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Chess rating: 1805

 Topics started

Give chess goodie
Tue Apr 17 2018 7:23AM | MsgID: 19783830

A favourite saying of mine is "instinct is there for a reason" and is one that is generally adopted.


Chess rating: 2318

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United States
Give chess goodie
Chess goodies: 1
Tue Apr 17 2018 7:10AM | edited: 7:51:37 | MsgID: 19783829

From Andrew Soltis' book, 'Studying Chess Made Easy'...

When Paul Keres was starting out, he had a hard time finding a worthy opponent, except for his brother. Keres who eventually became a world class player, needed stronger opposition to improve. So he turned to postal chess. At one point he was playing 150 games at once.

Of course, that was nearly a century ago. Didn't the arrival of computers kill correspondence chess?

Not at all. In fact, the Internet has it's own world of correspondence chess. There are turn-based sites, such as and ***********.com, that allow you to challenge opponents and play games at your own pace. You can have several days or more to think over a move before sending it.

Unlike games played on real-time sites, like the ******** ***** ****, you can devote a lot of time on turn-based sites to studying the position. Correspondence chess encourages you to analyze deeply, even to turn the board around and look at it from the opponent's point of view.

The 15-year-old Keres often adopted offbeat openings and took outrageous risks to see what he could get away with - even though his opponent had days to consider a reply. "I sought complications in practically every game at any price in order to develop still further my combinational powers," he recalled.

For example:

[Keres - Foeldsepp]
[Correspondence 1931]

[[1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.d4!? Qh4+ 4.Ke2 b6

{Black intends ...Ba6. What should White do?

There's always a temptation in the opening to 'let the machine do it.' That is, to look up the position in question in a database and see what others played before you. That won't work here. We are already out of 'book.'

But even if this were a well known position, correspondence players say you should try to think for yourself. After you've found a move you like you can look for further help from books. if permissible, you can also consult a computer.

If the machine-recommended move is the same as the one you like, play it. If there are alternatives to your moves that are evaluated as good, consider playing them. If the books don't consider your move at all, try to figure out why. And if there doesn't seem to be an appreciable difference in quality between the book move and the one you favor, play your move. Force you opponent to start thinking on his own.

Keres chose} 5.c4! {Play continued} 5...g5 6.Nf3 Qh6 7.g3 Nf6 8.Nc3 Ba6 9.Kf2!?! fxg3+ 10.Kg2 Qg6 11.hxg3 g4 12.Ne5 Qg7 13.Be2 Bd6? 14.Qf1 {Black can't bring himself to meet the threat 15.Bh6 Qg8 16.Qxf6 with 14...Bxe5 15.dxe5 Ng8.

So the game ended with} 14...Ke7? 15.Qxf6+! Kxf6? 16.Nd5+ Ke6 17.Rh6+ Qg6 18.Bxg4+ f5 19.Bxf5#]]

Black would also be lost after 15...Qxf6 16.Nd5+ Kf8 17.Nxf6 and 16...Ke6? 17.Bxg4+.

[[1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.d4 Qh4+ 4.Ke2 b6 5.c4 g5 6.Nf3 Qh6 7.g3 Nf6 8.Nc3 Ba6 9.Kf2 fxg3+ 10.Kg2 Qg6 11.hxg3 g4 12.Ne5 Qg7 13.Be2 Bd6 14.Qf1 Ke7 15.Qxf6+ Kxf6 16.Nd5+ Ke6 17.Rh6+ Qg6 18.Bxg4+ f5 19.Bxf5#]]

*This fact was probably first pointed out when the book was published in 2010, but I thought it was still interesting enough to be pointed out again.

Playable game scores in this posting
Playable game #1
Playable game #2