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Learning from Chess Champions and World Chess Championships

Question from VM: I have a doubt regarding learning from Chess Champions and World Chess Championships. Reading all games from world chess champions is really time consuming process and also tough to understand without the help of annotations. Also many opening lines played before are dropped at high level due to suggested improvements by chess engines. Do you still recommend it? If so what is the order to read? Are there any sites that have world champions games annotated (or at least all world championship games games annotated). What learning process can we can follow (for 1800 player) – VM (Coach and player).

 

Learning from Chess Champions and World Chess Championships

 

Answer: Whoa! That was a beautiful questionnaire raised by you VM! In fact if I understood you correctly, it has four questions embedded in it.

  1. Is it a recommended practice (even nowadays) to look at annotated games of World Chess Champions and Championship matches given the fact that many old points of analysis have taken a change with new lines overtaking the old ones?
  2. What is the order to read/look at World Chess Champions games?
  3. What learning process would one have to follow if he/she is around 1800 rated chess player?
  4. Are there any Websites that have these games with annotations?

Before I jump into my suggestions – keep in mind that more books have been written on Chess than all other sports and games combined!

And even though I have approximately 2000 to  3,000 chess books, some of my friends have far more than that! In fact, my collection is considered to be just average!

Okay… but why I am talking about this here?

Just to drive home a point that chess is not dogmatic and fixed – in parameters. There is so much diversity, that it is mind-boggling.

And since you asked from a 1800 rated player’s point of view I will suggest answers based on that point of view.


Question # 1: Is it a recommended practice (even nowadays) to look at annotated games of World Chess Champions and Championship matches given the fact that many old points of analysis have taken a change with new lines overtaking the old ones?

Answer: Depends on your objective. First off, a few basic facts so that you and I are on the same platform of understanding.

At at 1800 Fide Rating you will be pretty decent tactically and also have a decent idea of strategy in action as far as your repertoire is concerned. So if your interest in World Champions is merely for documentation purpose then by all means go through their games in chronological order – or – as per your favorite players list.

Opening lines may change but middlegame/endgame ideas and tactical themes will never change.

Learning from Chess Champions and World Chess ChampionshipsYou said – “Reading all games from world champion is a really time consuming process and also tough to understand without the help of annotations”.

It’s crucial for all chess players to find something that they like, that they are passionate about, and that, they truly enjoy learning and playing Chess and try to become better at that, every single day.

That is how you attain your goals, and so when you choose to look at World Champions for inspiration it is a commendable decision. It may be difficult and time consuming. But it is worth every second when you see the results coming.

So, find your passion, set your goal and make good, healthy choices along the path like learning from Chess Champions and World Chess Championships, and you will find success following you like a shadow.

The way to learn from un-annotated game(s) will be outlined in a later article.

 

But if you have access to a good source of annotated games such as

My Great Predecessors By Garry Kasparov

Zurich 1953 by Bronstein

Zurich 1953 by Najdorf

then it is easy to understand the advanced strategy of these high level games.

Learning from Chess Champions and World Chess ChampionshipsYou said – “Also many opening lines played before are dropped at high level due to suggested improvements by chess engines”.

Let’s worry about the high ground when we get there and let’s not worry about the Engines’ suggestions – that can happen when we are beyond 2300.

The Engines may be very strong tactically – they can find the best move in a messy position but they cannot explain why it is a good move!

If you were to blindly follow only the top theory then you will be deeply disappointed when you play against a club player. Because you will be at a loss on what to do in case your opponent deviates from the main lines which is what usually happens in the below 2200 rating ranges.

Coming to Engines suggesting improvements, those suggestions will work well for them not for us humans who cannot play like an engine every time.

So use the Engines with great deliberation – better still to avoid them studiously and leave that to the trainer.


Learning from Chess Champions and World Chess Championships

If however your purpose is learning from Chess Champions and World Chess Championships and brush up your thinking abilities in Chess, then why study just just World Champions?

Why not learn from a 25oo rated Grandmaster’s games or a 2300 International Master?

In fact you will be motivated when you are able to solve positions or guess their moves since theoretically you are playing far above your level of understanding. And gain much needed confidence that is essential for chess players.

You will see that even Grandmasters are human and are liable to make mistakes.

So the answer to your first question is a broad yes, with a caveat. That means, to look at only champions’ game may actually deprive you of much needed practice which you strongly need as your opponents may not be GMs or IMs too.

