Helpful chess maxims
This Nugget has been written by Blockhead on 10 Jun at 5:36AM
When I first began playing chess I'd seek out those players (and later authors) with chessic wisdom, those who could encapsulate quality ideas in just a sentence.
At the time I found this far more valuable than detailed game annotation which had to be worked through, often without grasping the essentials of the 'why' and 'how'. I wanted to understand the very foundations of the 'why' and 'how'.
Pragmatic chess maxims, such as those I will be quoting, can help with general thinking; and general thinking (time, space, material etc) is what most serious chess players start with, no matter the position. [See General Thinking in 'The Chess Mind' by Gerald Abrahams ... a quality chess thesis!]
So I'll try to add a couple of chess maxims here from time to time, and, if necessary, I will acknowledge my primary sources when making my last entry .
If they wish, those who want to add their 2 penny-worth can, but I'd ask for some restraint. It would be so easy to, 'wander off track', and I don't think any convoluted discussion (especially those challenging the given maxim!) will benefit the beginner/intermediate player. I think for the most part, those players are looking for clarity, not complexity.
I suggest those who feel strongly about a particular chessic maxim (or all of them!) and want to articulate their concerns to, and with others, should start another chess nugget.
So, after that preamble, I'll begin:
1. Be aggressive, but play soundly. Don't take unnecessary chances.
2. Make sure every move has a purpose.
To be continued ...
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Two More Maxims
Posted on 10 Jun at 11:25AM by Enviro
I agree about starting with game annotation--the why and how are very important, and "1. e4 e5" doesn't say much about "Why did they do that?"
I've been told to never make a move that you would immediately take back (or something along those lines).
I've also been told to "Castle as soon as possible." Naturally, that implies a kingside castle.
Helpful chess maxims: 3 & 4
Posted on 13 Jun at 10:45AM by Blockhead
When posting these chess maxims I will be mentioning and quoted several important and eminent chess players. Some are former world champions, some current and former grandmasters, some chess theoreticians, and some chess authors. All of whom can easily be googled - something I would recommend to anyone interested in the game.
3. If you know your opponent's style, take advantage of it. But, in the final analysis, play the board, not the player.
4. Don't ever ignore your opponent's moves.
To be continued ...
Re Chess Maxims
Posted on 15 Jun at 12:05PM by Lion Rampant
One of the greatest players of the 20th century was
the Polish GM Savielly Tarkakower(1887-1956). As well as
being a very strong player,Tartakower was also
best known for his witty epigrams.
"It is better to sacrifice your opponents pieces"
"Only a strong player knows how weakly he plays"
"Victory in a chess game goes to he who makes the
"The blunders are all there,just waiting to be made."
All have the ring of bitter truth.
Some other gems
"Think out your moves and make your
opponent do the same". J.H.Blackburne
"Castle because you must or because you
want to. Never just because you can." H.N.Pillsbury
"Capture of the enemy King is the ultimate,not
the immediate object of the game of chess." W. Steinitz
"Chess isn't just knowledge and logic". Dr A.A.Alekhine
"In chess,it is not enough just to be a good player,
you must also play well." Dr S. Tarrasch
"Chess is like a river where a fly can bathe and
an elephant can drown." Indian Proverb
Helpful chess maxims: 5 & 6
Posted on 22 Jun at 7:39AM by Blockhead
5. Don't give needless checks. Check only when it makes sense.
Former world champion Michael Tal quoted as saying, 'Don't miss giving check ... it might be mate!'
6. Answer all threats. Try to do so by improving your position and/or posing a counter-threat.
'Don't panic!' :}
a few more GEMS!
Posted on 2 Jul at 9:51PM by KINGSLAYER
1. “Strategy requires thought, tactics require observation”
2. “I don't believe in psychology. I believe in good moves”
3. “The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake”
4. “Play the opening like a book, the middle game like
a magician, and the endgame like a machine”
5. “The beauty of a move lies not in its' appearance
but in the thought behind it”
and my personal favorite
“That's what Chess is all about. One day you give your
opponent a lesson, the next day he gives you one”
Helpful chess maxims: 7 & 8
Posted on 11 Jul at 5:05AM by Blockhead
7. Play for the initiative. If you already have it, maintain it. If you don't have it, seize it.
Steinitz, the first world chess champion (1886 to 1894) said, "Those who have the initiative, MUST attack!"
8. When exchanging, try to get at least as much as you give up.
Helpful chess maxims: 9 & 10
Posted on 15 Jul at 4:17AM by Blockhead
9. Capture with the piece of least value, unless there is a definite reason for doing otherwise.
10. Cut your losses. If you must lose material, lose as little as possible.
Helpful chess maxims: 11, 12, & 13.
