Sunday, July 3, 2011


Below are some the early chess lessons that I gathered during my salad day. As I am getting older (and hopefully…wiser) I know I am better off without getting this free chess ‘lessons’.

Check needs to be announced.
It is illegal to check opponent’s king without mentioning ‘check’ . Opponent can ignore your soundless check and you cannot capture his/her king.

Castling needs to be announced.
Same as above. If you did not mentioned ‘castling’, then you cannot castle. Simple.

When your opponent has only king, you need to checkmate him/her within 20 moves.
If you are unable to do it in 20 moves, game draw. Explain why I never bother to learn how to checkmate by using knight and bishop, very good chances it is going to be draw.

You can only promote your pawn with pieces that is off the board.
In simple word, if your queen is still on the board, you cannot promote your pawn to a queen. ‘Kahwin dua’ or having two queens is not allowed.

En passant’s pawn must be captured
Happen to me during my first tournament, 1986 Malay Open (Novice). I play this kid (about 14 or 15 years old) and in the middle game he advance his pawn two square, I played maybe some bishop or knight move when he suddenly said…
Him: en pass see yon! (with heavy French accent, still remember that!)
Me: What’s that?
Him: en pass see yon…you need to capture my pawn…like this (he shows me a capture as if his pawn only move one square)
Me: Are you sure?
Him:If you don’t believe me, you can ask my dad (as if on cue, there appeared his father and explain to me about the en passant rule and I HAVE to capture the pawn!)

Me, still not satisfied…called up the arbiter. Arbiter came and before I could say anything, both father and son busy explaining to the arbiter that I don’t know about En passant’s move.

Arbiter: Adik, this move is called en passant. It exist…
Me: …ok

So that is it. I captured the pawn, compromise my position and resigned a few moves later. The ‘knowledge’ about en passant and it needs to be captured stuck with me for a few years.

If only i asked that arbiter whether is it compulsory to capture an en passant pawn....

Study your opponent’s game…if he likes to play his knight, immediately captured his knight with your bishop!
Wonder how you can determine your opponent's liking of chess pieces!

If you want to know what your opponent think…look at his/her eyes!
Well, maybe I should practice/test this tip when i meet GM Tania…maybe there is some truth in it!..but when ah....?

Castle if you must…if not then don’t castle, you risked putting your king trapped at the corner with fewer square to moves/ escapes.King is safer at center.
Maybe this tips still somehow stuck at my subconscious mind...

With all these rules and tips that I gathered during my critical foundation years…no wonder why I am stuck at where I am today.

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