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  1. Standard member jarrasch
    NeighborhoodChampion
    29 Nov '15 21:28
    Hi Chessfriends,

    does this book have any value for beginning chess players in the era of databases?
    if so, which edition - the older, the better? (I know this would be certainly untrue for advanced players).

    I think that Greenpawn was making fun of older editions of MCOs in one of his blogposts because of errors.
    (Dear Greenpawn, please advise if possible).

    thanks
    jarrasch
  2. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    29 Nov '15 21:46
    Originally posted by jarrasch
    Hi Chessfriends,

    does this book have any value for beginning chess players in the era of databases?
    if so, which edition - the older, the better? (I know this would be certainly untrue for advanced players).

    I think that Greenpawn was making fun of older editions of MCOs in one of his blogposts because of errors.
    (Dear Greenpawn, please advise if possible).

    thanks
    jarrasch
    If you want a reference, then i would just use a database as it's quicker! You are never going to memorise all of those variations and playing through them is not the best use of your time. I think that time would be better spent simply practising tactics, assuming you are a beginner.
  3. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    30 Nov '15 14:37
    Originally posted by jarrasch
    Hi Chessfriends,

    does this book have any value for beginning chess players in the era of databases?
    if so, which edition - the older, the better? (I know this would be certainly untrue for advanced players).

    I think that Greenpawn was making fun of older editions of MCOs in one of his blogposts because of errors.
    (Dear Greenpawn, please advise if possible).

    thanks
    jarrasch
    The difficulty with MCO and databases is that they don't explain what you are trying to achieve with a given opening. The place to start is either a book or some free resource on the internet that explains things like why 1. e4 is a good first move and 1. f3 isn't. The way to chess improvement, according to Jeremy Silman is to play through a few thousand grandmaster games (I'd start in the 19th Century as they're clearer, modern GM stuff can be a little obscure). This isn't the most helpful advice as it means dedicating about 3 hours a day to chess which isn't possible for most people. So as an alternative once you have understood the basics pick a defence to 1. e4 (I'd recommend 1. ... e5 as it's the fundamental line or 1. ... e6 as it's what I'm playing right now and I like it) and one for 1. d4 (again 1. ... d5 is the fundamental defence, the Dutch defence is also good as one gets a kingside attack as black and it's more helpful to beginners to attack than it is to attempt subtle defences) and get books on them. But delay doing that for about a year, it's more important to get the overall idea of how to play the opening than it is to learn particular lines - which is the mistake I made...

    Although frankly you are best off forgetting about openings and studying the endgame as it contains the basics of strategy and tactics in a simplified setting, and if you can play that part of the game well you'll find you can turn around games. Silman's Complete Endgame Course is probably the best book for anyone starting to look at the ending.
  4. Subscriber venda
    Dave
    30 Nov '15 19:14
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    The difficulty with MCO and databases is that they don't explain what you are trying to achieve with a given opening. The place to start is either a book or some free resource on the internet that explains things like why 1. e4 is a good first move and 1. f3 isn't. The way to chess improvement, according to Jeremy Silman is to play through a few thousa ...[text shortened]... n's Complete Endgame Course is probably the best book for anyone starting to look at the ending.
    I agree with your last paragraph.
    It would seem logical when trying to learn a game to start at the start which in chess means the opening, but like you say you can learn far more about tactics and strategy by looking at endgames and puzzles like "white to play and win"
    Openings are o.k until your opponent doesn't follow the book line!!
    The best strategy is probably looking at some of the traps you can fall into in the first few moves, learning how to avoid them and then looking at end game play and puzzles
  5. 01 Dec '15 01:52 / 2 edits
    If I am not mistaken, somewhere Natalia(Natalija?) Pogonina says to make yourself a move tree for your chess moves. In Correspondence Chess on RHP, doing so ahead of time and as you play can be useful and you can memorize your Move Tree to be ready for OTB games. Also, if I am not wrong, Greenpawn may teach to learn an opening by playing against the opening.

    Finally, what I like about Nunn's Chess Openings is that it gives a +, -, and = or a combination of symbols for certain opening moves allowing a White/Black side player to know what to play or not to play because each side wants to be better in an opening. However, Nunn's Chess Openings may have only 1 old Edition. I don't know how many newer editions MCO has. A player who memorizes at least 1 "+" side opening for white and 1 "+" side opening for Black may be ahead of the game. I don't know how well memorizing standardized openings for chess will be, but it will save time in thinking what not to play during an opening if you know them ahead of time. Simply playing the same wrong thing over and over again will not do.

    P.S. I have been learning standard opening moves with an electronic chess game, thus I can learn what to play with both white and black for an opening that wants to maintain equality if not advantage. For example, I have memorized what the electronic game shows for both sides for openings such as King's Indian, Grunfeld, Slav and Semi-Slav games, Ruy Lopez, and perhaps others like Benoni and Nimzo-Indian. I think I am a better player because of memorization which allows me to be more likely to play useful moves rather than inferior moves on certain openings.
  6. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    01 Dec '15 09:19
    Originally posted by KingOnPoint
    If I am not mistaken, somewhere Natalia(Natalija?) Pogonina says to make yourself a move tree for your chess moves. In Correspondence Chess on RHP, doing so ahead of time and as you play can be useful and you can memorize your Move Tree to be ready for OTB games. Also, if I am not wrong, Greenpawn may teach to learn an opening by playing against the op ...[text shortened]... allows me to be more likely to play useful moves rather than inferior moves on certain openings.
    What I do is remember a "main line", others may disagree with me that it is the main line, but it's my main line. I'll generally have some idea about sidelines as well. If and when my opponent deviates from my main line then it's time to be careful as what he's done is not necessarily a mistake - I think that this is an important point, just because I've never seen the move it's not automatically bad.

