Friday, June 17, 2016

James Schroeder Chess Principles

James Schroeder and I met in a Master/Expert correspondence event. The next thing I know, he is criticizing my moves! Schroeder thought the Bird's Opening was a terrible choice. White fails to pressure and threaten Black. I should consider a King's Gambit!

USCF honored James Schroeder for his lifetime of service as a tournament director, author and editor, and promoter of prison chess. I found these quotes attributed to him:

James Schroeder's principles of chess play:
   1.P-K4 is the strongest move, and the easiest way to win is to attack by creating open lines through judicious Pawn exchanges and then by making combinations.
   The best way to play Chess is to attack and attack and attack some more.
   You don't become a great player by waiting for an error; you become a great player by forcing errors.
   Don't lose. Win, if possible.
   Play good moves in the Opening. Do NOT try to find the "best" moves in the Opening.
   If I lose a Pawn it won't affect my play - I will still try to attack my opponent's King.
   I am playing amateurs, not Grandmasters - there is no need for me to be afraid of anyone nor anything.
   Remember - my opponent may not have the knowledge to win the position he has.

In our game, James Schroeder crushed me. My Bird was bad. 1.f4 is not bad, but the way I played it stunk. I took this National Master's words to heart. I began playing the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. I made more threats. I learned more. I won more. Bird's Opening is fine for many reasons. I still play it, sometimes.

Sawyer - Schroeder, corr ICCF, 1983 begins 1.f4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c5 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.0-0 e6 6.d3 b5 7.c3 [7.c4! bxc4 8.dxc4=] 7...Qc7 8.Re1 Bb7 9.e4 dxe4 10.dxe4 c4 11.e5 [11.Qe2=] 11...Bc5+ 12.Be3 Rd8 13.Qe2 [13.Nd4 Nd5-/+] 13...Bxe3+ 14.Qxe3 Ng4 15.Qe2 Qb6+ 16.Kf1 Rd3 17.Rc1 Ncxe5 18.Nbd2
18...Re3 19.Re1 Rxe2 20.Rxe2 Nd3 [20...Nxf3 21.Nxf3 Ne3+ 22.Kf2 Nc2+ 23.Nd4 Nxa1-+] 21.h3 Ne3+ 22.Kg1 Nc2+ 0-1

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  1. James Schroeder died July 8, 2017 in Vancouver WA.


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