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  1. 21 Aug '06 17:18
    A common method of studying master games is to try to guess the next move, and then later see what was played along with any comments. Some people use, e.g. a piece of paper to hide the remainder of a page or line of moves, etc. Others use software like Chessbase which have options to only show one move at a time.

    I've been experimenting with another method which uses a jumbled grid of moves. Each cell shows a move along with the cell location of the next move.

    I sometimes like to study games away from the PC (so no Chessbase). And I don't want to see any game comments till I've went through the entire game myself, so a printed PGN without comments is ideal.

    Here's an example of what I mean. I wrote a simple program to convert PGNs into this format. I can't use a fixed-width font in RHP so the columns aren't lined up properly. In practice, I put several games in the same grid and use more columns. I find it useful. Just curious if anyone has tried doing similar.

    White's first move is at (1,1).


    1 2 3 4 5
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    1 >> d4:2,3 |Nf5:4,14 |Kg2:1,12 |exd5:2,6 |Rxc3+:5,20|
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    2 >> g3:2,9 |Nf6:2,8 |Re1:4,15 |fxe4:5,12 |Rc7:2,20 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    3 >> hxg6:2,11 |e6:2,19 |Rc1:4,8 |Rf6:4,12 |Nc3:3,6 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    4 >> Bxf3:2,7 |Nc4:5,14 |Rg7+:2,10 |Kc6:1,19 |h5:4,3 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    5 >> Bxe7:3,7 |Rf6:3,8 |Rxe8+:3,12|Qf3:5,8 |Rfb1:1,10 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    6 >> g4:2,4 |Qxe8+:1,7 |O-O:4,10 |Ne3+:5,9 |d5:2,18 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    7 >> Qxe8:3,5 |Qxf3:1,13 |Nxc3:1,18 |Qh3:2,5 |Ne4:1,5 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    8 >> a4:1,4 |Bg5:5,13 |f4:1,16 |Kd6:1,20 |d6:3,2 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    9 >> Kxf5:4,20 |Kf8:3,1 |O-O:3,17 |Bb7:3,9 |Kf3:2,1 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    10>> Rae8:4,7 |Kh8:4,11 |Rf3:5,10 |e3:2,13 |g6:1,11 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    11>> Rxf4+:5,17|Rh1:3,19 |gxf5:2,17 |Rxc7:1,9 |Rg4:3,13 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    12>> Rf7:2,16 |Kf6:3,16 |Kxe8:5,4 |hxg6:1,3 |Qxe4:4,13 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    13>> Nc6:5,5 |b6:5,19 |g7+:2,14 |g6:1,2 |Be7:5,3 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    14>> Rh7:1,17 |Kg8:4,16 |Re4:5,16 |Bxf5:3,11 |g5:4,6 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    15>> Qxe7:1,8 |f5:3,15 |c4:2,2 |Qd7:5,18 |**********|
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    16>> Na5:4,5 |h4:5,6 |Rf4+:5,11 |Rxa7:4,18 |Kf6:4,17 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    17>> Rc6:1,6 |Kg3:5,1 |Qe2:5,7 |Kg8:3,4 |Kg5:3,14 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    18>> bxc3:1,15 |cxd5:4,1 |Kxd5:3,3 |Rg1:3,18 |e4:4,2 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    19>> d6:5,15 |Nf3:2,15 |Kf8:1,14 |**********|Bd3:4,9 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    20>> Rc2:3,20 |Ra1:4,4 |Rc1:5,2 |Re4:2,12 |Kh4:3,10 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
  2. 21 Aug '06 17:41
    looks like a pain in the ___

    A piece of paper (or better yet, a large sticky note) works just fine for me.
  3. 21 Aug '06 19:34
    How do you prevent yourself from seeing comments, diagrams, etc.? Do you work directly from a book? Or PGN printout?
  4. 21 Aug '06 22:30
    Originally posted by Varenka
    How do you prevent yourself from seeing comments, diagrams, etc.? Do you work directly from a book? Or PGN printout?
    okay, I got this off a website. Unfortunately the link won't work for some reason. The domain expired but the link still worked last time I tried it but now it doesn't. Here goes:

    Turning you books into coaches.

    Take a well annotated master game, wordy one with comments after every few moves or so.

    Copy out only the game moves on a scoresheet or search online and print out.

