Thursday, December 23, 2010


While I am good at keeping secrets, I am not so good at keeping my own because I enjoy (most of the time) sharing what I've learned over all these years. Maybe it will help someone else. Sometimes there ARE trade secrets as "adverse" competition may be around the corner… not that I have any competitors, mind you.

Several times recently I have received notes from very strong players, telling me they read my Blog with more than a little familiarity. I thank them. It's not unusual that they also tell me they haven't "subscribed"--for whatever reason. Go ahead, MAKE MY DAY.

I am not "afraid" of lowering myself to share with others. For example, last night a friend showed me a couple rated games, played at the local chess club, wherein he beat people significantly stronger than he is by 200 points or so and maybe more. Here's what I noticed:

1) In the most recent case he has beaten a player rated 250 Elo above him, 4 times in a row. The opponent, in my opinion, feels he can get away with anything against this guy. So he experiments, usually makes bad decisions, and dies. So if he IS superior, he hasn't shown ANY sign of that--but you know, you just know, that secretly, inside his heart, he thinks he is better--"Just look at my rating," Well, should I reinterpret that, I would read it this way: "You are superior to others, just NOT this guy you keep losing to!"

2) In a game played earlier, Black (his opponent) faced the Smith-Morra. Black should know better. He knows my friend has played this and yet, he played like a complete nincompoop. No rationality for his moves, just sheer PANIC. White sacked some material to get at the uncastled King. When the fog had lifted, Black was a dead duck.

Now my friend was pretty jacked about his two victories and I was too until I saw how they were won (I know, a win is a win). His stronger opponents were breaking chess principles right and left. In one there was no castling. In the other there was late castling, but, too late. Clogged, meaningless positions. Missing sacs, opening up the center too soon when there were tactics elsewhere and the worst: saying you are developing your pieces when you really aren't, you are just moving pieces already out, around and around.

In both there were "ghosts" everywhere. Things that basically were impossible to play and yet part of a PLAN which never got to first base. I kept hearing the word "threat" but they were ONE move threats. This kind. "He can't do that because I will play Knight here attacking his Queen." My response was, "So what? His Queen can move away. There is no lasting threat. All of these so-called threats threats accomplish exactly, nothing! Create something with some 'scare' in it." These are ONE MOVE plans.

He missed a number of plays whereby he could sac a Rook and push a passed pawn which couldn't be stopped! Surely (Leslie Nielsen) his opponents had seen these things and no doubt WISH they were playing his side of the board.

Takeaway: He has not improved in HIS play, his opponents have degenerated in theirs. I kept grumbling, "I wish they would play these idiotic moves when I play them." No joke, I felt his opponents were on mental downers! I can't comment more, it depresses me. I will need SHOCK therapy to bring me back. So just because you are a very strong player, don't feel like others will say, "What's HE doing on here?" Maybe you are only on here to search for some tidbit you can use in your own marketing. most won't or can't market like I do because they have too much fear in their bones.

Anyway, if you are read this blog frequently (or, infrequently), subscribe so I can get my count up and give some credibility to what Google tries to do. Tell me you subscribed and I will send you issue #119 of The Chess Reports, which is out tomorrow. Who knows, maybe you will subscribe.

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