1. Account suspended
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    12 Apr '08 11:384 edits
    does it really help to solve difficult problems? have very strong players cracked their head off for 30 minutes over problems they can't solve?

    I've been working with CT-Art for a long time, and the late-40 difficulty questions seem ridiculously difficult to me.

    here's the last one I've seen a few minutes ago which made me frustrated:


    black to move.

    do you see it? it's ...Bf2!, which is the only move to get the queen into the defense. this seems at least logical. however, the continuation which CT-Art gives is:

    1...Bf2 2.Rxf2 Qd8! 3.bxc3 Rf8! 4.Qxf8+ Qxf8 5.Rxf8+ Kxf8 -+
    from Hennings- Savon, Erebro 1966.

    my point is, both the the GM who has developed CT-Art and the GM who actually played this sequence is wrong. 2...Qd8"!" is actually losing to 3.Qf7+!

    believe me, this problem at least looks logical. many of the problems at 40 difficulty are so off the hook that when I give up and look up the solution, I cannot even say "aah!, that's the move!".

    summary: I'm spending so much time on these, and don't think that difficult problems help me much. and I don't seem to improve at solving them. I just get more and more frustrated, and feel like losing more and more time. should I keep trying, is it really necessary to study so difficult problems until you begin hitting the screen with your head? or should I stick to 30 difficulty problems -which are fairly difficult, too- forever?
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    12 Apr '08 12:04
    Tactics study definitely helps, but I think you're right that solving really difficult studies probably isn't doing you a lot of good (if you're trying to improve your game). A lot of tactics books have varying degrees of problems (and I think websites work this way too, but I don't use them).
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    12 Apr '08 12:40
    Originally posted by Erekose
    Tactics study definitely helps, but I think you're right that solving really difficult studies probably isn't doing you a lot of good (if you're trying to improve your game). A lot of tactics books have varying degrees of problems (and I think websites work this way too, but I don't use them).
    so what books or programs with what difficulty level have you studied for that 2000+ rating?
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    12 Apr '08 13:012 edits
    Originally posted by diskamyl
    2...Qd8! is actually losing to 3.Qf7+!
    How is 3. Qf7+ losing for Black?
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    12 Apr '08 13:15
    Originally posted by heinzkat
    How is 3. Qf7+ losing for Black?
    with Bd7 next move.
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    12 Apr '08 14:01
    Originally posted by diskamyl
    so what books or programs with what difficulty level have you studied for that 2000+ rating?
    I didn't study a lot of tactics books, but one I did enjoy is "The Ultimate Chess Puzzle Book" by John Emms. My tactical play was definitely sharper after going through it. Anyway, this and many similar books has all range of puzzles from easy to really hard. I can't see how you can possibly learn much from really hard puzzles. Its like playing someone who is a lot better than you all the time - you get crushed and you're really not sure why. You need to win every once in a while to learn finish games and build your confidence.

    I have learned by far the most from books (and magazine articles and interent articles) of annotated games.
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    12 Apr '08 14:02
    Originally posted by diskamyl
    with Bd7 next move.
    Rd6 then wins for black.
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    12 Apr '08 14:15
    Originally posted by Mephisto2
    Rd6 then wins for black.
    Yes you are right, sorry. I was talking about the 2.Qxf2 line (which leaves the rook on the back rank to avoid mate threats). only then Qf7+ with Bd7 wins.
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    12 Apr '08 14:16
    Originally posted by Erekose
    I didn't study a lot of tactics books, but one I did enjoy is "The Ultimate Chess Puzzle Book" by John Emms. My tactical play was definitely sharper after going through it. Anyway, this and many similar books has all range of puzzles from easy to really hard. I can't see how you can possibly learn much from really hard puzzles. Its like playing someone w ...[text shortened]... y far the most from books (and magazine articles and interent articles) of annotated games.
    thanks erekose, from what I have read in the forums (and from your post) I see all strong players devote most of their time to studying annotated games, I'll switch my training program to that.
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    12 Apr '08 14:19
    Originally posted by diskamyl
    Yes you are right, sorry. I was talking about the 2.Qxf2 line (which leaves the rook on the back rank to avoid mate threats). only then Qf7+ with Bd7 wins.
    But what was given as the right solution after 2. Qxf2 then? Still 2. ... Qd8? I suppose not.
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    12 Apr '08 14:24
    Originally posted by heinzkat
    But what was given as the right solution after 2. Qxf2 then? Still 2. ... Qd8? I suppose not.
    you are right in that too, the program gives only the Rxf2 variation, but I unfortunately I cannot edit my post now.

    heinzkat, since you seem you also do a lot of tactics study (I'm telling this because of your posts on the tactics thread), what would you say about my original question?
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    12 Apr '08 15:57
    Originally posted by heinzkat
    But what was given as the right solution after 2. Qxf2 then? Still 2. ... Qd8? I suppose not.
    2. .... Qc7.
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    13 Apr '08 14:031 edit
    You shouldnt view difficult chess problems (outside your ability) as problems to solve...although that should be your ultimate goal. While you are thinking about the problem you are gaining much more benefit than just tactical solving, mainly increasing how easily you slip into that state of totally chess concentration. If you think of you chess ability at any given moment in two ways......your raw ability, how much you know etc and then what % of that you are using at any given moment. When we sit down OTB or make any chess move for that matter we are rarely playing at 100% of our ability, but solving difficult problems and working through hard games can help you find that 80%,90%,100% of your game more often 🙂

    I guess the most obvious example of this is when opening theory finishes, people have drummed out 10+ moves in about 2 mins and the second they leave opening theory very often people dont slow down and think for quite a few moves. Im not saying everyone does it but the amount of times iv had people play fast pretty poor moves against me just out of opening theory is amazing. If you're more used to thinking deeply in that chess trance you should find your chess performance increasing.
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    13 Apr '08 14:13
    Originally posted by diskamyl
    my point is, both the the GM who has developed CT-Art and the GM who actually played this sequence is wrong. 2...Qd8"!" is actually losing to 3.Qf7+!
    I might add that the point of tactical puzzles isnt to win its to find the best move. Bf2 is the only move which keeps black alive, if you found that the rest of the problem isnt as importaint. 3.Qf7 certainly isnt winning for white, I still much prefer blacks position.
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    13 Apr '08 17:10
    Yes it does.

    If you only solve problems you know quite easily, your not actively using your skills. It's like playing people you beat all the time. You won't get any better.

    Then on the other hand you don't want to play people that beat you royally everytime either. By being on the edge of what you know and streching your mind one bit at a time will you learn the most.

    I know from experience it's much more rewarding aswell when you struggle with something a good while and finally beat it.

    It can become addictive aswell, when you know you can beat a problem you just havent yet, "just 1 more hour and i'll get it" 😉
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