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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Words of Wisdom from National Master James R. Schroeder

     According to his Blog, Schroeder, Ohio champion in 1950 and 1985, is "a renown chess author, editor, critic, master, historian and constant student of the game."  He was the Ohio Chess Champion in 1950 and 1985 and the winner of fifty consecutive U.S.C.F. rated games. Schroeder also founded The Prison Chess Fund which he used to supply prisoners chess sets and books without charge. He was also a seller of books and chess equipment. 

Some of his quotes follow: 

-I want to play this game to the best of my ability, within the amount of time available. 
-I am playing amateurs, not Grandmasters - there is no need for me to be afraid of anyone nor anything. 
-I must have confidence and expect to win every game I play. 
-1.P-K4 (1.e4) is the strongest move, and the easiest way to win is to attack by creating open lines through judicious Pawn exchanges and then by making combinations. 
-I want to adopt a style of striving for attacking formations from the very first move. That style will make me into a successful chess player because I am not playing a perfect machine but an imperfect human being. 
-If I do make a mistake I will not be discouraged, surprised, or depressed - that mistake is probably not enough to lose the game. 
-Success or failure is caused by my attitude: If I expect success, my mind will analyze variations leading to success. If I expect failure, my mind will analyze variations leading to failure. Consequently, I must remain confident, even if I am losing. 
-Don't lose. Win, if possible. 
-Play good moves in the Opening. 
-Do NOT try to find the "best" moves in the Opening. 
-I want to try to attack and utterly destroy my opponent. 
-The best way to play chess is to attack and attack, and attack some more. 
-You don't become a great player by waiting for an error; you become a great player by forcing errors. 
-I want my mind to tell me a good move. If it tells me the move to play, do not analyze long sequences of moves in order to determine if the move is good - a short sequence is enough. 
-If I don't trust the move, ask my mind to check the analysis, to analyze deeper, to analyze alternate moves, but do NOT look at alternate moves. DON'T THINK! - it interferes with my mind's task. Relax, and idly think of the position in general terms. Note the tactical and positional features of it - this will help my mind analyze. 
-Examine both logical and illogical moves. Examine all checks and captures. You don't need to analyze them, just notice them. 
-While playing a game I must remember to have my mental scanners look at: - every move: it weakens something and threatens something. - short-range tactics; long-range tactics. - strategy relevant to the position I have reached. - the 16 tactical devices. - the 110 types of combinations (combined tactical devices). 
-I must remember to continuously give myself new instructions, as needed, while I am playing. 
-Chess is a game of constant change: I must adapt to it, be ready for it, indeed, welcome it.
-When it is my opponent's turn to move make your analysis chart wider and deeper in the important variations. Consider not only the logical moves he may play, but also the illogical - but plausible - ones. 
-If I have an advantage I will change my instructions and tell my mind: "I think we have a win. Find the move that maintains the winning advantage in the most certain, or safest, or most efficient manner. Forget my opponent's strengths and weaknesses - if there is a forced win for me by sheer technique, then I want to use that technique". 
-Don't try any tricks. 
-If my opponent has an advantage, look for lines of maximum resistance. If he thinks he has an advantage he will be trying to win. If he does not have a forced win he may make an error. -Be alert! Remember - my opponent may not have the knowledge to win the position he has. 
-I may get up and walk around. Don't look at other games - I want my mind to keep analyzing the position

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