Posted on 29 Jul at 7:30AM by Blockhead
11. If you blunder, don't give up fighting. After getting the advantage, your opponent may relax and let you escape.
"The hardest game to win is a won game". Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941) world champion for 27 years.
12. Never play a risky move hoping your opponent will overlook your threat … unless you have a losing position. In that case, you have nothing to lose.
13. Rely on your own powers. If you can't see the point of your opponent's move, assume there isn't any.
Helpful chess maxims: 14 & 15
Posted on 9 Aug at 7:24AM by Blockhead
14. Don't sacrifice without good reason.
15. When you can't determine whether to accept or decline a sacrifice, accept it.
Helpful chess maxims: 16 & 17
Posted on 7 Sep at 10:11PM by Blockhead
16. Attack in number. Don't rely on just one or two pieces.
A fellow online player (TAB) added, "Get there firstest with the mostest!".
17. Look for double attacks.
"Even the laziest King flees wildly in the face of a double check!" (Nimzowitch)
Helpful chess maxims: 18 & 19
Posted on 2 Dec at 5:14AM by Blockhead
18. PLAY FOR THE CENTRE: GUARD IT, OCCUPY IT, INFLUENCE IT.
19. FIGHT FOR THE CENTRE WITH PAWNS.
Or, rather than occupying the centre with pawns [aka Steinitz, Tarrasch, and others], try to 'control' the centre with pieces [aka Reti, Nimzowitch, and other 'Hyper moderns']
Helpful chess maxims: 20, 21 & 22
Posted on 2 Dec at 5:58AM by Blockhead
20. Don't make careless pawn moves. In the opening, move as few pawns as is necessary to complete your development as quickly as possible.
21. If feasible, move both centre pawns two squares each.
22. In the opening, move only centre pawns, unless the opening system or situation requires otherwise.
Helpful chess maxims: 24 - 28
Posted on 14 Mar at 1:26PM by Blockhead
It's been a while, so here are 4 more maxims for you to think about.
24. Develop your pieces quickly, preferably toward the centre (especially Knights, which often are "grim on the rim").
"I have added these principles to the law: get the Knights into action before both Bishops are developed" (Emanuel Lasker)
25. Develop purposefully, and not just for development's sake.
"Good offense, and good defense, both begin with good development" (Bruce A. Moon)
26. Don't waste time or moves. Try to develop a new piece on each turn. Don't move a piece twice in the opening without good reason.
"Methodical thinking is of more use in Chess than inspiration"
(C. J. S. Purdy)
27. Try to develop with threats, but don't threaten pointlessly.
28. Develop minor pieces early. King-side pieces should usually be developed sooner than Queen-side ones, and Knights before Bishops.
"Play the opening like a book [or with MCO! BH] ..." (Spielmann)
Helpful chess maxims: 29, 30 & 31
Posted on 14 Apr at 3:58AM by Blockhead
29. Develop during exchanges.
30. To exploit an advantage in development, attack.
31. In the opening, don't remove your Queen from play to "win" a pawn.
"The most important feature of the Chess position is the activity of the pieces. This is absolutely fundamental in all phases of the game: Opening, Middlegame and especially Endgame. The primary constraint on a piece's activity is the Pawn structure"
Helpful chess maxims: 32, 33, & 34
Posted on 14 Apr at 5:25AM by Blockhead
32. Don't bring out the Queen too early, unless the natural course of play requires it.
33. Try to give as much scope to your pieces as possible.
34. Seize open lines.
"The simplest and most useful piece of advice I've ever had is to try and gain space and scope, and limit that of my opponents."
Posted on 26 Feb at 12:09AM by Bobbyb1947
One of the most brilliant of strategies I've learned in a half a century of playing Chess is this:: When you're playing a higher rated player( let's say 250 to 300 points.higher) try doing as quickly and as safely as possible to swap off ALL the pieces that you can! This leads to simplification which leads to freedom. Then even the weaker player may be pleasantly surprised at attaining a draw or even a WIN!
Posted on 26 Feb at 12:14AM by Bobbyb1947
When you want to find out what your opponent is made of be sure to study his completed games. And most importantly study games that he's losing in! This will give you a very good handle on what to expect!!
Posted on 26 Feb at 12:21AM by Bobbyb1947
And one final comment which is simple common sense but is also so often forgotten about! #1 NEVER,EVER under any circumstances whatsoever UNDERESTIMATE an opponent. #2 NEVER,EVER under any circumstances whatsoever consider a "won game" won until CHECKMATE has been announced!
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