Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. 26 Apr '08 20:40
    mmm, this is the thing, what do you guys think? this apparent ambiguity, if it is indeed ambiguous, i don't know, anyway, here is the thing, is it not true that when we are concerned with principles and ideas in chess, does this not do away with the need for learning specific variations by the barrowlod, as these ideas are our focus, the moves just a vehicle for realising them and secondly does this not increases a zillion fold the chess experience, there is for me nothing sweeter than to have a long term strategic goal and to try and work towards achieving that aim, any insight, most appreciated.
  2. 26 Apr '08 23:50
    Not that I'm qualified to answer this type of question based exclusively on my chess experience... but my two cents anyways:

    It seems when you reach the level of say Fischer or Kasparov memorizing those endless variations can prove a decisive advantage. That's why Fischer came up with chess 960 because it focused more on strategy and tactics as opposed to memorizing openings and their variations (isn't the Sicilian analyzed 30+ moves in? Crazy!). For me: I know tactics and endgame are a first priority and I only know a few openings, a few moves in. So that's the chess newb perspective for you.
  3. 27 Apr '08 02:56
    At our level ideas and principles will carry you a long way. I'm in the 1600's and I couldn't tell you the moves of any opening more than 3 or 4 moves deep. Get your pieces out, castle your King, and fight for the center. Know tactical motifs (pin, fork, etc). Blunder check before you click "submit move". Know how to Queen a pawn and how to use opposition. Pay attention to pawn structure!!! Double threat/double attack is the basis of winning material which translates into winning games. Be able to mate with K+Q/R v K in your sleep. Realize that a solid position cannot be beaten by cheap traps and tricks. Know the balance between aggressive moves and quiet positional improvement. Play the board not the man.
  4. 27 Apr '08 05:51
    The knowledge of the basic fundamentals of chess, being strageic and tactical motifs and formations as well as endgame dynamics, is invaluable. This knowledge will out-do any well studied main-line-player who would be weak in an out-of-book line. Knowledge of your opponents game is almost just as valuable as opening lines in high level chess.
  5. 27 Apr '08 13:21
    Originally posted by MontyMoose
    At our level ideas and principles will carry you a long way. I'm in the 1600's and I couldn't tell you the moves of any opening more than 3 or 4 moves deep. Get your pieces out, castle your King, and fight for the center. Know tactical motifs (pin, fork, etc). Blunder check before you click "submit move". Know how to Queen a pawn and how to use opposition ...[text shortened]... ance between aggressive moves and quiet positional improvement. Play the board not the man.
    this is wonderfully succinct and to the point, one may add of course knowledge of imbalances, i.e minor pieces especially, knight and bishop v two bishops etc and how to direct play to take advantage of this. Any other points most appreciated.
  6. 27 Apr '08 13:24
    Originally posted by ChessJester
    The knowledge of the basic fundamentals of chess, being strageic and tactical motifs and formations as well as endgame dynamics, is invaluable. This knowledge will out-do any well studied main-line-player who would be weak in an out-of-book line. Knowledge of your opponents game is almost just as valuable as opening lines in high level chess.
    this is also most excellent, if we have knowledge of our opponents style and preferences can we not direct play to take advantage of this, does he/she like closed positions, can we open the game up, does he like active piece play, can we not try to keep the position closed and play on the wings?
  7. 27 Apr '08 17:32
    All chess positions fall into one of two categories. They are either EXACT or PROBLEMATICS. Exact positions are unique to each player. They are positions that you recognize through experience and know how to solve. All chess players have their own set of exact positions. In problematic positions, however, you may have to rely on general principles.

    I recently had to make the choice whether or not to enter into a queen versus rook ending with pawns on both sides of the board. If I could reach a pure queen versus rook ending then this would be an exact position and I could win it based on my personal endgame knowledge; however, I have never played or studied a position exactly like this. I have to rely on general principles, ideas, and my ability to calculate variations. This game is still in progress so I can't discuss it, but I can talk about general ideas.
  8. 27 Apr '08 19:08
    Originally posted by petrovitch
    All chess positions fall into one of two categories. They are either EXACT or PROBLEMATICS. Exact positions are unique to each player. They are positions that you recognize through experience and know how to solve. All chess players have their own set of exact positions. In problematic positions, however, you may have to rely on general principles. ...[text shortened]... ons. This game is still in progress so I can't discuss it, but I can talk about general ideas.
    mmm, if I understand you correctly sir, then these 'exact' positions are understood through a sequence of moves that we know 'by heart', or as you say experience, a technique, in other words and in your case an endgame with pure queen verses rook is technically won if you know the technique, Does the same principle apply for openings as well, for example, we may know what the positions will be in like in say the Ruy Lopez after moves 10 -12, depending upon our experience and knowledge of the system and our opponents choices, even so is it possible to rely on general principles to save us from memorising different lines, in essence what I am trying to understand is, is it necessary to be versed in many different lines or can 'general principles', guide us equally as well, and may even lead to a more interesting and enjoyable chess experience, your comments and experience in this regard would be most appreciated.
  9. 27 Apr '08 20:24
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    mmm, if I understand you correctly sir, then these 'exact' positions are understood through a sequence of moves that we know 'by heart', or as you say experience, a technique, in other words and in your case an endgame with pure queen verses rook is technically won if you know the technique, Does the same principle apply for openings as well, for e ...[text shortened]... e chess experience, your comments and experience in this regard would be most appreciated.
    Absolutely, it applied to any part of the game. The only difference is that your exact knowledge in the opening may be lost very quickly if say, you have memorized and hold a firm knowledge of the dragon, and your opponent opens 1. a3. You may think this is a bad move, but if they guy playing it knows it well, then this may be his exact knowledge -- especially if he's rated 2400 and you're reated 1200.

