Sunday, 29 July 2007
Chess from a different perspective
I have many so many faults in my chess that's it's hard to know where to start to improve. I think that identifying a fault is often the easy part; correcting it can take a lot of effort and practice.
Fortunately, There is one area in which I think I have made some progress and it concerns what the Scottish GM Jonathan Rowson calls "Egoism" in his book "The Seven Deadly Chess Sins".
By egoism, Rowson means being so caught up with your own grandiose plans and ideas that you forget to consider what your opponent might be trying to do. He (or she) will have plans too and if you don't take steps to counter them you are likely to meet a sticky end!
I tend to do this myself and there are two things which have helped me counter it. Firstly, after every move my opponent makes I ask myself, "What is the devious blighter up to now?" I try to put myself in my opponent's shoes.
Secondly, I try to look at the board from the other side. Playing on a computer screen you can just flip the board around; playing OTB you can walk behind your opponent and have a look. It's surprising what a difference this simple act can make. A position can look very different when seen from your opponent's perspective. You may see ideas for both sides that were not obvious from your own side of the board.
I hope this tip can help others as it has helped me. That's one deadly sin down, just 6 more to go!