Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Preparation/Inspiration - Chess.com

Preparation/Inspiration - Chess.com



Starter question for 10: You have a critical match coming up, know you will be playing a very strong opponent and have half-a-day free at some point before the game. Do you...

a) Go out drinking and cavorting with your pals on your time off, ending up in a casino at 4am without your shirt or the taxi fare home? Or,

b) Lie in bed for a few extra hours dreaming of winning a brilliant game and being showered with gold coins by the enthralled masses around your board? Or,

c) prepare as thoroughly as time allows so that come 'kick-off' time you have a good idea of what you intend playing and why?

If you answered a) you are me 20 years ago! I once partied 'til 7am, got woken up at 7-30am, poured into a car (drunk as the proverbial skunk) and ended up beating an IM and drawing with a GM that day! Fun, but sadly those days are long gone.

Perhaps you answered b) ? Fine, but don't come crying to me when you lose horribly - apart from which there are infinitely more interesting things to dream about!

Anyway, I mostly answer c) these days myself, and so should you if you are taking your chess seriously. I have found that my best games are those in which I have prepared myself both theoretically and practically for the game in front of me, and the following game is a good example of how this helps.

Burnett, Andrew (2251) vs. Gattenloehner, Sebastian (2243)
Edinburgh League | Edinburgh | Round 7| 31 Jan 2012 | 1-0
First things first: what information can I find out on who I will be playing? I know my colour (white, being board 2 for the home team) so I need to know what openings my opponent prefers to play. As I can play both 1.e4 and 1.d4, I can hopefully find something in his repertoire which corresponds with my own knowledge. Looking up Sebastian's

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