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  1. 19 Oct '15 22:10
    I have been re-reading my 1.b3 book and Ilya makes a reference to a good instructive game: it must both have good ideas and it must be easy to memorize.

    This reminded of a couple of different times I've come across the idea of memorizing games as a way of getting better.

    What would be a good game to memorize?

    I'm guessing not only does a person see good ideas put into practice, but it also helps people to develop the skill of visualization. Although I'm much better at that today compared to when I first started to study chess, I know I have much room to grow.
  2. 20 Oct '15 00:26 / 1 edit

    I've no doubt memorising whole games helps but it more important you know the reason,
    within feasibility, why each move was played and how it fitted into the whole game,

    Patterns, positions and ideas are more important and they should stick
    without any effort, the same way you remember a face without effort.

    You do not solve a face, your brain recognises it.
    (you may forget the name that goes with the face, as you may
    with the players concerned when you see a position.)

    I saw this puzzle today.(Black to play)


    I had no need to solve it, I recognised it right away as a game I've
    played over a few times. I recalled the solution, I did not solve it.

    I would not be able to play out the whole game. But the bones of the idea have stuck.



    Would I have recalled the original game if a combo had ended...


    I doubt it.

    The moves leading up to it would need solving OTB and I need the pattern
    to aid to aid me. Therefore it's important to store as many patterns/ideas as you can.

    It hard, if not impossible to recognise a face you have never seen.
  3. 20 Oct '15 00:36
    Originally posted by Eladar
    I have been re-reading my 1.b3 book and Ilya makes a reference to a good instructive game: it must both have good ideas and it must be easy to memorize.

    This reminded of a couple of different times I've come across the idea of memorizing games as a way of getting better.

    What would be a good game to memorize?

    I'm guessing not only does a person see ...[text shortened]... at that today compared to when I first started to study chess, I know I have much room to grow.
    The only thing that can be sure is top level players remember many games.

    Is that because memorising games is good? Or is it because memorising a game for them is like remembering that 2+2=4 for us? Is it because they have a superior memory than us? Or is it because they understand the game at such a level that a clear logical game is easily reconstructed?

    It's like using the combined birthdates of all of the members of your household to create a long complex pin. You most likely can't memorise a seemingly random string of 20 numbers easily, not many if any can easily remember such a large number. But because you understand the number on a deeper level than anyone else it will appear that you have an extraordinary memory.

    To cut my ramble short, the best way to build up your chess memory is probably unique to yourself. My only advice can be to keep trying new things until you find something that works. The hard part is recognising what is working and what isn't.
  4. Subscriber jb70
    State of Confusion
    20 Oct '15 12:58
    I found it was a lot easier to memorize the Paul Morphy v Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard game than the Opera The Barber of Serville.
  5. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    20 Oct '15 14:35
    Originally posted by iChopWoodForFree
    The only thing that can be sure is top level players remember many games.

    Is that because memorising games is good? Or is it because memorising a game for them is like remembering that 2+2=4 for us? Is it because they have a superior memory than us? Or is it because they understand the game at such a level that a clear logical game is easily rec ...[text shortened]... ntil you find something that works. The hard part is recognising what is working and what isn't.
    I believe that having many games available to conscious recall is part of what it is to have reached a certain level of proficiency at the game. But it does not follow that committing games to memory is a path to that level or an especially fruitful exercise in memory training.
  6. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    20 Oct '15 23:14 / 2 edits
    Keres stated that he had hand copied more than 1000 game scores as a schoolboy.

    I think that memorizing a high quality instructive game (Opera game is a good place to start, for example, as it is a pretty easy narrative to remember.) I set about memorizing Karpov - Spassky g9 candidates 1974 and came up with some interesting ideas for training from it that greatly helped my chess. You probably have seen the move 24. Nb1 as it referenced by
    Rowson - Seven Deadly Chess Sins
    Timman - The Art of Analysis
    Kasparov - My G P
    Karolyi - Karpov's StrategicWins 1 - The Making of Champion
    Karpov - Anatoly Karpov's Greatest Games
    and several others.

