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Peter's Principles

Peter's Principles

Jul 28, 2016, 1:27 AM 0

I recently tracked down a transcript of a lecture my father gave at the Vancouver chess club in 1979. Below is an abridged transcript of the games he Annotated, and some entertaining parts of the lecture.

All notes are by Peter Biyiasas, unless otherwise indicated

"It's obvious from the games of the great players that A bishop is worth more than a knight. As a matter of fact, in Fischer's 60 memorable Games, which is the bible for any chess player who wants to be a good chess player, he says "white has a Bishop for a Knight, or a half point advantage," or osmething like this. In other words, fischer has brought it to the point where the Bishop is actually worth half a pawn in material against the Knight. So the Bishop and the Knight have Always Been said to be worth Three, but the Bishop is maybe three and a third, three and a half... anyway, the russians just go and trade off the bishop for the knight.
Now, in one game where Korchnoi played Karpov, and Korchnoi was Black, In manila, Karpov won the bishop. He went after the Bishop and he won it. And Korchnoi made a draw. And after the game, Korchnoi didn't come out and say: "Karpov thinks a Bishop is worth more than a Knight, But I showed him that It's not by making a draw;" He came out and said: "Karpov thinks that a Bishop is worth more than a Knight. In Leonid stein's hands, maybe, but not in his." That's what he said. In other words, it's true that a bishop is worth more than a knight, but karpov doesn't understand how to exploit this fact. Only Stein knows. Stein died, of course, a few years ago"
"The King's Indian Attack can only be... as far as i'm concerned, the only variation that doesn't give white any advantage is the one where Black plays the system c5, d6, nc6, g6, and bg6. So he does not allow e5, with it's cramping influence on the Black position. Any time you allow this, and this type of development (as in the game with Vasiukov) within reason, it has to be bad for Black."
"1.nf3 Is the best move.
There's a very good reason. When you're playing in international tournaments, and you're playing Black against a player, you go to the game, and you're nervous. You don't know what he's going to do. Is he going to play e4, or d4? and this is traditional people think in terms of e4, d4, e4, d4,. They're so afraid. And if he plays e4 the tension is released, because they have something ready, and if he plays d4, the tension is released, because they have something ready. But, if you play Nf3, they don't know what you're going to do, so they have to play the opening phase of the game in a tense psychological mood, for half an hour, or forty five minutes, before it becomes obvious what sort of system you're playing."
"Another tip I can give you about chess is that you have to have a lot of respect for material equality, and you really should think before you allow any imbalance in material. such as Queen against three minor pieces, or things like that. At that point, something comes into effect that we don't know that much about, and you could just find yourself losing the game, when you thought you stood equal, materially.
For instance, I can tell you one example, when i was plying in a tournament in Seattle. I, on purpose, transposed into an ending where I had only a king and a queen, and my opponent had a knight and four Pawns. I thought: "Okay: a knight and four pawns-- how many points is that? seven points, and I have a queen, which is nine. I should win easily" But somehow the knight and the four pawns and the king were all together, and there was nothing i could do- they came down the board slowly, and...
Anyway, it goes to show that, preferably, the type of material balance that you want is knight for knight; Bishop for Bishop etc. and you want to be on ther better side of it. if there's going to be a knight and some pawns against a rook, you really want the rook, in general. If it's going to be two pieces for a rook and a pawn, you want the pieces. Of course you have to look at the position too."
"if you're going to play something that is really out of the ordinary, such as moving a certain piece many times in the opening, or you're going to do something completely different, there are two ways of looking at it. If you're going to do something completely different, and you still want to win the game, then you have to have had it all checked out at home, and make sure- In other words, have it all prepared. Maybe if another grandmaster had played this way, fine: if a great player played like that, okay: play it. you've got it ready.
But, if during a game, all of a sudden, you get inspired to play in a certain manner, that is, you know, completely bizarre, or something, then the only thing I can say is you have to be ready to play chess for the fun of it, and not the final result. So, if you're going to do something different, there are two ways to look at it. You either are going to be competitive about it, and make sure that what you are doing different is also correct, or you're going to be like the virtuoso artist type who says "i'm going to play it just because it looks interesting." but then you might just lose the game"
"now, so really this is all that chess is. You just sit- you play carefully, and you try to accumulate advantages- small advantages here and there, until they all build up you have a winning position. now, the knack of doing that takes a lot of practice. That's about it."

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