So look for the learning wherever you find it. Don’t restrict yourself to just the cream. After all, the GMs have all been there through that path and learnt it the hard way. So you may not be an exception. Of course I am not suggesting you look at games played by players lesser than 1800 or even 2000. I would suggest as a general rule of thumb to look at games from players rated 2200 upwards.

You can learn from almost every game and everyone above your rating level. But that does not mean that greater the difference the more you can learn! There is a limit to everyone’s grasping power and you need to go step by step.

This way you will be pulling yourself up from a length of 400-500 elo and that will be your GYM Stretching exercise regimen for successful chess muscles.


Question # 2 – What is the order I would suggest to look at World Champion games?

Answer: Very simply put, in the exact chronological order that they were champions. Once more I would suggest looking at the bigger picture, by looking at the top 10 players of every WCC era. It will provide you will all the necessary fodder in your chess training regimen. Prepare a dossier of interesting positions or points of analysis and that will be your ready-reckoner before your next tournament.

For example if you start with Steinitz then also look at (not necessarily in the same order as below).

  1. Emanuel Lasker
  2. Mikhail Chigorin
  3. Harry Pillsbury
  4. Siegbert Tarrasch
  5. Wilhelm Steinitz
  6. Paul Morphy
  7. Joseph Blackburn
  8. Louis Paulsen
  9. Adolf Anderssen
  10. Johannes Zukertort

The reason I suggest looking at the same chronological sequence of champions is because you will then understand the evolution of Chess thinking, that actually simulates a chess player’s evolution from an amateur to a Master. In those days there was no technical help in the form of computers but trust me, when you look at their games you will wonder how deep they could play.


Question # 3 – What learning process would one have to follow if he/she is around 1800 rated chess player?

Answer: I would suggest that first of all any learning must be consistent. No huge gaps in the schedule and no jumping between books. You can read as many books at a time as you want, but remember to finish them. As far as the learning process is concerned the answer is huge so it warrants a separate article by itself.


Question #4 – Are there any Websites that have these games with annotations?

Answer: The immediate one that comes to my mind is www.pgnmentor.com. You have all the players games listed and you can use a firefox addon like Down them all or Flashgot which helps in downloading all the files from a page automatically.

However to get annotated games you may have to try www.chessgames.com


Bottomline: You can learn from almost every game and everyone. Play against people from all different levels at different time controls from all around the world. It’s when you go beyond the 2300 stratosphere that you will have to change the training schedule and syllabus.

Let me know if you have any further questions about learning from Chess Champions and World Chess Championships or any other points that are unclear! I will try my best to answer you in coming articles.

Some of the books I have enjoyed personally are listed below.

If you like some light reading then why not try – Roman’s series of books?


Originally posted at Goldenchess.in. Reproduced here with kind permission.


Hello CoolchessGM – Please advise me. I am aged 24 and a late beginner in chess. I know how to play at a very basic level like moving the pieces and the objective of the game as such, but have no understanding of the importance of chess strategy at all. I want to know How to learn chess fast. The reason I ask is – of late I have been playing a few games in my new residential colony where I shifted a few months ago, and there is this ‘nasty’ li’l kid who consistently keeps beating me at chess – so much so, that it is getting on my nerves and all this ego-bashing is a bit of a pain. that is when I decided to do some serious study and then play with him after I have seen some improvements in my approach. Recently I bought a video cd on the Guico Piano opening in chess and am wondering if this is a good entry point in improving my chess. So my question is: How to learn chess fast? Should I study this openings book (and will it be useful)? If not, what do you recommend I look at first? Thanks in advance – Gaurav C, Chennai.

P.S – I may not be able to spare much time daily (at most 1 hour) so please advise accordingly.


Hello Gaurav,

I am from Chennai too and I am happy you asked! Firstly – STOP buying books just because the cover looked attractive! Many people do things wrongly for a long time and then wonder why they failed in the end after having spent a lot of time and money.

Have you ever wondered why you are not able to beat chess players who are much younger than you? The reason is because they have been following a structured program of chess coaching and training either from childhood or by attending a chess academy.

While I do not advise adults to undertake such a tedious journey, as we are occupied with umpteen distractions like job and family and personal health constraints, what I would like to suggest is to spend time going through some of the essential – the basics so to say – resources listed below (in the order preferably).

book-190034_1280Revising the basics is the foremost condition for success in chess.

