david vs. goliath : an important lesson learnt

david vs. goliath : an important lesson learnt

Apr 8, 2014, 11:19 PM |

I played an online game against 1800+ player here which taught me a important lesson . it was something which made me to understand that chess is not about material equality alone.


it was about positional value of the material. many times, we use these vaules as our reference:


ROOK- 5 pawns


queen- 9 pawns


pawn- 1 unit


bishop -3 pawns


knight - 3 pawns




however these vaules are applicable only if the position is equal and both sides do not posses positional advantage.


but alas, players often fall into this trap and miss out positional advantage conferred to them becuase of their position.


i am trying to say that player are ready to sacrifice material only if they get a strong attack on the opponent,particularly on the opponent's king and which might win back the material with interest or checkmate the king.




in this article written by grandmaster and chess prodigy daniel naroditsky :  http://www.chess.com/article/view/the-positional-sacrifice




he talks about material sacredness, the more attachment you have to the material, the more difficult it becomes for you to understand the underlying positional advantage of your position.


this is where the difference between a grandmaster and a class player can be seen clearly.


 sages usually agree that a human should not have material attachment if he wants to attain a higher level of spirituality. 


seems like a modifed form of this could be applied in chess like: a player should not material attachment if he improve his game.




you might be wondering why am i suddenly talking about material attachment. actually,the online game about  which i wrote about in the first line taught me this very same lesson:


sometimes, material attachment blinds our eye so much that we cannot see the positional advantage of our position by giving up the material.




here is that online game which taught this lesson:



interestingly enough, there is a big difference in evaluation by houdini 3 and stockfish dd after the white's 24 move. houdini gives it as -5 whereas stockfish gives a score of -2 which surprising as usually stockfish gives more score for a particular position. here are the pics:


[ orange- inaccurate, blue- best move , no colour - in agreement with engine, red- blunder]

stockfish                                                                       houdini 



















here is the game how it would have gone had i not shown such a attachment to queen.

alas, in the recently concluded and most -followed tournament: the candidates tournament, there was a queen sacrifice with almost no attack!!! here is the game which shows the queen sacrifice, black sacrificed his queen which double the pawn on f-file and somehow actives his pieces which shows the superiority of his pieces over white's.


you might think that the game would be over once the endgame is reached however this didn't happen,in fact the game was drawn!


here is the game :

on learning this lesson , i applied in the following the game. althought i saw that i would lose the queen but still went for it so as to see whether i would be able to with positional advantage which i have got.


in the end, i think that i have figured out why is it easy to improve from 1200 to 1500 but not so easy to improve from 1500 to 2000 or master level ? 

i think that the answer is :

when we are at a level of 1200 -1400 ,we usually think in terms of material gain or attack but as you reach a level of 1400 or 1500 level, you have to start playing in positional style.

i guess i can safely say that player of above 1500 level usually form a plan based on their positional features and figure out the candidate moves which can accomplish their plan. later on, with the help of their tactical and analysis skill, choose the correct move which can accomplish their plan correctly.

thank you for reading this blog. kindly leave your commente here, it will be appreciated.