Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The early lessons are sometimes the best lessons

The first important chess tournament I played in was the 1983 Australian Junior Championship. I'd only been playing tournament chess for about 6 months at that stage, but nonetheless, I felt like I was a 'real' chess player (in so much that I had stopped hanging my pieces).
However it turned out my play wasn't that great, and I managed to fight my way into equal last. It was a learning experience for me, and the lessons I learnt then did stick with me.
The following game is a good example. My opening theory was pretty shallow, and so I made it up as I went along. Of course it was mainly short term threats, and at some point I played a very crude Ng5, with the idea of forking on f7. Even when my opponent played Rf8, I took on f7, thinking there was no harm in it (2 pieces = R+P according to what I learnt). Then I got smashed. So badly in fact, that the game was published in the Canberra Times the next day (which did at least allow Paul Dunn to dig it up from their archives earlier this week).
Having been beaten so badly I felt I needed to take something away from the game. The lessons I took were

  • Two pieces are better than R+P in most situations
  • Moves like h3 in the opening are just a waste of time
  • BxN is almost never an equal exchange

Press,Shaun - Austin,David [C50]
AUS jr ch Canberra (7.14), 24.01.1983

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Of course you leave out of the post and your opponent was probably the most naturally gifted junior of his generation in ACT chess. You could have played better and you still would have been smashed.