Friday, October 30, 2009

Tips and pointers to improve your game

Thursday, October 29, 2009
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Frank “Boy” Pestaño

BRUCE Pandolfini is a chess author, teacher and coach. He was portrayed by Ben Kingsley in the 1993 film “Searching for Bobby Fischer.” He has coached many talented chess players, the most famous being Fabiano Caruana.

Here are his tips, pointers and hints on how to be a better chess player.

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Be aggressive, but play soundly. Don’t take unnecessary chances. Make sure every move has a purpose. If you know your opponent’s style, take advantage of it. But, in the final analysis, play the board, not the player.

Don’t give needless checks. Answer all threats.

Play for the initiative. If you already have it, maintain it. If you don’t have it, seize it. When exchanging pieces, try to get at least as much as you give up. Take with the man of least value, unless there is a definite reason for doing otherwise.

Cut your losses. If you must lose material, lose as little as possible. Never play a risky move, hoping your opponent will overlook your threat, unless you have a losing position.

Rely on your own powers. If you can’t see the point of your opponent’s move, assume there isn’t any. Don’t sacrifice without good reason. When you can’t determine whether to accept or decline a sacrifice, accept it.

Attack in number. Don’t rely on just one or two pieces. Look for double attacks.

Play for the center: guard it, occupy it, influence it. Fight for the center with pawns. In the opening, move as few pawns as necessary to complete your development.

Try to develop your Bishops before blocking them in by moving a center pawn just one square.Develop your pieces quickly, preferably toward the center.

Try to develop a new piece on each turn. Don’t move a piece twice in the opening without good reason. Try to develop with threats, but don’t threaten pointlessly.

Develop minor pieces early. King-side pieces should usually be developed sooner than Queen-side ones, and Knights before Bishops. Develop during exchanges.

In the opening, don’t remove your Queen from play to “win” a pawn. Don’t bring out the Queen too early, unless the natural course of play requires it.

Seize open lines. Develop Rooks to open files, or to files likely to open. Castle early. Try to prevent your opponent’s King from castling. Keep it trapped in the center, especially in open games.

Try to pin your opponent’s pieces. Avoid pins against your own pieces. Don’t capture pinned pieces until you can benefit from doing so. After castling, don’t move the pawns in front of your King without specific reason.

When applicable, pick target squares on the color of your unopposed Bishop. Try to avoid early exchanges of Bishops for Knights.

Put queen and Rook(s) on the same file or rank, and Queen and Bishop on the same diagonal.

Usually play to retain your Bishops in open games, and Knights in closed games. To improve the scope of your Bishop, place your pawns on squares opposite in color to it.

RESULTS. Visayas dominated the elementary division boys and girls of the Milo Olympics held in Cebu. The members of the boys’ team are Felix Shaun Balbona, John Francis Balbona, James Andrew Balbona and John Paul Arenilla. The alternate is John Antonio, while the coach is Christine de la Cerna.

The proud parents of this chess playing family are Felix and Juliet Balbona. Another member of the family, Jessa Marie Balbona, placed fourth in the strong All Students Chess Tournament at the Colonnade Chess Club last weekend won by Michael Pinar.

Other placers were Johnny Carzano and Alfer Joseph Fernandez.

Here are the results of the San Roque Barangay’s cup held last weekend. The champion was Loraine Pawao. He was followed by Kryztell Ouano, Arjay Pardillo, Joseph Acosta and Christian Lustre.

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