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  #1  
Old 12-19-2005, 01:58 AM
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Default Improving my chess game

I've recently picked up a new enthusiasm for chess. I used to play alot in high school but really haven't played seriously since then. I want to improve my game and would like some suggestions on how to do so. Any particular computer programs or web sites that are exceptional at doing so? Thanks in advance for your help.
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2005, 02:39 AM
incognito incognito is offline
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Default Re: Improving my chess game

Try the advice in this two-part article from chess cafe. It's not sexy, but it will improve your game tremendously. Even if you think it won't.

http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skittles148.pdf
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skittles150.pdf
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Old 12-19-2005, 02:54 AM
Dynasty Dynasty is offline
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Default Re: Improving my chess game

[ QUOTE ]
Try the advice in this two-part article from chess cafe. It's not sexy, but it will improve your game tremendously. Even if you think it won't.

http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skittles148.pdf
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skittles150.pdf

[/ QUOTE ]

Michael de la Maza- an old aquaintance of mine from the Boylston Chess Club in Boston. He posted on 2+2 back in 2002 (or maybe 2003) as mdlm. His posts in the Beginners forum about developing a system to beat p*k*r were some of the most insane posts ever. It was an extraordinary fiasco.

I haven't read those articles. But, I'm very familar with Michael's study plan. I talked to him a lot during tournaments as he developed it himself. I never liked what I saw. But, there's no doubt it worked incredibly well for Michael. His USCF rating did indeed jump quickly and he ended up winning either the U1800 or U2000 section of the World Open (probably in 2003).



Here's a link to an NVG thread about Michael's posts on 2+2.

Link to News, Views, and Gossip thread
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2005, 03:03 AM
TimM TimM is offline
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Default Re: Improving my chess game

[ QUOTE ]
Try the advice in this two-part article from chess cafe. It's not sexy, but it will improve your game tremendously. Even if you think it won't.

http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skittles148.pdf
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skittles150.pdf

[/ QUOTE ]

I skimmed both of these, and it is good advice.

But you also have to play. Perhaps the author just assumes the reader will be a club player and plays rated games regularly. But if you are not, this part is important too. It's best to join a club with rated tournaments or play a lot of weekend events. It's important that the games be rated, and have a fairly slow time control, one where you record all the moves. Once the game is over you can analyze your play at home, maybe with the help of a computer program, or better yet, with your opponent just after the game. Sometimes stronger players will get involved in the post game analysis too - listen to them. This is better than the computer analysis because a computer can't really tell you why it chooses certain moves or what it's plan is, other than in a rudimentary way.
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  #5  
Old 12-19-2005, 12:54 PM
daveymck daveymck is offline
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Default Re: Improving my chess game

I m looking at it again and winboard seems to be the way to go, you then can load up multiple engines which have been rated on various sites to give you a game at the level you want.

A google on winboard will et you up and running.
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  #6  
Old 12-19-2005, 01:00 PM
gumpzilla gumpzilla is offline
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Default Re: Improving my chess game

[ QUOTE ]
I m looking at it again and winboard seems to be the way to go, you then can load up multiple engines which have been rated on various sites to give you a game at the level you want.

[/ QUOTE ]

Forget engines. You can find actual human competition on the internet very easily. The Free Internet Chess Server (FICS) is a pretty decent place to start. At the upper end the offerings will be a bit thin, but for a beginning player there will be plenty of similarly skilled opposition. The one thing that isn't so great about this plan in terms of getting better is that it is a little hard to get a longer game, but I'm sure that some can be found.
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  #7  
Old 12-19-2005, 03:45 PM
incognito incognito is offline
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Default Re: Improving my chess game

[ QUOTE ]
But, there's no doubt it worked incredibly well for Michael. His USCF rating did indeed jump quickly and he ended up winning either the U1800 or U2000 section of the World Open (probably in 2003).

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm not a regular tourney player, but I play almost every day on FICS. I think the real lesson of his system is that until you have tactical mastery (or at least tactical competency), anything else you study at chess isn't very useful in practice. It doesn't matter how well you understand positional concepts, or the ideas behind the openings if you repeatedly lose pieces to simple tactical tricks. This seems obvious in retrospect, but I just wasn't there until I read Michael's piece.

I admit I didn't have the patience for the entire program he laid out, but a condensed version over two months saw my blitz rating on FICS jump from ~1700 to ~2050. The ability to quickly recognize tactical patterns is obviously even more important in blitz, but I've definitely improved.
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  #8  
Old 12-19-2005, 04:36 PM
ChipWrecked ChipWrecked is offline
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Default Re: Improving my chess game

[ QUOTE ]

Forget engines.

[/ QUOTE ]

I was using Chessmaster 9000 with all the crutches running. The analyzer would recommend such and such a move, so I'd make it; then the blunder alert would come on and say, "I wouldn't do that." Funny.
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  #9  
Old 12-19-2005, 05:12 PM
KingDan KingDan is offline
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Default Re: Improving my chess game

Don't waste too much time memorizing opening theory.

Too much work not enough reward. Your time can be better spent elsewhere.
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2005, 05:47 PM
atrifix atrifix is offline
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Default Re: Improving my chess game

I am familiar with de la Maza's study plan. I don't particularly like it and don't recommend it. It worked well for him, but anyone with the discipline to study the same number of hours as de la Maza did would probably get a benefit regardless of what they studied.

I was completely unaware that he had ever attempted to do the same with poker. Thanks for the link; those posts were great humor. He's certainly one of the most adamant people that I know of.
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