Egregious Violations of Opening Principles


The Royal Game of chess is guided by principles and , in general , adherence to these principles is rewarded. But, didn’t Walt Whitman say that to generalize is to be an idiot? In John Watson’s brilliant book Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy , the former electrical engineer speaks of rule independence which suggests that blind adherence to a set of principles can have unfavorable outcomes. If being good at chess was only dependent on the memorization of a bunch of rules, then many more folks would have mastered the game! Rules certainly can guide and assist, but at some point concrete analysis and calculation will determine the outcome of most chess games. If this were not true, then why are the top of the line computer programs better than any human chess player?

In the following blitz game played at the internet chess club (ICC) , Ivore of El Salvador violates many of the game’s opening principles. He moves his King’s Knight 3 times in quite the desultory fashion. He advances his h pawn twice which can be very dangerous against a castled Black King. However Black counters with the central tempo gaining thrust e5 which is a standard remedy against an impetuous flank attack.

All this combined with the slow development of b3 and Bb2 produce winning counter threats for the second player.

Flagrant Violations of the Principles that Guide Play in a Game of Chess