Blumenfeld's Rule

Just done a quick whizz through the site to patch up all mentions of Blumenfeld's advice (which was passed on by Kotov and Webb in their best known books).  The advice is:

Blumenfeld's rule:

"It often happens that a player carries out a deep and complicated calculation, but fails to spot something elementary right at the first move. In order to avoid such gross blunders, the Soviet master B. Blumenfeld made this recommendation:-
When you have finished your calculations, write down the move you have decided upon on the score sheet. Then examine the position for a short time 'through the eyes of a patzer'. Ask whether you have left a mate in one on, or left a piece or a pawn to be taken. Only when you have convinced yourself that there is no immediate catastrophe for you should you make the planned move.
"
-- KOTOV
(see also the COMMENTS on this advice).
However, in the last FIDE revision of the rules, this practice is now considered note-taking, and is forbidden.  I don't know how many players are complaining about it, nor how many controllers coming down on it (after all, this is a habit of some years' standing for many players)... but it is illegal.  So what can we do instead?
Well, the idea is, to take a fresh look.  As long as you can make that last-minute check without the aid of props, you should do so.  Ways of producing a physical prompt or routine that don't require pen and paper include:
  • shut your eyes for a second or two
  • walk around your chair
  • look at the board next to you then look back
  • go and stand behind your opponent and see how it looks from their side
  • slap yourself firmly (it works for TVs, right?)
  • visit your private toilet facility
I wish everyone a happy and blunder-free New Year, although yesterday I managed to get the order of moves reversed, with dire consequences... Physician, heal thyself!

Chess Quotes

"The essence of chess is thinking about what chess is."
— (David Bronstein, quoted in NIC's ad for J. H. Donner's book: _The King, Chess Pieces_).

  via Bill Magdalene