With my newly published plumetting grading, it is clear that I haven't yet got the hang of this... Anyhow, in the Introductory Session in June this year, I asked everyone to name the three main reasons you lose chess games. These turned out to be:
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
Savielly Tartakower was the wittiest of masters, and, it was
said, "too in love with chess to ever become
world champion". According to his translator, Golombek, he would
reject a simple advantageous line in the hope of creating something
more worthwhile with a more complex line. This is undoubtedly an
expression of Tartakower's taste: less for him could mean only
less, and Capablanca's trademark efficiency and elegance had no
personal appeal for SGT.
The wiliest, boringest, most elusive, most modern of world
champions, Petrosian remains a difficult and
contradictory figure. His play combines deft tactical awareness
with an acute sense of prophylaxis , so that opponents
have the greatest difficulty in laying a finger on him. And for his
own part, he often seems content holding the margin of the draw
than undertaking any heroics in pursuit of a win. In the analysis
room, and in blitz games, Petrosian's abundant
tactical skills were apparent to everyone, but to the spectator of
"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
His book, My 60 Memorable Games, was one
of the first adult books on chess I bought, and while it was far
too hard for me at the time (and still is, I fear) there is much to
be mined in its pages. Each time I come back to it I learn
something new, and I have selected some positions below which have
taught me something in each phase of the game.
Morphy is probably the best player for the beginning
player to study. Alas there are precious few games to go on, for he
lived before the growth in international tournaments and was denied
a match by Staunton.
Morphy more or less perfected the art of winning in open
games: smooth, fast development, opening up lines for the attack,
dynamic piece play throughout the game, ruthless cashing in of
advantages, wonderfully imaginative combination play. Even against
inferior opposition he plays with great energy and balance.