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Taken from the top seven grandmasters


Larry Evans (USA): “The opening – roughly the first dozen moves – is a fight for space, time, and
force “ (Evans, 1972: iv).

In the opening, White strives for the initiative and Black for equality. The modern master makes
almost no attemot to win rapidly against a strong opponent but is content to accumulate small
advantages which, hopefully, can be exploited in the middlegame.

Gambits pose the conflict between time and force in pure form White sacrifices a pawn or two in the
opening for a quick attack. Black can clutch (grip tightly) this material for deal life or return it
prudently (wisely) at an opportune moment. The resulting simplication generally resolves the tension
and neutralizes White’s attack. This is why gambits have all but disappeared from modern master
play, to replace by slow positional maneuvering.

The question, now, is how to play a positional game? YOU SHOULD PLAY MASTER GAMES! TRY TO


Svetozar Gligoric (Yugoslavia): “The art of treating the opening stage of the game CORRECTLY and
WITHOUT ERROR is basically the art of using time efficiently.”


Think about this in the opening, “Each move is a treasure, to be spent only in the most useful way”
(Gligoric, 1972: v).


Vlastimil Hort (Czechoslovakia): “I may say that the production of a constant and uninterrupted series
of really best moves borders on, or is even beyond, the limits of human capabilties.”

Hort believes that “the guifing principle of the struggle on the chess board is the fight for the initiative”
which in turn “provokes the strongest resistance on the part of the opponent”.

A player with a well-developed feeling for position can enjoy great success by specializing in very few
openings. Hort argues, in agreement with Botvinnik, that “memorization of variations could be even
worse than playing in a tournament without looking in the books at all.” (he prefers Ruy Lopez, Sicilian,


Lajos Portisch (Hungary): “Your only task in the opening is to reach a playable middlegame.”

He suggests some openings:

- The exchange variation of the Ruy Lopez (white)
- “solid” French Defense
- Close system against the Sicilian,
- An exchange against Caro-Kann

This brings the King to safety and a Rook into play. Always play to dominate the middle of the board. King’s Indian Attack for white.” In addition. and don’t play for crude traps except in desperation.” Advise from Larsen: the talented amateur has to specialize in openings not often played in top-level chess. Concentrate on applying sound general principles and you will rarely go wrong. it is important to penetrate the opponent’s thoughts. Assume that your opponent will find the right moves. Develop Knights before Bishops. Don’t sacrifice material unless you see a way to get it back or to force a checkmate. without sacrificing material. 8. only enough to free your pieces. Develop minor pieces (Knights and Bishops) before major pieces (Queen and Rooks). It’s not important to memorize detailed opening variations. 3. 9.” CHAPTER 6 Ben Larsen (Denmark): “I don’t often play a move I know how to refute. centralize your pieces. four ingredients are essential to success at chess: . not just one or two. the sides and corners are lifeless. 2. 7. Make few pawn moves. Develop rapidly. Avoid giving useless checks. in effect. but to keep on strengthening your posisition. Stay particularly alert when Petrosian advises you that “the next part of the game is rather boring. In the closed openings: . The opeing is a race for rapid and continous development. CHAPTER 5 Tigran Petrosian (USSR): “Even the most distinguished players have in their careers experienced severe disappoinments due to ignorance of the best lines or suspension of their own common sense. The aim of development is to connect the Rooks so that they can occupy central posts for the middle game and seize open files. According to Bobby Fischer. 5. Occupy. castle early. or watch the center. Develop all your men fast. Knowing the ideas behind the opening is not enouvh when you face a opponent who knows the ideas and a lot of variation. “to separate head from the body. Don’t lose time by moving the same piece twice. attack. 10. Avoid early Queen adventures. The ide is not to trick your opponent. consisting mainly of positional meneuvering.” A game is an organic whole. Castle early. CHAPTER 1 BY : LARRY EVANS Opening General Principles 1. 6. 4. try to prevent your oppenent from castling – if possibe. Conversely. and to disjoint the opening from the middlegame is.

Remember it’s absolutely essential for your development as a chess player to adhere to the rule of “touch-move” – once you touch a piece you must move it. Spend as much spare time at the game as you can.if you don’t already know what they were. and you will also retain a permanent record of your progress. Just one slip can cost the game. Concentrate. Distrust your first instinct in selecting a move. You are not likely to lose two games the same way. Combine this study with actual play against strong opponents. XABCDEFGHY 8r+-wq-trk+( 7zplzpnvlpzpp' 6-zp-zp-sn-+& 5+-+Pzp-+-% 4-+P+P+-+$ 3zP-sN-+-zP-# 2-zP-+NzPLzP" 1tR-vLQ+RmK-! xabcdefghy . including the offhand ones. Learn from your losses. Sit on your hands. To avoid disaster. Study. Record your games. Keep your mind completely on the game. SPACE OPENING IS A FIGHT FOR TIME FORCE Mobility THE PLAYER WHO CONTROLS MORE SPACE ENJOYS SUPERIOR MOBILITY FOR HIS PIECES. 1. each time your opponent moves STOP and ask yourself: “What is the threat?” Don’t move until your understand the position. play over recent games of masters in books and magazines. Many players use only a fraction of their energy. 2. Give no quarter and ask for none! 3. And study them later to try to find your mistake . Think ahead. 4. Nobody’s interested in excuses when you lose. Play to win.