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  1. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    26 Oct '09 09:31
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    meet your new best friend, chess tactics server:

    http://chess.emrald.net/

    hang out with him every day, and you'll soon find out he's great fun, addicting and most importantly extremely beneficial to your improvement. he's so great you'll develop a huge man crush and start dreaming about him every night. have fun!
  2. 26 Oct '09 12:37
    All I can do is reiterate Wormwood's suggestion. It is a great site to learn tactics and more importantly to learn to recognize "chess patterns". The chess positions they
    "feed you" will help you recognize like positions in real life play. A great site!!
  3. 26 Oct '09 12:38
    It is a wonderful site, but if you want to improve, play more chess and pay more attention while playing.
  4. 26 Oct '09 15:04 / 1 edit
    Hi Catfood.

    WW is correct.
    At your level till you are 1800 tactics, tactics, tactics and then some tactics.

    I cannot vouch for a tactical chess site as I never came up that way so I
    can only tell you what I know without a doubt turned me into a,,,

    "...tactically gifted player." note from a very old Scottish Chess.

    First delete the word 'gifted' I worked hard at it.
    (Hard work - I loved every minute of it.)

    200 Miniatures by Du Mont on a full sized set.

    You see every tactcial trick in action from stem positions (very important),
    Your opening play will improve 100%. You will punish erros and build
    up complete faith in your tatcial ability.

    You will also learn how to mate with the other pieces.
    101 of those games end in mate. 33 Knight Mates, 33 Bishop mates,
    12 with a Rook and 7 by a pawn ( 16 with a Queen).

    Why is this. because Queenless mates are harder to spot and
    so the players did not have a chance to resign.
    Master the art of tactically working without your Queen, this
    will bring you 100's of wins.

    Go and look at my games. See how many mates I pull off without the
    Queen. Seven in the first 20 shown. Coincidence?

    No. The result of pouring over those 200 games (Twice - I did it twice).

    This is the bit that will have you throwing your hands up in despair,

    "There must be an easie way?"

    No.

    You have been playing for 5 years, so we can rule a gifted player.
    Tactically you are suspect (I looked at you games). You stumble upon mates
    you do not create mating nets, you lets chances slip by.

    You have no or very little pattern recognition and drift all over the place.
    (no coherent thread running through your games).

    You want to get good. Well obviously you do else you would not have posted.

    You want to get good without putting in any work.......bye.

    You want to get good and am prepared to put some effort in?

    Well I just told you what did it for me. (and others of my generation).

    Later on today I will be posting the Du Mont games on The Corner.
    You print it out and go to work.

    (just done it - had to do it in two parts - see bottom of thread)

    I'm up for a free lesson Catfood.
    Pattern recognition and why you need it.

    (I don't pussy foot about, you mess up tactically - I kick you in the teeth - don't sulk)

    So let us take a look at this stunning masterpiece of creativity Game 6365359

    You are White. White to play.



    Not only did you take harpoon out of the side your opponent
    but you then covered it up with a plaster and said sorry.

    You played 25.Rxf8?? and the Gods shook their heads. You lost this game.

    Mating pattern. This one has a name. The Epaulet Mate





    Is that forced? Yes the The Epaulet Mate works in both lines.



    200 miniatures games part 1

    http://www.chessedinburgh.co.uk/chandlerarticle.php?ChandID=4

    200 miniatures games part 2

    http://www.chessedinburgh.co.uk/chandlerarticle.php?ChandID=3
  5. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    26 Oct '09 19:40 / 2 edits
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    the first thing you need to address is lack of board vision. you're simply not seeing what's on the board. -our visual cortex is not designed to process a 8x8 square grid with pieces and their typical move patterns, and thus can't give us even the basic information of where's what. it can do millions of times more complex processing instantly (like recognizing a face), but not a 8x8 chessboard. we're simply not born with the tool.

    the good news is: it can be taught to do so. the neurons can be rewired because of a characteristic of brain called plasticity.

    the bad news is, the brain will fight you every step of the way. but it can be done, it's just laborous and repetitive. just like learning a language, playing a guitar, tennis, pretty much any skill. but it takes time, effort and mileage.

    so the bottom line is, you just need do a lot of problems. work that brain, force it to find relevant aspects of the position, the moves, the threats, and calculate those lines, work the positions again and again. slowly your neurons will reorganize themselves, build a little subprocessing unit into your head, one that specializes in processing an 8x8 chess position. it'll all become subconscious, and the right moves just start popping into your head. like magic.

