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  1. 01 Sep '06 15:40
    I haven't used CT-ARTS since my hard drive crashed, but having a few minutes last week I reinstalled it. During the reinstallation, i recalled why i had come to become disallusioned about the program. Driven by de la Manza's Rapid Chess Improvement phenomenon, CT-ARt became the best selling tactics software in the history of chess. Sometimes i wondered if de la Manza and CT-ART had a secret agreement, but i decided that was a little too farfetched. However, i've never seen a book so religiously espouse a piece of independent software as an answer to chess development. Here's my problem with it. Starting the easiest group of exercises, I realized that I was doing eight queen sacs in a row! I give up my queen here, and voila, i mate him there. It got to the point where all i had to do was look for a way to throw away the queen and the solution easily followed. How many of you have had a queen sac leading to mate recently? It has never happened to me at RHP and never in tournament play. Maybe a couple of times playing club blitz. So why on earth is CT-ART putting such emphasis on it? There should be a more realistic way of exercising tactics, where you win a pawn or fork two pieces or defend against mate. That's why the web site Chess Tactics Server (http://chess.emrald.net/) is much more effective. It forces you to find little combinations at speed and competitively measures your score against hundreds of other participants. If de la Maza were still playing chess (i guess rapid chess improvement only takes you so far) he'd have to advocate this site over CT-ART any day--and you don't have to pay a thing!
  2. Standard member leisurelysloth
    Man of Steel
    01 Sep '06 16:59
    Originally posted by buddy2
    How many of you have had a queen sac leading to mate recently?
    I don't know if it was sound but.... Game 1502169
  3. Standard member Wulebgr
    Angler
    01 Sep '06 17:53
    Black to move:





    I reached this position in a correspondence game.
  4. 01 Sep '06 17:53
    Originally posted by leisurelysloth
    I don't know if it was sound but.... Game 1502169
    30 ... f1=R =)
  5. 01 Sep '06 18:56
    I think I know what you mean. I think tactics software are great initially, but after a while I think people tend to just look almost for the rules behind the tactic than any spatial reasoning. The queen example you provided is a good one. You know there's a queen sac opportunity, so you're simply looking for a way to make it work; in actual games of course, there's no known opportunity, so you can't simply permute every possible sacrifice, tactic, etc. looking to make one work. I think this is where the spatial reasoning comes into play.

    I think the Chess Tactics Server (http://chess.emrald.net/) is a great resource as it doesn't give you really any indication of what tactic there is. It could be a quiet, almost positional play like a pawn push, or it could be a fork that doesn't attack material but instead vulnerable squares.

    I find my mind tends to organize itself the same way when playing blind chess or going through those chess visualization drills. I find that after a while I stop "seeing" the board and instead start calculating based on positions of the pieces. This is fine for organized drills, but not at all acceptable for games.

