Outrunning the Lion

 
   Today I want to tell you a little story.
 
   A good way to understand the nature of competition in the world of chess is the story of the lion and the two chess players.

   The story goes that there were two chess players traveling through the African savannah when they unexpectedly turned a corner and came face to face with a hungry lion.

   As the lion began to circle them, the first chess player sat down on a nearby rock, took off his hiking boots and started putting on a pair of sneakers which he had been carrying in his backpack.

   The second chess player looked puzzled and said, “What are you doing, you’ll never be able to outrun a lion”

   The first chess player looked up and replied, “I don’t need to outrun the lion, I just need to outrun you!”
 
   The moral of this story to me is that in order to win a chess game, you don’t need to play perfect chess, you just need to be a little bit better than your competition.

   When I started looking at a large number of class player games, I realized that they contain tons of errors and mistakes in them.  Simple mistakes – 1 to 2 move combinations that are missed.  Most of these tactics are so simple, that if I included them as a problem in this newsletter I would be getting complains!
 
One Chess Tactic is just "outrun your opponent"   Often my only real strategy in a game is just “don’t mess up first”, and wait for my opponent to make some sort of tactical weakness, and then exploit it.  
 
   Even if I have an even position with a person for 30-40 moves, I will keep playing, and see if they mess up.  Maybe they won’t, and the game will be a draw, but I am going to see if they can “outrun me against the lion” in terms of making as many moves as possible without a tactical mistake.
 






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