Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    09 Mar '13 13:51 / 1 edit
    In another thread, Fat Lady asks a great question:

    "Do you think playing on this site has improved your OTB chess at all?"

    I thought it was worth a distinct thread, as I wanted to share my experience and hear about the experiences of others.

    When I first joined the site, I mostly played here in the style of OTB, with the exception that I would look at opening books until we deviated. I think it definitely helped my OTB chess at that point, as it worked like a regular pattern of study.

    A conversation I had with nimzo5 led me to apply myself more to the CC technique, where I put more work into the games. I started plying the databases, doing searches for skeleton pawn structures, isolating players to emulate, and even doing endgame searches (very valuable, I might add).

    My rating here went up (which doesn't mean much to me), but I think it actually hurt my OTB play in some ways, as I found myself at the board thinking "if this were RHP, I know exactly how I would dissect this position, but here I just have to sit and think about it." I remember sitting at one game, thinking "what a source-dependent idiot I have become."

    I didn't change my RHP approach ( it has value for learning openings and endgames), but I stopped depending on RHP as my study, and started adding study methods that apply much better to OTB.

    I'd like to hear from others, and if anyone wants to share techniques that have helped them, that would be great. Everything doesn't work for everybody, but anyone can pick up something new.
  2. 09 Mar '13 14:40
    Playing here on RHP has been very helpful in improving my game, I was rated 1300 when I started on here. Opening databases are great, I study the opening as I play it, I can't think of a better way to perfect one's opening repertoire.

    My only problem playing on RHP has caused is limited depth when analyzing a position due to the analyze board feature. I find myself playing less aggressively OTB because I can't prove to myself that the sacrifice I want to play is sound. Seeing the resulting position and evaluating it is much easier, than trying to evaluate a position in my head.
    So basically I am forced to rely heavily on my intuition rather than actual analysis, which is much worse for me in longer time controls.

    If you only play at RHP you will become a correspondence specialist, but your overall game (OTB, Blitz) will improve too, just not as much. But I guess it also depends on how you treat your games on here (Playing them OTB style or blitzing them).
  3. Standard member Kepler
    Demon Duck
    09 Mar '13 15:01
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    In another thread, Fat Lady asks a great question:

    "Do you think playing on this site has improved your OTB chess at all?"

    I thought it was worth a distinct thread, as I wanted to share my experience and hear about the experiences of others.

    When I first joined the site, I mostly played here in the style of OTB, with the exception that I would ...[text shortened]... e great. Everything doesn't work for everybody, but anyone can pick up something new.
    Does RHP help my OTB chess? In a word, no. That is not because it damages it but because I don't play OTB anymore. I know, how is it possible for a player to be good at correspondence chess when he doesn't play OTB? One example to dispel that myth. Ernst Grünfeld started playing CC before moving into OTB in the early 1920s. At least I, and many others do it in the "correct" order, moving from OTB to CC as we age or circumstances dictate. RHP doesn't help my CC much either but that is likely because I treat this as light entertainment rather than serious stuff.

    I would say that playing here in proper CC fashion will do a person's OTB game very little good. As you yourself discovered you can become dependent on the tools of the CC trade. On the other hand, I have defeated some good OTB players simply because they would not (or could not) use those CC tools. I think it is likely very difficult to be equally good at both forms of chess although that doesn't mean it is impossible.

    One factor that makes a great difference seems to be that OTB players play one game at a time in a single session, CC players play many games in multiple sessions. One recurrent theme in that thread you reference is the incredulity expressed at being able to play very many games (100+ in this case) to a reasonable standard. Those puzzling over whether or not that is humanly possible should look up the CC record of Ernst Grünfeld.
  4. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    09 Mar '13 15:46
    Originally posted by Kepler

    One recurrent theme in that thread you reference is the incredulity expressed at being able to play very many games (100+ in this case) to a reasonable standard. Those puzzling over whether or not that is humanly possible should look up the CC record of Ernst Grünfeld.
    I hope you don't mind my editing, but your point above is a good one, and one I have discovered myself, especially after I subscribed.

    Once I subscribed, the time control was no longer important, and I found myself with lots of clan games, many with a 7/7 or 7/14 time control.

    I currently have 20-something games going, but I could handle far more, simply because lots of the games only move once a week.

