14 January 2012

Krush's Advice

In my previous post, Kings and Queens on Chess960, I quoted from IM Irina Krush, who both played in the St.Louis event and covered it for Chess Life. After presenting her thoughts as a newcomer to chess960, she discussed the preparation she undertook for the event. Mixed in with her account of her training procedure were a number of insights into chess960 specifics. For example:-
The thinking starts immediately on move one. • Until the game crystallizes into a normal looking chess position, evaluation is a much harder task; the difficulty stems from the fact that there are so many more variables to keep in mind, and they’re in a less fixed state. • It's so tempting to just play in moves, of course with some ideas, but not necessarily a grand construction for the whole position. • You need to fight for the center. • It is definitely a challenge to avoid poorly placed pieces. • Black should generally avoid symmetry. [...] There will definitely be cases where symmetry is fine or even the best option, but in many positions, Black can do better by forging his own path. • Bishops in the center of the board (i.e., d1 or e1) are not actually "undeveloped" pieces and I don’t have to give them first priority in development ... of course, knights in the corners tend to come out early. • I found it hard to find the right balance; I tended to play either too passively or too aggressively.

Some of Krush's advice seems obvious ('thinking starts on move one'; 'need to fight for the center'), some not at all obvious ('Black should generally avoid symmetry'; 'Bishops [that start] in the center are not "undeveloped"'). I'll keep her tips in mind for future posts.

1 comment:

GeneM said...

Irina said: "• You need to fight for the center."

This reminds me of a response I got years ago when debating FRC960. A critic asserted that chess was dependent on the one traditional setup because no other setup would enable the players to fight for the center.

No way that critic is correct. In his words I saw the common tyranny of tradition.
Traditional chess is not a religion that is above logical assessment and reassessment.