Threats, from Nigel Davies

June 25, 2007 |

 One of the major differences between master and amateur chess players is in the way they perceive threats. Amateurs have a tendency to defend against everything and anything, largely due to their inability to calculate to the end and distinguish the real from the imaginary.

So the bluff carries great weight at lower levels, often resulting in both sides defending against imaginary threats as if both were participant in a game of blind man's bluff.

On the other hand, the intrinsic worsening of their positions by small mistakes and inefficiencies is often not noticed at all, usually resulting in quite the wrong diagnosis as to why they lost. Often it's put down to a single move when in fact they were on the wrong course for some time. They then eventually find one of the blunders which becomes ever more common in dodgy positions.


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