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"Hope Chess" - A Common Mistake: Part II

  • NM IgnitionOnBoard
  • | Jun 14, 2014
  • | 5241 views
  • | 30 comments

Part II focuses on the intemediate player.

Firstly: let me describe the qualities that are most often found in the intermediate player:

1) The main difference between the intermediate player and the beginning player is the ability to move and keep their pieces on safe squares for the most part. Whereas the beginner will haphazardly move pieces around the board usually blundering pieces left and right; the intermediate player has lost enough games in this manner, got frustrated and decided to look carefully around before each move ensure the survival of their pieces.

2) The intermediate player is familiar with basic opening principles - quick development, finding safe haven for the king and fighting for the center.

3) The intermediate player is familiar with basic checkmating ideas.

4) The intermediate player is good at dealing with the current situation as the pieces sit now however calculation is almost non-existant.

Let's look at some examples of intermediate hope chess.

Your Generated Chess Board

Example: In the above position White has just moved his pawn from e3 to e4. With perfect play this game should be a draw however after White's last move perhaps we won't end the game just yet.

An example of an intermediate move is 1...Bb2?! This move doesn't improve Black's position as the Bishop on b2 serves only one "purpose" - I hope my opponent plays 2.Rxb2?? so I can deliver checkmate with Rc1#.

What would be a good move? 1...Bd4! Why? This move places a nasty pin on White's f2 pawn while simultaneously looking after Black's a7 pawn so that Rb7 will accomplish nothing. The immediate threat is 2...Rc2! creating a double attack on both f2 and a2 pawns. This threat isn't easily parried. 1...Bd4! 2.Ne2 Bb6 (keeping aim at f2 and shutting down White's ability to penetrate on the b file) 3.Rc1 Rd8! 4.Kf1 Rd2 and while the position still may be drawn with best play this is certainly not an easy task for White. Black's pieces are active and working together to apply good pressure against White's king.

The reason our intermediate friend is having trouble finding these ideas is that the intermediate player often looks at individual moves by themselves and the concept of a plan eludes them. The way the intermediate player thinks about chess is mostly in terms of one move attacks and tricks. The fact that Bd4 doesn't actually immediately threaten to capture the f2 pawn due to White's King defending it makes a move like this difficult to spot for the intermediate player because the idea of long term pressure and teamwork are simply concepts not yet grasped. Instead the intermediate player is HOPING that if enough random one move attacks are given that our opponent will eventually miss one or that eventually one won't be possible to refute.

One of the biggest examples of HOPE chess that occurs in intermediate play is playing one sided, tunnel visioned chess. The player makes their ideas based on the current position only without taking the time to realize "Hey, my opponent wants to win and has ideas too. Perhaps I should consider their response before making my move."

The more advanced intermediate has begun to see basic tactics and wants to set them up in their own games however because they continue to mostly play one sided chess don't consider how the opponent should respond these ideas often fall short.

Your Generated Chess Board

In the above position White has just played 6.Ng5? The idea behind this move is the HOPE that the position doesn't change (for most reasonable moves stop his idea (e.g. 0-0)). The idea is to play 7.Nxf6+ Bxf6 8.Nxf7 forking Black's Queen and Rook. The problem is that once again White didn't consider Black's response 6...Nxd5! swapping the advanced Nd5 and creating a discovered attack on Ng5 from the Be7. This line at least wins a pawn after the following ideas: 6...Nxd5! 7.exd5 Na5!? (now both Bc4 and Ng5 are attacked) 8.Be2 (if 8.Bb5+? c6 8.dxc6?? bxc6! and now the Na5 has a safe retreat to b7) 8...Bxg5 9.b4 (trapping Na5) c6 10.bxa5 Qxa5 11.dxc6 bxc6 and Black is up a solid pawn, ahead in development and clearly has a superior presence in the center.

Thanks for reading!

Part III will covered the advanced player and will come soon!!

Comments


  • 5 weeks ago

    NM IgnitionOnBoard

    @y2721

    I know this is easier said but the solution is to make yourself take the time to ask yourself "what would I be doing if I had my opponent's position?" The idea is not to become fixated on their ideas because that leads to your first statement of drawing lower rated players. The point is to adjust your plans or move order so that you can simultaneously accomplish your goals while preventing your opponent's or making theirs ineffective.

  • 5 weeks ago

    y2721

    I'm one-sided, but the wrong way.

     

    I'm too much for responding to my opponent's threat, and I usually can't create my own. That is why I sometimes draw to people much lower than me and beat people much higher than me. How should I fix this?