    THEN you can use that tool to retrive information from a position, and use your SLOW conscious thinking to figure out what to do. but you can't do it before you learn to see.

    the greatest thing about CTS is that the problems are EASY. you will get them. and when you don't, work the position unrated until you find out WHY the move wins material and not some other. don't give in to the natural laziness of just skipping ahead after a wrong answer, force it. grind your brain until it screams mercy. fight it. (but DON'T burn yourself out, that's VERY important.)

    if after a session your head hurts and you feel sick, you're hitting the sweet spot where the real improvement happens. if you feel like it was nothing, you're letting yourself off easy, which is most inefficient learning.


    pain is your friend.
  6. Standard member Daemon Sin
    I'm A Mighty Pirateā„¢
    26 Oct '09 19:42 / 1 edit
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    I'm certainly no chess genius but in my opinion, at your level you should learn why a move is correct. That's what I did to improve my rating from 1300. If you get the theory behind it you'll be able to adapt it to other situations and positions with other pieces, which will improve your chess - especially the middle game.

    Just remembering specific patterns will just help you in those specific situations and the likelihood of those situations occurring are pretty low.
  7. 26 Oct '09 22:38
    I recommend eating vegetables instead of catfood catfoodtim

    If you dont understand the tactics you might be doing ones too difficult since tactics kinda are like how to win a piece or how to checkmate more or less so you dont understand them you find the checkmate or the win of a piece.

    You could try checkmates in 1 or 2 moves tactics like from polgars book maybe since then you already know the goal is to checkmate.
  8. 26 Oct '09 23:29
    tactics tactics tactics = boring boring boring

    what recreational player really wants to spend an hour a day (or whatever) doing chess puzzles, reading books... looking through 'GM' games. seriously it's boring and just doesn't work at improving everyone's game.

    i've been here exactly 4 years and started playing here with a 1000 rating, maybe 1100. now i'm roughly a 1600 rating, haven't read a chess book in my life, haven't looked through anyone else's games nor have i spent any time doing puzzles. actually i have tried doing a couple of puzzles and i suck at them.

    for me improving has meant talking about the game while playing, it didn't take long to get to 1300 just my talking with a couple of 1400ish people about the game and their tactics during a couple of games. every move we would explain what we're planning to do and why, then give feedback on said moves, the best why to learn imo.

    but there's no point as a 1300 getting a 1900 to talk you through games because it just won't make any sense, best thing to do is get someone 2 or 3 hundred points above you who will speak in a language that you understand and can learn from.
  9. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    27 Oct '09 00:35 / 1 edit
    but there's no point as a 1300 getting a 1900 to talk you through games because it just won't make any sense, best thing to do is get someone 2 or 3 hundred points above you who will speak in a language that you understand and can learn from.[/b]
    I'm not sure I completely agree with this particular part of the post, although there are times when it will be true. The rating of a person is an indicator of their playing strength on the site, but the ability to communicate the ideas of the game to another person is a different skill set, and I don't think ratings are necessarily a good indicator. I think the idea CAN be true, but is not automatically true.

    But I might be splitting hairs on this!

    It might be worthwhile to read through the forum threads and identify players whose posts seem to make sense, and ask them to play.

    The biggest advantage of playing players within 100-200 points of your rating is that you will still have a reasonable chance of winning a few games, and it is certainly no fun to lose all the time.

    Paul
  10. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    27 Oct '09 01:00
    Originally posted by trev33
    tactics tactics tactics = boring boring boring

    what recreational player really wants to spend an hour a day (or whatever) doing chess puzzles, reading books... looking through 'GM' games. seriously it's boring and just doesn't work at improving everyone's game.

    i've been here exactly 4 years and started playing here with a 1000 rating, maybe 1100. now i ...[text shortened]... nts above you who will speak in a language that you understand and can learn from.
    well I started 4 years ago here as well, had about 3 months & 6000 problems behind me (no games, well maybe 20-30 against CM9000), and skipped straight to 1500. after that I've stayed about 400 points ahead of you. - that's about how much there's difference between between doing and not doing tactics.

    you've got a very important point there though: however you train, it needs to be fun for you. even if it's pain like any hard training is.

