Double your pleasure

by admin on April 30, 2008

… or double your misery, or whatever. I now simultaneously have an article in Chess Life (which arrived in the mail yesterday) and a lecture on ChessLecture.

As longtime readers of this blog know, the Chess Life article has been in the works since last fall. It’s basically a print version of a ChessLecture that I gave called “Eight-Dimensional Chess,” which has turned out to be one of my most popular lectures there. (Last time I checked, it was #27 overall out of the more than 700 ChessLectures.) The editor of Chess Life initially accepted the article, then told me it would be delayed because of their budgetary problems, but then he managed to squeeze it into the May issue anyway. For Chess Life I came up with the title, “Don’t Just Reassess Your Chess, IMPLODe It!” The title is, first, an homage to Jeremy Silman’s book How to Reassess Your Chess, and its sequel, The Reassess Your Chess Workbook, which was my inspiration for the article. And second, I’m referring to the mnemonic device that I suggest for remembering Silman’s seven classes of imbalances:

I = Initiative

M = Material

P = Pawn structure

L = Lines and squares

O = Officers (knights and bishops)

De = Development

S = Space

One thing you might be wondering is: If Silman lists seven classes of imbalances, then why did I call my lecture eight-dimensional chess? Ah … You don’t really want me to give everything away, do you?

Meanwhile, in this week’s ChessLecture, I looked at a reader submission that came from Israel. My lecture was a little long, but it’s a very interesting game from the point of view of strategy and tactics: first using tactics to achieve strategic goals, and then using your strategic advantages (in terms of Silman’s system, White had advantages in Initiative, Lines, Officers, and Space) to create tactical combinations.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned in the lecture, the hardest thing in chess is to know when the moment has arrived to look for a tactical solution; you don’t have someone tapping you on the shoulder and saying, “White to play and win.” In this game, White missed his opportunity, and then the game went into frantic time-scramble mode. One might say that the aesthetic value of the game was spoiled somewhat by time pressure, but let’s face reality. Time pressure is part of chess, and the player who keeps his cool and seizes his opportunities in time pressure deserves to win, even if he has been outplayed earlier.

For those readers of this blog who don’t subscribe either to Chess Life or ChessLecture, wouldn’t now be a great time to start?   😉

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Robert May 1, 2008 at 2:43 pm

Thanks, I read the article in Chess Life first thing, and really enjoyed it and thought it was a nice mnemonic for checking things out…after using your 8 steps or comparisons and then Andres’ 8 steps for mastering tactics we could call it the “16-step program” 🙂

We’ll just have to figure out how to do it all quickly and efficiently!

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