Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Specialist or General Practitioner
Chess is a game of sacrifice and in each game you MUST sacrifice a piece or pawn. - Alexander Tolush

If you were given a choice, which would you rather be? Someone who is good at most things, but is not spectacular in anything? or someone who has very great strenght in one area and relative weakness in others? To be capable at everything or to be a master of something?

The answer to this question is particularly important to my chess development. I have said the I wanted to study endgames too, yes? But perhaps, excepting for the most elementary endings, I will not. Perhaps, I will continue learning tactics. Perhaps I want to be so good at tactics that I could become the grand high mystic ruler of it. Perhaps, or perhaps not?

Positional play, opening preparation, strategy, endgame - all of these things are important, and to deny their power is foolish. Ahh, but unwise too is he that denies the power of combinational mastery.

To say that to concentrate on this one thing to the detriment of the others has its drawbacks would be an understatement. I have not heard of any sane grandmaster that recommends such a course. I would not like to say -"Was ein fehler! what a mistake!". But the important question for me now is, If I make this sacrifice, would I have enough compensation?

Choices, very hard choices..

Two roads diverged in a wood and I,
I'm sorry I could not travel both,
and be one traveller long I stood
to where it bent on the undergrowth..
I took the road less travelled by,
and that has made the difference.
posted by Nezha at 2:42 AM | Permalink |


  • At 1:36 PM, Blogger CelticDeath

    I know what my choice would be. My wife told me, though, that even if I do reach 2200 elo, she will never refer to me as "master." :)

  • At 3:33 PM, Blogger Temposchlucker

    in each game you MUST sacrifice a piece or pawn

    But that's what I always do!
    When I loose a piece I sacrificed it with insufficient compensation.