    your post also brings to mind another general point worth to mention: ratings don't really reflect the level of chess understanding, but the level of performance. -as an example, I've seen loads of 1500-players who know much more about openings, middlegame and endgame than I, but they've slacked on their board vision training and simply can't see the board. -many of them can even play blindfolded, which points to their visualisation being actually superior to mine (I can't play blindfolded past a few opening moves). but they simply don't see the patterns on the board, because they never put the 2-5h a day into tactics over years as I did. (and I'm still just a hack at it, with wayyy more ground to cover to even become decent.)

    show me a 1500-player who says he's tried everything over up to decades, and I show you a player who has at best dilly-dallied with tactics.


    that said, board vision is only one small aspect of chess. but it's a deal-breaker, you absolutely can't do without it. everything else is behind that fact.
  11. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    27 Oct '09 01:10 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    It might be worthwhile to read through the forum threads and identify players whose posts seem to make sense, and ask them to play.
    yeah, it's more about teaching skills than rating. some people are better at explaining things in an understandable way, and some are absolutely useless at it.

    another tip that comes to mind, is always seeking to play better players. +200-300 above yourself, so they're better but not beyond reach (you probably need to win occasionally to stay motivated). the more you can take beatings, without getting broken, the more you'll improve. superior opponents motivate to give your best and more. they motivate you to do exactly what I wrote previously about working through the pain, hitting the sweet spot of learning.
  12. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    27 Oct '09 01:13
    1) totally agree about the tactics suggestion. Work up from very basic ones so that you reinforce typical patterns. Very quickly those will be a breeze and you will move on to some harder stuff that will braincrush you

    2) Openings - there are tons of good online resources for openings so in correspondence chess you shouldnt be coming out of openings with too huge a minus. In some other thread greenpawn posted a link for the games of nonmaster games on this site. I would think that could be really valuable. Your goal is to get a position that you feel comfortable playing- you can sharpen your openings when you find that you are drawing regularly with players of equal rating.

    3) when you play a game, force yourself to consider 2-3 moves - even on recaptures. You would be surprised how often a recapture is not forced and there is a better in between move.

    4) When you are considering your candidate moves always consider your opponents response. All analysis goes to your opponents response. Saves a lot of blunders that way.

    they say that most games below 1800ish is determined by dropping a piece. This is mostly true. There is a lot of hard work ahead of you, good luck!
  13. 27 Oct '09 01:31
    Originally posted by wormwood
    well I started 4 years ago here as well, had about 3 months & 6000 problems behind me (no games, well maybe 20-30 against CM9000), and skipped straight to 1500. after that I've stayed about 400 points ahead of you. - that's about how much there's difference between between doing and not doing tactics.

    you've got a very important point there though: howev ...[text shortened]... breaker, you absolutely can't do without it. everything else is behind that fact.
    i guess it all boils down to how good you want to be and what effort you're prepared to put in to achieve your desired goals. for me personally i'd like to get and stay at a 1800 rating but just learning though playing and learning though my mistakes and the good play of others. obviously that will take longer than doing thousands of puzzles etc. but it's the way that will keep it fun for me and as you say that's the most important thing, it's all good playing a game and getting relatively decent at it but you have to enjoy playing it. otherwise, what's the point.

    what do you mean by 'board vision'? like the sequence of moves you can see when contemplating a move?

    ratings don't really reflect the level of chess understanding, but the level of performance.

    that's so true.
  14. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    27 Oct '09 01:32
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    Start by keeping it simple. The most obvious 'good moves' are those that either a) win material or b) force checkmate.

    What you want, at first, is tactics puzzles with a very low degree of difficulty. Something where you either win a piece or checkmate within a move or two. Go through those until you can see them fairly quickly. Then up the difficulty a bit. Lather, rinse, repeat.
  15. 27 Oct '09 01:36
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    I'm not sure I completely agree with this particular part of the post, although there are times when it will be true. The rating of a person is an indicator of their playing strength on the site, but the ability to communicate the ideas of the game to another person is a different skill set, and I don't think ratings are necessarily a good indicator. I think the idea CAN be true, but is not automatically true.
    i agree, i was being quite general. what i meant to say was that the level of the 1900 player will be so much greater than the 1300 that the 1300 will not always see what the 1900 is talking about regardless of how well they explain it. for me personally i've always learnt more from people 200-300 points above me.