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  1. 17 May '11 21:19
    Hello guys,

    i find it quite hard to improve my game by reading books cause they are either boring as hell or way over my head (eg. Bobby Fisher My 50 notable games).

    In the past (about 3 years ago) after chatting with some players during our games they granted me a bit of their time and sended me their notes which they wrote down as i asked them during our game pointing me to significant bad moves sometimes even with hints/suggest for a better move instead. Via this I really could improve my playing back then.

    On a real table I am always playing the same pals of me and as we get used to our style of playing their is no real room for improvement.

    What do you do to improve your game. I would be pleased if you would be able to gimme a piece of advice here. Pls feel free to suggest books, chess programms or mystical tricks (I won´t wear a hat out of aluminium foil).

    Thanks in advance for your help and your thoughts on this matter.
  2. 17 May '11 21:38
    After a quick glance at your games here I think you'd do better if you'd resign less in winning positions.
  3. 17 May '11 22:30 / 4 edits
    Hallo,

    I am also puzzled by some of your resignations. You play very nice chess, but then you resign something like this:

    Game 1165913

    Can not analyze your games in more detail, but some idea I can give to you, since you show a similar characteristic as I: not very strong at studying books of chess, opening or other.

    One thing that works nice for me is to learn without pressure. Sounds shallow, but it means to solely follow the enjoyable parts. I like to play through posted games quickly and try to spot by intuition the weird move that lost/won the game, for example. Or to read a blog such as GPs. Or to try a riddle posted in the forum or in the newspaper. It is amazing, how much one can pick up on the way - the more games I see, the more I get a "feeling" for a position, either danger, doubt or a plan...

    The biggest practical help was for me the discovery of opening explorers online or the explanations of openings in wikipedia. Here happens the same: I try to follow a well played opening path, a mixture of following the masses (when they all do it, it can not be wrong) and thinking of when to better diverge. Try it (put 'chess opening explorer' in google). This gives three advantages: these online databases are like the well studied opening repertoire of a GM, the point is to use it well of course; and I can now more or less safely transpose into the middle-game with an ok position (am not interested in games where I crush an opponent because of an oversight within 10 moves...). This gives confidence, in particular when you find out your opponent already diverged on move 3 or 4 - usually a sign of one of three things: 1) he does not know of these opening databases himself, 2) he never thoroughly studied opening theory or 3) he crushes you within the next 10 moves (...or all of the above ). Thirs adavantage: you can easily try out a new opening which is considered solid (=), but brings you to new positions - you can try it on your otb pals next time, once you tried a certain opening couple of times...you will see, your games will change a lot.

    And thats a crucial point: confidence. You are a good player, you also can beat 1800+ players (statistically maybe rare, but not impossible). Any game against a stronger player could be a win for you. Brings us back to the start of my babbling: don't resign so early like in the game on top. You will see and enjoy more wins that miracolously came back from 'lost' positions (which gives you more confidence...vicious circle, noone should get too much of it ).

    Hope that helps a bit: dont study too hard, enjoy the game, enjoy the positions and moving pieces...

    T.

    Edit: this will NOT bring you to top level, of course...but it certainly can help you to improve...
  4. Donation Anthem
    The Ferocious Camel
    17 May '11 22:35 / 2 edits
    1. Practice tactics. I recommend http://chesstempo.com/. You can sign up for free, and problems are kept at your level via a rating system that rates both problems and players.

    2. Before making a move (in a correspondence game, not OTB) write down why you are making that move, as well as anything that you think is important about the position. After the game is over, go over these notes and figure out what worked, what didn't and generally just what you missed. Keep these things in mind for future games.

    3. As far as chess books go, the only ones that I've ever found helpful and not boring were the book from which I first learned how to play (and basic things like pins, forks etc.), and Yasser Seirwan's book Play Winning Chess. PWC is clearly written and aimed at someone who knows the very basics, but not much more.

    edit: I forgot to mention, playing a variety of opponents of ability near your own is probably the best way to improve, though I assume you already knew that.
  5. 17 May '11 23:18
    So far (before i go to sleep, Sheesh only 5 hours of sleep). I would like to thank all 3 guys who answered me so far especially for the time you spent for me.

    Any other suggestions or comments will be gladly taken.

    I definitely will try chesstempo and the other hints (explanations of openings etc.). Thanks again for these hints.

