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Pawn
 
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 4:00 pm
Posts: 20
 Post subject: Middlegame imporovement - Study tactics or positional play?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2003 2:52 pm 
To me, the most important and interesting area of chess study is the middlegame. Naturally you have to study both tactics and positional play, however, in my opinion you can't be a great tactictian without understanding positional play. I also feel, as did Nimzowitsch, that just like the study of a language repetition is very important. This is why my book on positional play "Middlegame Strategy with the Carlsbad Pawn structure" gives a single pawn formation to examine the positional ideas neccessary to become a positional player.

Don't neglect your study of tactics or during games ignore tactical thoughts for positional ideas. But, merge these ideas into your style and realize the true beauty of the game is positional play supported by tactics.

p.s. my book can be purchased thru www.chesscentral.com


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King
 
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 10:11 pm
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 Post subject: Best Area of Study?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 7:06 pm 
I've read many articles stating to not put too much time into opening study until you improve your rating to 1750 or higher. I've also read many other articles which state that it's very important to start learning with the opening and endgame, and then study the middlegame. What do you all think?

When I first began studying chess, just about a year ago, I started with a few different books and have slowly worked my way up. After beginning with Logical Chess: Move by Move my rating probably went up to about 1200 or so. I'm now working through The Amateur's Mind and I'm guessing that my rating is about 1400 +/-. It's difficult to know my rating because I've never actually played in a tournament. Any suggestions for another good book? And should it deal with the opening, middlegame, or endgame? I own both How to Reassess Your Chess and Art of Attack in Chess which I've read good things about both, but most articles say to have a rating of about 1600 + before delving into either one of these two books. I've also read that I would be better off doing the How to Reassess Your Chess Workbook before reading through the actual book. Does anybody else here have any suggestions or comments on this? Your feedback is much appreciated.

Chessmeister


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Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:42 am
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 Post subject: Re: Best Area of Study?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 10:04 pm 
chessmeister wrote:
I've read many articles stating to not put too much time into opening study until you improve your rating to 1750 or higher. I've also read many other articles which state that it's very important to start learning with the opening and endgame, and then study the middlegame. What do you all think?

When I first began studying chess, just about a year ago, I started with a few different books and have slowly worked my way up. After beginning with Logical Chess: Move by Move my rating probably went up to about 1200 or so. I'm now working through The Amateur's Mind and I'm guessing that my rating is about 1400 +/-. It's difficult to know my rating because I've never actually played in a tournament. Any suggestions for another good book? And should it deal with the opening, middlegame, or endgame? I own both How to Reassess Your Chess and Art of Attack in Chess which I've read good things about both, but most articles say to have a rating of about 1600 + before delving into either one of these two books. I've also read that I would be better off doing the How to Reassess Your Chess Workbook before reading through the actual book. Does anybody else here have any suggestions or comments on this? Your feedback is much appreciated.

Chessmeister


Not learning a few openings is throwing away the child with the bathwater. Modern chess can be played without some basic knowledge of openings.

The problem leading to statements like "don't concentrate on openings" is evident. Browse any chess message board and you'll have people rated E-class discussing "why is 39. h4 in the ChingBoom SubVariation of the DingaDong variation of the Ruy Lopez transposed in the afterhand dangerous?"

It's clear from their play that a lot of people haven't even the most basic understanding of opening principles, yet they are discussing variation as were they on par with GM's.

Don't concentrate on openings doesn't mean "forget them", it means that your primary focus should be to the most important aspects of chess play that _you_ encounter in your games.
How often do you play GM's? Never? How oftern do you play opponents as lousy as me and you? You're right: all the time.

As long as you can't identify a simple combination on move 20, why concentrate on move 16 in an opening? As long as you're not able to decide a simple king and pawn endgame, why bother surviving the opening with book knowledge about the supposed advantages of 14. Qe2 ?

It's all a matter of priorities.

The amateur mind is a great book concentrating on disciplined game strategy. There's no need to understand each example. At least not the first time. You're _learning_ for heaven's sake, it's not an exam yet! :twisted:

You could consider to work on tactical combinations as well. Mating combinations, middle game situations with tactical opportunities, it will give you a great deal of progress in actual play.
Also think about your endgames.
Remember that a lot of endgame techniques simply can be learned - not just by "being smart" but by "working hard".

