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Maurice Ashley...and my "newb" self...

Jan 18, 2011, 1:43 PM 0

This will likely be my only entry but it is worth reading...

I've been playing chess off and on for about the last 33 years or so. I've never had any formal trainin and I've only read a part of one book on chess and even then I didn't pay much attention to the topic as it was entirely about the numbers in chess... I've also been a martial artist for the last 37 years and THAT I study almost daily. Why does that matter?

I just got to watch a couple of pieces of Maurice Ashley's disk about making chess simple and I realized that he has put to words something I've been thinking for a while now, except IMNSHO Maurice needs some more martial arts training because he has obviously never been in actual combat...anyway, I digress. His idea of "drawback chess" is exactly what I've been formulating all these years but I always figured it was a basic concept in chess that everyone knew about and I simply hadn't read about yet(see the above if you forget why)..

If you're not familiar with "drawback chess", it's about concentrating less on what the intention behind your opponent's moves are and more on what drawbacks come from each move; what spaces are no longer guarded by a moved piece. This is very good work and I must applaud Maurice for making his video since I've been using it not-quite-consciously for the last 20+ years.

My beef with Maurice? Well, I've been a pracititioner of Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do(the Way of the Intercepting Fist) for 23+ years and that is a much better analogy for what he's teaching than the Aikido that he suggests is the "perfect" martial art. Why it's not the perfect art becomes painfully clear in real combat...if all you can do is wait to defend against an attack, you will never win against a skilled and aggressive fighter.  Not much of a beef but that's a good thing, eh. I do wish he'd come to my school so I could show him why Aikido isn't a good model despite his thoughts on the matter. No, I'm not threatening to beat him up; combat has a lot of commonalities despite how different the types may be. For example, if you set the pace and always ramp up the pressure on your opponent, they lose the ability to think in an orderly manner and it becomes easy to systematically pick your opponent apart...


Anyway, just a thought for any newbs who want to improve their game...

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