Originally posted by z00t
Nobody should be left behind. I did a search for [b]"improve your chess" on google and found the following :-
It bothers me that quite a few people have been playing on this site and are still prone to making :-
- one move blunders
- Queen moves in the opening
- wind assisted chess
- playing like they were playing bullet chess. That is the next thin ...[text shortened]... n sites such as the above. I'm sure there are other better sites so do share them with us.[/b]
Good advice but I suspect many will want to argue with 2600+ GM Alex Yermolinsky when he said:
“There are plenty of examples of bad teaching. The books written on that subject (offbeat openings) are very enthusiastic… Such conditioning goes a long way towards creating an illusion of originality and making your opponent think on his own terms…regardless of the true value of what you do on the chessboard. Whenever I see this weak stuff played against me I feel my confidence growing and usually do well. Statistics only prove the point: Black scores at least 50% in those lines in today’s practice. Widely disseminated promises to introduce new methods, to reveal secrets of the Soviet School of Chess, etc., are no more than smart advertising.”
He recommends playing openings you see the GM’s playing. He also is quick to point out there's no easy short cuts to improving and the reason to study openings is to get a playable middlegame. A quick look at the games of top players on this site to see what they play should be enlightening.
Argue with Yermo if you want, but I just did a quick review of my own most recent postal (i.e. using post cards-some of us still do that) tmt. results just to see what happens in the real world. Here’s my results against various rated opponents.
Rating: My results:
Under 1400: 5-0 due to tactical errors by opponents
1400-1800: 2-0 tactical errors, 2-0 bad endgame play
1800-1900: 2-0 tactical errors, 1-0 bad endgame play
1900-2000: 3 draws with no serious tactical errors I found
2000-2100: 1-0 bad endgame play, 1 draw
2100+: 3 draws
There were no miniatures because all openings were standard, mainline openings…no offbeat stuff. However, against a couple of the under 1400’s after we left the book they lost quickly because of tactical errors. What these results tell me is under 1400’s didn’t to get to the endgame because they missed too many tactics right out of the opening. From 1400-1900 the problem is tactics & endgame play. Over 1900, well, their errors are more subtle than I can detect at my level. My conclusion: avoid the weird stuff and play solid openings, study tactics and endgames. When you get to Nakamura's level THEN you can play anything you want!