There's an abundance of training software available. Look at ChessCentral for some examples of that. ChessBase tactics and endgame trainers are fine, so is a program like Convekta's CT-Art.
I like a book like "Sharpen your tactics" by Lein and Archangelsky, which even can be read without a chessboard at hand, or a blockbuster like Chess in 5333+1 positions by Polgar.

Sometimes it's just hard and long work before you progress. Well, what are you wating for? :lol:

ps. I'm satisfied both with orders I made at ChessCentral and at Convekta. ChessCentral made a stunning speed delivery from the US to the Netherlands for a dime. Great. Convekta is also a reliable partner. Always fast, correct, never a problem. Great support.


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King
 
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 10:11 pm
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:57 am 
Thanks! I think I'm doing pretty well. I'm learning as quickly as I can (as long as my spare time allows) and my current goal is to simply achieve a rating of 1750. I've thouroughly checked out all (or at least most) of the available software on the matter. I do wish I could own sooooooo much more training software than what I already have, but affordibility definitely comes into play. If I had all the money I wanted, I probably wouldn't ever have any time to spend it...therefore I'm happy to have the little bit of time and money that I do have. Since you've read most of my posts you probably already know that I own both CM9000 (which I rarely use) and Fritz 8. I also own the Fritz Endgame Trainer: Pawn Ending which I've studied a bit, but not as much as I'd like. I'm not really waiting for anything...I realize the road is long and hard and of course I would like to own that 1 book which will help me lead to improvement better than any other. I've finally realized that the best way to lead to improvement is to simply....play chess more! Something which as stated above, I wish I had more time for. Anyway, thanks again! You're responses are informative and appreciated.
.


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Pawn
 
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 4:08 pm
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 Post subject: Re: Best Area of Study?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 4:34 pm 
chessmeister wrote:
I've read many articles stating to not put too much time into opening study until you improve your rating to 1750 or higher. I've also read many other articles which state that it's very important to start learning with the opening and endgame, and then study the middlegame. What do you all think?

When I first began studying chess, just about a year ago, I started with a few different books and have slowly worked my way up. After beginning with Logical Chess: Move by Move my rating probably went up to about 1200 or so. I'm now working through The Amateur's Mind and I'm guessing that my rating is about 1400 +/-. It's difficult to know my rating because I've never actually played in a tournament. Any suggestions for another good book? And should it deal with the opening, middlegame, or endgame? I own both How to Reassess Your Chess and Art of Attack in Chess which I've read good things about both, but most articles say to have a rating of about 1600 + before delving into either one of these two books. I've also read that I would be better off doing the How to Reassess Your Chess Workbook before reading through the actual book. Does anybody else here have any suggestions or comments on this? Your feedback is much appreciated.

Chessmeister


I believe Convekta's program Advanced Chess School might be of help to you. It includes numerous training examples on openings, middlegame, tactics and endgame.

The program also contains over 1000 tests which results influence your rating being recalculated after each and every solved test so that you can estimate your playing strength. :?


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Pawn
 
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:28 pm
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Location: East of the Mississippi, North of the Mason-Dixon Line
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:19 pm 
I concur on Convekta's programs. CT-ART 3.0 is great for improving your tactical eye.

Interestingly the Middlegame program included with the package has helped my opening knowledge immesily (if not my spelling ability). Once you have a good idea what middlegame positions to shoot for, you would be amazed how easy it is to remember the opening lines to get there. It sort of like having a compass as opposed to a set of "make a right then a left, then a right" instructions in how to get to town X. The instructions from the guy at gas station tells you its five miles north of here is so much easier remember than micromanaging of every twist and turn of how to get there, which is just tactics after all.

I have bought all 3 of their middlegame packages and can't wait for future ones, (they deal with different openings in the middlegame).

--groot


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Pawn
 
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:02 am
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 11:59 pm 
It all depends on your strength. if you are below 1600, then do tactics, tactics, tactics. No one at that skill level neither can nor wants to play a purely positional game. It's very hard to learn, and these relatively new players want an exciting game full of brilliant sacrifices and such tactical play. If you are class B or above, that is the time to begin learning positional play.


