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Am I the only one?? RE: Chess Books
Am I the only one that takes an inordinate amount of time to work through a chess book? I set up my board for each diagram and annotated game, and it seems like I can spend up to half an hour just analyzing and reviewing 3-4 pages. I'm currently reading "Reassess Your Chess by IM Jeremy Silman" and love it so far, but was just curious as to whether the rest of you work through chess books with the same degree of analysis and slow progress? I have several books that I'm waiting to read, and at this rate it will take me a year to work through them all. Longer! Thanks in advance...
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...I would like to have spend as much time as you do, but simply I do not have the time now. Last time during/even before my studies, yes I do take maybe up to 10 minutes for a few moves (maybe 6,7!) in a well played, well anotated game. Now, after a few months, I'm still at game no#2 on Paul Keres' memorable games (sorry, forgotten the title!)
...probably too why I like it so much playing here at GK :)
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You are not alone on this manner of studying the game... I too have accumilated many books on the subject and go through it like clock work... Though as you can see, you are just one of the selected few... The internet chess playing network is absolutely full of phonies with their master like chess programs... But that can only help you... You more than likely will not like the challange they offer you without the help of a chess program...
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Good to know that others work through these books in the same fashion. As to the comment on chess programs being used.... It only hurts the person using them. So what if I get beat by a 1400 player who is using Fritz to make his moves for him? He doesn't learn anything, whereas I can learn from the game and only improve.
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Mr. Groove (enstein haha) I have a library of chess books and haven't read half of them but cherished all. I average an hour a move but hey I enjoy every minute though if the grumbles from the spousal unit get any louder I might need to cut down my games or get ear plugs ")
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I have more of a scattergun approach - I start one book, read a bit, put it aside and read
another, pick up the first one again, and so on.
What I don't do (and probably should) is set up positions on a board - I try and visualise
them instead. It's tough but I think worth it.
Two asides - the 'analyze the board' feature on this site is brilliant but since I started
using it my power of visualisation has withered a little. Any else have a similar
Second, anyone else play through master games and try to predict the moves? I always
get it wrong, it seems, and I feel like a patzer. But on those few occasions when I have
had the same tactical idea as Tal or Fischer I feel great. And immediately go out and lose
lots of games...
By the way, that Silman book is really good and if you are like me it will improve your
understanding of all aspects of the game
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Your strategy for combating Zwifenzug sounds worth the try. But beware especially
that most dangerous of Zwifenzugs "No tournament; you go mow!" known to arise in the No Chess Gambit. And may require a heartier counter-attack to overcome it short of resignation.
I am divorced
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Groove n Bro: Computer Cheats...
Computer cheats may become a thing of the past soon enough. When the newly developing Zebron Detection Program
(Zero Box Rating Ozostomia, version-n. And don't ask me how/why they come up with these names! But Osostomia translates to halitosis; bad breath. My memory aid is to remember as "zero box rot" :-)
becomes available. Such miracles can occur when a programmer comes along with a strong enough interest in Chess to supercede profit motifs. Another case of programmer overworked/underpaid for the cause, you might say.
[ I have a distant cousin, strangely enough of the same name, who is a software developer.]
"...to compare & detect for not only generalized computer tendencies of move generation occuring within the field of play, but also a search and comparison mode for occurrances of specific matching moves generated from various of the strongest and most popular Chessplaying programs, and additional mode option for statistical analysis of single player tendancies within games input to the program's Player Database by which games may be compared for determining self consistancy integral to a specified players collective games and discover associated anomalies therein and computer matching tedencies."
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I work through each book slowly and methodically, putting the positions out on a board as I go (my rating is a flattering 1450). However, there are only so many hours in a day, and it recently occurred to me that if I live to be a hundred I will never get to read everything I have bought, so I have set about a regime of study to try to cover everything I need to improve as a player. I am working through ALL of the following:
For the opening: I am still experimenting, but recently I have been working with The Dynamic English by Tony Kosten for white, supplemented by Starting Out The English by Neil McDonald. For black, a nice fit is The Slav by Matthew Sadler and Starting Out The Caro-Kann by Joe Gallagher.
For the middle game: Simple Chess by Michael Stean (NOT the John Emms book of the same title!) for positional understanding, with Learn Chess Tactics by John Nunn for tactics.
For the endgame: Chess Endgame Training by Bernd Rosen. This is chock-full with lots of instructive puzzles to solve.
