Chess presents a near-infinite number of moves. Consequently, there is no shortage of self-proclaimed experts to offer helpful advice on how to master the game. As far back as A.D. 840, when al-Adli ar-Rumi wrote Kitab ash-shatranj (The Book of Chess), novice and experienced players alike have been grateful for any tip that will give them an advantage.
Rodrigo “Ruy” López (c. 1530 – c. 1580) was one of the most influential chess players of all time. He was a priest who served as confessor and advisor to Spain’s King Philip II. It was from this position of prominence that he promoted chess and helped it become popular throughout Europe.
López wrote Libro de la invencion liberal y arte del juego del axedrez (Art of the Game of Chess) in 1561. In it, he analyzed many aspects of the game, with particular attention to the opening moves.
He also offered some unconventional advice that can be implemented by even the most inexperienced of players. He wrote, “Sit across from your opponent so that the sun shines in his eyes.” Not wanting to leave anything to chance, he also suggested, ”Make sure your opponent has had a full meal to make them sleepy.”
In other words, it’s good to know how to play the game, but don’t be afraid of taking every advantage you can find.
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The longest tournament chess game, in terms of moves, ever to be played was Ivan Nikolic vs. Goran Arsovic in Belgrade, Serbia in 1989. The game lasted for 269 moves and took 20 hours and 15 minutes to complete. It ended in a draw. The longest decisive tournament game was Viktor Kortchnoi vs. Laurent Fressinet,…Keep reading