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     Volume 4 Issue 71 | November 18, 2005 |

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Time Out

Evolution of a player

THE evolution of a chess player can be an interesting process. After learning the moves, a player usually tries to get at the throat of the opponent very early in the game. He may play for the fool's mate, an elementary way of finishing the game. However, the problem with such play is that the opponent won't cooperate with him. And the attack can easily be repulsed.

Then comes a stage when the learner is always dreaming of unleashing a strong sacrificial attack. Sacrifice has its own charm. Nothing will, at the beginners' level, prove your superiority in a better way than a well-executed sacrificial attack. The beginner wins some games against his friends and neighbours playing attacking chess. He gets the impression that there is no answer to his attacks. But soon he meets a player capable of refuting flawed combinations, and all he is left with on the board is a hopelessly lost position.

Then the newcomer to Caissa's mysterious world-- baffled by the unexpected turn of events--becomes too cautious and attaches more than due value to material balance. Now he usually doesn't lose games unnecessarily. Only better players can beat this over cautious man refusing to come out of his shell and do anything silly. But this strategy doesn't serve him well for a long time, as timidity prevents him from playing positively.

This is perhaps the time for the beginner to look at the books. Yes, there are many, but not all are helpful for the learners. You have to choose the right ones. Studying books will help you understand the basic principles of the game. There is nothing wrong with the desire to attack, but what is needed is thorough preparation. You need some weaknesses in the enemy camp that you can pounce on, but if you attack when there is no target the end-result is unlikely to be good. You must mobilise your forces, place them on the best available squares, ensure you king's safety and then launch the attack. Such attacks can be very unpleasant for the opponent.

Here is a nice tactical battle between two great players.

White-Paul Keres
Black-Max Euwe[C83]
Stockholm Ol 1937

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.00 Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Be7 10.Be3 Na5 11.Nd4 00 12.f3 Nc5 13.f4 Ncxb3 14.Nxb3 Nc4 15.Bd4 Bf5 16.Rf2 a5 17.Nc5 a4 18.Qc1 Qe8 19.Nd2 Qc6 20.b4 axb3 21.Ndxb3 Ra3 22.g4 Be4 23.f5 Bh4 24.Nxe4 dxe4 25.Rg2 Rfa8 26.Nc5 Nxe5 27.Bxe5 Qxc5+ 28.Bd4 Qd5 29.Qf4 c5 30.Bxg7 Kxg7 31.g5 Rxc3 32.Qxh4 Qxf5 33.Qh6+ Kg8 34.Qc6 Rd8 35.Qxb5 Rcd3 36.Rf1 Rd1 37.Rgf2 Qg4+ 38.Kh1 e3 39.Rxf7 e2 40.Qb3 Rxf1+ 41.Rxf1+ c4 0-1

Position after 26...Nxe5!


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