    So im going to sleep now or i will (again) nod of in front of my board.
  6. 18 May '11 13:45
    The tutorial in Chessmaster-Grandmaster edition. easy route to 1500-1600 in 3-4 months.
  7. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    18 May '11 19:23
    to reach 1700

    1) Tactics. It isn't enough to know what a pin, fork skewer is, you need to have them burned into your mind so that without thought you recognize them in a position. Much more complicated tactics can be solved if you have the themes ingrained.

    2) basic engames- including but not limited to rook v rook, king and pawn v king etc.

    3) have a basic opening repertoire - nothing too complicated just get developed and castled etc. Don't drop a piece in the opening.

    if you have the time study the classics- almost everything you need to know was probably played before 1940. Get an annotated collection of Capa, Alekhine or similar and learn by playing the games out on a board and looking at the notes after.
  8. 19 May '11 05:34
    So I just only ordered my copy of Chessmaster - Grandmaster Series and I am waiting for it to arrive.

    I would thank both players for their comments and will try to implement your ways of improvement.

    As it will take me some time to do this I hope I will be able to inform you once i optimized my play.

    Maybe I will be able to stomp you to death in a game afterwards (GGG) and therefore will end this post with the eternal words of Anakin Skywalker: Now I´m the Master.

    See you on the board of honour soon (hopefully) and again thanks for your time and help fellas.
  9. 20 May '11 06:33
    http://www.redhotpawn.com/annotation/annotationinteractive.php?annotationid=1143

    I annotated that game. Looked through a few of your others-the most obvious thing you could do to improve your game in the opening is to give more credence to the rules of development. In the games I looked at your losses were in part due to poor development in the opening, and your wins were made possible through your opponent's poor development. The deciding factor was usually who blundered first.

    You want to complete development before your opponent does. To do this you must:
    1. Develop all of your minor pieces (bishops/knights) to squares which are protected by a pawn or another minor piece.
    2. Castle your king
    3. Get your queen out of the way of the rooks on the back row-but safe and center.

    If you make more than two pawn moves during this process, you should feel like you've done something wrong. Maybe just a bit uncomfortable at 3 moves if there's a good reason for the move. You want those paws on their home rows where they are safe. you'll need them in the middle game for defense and the end game for queen threats.

    Likewise if you move a minor piece twice during this process you should feel like you've done something wrong. This is almost always a result of a wasted move. Hanging a piece will often force you to do this. Develop all of your pieces. Your whole army is safer if all the soldiers are on the battle field.

    It is LEGAL and ACCEPTED that you consult the RHP database. (I neglect this too often)
    http://redhotpawn.com/gamesexplorer

    You can see win loss stats during the opening. You can follow the most popular moves and see which moves have been the most successful.
  10. 20 May '11 09:20
    Is there a button to the gamesexplorer on the homepage somewhere? I have never heard of it before?
  11. 20 May '11 15:25
    Originally posted by tvochess
    Is there a button to the gamesexplorer on the homepage somewhere? I have never heard of it before?
    I don't know if there's a link. Greenpawn promotes it from time to time.
  12. 21 May '11 11:13
    There are some very good videos posted on YouTube that I have just started looking at, as like you I find most books on chess are fairly complicated and it isn't always easy to follow the diagrams. On You Tube you can see the game and learn while watching and listening. I hope you find this useful.
  13. 23 May '11 06:39
    Here I am again to thank all of the last posters for their help especially Darax the good for his analysis.

    I will finish my current games and then go of the Inet for a while cause I find the Chessmaster´s learning programs very tempting.

    See you soon for a better game of chess I hope.

    Thanks again fellas for all your most apreciated help.
  14. 23 May '11 11:46 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by embers79
    like you I find most books on chess are fairly complicated and it isn't always easy to follow the diagrams.
    I often feel the same, and suspect to really get the best out of any chess book, it's probably helpful to have 2 chess boards at hand when doing so. One board to set up and follow the main position and moves, and a second board to be able to explore the annotation and explore lines.

    My own preference would be to follow a book on a computer/ laptop via an interface (not simply an ebook), where it would be easier to follow the variations, while easily being able to switch back to the main position. I'm not sure if such an electronic format is common for chess texts, but this would be my preferred way to follow many chess texts, and suppose you could always use chess software to follow a book so.
  15. 24 May '11 08:29
    Originally posted by tharkesh
    Hallo,

    I am also puzzled by some of your resignations. You play very nice chess, but then you resign something like this:

    Game 1165913
    I would say that game was loss for him.