Chess Endings: Essential Knowledge by Averbakh

Chess Fundamentals by Capablanca

My System by Nimzowitsch

50 Chess Tips: Strategy & Tactics for Beginners

For grown ups (especially), the best way to learning chess, is to learn it backwards – starting from ending, middle game and then opening.

Endings always gives scope for a lot of training techniques such as visualization and calculation. Hence I recommend this approach for adults – start from there and you will have exponential growth. You will enjoy the high you get when you solve these endgame puzzles and then you will be equipped with the necessary tools to up the ante.

During the entire training time your mind will be sub-consciously absorbing all the techniques and then you will have an idea of what to do in the middle and opening stages of the game when you sit down to face that ‘nasty’ kid!

To stay in form I recommend solving chess tactics (minimum 30minutes daily), playing and analyzing training games (30min for player minimum), almost anything that makes you actively involved in chess. That’s the key.

Remember that progress will be slow and you must persever in your training to achieve something worthwhile.


 

  • supercharge-logo-261x300In case you have access to a PC at office and home I suggest you to enroll in this program 21 DAYS TO SUPERCHARGE YOUR CHESS. I have heard good reviews and I believe it is a good effort by Yuri Markushin. I am very impressed with the way the training package has been structured. Let me know if you do like it.
  • Also, you can try out a new chess software called Lucas Chess. 
  • If you are stagnating in your chess I suggest you read this article.

Do let me know after you have gone through these resources and whether you faced any difficulty in anyway. Wishing you all the best.

 

 


Golden Chess CentreOh and one more thing – STOP working hard. Work smarter and do drop in to Golden Chess Academy when time permits, to get a direct counseling from a passionate and dedicated chess coach. It is in Chennai and I am sure you will have a good idea when you meet a chess coach in person.


The author is a Chess coach and a passionate selfie lover 🙂 If you are in Facebook do drop in and press like!

Note: The links in this page are affiliate links.

Chess Learning is a life-long process.
Chess Learning is a life-long process.

Chess Learning is a life-long process – so buckle up!

Chess Learning is a life-long process. It demands consistency and passion. Is your capacity for learning Chess fixed or adjustable? Can you improve your Chess intelligence and skills through hard work and diligent practice, or are you stuck with the intelligence you’ve got? Many of us have dabbled in Chess and given it up citing various excuses most importantly being the demanding nature of our scholastic or graduation exams or the pressures of our office jobs. But to be involved in the learning process throughout life against all odds is the true test of a Chess player. It will determine what we are about to do with our mind after life settles down and you are comfortable to a certain level, atleast.

Psychologist Carol Dweck in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success says most of us have either a “fixed” or “evolving” mindset when it comes to learning.

For the sake of sixteen years of schooling, any mindset is OK, for us to to pull through, but when it comes to a lifelong learning (which Chess demands), learning for the sake of learning, without outside pressure–then – only a growth-oriented evolving and fluid mindset will be able to do it.

Lifelong learning is in fact one of the most important core competencies a person can possess. But even if we strive to earnestly possess it ourselves, it can be acquired and retained, only if we approach it in a proper way.


Firstly – we always have the innate ability and potential to change, evolve and grow through application and experience.

But some of us resign to the fact that our capabilities are fixed and that is the reason why most goals appear to be insurmountable.

Secondly, in persons with an evolving mindset, they understand that their talents and skills can be developed through good teaching and dedicated learning. They have belief in their capacity to learn and surpass their existing strengths.

Thirdly, Nature gifted us this mindset by birth but we lost it somewhere while growing up as soon as we became conscious of ourselves – in other words our ‘ego’ spoiled it up for us.

Lifelong Chess learning requires embracing all opportunities to learn.

Believe that your true potential is unknown (and unknowable) and that it’s impossible to know beforehand what your limits are.


So how do you nurture a fluid evolving mindset if it is missing in you, and how do you keep it for life, if you’ve had it already?

Below are 25 recommendations to guide you in the right direction – and kill the distractions.

1. Begin with a goal.

Each learning experience as an investment rather than a one-time transaction towards your target goal. It will be the secret of your energy in pursuit of your Chess growth.

