A Chess Opening as it relates to information theory

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The following variation in the Tarrasch French Defense has an idea that might be counter-intuitive to weak and strong chess players alike. White spends a lot of time moving his knights in this opening setup. His queen knight hops from d2 to f3 while the king knight goes from e2 to f4. One of the reasons a white knight wants to land on f4 is to inhibit f6 which would leave the Black e6 pawn hanging . Pawn to f6 is a very common reaction for Black when White advances his pawn to e5.

As John Watson points out in his French Defense book, much of chess is information theoretic. What sort of information do your moves provide to your opponent?  Although Black castling in the pictured position is probably not bad, unwinding the Black forces on the queenside is likely a better course of action for the second player. The sequence of moves Nb6, Bd7, and Rc8 and then perhaps Kingside castling provides less information to White about Black’s intentions. John Watson writes about the avoidance of providing too much information, too early to your opponent in a chess game!

The move Nb6 looks like it might invite White to react with a4, but this would give up the b4 square which could be effectively occupied by the Knight at c6. Nb6 also clears d7 to be occupied by the Achilles heel French Bishop which, in turn, frees up c8 for the Black Rook.

This uncoiling of the Black Queenside is very similar to some variations in the Sicilian where the Black King remains in the center while Queenside development is transpiring. It is useful to note that castling early is NOT tantamount to King safety. In fact, castling too soon can make your King an early target in a chess game since you are providing too much information to your opponent. When the center is closed, do not be in a big rush to castle. Consider wing developments that might give your opponent a few things to worry about!

Black in no hurry to castle in this variation of French Defense
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5 comments on “A Chess Opening as it relates to information theoryAdd yours →

  1. Oh, so you want talk chess theory? I should introduce you to my husband! I love the man to death, but I think he loves chess more than me some day!! He plays chess by mail and you have heard of football widows? Well, I am a chess widow. He plays chess by mail, by the internet, at work, and if that is not FFFFFinnnnnng enough he gets in the car with his gay friends and wastes an entire weekend locked up in a hotel room with a bunch of middle aged men………Geeezzz. BTW, his postal or correspondence with other chess players is bothersome too. He shares more with these guys than his wife or kids!!

    Menke, John R (10427398)
    Van Enk, Steven J (12729266)
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    1. Did you know that chess players finger each other at Internet chess club. It’s their way of finding out what each others won lost record is. Not as gross as it sounds. What happened to Tuirgin.com web site. There was great article nurturing an obsession where guy had new wife, mortgage, step kids. It’s tough to play serious chess with all that responsibility!!

  2. Did anybody ready the arrogant letter penned by Gregory Odle from Berkely, CA? The guy is a marginal A player upset that a B player(stronger that Odle) won more money than the third place finisher in Concord US Open. Let’s see Gregory, that B player paid the same amount for his entry fee. Spent his hard earned money for hotel reservations to have a place to stay in tournament. Who really cares if you would prefer to watch strong Master players battle it out rather than B players. The top 3 or 4 finishers in the B class part of tournament are better than you. The whole thing was not set up to satisfy your spectating desires.

    At your strength, you could have learned much watching the B player win $2900. Your 7 points in A section was a full point from first place. Had you played in B section, you would have finished in around the same relative position.

    In short, there is no room for an average A player like yourself to be indignant about the prize fund distribution. You have no rational for your argument other than your disappointment that you only won some chump change. Get over yourself.

  3. Statistics for CloudDragon-aggressive introspective philosophical chess player loves
    The Lisitsyn gambit 1.Nf3 f5 2.e4

    rating [need] win loss draw total best
    Bughouse 1527 [6] 4 3 0 7
    Crazyhouse 1800 [6] 58 125 2 185 1837 (10-Apr-2010)
    Bullet 2048 17027 12485 3686 33198 2173 (08-Aug-2015)
    Blitz 2405 [8] 10526 10013 2654 23193 2508 (28-May-2009)
    Standard 2061 [6] 3 0 1 4
    5-minute 2222 [8] 458 421 128 1007 2350 (22-Aug-2012)
    1-minute 2009 [8] 124 113 28 265 2097 (28-Sep-2015)
    15-minute 2100 [4] 50 13 8 71 2117 (15-Sep-2011)
    3-minute 1897 6027 5501 1610 13138 2211 (17-Mar-2012)
    Chess960 1608 [8] 7 4 1 12

    1: We’re in the middle of a chess information explosion.
    2: Choose your weapons carefully.
    3: Training Methods(Canadian IM Deen Hergott has unusually low ICC blitz rating for titled player)
    4: Endgame Theory
    5: Opening Systems
    6: Middlegame Ideals and Ideas
    7: Computers can increase your vision of the board.
    8: Draws can be the result of well played games.
    9: Use of ICC training bots is free.
    10: Video lectures are free here on ICC and should be viewed anytime.

    1. I googled Statistics for CloudDragon and it came back with information posted here. It appears Internet Chess Club has an adsense account because two google ads displayed on page created by ICC for CloudDragon. I doubt the CTR is very high. Most people are just interested in the info about the player, not clicking on an advertisement.

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