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Lasker, Steinitz, and the Opponent's Weaknesses


Hello! A major part of learning chess is figuring out what you should be thinking about during a tournament game. I learned from reading Jacob Aagaard that every time it's your turn to move, it makes sense to think about three things:

1) What does my opponent want?

2) What are the weaknesses for both sides?

3) What is the worst placed piece?

Then, when you make and consider candidate moves, the first moves to think about are forcing moves: Checks, Captures, and Threats. 

In Moscow, 1896, World Champion Emanuel Lasker and his predecessor Wilhelm Steinitz played a rematch for the title. If you are interested in chess history, "Modern Chess" by Craig Pritchett has some beautiful examples showcasing the style of each World Champion. Lasker's play in this excerpt from the second game is an excellent example of the second question in action.

What would you do here for White? Think about your opponent's weaknesses! Pay special attention to anything that is undefended or badly defended (equal number of attackers and defenders).

I'll be back with the answer tomorrow!