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  1. 18 May '10 00:36
    I was wondering if anyone had any tips to getting past 1700. A while back when i was around 1300-1400 someone told me to watch out for skewers, forks, etc and i will get to 1600. Now that im around that I was wondering if anyone had any advice to getting above 1700s. Am i missing a fundamental technique or something?

    Thanks a bunch everyone
  2. 18 May '10 00:58
    There are several ways of doing it, chess is so complex that you can get past 1700 studying completely different things. The easiest way to do it in my opinion, although I will get bashed by everyone here, would be building a strong, sound and steady opening repertoire and keep perfecting it for a year or two. An opening repertoire is not only the moves themselves, but their reason for it and their following plan. Opening study is also quite easy and it will boost your performance tremendously. If you don't have one already, an opening repertoire will probably boost your performance by one hundred points in 2-3 months.
  3. 18 May '10 02:45 / 1 edit
    I agree that openings are important and websites like 365chess.com have free opening explorers to study. One of the main things I'd suggest for improving is to really focus on creating inbalances. There are some instances where players are quick to play obvious developing moves while there may be opportunities to sac a pawn (or more) to gain a significant initiative and keep the opponent off balance. Some players will completely abandon their plan in order to hold and protect this newly gained material and it can often result in a loss.

    For example, I recently played a game (7390626) where on move 16, I played an b4 in order to open up the queenside. My opponent moved almost instantly after I played this and I slowly attacked his position until he was forced to resign. In another game, I sac'd a bishop early on for two kingside pawns (and later picked up a third) and I'm slowly beared down on his king until he had nowhere to run.

    So, my point here is that some games allow for unconventional moves that often times are much more useful and devestating long-term that the obvious, by-the-book developing moves.
  4. 18 May '10 04:18
    Originally posted by Maxacre42
    The easiest way to do it in my opinion, although I will get bashed by everyone here, would be building a strong, sound and steady opening repertoire and keep perfecting it for a year or two.
    Totally agree with this advice.

    1. f4!

    Then wait for your opponent to resign
  5. 18 May '10 12:55 / 1 edit
    I think the four of you have got together to wind me up.

    Once again openings are the cure for everything from
    toothless tactcial play to sloppy wrapping up.

    If you had looked at some of this guys games the first
    thing you notice is that sometime in his murky past
    he has actually been over 1700.

    Our forgetful hero states he has was told to study skewers and tactics.

    Good advice that has gone totally unheeded.

    Being told to study tactics does not mean you are now
    a tactical genius. You have to study this fundemental
    root of the game.

    There is nothing wrong with your opening.
    You develop OK (to a standard) but your middle game tactical
    play is dreadul.

    Game 5631516

    You tie yourself in knots from an easily won game
    because you could not handle your opponents tactical threats.

    You, (White) to play:



    25.Ra4 Kills it dead.

    Same game - White to play.



    Basic primary stuff. A piece is defended (the g2 Rook)
    so hit the defender (the e3 Knight). 33.Re1!

    You lost this by walking into a pin and win combination.

    What was it you said in your opening post?

    "....look out for skewers, forks, etc..." 🙁

    Game 4922093 was another game you were winning but
    you blew it because your opponent got tactically active
    and you floundered and flapped about.

    It's not that you don't have ideas. Twice, that I saw
    you have won a piece with the old a4 & b4 trick.

    Game 4922093 netted you a piece.



    You played 13,b4 (and then lost)

    Also in Game 5603434 you set up.



    14.b4 winning a piece.

    You won Game 5603434 but it was a bit clumsy
    and shows a lack of confidence in tactical ability.

    You (White) to play.



    Break it into active tactical mini plans.

    Double Rooks on the b-file, get that Knight to f5
    so it can hassle the Rooks, create luft for the King.

    You played 18.Rc1.



    I see it. You want to play c3 and open another file.
    How many open files do you need? You can only
    double Rooks on one file.

    In that position many roads lead to a win, in other games it's
    usually just one and if that path involves tactics
    then you are going astray.

    Game 4958239 and you were White.



    You lost this by totally underestimating the coming pin (Re8).



    14.Kd2 unpinning solves everything.
    Instead 14.Rc1 (stop doing this to Rooks) and 15.Ne4?? lost you a piece.

    And learn from your losses.

    Five times you have walked into the Fried Liver!.

    Game 5830608 Mated in 12 moves by being tactically weak.

    8...Nd4?? what about 8...Nb4 as a try in a tight position.
    You simply gave back the piece to get mated.

    You don't need to shell out £14,95 on an opening book
    to tell you...



    ...5.Nxd5? is very dodgy. 5...Na4!

    porygon 1842 plays 5...Na4 and gets some nice games just
    because of the lead in development Black has.
    Game 1981925 is a good tactical example.

    You get all this for free from the RHP database.

    http://www.timeforchess.com/gamesexplorer/

    I like to show games from your peers as this proves you need not
    buy some opening book which is usually a collection of GM games
    containing unexplained moves that go right over your head.

    Learn how to mix it with the players of your own strength.
    Look how they play. It's one & two move tactics.

    THEN, and only THEN are you ready for the next stage.
    Middle game planning, deeper endgame knowledge and an opening
    system that suits your style to get you into a middle game.

    So that's twice you have been told to get yourself
    tactically sorted out.

