Purposely creating an unbalanced game.

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Kevin O'Rourke
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Purposely creating an unbalanced game.

Post by Kevin O'Rourke » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:30 am

Purposely creating an unbalanced game.

When playing a good opponent and one that is most likely better than you, is it better to play for an equal but imbalanced game so as to avoid like for like mirror situation? By equal and imbalanced I mean things such exchanging different minor pieces so each player has a different set of minor pieces than the other, only one side having doubled pawns, castling on the opposite sides, or doing something different your pawns.

The most obvious but equal difference is exchanging a bishop for a knight or vice versa since the pieces are considered equal but move in totally different ways. Granted, it may make this worse if it goes wrong but against better players it might be better to arm yourself with a different weapon if you’d certainly lose a equal battle.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Purposely creating an unbalanced game.

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:45 am

Kevin O'Rourke wrote: When playing a good opponent and one that is most likely better than you, is it better to play for an equal but imbalanced game so as to avoid like for like mirror situation?
Is the objective to draw, or to create chances for a winning upset? It's going to depend on your personal strengths and weaknesses. If you find that level and dull positions drift into those where you are worse, they are perhaps best avoided. On the other hand you may be able to keep a balanced position balanced, but get it wrong when madness ensues. Don't forget also that the supposedly superior player also has to make similar choices as to whether to close the game down or liven it up.

Phil Neatherway
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Re: Purposely creating an unbalanced game.

Post by Phil Neatherway » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:00 am

The book to read on this subject is Simon Webb's Chess for Tigers. Among other things, he points out that you're more likely to get a draw again a strong opponent by playing actively (luring a Heffalump into Swamp Territory) and hoping your opponent makes a mistake before you do. So imbalancing is the way to go.

Kevin O'Rourke
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Re: Purposely creating an unbalanced game.

Post by Kevin O'Rourke » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:30 am

I find one of the most interesting things in chess is the relationship between the bishop and knight and how 2 totally different pieces are equivalents in an arbitrary sense, but total game changers on the board. Most of the interesting of the games (including watching top level games) happen when there is an imbalance and just the right amount of space for battle to commence.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Purposely creating an unbalanced game.

Post by Stewart Reuben » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:54 am

Assuming you don't know your opponent very well, he just has a higher grade or rating, surely you should try to aim for a position where you feel comfortable.

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Joey Stewart
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Re: Purposely creating an unbalanced game.

Post by Joey Stewart » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:54 pm

Inbalance probably gives the best chance of scoring a knockout blow, but you better be a good tactical player to be messing around like that because you have just stirred up a hornets nest and they might well have the bigger stinger!
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Purposely creating an unbalanced game.

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:38 am

From experience, if you try to play too carefully against a much stronger player, they will just keep playing and you will probably go wrong first. You might get away with a draw or even a win, but you will probably defend miserably for six hours and then lose. So it's probably best to do something, without being too wild. I think even if you're the better player, you want some sort of imbalance.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Purposely creating an unbalanced game.

Post by MartinCarpenter » Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:25 pm

Joey Stewart wrote:Inbalance probably gives the best chance of scoring a knockout blow, but you better be a good tactical player to be messing around like that because you have just stirred up a hornets nest and they might well have the bigger stinger!


Ah well, the normal reasoning is that yes you raise the potential consequences high enough that if they do make a genuine mistake then you might well be able to essentially win on the spot. In a quiet position they might be able to say blunder a not very important pawn and still be easily capable of grinding you down.

I've seen tons of York A players vs weaker players on a regular basis and ultimately it really depends on the stronger player. There are some players on York A where trying for a long, drawn out, defense and hoping for a blunder and/or time trouble to intervene is quite a good plan. Also some others where it is quite futile.

Brian Towers
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Re: Purposely creating an unbalanced game.

Post by Brian Towers » Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:43 pm

Isn't this basically what Carlsen did in his match against Karjakin when he was one down with just 2 or 3 to play? Albeit he waited until the endgame before randomizing the game. Sounds like standard practice when you need a win even at the very highest level.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

MSoszynski
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Re: Purposely creating an unbalanced game.

Post by MSoszynski » Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:18 pm

Here's an example of my own play when outgraded by 55 points.

[Event "B'ham League Div 2"]
[Date "2016.03.17"]
[White "Sanghera, Parminder"]
[Black "Soszynski, Marek"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteECF "210"]
[BlackECF "155"]
[ECO "A38c"]

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nc3 g6 4.g3 Nc6 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.O-O b6 7.b3 Bb7 8.Bb2 O-O 9.e3 e6 10.d4 d5 (Purposely creating an unbalanced game?) 11.dxc5 Ne4 (The first new move.) 12.Qc1 Nxc5 13.Rd1 Nb4 14.Qb1 Qe7 15.cxd5 Rfd8 16.dxe6 Rd3?! (16...fxe6∞) 17.exf7+ Qxf7 18.Ng5 Qf5 19.Bxb7 Rf8? 20.Nge4 (20.f4 +/-) 20...Bxc3 21.Bxc3? Nxe4!= 22.Bxe4 Qxf2+ 23.Kh1 Rxc3 24.a3 (24.Rf1 Qxf1+ 25.Qxf1 Rxf1+ 26.Rxf1 Rxe3=) 24...Rc2! (24...Rxe3 25.Re1=) 25.Bxc2 Qf3+ (25...Nxc2?? 26.Rf1 +-) 26.Kg1 Qf2+ 27.Kh1 1/2-1/2.

Mick Norris
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Re: Purposely creating an unbalanced game.

Post by Mick Norris » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:30 pm

Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

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