    My idea was to take such a heavily annotated game and get deep enough into it to know not just the moves but also the side variations, the tactical elements, the game references, playing out the final position and earlier vs an engine until I could win everytime etc. It actually became a fantastic training tool that I believe had a long term impact on my play. I would guess I spent more than 50 hours on it.

    I have played through at least 1000 master games, and read hundreds of chess books but I realized I could only recall bits and pieces much like in this game 24. Nb1. Guess the move/Solitaire is great, but I highly recommend going deep into a select number of great games so that you don't study till you get it, you study it until you can't forget it.
  7. 20 Oct '15 23:30 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by nimzo5
    Keres stated that he had hand copied more than 1000 game scores as a schoolboy.

    I think that memorizing a high quality instructive game (Opera game is a good place to start, for example, as it is a pretty easy narrative to remember.) I set about memorizing Karpov - Spassky g9 candidates 1974 and came up with some interesting ideas for training from it tha ...[text shortened]... of great games so that you don't study till you get it, you study it until you can't forget it.
    Sounds like an excellent excercise. I would only question the method. Do you memorise one game completely and then move on to the next game or do you only memorise the simplest concepts of, say, 10 games at once? Maybe 1 or 2 games a day?
  8. Donation ketchuplover
    G.O.A.T.
    20 Oct '15 23:35 / 1 edit
    this post does not exist
  9. 20 Oct '15 23:40 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by ketchuplover
    White's queen is guarding b3
    That giant elephant can probably give you a hint on the solution to the puzzle.

    Sorry for the sarcasm, but I just find it silly that you would try to point out a percieved error before attempting to find the solution to the problem.
  10. Donation ketchuplover
    G.O.A.T.
    20 Oct '15 23:46
    Originally posted by iChopWoodForFree
    That giant elephant can probably give you a hint on the solution to the puzzle.

    Sorry for the sarcasm, but I just find it silly that you would try to point out a percieved error before attempting to find the solution to the problem.
    looks like I was too slow in removing my post. I posted before confirming the location of white's queen. After confirmation I edited my post.
  11. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    21 Oct '15 00:12
    Originally posted by iChopWoodForFree
    Sounds like an excellent excercise. I would only question the method. Do you memorise one game completely and then move on to the next game or do you only memorise the simplest concepts of, say, 10 games at once? Maybe 1 or 2 games a day?
    Years ago, as a joke, a buddy of mine and I memorized Morphy's opera game and Fischer's "game of the century" and we would go to our club and play them in 3 minute blitz back and forth until a Master stopped by to kibitz and started cracking up laughing. I guess that would be a form of performance art?

    Seriously though, I would go one game at a time unless you are studying miniatures. Here is one possible study method.

    Day 1 - choose 5- 10 games that are heavily annotated, (less annotated and more modern the game the stronger a player you are)
    Day 2 play through game 1 casually, pausing at moves that you didnt expect but nothing to deep. Should take no longer than 30 minutes for the whole game. You are allowed to look at one annotation of the game but don't try to go to deep into the analysis - just remember verbal comments like you would if you were looking at a chess magazine 30 minutes before going to bed.
    Day 3 - rest and get a pint.
    Day 4 - Give yourself 2-3 hard hours. Play solitaire/guess the move and after each set of moves write out everything you analyze and see. When you are done you should feel like you just played a rated game of otb.
    Day 5 - play through the game 1-2x casually and mentally note what moves still don't click with you. By now you should have a short, logical narrative of the game but the nuances of many positions aren't sticking.
    Day 6-7 pints, tv, or whatever

