Bad Ideas

“Errare humanum est…”

Everyone has their fair share of bad ideas over a chess career. It is as they say part of the human nature. Key is to learn from them instead of persisting down that road because:
“… sed in errare (errore) perseverare diabolicum”
It is interesting how some bad ideas leave a big mark and stay with you for a long time or even forever. If you learn your lesson, a game lost by a bad idea can help you improve more than countless games won. The first game below has haunted me for a long time. It is from the University years, some of the best years in anyone’s life: no worries, courage, lots of bubbling ideas and most of all fun! In all this vortex of action bad and good ideas pour out of your mind while you try to keep up with them. The bad idea this time came all of a sudden and seemed worth exploring: what is the big deal if my fianchettoed bishop gets trapped in the corner? While he gets busy trapping it, I can gain space and initiative on the queenside. This can’t be so bad, can’t it? Let’s see how it went:

This is a game I remember the most when I open the copybook with my games from those years. 15 years from that day having it in the back of my mind came to the rescue in the most unexpected way. I was playing in my first Canadian correspondence chess final; in one of the games I had the opportunity to return the favour on an unsuspected opponent. This time however I got much more than just a bishop.

What can we conclude out of this? Do not be afraid of your ideas! Trust your instinct and go for it no matter what. Yes, some are going to be bad and others good. There is no better teacher than your own experience. The good ideas need to become part of your arsenal. The bad ones need to be analysed, remembered and then also used as part of your own arsenal by simply turning the tables on your opposition. It is simple and still rather counter intuitive. Being afraid to experiment or simply forgetting about them handicaps you, so don’t do that. Go for it and you will be rewarded!

Valer Eugen Demian

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About Valer Eugen Demian

The player - my first serious chess tournament was back in 1974, a little bit late for today's standards. Over the years I have had the opportunity to play all forms of chess from OTB to postal, email and server chess. The journey as a player brought me a lot of experience and a few titles along the way: FIDE CM (2012), ICCF IM (2001) and one ICCF SIM norm (2004). The instructor - my career as a chess teacher and coach started in 1994 and continues strong. I have been awarded the FIDE Instructor title (2007) for my work and have been blessed with great students reaching the highest levels (CYCC, NAYCCC, Pan-Am, WYCC). I am very proud of them! See my website for more information. I have developed my own chess curriculum on 6 levels based on my overall chess knowledge and hands-on experience. A glimpse of it can be seen in my first chess app: I can help you learn chess the proper way if this is what you seek!