Saturday, January 23, 2010
Why tell me why
Every rule in chess has a why behind it. If you don't know the why behind a rule, the rule leads necessarily to a ridgid application. John Watson has written a whole book about falsifying the rules of Nimzowitch. Without offering a workable alternative.
Obeying rules is the lazy man's way of development. In stead you must go after the reason behind the rule. There are a few cases where we only have a rule but the reason why remains in the dark. In such cases the rule is often used to describe something. Take for instance the description of the transition of advantages. It only describes what is happening, but it isn't clear why it is happening. And why it is inevitable. Such rules are useless for practical play.
Nimzowitsch beautifully explains the relationship between open lines, penetration into the 7th rank, outpost, inducing weaknesses, pawnchain, blockade, centralisation, overprotection and prophylaxis. He welds everything together. It really is a coherent system. For some reason he translated his ideas into rules, which is a silly thing to do. Maybe it was a matter of fashion and did he wanted to copy Tarrasch.
My play is prone to tactical weakness. After analysing I found that I miss tactical opportunities of my opponent once every three games. According to Rybka I seldom miss a tactical opportunity myself. The reason behind this may be that I am used to gambitplay. With gambits you have the initiative, so it is much less important what your opponent is up to, since he must react to your moves or lose. If you throw the kitchen sink at your opponent it is less important what he is throwing back. Usually. But now I'm trying to implement the ideas of Nimzowitsch in my play, tactical counterplay of the opponent must be taken into account. The initiative is less strong, usually. So there is more freedom for my opponent. I just must make it a habit to look at my opponents opportunities as if it were mine. That should lead to an improvement.
So far one loss, one win.