    By the way, none of these ideas are mine. I'm simply paraphrasing Mark Dvoretsky. Dvoretsky makes it clear that we can not learn enough exact knowledge to win most of our games. He says our time is better spent learning how to think rather than learning to memorize positions. A case in point is a current game of mine. The exact position I know is queen vs rook, but in the real world things just aren't that clear. So we must use our exact knowledge as a guide, not as an exact plan.

    The same is true in land development. If we survey the elevations of a field in preparation for precision land leveling we can not accept our cut-sheet as the absolute infallable word of god. It is based in mathematics so many people consider it just that, but it is also based on a sample and not a population. As field work is done the standard error of our estimate becomes less and we must adjust the mean elevation to this new knowledge.

    This analogy can be applied to chess. We can not develop a plan that will take us from beginning to end. A good plan may take us only a few moves further into the game. Plans are guidelines that we use based on general principles, experience, and our evaluation of the position. Things change. You may want to keep pawns on both sides of the board because you have a bishop and your opponent has a knight, but if you convert this dynamic piece advantage into a static advantage, say an outside passed pawn, then your whole plan must change.

    I'm not sure what you mean by many differnet lines, but if you mean an understanding of every opening then the answer is no. You are much better to learn a single opening as white, a single defense against e4 and a single defense against d4 until you become a master. You can't learn enough about all of the possible defenses against 1. e4; so, don't play it. It would take a lifetime for most of us to learn the Najdorf alone. We sure can't learn all of the variations of the Sicilian, French, Caro-Kann, Philidor, Ruy Lopez, etc. There is nothing wrong with Larsen's Opening, the Polish, English, or Birds. With each of these openings, at least, you can direct the game in your direction. If you play e4 you have no idea wher eit is going. Bobby Fishcer could do it, but most of us are not capable. 1. d4 is a differnet matter. It is more positional, but there again, most of us are not capable of understanding positional play until we reach 2200. To play d4 you have to have a firm understanding of how to coordinate your pieces together. Most great players master e4 before going to d4.

    Do any of you watch the television series Numbers? I was really disappointed with Charlie, the mathematics professor on the show, when he identified 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 as a Sicilian Defense. Of course, another professor quickly said no it couldn't be a Sicilian since black didn't push the c pawn. Finally, Charlies girlfriend played the next few moves 2... e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 and said it was a Nimzo-Indian. I didn't know if they did this because she was from India.

    My wife, an RNC, gets upset when they make obvious mistakes on the show House. "You can't shock a baby. We don't do that in NICU," "You can't use an air-bag with the oxygen supply line still in their nose." Why can't these people try to get things straight? Russia with Love, and Casablanca are about the only shows I know where they at least get the moves right. Of course, I did like Pet Detective where the white and black queens were switched as swingers.
  10. 27 Apr '08 21:08
    i find this incredibly interesting, especially the idea that one advantage may 'transmutate', into another type of advantage, i was recently following a Korchnoi and Karpov game, world championship match which Korchnoi won and this is exactly what happened, he completely changed his plan while converting one slight advantage into another, I think it took Karpov by surprise and Korchnoi was able to press home his new advantage.

    as to the point about trying to understand positional concepts, i recall reading a foreword to jeremy Silmans book, the amatures mind', in which he relates the experience of an irate man writing him a leter saying that it was futile to try to teach positional concepts to lower rated palayers, and Silman retorted that one of his students, a six year old girl in one of her games had put a rook behind a passed pawn, when Silman asked her why she had done so, the little girl said that rooks belong behind passed pawns, and of course he utilised this to explain that everyone should be able to grasp positional concepts at least to some degree. That being said, i recently purchased a piece of software from conveckta, strategy it was called and cannot grasp it for the life of me!
  11. 27 Apr '08 22:03 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    i find this incredibly interesting, especially the idea that one advantage may 'transmutate', into another type of advantage, i was recently following a Korchnoi and Karpov game, world championship match which Korchnoi won and this is exactly what happened, he completely changed his plan while converting one slight advantage into another, I think it ce of software from conveckta, strategy it was called and cannot grasp it for the life of me!
    I'm not familiar with the software. Corresponding Squares is the most disturbing thing I've ever studied. The Final Countdown by Willem Hajenius and Herman Van Riemsdijk present something that I just can not understand. Essentially, they provide mathematical proof of triangulation and explain how our basic understanding of the relationship of squares changes as pawn structure changes. I pick it up about once a month and try reading it. Each time I understand a little more, but for the most part it's way above my level of understanding. You just don't see this happen in many games below grandmaster level.

