Monday, April 25, 2005
Many thanks to the people who dropped me line. Kilgore was particularly helpful, he even offered to go thru one of my games => (Though I am much embarassed totake that much of his time) I will try to summarize the most important advices here.

1. Practical Play:
All the knigths who are currently in circles 3 above, have reported significant pattern recognition speed and search depth improvement. But in OTB play, it is another matter. This new found power is not automatically transferable in a game setting. Mr. DLM himself have had to create an eight-step thinking process to be able to use his tactical prowess.

But the only way to figure out how to synthesize this new muscles would be to actually play lots of games. This is suppose to give us an intimate relationship with the board. Now I am already a married man, so I dont want no other relationship. But in this case, it cannot be helped.

2. Catalog of mistakes:
The idea here is that we make a particular mistake over and over again. For example, susceptability to pins, wasting time, etc. This mistakes are always present in our games. And, most of the times, we do not even know they are there. We will be doing this mistakes up to eternity. Not unless we try to eradicate them. So we should analyze our games with the express intent of rooting them out. The more we eliminate, the stronger we get.

3. A simple list
Most players I've talked to recommended using a simple list when making a move.Nothing complicated, just maybe two or three steps so it does affect the creativity. The content of this list is up to the player. Each one should find his own.

Some other thoughts

1. Eureka!!!
I had an eureka! After thinking about my recent loses, and wondering why combinations doesnt seem to appear in my games regularly, and then reading posts, and discussions and reviewing my books of the old masters, I came to the conclusion that There is a correct way to play chess. There really is a law, a rule governing how we should conduct a game. I mean, there is in the position something which will tell us if an attack, or a combination, or something exists, without going into exact details of calculation

I can appreciate this much more now. I mean you cant just go tactical in every situation. My losses attest to this fact. And this text below stopped being fancy words and started making so much more sense:

"...If Steinitz continually took pains to discover combinations, the success or failure of his diligent search could not be explained by him as due to chance. Hence, he concluded that some characteristic, a quality of the given position, must exist ... that would indicate the success or the failure of the search before it was actually undertaken. (...)

Whaaaat! you mean I just figured out this now? That after reading all those books about planning and positional play, I just only grasped this concept. Sadly, yes. But you see, this habit of not accepting anything as gospel truth is too deeply engrained in me. You see, I am a computer programmer, and one of the things programmers do, is question the validity of things. I have no choice but to be this way because I got burned by customers doing something like this - "Really, this program wont crash? But what if I do this...(put various horrible noises resulting from crash here)".

So now, if a grandmaster tells me that I should open my games using e4, I'd probably switch to d4 instead. Then after loosing 1000x times in d4, will I go "say, maybe I should use e4 instead?"

2. Mr. Heisman
A few suggested that I read his articles. I already did last year. In fact I may have killed a few trees printing them over and over again.I even mailed him once. Did you know that he actually answered my questions? Wow! he was very nice too. I wanted to take lessons from him but - I cant afford his $65 fee. It's too steep for me. But it seems to me if someone can afford his price tag, then go ahead and do it. And if I somehow found gold in my backyard, then I'll hire him as the knights personnal coach and mentor.

3. Circle 4
I am now in the middle of circle 4. This past week, I've managed to solve 120 problems. About 20 per day. So this circle will probably take 6 more weeks, Yikes!!Yeah3x! This circle is supposed to last only 8days. But I just can't do it captain. As I've said, I've already forgotten the solutions to the earliest problems. Now, I dont think I can manage to solve them faster, but I do think my sove ratio is higher. I am nearly getting everything right (but not just within 30seconds). Makes we wish I had fuzzy's "zen" too, if you know what I mean?

4. Judgment and Planning in Chess by Max. Euwe
I have been reviewing this book now. The most striking thing about the games contained here, is that it follows a pattern like this
  • 1. Get a positional advantage (Like a Queenside pawn majority)
  • 2. Trade down material
  • 3. Activate king and march it into center
  • 4. Use positional advantage to win after a long protracted maneuver.
    And the games are all from positional maestros, Botvinnik, Reschevsky, etc. No Tal games here. A lot of times, euwe would also say - "White takes it calmly" or "The correct defensive move must be found (In the middle of an attack)". Clearly, there is a lot of patience required in a good game of chess. I am re-learning the things that I have forgotten this past five months due to the tactical study. The circles take up the bulk of my study time of course, but I've scaled back somewhat to re-acquiant myself with my the dark-side of the force.

    5. Flashback:
    Hey, who else played streetfighter when they were younger? Back in the 90's (Ohhh, am I really that old?) I use to waste all my allowance playing this game. After two years, and a pair of glasses later, I have become a certified "master". I can beat bison with my eyes closed. I've mastered all the characters (even Cammy). My favorite was Ken, and Dhalsim. Now, what does this have to do with chess? Nothing, just wanna waste your time some more reading my blog. hehe! (peace)
    posted by Nezha at 12:08 AM | Permalink |