    I play some fun games with lower-rated players where I just play OTB style at quicker time controls (not all games are created equal), but with my serious games, I may go days without having any of my opponents move.

    Sometimes I will even use the conditional move feature, because I've had time to work on the game more while I wait for a response.
  5. 09 Mar '13 16:28
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    In another thread, Fat Lady asks a great question:

    "Do you think playing on this site has improved your OTB chess at all?"

    I thought it was worth a distinct thread, as I wanted to share my experience and hear about the experiences of others.

    When I first joined the site, I mostly played here in the style of OTB, with the exception that I would ...[text shortened]... e great. Everything doesn't work for everybody, but anyone can pick up something new.
    not as much as i hoped , tbh.
    i'd hope playing here would improve my openings, endings and calculating skills for timed games - i play internet games around the 20 to 60 minutes on the clock.
    i should say that i play games here 'otb' style - ie no analysis board.
    so far it has helped with openings mainly.
    it has helped a little with endgames and calculating.
    going through my games i start to see my recurring weaknesses but improving is very slow for me. i put this down to my age, 45 , but would definitely advise a young , determined player to play correspondence chess as a training tool. if you are young, say under 20, i would advise mixing correspondence with timed games : correspondence chess gives you better thinking skills but it will ruin your time management in 'otb' games!
  6. Standard member Kepler
    Demon Duck
    09 Mar '13 16:44
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    I hope you don't mind my editing, but your point above is a good one, and one I have discovered myself, especially after I subscribed.

    Once I subscribed, the time control was no longer important, and I found myself with lots of clan games, many with a 7/7 or 7/14 time control.

    I currently have 20-something games going, but I could handle far more ...[text shortened]... onal move feature, because I've had time to work on the game more while I wait for a response.
    I don't mind the edit at all.

    I have found this to be an issue on many chess servers. I think that many view the multiple game thing as somehow dubious despite the simple fact that it has been the norm in CC for a very long time. There are many reasons for playing many games, some of them not entirely voluntary. For example, from experience here one can suddenly be inundated with games when forgotten tournaments suddenly progress to the next round.

    How do they do it? Good time management. It seems to be almost like the CC player's version of OTB blitz. Need an adrenaline rush but can't play OTB? Then play many games CC and get similar pressure. I personally don't understand how anyone can play a game in five minutes but Nakamura et al show it can be done and done well.
  7. 09 Mar '13 17:33 / 2 edits
    Of course it should.

    You are playing the same game, the more you play the more experience you get.
    If you play 50 games on here (cleanly) then you are bound to pick up an idea or two.

    Even if it's just one idea that wins you an OTB game then the answer to:

    Does RHP chess help your OTB chess? is yes.

    I know DB are allowed but I never use them.
    That could undermine your OTB confidence. Play it how you see and feel it.
    If you get into a mess don't try that opening move again. A free lesson.
    After a game I may check up on a line but as I win the majority I rarely do.

    That analysis board is a load of crap. I make screen moves or I use winboard
    often as not a full set or a pocket set at my work.

    A few times I have gone into a book lookng for an obscure line, A Pirc against
    Swiss G. was one. Once I had the first couple of moves as a general idea I took over.

    The rest apart from a few where I dived into the think tank ripping a position to bits
    chasing my Mona Lisa have been played as I would play them OTB.
    (My grade here is less than my OTB grade (1997) by about 100 points so that figures.) 🙁

    Even then often my candidate move was the move I was going to play and
    only a few times have I changed my mind.
    Again the Swiss Gambit game was one. I had blown a good position in one game trying to
    blitz SG to take advantage of his game load but blew it.

    The next good position was scrapped clean in what I call The Wedding Game.
    I should have been at my brothers daughters wedding, instead I spent the evening
    squeezing the position dry. It's still a family issue and that was years ago.

    Of course there have been afters when I wished I had played something else
    but that's OTB games as well.

    I've picked up dozens of wee ideas, especially in the Bb5/Bb5+ Sicilian
    and am still amazed at what I can get away with in the Latvian. Lines I thought
    were dodgy...very dodgy seem to present RHP players with many problems.
    Problems on RHP = big problems to solve OTB for my opponents.

