Two years back, there were two 2000+ player who regularly plays against me. They used to hand my head to me in a platter everytime. But I didn't mind. Thats how you improve right, by playing stronger players. Anyway, I asked them this question
> How do I improve?
Both of them answered "Study tactics" - This made me glad as I was doing the circles then. I'm on the right track I thought. But after completing the circles, I asked myself "Now what?". I mean do I study more tactics, or positional play, or what? During that time, I was desperately trying to achieve 1800 (The things we do for ratings) that I considered hiring a chess coach. For $20-50 an hour, an IM will go through my games with me and tell me things I needed to know. But as money was tight then, I was understandably hesitant. There must be a cheaper way I thought - So I asked the two again
> How do I improve?
And told them I was considering hiring a coach. Know what they told me?
This was during the time I was participating in STC tournaments so I wanted to play good for my teammates..
So, ready for the big revelation? here it is -
but before that, I've won 90% of my game in the U1800 section, and wanted to go up to U2000.
Ok now,Really ready to hear the answer?
I was becoming really frustrated as it seems i was hovering at 1750 for the longest time. What is a guy to do to break free from his shackles I asked.
So wanna hear the answer already? really, reaally ready?
naaah, wont tell you..
hehehe - ok2x,
They said that hiring a coach is not needed. All I have to do was to analyze my games. Not by myself cause if I win, I will think my game was perfect. And if I lose it would be too painful to look at things objectively. I need to analyze with another. And basically, thats what's a good coach does for you. But in my case they asked, there are about 50 or so knights "why don't you try asking one of them? That way, you both can learn".
Good advice don't you think?
Anyway, long story short, Ive started analyzing games with Bahus. Our plan was to go through "Simple Chess", alternating with analysis of our games.
For example, here are the things I found when we were analyzing my latest "adventure"
1. Tactics - I missed a few. I could have won the queen, but was totally blind to the possibility
2. Strategy - In this game, I initially wanted to establish a big center. So my moves was building up to that. However, after a few more moves. I've forgotten what I wanted. Shifting to another plan, then another plan. So this highlights a key weakness. I need to be more consistent about what I want. Ive wasted all my previous moves(or the spirit of it) when I forgot what my original plan was.
But the most important thing I got from that was it cleared my mind. I was like, "Darnit! Ive read this in the books, why did I not remember when I was playing".
Well, i think now there is a better chance of remembering what i learned. Experiencing something for yourself and have someone point out how stupid your move is way better than just reading about something I guess - Like reading that a slap in the face is painful - however you don't really know how painful until somebody slaps you yourself. And this is essentially what game analysis is - slaps in the face.
Anyway, here is that famous game we analyzed. This is called the "evergreener" - (All my games from hereon will be called, evergreener,evergreenergreener, evergreenest, etc.. etc..)
1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 e5 3. Bc4 h6 4. d4 exd4 5. Nxd4 Qf6 6. Be3 Bc5 7. c3 d6 8.O-O Ne5 9. Be2 Qg6 10. f4 Bh3 11. Bf3 Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3 Bg4 13. f5 Qh5 14. Qg3 Nf6 15. Nd2 Be2 16. Rf2 Bxd4 17. Bxd4 O-O-O 18. h3 Rhg8 19. Qe3 Ba6 20. b4 b6 21. a4 c5 22. bxc5 bxc5 23. Bxf6 gxf6 24. Rb1 Qh4 25. Rf4 Qg5 26. Qf2 Qg3 27.Rg4 Qxc3 28. Rxg8 Rxg8 29. Nf3 Bd3 30. Rd1 Bxe4 31. Kh2 Bxf3 32. gxf3 Qe5+ 33. f4 Qe7 34. Qf3 Kc7 35. Rb1 Rb8 36. Rxb8 Kxb8 37. Qb3+ Qb7 38. Qd3 d5 39.Qe3 c4 40. Qe8+ Qc8 41. Qb5+ Qb7 42. Qe8+ Qc8 43. Qb5+ Qb7 44. Qe8+ Qc8 45.
Paste Game Here
btw: I have not forgotten about the tactical discussion I've started. But I'm shelving it for another day.
Also Fierabras left this interesting comment
> But if you want to play like Nezhmetdinov ... ... too passive
This deserve its own post. But later until i can get my head straight.