The Everything Chess Basics Book

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Authors: Peter Kurzdorfer
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When a player runs short of time using a mechanical clock, the hands of the clock will begin to raise the player’s flag. When time expires, the player’s flag falls.
    Speed or Rapid Chess
    Chess players often want to play a great number of games very quickly. There are various reasons for wanting to do this, but we’ll just look at how to do it. For that you need a chess clock. You set the clock for five minutes for each player (or seven minutes, three minutes, or thirty minutes or whatever you want) and commence playing.
    As long as the players remember to push in the button at the top of their side of the clock, the game will move along until someone plays a checkmate or gets one of various drawn positions. Or until somebody’s flag falls. That person has run out of time and automatically loses, just as if he had been checkmated.
    Bullet Play
    A variation on speed play is the bullet chess so popular on the Internet. That usually allows one minute for the game by each player. Of course, you don’t use a digital or a mechanical clock for such chess, since the clock is automatic, and your move triggers the change of time from you to your opponent and back again.
    Slower Time Limits
    Yet another way to use a chess clock is to give each player a set amount of time for a set amount of moves. A very popular time limit used to be forty moves in two hours. In this version of timed chess, the players must keep score of the game if they want to be able to make a claim that their opponent overstepped the time limit. Otherwise, how could anybody know that the forty moves were reached?

    New rules have been made to accommodate players who are easily winning the position but have no time to play out the win. These include lack of mating material, insufficient losing chances, and a new device on chess clocks known as time increments . It’s all there waiting for you if you should decide to get involved in tournament chess.
    In a slower time limit, keeping track of the moves is an essential ingredient. You will learn more about keeping score of a game in the next chapter.

Chapter 6
Notation
    Chess notation is probably as old as chess. It is nothing more than a way to record games and positions and problems and combinations so that they can be reproduced. Such notation provides a way to read and write chess, so a record can be kept of any chess game.
    Why Keep Records?
    There are many reasons for keeping a record of a chess game. Unless you have a fantastic memory, keeping score of a game is the best way to have the moves available for critique afterward. This is one of the best ways to improve your game, whether the critique is done by you alone, or you with your opponent (better), or you and your opponent along with a third party, perhaps an experienced player (best).
    The Chess World
    Knowing how to read a game score brings the entire world of chess into your home. There are newspaper columns, chess magazines, and a fantastically huge number of chess books on the market. Chess masters have been writing down their thoughts, analysis, and systems for hundreds of years. This is all open to one who knows how to read chess notation and opaque to one who does not know how.
    Chess-playing computers, chess-playing software programs, huge chess databases, and chess Web pages all use chess notation. You’re missing out on an awful lot if you don’t know how to read chess.
    If you ever decide that you want to improve at chess, you will need to know chess notation. Whether you want to get good enough to beat the computer or someone in particular or to gain a national or international title or rating, you simply cannot progress without it. No coach or teacher will be able to do much with you if you don’t have game scores to work with, and you won’t even be able to scrutinize your own games without this knowledge.

    Blindfold chess, and especially simultaneous blindfold chess, can only be accomplished by those who understand chess

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