By templedf on Aug 08, 2005
Until recently, my approach to chess has been to rely on my opponent's weaknesses instead of my own strengths. I never had a plan, really. I would just wait for my opponent to make a mistake and then beat him or her over the head with it. If my opponent never made a mistake, then I would lose. That led pretty naturally to the habit of playing chess "over a few beers." Intoxicated people make more mistakes than sober ones.
(A curious side effect of relying on my opponent to screw up his or her strategy, instead of having one of my own, is that if my opponent had no strategy, I would also lose. Until recently, someone who had never played chess before had about a 95% chance of beating me. Without a plan of my own, aimless, random moves left me nothing with which to work.)
Now that I'm taking chess a little more seriously, I have stopped relying so heavily on my opponent's mistakes. Mostly. I just finished a game, which I won by giving my opponent several yards of rope and waiting for her to hang herself. It worked, but it left me feeling dirty. I didn't win the game because of my brilliant moves, but rather because of my opponent's oversight. What's worse is that I did it on purpose. I feel like I just stole money from a child.