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  Play ... Latest Forum Posts > Chess Forums > Chess - General discussion
  succinct chess advice


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Thu Nov 5 2015 12:39AM | MsgID: 18623580

"Don't help your opponent" - some guy from my high school


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Tue Nov 3 2015 4:03PM | MsgID: 18620527

Speaking of Nimzovich, how about some bad succinct chess advice. From My System: overprotect pieces and pawns under attack.

Some critics:
"Overprotection must be the stupidest concept in chess" - Nigel Short
"Not one of Nimzovich's brightest moments" - Jan Gustafsson


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Thu Oct 22 2015 2:06PM | MsgID: 18594128

Nimzovitch wrote of the isolated pawn spreading gloom all over the board. Another author professed that the activity of the pieces was the most important thing. I have an expert-strength friend who is fond of saying, "Isolated pawns - bah! Give me five of 'em, just as long as I have open lines for my pieces.!"


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Thu Oct 22 2015 9:24AM | edited: 12:34:26 | MsgID: 18593729

Ockenden, I tend to avoid generalised advice about strategy or tactics because it's normally incomplete, for example: 'seize the open file - EXCEPT when: there's a mating threat to address; your Queen is en prise; or you can make an advantageous capture; etc. etc...'. That said, such maxims can add to our knowledge and help our strategies over-the-board. My own preference is those words of advice that concern our approach to the game (philosophy?).
I'm lucky enough to own a copy of 'The Complete Chess Addict', edited by Mike Fox and Richard James, published in 1987. It's a compilation of "facts, anecdotes, legends and quotes" about chess (I'm quoting from its preface). It's to that volume that I now turn.
There's a quote, attributed to Wilhelm Steinitz, which I've used often: "Chess is not for timid souls". This is a warning that playing chess may need aggression or ambition, or both, and may not be suited to the faint-hearted.
My favourite is a quote from James Mortimer: “It will be cheering to know that many people are skilful chess-players, though in many instances their brains, in a general way, compare unfavourably with the cogitative faculties of a rabbit". This is a reminder that chess-players are neither supermen nor masterminds.


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Thu Oct 22 2015 8:11AM | MsgID: 18593644

Did you have a chess teacher?


Chess rating: 1777
LCF 109 Fide approx. 1795

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Wed Oct 21 2015 9:30PM | MsgID: 18592989

The most succinct piece of chess advice, and one of the most useful, I ever read was as a child just starting out:

"Seize the open file!"

As a bonus, it also helped me to remember - as a child, and also as an adult! - which is a 'rank' and which is a 'file'!

What other succinct pieces of advice have helped?