe7! --++

An alternative is 24.Nf8!? Bxh7+ 25.Nxe6+. After taking the queen and the bishop White has only two pawns for a knight, but since White's rooks are active, some of Black's pawns are weak, and White will soon have at least two passed pawns, it's tricky. I think Black is OK here though.


B) 23.Rg7 Qa5!? 24.R1f7? Qxc3
C) 23.Qg7 Qa5! (23...Bxc2 24.Rf8)
D) 23.Rf16!? Qa5!? 24.Rxe6! Qxc3 25.h3

Yes I think all these White moves are insufficient and Black is winning with ..Qa5 in these.


E) 23.Qh6!?

This move is a serious contender.

E1) 23...Bxc2 24.Qxe6 Qd7 25.R1f6 Qxe6 26.Rxe6 Nc8 27.Rxe8+ Kxe8 28.Rxb7 and another messy ending with pawns (this time three) for minor piece.

E2) 23...Qb6 24.Ng6 and after either ...Nxg6 or ...Nf5 White will soon pick up the g-pawn; I don't think black can deal with White's h-pawn in these lines.

Aaron Guthrie
26-02-2007, 04:59 PM
Yes I think all these White moves are insufficient and Black is winning with ..Qa5 in these.
Really? I thought, and still do think, that line D was the best, and the position I ended on was probably better for white. Thats why I gave Qa5 a "!?".



This move is a serious contender.

E1) 23...Bxc2 24.Qxe6 Qd7 25.R1f6 Qxe6 26.Rxe6 Nc8 27.Rxe8+ Kxe8 28.Rxb7 and another messy ending with pawns (this time three) for minor piece.

E2) 23...Qb6 24.Ng6 and after either ...Nxg6 or ...Nf5 White will soon pick up the g-pawn; I don't think black can deal with White's h-pawn in these lines.
23...Bxc2! I like this move because the bishop controls some important squares (f5,g6 and h7.) I rate the ending as unclear.

Kevin Bonham
26-02-2007, 09:03 PM
Really? I thought, and still do think, that line D was the best, and the position I ended on was probably better for white. Thats why I gave Qa5 a "!?".

Yes, line D (23.R1f6) is much more dangerous than I thought, I should have looked at it longer! 25...Qxg3 26.Rd6+ Kc8 27.Nf5 etc is winning for white.

Black might have to try 23...Qc6 but I'm not all that convinced, White has a lot of pressure.

Basil
15-04-2007, 04:06 PM
Courtesy Jono (from Which Bishop Is Better)

Yeah, "knights before bishops" is a bit simplistic. A better rule is often "first develop the pieces where you know their destinations, and only then develop the others."

Capablanca-Fan
16-04-2007, 05:22 PM
Yes, that's what I had as the key line too, there's no question White can get a draw. Whether there are lines in which the computer shows White at (say) -1 but over several subsequent moves that switches around to a plus for White I'm not sure about, but I can't find any. Thanks for checking with fresher silicon. ;)

John Nunn says that often strong players will play a sac once they have guaranteed an escape route of a forced draw, and this includes Kasparov in his brilliancy against Topalov (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1011478).

Even earlier, Capablanca advised that if you think a move is good, play it. If you're right, you'll do well; if you're wrong, you'll learn from experience. This would if a strong player sacrifices and you can't see the refutation: often best to accept — unless you have an alternative leading to a good position (cf. B13 in Winter – Lasker (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1008271)).

Capablanca-Fan
16-04-2007, 05:28 PM
I hereby sentence you to 2 weeks study of the games of Tigran Petrosian, because you did not extinguish all possibility of counterplay before launching your attack.

Good idea. Petrosyan was one of the first players Kramnik studied Kramnik Interview: From Steinitz to Kasparov (http://www.kramnik.com/eng/interviews/getinterview.aspx?id=61), and it certainly did him no harm.

Kevin Bonham
16-04-2007, 06:42 PM
Even earlier, Capablanca advised that if you think a move is good, play it. If you're right, you'll do well; if you're wrong, you'll learn from experience.

I do this quite a lot. After prolonged thought I decide that either a move is strong or else I will learn something memorable from having it refuted. It gets to the point where I get so curious I just lash out and play it. Can't remember ever losing after playing such a move.

Aaron Guthrie
16-04-2007, 08:19 PM
I do this quite a lot. After prolonged thought I decide that either a move is strong or else I will learn something memorable from having it refuted. It gets to the point where I get so curious I just lash out and play it. Can't remember ever losing after playing such a move.What counts as prolonged thought? Whenever I think for 40 minutes I usually get a good position out of it. But if it is a 60 minute game, I sometimes lose the game (I did this in a tournament last year) :)

Kevin Bonham
17-04-2007, 01:43 AM
What counts as prolonged thought?

Enough to seriously analyse some lines rather than just monkey-see-monkey-like-monkey-play. Maybe 4-5 minutes analysing that particular candidate move and considering all obvious objections to it.

(That's a fair amount of time by my standards. I'm generally not that slow and rarely get into fatal time trouble - though I did once spend 25 mins on a single move in a G90 flat; it was worth it.)

Aaron Guthrie
17-04-2007, 01:55 AM
Enough to seriously analyse some lines rather than just monkey-see-monkey-like-monkey-play. Maybe 4-5 minutes analysing that particular candidate move and considering all obvious objections to it.

(That's a fair amount of time by my standards. I'm generally not that slow and rarely get into fatal time trouble - though I did once spend 25 mins on a single move in a G90 flat; it was worth it.)Hm, not the answer I was expecting :) The longest amount of time I have spent was 1hr 10min. It was also the longest line I have calculated (off hand I can't remember the #). I was calculating as far as an ending which was then really tricky and calculable (pawns on 7th for both sides.) But it never made it that far, my opp managed to find a blunder.

Aaron Guthrie
17-04-2007, 07:55 AM
Don't calculate everything as far as you can! At least don't make a habit of it :)

In this game I calculated for 1:10 going about 10 full moves deep. It was an interesting thing to do, calculating as far as the ending was a bit extreme to begin with, but then continuing on when I reached that in my calc was the icing on the cake.

This game is from Biel, I can't remember the TC, probably 2hrs +30 seconds or something roughly equivalent. The calculation incident started on move 11, when I was considering d4. My line continues on in the annotation, my opp player the blunder 15.Rc2. I calculated for an hour and 10 minutes, at some point when I was calculating the ending, after finding various subtleties I thought "what the hell am I doing?" evaled the ending as dynamically equal, and played my move. From memory I got as far as 22...Rxc1 (i.e. not as far as 23.Kf3!!). I can't find my annotated version of this which has a record of what I was calculating during the game, so I'm not sure how far my longest line went. Probably I was stopping at between 20 and 23 (even though my memory is such that I got as far as 22, I know not to trust memory too much.)

1. c4 c5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 e6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. d4 d5 7. cxd5 exd5 8.
dxc5 Nc6 9. a3 Ne4 10. b4 Bf6 11. Ra2 d4 12. Nfd2 Nc3 13. Nxc3 dxc3 14. Ne4 Be6!
15. Rc2?? (15. Qxd8 Raxd8 16. Nxf6+ gxf6 17. Bxc6! Bxa2 18. Bxb7 Bc4 19. c6 Bxe2
20. Re1 c2? 21. Rxe2 (21. c7 Rd1!) 21... Rd1+ 22. Kg2 Rxc1 23. Kf3!!) 15...
Qxd1 16. Nxf6+ gxf6 17. Rxd1 Bb3 18. Be4 Rfe8 19. Bxc6 Bxc2 0-1