Mar

28

 "Try to keep your pawns coordinated. Think of them as the foundation of your house. Every crack and every hole can eventually lead to disastrous consequences for the whole house."

- Jonathan Edwards, US Correspondence champ.

Tom Wiswell couldn't have said it much better. How does it apply to markets?

P.S It is interesting to note that in checkers the traps and gems are every bit as complex, hidden, and far removed as in chess. During the 25 years I took lessons from Wiswell, and he played against people like Leopold who was as good across the board, and his thousands of games with me, I never saw once that a good player fell into a trap in go as you please. Perhaps the Checker Pres will correct me but the main point is true. To play a good player and set a trap is the seeds of death or as Wiswell would say, "beware the spider". 

Alan Millhone, the Checker Pres, replies: 

Dear Chair

I moved myself into the Masters. I like playing the best. When you lose to the best rated players like Luba or Suki etc you never have to make an excuse for the loss. I also learn from every loss as the astute Market player should.

I never play for traps. Usually setting a trap will weaken your position if your opponent does not make the move you had hoped he would. I make my move assuming my opponent will always make the best reply.

"Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly "

In Checkers as the Market , research is critical before moving or execution of a trade.

Sincerely,

Alan

Anatoly Veltman writes: 

There is difference between checker tactics and speculation, in that checker outcome is near binary (win, lose or draw) - while one sets up its market position based on a multi-dimensional scale of odds/size of risk VS reward. Thus, your checker inclination against playing for trap - doesn't profoundly manifest in speculation. My recollection of Silver Monday April 28th, 1987 is perfect example: because a record number of speculators fell into a limit-up trap, the TRADE OF THE LIFETIME proved to be SHORTING, if only for minutes! And multiple cases of not hearing about "that local" ever again.

Reminded me another war story: Tuesday October 20th, 1987 Eurodollar futures pit. That contract normally moved 10 points on a good day. But in the wake of Black Monday, the contract was called to gap in Chicago pit "much higher". How much? Well, speechless clerks and brokers speculated 100 higher!! So seconds before the opening bell, the Salomon Brothers runner fights his way to the pit broker with a ticket sporting conspicuously much ink on the left side. It turned out to be 3000-lot to buy at the market!

So instead of opening between 94.50 and 94.75 (a usual monthly range), the broker tells the offers to shut up and announces 97.00 bid for 3000. Everyone freezes up - except for one regular local, who leaps at him over multiple pit steps with a samurai grunt "Sold!" Price traded back down below 95.00 by the end of the opening sequence, the local covered and was never heard from again in continental United States
 

Michael Chuprin writes: 

As the game begins, lets say within the first 5 or 10 moves, the players inform each other the kind of game that is going to be played by the way that they develop their pawns, whether it be a defensive or offensive or deceiving (luring into a trap) type of structure. After the "mood" is set, the rest of the game proceeds with the development of the heavy pieces and the pawns now act as a buffer between the two armies. Highly ranked players know that the pawns set the terrain as the heavy pieces approach each other, and this is why the accidental loss of a single pawn can shift the entire scaffolding the entire structure, much like a puncture in the hull of a battleship may incapacitate all of the ships cannons. It is no wonder why in many situations strong players give up after miscalculating a position and losing a single pawn. It may be like two martial artists fighting and one breaking a finger, the damage is relatively small, but its effects are conclusive.

Anatoly Veltman writes: 

I can easily think of market analogy: personally, it was a memorable first loss of a million dollars on a single commodity position I had. The day was Monday April 28th, 1987. Silver futures were locked limit-up for third straight day, and the freely traded spot contract rushed up yet again to an $11.25 pinnacle. It may not sound high today - but it was a multi-year high back then, and more than double the price in one month! Why - a huge squeeze was put on Mexican and Chilean producers, biggest mines were stricken by labor woes, etc.

Lo'n'behold, Japan Finance Minister is a scheduled White House guest that day - what does that do to getting any more Silver out of the ground? Suddenly, as Silver, Gold and Platinum slowly edge off their intraday peaks - the financial wires begin spitting out lightly co-operative language of the bi-lateral Forex co-operation between the two economic powers, totally periferal to Silver production. Normally quiet lunch-time turns into history's never-before seen massacre, with Silver futures flipping from limit-up to limit-down lock across the board in the time space between the salad and the main course! Physical Silver plunges $4 (more than a third of its morning value), and next day brings further depreciation due to margin call liquidation… But of course nothing changed in the mines - and following the two down days, Silver rose every day for the next three months to achieve the same valuation. Only some Silver Bugs remained buried deep in the April 28th ruins. That day's volume stayed the Exchange's record for decades, although some locals' trading cards have been never found in the aftermath…


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1 Comment so far

  1. moshe on March 31, 2012 11:22 am

    as my father use to say when you loose the batons the thrases foll

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