Daily Speculations

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8/9/04 Nigel Davies: Tactics

"As an opener for Yorkshire and England I was well aware that one mistake could well mean that I would be out. I had to organize my innings, paying careful attention to the tactics of the opposition, to the state of the pitch and to the quality of the bowling. I had to use all my skills in dealing with the good deliveries so that I could score runs from the bad ones." --Geoff Boycott in 'Boycott on Cricket'


8/11/04 Nigel Davies: Strategy for Dealing With a Mobile Enemy

"The light-winged bird easily escapes the huge dragon, but the firmly rooted tree must give up its leaves, it's fruit and perhaps even its life." --Emanuel Lasker in 'Lasker's Manual of Chess'.

On a related theme Lasker explained that one of the main principles of defence was to create positions which does not have a single weakest point. He also explained that resources used for defence should be kept to a minimum, with most of the army being engaged in counterattack.


Strategy from Grandmaster Nigel Davies

One characteristic of very strong players is in drawing the right conclusions from their games. Usually people prefer to explain their losses as quickly as possible or in a way that is most flattering to their egos. But by doing so they introduce a new bias into their thinking which pops them straight out of the frying pan and into the fire.


Good Teachers and Markets by Grandmaster Nigel Davies

One of the best chess lessons I ever had was of approximately 5 minutes duration. I was visiting Lev Psakhis when we were neighbors and he pulled one of my games out of the database.

"Why you play this 'rubbish'"?, he asked me, alluding to no less than the entire construction of my game. Then he quickly showed me one of his own games which revealed how easy it was to win by simple, economical means.

Of course the teacher has to understand that the student is playing 'rubbish' and the student has to be prepared to listen. It turned out that even I was not stubborn or egotistical enough to admit that he had a point. Of course it can also help if the teacher is an ex-Soviet Champion and has beaten Kasparov twice.


Grandmaster Nigel Davies Strategy

Was this an artistic game? It features a double piece sacrifice commencing with putting a bishop under attack (28.Bh5!) and then I sacrifice a rook (32.Rh8+) to force mate. Beautiful? Mystical? Nope, it was all worked out.

There's a tendency for losers to claim they are 'artists' when they have a BIG ZERO on the score board. The good thing about naming oneself thus is that the evidence doesn't have to come into conflict with your ego. The bad thing is that you're on the road to self-delusion and further defeats.

Much better to be a butcher...

Davies,N (2510) - Dive,R (2315) [E06]
Wrexham Wrexham, 1994
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 d5
7.Qc2 b5 8.c5 Ne4 9.Ne5 f5 10.Nd2 a5 11.Nxe4 dxe4
12.Rd1 Qe8 13.f3 exf3 14.Bxf3 Bb7 15.a4 b4 16.Qb3 Bd8
17.Nc4 Bc7 18.Bf4 Bxf4 19.gxf4 Ra7 20.Kh1 Qe7 21.Ne5
Ba8 22.Rg1 Rf6 23.Rg5 Kh8 24.Rag1 Rh6 25.R1g3 Qe8
26.Qe3 Qc8 27.Qg1 g6 28.Bh5 Rxh5 29.Nxg6+ hxg6 30.Rxg6
Qd7 31.Rg8+ Kh7 32.Rh8+ 1-0