  • 5 weeks ago

    Chessislife2013

    That is what I thought you meant by it, thank you.

  • 5 weeks ago

    NM IgnitionOnBoard

    @ Chessislife2013

    Your points are well taken however if you truely possess all the abilities you've stated then I would say you are not an intermediate player but more of an advanced or expert player. Perhaps there is another reason that your rating hasn't reached 1800-2000+. Perhaps it's the number of games played, what sections you play in tournaments, psychological or other.

    Also I find the terms beginner, intermediate, etc... to be relative terms that can be applied loosely. In this case I believe there is a distinct difference between the player described in part I and the player described in part II and my aim is simply to label that distinguishment.

  • 5 weeks ago

    Chessislife2013

    My issue is what is termed "intermediate;" I am an intermediate player by most standards and I do none of these things.

    1) I have much more between me and a begginer than not blundering my pieces.

    2) I am hardly an expert, but I know a good deal of opening theory - I'm a long way past "femiliar with basic opening principles."

    3) I am far past "femiliar with basic checkmating tactics;" I excel at tactics.

    4) Calculation is certainly not "almost non-existent." I can play blindfold chess to an extent, I have read 40 moves deep without board or diagram, and I have calculated lines in a game 20 moves deep.

    I am saying all this because I find the classification rather strange. According to your run down of intermediate playing abilities, I am far above intermediates; but I am in the mid 1500's with active tournamrnt play and a non-provisional rating. I repeat what I said in my first comment: I say all this with the utmost respect and no intent to offend, but I am simply stating my opinions.

  • 5 weeks ago

    Trojasnstrike

    SatBchMagicer : Ok I see this is a article aimed for newbies.If I can go back to down memory lane.. Chess Player's who dont have much experience plays 'One sided chess' that means they are not able to see opponent's move or just dont care about it.They only care about own plan.I think that's termed as hope chess here.

  • 5 weeks ago

    SatBchMagicer

    Trojasnstrike, how about a more specific relevant comment on this article; can't THINK of a worse endorsement of your views than your use of: WHATEVER!

  • 5 weeks ago

    Trojasnstrike

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 6 weeks ago

    Akatsuki64

    Except when you are playing against a player of lower rating, Bb2 might be the better move, but as they say, it is better to be safe than sorry.

  • 6 weeks ago

    JennieLadtkow

    I concur! Wink

  • 6 weeks ago

    AlisonHart

    Funny, my problem is actually the opposite of what was described - I automatically see moves that improve the position in the long term and miss simplistic two move tricks. On tactic trainer, my mate in 3 record is better than mate in 2 which is better than mate in 1...........like, I see the future, but the present is a total mystery.

  • 6 weeks ago

    Chessislife2013

    Either I fall into the advanced player category, or I respectfully disagree with the author on many points. I look forward to Part III!

  • 6 weeks ago

    yoursisnodisgrace

    I use to make an attack and hope it would work but loss of material is hard to overcome.

  • 6 weeks ago

    SatBchMagicer

    Jesse, very nice 2nd installment to your Hope Chess piece. I've seen myself as mid-to-advanced intermediate; your 2nd example pretty well pegged me as the adv. int. type right now (I don't always SEE those types of 'snares'). Looking forward to your 3rd part, but don't think I'll find myself defined there!

  • 6 weeks ago

    martymaruame

    Im still playing chess

  • 6 weeks ago

    StevieBlues

    Agreed RobK I'm so far advanced I'm still a noob.

  • 6 weeks ago

    Masterjatin

    All gambits and sacrifices are offered hoping your opponent to take them.

    What I actually meant(in my previous comment) is that there can be variations that are missed while calculating, it can happen to anyone else no one would ever be defeated.

  • 6 weeks ago

    Ricardoruben

    mm... darn I am an intermediate player! :/

  • 6 weeks ago

    NM IgnitionOnBoard

    @Masterjin

    "Hoping is same as calculating, and sometimes there are missed variations."

    I have to disagree with this statement. There is nothing wrong with playing a move based on concrete analysis and hoping your opponent goes into an inferior variation. However playing a move that has zero qualities based on hoping the opponent blunders is intermediate at best.

  • 6 weeks ago

    Masterjatin

    In some type of same position as 1st one on FICS server, I gave my queen and opponent resigned before waiting for my back rank mate. Sometime ago here on chess.com, I saw a hanging knight that would be mate if taken by rook, so I took a pawn with my queen(central pawn on d-file) he could only capture with rook and got greedy, I mated and won.

    Hoping is same as calculating, and sometimes there are missed variations.

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