stevencarr wrote:When I was young, I naturally wanted to play like Tal. So I had Modern Benoni's and sacs against the Sicilian in my repertoire.
There was only one snag about trying to emulate Tal.
I wasn't Tal.
I would also like to play like Karpov or Adams. Adams has such a smooth style, so admirable.
But I can't play like them.
I've found in the past year that the player I should be emulating is Simon Williams.
With all due respect to Simon Williams, who is a far better player than I, his style is more suitable to players like me than the games of Tal, Karpov or Adams. I don't have to be a genius, which is one of the requirements of trying to play like Tal. I just have to be a bit of a nutcase to play like Williams - again, no disrespect intended.
So do other players have role models to try to model their chess on?
I used to be quite attracted to Simon Williams' ideas, and his opening DVD's are the only ones on the market, where you genuinely feel like you are getting a Chess book in video format.
The problem with Simon Williams is, he is just a bit too attacking for me - all of his openings ideas are very theory intensive and come with the added problem that, because they are so sharp, you find yourself sitting on a razors edge after the first 10 moves, and one inaccuracy will cost you the game.
For instance in the 2.Bg5 Anti Dutch, Williams' recommends the very hairy 2...h6 - I can't remember all the analysis now as I haven't played the Dutch for ages, but basically if as black you manage to defend white's 10 or so mating threats (this involves eventually playing the crazy looking Rh7) you get into an ending an exchange down, but with the 2 Bishops and white has some isolated pawns.
Williams ends with a huge grin on his face saying he loves this ending for black and there are great winning chances - I'm left scratching my head, knowing that if there was even a slim chance I'd reach that ending in my own games, I would wind up blundering and losing it very quickly. If I ever take up the Dutch again, I think I'll stick with going into a Leningrad set-up after Bg5, safer!
I think the point is, don't try to emulate much stronger players, they are stronger for a reason - they can find the win in very tense, unclear positions - us lesser mortals will stick in a few a3's and h3's and quicky loose any advantage to be had.