Love Music? Love Chess? Then you came to the right place!
This site was created to help give an insight into the most important concepts for the success of the chess player/musician.
Learning chess is similar in many ways to that of becoming a musician. One of the first tasks of an inspiring musician or upcoming chess master is to work on a repertoire! This endeavor is not small and is a crucial necessity that will contribute greatly to the technique required for success.
While a musician is learning a Beethoven Sonata by heart or perhaps jazz standards like summertime or blues changes in all keys , the chess student must spend a fair amount of his study time learning and getting a feel for some traditional book openings which have been perfected over the past few hundred years and which are always being advanced and improved as we speak by modern chess masters and computers. These include openings such as the Rui Lopez (Spanish) opening and the Sicilian Defense. There are of course hundreds or even thousands to choose from so it is much better to specialize in a few of them instead of plunging ahead by trial and error. That’s like a musician trying to learn all the songs in the world…it ain´t gonna happen! Pick a few openings and defenses that fit your style and personality and stick with them.
For example, if you are an aggressive player, use openings or defenses that tend to be more open in nature and more positional players tend to prefer quiet closed positions. Get yourself a database and see how great players handle the variations of your favorite openings. Of course computer programs have amazing facility with opening books and are of great service to musicians as well so it is highly recommended to own one if you are serious about chess and/or music. Concentrate on one or two openings (w/white) and one or two defenses (w/black). As you improve, you can always expand your repertoire just as musicians do!
Musicians are well familiar with the idea of transposition which normally has to do with changing from one key to another (ex. F to Bb). In chess, it often happens that one classical opening can transpose into another main line or main lines making it quite complicated to study all the multiple opening possibilities. That is why it is better to limit your opening repertoire as much as possible in the beginning. Playing transpositions is a powerful tool that can even trick your opponent into forgetting the correct moves in a well known line just because he didn´t notice that the opening you played had all of a sudden transposed into another well known opening.
Written by: Todd Murphy
Musician and Chess Enthusiast