I’ve been playing a few 5 and 10 minute games on Chess Hotel the past few days. Most of the players have had site ratings of 1200-1400 with a few as high as mid-1700’s. With Black I’ve been meeting 1.e4 with 1…e5. The reason why this is the best is because at least half the players have played 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bc4 and then contrived a way to sacrifice a piece on f7. So far I haven’t lost any of those games.
I think it goes back to the old adage that chess is 99% tactics so these players will play sacrifices regardless of the justification. They never seem to learn that you have to play what the position demands, not what you want. Jeremy Silman points that simple fact out right in the beginning of his book, Reassess Your Chess, but it seems to escape notice.
I want to tell these guys to spend some money on a book like The Art of Attack. The author explains what the criteria are for these sacrifices to be successful. Too many people think that you can just willy-nilly make a sac and it will work; it’s just not so.
Then there were at least two opponents rated mid-1200’s who played about 800 points higher with no serious errors but then blundered away a piece or two. I suspect they are victims of tunnel vision where they concentrate on only the sector of the board where they are conducting operations. Their problem could easily be eliminated by doing a simple board scan of ranks, files and diagonals after their opponent moves and before they move. After while this becomes automatic and takes no more than a few seconds and it’s pretty amazing what you’ll see in that few seconds