In our last installment I featured a short "skittles" game I played with Judy in which I was checkmated in 8 moves (Chess as Played in the Real World - No. 2). We played four games that day, and it is only fair to include the last game we played - which she won! If you're a novice player, I'm sure you will relate to a game like the one below - where "defeat is snatched from the jaws of victory." Play through the game - and then see the advice at the bottom:
- I'm pretty sure 6. Bxf7+ is unsound, but I'm playing my opponent and not the board (bad!) and I figure it will be interesting to see what this accomplishes - if anything (bad again!) - I need to take the time to think through all the ramifications.
- 15. Re6. Wanting to pressure the defending rook (or exchange it away), I foolishly miss the fact that the c8 Bishop is attacking the e6 square too! Argh!
- 17. Bf5. Not even looking at the danger the rook poses. Well, I deserve what I got.
There are several lesson to be learned from this game - each of which Dan Heisman addresses in his remarkable book “Everyone’s 2nd Chess Book”:
- Think and take your time! Dan Heisman calls this "Guideline Zero" because "all other guidelines are useless if you don't follow this one!" So true.
- "Think with your head, not with your hands."
- Before each move make sure ALL your pieces are safe (including the king!) Duh!
Note: Dan Heisman is the host of the ICC’s radio show “Ask the Renaissance Man”, writes the “Novice Nook” column at ChessCafe.com, and is a Full-Time chess Instructor, and is the author of 8 chess books. If you are a novice player, visit some of the links above. You really should take advantage of Dan Heisman's expert advice aimed directly at the chess novice.
Look for the next installment of the series Chess as Played in the Real World each Tuesday.