Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Things to do at your opponent's time!

You made a move and pushed the clock. The opponent went into thinking and calculating variations. What should you do in the meanwhile? It is tempting to start guessing what the opponent will play and then delve into those moves and variations. Being able to guess the opponent's ideas is of course useful for successful prophylactic play.

But, there is another activity while the opponent's clock is ticking that can become useful. Sit back and have a "bird's view" of the position. Let your imagination flow and search for possible ideas for yourself. Where can your pieces go? Where do they want to stand? What type of operations can you make with your pieces? What kind of ideas are hidden in the position? Search for interesting ideas and plans. Try not to calculate any moves or variations. Just make mental notes of different possibilities. Give it a try and see how it goes. This practice should make your view broader and your games richer.