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     Volume 5 Issue 85 | March 10, 2006 |

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Time Out

Strategic thinking                                    Chess

PLANNING is the most vital component of the cerebral warfare. It is so important that masters have gone to the extent of saying that it's better to have a poor plan than having no plan at all.

Planning is known as formulation of a strategy for the game as a whole. Of course, adjustments have to be made from time to time, as the opponent may not be that obliging as to play according to your plan! But still it's necessary to set goals. In fact, strategic manoeuvring is an area where a master has a clear edge over an amateur. It is a complex thing as the term itself suggests. The opening phase of the game is usually played according to the book; masters and beginners might look like doing almost the same thing as the game moves along at great speed. But there is a difference between the player who has memorised everything and the master who understands the nuances of a particular variation. The beginner finds himself in totally unfamiliar terrain as soon as he steps out of the book, while the master knows how to handle the position.

But strategic play cannot win a game by itself. A time will come when the battle will assume a tactical character. There will be a direct fight in which the better placed pieces are likely to have the upper hand. Tactical play can be brilliant as the attacker might unleash something spectacular like a series of sacrifices leading to checkmate. Yet, chess teachers are known to be more interested in a player's ability to think strategically. Tactical play is treated as the logical outcome of superior manoeuvring which any good player should be able to conduct smoothly. That said , there are players who seem to relish only tactical complications and they , too , are doing well. That points to the inexhaustible nature of the game. Chess can be played in many ways, surprising though it may sound!

Today, after a long "adjournment", I have chosen a game played by Wilhem Steinitz , the first official world champion.

White- Wilhem Steinitz
Black -A Mongredien [B01]
Congress, London 1862

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd8 4.d4 e6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bd3 Be7 7.00 00 8.Be3 b6 9.Ne5 Bb7 10.f4 Nbd7 11.Qe2 Nd5? 12.Nxd5 exd5 13.Rf3 f5 14.Rh3 g6 15.g4 fxg4 16.Rxh7!Nxe5 17.fxe5 Kxh7 18.Qxg4 Rg8 19.Qh5+ Kg7 20.Qh6+ Kf7 21.Qh7+ Ke6 22.Qh3+ Kf7 23.Rf1+ Ke8 24.Qe6 Rg7 25.Bg5 Qd7 26.Bxg6+ Rxg6 27.Qxg6+ Kd8 28.Rf8+ Qe8 29.Qxe8# 1-0


Position after 16.Rxh7!


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