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Site Admin
 
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:42 am
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Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:32 pm 
giuocob wrote:
It all depends on your strength. if you are below 1600, then do tactics, tactics, tactics. No one at that skill level neither can nor wants to play a purely positional game. It's very hard to learn, and these relatively new players want an exciting game full of brilliant sacrifices and such tactical play. If you are class B or above, that is the time to begin learning positional play.



Ken Smith in "Improving your chess" wrote the same.

I always remember a discussion on RGCM (rec.games.chess.misc) about this subject.
One poster responded to a question about what to study with:
Here is what the late Ken Smith wrote in the "Improving Your Chess" course which is reprinted in every issue of the Chess Digest catalog:
"Until you are at least a high Class A player: Your first name is 'Tactics', your middle name is 'Tactics', and your last name is 'Tactics'."


For some weird reason the discussion shifted to discussing how bad we all played and what to do after multiple losses due to tactical failure. One poster contributed:
Just so I could take an occasional break from my disasters on ICC, I bought a marked down Flight Simulator 98. Lemme tell ya, in degree of difficulty, getting a Learjet down onto the runway at Folkston, Georgia is roughly equal to defending a kingside pawn storm attack in the Sicilian defense. In both cases, one slip and you are just so much bent metal. Over and out.

Which lead to a total off-topic discussion about MS Flight Simulator, with this response to the above poster:
I recommend developing your wing flaps towards the center, and be sure to centralize the throttle.

and, adding to that, another joined in with:
That's right, flaps must be adjusted to correct your airspeed. Not
really sure what is appropriate for the Learjet, but you probably want
to hit the runway at somewhere between 100 and 200 knots.
And if you're not using the ILS, you're only making it more difficult
for yourself.
~Mandy
PS- Don't forget to put the landing gear down. ;)


The last appropriate contribution to the chess thread is one of my all time Usenet favourites and from someone called "Pescau":
Beginners need to learn how to use flaps, flaps, flaps. Flaps should
be your first name, middle name and surname. You can never have too
much of flaps knowledge.


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King
 
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:09 pm
Posts: 148
Location: Placentia, CA
 Post subject: Re: Middlegame imporovement - Study tactics or positional pl
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:59 pm 
Bob Leininger wrote:
To me, the most important and interesting area of chess study is the middlegame. Naturally you have to study both tactics and positional play, however, in my opinion you can't be a great tactictian without understanding positional play. I also feel, as did Nimzowitsch, that just like the study of a language repetition is very important. This is why my book on positional play "Middlegame Strategy with the Carlsbad Pawn structure" gives a single pawn formation to examine the positional ideas neccessary to become a positional player.

Don't neglect your study of tactics or during games ignore tactical thoughts for positional ideas. But, merge these ideas into your style and realize the true beauty of the game is positional play supported by tactics.

p.s. my book can be purchased thru www.chesscentral.com


I earned a 2000+ USCF rating almost exclusively by studying positional play. My favorite books were "Chess Fundamentals" by Capabanca, "Logical Chess Move by Move" by Chernev and "The Logical Approach to Chess" by Euwe, et. al.

If you can see 3-move combinations and don't hang pieces or pawns, then you can probably make it to 1800.


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Pawn
 
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:45 pm
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Location: Albuqueruqe New Mexico
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:04 am 
I was wondering, alot of you discuss on how to improve your game whether it be positional studies or tacitcal. After talking to 12 GM's at a recent tournament i asked them " What do i have to do to constantly improve". They all responded with the same answer. TACTICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel that if study tactics more than anything else you will becoming a very strong player. There are many GM's to prove that tactics will make you an excellent player.


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Newbie
 
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:15 pm
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:22 pm 
i read this thread n ..it really hit me...coz i had it in my mind tht unless am strong at the openings...i won't have a hold of the game...

but after reading this i strongly feel tactics is somethin i shud look at...

cud anyone suggest how do i improve tactical abilities..


is it only puzzle solving ..those mate in 3..mate in 4 types or is there anythin i cud do...


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Knight
 
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 7:04 pm
Posts: 46
 Post subject: Openings
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:37 am 
I achieved a 2084 USCF rating solely with opening study ?! What gives?

Cheers


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