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  1. 11 Sep '10 21:16 / 1 edit
    I'm talking more about when you decided to actually work to get better, as opposed to when you first learned the game.

    Here's my story. I learned how to play as a young kid and I don't even remember who taught me. Up until I was 31 I actually almost never played.

    But then I was in Special Forces training at Fort Bragg (I didn't make it through the course BTW) and a few of us used to play. One of the guys was in a chess club in high school and he used to be impossible for me to beat. But here's the thing, the guy was kind of an a-hole. I used to practically beg him to show me strategy and explain what I'm doing wrong. And you know what? The MFer always refused! Why? Is it so important to beat someone inexperienced that you can't even teach him the basics?

    In any event I went to the library on post and picked up "Chess for Dummies," which is actually a very good book for beginners. I then started applying the principles I learned OTB, playing online, etc. and the rest is history.

    My goal in the very beginning was modest. I simply wanted to be like him (chess-wise, not the a-hole part). I wanted to be nearly impossible for casual players to beat. As it turns out that goal is pretty easy to achieve with only a little bit of time and effort.

    Edit: I did beat the guy a few times due to major blunders.
  2. 11 Sep '10 21:35
    I think I was 38. We had a parent-teacher conference night and it was slow so I played a game of chess against the math teacher next door. I felt hopeless. I had no idea what to do and even what I should be trying to do. It was very frustrtating.

    I decided that I wanted to learn what I was supposed to be trying to do. I would get advice on line which didn't make any sense. They would say "put your pieces on good squares". What are good squares? What make squares better than others. They all look the same to me! My next favorite advice get frustrated: know what your opponent will do to counter your move. I had no idea what someone would do. There was no logic to my understanding. Even now people catch me off guard. Back then the advice was hopeless.

    Now I'm better. I reached my goal of being able to defeat anyone who has not studied chess.

    Downside, the guy who teaches math next to me won't play me in chess anymore.
  3. 11 Sep '10 21:41
    Originally posted by Eladar
    I think I was 38. We had a parent-teacher conference night and it was slow so I played a game of chess against the math teacher next door. I felt hopeless. I had no idea what to do and even what I should be trying to do. It was very frustrtating.

    I decided that I wanted to learn what I was supposed to be trying to do. I would get advice on line which ...[text shortened]... d chess.

    Downside, the guy who teaches math next to me won't play me in chess anymore.
    They would say "put your pieces on good squares". What are good squares? What make squares better than others. They all look the same to me!

    I literally laughed when I read that. That's the same thing I would have said. "Good squares? WTF does that mean?"

    What about your very first study material?
  4. 11 Sep '10 21:46
    The first stuff I picked up was useless. I bought KID and KIA books. Try reading chess opening books when you don't understand algebraic notation. Try getting beyond 5 book moves when you are playing other clueless players.


    The first thing that I found really helpful was a computer program call Personal Chess Trainer. Tactics trainer was most helpful. The strategy trainer gave me a few ideas. The end games stuff taught me king pawn endings. Other than that, it was beyond me.
  5. 11 Sep '10 21:52
    Originally posted by Eladar
    The first stuff I picked up was useless. I bought KID and KIA books. Try reading chess opening books when you don't understand algebraic notation. Try getting beyond 5 book moves when you are playing other clueless players.


    The first thing that I found really helpful was a computer program call Personal Chess Trainer. Tactics trainer was most helpful ...[text shortened]... ew ideas. The end games stuff taught me king pawn endings. Other than that, it was beyond me.
    Oooo new material I haven't heard of!

    Would you recommend it for intermediate players?

    "Personal Chess Trainer"
  6. 11 Sep '10 21:54
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    I'm talking more about when you decided to actually work to get better, as opposed to when you first learned the game.

    Here's my story. I learned how to play as a young kid and I don't even remember who taught me. Up until I was 31 I actually almost never played.
    I not only remember who first taught me (my uncle), but even where (my grandparents' kitchen table, in their old house. It had a checked, IIRC plastic, table cloth).

    First time I started taking it seriously is probably about a decade ago when I first played in an on-line competition (which came to nothing, but that's how off-the-cuff on-line things usually go). I'd been vaguely reading chess books up to then, but that's when I thought I perhaps ought to start taking it more seriously.
    And then a colleague introduced me to this place, and things took off from there. I think I've got better in the mean time... don't ask me how much better, or I might cry.

