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  1. Standard member anthias
    ambitious player
    22 Oct '06 17:16
    A few questions:

    1- How to play the looooong variations which are given in a book? Should I use several boards?

    2-Should I read only one book and study another only after I finish it?

    3-How should I use "annotated master games" books?

    4-Should I use a board at all? I can use Chessmater 10th or Fritz 9.
  2. 22 Oct '06 17:30
    tbh I wouldn't go too in depth with the openings, it'll be rare that you come across an opponent that'll match book moves after move 9/10 (well most of the time) so I'd learn the basic postions of the opening and the ideas behind it, have a look at the main lines of the opening so you don't get any nasty surprises.

    As for board or computer that really depends on you. I prefer the computer because I find it easier (easy to set up rather than moving the pieces back to where they were also you can run different lines on the computer at the same time) but main thing for me is that I only play online so it's better for me to view the postions on the computer than on the board.
  3. Standard member Wulebgr
    22 Oct '06 17:36
    I read chess books the way I learned to read culture theory when I was forced to devour hundreds of texts in a short time.

    First reading--fast, get the general ideas, the structure of the argument, the nature of the evidence. For chess books, this step involves reading all the verbal text, looking at some of the key diagrams, and followng some of the variations in your head.

    Second reading (many books never get to this stage)--normal reading pace, as one might read a novel. Pay attention to details. For chess books, pause at every diagram. Follow as much of the analysis as possible (at least the main lines).

    Third reading (very few books get to this stage)--slow reading. Focus on the details. Critique as you read. Write copious notes in the margins (I use a pencil, never a pen for such marginalia). For chess books, play through the game analysis on a board (or in a database program, although this method is not preferred). Play through the sidelines when necessary (many are short and need only the true chessboard [the one in your imagination]). Add your own analysis, which you may check with Fritz at a later date.

    If this doesn't help, ignore it and write me off as a kook. If it helps, you're welcome.
  4. 22 Oct '06 20:15
    I like your progressions. Many books lie untouched after the reading of the introduction and primary text. In others, the real meat is in the diagrams.

    Last book I read, Yelena Dembo's "Conversation With a Professional Trainer", suggests as you say the only chessboard ought to be in your mind. If you can't follow variations without a board or computer screen, you aren't becoming stronger by relying on those items. At a tournament over the board you don't get to move the pieces around. You may do that only in your mind. To become stronger, you must exercise your mind.

    Nobody started out calculating 12 ply. Skills are built and grown.

    Yelena also recommends studying grandmaste games at great depth, perhaps with the help of a trainer. Course, understandably she is selling her own proffession.
  5. 22 Oct '06 21:02
    I only play the moves in bold on a board. The sub-lines or whatever you want to call them, I play in my mind.
  6. Standard member anthias
    ambitious player
    23 Oct '06 11:16
    What about the second question?
  7. Standard member onyx2006
    23 Oct '06 11:25
    Originally posted by anthias
    A few questions:

    1- How to play the looooong variations which are given in a book? Should I use several boards?
    LOL... those "Looooong" variations... i used to avoid those altogether!
    But I recommend trying them, in your head. At first you'll only succesfully be able to follow 2-3 moves clearly, but with practice you'll get the hang of it. And that will stand to you when playing your own games too.
  8. Standard member Wulebgr
    23 Oct '06 12:28
    Originally posted by anthias
    What about the second question?
    I often have one book on the first reading and one or two on the second reading. The third reading takes place in bits and spurts, and currently embraces two endgame books (Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual and Aagaard's Excelling at Technical Chess, two by Andy Soltis (Rethinking the Chess Pieces and Why Lasker Matters), several middlegame books, especially Silman's The Amateur's Mind, and a shelf of books on the French Defense.

    Then, there are the collections of tactical exercises, such as John Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book and Gaprindashvili's Imagination in Chess. I dip into one or more of these books at least once every week.
  9. Standard member anthias
    ambitious player
    25 Oct '06 09:28
    Surely there are a lot more people who study chess in this site! Please share your mighty knowledge with this lowly 1200!
  10. 25 Oct '06 09:39
    To get the most out of a book, use two boards. Make the main moves on both boards and follow and variations on one of them, using the other as a sort of bookmark.

    Don't rush, you don't get any prizes for finishing the book quickly.

    Whilst playing through the game, obviously read the annotations and also look for yourself. If you think one side has a weakness, keep an eye on it to see if he manages to get rid of the weakness or whether it turned out to be irrelavent.

    Once you've played through the game and know how it finished, try playing through it again. Sometimes you can spot the beginnings of a winning attack much earlier than you might have expected, for example a knight might move slightly closer to the opponents king, or a pawn might move to open up a diagonal allowing a bishop to attack a critical square.

    If one side doesn't play a move you thought was best, then take the time to work out why. You are generally going through games of players much stronger than yourself, so their opinion was probably correct.
  11. 25 Oct '06 09:45
    This is what I do, or should do:

    (1) Don't just read, but think about every move in the games.
    (2) Don't only visualize in your mind, put up the game on a physical board and do every move. (Or on the computer screen.)
    (3) Make notes in the margin of every move that you don't understand or if you have more ideas that is written in the book.
    (4) Don't grab too much in each study session. Less gives sometimes more.
    (5) Don’t skip boring games. The author perhaps have some valuable thoughts with the game after all. He is the one deciding what games is without values by not putting it in the book.
    (6) One game a day is better then seven games a session once a week. Do the study regularly, not clustered now and then. Quality is better than quantity.
    (7) Go through every side variation on the board. Perhaps you find the reason the variation is there.
    (8) Buy one book and go through it, don't skip the last chapters because you want a new book to start with.
    (9) Write a diary so you can see your progress.
    (10) Beware of that the result in the rating raise is not instantaneous. You will see the effect but only after a while.

    This is my advices to every serious players.
  12. 25 Oct '06 12:06

    From the above link you can download the games analyzed in a chessbook in pgn format. Open it in Fritz, keep the book at hand, read and click. You can save a lot of time.
  13. 25 Oct '06 12:22
    Originally posted by Antalk

    From the above link you can download the games analyzed in a chessbook in pgn format. Open it in Fritz, keep the book at hand, read and click. You can save a lot of time.
    Thanks! This is quite a good link. Now just hope that I can find the games of my, just bought, old (1970s) books.