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Ive noticed after studying typical openings and master games, I feel excited about using those openings. But my hearts sinks when i see my opponent deviate from the line with a seemingly stupid move, and I am at a loss for how to exploit it. Sometimes i will go into game explorer, and I cant find examples of what my opponent did, and I am unable to find how to exploit their seemingly pointless moves.
Has anyone ever had these feelings? How to fix! How to fix!?
This is very true. This is why nothing beats playing a lot of games with an opening and finding the variations that come out of them yourself, going over the games and finding the weak points, etc. Especially with players who don't know the theory, things go out of book quickly.
This is also why memorizing lines is probably a bad idea. A better way to understand an opening is to ask of each move-- "what does it do? why wasn't this other move better? what threat could it make to which the opponent has to respond?" etc. Especially when your opponent makes a "seemingly pointless move," very often it will in fact be mostly pointless (there's probably a goal in mind but the opponent might not get to execute it in time or you have an easy-enough response). For these cases, you should have a "null strategy" in mind, the kind of thing you plan to do over the next 5 or so moves in case your opponent doesn't do anything radical. Often this involves setting up your pieces such that they are in position to unleash an unopposable combination leading to material loss or mate.
The word "unopposable" is in there to indicate that the other player can't thwart your plans. Often it's better to keep moving pieces into position and shoring up weaknesses, eliminating counter-play before unleashing the combination. A plan that can be thwarted often just leaves you off-balance and ripe for counter-attack.
i read a great quote in a chess book that says that chess is both a science and an art. Its that creativity that you must have to work your opponent, and make him think that the move he made was his idea, while in reality it was your idea for him to make that move.
Incredible, beautiful... chess!
Very well said PK.
Edit: Wasn't trying to upstage you with my "very" chucky (hope you don't mind me calling you chucky) we posted at the same time.
Not a prob
"If your opponent does not play the moves you have studied, those moves may not be pointless."
There's a guy at the club who specifically plays whacked moves to take players out of their book. His off-road moves usually have a nasty tactical edge. Sometimes he goes full cheese with it to quickly knock down C and low B players.
I just don't understand how you can say that. Its like saying spiritual leaders are of no worth; yes we have to find the best way to walk our personal path but how invaluable is their counsel!
Same as greenlasers ay;) I'm trying to make the best little phishcakes I can by the way. Not anywhere near your league yet though GreenLaser:)
The phishcake5 take on spiritual leaders and greenlasers is enlightening. Opening books can be read if they are enjoyed. Aside from specific lines that may not come up, there are general principles, planning, tactics and other themes. If there are specific positions a player is seeking, opening books should help in what may seem an indirect way - tranpositions. The same positions can be reached from numerous move orders and openings. Sometimes they are exactly the same; sometimes they are a tempo or two off or with the other side on the move.
One of the "independent roads" to chess improvement is playing guess-the-move with one side of an annotated master game. Not only do you pick up on patterns but as you get better (stronger) and guess more of those moves, all those moves you come up with are all yours, yours alone, and not from any book or guru.
If you can't find an author you trust then the above will do fine if you work hard and long.
Well maybe you can find your own variations to exploit their "Pointless Move"...
With chess you can experiment a lot with different moves. ===>> ===>> ===>>
Therefore you come up with an array of combinations in your favor!!!
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