2. Be responsible. For your own conscious learning.

The amount of Chessic knowledge you attain is directly related to the effort you put into gaining it. Mediocre effort will result in greater time periods to acquire something that would otherwise take much lesser time. The Talent Code: Greatness isn’t born. It’s grown by Daniel Coyle is one such book that will augment your case against self-defeating mindset. The author draws on cutting-edge research to reveal that, far from being some abstract mystical power fixed at birth, ability really can be created and nurtured.

3. Challenges are opportunities for growth.

Challenges are exciting because they are learning opportunities and, ultimately, a chance to increase our own competence and intelligence. Relish challenges and you are on your way to success.

4. Believe in your capacity to learn. Always.

Trust me – you are born with a capacity to learn at all times of your life. You may have had failures in School or College or even be bad at something. ‘Chessically’ speaking, you may have a poor understanding of Chess Strategy while you are good in Tactics in Chess. But if you put your entire sub-conscious mind towards the task you will be able to master and remove your weakness. That is the Power of Your Subconscious Mind. In this regard, never allow any doubts or confusion to creep in.

5. Create your own learning methods.

We all have  our personal Chess learning strategies. Some of us listen to Videos, write down notes, create mind maps, or repeat our stuff,like repertoire or thumb-rules etc., Identify the tools you use or can use to promote your own learning, and create new ones to add to your collection. Being aware of what works for you, is an important part of being an effective lifelong Chess learner.

6. Use technology. Be creative in your methods.

Technical aid in this era has never been more advanced. Use it! You will love the change and the efficiency will give you an edge over traditional learners.

7. Remember to teach. Teaching is the best way to learn properly.

If you can explain what you’ve learned to others in a way they can understand, then you really  understand it yourself. Sharing knowledge with others is an excellent way to gauge your own strengths and weaknesses and really check your understanding levels

8. Play often and analyze each game.

The logic is simple. Keep learning fun and it will remain interesting as well. Analyze your game as you will be the best person to know what exactly you thought during each move.

9. Look at the proofs.

Neurosciences and psychology have shown that our brains are ‘road-worthy’ well into old age, and it is possible to make new connections among neurons and assimilate new things even if you’re 80 years old. Recently there was a report that a 96 year old man applied for a Post-graduate course in economics, so what is your excuse?

10. Have courage to try new things.

Trying new things like a new opening repertoire or playing blitz if you haven’t played before, not only keeps our brains active and energized but also generates a evolving fluid mindset that revels in curiosity. When you broaden your view, you come to realize that there’s a lot to learn Chess than you ever imagined.

11. Benefit with the company of those who are ahead of you.

Surround yourself with people who are constantly learning, reading, sharing, discovering and enjoying. It will inspire you to do the same for yourself. And forming a group that meets once in a while creates a reservoir of chess energy that sustains and helps others whose spirits are sagging, I have personally felt that upliftment whenever I plunged in these group discussions, coming out with a sense of having recharged my internal ‘batteries’. I know that some of you may be averse to this. The fact is, learning with others is often more fulfilling than solitary learning. The best and biggest advantage, you get to see how other people interpret and react to the same information in different ways, which is priceless by itself.

12. Set personal learning agenda.

It always helps to make a plan. The best thing about self- learning is that you’re free to explore any topic of interest, at any time or pace that you want. But mastery demands a plan of action and therefore stick to one. That’s why some of us decide to master Rook endgames in six weeks or memorize all the lines in the Sicilian Najdorf. Identifying and visualizing end goals, help us become persistent and effective students of life, for life.

13. Accept defeats graciously.

This one becomes increasingly important as you will meet failures and they will prove to be your biggest adversary to overcome. We all want to win and prove better than others, and in our lifelong learning journey we must always ensure that we will not be bogged down by losses. Be sure to bounce back immediately.

14. Keep reading new stuff.

It can be a series of chess articles, a short games collection, a magazine, an autobiography of a master. Anything, as long as you’re fired up and willing to learn.

15. Make a list of stuff that you need to work on.

It can consist of entire openings or just Endgames, as long as it’s your call. There’s something powerful and magical – about writing something down – try it, and you’ll see the big difference it makes.

16. Ask questions and research them or take help.

When you ask questions it’s a sign of maturity, not ignorance. Develop your intelligence and confidence to speak up when you need to clarify something in that King’s Indian Defense and you’ll become a lifelong Chess learner–and you’ll know more than you would know if you’d been too hesitant in asking questions.

