Saturday, August 17, 2013

Anki: a fantastic chess tool

Lately people concluded that what distinguish a master from a class chess player is really their ability of choosing the best move. As I understand it, it means that the master choose good first move while the rest of us waste our time choosing first moves of lower quality. Since choosing moves seems to originate from position seen the  past, chess memory is essential to improve. How to go about it?

So, I got hold of anki and the Polga's 5000 problem set. I have been using them. I plan to combine it with ichess in my regular study time. I use ichess to review my notes from the books that I study as well as memorizing the position where I made a blunder.  The point is that blunder is taken as a blind chess spot.

My emphasis is in the middle and endgame. I am not studying openings since my games are turn based and databases are allowed. It is funny to see how some people follow them to the tilt. How to deal with this? That is something to consider.

Game 6: underdeveloped modern defence

Lesson: be patient. This is specially important in cramped and underdeveloped position that the modern seems to have all the tim.e
What an odd pawn formation for black!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

How I practice or train

As my games progress, I noticed that I become uneasy when the endgame starts. I decided to change my training routine. The new one consist of

  1. Tactics   -  As much as possible   -  50 %
  2. Games   -  No more than 15 games at the time 
  3. Study:  50 %      Alternate between middle game and endgames. At this time I am going through the Grooten's strategy book. I will use for Glenn Flear's for endgames. As I finish these books, I will replace them with other within the same area.
At this time, I do not plan to any opening study. However with white I will start e5 and black g6. I think that the best way to study the opening is to study it as part of the strategy area: a general view of the whole opening. 

Of course, each game I played will be analyzed and commented. I am interested in particular about my thoughts, feelings and mistakes during the game. This is very hard to do with internet games, because the games last many months. Probably I should played out of ChessBase and my comment as the games progress.

I will not use the database to play the game with player that have rating less than 1900. I suspect that those above that number are using them. There is a sudden jump in strength after 1800; I could not believe that some people follow Pirc Austrian attack for 17 moves without looking at a opening book. (Yes, I know that memorize the main line. That tells me that I better play by the book those guys or I will be held below 1900) I am assuming that below that rating most is a tactical play. This includes me!

Tactical training
Very simple: use iChess to solve puzzle until I memorize their solution. Currently I am finishing the master set. I think that memorizing the solution is important to help recognizing similar pattern during actual playing. I am very happy with the software because I found thousands of chess puzzles that iChess let me practice with my kindle fire.