Bruce Pandolfini Channels Dorothy Parker

Many people who don’t even follow chess know Bruce Pandolfini.  Generally considered the Super-Grandmaster of chess teachers, his books teach you how to think.  In the most basic cliché terms he teaches you how to fish, he does not give you a fish.

This morning on Facebook Bruce shared a list of twelve “Pando-isms.”  My first thought on seeing them is that they are what Dorothy Parker, the Patron Saint of Smartass, might have said if she played chess.  They are common-sense ideas, with just a bit of jaded bravado and in-your-face humor that makes you retain the lesson.  While chess is a complicated sport (art, science, religion, obsession, but NOT mere game), it is a rare resource that distills the complexities into easy-to-use (and remember)material.

Here is the list, reproduced with permission of the author:

1. Do it your way unless their way is better.
2. Some moves are right because they’re a little wrong.
3. Solve it yourself and it’s yours for life.
4. The board can’t lie….
5. Chess is easy. It’s the moves that are hard.
6. Principles tell us where to look, not what to see.
7. Don’t just do something. Sit there.
8. What can be played can be misplayed.
9. You can know what’s going on and still lose.
10. Don’t fall in love with your own ideas. They’re not even yours.
11. Even a small plan needs at least two moves.
12. Play as if the future of humanity depends on your efforts. It does.

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