17. Meditate.

Simply studying books isn’t enough, you have to think and find ideas yourself. Spend time meditating on a real chess board and contemplating over all those ideas you have learned. Albert Einstein once said, “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”

18. Practice, practice, practice.

Knowing and doing are two different things. Reading a book on Chess openings isn’t the same thing as playing it. Studying swimming isn’t the same as doing real energetic backstrokes in a swimming pool. If your chess knowledge can be applied, start practicing it.

19. Filter your incoming data – avoid data overload.

Spend time on learning stuff that is really relevant and avoid going off-tangent. Lifelong Chess learners know when to pay attention and when to say no to stuff however interesting it may seem. In my case I avoid solving the compositions that are not of practical use for chess players.

20. Follow the greats.

If you really like a Chess GM for his style look up at his games and ask yourself whether you can emulate him. I know that it will be impossible to play like him (or her) but keeping someone in the ‘idol’ list will pull you upwards towards doing something big for yourself. Like crossing a milestone in chess.

21. Open up and free your mind.

Chess Learning is a life-long process and we need to be open to all the possibilities whether it pertains to openings or even changing our style of play. The Chess world changes rapidly each year, month, day and hour–can you keep up? So look out for trying anything that helps in your learning.

22. Choose a career that encourages intellectual pursuits.

Choose a career that encourages constant learning and pushes you to squeeze your free time towards that endeavor. If you are in a job that doesn’t provide free time to learn or encourage intellectual freedom, consider switching to another that does. Don’t be stuck in a job that doesn’t challenge you intellectually.

23. Have hobbies.

I am sure you can skip mindless soaps and serials in the idiot box in favor of reading a good book or collecting information about a player or even trying out a new software. Any hobby that helps you spend time in a quality way is good for our purpose.

24. Learn something new every day.

Jeremy Gleick
Jeremy Gleick

Meet Jeremy Gleick, who for two and a half years, while a sophomore majoring in bio-engineering at the University of California, has devoted an hour a day to learning something new. His rule: It can’t be related to office work, or merely reading a novel. Even if he’s sleeping at a friend’s house or elsewhere, he tries to put in his hour. “At some point in the evening, I just excuse myself and go do it.”

He recently passed his 1,000th hour of self-study, most of it done online. Now does that inspire you? Go start doing it from today, starting now.

There is so much to learn in Chess that you will find that one hour every day can still be short. Chess Learning is a life-long process so buckle up!

25. Improve your memory.

Memory bookThere are many books and programs that help you improve your memory. One such app that is designed to work on many fronts such as memory and understanding is an app called Elevate. I am finding it very addictive and at the same time challenging.

Another great resource is a book – The Memory Book: The Classic Guide to Improving Your Memory at Work, at School, and at Play by Harry Lorayne.


Lifelong Chess learning requires patience, maturity and dedication. Meeting this challenge head on will require radical phase-change in the way coaches train and players learn, as coaches take on a more guiding role play finding appropriate resources for learning and players take more personal responsibility in setting goals and reflecting on and evaluating their progress by way of online rating and OTB play.

Follow these 25 recommendations and you’ll be surprised at your capacity to learn but remember… that Chess mastery is a lifelong process


Feel free to share this article if it helped you. And comment if you want to add something to the above list. Even otherwise comments are welcome!

Kishore Kumar

Golden Chess Centre

 

 

How to Choose a Chess Move

How to Choose a Chess Move

 

Today I shall review Soltis’ book – How to Choose a Chess Move. Selecting a good chess move is a remarkably complex task. By the time we begin to take the game seriously, by reading books or playing in tournament, we’ve forgotten how extraordinarily difficult the process is.

We’ve forgotten because we take for granted various time – saving steps. Without those shortcuts, selecting one move from the dozens of possibilities would seem impossible.

What is the difference between a GM who selects the best candidate moves more often than not and players like you and me who seem to struggle in this aspect?

GM Andre Soltis has written a wonderful book – How to Choose a Chess Move that fills a void which seems to be neglected apart from Silman’s herculean efforts titled How to Reassess your Chess, The Amateur’s Mind, and Reassess your Chess Workbook.

Long ago, the Russian author Alexei Seutin wrote a book called Three Steps to Chess Mastery, that was somewhat ambiguous for me in my early stages of chess learning and training.

Soltis’ book is aimed at club level players who have mastered the basics of chess principles and are adept at solving simple chess tactics and mates.

