How do we know what to play next in a chess game? How can we tell which ones are the good movements? An interesting idea I recently learn about on ‘The Seven Deadly Chess Sins’, is talking to your pieces. It might sound strange and even a bit wacky, but stick with me for a moment. I promise it makes sense (or, at least, for me!).
Even though we play chess as individuals, we are leading a team of players: each one of our pieces. Just as in any team, we want to foster good communication habits among its participants. And therefore, we need to give them a voice, let them speak, express themselves. The team is much more than the sum of its parts, and in order to work well together they need to listen to each other. We need to take into account their needs, their aspirations, their potential.
Jonathan Rowson says it better than me in this passage from the book mentioned above (bolds and italics are mine):
Lasker’s ideal is for the pieces to achieve a task of vital importance when there is only one way for them to do so. In a sense this is what talking to your pieces is all about; you consult with your forces very deliberately and ‘ask’ them how they will make the most of themselves for the common good.
‘The Seven Deadly Chess Sins’
The Lesson: Reviewing My Game Analysis
This week I played each day a 5+3 game and reviewed it immediately afterwards. In this lesson, we went over my analysis with Andrea, trying to see critical points during the game, opening mistakes, and oportunities for improvement in general.
Part of my “compito” (homework) was to analyse this position and write my comments, which read as follow:
Il materiale è pari. Il bianco vuole disputare il controllo della casella d5. Ha il controllo sulla colonna C e le diagonali b1-h7 e c1-h6. Un piano possibile sarebbe mettere le torre in c1 e d1 e preparare un attacco all’arrocco nero con l’alfiere camposcuro e il cavallo di f3.
Nell alla di donna il nero ha un pedone in più (c5/b6/a5 vs b2/a4). Il unico problema è che il pedone in b6 è arretrato. Mi piace la idea di Nc6 e Nb4, migliorando il controllo su d5. Anche Tc8.
Here’s an example of one of my game analysis:
The Weekly Practice (02/24/21 to 03/02/21)
This week I practiced two Puzzle Storms each day, tactics on simplification, and continued studying ‘The Seven Deadly Chess Sins’. I also took some of the study time to play one 5+3 game and do the analysis afterward. As a rule of thumb, I don’t count my playing time as ‘study time’, but here I considered it differently because I was going to review it later.
This week I practiced every day for at least 50 minutes, except for one day when I only practiced for 20 minutes. As for now, I have found a way to get started with the practice time that’s working really nice: I do two Puzzle Storms on Lichess. That feels like a fantastic and fun warm-up. Every day I look forward to doing the daily session. Limiting it to just twice a day, I think, has other advantages. I try my best to beat my previous records and to get faster and more precise.
The Games of the Week
Between February 24th and March 2nd, I played 29 games. Four of them were 5+3 blitz. Also, this week I didn’t have the chance to play with any titled player. One other thing I’ve been doing since Week 7 is analyzing some of my games (without the chess engine), adding text comments in Italian. My picks of the week:
D02 Queen’s Pawn Game: London System (I lost with White)
This was one of the first games I analyzed. In the Lichess link below you can see my own comments (with text in Italian!).
Here’s a victory against a stronger player (he had 2336 points by the time of this game). I liked this game a lot!:
A48 London System (I won with White)
And a defeat, trying the Guimard Variant in the French Defense (studied during the past week):
C04 French Defense: Tarrasch Variation, Guimard Defense, Main Line (I lost with Black)
That’s all for now! 😊