Friday, February 29, 2008

Got Chess?

Steve over at StevePavlina.com just started playing chess and asked for some advice. Since he doesn't allow comments and I can only reply in his registered forums, I decided give him my two cents here in my blog.

Advice #1: DON'T PLAY. DON'T START. It's highly addictive. I know he plays poker and so do I, and I can say it's just as addictive if not more so. It's all ego. Yours vs. the opponent. But I know he will ignore #1, so here's more practical stuff.

First Books: Bill Hartson's Teach Yourself Chess, Yasser Seirawan's Play Winning Chess, or The Complete Idiot's Guide to Playing Chess.
  • Learn chess notation.
  • Learn tactics. (That's enough to beat most beginners).
  • Control center. Keep King safe.
  • Don't attack with just Queen. All the pieces must work together.
Openings: Start with Black
  • Learn all the responses to e4. Most people play e4 as their first move. d4 is more advanced.
  • i.e. Ruy Lopez, Silician, French openings
Openings: as White
  • Play e4. You've already got a head start by playing the Black side.
Where to Play online: Yahoo Games Chess, and GameKnot (this is actually a online correspondence (slow: two to three days a move), but it does have a blitz section (10 min. games) that I prefer over Yahoo. I used to play a lot on Yahoo, but I don't anymore because:
  • Lots of Spam bots, which I noticed Yahoo finally addressed with their sign in protocol.
  • Ratio of jerks:cool people very high. Rude, childish, unsportsmanlike behavior, clinging to their precious rating rampant.
  • Hard to get a game. People are very picky.
As opposed to GameKnot's blitz, where there is not ranking and you are automatically matched up.

This should keep any beginner busy. Let me know if I should do a intermediate level post. Good luck.

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