Wednesday 17 February 2021

No more Lasker's

 When coaching new players, one of the biggest challenges is to get them to recognise that their opponent gets to move next. This usually manifests itself by leaving a piece en-pris, while pursuing their own objectives. While doing this enough times is thought to cure this problem, I tried to think up a better way of stopping it from happening.

To this end I co-opted the game of "No more Jockeys". It is a game where you are required to supply a name belonging to a certain category (eg celebrities, capital cities, food) but having done so, use that answer to exclude smaller categories of answer. For example, if the topic was Capital Cities, the the game might start with 'Canberra. No more capitals ending in A'. 'Colombo. No more island capitals'. 'Washington. No more capitals named after real people'. 'London' Bzzzzz. Wrong answer

So how does this apply to chess. In the same way that a move answers a question "How do I improve my position?", it can also exclude certain answers eg "1.e4 No Gruenfeld" "1... e6 No four move checkmate" "2.d4 No Bc5" "2... d5 No Bc4 then!" and so on. 

While this is no way designed to help players find good moves, I do hope that it will teach new players to recognise the ideas behind their opponents moves, helping them to at least avoid the more obvious blunders. 

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