    That's my opinion.
  6. 01 Sep '06 19:03
    I'm sure lots of people could show queen sacs. How many could show the winning of a pawn or a discovered attack winning a piece or some other common combination. The point is this: A program devoted to tactics should reflect their occurrence over the board. Combinations ending in double attacks (forks, etc.) should be emphasized because you run into them more often than, say, underpromotion tactics. CT-ART's procedure would be the equivalent of training football (soccer) players extensively to trap the ball with their bums (derrieres). I mean it's probably of some value, but if i were to coach players by spending a week practicing it, they'd think i was crazy. (I know, I know, Im leaving myself open for all the bum trappers out there who are going to tell me how they won the game at Ipswich in '52 by scoring with their left cheek.) Maybe, I'm thinking, people who go through queen sac exercises (and other spectacular shots) think they're actually doing them over the board so they get some satisfaction out of it.
  7. 01 Sep '06 19:13
    Originally posted by buddy2
    I'm sure lots of people could show queen sacs. How many could show the winning of a pawn or a discovered attack winning a piece or some other common combination. The point is this: A program devoted to tactics should reflect their occurrence over the board. Combinations ending in double attacks (forks, etc.) should be emphasized because you run into the ...[text shortened]... think they're actually doing them over the board so they get some satisfaction out of it.
    I think the hardest to find, and potentially most promising type of chess tactic would be "White to play and improve his position". You get these oppportunities more than anything (including tactics) and yet they are very rarely given.
  8. Donation !~TONY~!
    1...c5!
    01 Sep '06 20:41
    I am not entirely sure what you're talking about. I have CT-ART and love it. After you get past the first level, You don't see nearly as many of these. Many of the tactics combine alot of different themes together. And to argue with another person here () Shouldn't you really look for every possible forced idea before looking at anything else? I know when I play long OTB games, before I even look at anything else, I check out every forced move on the board that has even the remotest chance of working. Any check, any capture, any threat, analyze them to their completion, or even farther to make sure. That way, you don't miss anything.
  9. 01 Sep '06 21:30
    What I'm talking about, Tony, is probability of occurrence. If something is more probable over the board, then it should be practiced more. The producers of CT-art, tactics software, whose should have taken note of that simple fact. If they had called their softare "Mating Attacks," etc. I'd have no problem. I have done almost all of CT-art and can't recall one where the player wins a clear pawn. In upper level chess, this is almost tantamount to winning the game. If I were designing software with a thousand examples, I'd have 500 winning a pawn and 5 queen sacs. This would more reflect the reality of over the board chess. The Chess Tactics Server site I mentioned is more indicative of real chess. Of course, they have queen sacs, but they have many more wins of a pawn, or a piece, or a better position, or simply finding the only move to escape mate. I believe de la Maza had the correct idea emphasizing tactics for the developing player, but I don't thing CTA is as good as he says, due to the unrealistic structure of its tactics armory. I agree, as you said, one of the first steps is to examine the position for forcing moves, checks, etc. In practicing this, however, i don't agree that having 8 queen sacs in a row helps much.
  10. 01 Sep '06 21:44
    ct-art has 1300 puzzles. George Renko's chess tactics cd by chessbase has over 3000.
  11. 01 Sep '06 21:53
    PawnChop, in reviewing alternatives to CT-Art, de la Maza states, "Chessbase...has several tactics CD's available, the best known of which is Intensive Course Tactics by Renko. CT-ART 3.0 is head and shoulders above all of these CD's." de la Maza doesn't explain why CT-ART is any better. If you have a copy of ICT by Renko, what do you think? Are the tactics more balanced? Or the same?
  12. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    02 Sep '06 00:11 / 1 edit
    I think the difference is that ct-art is mostly about calculation, where as cts is about combinative vision. both need to be perfected, and cts trains the intuitive part of the two.

    that said, I would love to have 500 problems winning a pawn, as well as 500 problems where a pawn move wins. those are exactly the type of things I miss, and I believe it's because tactical problems are generally about winning pieces or Exchanges. what I practice is what I see.
  13. 02 Sep '06 00:57
    Do you own Fritz?Ever tried playing Fritz in sparring mode?You simply play the program and it alerts you when you have a tactical shot available.It can be anything from winning a pawn,exchange or piece in x moves to a mate in x moves.No tips,pointers nor clues,you're on your own.This way you train tactics in YOUR OWN GAMES!!
    How's that for probability of occurance
  14. 02 Sep '06 01:08
    The problem is, Gorgar, that nothing alerts you during a game against a real person. It may be a little better after the game to use the blunder check or analysis. As most people who have an engine know, the number of simple tactics missed during a game is embarrassingly enormous. And by blunders i mean a way of winning a pawn or forking two pieces, x-ray attack, etc. In all the games I've let Fritz analyze, it hasn't, as i recall, spotted a queen sac which would have led to mate. It's been my experience that the little things, the details, are what win a chess game, not the nuclear explosions. Also, if i'm playing a computer i prefer not to get tactical alerts. I don't think this kind of crutch helps your development. In post-analysis, however....
  15. 02 Sep '06 01:15 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by buddy2
    The problem is, Gorgar, that nothing alerts you during a game against a real person. It may be a little better after the game to use the blunder check or analysis. As most people who have an engine know, the number of simple tactics missed during a game is embarrassingly enormous. And by blunders i mean a way of winning a pawn or forking two pieces, x-ray . I don't think this kind of crutch helps your development. In post-analysis, however....
    Ok,now I don't understand you at all.If you don't want any alerts,don't want to know the themes or patterns you should be looking for then you're not practicing,you're simply playing a game of chess.That in itself is a form of practice,of course,but then what are we talking about here?Is your view that all training except playing games is useless and you created this thread to share this view?

    If you have Fritz or another program with a sparring feature similar to what I mentioned,then may I suggest you try it.It really does help cause it points out where the possibilities lie in the openings you play and the positions you personally get out of them.

    edit: Btw,this quote is from your original post: "That's why the web site Chess Tactics Server (http://chess.emrald.net/) is much more effective. It forces you to find little combinations at speed and competitively measures your score against hundreds of other participants."
    The sparring feature does exactly that except it does it in your own games.Is a more effective training possible?