Best tips! MAKE CHESS SING!
Are you curious about chess? Want to start playing chess? This article by Boon Tiong Tan is for you
PHOTOS BY Koesen Wong & Courtesy of Adobe Stock & Pexels
Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit brought the sexy back to chess; it’s cool and popular again. But why the title? Queen’s Gambit is actually the name of a chess opening in which white (always takes the first step of a game) challenges black to take a seemingly free pawn from the queen’s side. And yes, there is an opening called the King’s Gambit where the offered pawn is on the king’s side. Although the difference seems small, these two openings turn into very different sets.
Chess is a game of skill, not chance, and it has fascinated people for hundreds of years. Karl Marx, when he was not thinking of making society fairer, and to the chagrin of his wife, disappeared with his friends for days on end in fits of chess frenzy. So if you want to try chess, where do you start? Like almost everything, you can learn the basics, like the names of the pieces (chess pieces) and their movement, on YouTube. Be aware that a typical game has an opening, a mid-game, and an end-game. When opening, you have two main goals – to gain control of the center and to develop your riders and bishops. Now that my daughters have mastered this, beating them is much harder. The good old days when I mastered them with just a few strokes is history.
PLAY MIND GAMES
Chess is a board game with 32 pieces played on 64 squares. How complicated can it be? The answer is, it is extremely complicated. The permutations are mind-blowing and there are an endless number of possible combinations of movements – more than all the sand in the world. No wonder chess has always been considered a game for the intelligentsia, and the strongest Grandmasters have IQs of 180 and above. In his autobiography, Sir Alex Ferguson wrote that if he were to restart his career as a football manager, he would want all of his players to learn to play chess. After all, athletes need both brains and muscle, and chess teaches you to focus and think a few moves ahead.
In addition to training analytical minds, chess teaches responsibility. You make the decision for every move. If you lose, you can’t blame the weather or put it down to bad luck. Russian chess grandmaster and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov believes every school should teach chess.
Is chess a sport? If you think this is an absurd question and your answer is an unsolved one, read on. Reigning world chess champion Norwegian Magnus Carlsen prepares for a tournament just like an elite athlete. He runs, he plays football and he does yoga. He has a personal chef and he oversees his diet.
While Roger Federer has to run around a tennis court for an hour to burn 600 calories, Magnus Carlsen burns the same amount in two hours just by sitting and moving his arms on a chessboard intermittently.
In extreme cases, the best chess players can lose up to 20 pounds in a single tournament. (The World Championship Series is often played over a few weeks, to allow each player to recover some mental strain from the games they have played, as well as to allow time for the games themselves.) On average, world chess champions peak in their mid-thirties.
ENTER THE BATTLE
Chess probably originated in India 1,500 years ago. The Arabs introduced game to Europe in the 7th century and it evolved to its present form in the 15th century.
The first World Chess Championship was held in 1886, but it didn’t hit many people’s radar until 1972, when eccentric American genius Bobby Fischer defeated Boris Spassky, breaking 25 years of hegemony. Soviet. Two decades later, machines entered the fray. Garry Kasparov took up the challenge of playing against Deep Blue, an IBM supercomputer. He won in 1996 but lost the rematch the following year. The machine has never looked back.
As almost anyone can tell you, to win in chess you have to checkmate (trap your opponent’s king). Your chess pieces are your army and the queen is the most powerful piece on the board. This
This is largely due to her mobility – she is able to move any number of squares vertically, horizontally or diagonally. How powerful is the queen compared to other coins? There is a simple point system to answer this question. A queen is worth 9 points, a rook 5 points and a minor piece (bishop or knight) is worth 3 points.
The king is much less mobile than the queen – he can only move one square in any direction – but in a final phase he can be formidable.
The terms “knight”, “by the way” and “grandmaster” give chess a certain mystique, but the game is easy to learn with just a few rules, and it’s fun to play with endless possibilities. You just need to download a free chess app (like www.chess.com) and you can start playing with tens of millions of chess enthusiasts around the world. As in amateur tennis, the winner of a game of chess is not the player who hits the best shots but the one who makes the fewest mistakes. Avoid the following and you will immediately improve your game. Many beginners like to move their queen when opening. The best chess players hardly ever do this. Although the queen is powerful, she is not invincible – if you leave her unprotected, she can be chased around the chessboard by your opponent’s chess players. Without the support of other pieces, she can end up being trapped and “killed”. Imagine a lion slaughtered by a clan of hyenas.
While it is true to some extent that offense is the best defense, no good chess player can afford to focus solely on offense. You have to play offense and defense at the same time, all the time. Just look at Liverpool FC: Despite formidable attacking force, their success only came after the acquisition of goalkeeper Allison Becker and defender Virgil van Dijk. When Liverpool lost their center-backs to injury this season, they lost an unprecedented six consecutive games at home Anfield.
In a football match, a team that has 20 shots on goal but none in the net loses to the opposing team that has only one shot and one goal. It’s the same with chess. Chess does not win a game, only a checkmate does. Beginners love to check out if there are other better moves to do. Don’t check too much.
DB resident Boon Tiong Tan (CFA) has worked as a trader with banks like HSBC and Morgan Stanley for over 20 years, and is the author of A Stock Investment Book For The 99%. For more information on the individual courses (money management, stock investing, option trading and CHESS) it offers for adults and children, send an email [email protected].