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James Altucher


10 Things I Learned from Today's Chess lesson

We studied a game I had played and won. I was playing the black side of a "Pseudo-Austrian Attack" and got a good position. But maybe my opponent could've defended better. Full game is at: https://lichess.org/study/p4pYkYAl

    1. Minority attack / Carlsbad variation nuance

    I was black. I had an open c file. He had his pawn on c2. Instead of doubling rooks on c-file perhaps I should've done b4 to be prophylactic against c3. I

    2. Never underestimate even a bad attack on the king.

    In game studied, white was losing but throwing all pawns at the king when he is attacking on other side of board from your king, bad things can happen to him!

    3. Overthinking

    Instead of trying to calculate concrete win I could've made a move thinking: "I have better bishop, rooks, king, he has nothing, so this move must be good and I'll figure out win later." Instead I spent 40 minutes on a basic move that ended up not being good. I was over-calculating to find a win.

    4. Never understimate a passed pawn.

    They can move pretty quickly down the board if ignored. There's always tactics. To avoid blunders, don't let king be weak or don't let pawns be passed.

    5. Carlsbad: if white is the side with 4 pawns should put a knight on c5.

    6. Remember Austrian Attack

    Book: e4 d6 d4 g6 Nc3 Bg7 f4 a6 Nf3 b5 (to prevent Bc4) Bd3 Nd7 (not Bb7) e5! c5! Ng5 Nh6 e6 Nf6 dc Be6 Ne6 fe cd ed Qe2 Qe7 O-O rfe1 rfe8 =

    7. Against the idea I did in the game, Grand Prix style attack would've won.

    My idea had simplicity to it but raw attack would've worked. Activating the pieces.

    8. It's hard to win a game.

    Don't think just because I have a better position, he won't have resources. Always be Activating pieces. Gray Jedi Code:
    - knowledge fades without action (i.e. the position will fade if you don't keep activating pieces)
    - without peace there is no passion, without passion, there is no peace.

    To win, must still be passionate about pressing but focus on improving position and not just concrete moves. This appears to be my big weakness.

    9. Future study: "carlsbad setup" in the book "Chess Structures" by Flores

    10. Don't always make moves now if you can make them later.

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