    Now say it's Capa vs Lasker, you like Capa and he won the game, so your coach is Capa and you are playing as if you are Capa.

    Cover up Capa's moves with a sheet of paper, Set up the board, Get your chess clock and pretend you are playing OTB. Play a move, write it in the notebook and then write why you played that move and any comments. Leave soem room underneath. Next uncover Capa's move and then play that move on the board, play the opponents move and then guess Capa's move again and write in notebook with comments, etc...

    Once you are done, This might take you 2+ hours just like a real OTB game, Take your notes and then read the book with the comments and compare the annotations with your notes. Write down in the blank space you left after each move in red pen, your new comments. If you played the wrong move figure out why and write it down. If you had the wrong idea etc... write it down.

    That is how you bring Capa back to life or any other Gm from the past for that matter. I haven't tried this yet but it's an interesting idea.
  5. Standard member anthias
    ambitious player
    21 Aug '06 22:50
    It seems like a good way to learn and enjoy chess at the same time RahimK. Thanks!
  6. 21 Aug '06 23:36
    Originally posted by RahimK
    Copy out only the game moves on a scoresheet or search online and print out.
    I agree with this method in general. It's often called "solitaire" chess.

    But I wanted to highight how people hide the moves. Sounds simple, but I find that using a piece of paper means that you've got to keep the PGN prinout covered up as you collect it from the printer, etc. And if you've filled a page with several PGNs, you don't want to see any moves from the next game either, so you need to keep that covered too, etc.

    In fact, what got me thinking was due to using a PGN printout the other day and as I covered it, a millisecond glance revealed it was a very short game. Guess what, I started looking for tactics from move 1 and didn't ever think about reaching an endgame.

    So I wanted a format that meant I could glance at the printout and get no quick hints whatsoever. However, I should highlight that the example posted here is much harder to read than one with a fixed-width font. With the latter it looks like a table from ECO, NCO, etc.
  7. 22 Aug '06 00:58
    Originally posted by Varenka
    A common method of studying master games is to try to guess the next move, and then later see what was played along with any comments. Some people use, e.g. a piece of paper to hide the remainder of a page or line of moves, etc. Others use software like Chessbase which have options to only show one move at a time.

    I've been experimenting with another me ...[text shortened]... 2 |Re4:2,12 |Kh4:3,10 |
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Seems like a nifty idea. I always have trouble keeping myself from seeing future moves, especially if I want to see white's move but not see black's next move.

    If dealing with a single game, it's probably worthwhile fleshing out a table with dummy moves.
  8. 22 Aug '06 01:13
    Originally posted by techsouth
    If dealing with a single game, it's probably worthwhile fleshing out a table with dummy moves.
    Yeah, I considered that. Means that if you see a "d6" somewhere, you're not sure if it actually occurs in the game or not. Also, my cell allocation is totally random - I'd update it to ensure no two consecutive moves are in nearby cells.

    The code took about 20 minutes to write. I'm not trying to use a sledge hammer to crack a peanut. :-) I just found that my eyes drifted too much while trying to keep things covered with a bit of paper. And I'm not suggesting there's any major problem to be solved here - just a minor preference.

    Pity the grid format is totally messed on here.
  9. 22 Aug '06 01:56
    The sticky note sounds like a good idea, using a book. I use an index card while horizontal in bed and it keeps slipping down, revealing the next move so the sticky note idea might be a good antidote, as long as my wife doesn't complain about sticky notes all over the bed in the morning. I think the computer idea (at least to me) sounds too complicated. I can just play the game through in Fritz with the move list closed, just hitting the arrow key to make the move.
  10. 22 Aug '06 17:46
    Originally posted by Varenka
    How do you prevent yourself from seeing comments, diagrams, etc.? Do you work directly from a book? Or PGN printout?
    I work directly from the book. I do about 2 Capablanca games a week. I have large sticky notes (just slightly smaller than the page) that I just move from line to line and 2 normal sized sticky notes for the line I am working on. My eyes just don't wander enough to have the problems with subsequent pages (I try and slap the sticky note on as I turn the page).
  11. 22 Aug '06 21:44
    You can also print out multiple games at once then you won't know which game is what so no cheating with wandering eyes or print them out couple days before so you will forget anythign you saw.

    Still I don't think you can remeber that many moves from simply looking at the scoresheet for couple of seconds. Unless you don't stop yourself from wandering