Everybody remembers their first chess book.
Every move should have more than one purpose.
Except… it isn’t.
The first principle is actually:
Move with purpose.
Only in the past 3 months did I correct this memory of 3 decades.
When I’d wax tales of yore, and about the lessons I learned when playing chess, the first one I’d expound upon is how chess taught me efficiency: when you hold that pawn that’s in front of the king at the very beginning of the game, and move it forward two squares, you do a few things:
- occupy the center, giving yourself more space
- occupy the center, taking space away from your opponent
- attack the center, cramping your opponent’s style
- open up a line of attack for your king’s bishop, giving you options
- open up a line of attack for your queen, giving you options
All that with one move. Such power. Such elegance. I seriously credited this principle of efficiency as a major influence on me becoming an engineer.
Except… it was all based on a lie.
This is something I’m still unpacking. I’m sure the embodying of the upversioned principle made me a better chess player (8-time consecutive intra-mural chess champion for my age range) (7-time consecutive intra-city chess champion for my age range) (I got trophies for playing chess) (I was that kid), but how did that tweak occur?
Oh, I don’t have an answer, or any analysis.
It’s just that when a formative principle is discovered to be so incorrectly sourced, I can’t help but share.
Investigating further… I don’t think that was my first chess book… maybe it was “ABC’s of Chess” by the same guy. Actually… I don’t think it was either of these…
I guess not everybody remembers their first chess book.