They’ve Forced my Hand

After reading the revolutionary¬†“How to Win Chess Almost Every Time” on Wikihow I’m reduced to tears dropping down upon a keyboard. I’ve been writing to you for six months, on chess topics ranging from the Stygian to the sunny, but I still don’t have you winning nearly always. I promise to turn over a new leaf soon! You can look forward to such illustrious columns from me as “Proceeding When your Opponent Also Knows how to Win Almost Every Time.” Won’t you stay tuned for my reflection piece, “Why are you Settling for Winning Half your Games? I think that the columns will be a bit derivative because everything needed to be said is already on that one page, but I’ll press on if I can.

I’d like to apologize to a necessarily angry readership. You should’ve expected more. Never once did I tell you to move your pieces forward. Sometimes the only advice you need is simple common sense! It’s all easier than studying the Najdorf too.

Perhaps you would even be right to question my fitness as a writer of a chess column. After all, I don’t even win more than half of the time against players of equal strength. To think that these writers have avoided arbitrary considerations and codified the Philosopher’s Stone of chess…”Go about as a rule of thumb, 60% aggression and 40% defending.” What have I been doing but dabbling?

Reading this piece gave me some cold comfort despite the abrupt end to the search for answers in chess, and my own guilt at not having forecast it. The flamboyant talent of Nakamura and Carlsen has heretofore been wasted, many contests decided by threefold-repetition as they refused to move pieces forward; we should see some more exciting contests now that strategic principles are available. I’m not the only one who has fallen down on the job either. Writers like Jacob Aagaard have been penning useless books on the Queen’s Indian; everyone now knows that it’s ridiculous and unsound to settle for a backward move like e6 in your opening. Support groups for chess players exist if you’re distraught about the sudden invalidity of defenses such as the French. There is help!

The only question I have is that if the article makes you win nearly always then why do the authors advise you to practice?


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