    Use this place as a testing ground.
    These dopes that take the games very seriously. "I only want goood games etc..."
    I cannot understand. (The Wedding Game excluded.) 🙂
    Get in there, experiment, sac for a laugh, sac twice for two laughs.
    If you lose you lose, if you win you will be on the blog and I'll make you famous. 🙂

    Recently I've toiled against the Cozio Defence in blitz. (3...Nge7 in the Lopez)
    Cannot recall ever meeting it OTB.
    Have it as Black v a computer in 1989 (model not recorded).
    So using a game v beatlemania to try it out as Black to get ideas and beatlemania
    guarentees a clean game.

    (Please nobody post anything as it's on going, I honestly don't want any of your
    DB or box suggestions. )

    Here is the 1989 game I'm Black

  8. 09 Mar '13 20:40 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Kepler
    ...One recurrent theme in that thread you reference is the incredulity expressed at being able to play very many games (100+ in this case) to a reasonable standard. Those puzzling over whether or not that is humanly possible should look up the CC record of Ernst Grünfeld.
    You're the Kepler account that got banned for engine use on chess.com on 6th August 2009 aren't you?
    http://www.chess.com/forum/view/community/chesscom---list-of-caught-cheaters
    It's always interesting finding what motives lie behind posts on these types of subjects.
    If you said "CC is fun because I can use an engine & keep up in 100+ games against players rated 1800+" then I'd have far more respect for you, tbh.
    All this smoke & mirrors stuff... all so grubby.
  9. 09 Mar '13 21:11
    Originally posted by Kepler
    One recurrent theme in that thread you reference is the incredulity expressed at being able to play very many games (100+ in this case) to a reasonable standard. Those puzzling over whether or not that is humanly possible should look up the CC record of Ernst Grünfeld.
    Perhaps you could provide a reference for Grünfeld playing many correspondence games simultaneously as I can't find anything online.
  10. Standard member Kepler
    Demon Duck
    09 Mar '13 23:10
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    Perhaps you could provide a reference for Grünfeld playing many correspondence games simultaneously as I can't find anything online.
    Tim Harding's book on correspondence chess would be a start. Page 20 he says that at one time Grünfeld was engaged in over 200 games simultaneously.
  11. Standard member Kepler
    Demon Duck
    09 Mar '13 23:16
    Originally posted by Zygalski
    If you said "CC is fun because I can use an engine & keep up in 100+ games against players rated 1800+" then I'd have far more respect for you, tbh.
    All this smoke & mirrors stuff... all so grubby.
    You could always the count the games I have in progress. I think you'll have sufficient fingers for the task. I don't play huge numbers of games because I don't choose to. Some do, some don't.
  12. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    09 Mar '13 23:21
    I started this thread partly to get away from the other one going sideways, and now this one is ruined, too. I give up on the forum.
  13. 10 Mar '13 13:11
    This thread isn't ruined, it's just that you need to take into account that most people who have been rated over 2100 or so on this site have most probably used an engine.

    Using an engine to cheat online does absolutely nothing for your OTB play, and maybe that was partly what Fat Lady was referring to; the fact that many players who are or have been very highly rated here have very poor or no OTB credentials whatsoever.
  14. 10 Mar '13 13:24 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Kepler
    You could always the count the games I have in progress. I think you'll have sufficient fingers for the task. I don't play huge numbers of games because I don't choose to. Some do, some don't.
    You've played over 840 games in 7 years.
    I think you've reduced your gameload quite substantially since the heady days of a few years ago, when you also had the high rating!
  15. Standard member Kepler
    Demon Duck
    10 Mar '13 16:16
    Originally posted by Zygalski
    You've played over 840 games in 7 years.
    I think you've reduced your gameload quite substantially since the heady days of a few years ago, when you also had the high rating!
    I can see your arithmetic is still not up to scratch. 840 games in seven years is 120 per year. Hardly the hugest game load in the universe, especially when you consider I would not have been playing 120 at one time. There were occasions when tournaments went to the next round and I got swamped with games but I generally trimmed my game load quite drastically at times just to make it manageable for me.

    High rating my arse. I seem to have broken through 2100 briefly on three occasions, never getting higher than 2111. That doesn't seem especially high compared to the heady heights of the 2400s who inhabit the top spots here.

    If you don't like me being here I suggest you fanny about with some of my games and then submit your finding to the powers that be.