For mating patterns: How To Beat Your Dad At Chess by Murray Chandler (don't be put off by the silly title lol).
These books don't solve everything for me, but we all have to start somewhere...
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Interesting -- it looks like we're playing the same openings, black and white....
I've enjoyed the McDonald and Gallagher books. What do you think of Kosten and Sadler? Personally, I've got the chessbase Slav opening training CD by Rogozenko and can't really recommend it other than as large collection of Slav games.
Also, I completely agree that How to Beat Your Dad is a great little book. I plan on working through it a couple of more times.
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The Sadler book I like a lot as he really talks you through the opening one move at a time. He doesn't leave you scratching your head and asking "why did he tell me to put that pawn on that square?" In time I may need to supplement this book with something a bit more recent, but for now it suits my humble needs. Sadler recommends the 4...dxc4 lines over the hip 4...a6 lines so I think I will follow his advice and play it the same way.
Unlike Sadler, Kosten assumes a degree of chess knowledge, but with a little study it isn't so hard to figure things out. The Botvinnik section seems very strong, with clear ideas for play: Keep fighting for the d5 square, don't move your knight to d5 until your opponent moves his queen's bishop to e6, etc.
The Gallagher Caro-Kann book is also terrific. Playing 3.c5 in the Advance is an idea I like a lot as it really helps to keep things simple. I am less happy with the section on the Panov-Botvinnik Attack, and I think I will have to pick up Aagaard's "Easy Guide" to make better sense of this variation.
What I find useful about How To beat Your Dad At Chess is that you can learn a lot from it by just dipping into it for ten minutes a day, and you don't need to have a board at hand to understand the positions being explained.
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One other thing about the Kosten book
Playing his chosen move order cuts out all those complicated Hedgehogs!
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I've been waiting to see ...
How slow y'all are before saying ... TO me you are FAST! Takes me hours to go thru a game. OR more for a couple pages. Maybe 2 to 4. And a long process of "ok"
"well no, not ok, I don't believe you" "then again, maybe if" "oh surely not".
Which puts me in heaven to get an author like RJF, or Evans especially, where I can just go "ok, I accept, lead me to wisdom" ...
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PS Because ...
I have Never seen Evans be Wrong about a Chess position, in print.
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Fortunately you are not the only one. I loved to read chess books without hurry.
Unfortunately for me, in the last times, I have had no time to read chess.
I admire GM Jeremy Silman and read his wonderful book: "How to Reassess
your Chess", Expanded 3rd edition. As you said, I also like to put the board
and pieces and play and replay the great games of all times. Unfortunately,
again, most of the time I can't do that and must analyze and study in my head.
Silman's book is a, de facto, modern classic. But I found a little mistake in it:
In page 181, diagram (112): Fischer-Spasky, Return Match 1992, Black to
play, Silman quoted: "...Acording to Seirawan, White's best move was 3.exd5
Qxd5, 4.Ne4 Ned7, 5.Nxf6+ Nxf6 6.Rxe8 Rxe8 7.Nf3 with a likely draw",..., but,
after 6.Rd8?? the punishment is fast and hard: 6...Qxg2++.
I sended Mr. Silman (firstname.lastname@example.org) an email, but he never answered
it wich is not a lack of courtesy. Silman is a world-class trainer and writer and
surely must recive thousands of emails every single day. What I want if any of
you can communicate with him is that this mistake won't appear in the next
edition of this paedagogical masterpiece (you don't need to mention me).
Last but not least, my friend, I strongly recommend you to try to read books
without the help of the intermediate diagrams, this will strenght your memory.
Post scriptum: Yes, I confess, "mea culpa", that I print some of the positions of
some of my current games. My memory is good, but with my excess of work in
computers and another problems, I don't trust it very much. But, shhhh!, please,
I don't want ,...,you understand me. :-)
Your Mexican friend,
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Ny dear friends,
Jeremy Silman is an IM not a GM. Excuse me but I just wake up and afternight I
drinked almost 45 shots of one of my favourites: Tequila Herradura Reposado.
Thanks and regards,
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In my analysis of Silman's book, I should write "...6.Rxe8...", instead "...6.Rd8..."
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It isn't comic?
To comment 1 errata in the book of IM J Silman, I must be forced to publish 2!
"Man is the only being that publish an errata of an errata"