Friday, July 29, 2005
Various Ruminations
Positional Play

I had been studying the book "Simple Chess by Michael Stean". I have already finished reading that book, but I was in the middle of the circles, so I did'nt fully grasp what it was saying. Now I'm going thru the games again, and slowly trying to understand it's lessons. Excluding game fragments, it contains only 20 complete master games. But boy! the lessons from them are absolutely awesome.

Ive tried to read "My System", but I cannot comprehend the oddball english. I tried the "Strategic Play" by Dvoretsky, but it was way over my head. Then I found this book which is exactly at my level, and its was like meeting my destiny..

I'm even starting to win a few material-even games just by knowing simple things I learned from the book. Stuff like which piece to swap, which to keep, the value of open files, etc. But by far, the coolest thing I've learned, are about color complexes, and how powerful they are. My latest win was based on a white-square campaign. Clearly I will never look at squares the same way again.

Why not gambit

A recent comment of tempo about an opening repertoire - the Alapin-Diemer gambit against the french has got me thinking. What is my chess "style" and why I feel uncomfortable with gambits.

You know, our first teachers leaves an impression on us like nobody else does. Their teachings stay with us long after time has passed. And for me, my very first "teachers" was Capablanca and Euwe. Even now, I still go back to my tattered copies of "Chess fundamentals" and "Judgement and Planning". The lessons learned from those books, left me with a strong bias for things such as pawn structures, and to never lose material. Maybe if I had known Nezhmetdinov sooner, things would have been different - but right now losing even a single pawn is abhorrent. I do not sacrifice material for an unclear attack, and except for certain cases, I avoid doubled pawns like the plague.

Is this called the "Classical Style"?

Time Management
In my attempts to use the Kotov's tree, I have recently been playing at longer and longer time controls. At first it was 30/15, but it was too short, so I increased it to 30/30. But still, I get into time trouble so I changed to 45/45. This time control is much better. It's roughly equivalent to having 75 minutes for 40 moves.

Anyway, so I had been playing at this time control and had been forcing myself to sit there and not move, but to first calculate further than I have to. Even in positions where an obvious move is present. I thought I had been doing great as I managed to increase the average time of my moves from 30sec to 1 minute, but when I analyzed in detail the time distribution of my latest game, I found this disappointing statistic:

Time vs Move Distribution
  • 0-60sec 26
  • 1 min 4
  • 2 min 4
  • 3 min 3
  • 4 min 1

    The number of moves where I seriously thought about a position (over 1minute) is two times less than the blitz-moves (12-26). Although I think both in my time and my opponents time, I am not satisfied with this ratio. Maybe a target 50-50 ratio would be a good next target i.e. 50% 1-min above, 50% 1-min below.

    A Source Of Satisfaction

    In relation with the above, I noticed that I am more satisfied with my games when I more or less try to think as deep as I could. I feel like I have control of the situation, or at least I'm hardly surprised. Of course I still miss an opponents reply from time to time, but I really feel very good when I acurately predict the next few moves.

    Have you ever said personally the term "Just as I expected"?
    posted by Nezha at 12:57 AM | Permalink |


    • At 6:02 PM, Blogger JavaManIssa

      Also, 1 tip that i happen to know is that don't calculate too deeply. It's better to calculate more variations to a shorter depth as they will be more possible to occur in a game :).

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