Dubious, therefore playable

Jan 25, 2011, 9:26 AM |

Tartakower wrote a note to an opening move in a book of his best games, “Dubious therefore playable.” Even GM’s have a sense of humor sometimes. But seriously, at the lower levels where you won't get punished (as much) for dubious moves it's always good to experiment with new fresh ideas and see if they "work out" as you intended, sort of a "brain check" or "gut check" on your calculations.

As I have played chess for quite a while now with my blitz around 16-1700 and my standard all the way down at the 1300's I've toyed with so many ideas and have had some real fun with it.

When it comes down to the brass tacks at a tournament, I have found that psychology plays a lot into the game, more than one would expect.  I started my chess "career" fairly late in my teens when I was about 16 or 17.  The clubs I played at were mostly old men, lawyers, teachers, etc in their 40's. We usually played 10 0 Round robin tournamets every Monday and Tuesday, and I quickly found that youth has an edge in blitz, as tactics, threats and tempos rule the board (and the clock).

When I played in standard time control tournaments it was a mix of children, teens, adults, and seniors. This was back in the early 90's and I being a teen was all into the grunge scene (Nirvana etc).  So I decided that some psychology couldnt hurt here and there. This is how I played it.  If I was playing someone younger than me, I would tuck in my shirts (flannels, rude t-shirts etc), take my hat off, and put my glasses on, making me appear older than I was. If they were older than me, I would "let it all hang out". I even had a t-shirt with a giant face of Kurt Cobain staring down my opponent. I would slouch in the chair, and wear my hat backwards.

This does several things, for the younger player they may be intimidated to play somebody who is older and has been playing longer, for the older opponents, they think "ohh this is just some kid .. look at him".  Perfect.

On the board, I like to play into the players openings and prepare all sorts of traps that are hard to overcome Over-The-Board. One of my favorite's is the

C57: Italian Game: Two Knights Defense, Ulvestad Variation


It's so easy to trigger the other player into playing this move order. 1e4 immediate ...e5. Nf3, Nc6. Bc4 .. sit there and think about it for a good 2-5min in a longer game like you have never seen this move before. Then do Nf6.

So, first off let me go over the key moves here


Here is an example game where white (2050USCF) gets trounced