Saturday, March 27, 2010


I am asked this question often enough that I will relate to you some of the things I've done.

This is Saturday morning. I played 15 min. chess with a friend last night who couldn't catch a break. But after he left I thought about a couple of nuances--mainly a couple places where he could have played better and given me more fits... but, "luckily," he didn't. Did he go home and think about that? My answer would have to be "no" or he would have spotted them during the game or later said something.

Before pulling the covers up last night I took out Moskalenko's The Flexible French. One of the games we played was a contorted Advance French with myself being on the black side. I say contorted because I made a comment to him: "This is why you must KNOW an opening (to some degree) of more than 2-3 moves." 1. e4 e6 2. Nc3. What was that? I played 2... c5. Then 3. Nf3 and a few moves later he got e5 in but his game was a mess after some bizarre play on the Q-side.

I have to have some idea of how to react when faced with people's whose main desire is two:
1. Get out of the regular opening book;
2. Somehow win by not losing (??!)

I spent 20 minutes reading the chapter on the French Advance where Moskalenko beat the "master" of the Advance, Evgeny Sveshnikov. The next game presented was a win by M. Gurevich over Alexei Shirov. And finally, the third, Moskalenko drawing Sveshnikov several years later.

When faced with Sveshnikov's 6. a3 you better have something ready and know WHY you are playing what you are playing. In this case Black will concentrate around White's d4-pawn.

So I am up this a.m. ready to shower or breakfast, even though lolling around in bed is a "better" idea. I have the chess table set up, and Moska's book with me. This time, instead of "reading" the positions and following the diagrams I am going to go through three games today, the three I just told you about.

Oh yes, Watson's Dangerous Weapons The French was also mentioned by Moskalenko where Black plays ...f6. I better look at that too, somewhere throughout the day. Total time spent? Probably an hour. Result? I will know 5 times more about HOW to improve my play against White when I play some mainstream opponents! Yes, they do exist.

I want to thank an Australian customer and friend for signing up for a Gold Card this morning (that's a long way from here mate!) That makes it 20 card holders and if I get ONE more, that would show a 50% improvement over LAST year. I have some goodies in the pipeline!

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