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     Volume 4 Issue 8 | August 13, 2004 |

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Time Out

How do they play? Chess

It's generally believed that chess players have a trifle heavy going lifestyle. They don't talk much and usually try to shatter their opponent's ego in a quiet manner. Chess players are thought to be addicts, having little interest in anything else.

But the general observations may not always be true. To begin with, all chess players don't play in the same way. There are players who look quite engrossed in the game; they seldom leave their seats and ignore everything going around them. That is the ideal picture of a chess master.

All chess masters do not fall in that category. There are players at the very top level who play at an amazing speed and often take their eyes off the board. They even move around when the opponent is thinking. These players make everything look so easy. I don't know how they calculate moves so quickly. Bobby Fischer was one of the fastest players of his times. Imagine the difficulties faced by his opponents: lethal threats and subtle positional moves coming at the same top speed. It can be extremely unpleasant to face players like Fischer. They are confident and arrogant enough not think long enough before making a move. Indian Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand is also known for his ability to play very fast.

What is the mystery behind that speed? Much of it may have something to do with the personality , psychological inclinations and style of a player. But the most important factor is home preparation. In some of the modern games, the players win virtually without making more than five or six original moves. That may sound strange, but modern chess theory has made it possible for a player to rely on it for a very long time. Of course, understanding of the moves is needed for success, since mere memorisation may lead to disaster once you are out of the book-- and, sure enough, you will be at some stage or the other.

Here is a typical Anand game. His deadly speed and accuracy overwhelmed the Icelander in almost no time.

White-H Olafsson
Black - Viswanathan Anand [A33]
Novi Sad ol (Men, 1990)

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.a3 Bc5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.e4 00 9.Be2 b6 10.00 Ba6 11.Bf4 d6 12.Re1 Ne5 13.Nd2 Rc8 14.b3 Ng6 15.Bg3 Bb7 16.b4 d5 17.e5 Nd7 18.Bf1 Bh4 19.f4 f6 20.cxd5 Bxg3 21.hxg3 Rxc3 22.Ne4 Rc7 23.dxe6 Bxe4 24.Rxe4 Nb8 25.Qb3 Kh8 26.Rd1 Qe7 27.exf6 Qxf6 28.Qd5 Nc6 29.Rc4 Nce7 30.Qe4 Rxc4 31.Bxc4 h5 32.Rd7 h4 33.Bd3 hxg3 34.Rxe7
Qa1+ 35.Bb1 Qb2 0-1.

Position after 20.cxd5




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