The Search For Normal Games

A couple of weeks back my son asked me if we could go through some normal games rather than those with sacrifices. I thought this was interesting, he’d realized that queen sacrifices and the like don’t often happen and was doubting their relevance.

Thinking about it I find that I agree with him. I’ve come across many players, especially young ones, who are forever looking for some wild sacrificial idea because of an early diet of ‘brilliancies’. So they sacrifice when they should be capturing, attack when they should be defending and keep the queens on when they should exchange into a favorable endgame. But aren’t ‘brilliancies’ vital for our all important tactical vision?

This is certainly the story line, but actually I’m unconvinced that they develop chess vision any faster than a well played game together with some astute questions. Vision plays a vital part in every moment of any game, even if the tactics stay below the surface.

Here’s a fairly normal game played by one of my favorite model players, Paul Keres. Nothing spectacular, but excellent play and clean finishing.



Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: