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  1. 06 Jun '10 21:34
    I would like to improve my game and wonder what the best way to do that would be. Is there a recommended book or books. I am limited on time due to other things eating up available study time so I want something efficient. I have a USCF rating of around 1300 and would like to improve. I know I won't make GM rating but to hold my own against A and B players would be nice. Any thoughts? Probably isn't important but I am in my 50's and haven't really played for a long time but am just now getting back into this wonderful game.
  2. 07 Jun '10 00:02
    Hi Porky

    I looked at the two finished games and games in progress.

    Not enough to give solid advice as your opponents blundered
    and you have not been tested.

    But you don't make one move blunders, you open OK and develop
    with intent, you play a sound game, you think before you move,
    you have ideas, you go for tactical tricks without damaging your
    position and you jump on blunders.

    You should be giving advice to some others on here.

    All I can suggest is you play as often as you can it will
    all fall back into place.
  3. Standard member orion25
    Art is hard
    08 Jun '10 16:55
    All I can suggest Is do loads of tactics training, I suggest http://chesstempo.com/ which is one of the best tactic training servers you can find only and for free. With just 30 mins a day you will see your rating and your ability raise in no time.
  4. 08 Jun '10 18:04
    Thanks for the kind words and the help. I know playing higher rated opponents will definitely help and I will try the chess tempo site. Sometimes reading chess books is confusing to me so I wasn't sure what help that would be. I have a basic understanding of opening theory and some of the more common openings and I have a pretty good understanding of the endgame. My biggest problem is the middle game.
  5. 08 Jun '10 19:42
    Originally posted by Porky1016
    Thanks for the kind words and the help. I know playing higher rated opponents will definitely help and I will try the chess tempo site. Sometimes reading chess books is confusing to me so I wasn't sure what help that would be. I have a basic understanding of opening theory and some of the more common openings and I have a pretty good understanding of the endgame. My biggest problem is the middle game.
    an interesting middlegame tome is pawn structure chess by soltis. This has basic plans based on the different types of pawn structures. A more advanced and specialized book is winning pawn structures by baburin. The baburin book is on plans involved in iqp and hanging pawn positions AND the resultant endgames. the baburin book is rather expensive but WELL worth the money. I think if you had 1 of those 2 you would do well working with it for a while
  6. 12 Jun '10 21:29 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Porky1016
    I would like to improve my game and wonder what the best way to do that would be. Is there a recommended book or books. I am limited on time due to other things eating up available study time so I want something efficient. I have a USCF rating of around 1300 and would like to improve. I know I won't make GM rating but to hold my own against A and B players haven't really played for a long time but am just now getting back into this wonderful game.
    Yes. I just finished reading Dan Heisman's "The Improving Chess Thinker" and he convinced me that the biggest problem in the games of players under 1800 (and sometimes over) is a flawed thinking process. Specifically, they fail to consistently ask, each and every move, "If I make this move, what are ALL of the checks, captures, and threats my opponent can make in reply, and can I safely meet them all?" Heisman calls the failure to do this "Hope Chess", because these players often end up making moves in highly analytical positions after little or no analysis of the move they actually make, using general principles of play to guide themselves instead.

    Simple, right? But it takes time and hard thought. Internet correspondence chess sites like RHP are ideal for developing this habit, because you have time -- assuming you don't overload yourself with too many simultaneous games. Some other suggestions:

    When evaluating candidates for your move, first look for all of the checks, captures, and threats your opponent has. ("If I don't move, what can my opponent do?" ) When possible, try to find replies that allow you to counter a threat with a bigger threat, or which otherwise allow you counterplay, instead of playing strictly defensively.

    Then, look at all of your own checks, captures and threats. Don't spend a lot of time following a non-forcing line in evaluating moves. The probability that it will occur is minute. When you find a good move, look for a better one.

    Finally, when you have "the move" be sure to see how your opponent can reply. Assume best play by your opponent. Look at all of the checks, captures, and threats which he can make after your move. Consider ALL recaptures he can make after you make a capturing move, not just the one you want or expect.

    Don't use online databases when evaluating moves in a game. You won't learn how to think that way and will likely be misled. In an opening, consider what strategic goals you have and ask how candidate moves further those. Try to understand an opening from first principles.

    You'll make a lot of mistakes in analyzing because your board vision and tactical vision haven't developed sufficiently. They will improve with practice.
  7. 15 Jun '10 17:32
    Originally posted by erikido
    an interesting middlegame tome is pawn structure chess by soltis. This has basic plans based on the different types of pawn structures. A more advanced and specialized book is winning pawn structures by baburin. The baburin book is on plans involved in iqp and hanging pawn positions AND the resultant endgames. the baburin book is rather expensive but WEL ...[text shortened]... worth the money. I think if you had 1 of those 2 you would do well working with it for a while
    Soltis' book is a fine middlegame book, but Euwe & Kramer's two volume set, The Middlegame, is better.
    I also agree that the Baburin book is terrific, but only if you are keen on isolated QP structures.
  8. 16 Jun '10 02:12 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by tonytiger41
    Soltis' book is a fine middlegame book, but Euwe & Kramer's two volume set, The Middlegame, is better.
    I also agree that the Baburin book is terrific, but only if you are keen on isolated QP structures.
    I have the art of the middlegame by euwe and was not really that impressed with it myself. Although, I know a lot of people love that book.


    And I must say if you are not keen to IQP then all the more reason to get the baburin book. If you aren't keen to something it is likely that you don't really understand it. Each tool you add to your box improves your overall understanding of the game