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Openings Workshop 2008

Interesting... much more general questions than previous years. There may be a theme of these questions, about the tension between seeking opportunity and accepting risk. So here goes...

How should you play against 1...Nf6 when you want a Stonewall Attack?

The Stonewall Attack is 1.d4 d5 with 2.e3/3.Bd3/4.f4, intending to clamp down on the centre then attack on the King's-side with moves like Nf3/O-O/Ne5/Qf3/Qh5/Bxh7+...

Chess Psychology

Special lecture by Ish Ramdewar

Chess Psychology- It's all in the mind! 

Or

How Not To Play Chess

by Ish

I did an analysis on all my games this season, and I found that when I lost, it was mostly because of something wrong in my thought processes. Usually, I just got lazy! This is the number one reason I dropped points or half points! I trusted to instinct what I could have worked out. In no game did I drop below 5 minutes on the clock at any point, and only once below 10 minutes.

Authors and Openings Books

Ah, so easily done: the unobserved transposition.

Angus Dunnington's Winning with Unorthodox Openings [Everyman] gives on page 11 the line 1.b4 e5 2. Bb2 f6 3. b5 d5 4.e3 with the comment:

"Black must decide what his ambitions are in the centre"
...and gives 4...c5 and 4...Be6 as Black's main choices.

Then on page 23 the line 1.b4 d5 2. Bb2 f6 3. e3 e5 is given, where our guide remarks:

Lessons from Larsen

The best advice you can give a young player is for them to play like Morphy and Tarrasch, and to play the openings they played. But, once your play has reached a certain standard, you need to appreciate more the complex and sometimes contradictory nature of chess. Then you are ready to look at Larsen's games.

Five Sicilians from club play

by Bob Martin

Bob sent me these games with his own notes to illustrate both some nice amateur games with the Sicilian Defence, but also to illustrate what sorts of thinking and assessment goes on at club level. Bob is about an {A} player, so if that's where you want to be, this is the level of judgement you should be capable of. Thanks, Bob!
(28) Martin,R [B78]

  1997

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6

  (1) This initiates a dark-square game.

Contempt for Pawns

"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)." -- Michael STEAN, in Simple Chess.

  "One of the main aims has been to highlight the differences in approach between a Grandmaster and a weaker player, and to try and narrow the gap. To some extent this comes down to technical matters - more accurate analysis, superior opening knowledge, better endgame technique and so forth; but in other

The Queen's Gambit Accepted/Isolated Queen's Pawn

Peter Lane, 2nd March 1998

'...a system, imperfect though it may be, is preferable to move to move improvisation' -- KONIG

  Studying opening theory is one of the best and worst tasks for the ambitious chess player: the best, because catching your opponent with a prepared tactical or strategical plan gives you a headstart to victory; the worst, because no- one likes mugging up variations.

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