BCC $5 OPEN
THIS TOURNAMENT IS PREFERRED
BY CHILDREN AND BEGINNERS
OF ALL AGES
MARK YOUR CALENDAR:
THIS SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14TH, 2013
Play Round 1 at 10:00AM
or take a 1/2 point bye and start
tournament at 12:40 PM!
See you this Saturday!
Thoughts to Ponder in preparation for
the $5 Open:
A PIECE OF CHESS HISTORY:
A Legend on the Road: Bobby Fischer's 1964 Simul
Tour by IM John Donaldson, 2nd edition, 2005.
Milford CT: Russell Enterprises, Inc.
A great book! Why?
I bought this opus to cherish the name of Harold Dondis, the oldest BCC member, and former
Massachusetts Chess Association President as well as a veteran chess journalist. I got Harold
to autograph the place where his win against Bobby Fischer is featured and annotated, from
a simul in Fitchburg, MA. Reading further on in this book, I found some ideas of Fischer's
quoted from an interview with the American Champion,
published on page 41: "Success at chess comes from a good memory,
imagination, ability to concentrate, psychological insight
to figure how your opponent thinks, and most of all,
the will to win." This last thought of Bobby's stuck in my mind,
from a remark I made in commenting on my game with
Seth Lieberman, in last Saturday's Quads. This issue
of wanting to win is not as easy as it seems to
understand or to put in practice.
When you play chess with a friend, it is hard
to want to win, if winning is a sort of
"killing" or "destroying" your friend's game.
Sometimes, to be sure, drawing seems much more
appropriate, more friendly. What do you think?
Secondly, check this out:
Wonderboy: How Magnus Carlsen becme the Youngest Chess Grandmaster
in the World, by GM Simen Agdestein, 2004. Alkmaar, The Netherlands: New in Chess.
Translated from the Norwegian by GM Jonathan Tisdall.
I purchased this book, and also Fighting Chess with Magnus Carlsen,
by GM Adrian Mikhalchishin and NM Oleg Stetsko in order
to better understand the nature and playing style of the now
FIDE World Chess Champion 2013.
Fighting Chess has great annotations, and brings forth a sense
of timing which Carlsen has perfected in a masterly way.
And, an insight I gleaned from Wonderboy is found on page 14:
"[At the age of 8] Magnus began to sit by himself and shuffle the pieces.
He could sit for hours moving the pieces, in known and unknown
patterns, finding combinations and repeating games or positions
that his father had shown him. In this way, [Magnus] developed
a good feeling for the patterns of movement of the individual pieces."
To me, this is a crucial insight: to play around with the pieces,
alone, in peace-and-quiet, no noise, no pressure, just
focusing on the fun you are having discovering the
possibilities of the position, the combinations which
might win a piece or a pawn, or lead to checkmate.
I remember reading in Frank Brady's Endgame: Bobby Fischer's
Remarkable Rise and Fall, from America's Brightest Prodigy
to the Edge of Madness (New York: Random House, 2012)
describing how a young Bobby Fischer would sit for hours
playing himself, first from white's perspective, and then from
black's, to the point where he too was learning the
patterns the pieces described to make combinations, and
to the consternation of his mother who thought this
behavior a bit odd, at the very least, and perhaps
psychologically harmful at worst. Indeed, Regina Fischer
was so concerned, she began actively searching for a situation
which would find Bobby a real, human opponent to
play chess with. Well, in both Carlsen's and Fischer's case,
they started out as kids, not competing in chess events,
not assuming the role of warrior, of combatant, but
in the quiet of their own rooms, playing around with
the chess pieces, to discover patterns which led to
combinations which won material or checkmated the other side.
So let's review the key ingredients in making a successful
chess player: 1. the ability to focus, to maintain an attention span
on chess pieces dancing over the board, creating patterns,
much like that of dancers in a ballet. A good memory, or more
precisely, using the memory power you have and fine-tuning it
to remember relevant aspects of a chess position; familiar patterns:
chess tactics, like forks, discoveries, back-rank issues; overloaded
pieces and the most intriguing point of chess which we often
forget: when your king is in check, you can't play another move;
you have to take your turn to get your king out of check before you
can go forward with your own checkmating plans!
So between now and Saturday, take some time to be by yourself
and play around with the pieces on the board, going over
patterns, both familiar and newly-discovered. Fine-tune your
focus to just pay attention to the chess, not to worry about anything else.
And when you come to the tournament and are sitting opposite your
opponent, think about him or her, how they behave, their posture,
their movements, and as the game proceeds, consider the moves they make,
whether aggressive or passive, or logical, and try to formulate a plan
which takes into consideration these psychological nuances of behavior.
And above all, when you are playing your game, screen out all
extraneous noise or potential distractions; just concentrate on what is
going on: on the board, and on the face of your opponent.
RECALL DANCING PATTERNS
FOCUS WITH A TARGET
FEEL THE PULSE OF YOUR OPPONENT
SCREEN OUT ALL EXTRANEOUS DISTRATIONS
AND ABOVE ALL: DON'T PANIC!
SEE YOU THIS SATURDAY!