    Any book that has you setting up postions or playing over
    tactcial games will do.

    I'd keep away from tactcial 'quick fix' websites for now.
    It's OK to print them out and do them but screen work
    is just wasting your time.

    You need some pattern recognition and some more tactical ideas.
    And yes, it means work. You are not a natural.

    I was not a natural. All of the top genuine players on here
    were not natural, they worked at it. Ask any one of them.
  6. 18 May '10 14:31
    now you can thank me for winding up greenpawn to get some REAL advice 🙂
  7. Donation ketchuplover
    G.O.A.T.
    18 May '10 14:34
    Neglect not endgame study!
  8. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    18 May '10 15:22 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    I'd keep away from tactcial 'quick fix' websites for now.
    It's OK to print them out and do them but screen work
    is just wasting your time.
    rubbish. everything else was gold though. 🙂

    one more thing to add to what gp said: looks to me like those tactical errors were more about playing too fast than not being able to handle things tactically. so play slower. take AT LEAST an hour between seeing the opponent's move and making yours. most good players here take at least a week for a single move, no matter how 'simple' the move is.

    and before you say 'yeah but I play very fast' or something like that: a crap move doesn't get any less crap just because you made it quickly. playing bad chess fast is nothing to write home about.

    so take your time. work those positions, over and over. take a break, come back to it. work more. think about it when you're mowing the lawn, doing dishes, attending your daughter's piano recital. work it more until you get it right. - not only will your rating skyrocket, but your planning, strategic understanding and feel for positions will greatly improve as well.
  9. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    18 May '10 15:45
    You would be well advised to take greenpawn34 and wormwood's advice - I have over the past few months, and I just won the OTB tournament at my office! In previous years I had placed 3rd or 4th behind better tactical players. Since reading some excellent books by Jeremy Silman (The Amateur's Mind, Reassess Your Chess Workbook), Yasser Seirawan (Winning Chess Tactics) and John Nunn (Understanding Chess Move By Move, Grandmaster Chess Move By Move, Secrets of Practical Chess, Learn Chess Tactics), working on tactics at http://chess.emrald.net/ (recommended by wormwood) and reading greenpawn34's insightful and humorous commentary, my OTB chess has completely changed. Where before I was falling victim to tricks and traps and wasting time mulling over relatively unimportant middle game decisions, now I impose tactical continuations of my own and only spend time when I need to. My strategical play has also improved immensely (I was able to beat last year's champ in a pawn-cluttered claustrophobic RRB vs. RRN middle/endgame while down a pawn!), and my openings and endgames have become much more sound simply from a better understanding of the positions and tactical themes present on the board.

    Thanks guys! 🙂
  10. 18 May '10 21:39
    Hi W/W.

    The more strong players I question about this the more I'm convinced
    'learning tactics' from the screen is not an option.

    The patterns do not stick. The senses do not get stimulated for some reason.
    Ask some strong players and see what they think.
    The feeling seems to be learn the patterns OTB first.

    You are correct about taking ones time or lowering the game load.

    I wrote every move down, unless I'm on a blitz looking for a swindle.

    Blitz swindling/trap setting have succeeded but once or twice I've let wins slip.

    I showed a lad recently in Bates Motel how I do it.

    http://www.chessedinburgh.co.uk/chandlerarticle.php?ChandID=8

    You will see one blunder in my games.
    That is a move where I lost a piece through being very clumsy.

    Yes loads of dodgy, iffy and bad moves. But these I intended to play.
    Tricks, traps and rolls of the dice.

    Once. Game 5050497 I thought for some reason I could play 15...Ne4.
    I pulled off a swindle winning my piece back a few moves later.

    Take your time and if you can or feel the postion needs a good going over,
    hit the board.
    Blunders will drop to nearly zero and suddenly (as if by magic)
    tactics will be seen.
  11. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    18 May '10 22:30
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Hi W/W.

    The more strong players I question about this the more I'm convinced
    'learning tactics' from the screen is not an option.

    The patterns do not stick. The senses do not get stimulated for some reason.
    Ask some strong players and see what they think.
    The feeling seems to be learn the patterns OTB first.
    well I'm not a strong player, but everything I've got I got from 2d computer screen. patterns seem to stick just fine.
  12. 19 May '10 10:42
    Ah... that is because you are a freak 😉

    To me it makes sense.

    You get to know someone better and can recognise them if you
    meet them in the flesh.

    Much better than what you would if you just looked at their picture.

    I bet getting the bits out and doing some study the real and proven way
    would improve your game tremendously.
    It certainly would not do any harm.
  13. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    19 May '10 14:57
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    I bet getting the bits out and doing some study the real and proven way
    would improve your game tremendously.
    It certainly would not do any harm.
    I'm sure it would, and that's exactly what I tell people to do myself. take the board, move those pieces around, over and over again until you can't get it wrong.

    I just say it about a 2d board and you 3d.



    and you're a wayyy bigger freak than I! 🙂
  14. 19 May '10 17:57
  15. 20 May '10 12:08
    And do not forget the imagination. If you take a couple of days between moves, you can be hit by inspiration in the oddest of places or times when the brain just clicks with a better move to the position without any board anywhere near. The more complex the position is the more often this seems to happen.

    I do not know whether GP and WW would describe an imagined board as 3d/2d (depending on what you are imagining) or 0d?