Thursday, December 07, 2006
The backseat driver
We all know about the people who say "I can do things better than that" while jeering the player they are watching. A backseat driver so to speak. But put this very same person in the battle himself, and he will wither like an ice cream under a hot sun.

Sometimes this is what i feel. I analyze grandmaster games and it looks so simple that I begin to think "Is the opponent really a GM? I could do better than that. I would have played this move here then i would have done that to counter this, etc.. blah2x..". But of course things aren't really that easy.

For example, take this game Ive analyzed with Bahus a few days ago -Botvinnik-Szilagyi

It looks soo effortless here that in hindsight we can almost say "The moves are logical, anybody could have thought of that". Then you try to play a game and you find out that it wasn't so easy after all. (And were GM Szilagyi and I were to play a game, he would have beaten me in 15 moves. He would put the pieces down with a loud "bang" and say with a sneer "I got your easy right here! Baby, right here!!!!" - But said Arnold Scwarcheneger-like so it sounds "russian").

Anyway - going through this game, i noticed a lot things. I think i can summarize Botvinnik's play like this:

1. Opening Moves
2. Take over Strategic Squares
3. Prepare
4. Prepare
5. Prepare
6. Prepare
7. Prepare
8. Prepare
9. Prophylaxis
10. Mate

(Btw: I thought about listing the things i learned but thought otherwise. I think a person needs to analyze the game himself before he understand its meaning. Just trying to explain something without that person experiencing it for himself will not convey the truth i think. For example, I always knew winter was cold. But now I'm actually living under it. I never knew it was this cold until now. I sleep under three blankets, wearing three shirts with the heater on, and still i get cold. brr.. brrr...)

I wonder when i will be able to play like this. There is a sense of constancy in games like this that make me envious. My own games reminds me of the saying "Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing". Peripatetic queen moves, galloping knight sallies, slashing bishop attacks. Only they come back later to some odd square not really accomplishing anything. When I look back at my older games, i couldn't figure out why I did what I did. The names of my games should in fact be the "What am I doing here? " game. (Or the term I believe that a scientific type would use would be "Superfluous").

Oh well, perhaps someday. One fine day, i will play a game and it will be clean and orderly like Botvinnik. That elusive "At least I knew what I did here" game. (Yeah, and while i'm dreaming, i would like to play like Nezhmetdinov too, and could someone please give me a black car? and a million dollars and, and a mansion in the everglades.)
posted by Nezha at 7:37 PM | Permalink |