Happy Steve

Innovation and Learning

Start with clarity of intent.

Now build it out with an evocative vision. Improvise progress by tinkering: with lots of trial and lots of error. The not knowing is the best bit: the mysteries the surprises, and from time to time the windfalls! 

Hello there, I'm Steve Collis! 

Click on "contact", won't you, and wave right back at me?

2013 Game Two

First few moves - the first few moves can go awfully wrong very suddenly, and there's not much you can do to avoid it except think things through and learn the classic traps and pitfalls through experience. I still get destroyed in the opening quite a lot when I play online.

Move 6 - Not the end of the world, just a little sneaky trick the works out well for me. 

Move 7 - Probably ok to use your queen, but then the next move has to be to retreat your queen, or at least be ready to retreat your queen at the smell of danger.

Move 8 - Queen to D4, really tempting to start strong arming around with your queen but it is bad practise and very likely to be used against you. I can chase your queen around with my minor pieces, developing my side of the board while you are paralysed into endless retreats.

Move 11 - knight sacrifice. I didn't know for sure what I would do from this sacrifice, but I knew it would stop you from castling and expose your King, and I knew I had my bishop and queen ready to join the attack because of the clear diagonals from D1 and D2.

Move 13 - I didn't want to lose momentum but sensed if I didn't consolidate my position I couldn't do much. At this point my position is very strong. At least 5 of my pieces are strongly activated. 3 of yours are - bishop, queen, rook, but your king is exposed and this proves fatal

Overall: it's the same basic principles of patience in developing really well connected pieces, and not exposing your queen early (or your King). All your stronger pieces can be used against you by the oppositions weaker pieces. E.g. a pawn attacking a knight, or a rook attacking a queen... the fact that they are valuable can be used against you. So you need to protect your stronger pieces from the opponent's weaker ones. This is a constant point of tension in the game. 

Try to think of all your pieces as being part of one big body. When you put a pawn forward, it's part of the body moving forward. Keep all parts of the body ultra connected with all the other parts - with lines of communication, cover, or retreat available. Tactically there can be exceptions to this, but I mean as a general principle keep really well connected.