I appreciate the effort that you all have put into these posts. Thanks.
I’m most interested in discussing what is the most effective learning approach. (I’m less interested in your rating/strength of play; more in the thought process.) Psychology claims effort and training are by far the most significant factors to chess success (which is obvious and true.) The critical questions are then: how should we train and obtain the knowledge necessary to improve? How do we learn – and come to understand what the best moves are? Therefore, I included some advice, which may help one learn. I borrowed a bit from my posts in the private clan forum. (I will respond to the other posts at a later time, but not as thoroughly.) My answers are to an extent only common sense.
I don’t truly have the answers (but I’ll try) to the questions I asked – that’s why I asked them (what you feel the correct solution(s) should be, may be but a matter of opinion – although reasonable ones of course).
(lausey: his statements marked by dashed line.)
-Instead of making first move seen; I note it, but make note of other possible moves. (Good.
-Play down 10 ply [approx.] down a certain line; then work backwards down that line.
(This works really well CC, but likely not as well OTB.)
Capablanca: "I see one move ahead, but it is always the best one." His play amongst the most logical, and somewhat surprisingly, most closely correlates with Crafty of all the classical chess champions (as written in a recent chessbase article). His games are possibly the best to study for technique (not because of the engine correlation, but the logic and accuracy); Kramnik rates up with Capablanca regarding technique. There is less to learn in studying flashy games, with deep combinations – this is the part of one’s game that may be easiest to learn on your own – although it takes much experience to recognize some tactics in a position.
-See what final position looks like.
(Probably best to set goals for what position, ideally, you are striving for before you start your analysis. “Kotov's advice to identify "candidate moves" and methodically examine them to build up an "analysis tree"” (wikipedia.com) may be useful to you – I’ve read that his books are good; Think Like a Grandmaster, Play Like a Grandmaster and Plan Like a Grandmaster. I’ve never read them so opinions are welcomed here. )
-See what good or bad bishops there are, number of pawn islands, pins, forks or skewers (i.e. imbalances).
(Perhaps it would be more useful to do this initially in your analysis of the position – before selecting candidate moves?)
I’m a fan of the Silman Planning Method (which I know you’ve seen)
Step #1: Note Imbalances
Step #2: Note Immediate Killer Threats
Step #3: Form Plan (Based On What Was Noted)
(Of course, whether to place step 2 before step 1 is debatable. Generally, one forms a strategy based on the imbalances. The process by which you go about this strategy really doesn't matter as long as you come to the correct solution in solving a position. It's certainly a good idea to look for your opponent's imminent threats first! But also try to create threats of your own! Sometimes the best defense can be a good offense.)
-I make the move that leads down the line I feel more confident with.
(Do you make the make the move intuitively, based on calculation, and/or based on the way you feel (i.e. because it looks good
Responding to The Rest of lausey’s post:
Following opening books without understanding the ideas behind the moves (and the following positions that may result) will not help one improve (which you acknowledged). Merely because a strong player played a certain line, or if an opening scored a certain percentage, does not make an opening good or bad. Play lines that you feel comfortable with, plan to use OTB, and lines that you understand. Know what to do once the position leaves your opening theory.
When you analyze with Fritz, you are able to see where you may have gone wrong (according to the silicon beast, of course). Do you come to understand why Fritz chooses the moves it does in its analysis of your games? (The point of analysis is to come to understand – to take observations and formulate – hopefully accurate, conclusions.)
What, precisely, about RHP has helped you as a chessplayer?
I’ve read the Amateur’s Mind, which is very well written. My System, which I haven’t read – but hopefully I will read it someday, has been recommended to me most behind Reassess Your Chess (which I have read).
Everybody’s strategy could do with some refining; hence, we’re back to the point of the thread.
I’m gathering that we learn mostly from our games (experience and analysis), but also books and then databases although mostly for the openings it seems (chessgames.com has a nice database of games- an excellent website to study master games).