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ICC Help: bug-pointers

Fishbait's bughouse tips. Bert Enderton, 4 December 1995.

Attack and Defense
- Try to keep your opponent in check, so he can't use his pieces.
- Checks which don't permit interposition are especially good.
- Watch for weak squares near the king.
- Watch for holes on the 7th rank, where pawn-plunks can be deadly.
- Don't resign. Your partner may have a chance to win, even when your position is hopeless. And your opponent could always blunder.
- Don't lose. Defend against the mating threats, whatever the cost,
- Play fast when defending. You want to get out of trouble before your opponent gets more material.

- You might want to stall until you get a piece, or to delay giving up a piece your partner's opponent needs urgently.
- You can only stall if you have more time than your partner's opponent.
- When your partner is stalling, move quickly.
- Be aware that when you stall, you are putting a lot of pressure on your partner to play quickly and accurately.
- When trying to outwait your partner's opponent, ping him. If there's no response, you'd better move because he's lagged and has timestamp.
- The team that's ahead on time can control the timing of trades!

Feeding your partner
- I use these values, roughly: P=1, B=2, N=2, R=2.5, Q=4 A pawn in the hand is fairly mobile, hence the increased relative value.
- Attack/pin pieces, to control the timing of exchanges.
- Sometimes trades help the defender. Don't assume anything.
- A varied holding increases one's options.

- Don't waste time typing to your partner while your clock is running, unless you are content to stall anyway.
- Codes: "+n" means knight is good, "+++n" means knight mates. Similarly "-n", "---n", etc. E.g. "---r" means "rook mates me."
- I use "stall" to mean "don't give up anything until either I say 'go' or you fall behind my opponent on time."
- Glance at your partner's board from time to time. This will tell you more than a time-consuming conversation.

Openings and standard attacks
- 1...e6 or 1...d5 is good, to help defend against light-square attacks.
- Dark-square attacks targeting g7 and c7 can be strong too.
- Look at games of strong players, and/or be creative.

- Develop your pieces.
- Play good chess moves. Don't go overboard with the sacrificial plunks.
- Do your best with what you have.
- Have fun.

Further reading

See also: wild, bughouse


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