    Yes, it's worth playing both sides of an opening (at least in off-hand games) to get an idea of what the other player is trying to achieve.

    A word of warning with MCO, it comes in different editions and some are better vintages than others...
  7. 01 Dec '15 11:25
    HI jarrasch,

    Worthless for a beginner because as mentioned no explanation as to why
    a move is played. What is it threatening, what is it preventing or is it just a
    developing move. controlling the centre. (or is it allowing White to build a centre.)

    At the end of a column they will get a sign. (White plus, Black plus or equals.)
    the beginner will not be able to see why and there is usually nothing to tell
    them why or other than a +=.
  8. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    01 Dec '15 11:33 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KingOnPoint
    If I am not mistaken, somewhere Natalia(Natalija?) Pogonina says to make yourself a move tree for your chess moves. In Correspondence Chess on RHP, doing so ahead of time and as you play can be useful and you can memorize your Move Tree to be ready for OTB games. Also, if I am not wrong, Greenpawn may teach to learn an opening by playing against the op ...[text shortened]... allows me to be more likely to play useful moves rather than inferior moves on certain openings.
    Having a Grandmaster tell you a particular move is + - or = doesn't always help you reach positions that are suitable for you. Some people love sharp unbalanced positions, other people like closed positions, still others prefer slow manoeuvring positions. As a beginner, you don't really know which type you are. The mark of a strong player is someone who is aware of what they want out of the opening and has developed a repertoire that suits their style and which that player has a reasonable chance steering their games into this 'system'.

    In order to execute an opening effectively you need the tactical acuity to foresee what your opponent is threatening/aiming for. It takes time to develop this technique. Studying the opening you intend to play is obviously going to be beneficial as you can always copy some moves (even if you don't fully understand them) in the hope to achieve a reasonable position. There is nothing wrong with this at all, as you experience losses you can make corrections. But spending long hours studying opening variations without developing tactical vision is putting the cart before the horse. There is no substitute for spending many hours solving tactics problems. It forces you to play the correct move! This is the most effective way to improve as a beginner.
  9. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    01 Dec '15 12:05
    jarrasch,

    I recommend you get a good book on strategy before investing in any edition of MCO.
  10. Standard member Wulebgr
    Angler
    01 Dec '15 14:03
    Originally posted by moonbus
    jarrasch,

    I recommend you get a good book on strategy before investing in any edition of MCO.
    I have ChessBase, all Chess Informants, Encyclopedia of Chess Openings in print and electronic, and I still open Modern Chess Openings from time to time. When I do, I do not look at the lines, but at the brief discussion of the variations at the head of the chapter.

    A few years ago on this site, someone said and others repeated that it's not worth knowing anything about the openings that Nick DeFirmian doesn't know. That was a defense of MCO. I believe that sometimes it is worth knowing what he has to say, particularly when better resources are available.

    I bought my edition of MCO nearly twenty years ago. I have never relied upon it as my sole or even my primary opening reference.

    For the beginner with money to invest in several books and electronic resources, and with the time to compare the suggestions, MCO is not useless.
  11. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    01 Dec '15 15:42
    Originally posted by Wulebgr
    I have ChessBase, all Chess Informants, Encyclopedia of Chess Openings in print and electronic, and I still open Modern Chess Openings from time to time. When I do, I do not look at the lines, but at the brief discussion of the variations at the head of the chapter.

    A few years ago on this site, someone said and others repeated that i ...[text shortened]... ooks and electronic resources, and with the time to compare the suggestions, MCO is not useless.
    If you are going to spend money, buy a book that covers all phases of the game. An opening reference like this will only be useful against stronger players who will likely beat you easily anyway. Weaker guys will not follow theory so it's much better to just learn principles rather than concrete variations..
  12. 02 Dec '15 17:54
    http://www.amazon.com/Grandmaster-Chess-Move-Applies-Approach/dp/1904600344/ref=pd_sim_14_8?ie=UTF8&dpID=51gG9oM5LBL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR110%2C160_&refRID=1YFBR49XCN6X3CYHCQM7


    Would that book be better? I remember reading it is a book where you find hyper modern stuff as opposed to Chernev's book.
  13. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    02 Dec '15 18:33 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Eladar
    http://www.amazon.com/Grandmaster-Chess-Move-Applies-Approach/dp/1904600344/ref=pd_sim_14_8?ie=UTF8&dpID=51gG9oM5LBL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR110%2C160_&refRID=1YFBR49XCN6X3CYHCQM7


    Would that book be better? I remember reading it is a book where you find hyper modern stuff as opposed to Chernev's book.
    Yes i have this book also. It is excellent, Nunn explains in words rather than long variations. I don't know if this is really suitable as a first book, a complete novice will find this stuff far too advanced. It would be better to start with a book designed for beginners as Nunns book will take it as a given that you are familiar with general principles. That said, you'll learn a lot from it, the games are particularly well chosen and so it's fun to go through..

    It's tempting to think of these old guys like Chernev as out dated. To a certain respect they are, but the lessons given in Logical chess are really important and apply to all styles. It is a broad accessible foundation from which to start. Nuns book is really covering modern ideas which you won't appreciate without the foundation. Get both i say.
  14. Standard member Wulebgr
    Angler
    02 Dec '15 20:56
    Chernev's Logical Chess is vastly better for the beginner than anything by Nunn. Indeed, Chernev's classic, and his The Most Instructive Games Ever Played, are as good as a beginner can find. I would suggest that a beginning player should begin with Capablanca, Chess Fundamentals, and then graduate to these two Chernev books.
  15. 04 Dec '15 18:56
    Are there any "New In Chess" magazines, or is that what they are, "magazines?" Would these be good? Or would a "New In Chess" book be good?