Offline vs Online & making decisions

Dec 26, 2008, 7:12 AM |

I don't have internet access at home and haven't played on for a few months. In that time I have played friends a few times and won very easily. It has become clear that there is a marked difference between "having a basic knowledge of playing chess" and "knowing the rules of moving chess pieces", both of which seem to be referred to as knowing how to play chess.

When I play offline I prefer to play black and I watch my opponent and make my moves based upon their weaknesses or mistakes. For instance I find that people sometimes attack aggressively at the very start of the game, and I am able to develop most of my pieces from their starting positions whilst chasing one or two of their pieces all over the board.

Conversely when i play online I find that often become the weaker player and my position often becomes one of defence or counter-attack. I assume that this form of playing gives me the best opportunity to learn and develop my own skills.

The question that has occurred to me is that I don't feel that I have a sound direction when I find myself in-between. When not reacting to my opponents moves I am not always sure what to do. For instance in this game against Kentering:

In this game I made an initial mistake but seem to have recovered and have been able to develop some of my pieces. I am playing someone competent in chess and find that I don't have enough of a strategy with which to make decisions at this point of the game.