An old bull and a young bull were standing on a hill… We’ve all heard the story but just in case you managed to miss it, here’s a link.
The same can be said of chess players. Some of us grow old loving the game and, hopefully, we learn think before we make a move. The problem arises when the young bull who still flexes his muscles wistfully inside even the most decrepit old bull wants to move the pieces.
Take a look at this position from a game I played last month. Clearly, neither I nor my opponent will seek a match with Magnus any time soon but in this game, for a couple of moves, Black’s queen had been sitting tantalisingly in front of the king. I would have loved to pin it but, alas, it would always have been possible to block.
Then, unbelievably to me, the black queen swept down the board before taking up residence on c2. Now the pin was on and my young bull pawed the chessboard and moved his hand toward the rook. He had all but pinned the queen before my old bull said, “Hang on, buddy. Have you seen what that black knight can do?”
Young Bull gasped and drew back in horror. Nf3 would have been mate, for the pinned queen on c2 was still keeping an eye on f2 and g2. Old Bull then made a far more decisive move with Qxd7#.
I was never much good at Blitz and only moderate at slower time controls; now that I’ve reached my 80s I can’t really expect to set the chess world alight. So I’ve retained a philosophy –- well, a hope really -- that’s won me a few games from time to time. It’s embodied in my user name: Three Bees. In keeping with the story of the bulls, BBB is the acronym for Bulldust Baffles Brains.