Thursday, November 16, 2006

Us and Them

In this case, by Us and Them, I mean the black and white sides in a chess game.

I love chess. I love playing it. I love analysing my previous games. I love 'watching' professional games. I love reading about it. I love reading about professional players.

I think the reasons I love chess, are fairly simple. It is a struggle between two initially equal forces and, like Newton said, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It amazes me that in the hundreds of thousands of professional games played, players still break out novel moves after 7 or 8 reasonable starting moves. After one of these novel moves, if the resulting position looks promising, an army of people start analysing the novel move and it gets added to encyclopedia and repetoire waiting for people to find the appropriate refutation.

Computationally we're at a point where a cheap PC or handheld device has enough power to be able to beat 99% of people using brute force. That's unfortunate, however, now chess programs are able to teach and train beginners. It's to the point where even professionals regularly use computers to analyse positions and are a key part of their training regimen. I use Fritz from ChessBase to help me train. And I play online at for complete games or for 'correspondence' style games

Despite my love for the game, and my above average memory in most aspects of my life, my chess skills are probably just average to slightly below average. I think the big reasons for this is that I haven't played enough and I get too focused on my own plans and strategy and sometimes blunder a piece away because I can't give up my plan. It's something I'm working on...

If anyone out there ever wants to play a friendly game - I'm always up for it.

1 comment:

Kimota94 aka Matt said...

Unlike tennis, where I've been able to give you an honest work out, were we to play chess I suspect I'd last an average of 15 to 20 moves per game. I know the rules but none of the strategy or classic moves. But I admire your love of the purity of the game.