    In our endgame study one of the problems deals with cutting off the king. This is one of nine principles that you must know in rook endings, according to Dvoretsky. Anyway, more than once I've seen games where Korchnoi has played brilliantly then allowed his king to be cut-off by a simple rook move. This is the greatest weakness I've seen in his games. And I have nothing but respect for this great man. Fischer crushed him in the 60s, and he came back and became one of the greatest players in history to have never been world champion. He continued to learn and grow as a player when he was too old to play by most people's standards.

    The point you raised is also one of the key points of My System by Nimzowitsch. He says the purpose of a knight outpost is to create a passed pawn. Learning his principles of open files and knight outposts are worth reading the book. Again, I've read that book a dozen times and each time I read it I have a new level of understanding. I feel sorry for those who claim the book is outdated and a waste of time to study. Maybe, just maybe, I comprehend 10% of the text.

    Jeremy Silman is a master of words. I'd give anything if he would rewrite My System, and all of the works of Dvoretsky. My only problem with him is that he writes for a profit. I'm not against capitalism. What I'm talking about is writing for the masses. He knows that 99% of his market is players below 2000. So it would be a waste of time and energy to write for players above 2000 since it would not wield a return on capital. Dvoretsky, on the other hand, writes for those above 2200. He is getting better, but his stuff is much harder to read. Now, if Silman could rewrite his stuff we could all become grandmasters. I think the greatest lesson I've ever learned was Silman's R+2P v R. When you understand how to solve this problem you understand how to study the game of chess. This ending is the basis of our project.
  12. 27 Apr '08 22:23 / 1 edit
    yeh Strategy is software from russian chess firm 'convekta', would probably be of use to someone of greater depth of understanding than myself, anyhow, have you used the software , 'chess mentor', with loads of contributions by Jeremy Silman, , and i believe it also has supplementary courses as well on specific systems, i.e Sicilian , kings Indian etc.. it discusses all that type of stuff, opposition, triangulation etc, King vs King+pawn, rook/king vs rook/king+pawn in a very practical and understandable way, it has loads of endgame scenarios as well as techniques to learn, its kind of like a synopsis of all his books, but in a very practical way.

    what is also of interest, although i will probably never need it as I will never be a master, is how is this man Dovertesky, able to teach players who are already very brilliant to better themselves, does he teach them about themselves, is he able to see them more objectively, you mention 'how to think', could you crystallise this in a succinct way so that I may get a flavour of its import. kind regards Robert.
  13. 27 Apr '08 23:21
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    yeh Strategy is software from russian chess firm 'convekta', would probably be of use to someone of greater depth of understanding than myself, anyhow, have you used the software , 'chess mentor', with loads of contributions by Jeremy Silman, , and i believe it also has supplementary courses as well on specific systems, i.e Sicilian , kings Indian et ...[text shortened]... ise this in a succinct way so that I may get a flavour of its import. kind regards Robert.
    I've had good and bad experiences with Chess Mentor.

    First, I came very close to publishing a course with them when they first came out and I'll be d@^#&d if I didn't lose everything I had written when my comptuer crashed while rewritting my backup. By the time I had everything restored they had already pickuped up Silman and others so I lost my contact.

    Second, Mentor will not convert a lot of games so I could not use it to document my games, and lessons. I became very disgusted with Mentor and several other programs. I find it easier to write my own. I'm not talking about engines; I'm talking about chess documentation software. I wouldn't waste my time with an engine. Crafty will do all I ever need. (although I would like for it to examine problems on a database and rewrite them).
  14. 28 Apr '08 01:19
    Crafty will do all I ever need. (although I would like for it to examine problems on a database and rewrite them). [/b]
    "I think there is a world market for about five computers." - Tom Watson, Chairman IBM, 1958
  15. 28 Apr '08 09:08
    Originally posted by petrovitch
    "I think there is a world market for about five computers." - Tom Watson, Chairman IBM, 1958
    sooo funny, wow that's amazing, damn chess mentor and that charlatan Silman, i get really annoyed when people are treated in a less than civil manner. I hope that you're software is really successful and helpful to a lot of people, not least of all yourself!