It is organized into 11 Chapters offering incredibly nice insights on how GM’s think. This resource offers an incredible wealth of information and each chapter is worth its weight in gold!

If you have to have just one book for the next few months to read, I would  recommend How to Choose a Chess Move (Clicking this link would add this book to your Amazon cart. My only grouse is that it has only 240 pages, for a work of this importance in the field of chess literature.

 

 

 

 

Creative training session with Lucas Chess.

Lucas Chess Training - Breaking new ground

Lucas Chess Training – Breaking new ground. This was what I thought when I saw the new training feature of Lucas Chess. “Be the change”. Life is a journey. Every thing in life is transitory and yet important to be crossed. Each incident and every person teaches us something. Some experiences can be difficult and demanding and some can be happy and rewarding. You will learn many lessons in life if you believe in doing good and improvising everyday both morally and practically. In case you think I am going off-topic – don’t worry. I am jumping back on track (pun intended)!

The latest version of Lucas Chess involves a train journey. I have a feeling that this feature will be a trendsetter in changing the way we train in chess.



In case you did not know about Lucas Chess program it is the brain child of Lucas Monge – a very humble and good-natured person who likes to try out interesting features and who has been driving the Lucas Chess software for years. He listens to all his users and all you need to do is to comment in his blog to get in touch with him.

Lucas Chess Training - Breaking new ground


The idea is that Chess is 99% tactics and chess training is like a Train which stops at different stations (some important and some necessary for a break). Trans-Siberian Chess train is the name given to a long running train journey which involves solving thematic Chess positions and playing Chess as an excuse to pass time.

After installing Lucas Chess from here – you can access this training option as seen in the pic below.

Lucas Chess Training - Breaking new ground
How to access the Trans-Siberian Chess Train

For the train to advance, it is necessary to solve tactics. Each tactic solved correctly, leads you forward in your journey. This is an innovative idea to stretch your chess training and mind you, the tactics are interesting! They will sometimes be easy for you and sometimes will make you sit and calculate. I found that some tactics are very difficult for an amateur and that is where the fun begins – you get hooked. You will be rewarded for a correctly solved tactic and if you fail to solve any position you will not be able to progress. This way you can say that you Train has had a breakdown delay and you need to work on it.

Lucas Chess Training - Breaking new ground 

To arrive to stations one needs to solve basic endings. As in real chess games you need to master basic chess endings here too. Without a grasp of some of these your game results will stumble.

To pass the railway stations one needs to play against an internal very basic engine. A unique concept wherein your journey is made interesting with mock sparring sessions.

The overall scheme and direction of Lucas Chess Trans-Siberian Train is very creative and if I am right this is the first time we are seeing this sort of an innovation in Chess software training 

It engages the player in a fun way and motivates him to work hard. Don’t worry if the positions are too hard. You will eventually understand them and your chess games will see new insights while you move ahead in the journey. Very innovative and original approach.

It reaffirms what I already wrote – that anyone can learn chess!

Wishing you

Lucas Chess Training - Breaking new ground

0 1687

Tarrasch Chess GUI

Try Tarrasch Chess GUI and be amazed! For those Chess aficionados who are also tech savvy, I will suggest a new Chess program that is very simple to use. It is simple and robust and can be setup in minutes. That is the beauty of it. It is a complete package and what’s more – it is FREE !!!

Tarrasch is an extremely easy to use free chess program for Windows. Tarrasch comes bundled with some free chess engines, which also includes the latest Stockfish and the demo version of Houdini which is not a weakling at all, so as a lay user one would get all the requisite tools in one package.

No need to run around installing the engines one-by-one or even searching for one.

The download link is here – Click here to download Tarrasch for Windows.

Tarrasch is designed to to make it as easy as possible to perform some basic chess activities –

  • You can play a chess game against a chess engine, with either color, from any position, with even a time handicap if you want some quality training.
  • Setup any position that is needing analysis and get the engine to analyze that position. What’s more you can play through the engine-analysis.
  • Create and edit .pgn* files (standard chess documents).
  • Enter variations easily (just make moves anywhere).
  • Enter and edit comments easily (just click anywhere and start typing).
  • Promote and demote variations and even comments (so comments can change to moves and vice-versa – great for picking text off a website).

*PGN stands for Portable Game Notation.