    Richard
  7. 11 Sep '10 22:10
    I don't know. You might get something out of it. You'd have to read up on it and see if you think it would help you. It's lessons can take more than an hour to complete, day in and day out.

    Unless they'ved changed things, they don't give a lot of explanation, so you kind of have to figure out why something is such a good move. I had to have some of them explained to me. Here is the site:

    http://www.chessimo.com/trainer/index.php?lang=en&val=en
  8. Standard member Thabtos
    I am become Death
    12 Sep '10 00:07
    I learned how to move the pieces in 2008. I played a local guy went to jail for a few years, during that time all he did was play chess.

    I guess I lost probably 45 games to him. Then I got on chesstempo practiced around 4 thousand tactics problems.

    After that I lost to the guy once more, then it was another thousand tactics, this time on CT and I got CT Art 3.0.

    He never beat me again.

    I started going to a chess club in a nearby city, and after a couple of losses, I won a few, but just enough to find myself in the middle of the pack.

    I decided to get into a tournament last November.

    Blundered a won endgame against one player, then I played an obnoxious kid who knocked my pieces over. I didn't know I could have won by disqualification, so I resigned.

    I was so mad after the game that I lost the next game and just left instead of playing the last.



    More tactics. Started working my way though Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual.

    Played through the games of some positional masters like Botvinnik, Petrosian, and Capablanca.


    Played my second tournament in March this year. I beat a 1500 player in 20 moves. For the rest of the tournament got paired with some experienced guys who knew this crazy thing called "strategy."

    That makes my lifetime tournament record 1-0-6.


    I decided it was time to get help. I got a chess coach.


    He said I had talent, but that my style and that of most of the masters I'd been studying was like night and day.

    No more Petrosian, Botvinnik, and Capa.

    Now it's Kasparov, Alekhine, Tal and Shirov.


    Right now I'm working on building up my opening repertoire, and I'm going to start playing in more tournaments.
  9. 12 Sep '10 01:22
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    I'm talking more about when you decided to actually work to get better...
    As soon as it happens, I'll let you know.
  10. 12 Sep '10 17:39
    "Always deploy so that the right oblique can be readily established in case the objective plane remains open or becomes permanently located on the centre or on the King's wing, or that the crochet aligned may readily be established if the objective plane becomes permanently located otherwise than at the extremity of the strategic front."

    toet.
  11. 12 Sep '10 19:42
    Originally posted by toeternitoe
    "Always deploy so that the right oblique can be readily established in case the objective plane remains open or becomes permanently located on the centre or on the King's wing, or that the crochet aligned may readily be established if the objective plane becomes permanently located otherwise than at the extremity of the strategic front."

    toet.
    Franklin Young's "The Grand Tactics of Chess", (page 346) !

    You didn't actually study that piece of gibberish, did you?
  12. 13 Sep '10 01:31 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    I'm talking more about when you decided to actually work to get better, as opposed to when you first learned the game.

    Here's my story. I learned how to play as a young kid and I don't even remember who taught me. Up until I was 31 I actually almost never played.

    But then I was in Special Forces training at Fort Bragg (I didn't make it thro bit of time and effort.

    Edit: I did beat the guy a few times due to major blunders.
    It all started when Bobby Fischer appeared to me in a dream, 'you must take up my mantle young man and fight the Soviets', 'but Alexandra Kostinuek is so lovely', i replied, 'its the way she says, pawn to sree three that i like Mr Fischer', Bobby then left me and went to haunt John Nunn and Batsford for messin with his text and i been hooked ever since. True story!
  13. 13 Sep '10 01:41
    I lost in two moves to a very old computer chess program called Battle Chess. I'm thankful I have come a long way since that experience. I have been hooked on Chess ever since.
  14. 13 Sep '10 16:51
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    Franklin Young's "The Grand Tactics of Chess", (page 346) !

    You didn't actually study that piece of gibberish, did you?
    I don't even understand it!

    toet.
  15. Standard member caissad4
    Child of the Novelty
    13 Sep '10 18:30
    My oldest sister taught me and my older brother to play when I was 6 years old. I didn't get better til I was twelve. At 15 I discovered that there were chess books. My first book was Alekhine 1924-1936. At 21 I won my first of 6 city chess championships ( San Antonio).