To be a better Player

Feb 15, 2010, 2:02 PM |

Karpov’s approach/ pure(dry) positional style :)

From the same book, here are a list of "secrets" of how karpov wins (p. 10-11):

The conclusions coming from the statistical survey presented above already tell us much about Karpov, the chessmaster. What else can we add about his chess style and approach to the game? A number of other qualities, many of them clearly apparent from the actual games presented in Chapters 2 through 17, do stand out:

• Karpov is a practical player, mainly concerned with results. His overriding interest is in winning; artistic elements are very clearly of secondary importance.

• Karpov prefers clear, strategically comprehensible positions. In such positions he can use his positional judgment ("intuition") to chart the future course of the game. Such an approach saves time and energy and contributes to the general excellence of his competitive results. He rarely gets into time pressure.

• Karpov abhors obscure tactics. He will never voluntarily enter complications when he can not clearly ascertain an end favorable to him.

• Karpov values the role of the initiative over material gain. He will prefer to keep up positional pressure rather than go for material advantage if the latter course would definitely negate his positional advantages. He is probably the least "materialistic" of all leading grandmasters.

• Karpov uses all his pieces, including the King, in the middlegame. After Steinitz, he is the second most active King user of all grandmasters.

• Karpov prefers a superior endgame to a superior middlegame. He is interested in best overall results. He feels that his winning chances in superior endgames are equivalent to those from superior middle-games, whereas the losing chances are virtually nonexistent. Much to gain, little to lose is traditionally the Karpov approach.

• Karpov does not always strive to make the perfect or best move. He is satisfied in playing "good moves" if he feels the search for the "best moves" is not required and will lead to an uneconomical expenditure of time. He rarely spends much time (thirty minutes or more) on! a single move.

• Karpov does not make bad moves. With his thorough understanding of chess and great inner discipline he avoids making moves which are "obviously" strategically inferior. He loses rarely because his moves! are seldom bad enough to lead to a definitive loss.

• Karpov likes to complete the development of all his pieces prior lo undertaking active middlegame operations.

After all of the above discussion, statistics, and analysis, here is the "ultimate advice" in how to win a la Karpov:

• Play active, but strategically healthy, opening systems.

• Never allow sharp, complicated opening variations unless you have reasons to believe that you will know them much better than your opponent.

• Never rush your attack or middlegame operations. Be sure that your preparations are as complete as is reasonable.

• Always make sure that your King is as safe as is reasonable. Only after you are convinced of your own King's safety should you go after your opponent's.

• Understand the strategic concepts behind your opening systems. Always play in accordance with these concepts. Resist temptations for "sudden inspirations."

• Make good, logical, purposeful moves. Do not be concerned if they are not absolutely the best. It is sufficient that they be "good."

• Do not spend too much time deciding which of several positional moves is the "best one." Save time by choosing one of them quickly.

• Always save thinking time. This way you will be able to use it later on when possible complications require precise calculations and play.

• Keep on top of the position. Do not go for unclear complications when there is a clear positional course.

• Retain the initiative once you have it. Do not trade it for obscure ii of material if this would impair your positional advantages.

• Never make moves which seem positionally bad. They will be bad!

• Choose a superior endgame over a superior middlegame. This minimizes losing chances.

• Never be in a hurry—with respect to time or moves—to win. Slow and easy does it!

• Try to be as objective as possible about your actual position on the board. Play the position rather than such external factors as opponent, tournament standing, etc.

• Study hard, play hard, fight hard! With confidence you can do it!


·         Always take into consideration what opponent is most likely to play in his next move