5 Secret Ways to Win Against a  Chess GM  or  Hush Be Quiet, I’m Hunting Grand Masters: Part 1
NM Steve Colding

5 Secret Ways to Win Against a Chess GM or Hush Be Quiet, I’m Hunting Grand Masters: Part 1

NM cldng
Sep 25, 2017, 9:14 AM |


5 Secret Ways to Win Against a GM


Hush Be Quiet, I’m Hunting Grand Masters

Part 1

By National Master Stephen Colding


Ah, If a man’s reach should not exceed his grasp then what’s a heaven for?

Robert Browning


In a chess -player’s life, if he is lucky, he will have a chance to play a grand-master. Grand-masters are by definition rare and beautiful creatures. A complete player that combines, attacks, and defense with a style and grace that few chess-players in the entire world can match. Grand-masters take the game of chess and lift it up past from the mere point of competition and elevates it to the level of art.

What hope have we, mere mortals, to prevail against these demigods of Caissa?


It is said that a good player need a piece, a great player needs a pawn, a master needs a square but a grand-master throws a piece in the air and it lands on the perfect square.


I for so long felt like Prometheus chained to a mountain when confronted with playing one of these monsters until I learned a valuable secret, that GM’s, no matter what strength, are human too.


The GM I was to facing was in a simultaneous exhibition her name was GM Irina Krush. And the venue was the famous Brooklyn Chess Festival sponsored each year by the NYC Parks Department and Christian Whitted or Mr Christian as called affectionately by his score of students, from New York Chess and Games Chess Club.

The New York Chess and games Chess Club is located on 192 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn New York. It has programs for the scholastic and adult player, free play on Sundays and many special events such as a caged chess match between Chicago and New York. Stop by their friendly and helpful and its a great place to get your chess on.


Thus I speak now of the first rule of playing a Grand master


Rule #1 have an edge.

For those who do not know a simultaneous exhibition is a competition where a lone person is playing several people at the same time. The players are usually placed in a circle and the GM or Master usually goes and makes a move one at a time to all the players in the circle.


So here is my edge I have 29 other players playing GM Krush, if they manage to distract her in just the tiniest way maybe, just maybe, I will be able to come out on top.


There is also an endurance factor in a simultaneous. The GM will be on her feet for at least a couple of hours this could work in my factor 2.


The simul was to be held out of doors in the summer , this could also work to my advantage walking around in the heat could bring great dividends. I made sure that I brought a hat and had plenty of water in the hopes that exhaustion might set in.


So starting out I had 3 advantages:

I had lots of cannon fodder to take the hits and distract the GM.

She might get tired with her marathon like exertions.

The heat


Alas I saw the GM had come prepared, she to had a hat, sunblock and plenty of water, thus neutralizing advantage 3. She was also young which might neutralize advantage 2. Thus, advantage 1 was the only solid one but 2 & 3 might play minor roles in this chess drama.


The fact that GM Krush played 29 other people also gave me plenty of time to think about my moves and see how she handled certain openings.


Rule #2 Know your opponent. I have played GM Irina Krush 3 previous times. In her games I had Black 2 and White once. I had played her twice before she became a GM and once when she was one. The score was 2-1 in her favor. I only beat her when she was a very young girl. These games were not played in simuls so I had no edge.


You don’t only have to play in a simul to get an edge. Other ways to get and edge against are GM are:

go to bed early

get up early

look up his /her games

motivate yourself

prepare, prepare, prepare.


I knew she had a penchant for D pawn openings and so made my preparations based on that. I was pretty sure that she would follow sound and sure development and she wouldn’t be up on the latest obscure theoretical data I was pretty sure she would try to get a solid position and work from there.


In the book Chess for Tigers by Simon Webb he suggested when playing a stronger player to play for complications and hope that they “fall into the swamp” before you do. Playing solidly against a stronger player can only lead to folly because by definition they are more adept at slow grinding positions. I had also ,like I said before, been on the losing end of MS Krush’s crushes and did not relish the idea of doing so again.


This made me realize that my opportunities would be based on how well I would do in the opening. Therefore I was determined to make this my battlefield. This leads to Rule # 3 be prepared and prepare a surprise.


Next time :


The Game


This article was first published on: