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GM Nigel Davies on Rust Removal

April 30, 2012

GM Nigel Davies: Maybe Long Play is Better. Davies noticed that he had a significantly harder time in rapid chess tournaments than in long play tournaments, and I’m noticing the same problem. When you come back, tactics, positional play, and endgames all come back easily enough. Those are concepts that are relatively easy to remember, just hard to execute.

No, the tough rust to remove is forgotten opening knowledge, and that’s where an extra few hours really comes in handy. When you need to start thinking up opening moves from scratch on move 6, you need a lot more time than your opponent who’s got the book lines memorized through move 12, and then has a good general knowledge of the strategies that come out of that particular opening.

I wonder if, for the resuming player, it makes sense to focus on more obscure but still sound lines of major openings. Like the Ruy Lopez Worrall Attack (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. Qe2), my new White opening of choice. Force your opponent to fumble around as much as you do. Of course, that doesn’t quite fit with my choice of black opening (Najdorf Sicilian and KID)…


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