Alternative chess strategies


I must admit that the only other strategy game I am played seriously was Mornington Crescent. I was tempted to turn professional at one stage but (maybe for the better) decided against it.
Anyway back to the subject at hand. I think it is fair to say that most of the traditional strategies have been worked out by now and so by borrowing from MC I have tried to come up with some possible alternatives.
I must state now however that these are rather 'envelope edge' stuff and may not always work.

As mentioned elsewhere in the forum it is definitely worth keeping a few useful items in your pocket. A loaded water pistol obviously being near the top of the list. Other items I have found useful are a selection of extra pawns, a clock stopping magnet,  a spray can of Mace and if the need arises polaroid pictures of your opponent naked. These are not always so easily available but, as with anything, preparation is the key.

Opening Gambits: Any grand master can tell you that there is more to chess than the simple pushing of pieces around the board.
(there is also some strategy but that is a bit over-hyped)
So the best opening gambit is to make it clear to the opponent who is in charge of the game - you.
YOU are going to win and it is in EVERYBODIES interests that you do. It is vital that your opponent knows from the start that it is best for both parties that you win.
Favourite opening gambits include throwing empty beer cans, shouting loudly, constant unblinking stare and fumbling with loaded handgun.
Although these activities do not constitute a winning strategy in themselves they do set the foundations of one - and that is the purppose of an opening gambit.

Mid Game:
This is where your opening gambit has to give way to a more concrete plan. By this stage you have to have found a weakness in you opponent and committed yourself to an attack at that point.
Mid game I like to switch to kicking under the table (does your opponent suffer from arthritis?), verbal threats (is he easily bullied?) and accusations of cheating (does he have a criminal record?).
Once you have have started an attack you are usually committed. (It is only the grandest of grand masters that can turn a major attack on one flank into another attack somewhere else.)
If you have called your opponent a cheat then make sure you have enough in your arsenal to press home the attack. Say he touched another piece, claim he hasn't paid his entry fee to the competition and that he forged his reciept. If he rebuffs these attacks then claim that he has been receiving Morse coded messages from aliens (much harder to disprove! That should put him in the backfoot!)
With a bit of luck you can get your opponent to concede that he once fudged his tax return, cheated at golf or murdered a few of his inlaws. If so then the game is yours.
If not then you have to face the dreaded end game.

End Game: Well you either love end game or you hate it. It is an art in itself and many a puzzle has been created to illustrate the intricacies of this fine art. It usually comes down to counting pawn and  pawn move combinations and permutations, whack the whole lot through some kind of decision tree, apply your basic Markov Chain analysis and hey-presto, you have a whole lot of bean counting to do. That is why accountants and actuaries probably enjoy end game but people like Arnold Schwartzenegger, Evel Knievel and Indiana Jones don't.
So, rather than keep track of all the combinations of pawn moves and prefer to just try and sneak captured pieces back onto the board. If you have laid the ground work and your opponent is reluctant to argue with you (or even catch your eye) you should be able to get three or four queens onto the board. (This might not sound like much but at a high level this could be enough to swing the game in your favour.)
If things are still not going your way and defeat seems inevitable there is a rather innovative 'manoevre' that can be employed under the right circumstances.
Simply claim that you were playing black and your opponent was playing white (or vice versa depending upon which colour you were actually playing). Before your opponent can recover his composure simply checkmate the bastard and run off to boast to all your friends (acquaintances, colleagues, passers by, whatever you can muster).
Note: This works best when there are few pawns left on the board to give any indication of direction.




I prefer to wear a body suit of explosives and smiling a lot when I sit down to play. My opponent gets it from the start. Ha, ha, ha, very funny post!