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.