    Week 2
    day 1 - start from the final position (in Karpov Spassky Rxd8) Play a weak engine (I use the kindle chess genius at 3 sec a move) and see if you can win the position from resignation. If you cant then you need to spend a day or two studying the ending until you can win it. Keep notes and make sure you are sticking to the discipline. You don't move forward until you can win from resignation at blitz pace - have a pint and say "the rest is technique." If you can win with ease, move farther back until you reach a postion where it is not clearly an easy win.
    Day 2 (or more?) play through the game solely looking at tactics. Classify the tactics that come up and keep a file on them. (Knight sac opportunity in Karpov - Spassky, the not so hanging pawn on move 28 etc.)
    Day 3 get a pint.
    Day 4 Compare the annotations of different publications. Look for points of disagreement or where one source neglects the ideas that another mentions etc. You should be getting a very good feel for the why of the game at this point.
    Day 5 Try playing the game from memory. Note where you trip up.
    Day 6-7 rest, pint, tv.
    Week 3
    Day 1 - test your memory of the game, you might have it down at this point? but most likely after a couple days off, a couple moves aren't jelling.
    Day 2 - rinse repeat until you have the game mastered. You should be able to walk into a room of a chess club, go to the demonstration board and not only show the game but field questions about alternate choices. If not, try another solitaire and see how deeper your notes are now than before.

    Something like this and then on to the next game. I would weekly check and make sure that you still remember the games you have covered.
  12. 21 Oct '15 00:30
    Originally posted by nimzo5
    Years ago, as a joke, a buddy of mine and I memorized Morphy's opera game and Fischer's "game of the century" and we would go to our club and play them in 3 minute blitz back and forth until a Master stopped by to kibitz and started cracking up laughing. I guess that would be a form of performance art?

    Seriously though, I would go one game at a time unless ...[text shortened]... ext game. I would weekly check and make sure that you still remember the games you have covered.
    Thank you. That is certainly a well thought out and concise method of studying! I will certainly try this method.

    probably lower my goal from 5-10 to 2-3 though, I don't want to put too much weight on the barbell.
  13. 21 Oct '15 10:59
    Originally posted by iChopWoodForFree
    The only thing that can be sure is top level players remember many games.

    Is that because memorising games is good? Or is it because memorising a game for them is like remembering that 2+2=4 for us? Is it because they have a superior memory than us? Or is it because they understand the game at such a level that a clear logical game is easily reconstructed?
    Possibly all of those. I'd amend the "superior memory" to "superior chess memory", though; if remembering chess positions comes easy, that doesn't mean that you're just as good at reciting poetry by heart.
    But there's another reason: these are the true fanatics. We patzers, we play chess, maybe daily, we read about chess, then we go to work. For them, chess is work, it's their life, their whole life, not just a quite important side-note to their life. This has two consequences: one, they pay much more attention to it and are more attuned to absorbing this information all the time; and two, maybe even more importantly, they see more of it. Much, much more. Dozens, hundreds of games for each one we see. Again and again and again.
    Well, as any psychologist will tell you, repetition is a key point in learning and memory. And they repeat. And repeat, and repeat. They see the same game several times, similar positions many times, the same tactical and strategic points many, many times. No wonder they remember so much more of it.
  14. 24 Oct '15 16:29
    Originally posted by greenpawn34

    I've no doubt memorising whole games helps but it more important you know the reason,
    within feasibility, why each move was played and how it fitted into the whole game,

    Patterns, positions and ideas are more important and they should stick
    without any effort, the same way you remember a face without effort.

    You do not solve a face, ...[text shortened]... as as you can.

    It hard, if not impossible to recognise a face you have never seen.
    You gave a great example. I was able to solve the puzzle with your hint.

    I have spent much time doing checkmate puzzles where I have learned many checkmate patterns. The one I first used was the Personal Chess Trainer's tactics modules.
  15. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    24 Oct '15 23:30
    GP had a great example of knowing the pattern and seeing if it works vs brute force calculating adding another piece (the queen) to the mix.