The Rules for Everything

check to your majesty

Chess by anemic cinema deviantart.com
Photo credit: anemic cinema on deviantart.com
  1. Avoid mistakes.
  2. Do not make the opening moves automatically and without reflection.
  3. Do not seek to memorise variations, try to understand them.
  4. Do not believe all that you are told. Examine, verify, use your reason.
  5. In war, topography dictates operations.
  6. Do not abandon the centre to your adversary.
  7. Do not give up open lines, seize them and hold them.
  8. Do not create weak points in your game for your enemy to seize.
  9. Do not lose time.
  10. Unless you analyse the position, you will achieve nothing.
  11. Do not leave any piece where it has no range of action or is out of touch with your other pieces.
  12. Do not play too quickly.
  13. It is not a move, even the best move, that you must seek, but a realisable plan.
  14. Do not despise the small details; it is often in them that the idea of the position will be found.
  15. Do not think too soon about what you opponent can do; first get clear what you want to do.
  16. Do not lose confidence in your judgment.
  17. Never lose sight of your general idea, however thick the fight.
  18. Do not modify your plan.
  19. Do not be content with attacking an existing weakness; always seek to create others.
  20. Do not get careless when, after general exchanges, the end game is reached.
  21. Haste, the great enemy.
  22. Do not relax in the hour of victory.
  23. Do not entangle yourself in a maze of calculations.
  24. Never omit to blockade an enemy passed Pawn.
  25. Do not leave your pieces in bad positions.

-How Not to Play Chess by Eugene A. Znosko-Borovsky, 1949

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  • Excellent, love these. Thanks for posting them. I have the book, not read it yet (alas!).

    • You have to love the title: How Not to Play Chess. It’s almost insulting people who play the obviously wrong way.
      And for applying this advice to life, it’s all so much easier to follow in chess.