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  1. 18 Sep '10 11:05
    I'm stick my head out of the Bates Motel long enough to ask this question. It seems my attitude is just trying not to lose. I know that study helps- especially tactics and staying alert to check all checks, but my basic attitude is that I try to stall losing. How can I play with confidence and try to be an attacking player?

    Grit
  2. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    18 Sep '10 11:30
    go through a lot of attacking games, do too much tactics (especially sacs), always go after initiative, activity and dynamic play? play gambits to learn the value of initiative & activity?

    if you have an icc account, the larry christiansen videos would be excellent. probably his books as well.

    morphy games.
  3. 18 Sep '10 12:28
    I see that amazon has two of his books Which would you suggest for someone who is an "advanced beginner? "

    Please not one too hard that would be discouraging.

    Grit
  4. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    18 Sep '10 12:49 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by grit
    I see that amazon has two of his books Which would you suggest for someone who is an "advanced beginner? "

    Please not one too hard that would be discouraging.

    Grit
    haven't read either one, but my impression is that they're very straightforward and clear cut. larry is a very no-nonsense guy, and always goes straight to the good stuff. it would seem very uncharacteristic of him if they turned out to be verbose and cryptic.

    so I'd guess they'd be both fine. but anyway they're highly praised, and larry probably The Guy of modern attacking chess.

    I'd get the new one though, probably better developed as a writer and teacher.

    as a contrast, I did plow through the vukovic book when I was around your level. didn't get much out of it, and it was a bit of a hard read. not dvoretsky-hard, but not really easy either. -larry OTOH has always explained things in a way that makes sense at least to me.
  5. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    18 Sep '10 13:00
    I think wormwood's reference to specific players is very valuable.

    When you play through the games of a specific player one after another, you start to get a feel for how they respond to particular situations, and what their preferred methods are for initiating play.

    Because many players tend to play specific openings and defenses, it it much easier to see patterns, and after a while, you will start to predict their moves as you get a better feel for "what they do".

    You'll start to have "Oh man, I know what he's going to play here" -type experiences, where you will turn the page and find out you guessed right.

    And when you think about it, that's what Greenpawn34 and many other players do- when they refer to a "Morphy mate" or a game, they are essentially looking at a game and saying "Morphy would play 'X' here".

    You get a bonus when someone like GM Christiansen annotates his own games, because you get to learn what he was looking at, and what he was thinking as he played.

    Good luck!
  6. 18 Sep '10 14:04 / 1 edit
    I actually think Larry is too good for his own good and sometimes just goes wild on telling us about sick variations. He doesn't really keep it simple and I don't think he's such a great teacher. Maybe he is for better players than I though.

    I've got to add, I've only watched his videos on ICC, I haven't read his books.
  7. 18 Sep '10 14:14
    One guy tried playing gambits. Give up a little material for a positional advantage then go to work! Positional advantage can go away so you'll need to be agressive to hold the advantage.
  8. 18 Sep '10 14:40
    Maybe I should just work through the First Book of Morphy which I already have, but his playing was so advanced and so unlike my own timid moves that I put it down.

    Grit
  9. 18 Sep '10 15:06 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by grit
    Maybe I should just work through the First Book of Morphy which I already have, but his playing was so advanced and so unlike my own timid moves that I put it down.

    Grit
    i also have this book, a great book! you will love it! read that before you do anything, it will teach you many good things to be an attacking player, even if your style of play is different the concepts are still as valid than if you enjoy slower play, and it has many recommendations and references to other authors, but the best part of all, it is an enjoyable chess book, sometimes that's half the battle won already 🙂 i was looking at some of your games and although i am not a kick on the bum away from being a total patzer, i did notice you have a tendency to develop your bishops and then lose time when they get kicked around, look at the section, knights before bishops 🙂
  10. 18 Sep '10 16:05
    It's probably worth considering what role your personality plays in how you conduct chess games. If you're a dyed-in-the-wool non-aggressive person, I don't think studying attacking play is going to turn you into a killer on the chess board. (I'm not a behaviorlist, so I could be wrong about that.) Besides, maybe your natural tendencies aren't so bad. Former world champ Tigran Petrosian pretty much made a career out of "just trying not to lose."
  11. 18 Sep '10 20:53
    If you want to learn how to attack you have to do it. I only scanned a few of the posts and they seemed to have some valuable info.

    But, remember to get good at something you have to do it. When you have an opportunity to sack a piece or pawn for an attack just play it and don't think about the consequences(not too much anyway-just whether or not you think it will work instinctually-if you see a clear refutation then obviously don't play it but otherwise just go for it).
    Then start analyzing the games you play. The ones you win-can you find the point where the opponent went wrong in defense? Is there a specific move that you can pinpoint where they went wrong? Find the better defense. Now against this better defense try and find if there are other ways to steer the game-maybe they defended the attack but now have a weaker structure. You might be able to beneficially go into an endgame with a small edge.

    Finding the defenders best moves obviously helps in your defensive skills but also your attacking as you start to see which pieces are key to the defense (and possibly how you might be able to remove them or make them passive in a more simplified game)

    Now your losses. Did you miss a move because you just dismissed it automatically? Was the attack just unsound period? Was there a visualization error-ie calculation error? After doing all this you not only will get better at attack-but also at calculation and recognizing which specific parts in your game are actually weaknesses.

    Hope that helps
  12. 18 Sep '10 22:13
    Thanks, everyone.

    Grit
  13. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    19 Sep '10 03:06
    Originally posted by dkurth
    It's probably worth considering what role your personality plays in how you conduct chess games. If you're a dyed-in-the-wool non-aggressive person, I don't think studying attacking play is going to turn you into a killer on the chess board. (I'm not a behaviorlist, so I could be wrong about that.) Besides, maybe your natural tendencies aren't so bad. For ...[text shortened]... world champ Tigran Petrosian pretty much made a career out of "just trying not to lose."
    I don't think it's accurate to say Petrosian's style was "just trying not to lose".

    His style involved placing a high priority on stifling all counterplay, but he also sacrificed material more times than any other world champion ( he almost routinely sac'd the exchange, not a drawing tactic as a rule), and Petrosian-Pachman, Bled 1961 would be a beautiful resume piece for anyone.

    I also know that I am splitting hairs here a bit, but I'm a Petrosian fan. Your point it spot on about style not being a bad thing. That said, exposing yourself to other styles of play can't hurt, and can be fun.

    Paul
  14. 19 Sep '10 09:31
    "Sow the seeds of tactic destruction"
    I think it was in a chessmaster tutorial I heard this. It had a big impact on me. Just by lining up your rook with their queen, pinning knights with bishops, keeping the pieces on and position complex, thinking"can I make them more uncomfortable before I play that attacking pawn thrust" etc etc. you naturally get tactical positions - it surprised me when I started to play like this how often there is a tactic. Now you just have to spot it. Unless you are at a very high level you and your opponent will miss several tactic shots in a game. It is much easier to attack than defend - the consequences of missing a tactic are far differnt!
  15. Standard member Talisman
    Time traveller.
    19 Sep '10 11:54
    Originally posted by grit
    I'm stick my head out of the Bates Motel long enough to ask this question. It seems my attitude is just trying not to lose. I know that study helps- especially tactics and staying alert to check all checks, but my basic attitude is that I try to stall losing. How can I play with confidence and try to be an attacking player?

    Grit
    I'm not sure you can actually learn to be an aggressive player. Your natural playing style is what it is. you can learn to be more tactically aware and hone your combinational skills but if you're not an aggressive player by nature, trying to play that way is likely to bring you string of poor results.