Tuesday, June 07, 2005
The Value of Mate Studies
I can't for the life of me understand why solving mate studies are important. I mean, they are composed problems, dont occur OTB, and involves very deep calculation requirements. Why would I even try solving such a thing? I mean, why not just do complex tactical exercises? Isnt that the same, plus you get pattern recognition to boot.

But apparently, very strong players swear by it. Even a russian chess school includes it in its curiculum. Javamanissa told me that What i really find helpful to learn not to make mistakes is puzzles that demand a lot of calculation eg Mate Studies. Studies aren't so good for recognition but i tell you it makes a difference in my play!

Eh? I am really puzzled. What point am I missing here?

King And Pawn Endgames
I think no matter what, I will have to study pawn endgames. And judging from tempos posts ,I may also order "secrets of pawn endings". Anyway, I will wait for tempos feedbak first before ordering. You know, just in case that book turns out to be a lemon,
posted by Nezha at 2:53 AM | Permalink |


  • At 1:18 AM, Blogger Mousetrapper

    This composer of mate studies is also one of the best Swiss chessplayers. As to pawn endings I ask you the same question as I did to Tempo: How many pure pawn endings did you get in your last 20 games? (I got just one.)

  • At 2:07 AM, Blogger Temposchlucker

    I have done a lot of mate studies. Actually Polgars brick, which I have done once, consists for 90% of it.
    Ok, it helps calculating, visualize and formulating your problem. Most of the problems in Polgars book were tempoproblems. "If my opponent had to move, he is mate in #1, but I have to move first. What can I do without letting him escape?"
    I have to agree with you that it's not the most efficient way to learn patterns.
    Because it's not only about patterns, it's about probability you can get in a game.
    (which brings me to Mousetrapper, I answered your question on my blog as comment there)
    So I skip this composed studies (endgame studies too) from George Renko's CD.
    I noticed that even most correspondence games can be recognized at a glance.
    I don't know how I recognize them, but there is something in the position that lets me know.
    Often this are very artificial positions, which you probably won't get OTB too.
    So I tend to skip these too.
    And no, I don't feel quilty about this, because there are plenty problems left with a higher probability.

  • At 2:28 AM, Blogger Nezha

    > As to pawn endings I ask you the same question as I did to Tempo: How many pure pawn endings did you get in your last 20 games? (I got just one.)

    It is logical to say that we must study pawn endings so we can be better at pawn endings - but - I have a deeper intention why I will try to learn this. It concerns my attempt to study how to arrainge my pawns for optimum support of my pieces. I could try to use a book like "Pawn Structures" by soltis, but I think studying pawns in an open board first would be the way to go. As smyslov said - studying the pieces in isolation allows you to learn thier "likes" and "dislikes". I think this also goes for pawns.

  • At 4:45 AM, Blogger Mousetrapper

    Bad pawn sight is one of my major weaknesses. Among my missed puzzle moves are many many pawn moves. And one of the things of GMs I admire most is how they manage to break files open with their pawns and put their rooks in the right position long before the files are really open. So definitely the pawn business is what I am going to do first after the circles. But with a different approach, looking for patterns in the middlegame: Types of center structures and according strategies, break moves, blocking moves, strong and weak squares, outposts, invasion on the 7th rank and so on. I have an excellent book by Karpov and Mazukevich, only a German translation is available, but the original is Russian. Maybe you can get a copy there?

  • At 8:53 PM, Blogger Jim

    Mate studies?

    Well, I've been married for 23 years and I can tell you about. . .oh wait, you're taling about chess. . .


  • At 8:11 AM, Blogger JavaManIssa

    I think pawn endings are important. Because just about all endgames have pawns. If you don't understand pawn endings, how are you supposed to understand pawn endings with rooks on each side. So, it's essential that one knows pawn endings before other types of endings as its a basis for most others.

    Mate Studies are good for calculation, and what i like about some of them is that there's really a problem.. and you can find the problem in the position. But then you have to think of a move that will overcome the problem. I find it quite fun, and good for calculation.

    rofl @ jim