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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Chess Game So Far

Here is the position of my game of bloggers chess with Rook, of "Rook's Rant." Playing White I have just made my fourth move, and I'm waiting for his answer. It will be an especially important move, not because there are any big threats at work as yet but because so much of the future tenor of this game will be determined by it.

Rook thinks I've been moving unusually fast, but the truth is that so far I've been playing strictly by rote. I don't know what Rook is doing. These moves have already been played millions of times, over several hundred years. Still it's best to ease into putting on my thinking cap before the going starts to get tough.

Though White is generally thought to start with a slight advantage by having the first move, I am not as comfortable in this opening, the Ruy Lopez, as I would be if I had the Black pieces. The reason is that I have more pet lines as Black in this opening than I do with White. But Rook saw himself as being generous when he offered to play Black in his challenge to all comers.

Despite the general consensus, however, there are a group of warped players who think that Black actually has the advantage by starting second, and I am one of those twisted few. Maybe Rook is one of them, too. The thinking is that thereby White gets the first chance to make a mistake. But, and especially in the Ruy, there also can be a recoil effect that is often at Black's disposal, and for that reason, despite being so well studied -- or I should say because of all that study -- the Ruy Lopez, more so than most openings, is considered to be equally dangerous for White and for Black!


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