Objectivity in Chess

Objectivity in Chess


In my slanted opinion, remaining objective is clearly a key to being
successful in games and other ventures. It is hard to improve if you
are not objective, because you may assign wrong reasons to your losses
and fail to learn from mistakes. On the other hand, if you are
objective, many lessons can be learned from games won and lost, making
improvement almost inevitable.

Being objective is very important in games like chess or go, where
positions must be analyzed and judgments made about the final
position of said analysis.

Judgment is related to all this. Experience and mathematical analysis
can help you make an objective decision. The difference between judgment and being
objective is
that to have "good judgment" we must remain objective and use the data
we have correctly.

How do we remain objective? How can we have any clue if we are being
objective or not?

1. Remain unattached to a particular course of action until it
is determined by you to be the best course. Often people will make the
first move they see, even if they start to see or suspect problems with

2. Remain somewhat unemotional; otherwise, emotions rather than
rational thought may cause many bad plays.

3. If you can use analysis or math to solve a problem then do
so; hunches can be very important but cannot override facts.

4. If you can devise a point count system for hard positions or, again,
use math to solve a problem, why not do it? Chess computers are programmed
this way: first they look for a forced win and if they cannot find one,
they weigh all aspects of the position, assigning points to things such
as control of the center, king weakness, piece activity, pawns about to queen, etc.

5. Know when math is of no help and when using hunches and other clues is best.
If the odds are equal for two courses of actions, and you have some
clue as to the likely course of action for your opponent, use this
information; it could tip the balance in your favor.

6. Knowledge is key. If you know nothing, then you will be guessing
anyway in many situations. The more you know and the more you use the
knowledge you possess, the better you will be, you will see.

7. Results. If you have good results or poor results, this is a clue to
how you are doing. In many games you can look at the game later and
see where you went right and where you went wrong.
Now look at why you went wrong: Was it a mistake? Or was it a case of
being unobjective or making an assumption that could not be
supported by analysis? Maybe you like to sacrifice material in chess and therefore sacked
even though you could tell your opponent had a good defense. Maybe you
bluffed in poker against someone you knew would always call, but you
hoped and convinced yourself that they would not.

8. Assumptions clearly can be helpful when correct but are often just
a dangerous shortcut to actual analysis.

9. Use history. While this is a form of assuming if a
certain position wins in master practice over and over again, then it
would be desirable to be on the winning side of it. In chess there are
opening books and databases which state the historical averages of
certain positions. If a grandmaster cannot win from a certain position
in a hundred tries, it is unlikely that against decent competition you
will able to either, so avoid known "bad positions" and strive for
"good positions." It took me a while to figure out why many of these
positions were bad, or why people always said not to play weak hands
out of position in poker or not to double into a game unless absolutely
certain of defeating a contract in bridge, etc.
If you have time and money to spare, feel free to reinvent the wheel.
Otherwise, I advise in important situations, and where you don't have
a very good reason to deviate, to accept what is known.
kenneth parnell
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Chess square legend

Learn Chess with Puma Beginning Checkmating Lessons

If you checkmate you win, and since the skills you learn about checkmating can be used to mate and to help avoid mate,  learning about checkmates and attacking actually helps your offensive and defensive skills. That is why we will be showing you lots of ways to checkmate.

In this set of positions we use a far advanced pawn on the F6 square as the defender for the queen to mate on G7.  In a lot of our lessons including this one we will work backwards showing the easiest answer first then doing mate in twos and threes.

(Note: every square has a name,presently the black king is on the G8 square, see diagram at top of article if confused)

Can you see the move for white to checkmate? 

If you thought it was moving the queen up to G7 you are correct!

 Now that we know that the goal is mating on G7

we can try to solve a couple of mating problems around this theme. 

In this example Black who has grown an extra rook from the last example is threatening to mate us at the A1 square, so we must act fast, luckily we have mate in two and it is similar to the last diagram. 

Can you Find the first Move?

 If you chose QH6+ checking the black  king and forcing it back to G8 only to be mated next move, you are correct. This is the same mate as before, and we will show it here.

 You can see the king only has one move, we can see the results below.


Lets review what we have learned before moving on the grand finale-- a mate in three!

  • A far advanced pawn can help mate the opponents king
  • The Queen or sometimes another piece works in combination with the pawn
  • We can win even when behind in material or when we have less pieces
  • Sometime the Queen must be moved into position to make the mate
  • It is helpful when we move forward with check, since then we keep the attack and don't allow the other player to get any attack  of their own going. 

 Now for the advanced problem, it ends the exact same way as the last diagram, but we have to look one more move deep to find the solution, again everything is done with check 

 Now the goal is to force the king over to H8 so we can use the mate in two we just learned.

Can you see the right move?

A brilliant move by white, now black's king must take the rook, setting up a mate in two as shown in the above diagrams. 

We will re-show the diagrams below, watch as black is mated again.

We will be publishing new lessons and chess books, so come back often, if you want lessons, online or in Seattle contact us at 800-609-6211 or use our contact form.

You can also purchase the excellent Chessmate Wallet a magnetic portable chess-set which was used in the Bobby Fisher movie and fun and collectible Chessheads trading cards both of which we distribute.

Chess portable magnetic chesset  


kenneth parnell
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