Originally Posted by TexAg06
Interesting question, how would you define a bluff in chess? I'm having trouble differentiating it from an unsound sacrifice.
well, an unsound sacrifice does not fit the definition of a bluff per se. For it to fit the definition, you have to know that it is unsound and still go for it. If you think that the sac is sound, and your opponent thinks it's sound, but in reality its not sound, it's not really a bluff anyway
To add to what Vempele has already listed, bluffing is (from my experience at least) a very successful strategy to get out of rough waters versus weaker players. To put it simply, you use bluffs to abuse the fear they have of you.
Imagine, Tex, that you are playing versus some 1600 opponent and so it happens that he has played the early stages of the game great, while you didn't, and you end up in a position that is: 1) objectively worse for you 2) not complicated at all. By that point in the game you should realize that if you keep playing simple (maybe objectively best, according to houdini etc.) moves, your opponent won't have trouble at least drawing, maybe even winning. So, what do you do?
Dat's right, you bluff the **** out of them. Probably 99% of players that are rated like 300pts lower than their opponents are really, really scared. That game you guys are playing is the universe, and you, in his eyes, are the master of it. You don't make mistakes. You don't sacrifice if you don't have it all calculated to a winning position. Or so they think.. all you need to do is use and abuse this
So, when you end up in some tough position versus a heavily lower rated opponent, look for complications. It can be, for example, a pawn sac, which will lead to one out of two scenarios: 1) if he accepts it, you created some complications and can start outplaying him, even though objectively you are probably lost if he plays perfectly 2) he does not accept it, but then it has improved your position greatly. Of course don't just give up pawns for free where if he takes it you don't get anything for it, but if it fits both criteria, it IS 100% the best practical move and screw what Houdini says.
It does not have to be a sacrifice. You can also just create an illusion of some sort of a threat (even though its not a real threat) and lead your opponent to believe that it actually is real (again, abusing the fear they have, even if they calculate and can't see it till the end they will be like "damn I bet Tex saw more than me and I am lost there, gotta defend). Of course only do it in a case where when they defend from that illusion of a threat, their position becomes worse, your position becomes better.
cliffs: I LOVE BLUFFING IN CHESS.