Chess with Attitude


Phil Adams

"Games like this [Penrose-Botvinnik] (and there were plenty in this tournament) impressed on me that 'wanting to win' was perhaps more important than 'playing good moves'."
-- KEENE, 'Becoming a Grandmaster'.
"At that age (ten), the odd piece here or there often makes little difference. Rather, ingenuity and the will to win may prove decisive."
-- ZAK, Improve your chess results.

1) Draw?

Lessons from Bobby Fischer

  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.


Lessons from Morphy

  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.


Clock control

Or, The Thirty-Third Piece

A. Introduction

Chess is played not with 32 pieces, but 33: the handling of the extra piece, the clock, sometimes being the deciding factor.

  Time trouble is the most obvious manifestation of clock difficulties but there are other symptoms: I remember Brian Hewson being irritated just on principle that I had played an automatic move in a tense position - after the game it became clear that I had missed a mate in three at that point.

Simple Chess

Mark Blackmore

The aim of this session is to suggest some simple rules for how to get from 100 grade to the dizzy heights of 150. If applied firmly, I am convinced they will lead to better results without any extra study.

  This first game is more or less the opposite of how you ought to model your play: an unattainable standard of mayhem...

Lessons from Mikhail Tal

So many words have been written about Tal that my own observations are perhaps rather superfluous. The brilliance of his play and the dramatic way his wins are often achieved are apparent to all.

  For tonight's session, and with their instructional content in mind, I would just like to add that it was interesting to me how some of his most striking wins are introduced by apprently simple means - not striving for complications but building up with classically good moves. This may be partly a reflection of how familiar the GM play of the 1950s is to a club

Lessons from Lasker

Peter Lane, 30 October 1997

Dr. Emanuel Lasker was not only World Champion for 27 years from 1894 to 1921, but was also one of the great thinkers of the game. He introduced and regularly used many strategical concepts decades before Nimzowitsch's formulations in `My System' and `Chess Praxis'. He is known as one of the great fighters, and, in his games, we see no attachment to dogma or `correctness'; the point of a game is to win. I imagine Simon Webb of `Chess for Tigers' learnt a lot from Lasker.

Why do we lose?

Peter Lane, 13th September 1996

After a season of mixed results, it is time to go back over some of the more painful losses, and ask: `Why did I lose?', and `how can I avoid this in future?' Here I divide up losses into three basic types, and to avoid too much self-pity, my examples begin with those where my opponent was the loser!

1. The Blunder

There are many ways of losing a game of chess. Ever popular is the blunder. At the beginning of a game, this can provide a few extra

Exeter Chess Club Simul 1995

Exeter Chess Club: Simultaneous Display Post Mortem

[Index to games at end of page]

  Although he obviously knows a lot of theory International Master Gary Lane wasn't out to play right down the line - he deviated in the sharper bits of theory against Mark and Steve. Rather, he played mostly solidly - certainly in only a few games did he set out for mate straight away. His opening repertoire leaned heavily on his published books (Ruy Lopez, Bishop's Opening, Closed


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