Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Lone Path To Victory

This is it. Your moment of glory. As your eyes are transfixed on the board before you, your mind is on overload. It's been busy calculating variation after variation. But you know the truth.

Only one road leads to victory.

Every other road leads to a worse position and potential disaster. If you could load up Fritz right now, Fritz will spew out things like this:

Only 1 variation leads to your survival and increase your chances of pressing home your advantage.

And herein lies the key to better chess improvement.

The ability to calculate accurately and more crucially, the ability to spot the correct continuation.

This is why some players tend to resort to safer lines. Because they know that a wrong move would not decrease their advantage. Wasted tempi would not be immediately punished.

However, if you truly want to test your mettle, do not be afraid to open the position up and resort to complications if you know you are tactically better than your opponent. For any player below 2000, keep throwing your opponents more and more complex positions to solve. Because no one can take this sort of punishment move after move without making a mistake (this naturally applies both ways).

Of course this also means that you also are more likely to be standing at a razor's edge and you need to know your stuff inside out. In other words, you need to understand chess better than your opponents.

And remember, close positions will never stay close forever. So learn to play open and semi-open positions and work on your tactical ability.

Grandmasters are experts at this. They know how to seek out the best move even if it's the only single move to win. And if you give them time, they will find it 9 times out of 10.

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