Monday, October 05, 2009
Tuesday Musings
1. I need a loss or a losing streak

After that win against the 2000 player, my appetite for chess waned all of a sudden. It is as if I made it and is now self-satisfied. What I need is for someone to wipe the board with my ass so I get angry again and try to improve.

Losing and adversity is the fire that keeps my passion alive.

2. A master to study for later

Gaining the two-bishops seems to be a preoccupation for some people. As such, it is indeed one of the things I will attempt to study for later so coming across this little tidbit is a little find.

‘Janowsky was no chess scientist or theoretician. He knew what he had to do on the chessboard; but he did not know, or could not explain, why it had to be done. He had only two rules in chess: always attack; always get the two bishops (and, indeed, he used the advantage of the two bishops wonderfully). His main strength, indeed, was his extraordinary intuition, which gave him the exact feeling for what to do and how to do it.’

3. An interesting Alekhine quote

'In addition to all this, Stoltz, the first prize-winner, has a particularly fine feel for unexpected chess tactics. This cannot be learned from any book, and it is this “something” which makes a player a grandmaster. In general, he played the best chess and since he is at a favourable age (36), great things may be expected of him.'

Is this really the case? So either you have to be born with this 'something' or else toil in chess misery all your life?

4. A quote about Carlos Torre but is really about tactics in general

'He lacks technique and for the sake of his chess future, I hope that he will not hasten too much in cultivating it. Acquired naturally and as a result of the experience of play, technique is a valuable asset but the attempt to acquire it before one’s ability to combine has been fully developed has stopped permanently the improvement of a good many young players.’

Ok if you say so - (Nezha dramatically opens a tactics book and deeply ponders the secrets to chess. He feels his cranium expanding for each puzzle solved.)

5. My System - Why oh why did I not study it sooner

I have not completed reading this wonderful book and I intend to little by little post about the things I learned from it. Sort of an on-line diary. But I cant help but say that I wish I've bought this book sooner.

Nimzowitsch was a genius. The concepts he wrote not only are presented in a funny and engaging way, but it just plain makes sense to me.

And, ohmygosh!! the concept of prophylaxis. The true meaning is revealed..

It is apparently not just, say playing h3 to prevent a pin of the knight on f3, or to prevent the opponents knight from coming to g5.

The concept is quite astounding to my untutored mind.

I feel like a man who 'discovered' how to make fire for the first time (refer). It felt like I discovered the atomic bomb even. This right here, is some sick technique to master.

'My System' has replaced Simple Chess as 'the' best chess book to own if one were a chess player.

6. Some poetic Reti quotes

I also have in my possession 'Modern Ideas In Chess' which is basically an exposition about the development of chess from Andressen to Capablanca. It is really interesting to note and is quite thought-provoking.

For example - How did Morphy defeat Andressen when Andressen was a match in creating combinations with Morphy? Not only that, he possessed more imagination than him.

If only for such matters, the book is highly recommended. The book is already very good just for that. But what makes it even better is Retis somewhat poetic prose. Some examples given below:

Do you play chess because of this reason?

'Chess is particularly the game for the unappreciated, who seek in play that success which life has denied them'

I think I want to play like this sometime

'And indeed combinations by Schlechter are not artificially-reared roses which amazes everyone with their beauty and which to the true nature lover soon savour of excess; nay, they are rather the humble and hidden forest flowers that have to be looked for and the love of which increases with their gathering'

Or how about playing like this?

'With Rubinstein all is refined tranquility; for with him in building up his game the position to every piece is the necessary one. It is not a matter of fight for him, but the working out of a victory, and so his games create the impression of a great structure from which not one stone dare be shifted.'

And still

'The reproach which has often been aimed at Rubinstein is that he plays one opening only (Queens gambit). One writer expresses his censure on the point by saying that a great artist should never be one-sided. But Rubinstein is not a man who can do all things. He is no virtuoso, but rather a priest in his art. Can a single missionary teach at one time one religion and at other times another?'

And there are more, lots more.. Maybe later I will buy his other book 'Masters of the chessboard' too. The writings is quite different from any other. Just like Nimzo with his wit, Reti with his prose succeeds in catching attention.

Most of the old-writers seems to be like this. And in a way, its the reason why I prefer the older books to the new ones that comes out which seems dry and with no personality.

- Till next time -

posted by Nezha at 8:04 PM | Permalink |


  • At 6:56 AM, Blogger chesstiger

    All this about tactics but you forget that one first have to have build a position with positional chess before one can even think about tactics.

  • At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Liquid Egg Product

    Is this really the case? So either you have to be born with this 'something' or else toil in chess misery all your life?

    Pretty much. It's like the 5'3" (1.6 m) guy trying to play professional basketball. Even with a Herculean effort, biology squelches his chances of making the team.