Wanted: Sicilian Defence - Yusuf Pathan Variation
The Sicilian Defence is one of the most potent weapons for an aggressive Black to gain upperhand during the middle game. Handled incorrectly, the color of the game may change when the end game begins!
Note: This post requires some basic knowledge about chess :(
T20 is still in its infancy and people who run cricket today are still busy counting money and finding it tough to get out of the Test and ODI (which now sounds too long) mindset when it comes to actually playing in the middle.
Soon, cricket rulers will realize that T20 (especially of the IPL variety) is a strategy game (and not a leisure game like Test or ODI) and the ones who will consistently win are the ones who have a strategy in place. Everyone today thinks they have a strategy but I'm not sure if they can "describe it with a structure"!
Look at chess - a pure strategy game. You may have an opening strategy and it may flounder. Then you need to come with an ace move in the middle game to repair the cracks due to failure of opening. And finally, there is an endgame which can never be underestimated and requires its own special skills. Too much intelligence is required to win or save in the end game.
A smart opening game, a shrewd middle game and an intelligent endgame are necessary for success.
There are only 3 words/phrases I can think of while batting:
Opening, Middle, Slog
And only 4 adjectives I can think of:
Brutal Aggression, Aggression, Cautious Aggression and Defence
So it is a 3X4 matrix leading to 12 possibilities!
Like in chess, 8-12 years from now, we will have names for each of these strategies!
1. Royal Indian Defence
2. Afridi Vacuum
3. Uthappa Gambit
4. Measured Dravidian Offensive
5. Ross Taylor Onslaught
6. Kallis Opening
7. The Morgan Variation
8. Pieterson Gambit Accepted
9. Pieterson Gambit Declined
10.The Goswami Trap
I don’t know what shape these will take – maybe the team that hires Viswanathan Anand first may take a big lead over others!
For the fans to understand, it will take about 50 years. Till then, we have to make do with a belief that strategies are in place, every move is to a strategy and just that the strategy backfired for XYZ reasons!
In the meantime, it is worth taking a look at some of the "Cardinal Principles to be followed in Chess" and if Ernst & Young or Ray Jennings can certify that 'solid strategies' are indeed in place, we have to just sit back, relax and enjoy the game
|Principle 1: Open with either King or Queen's pawn. This will help you take control over the center|
|Principle 2: Each piece should grow to either threaten or stifle growth of opponent's piece|
|Principle 3: Take the knights out before the bishops|
|Principle 4: Try to make a move that will help you advance, not retreat|
|Principle 5: Before you take out your minor or major pieces, open only one or two pawns, not more|
|Principle 6: Do not bring your Queen out too early - it will be chased by all and sundry and made to retreat|
|Principle 7: Move the King to safety by castling on the King's side|
|Principle 8: Always focus on taking control over the center of the chessboard|
|Principle 9: Always ensure that at least one pawn is in the center of the board, protected by a major or minor piece|
|Principle 10: Do not sacrifice or exchange any piece without a good reason. Sacrifice should always result in a strategic advantage|
Maybe a cricket pundit can develop the cricket equivalents of these principles!