Sunday, July 1, 2007

Safety First

I think my mantra going into the next tournament in July will need to be "safety first".

After reviewing each of the games from my previous tournament in Chessmaster, the most common mistake was missing the final safety check to see if my opponent had a killer reply to my last move.

My thought process is something along these lines.

  • 1. What did he just do? If he had a free move, what checks, captures and threats do I need to be aware of? This sets up the constraints of the next steps.
  • 2. Based on step 1, I need to either:
  • a) prevent something
  • b) look for an offensive tactic using checks, captures and threats and if nothing comes up
  • c) develop my pieces to give me more activity
  • 3. Once I decide on the move, I need to give my opponent another "free move" to see what checks, captures and threats he could do. Can he just take my piece off the board?
It's the step 3 that I have been most consistently missing in my previous tournaments.

It seems like a simple thing to fix, but I will need to try really hard to do it every move to prevent some of the disasters from recent games.

1 comment:

hisbestfriend said...

This leaving your piece en-prise seems to be a common flaw of improving your own chess thinking.

That you are spending so much time thinking about plans, that the simple test of is my piece, or another piece hanging.

This seems to be solvable by real-chess, but it may also simply be a case of too much noise at the game, caused by too much information, and not enough tactical "flow".

That rather than trying to find Fischer's best move, the right plan, the perfect play, that simply for now, tactics are not first and foremost in your play, and because of this, you miss many tactics, including tactic one. (Or is it two), you left a piece hanging.