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!
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.