Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Personal Update

Trainer  So how do you win?
Slim  I attack.
Trainer  And what do you do after you attack?
Slim   Nothing.
Trainer  Why nothing?
Slim  Because I never stop attacking.

I'm meeting with a top player in three weeks for coaching. Here's where I think my chess knowledge stands at G/45 time controls:

Endgames - Class A
Openings - Class B
Strategy - Class C
Tactics - Class D

I will really try to focus on tactics until then... I always seem to get sidetracked by endings or master games. If I can whip myself back into tactical shape before then, we might be able to discuss more interesting things than how I dropped my bishop to a 3-mover.


ookwelbekendalsemc said...

I have learned that master games can teach you tactics as well.

likesforests said...

You are right! I've simply been studying the "wrong" master games, from a tactical perspective. Maybe I will play through the games of Gioachino Greco this week.

Glenn Wilson said...

If you want master games to learn tactics from study Morphy. Simple, clean, elegant, accessible and tactical.

If you know only a fraction of the endgame knowledge you post about you must be better than Class A.

Your body of work is, by the way, awesome. It does not fit into my own study right know but your stuff is wonderful!

Samuraipawn said...

So you're getting a coach! Cool. Be sure to post about your experience.

transformation said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
transformation said...

nice post, LikeForests. class A like? i am not suprised. class B openings? not surprised there either. arent you ready for CT-Art? slow careful calculation, that is to say, not hopeChessTactics ('i give up. let me click and try this'.)

i have had a position on my pc for three hours on a Sunday afternoon, and, yes, i got it right. learning to go all the way. im at level five, and they are hard!

you have to be able to imagine an irrational move, see an opponents best reply after that, then find another irrational move after THAT(at least until you see 'it'), then see or then calculate the win after that.

levels 1-3 arent too bad, but even level 3 starts to get to be heavy lifting!

but then you go to CTS, and its like, this is too easy! but then again, there, you get to see not IF you can get most right, but rather HOW fast you can do them accurately.

have you also considered going back there, but instead of 100 a day at a time or 60, etc. wouldnt it be better to underinvest there BUT to keep doing 30 per day? thats 2,700 in quarter or 10,000 in a year. a little per day.

warmest, the old man, dk
age 49.03

transformation said...

BTW, did you see the ending that i fought my way through, posted yesterday in the viewer?

please check it out (or the photo of a most appealng young woman)!

likesforests said...

Glenn, thanks for the advice, I began studying Morphy's games today. They are full of 3-5 move tactics, exactly what I need to get better at. At this point I'm taking 60-90s to try to guess each of his moves before I play them.

"you must be better than Class A [in endgame knowledge]" I know more positions and techniques, but my poor tactical skills hurt me even in my favorite phase of the game.

Samurai, I'll let you know how it goes. And yes, I know it's my move... soon!

David, I think CT-ART is still too advanced for me. Levels 10-20 are easy enough but the upper levels are difficult, and I don't have fun solving them.

I've realized I have to have fun to keep moving, and I have to keep moving to improve. I've taken your advice to spend 20 min on CTS each evening. It's a good gauge of how my other tactical study is helping.

Your endgame? There was more to that entry after the photo?! I'll take a look this weekend. A good ending is very distracting so I intentionally avoided taking a look until I'm done with this week. :)

Anonymous said...

Your posts are extremely well done, and I visit your site often to try and learn the endgame better. My experience - I am a 20 year tournament player, master for the past 10+ years. 2300 for the past 3 years.

So, I testify from experience that the above comments are true. If you understand even a fraction of what you post, you are already an endgame master. If you know more, you may well be an endgame IM or GM.

I would assume that studying the endgame improves your positional play as well - such as a greater appreciation for the long term impacts of pawn structure and bad pieces.

Keep up the good work.


Glenn Wilson said...

Sounds like you have what you need for Morphy's games. But for you or others, one source is "My Favorite Twenty Games of Paul Morphy" at Magic Theatre. Also there is: "My Entire Collection of Paul Morphy Games (359)".

Cratercat said...

Likeforests - lately I've been wanting to intensify my endgame study and thought I'd drop you a note to ask what you think are the two or three methods of study you use the most. For me, I've made a few attempts to sit down and play through Capablanca's best endgames by Chernev, although I never really get the stretches of time I need to really digest the subtlety of the material. My more recent and successful method of endgame study has been working with Silman's new book, however, it'd be nice to have some variety involving other methods of study. I'd appreciate it if you could share some of your methods of study. BTW, do you have Perlo's book on endgame tactics, and if so what's your opinion on it?

One other thing, I know you've often praised Minev's book on rook endings; do you also own Emm's book on rook endgames, and if so, between the two, which one would you recommend? Sorry for the long-winded note here ;o) Keep up the great endgame posts!

likesforests said...

Anonymous, I appreciate the encouragement! Yes, studying endgames has also helped me with strategy.

Cratercat, I try to mix it up to keep it fun. I can only do so many heavy exercises before I need a break and do lighter ones.

Heavy exercises:

1. Study one endgame in detail. I use my games, games I find online,
or my annotated books on Karpov and Capablanca as source material. I write out all my variations and analysis, then compare against a chess engine, tablesbases, and annotations to see what I missed.

2. Study one endgame study or a few positions from an endgame book. After I know their mainlines I try out variations and traps to really get a feeling for the position.

3. Read an issue of Endgame Corner by Karsten Mueller and grasp it! :)

Light Exercises:

4. Play through master endgames at a fast clip of 15 min/game. You still learn some ideas and get an intuitive feel for positions.

5. Watch an online endgame video. Chesslectures.com is worth signing up to for *one month*, watching the videos, and then leaving. ;)

6. Pull simple endgames out of a database and quickly evaluate them as won, lost, or drawn and then check your assessment to see if you're right.

7. Read someone's explanation of an endgame (perhaps from a book), the text only, without going through the variations to learn key ideas.

8. Write about what I've learned to help others, solidify what I know, and hope someone finds a mistake so I can refine my knowledge.

Does that help? :)

"do you have Perlo's book on endgame tactics" & "do you own Emm's book on rook endgames"

Sorry, no and no. I know Van Perlo's book won some awards.

"I've made a few attempts to sit down and play through Capablanca's best endgames by Chernev"

You don't have to do a deep study of every game... it's ok to quickly play through some and enjoy them! You can make a commitment to study every fifth one deeply. Whatever sets your studies in motion!

Cratercat said...

Wonderful suggestions likeforests, much appreciated. I like your idea of playing through endgames at a fast clip. Even the not every nuance will be absorbed, I think you're right on about just working through endgames to get more familiarity and intuition with certain positions. I've also yet to try annotating my endgames which I think would be very beneficial in helping understand and become more aware of my decision making processes.