Beginner Annotation for Mar. 20, 2016

Mar 20, 2016, 6:40 AM |
It may surprise you to learn that chess is not my full time job. Long story short, the other day whilst bored in the audience at an awards ceremony I had the unusual pleasure of playing a game where the biggest lessons were for my opponent rather than myself (to find such a player I had to play someone who was asking questions such as "Can a Knight take a Queen?"... we were pretty evenly matched.)

Coming away from this game, I think the main lessons would be to (1) always be aware of who the defenders are on the board--is a square defended 2 times? 0 times? etc. and (2) understand what a hole is, how they're made, and why they're important. A number of the bad moves in the game would be ruled out with the help of these two keys. We were pretty evenly matched materially, and we both calculated equally poorly (we were passing a smartphone back and forth in between the moments we were obliged to applaud the various speakers), but gradually my slightly better tactical-rule-of-thumb (via defenders-thinking) and knowledge of pawn structure (mainly holes) gave me an overwhelming positional advantage.