20 Jun 2011
by Tanna Kasperowicz
Club Player (sometimes)
I started playing chess again with an app on my iphone. What a revelation!
You can play with the computer, which I do, or with another human being. I chose the computer because after all these years I’m still learning the game. Shredder Lite permits you to play a lot of games, very quickly, and you can take back moves and see how Shredder reacts when you chose to move another piece. There are also chess puzzles and the app is free.
Shredder will analyze your game, give you a rating, show you all your legal moves if you want it to. And you can choose to play at different levels. I chose the top level because on almost all of the other levels the computer makes really stupid moves, like letting you have its Queen for nothing in return – nothing that I am able to see, anyway.
After playing again after all these years I remembered all the reasons that playing chess helps you clarify things in your life. And it has.
I’ve been unhappy with the Gazette’s presence on the web for some time, now. We have a blog and it’s OK, but it wasn’t doing what I thought it should be doing. I recently became acquainted with a young man who knows about these kinds of things and with his help we’re moving into the future with www.tinytownunleashed.com In another few weeks it should start looking very different.
Additionally, I wasn’t happy with blog responses we were getting. Mainly, they were moronic. They were also anonymous. So we cut out the anonymous comments and that put a stop-on-a-dime halt to all the nasty, confused and spam comments we were getting.
But I digress.
Chess teaches you several things.
1. If you move erratically and by doing so don’t protect your pawns and your back row pieces, you could win a game here and there just by confusing your opponent, human or computer. But if you play enough games, you will soon learn that you need to both protect your pieces and gain entrance into your opponent’s space. Just like conducting a war, I am told.
2. You need to move forward, in life, in chess, in business. You need to know when to attack your opponent’s space – do some serious moving into it. If your opponent starts the space grab before you do, you are likely to miss the momentum and go down to defeat. However, the other day I managed to pull out of it and win the game. I was very proud of this and told my husband. He said “Hmm.”
3. You need to learn the value of your pieces. Pawns are cheap and there are a lot of them, but it’s not wise to waste them, as all 8 of them can become Queens (or any other piece you desire ) if they make to the opponent’s King’s row.
4. Have a plan, work your plan. Change your plan when your opponent makes a different move than you expected.
5. A few games ago my opponent had more pieces than I had, had just taken my Queen, was moving in on my King, and I was sweating bullets. I took a few minutes to look around and saw my perfect move.
And to think I had almost resigned.
Benjamin Franklin wrote:
“The Game of chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions; for life is a kind of chess, in which we have points to gain, and competition or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effect of prudence, or want of it.
By playing at chess then, we may learn: foresight, circumspection, caution, Franklin said.
“And lastly, we learn by chess the habit of not being discouraged by present bad appearances in the state of our affairs; the habit of hoping for a favorable chance, and that of persevering in the secrets of resources.”