About the Author:

The author Bill Forster, regularly updates the program and only in extreme cases there may be a big gap in the update. As I am a Email subscriber of the author I come to know when he releases an update and many a times when one thinks he has stopped the development I get a comeback message from him. The reason I write this post is because he appears to me as a sincere and humble person who like most of us has chess as a underlying passion that propels us. I would like to take this opportunity to wish him the best of health and wealth and see him doing his favorite hobby of his for a long time to come.
Feature requests are always welcome by the author. You can contact the author to build a special version of Tarrasch if you have any special feature. Also feature requests are welcome. This is one good program not to miss.

Installation:

The installation was a bressze and the program was literally ready to play in a few seconds. The menus are pretty much self explanatory and if at any time you mess up with the program you can return to the defaults by clicking on >Options – Reset to factory defaults<

Tarrasch Chess

Tarrasch has some unique functions that deal with the way you can import and use comments and variations as you can see form the screen shot below – Change text of commands from ‘promote comments to variation’ to ‘promote comments to moves’

Tarrasch Chess GUI

 

I am eagerly awaiting his Tarrasch V3 as he has promised even more functionality and options for the users but before that comes around I am happy fiddling with the Tarrasch v2.03a.
The author’s blog is here – https://triplehappy.wordpress.com/

Look at his video explaining some of the salient features of Tarrasch Chess GUI. Also be sure to check out the help file for all the descriptions about the different menu functions. The most important one is regarding the Kibitzers – that is something you must read before you can understand the full potential of the Tarrasch chess GUI.

 

Source: Expert Chess

 

76,132 Studies by Harold van der Heijden – A mind-boggling effort by the author that took him 3 years of hard work (in perfecting this version alone). The database is in PGN-format. Apart from the initial position and the solution (including sub-variations and analysis) these additional information is provided: the name(s) of the composer(s), the GBR-code which is an index code denoting the chess force in the initial position, place and date of the primary source (tourney, journal, magazine) and whether it is a win or a draw study.

This fourth version of Harold van der Heijden’s Endgame Study Database has more than eight thousand extra studies compared to the previous edition from 2005. Besides, the solutions of many studies have been corrected or updated based on reader feedback.

It is by far the most exhaustive collection of endgame studies available.

Regular chess software such as Fritz or ChessBase or even the free Tarrasch or Lucas Chess can be used to play out the positions.

However to find studies in the database by name, year, source, material balance, and numerous other criteria you may need to use SCID (free) or Chessbase (commercial).

John Nunn and Artur Yusupov believe that chess players can benefit a lot from endgame studies by trying to solve them daily. This trains both one’s essential skills in chess such as – calculation ability, planning, visualization and tactical performance in the endgame which also aids in the middle-game.

Dutch endgame study guru, Harold van der Heijden (above) celebrated his 50th birthday with a composing event, and the winner was the following spectacular effort, by the man many regard as the best study composer currently active in the world – John Nunn

This one is the best…
Try to solve this… And post your answers in the comment box!!

Stagnation in Chess

Stagnation in Chess – Difference between trying and doing

Stagnation in Chess

The inspiration for this article came from one of my friends who asked his coach at Goldenchess the reason for his Stagnation in Chess and the reply he received was amazing! He said that there is a vast difference between trying and doing something. In trying we tend to put 99% at the most, while in doing we put 100% effort. That 1% may appear small but it makes a huge difference.


That 1% comes with the name ‘FLOW’.


When we attempt to solve positions, we are ‘here’ and ‘now’. What he meant by ‘here’ and ‘now’ was in the context of passing the positions without a second thought.

When we start solving positions with an idea of relevance to our past games and more importantly when we start applying or searching or try to create a similar scenario in the chess games we play whether online or OTB, then we are said to be in the ‘FLOW’. That is when we start overcoming the so called Stagnation in Chess

The reason why my friend stagnated is because his attention was wayward on two counts. Firstly, he concentrated and solved most of the positions correctly BUT he switched off his mind’s intensity immediately after this training process. Secondly, his focus on chess was diluted when he was at home wiling away his time watching TV. A little amount of that time could have been well spent playing online either blitz or rapid time games with the idea of reinforcing what he had learnt on that day.

The problem with chess is that it is neither bound by strict scientific and mathematical definitions nor purely abstract artistic endeavor. It is an individual process that is different for each individual and therefore highly dependent on the way a player wields the information that he has acquired and stored.


So the progress of a chess player starts with Stagnation in Chess

  • Acquiring new knowledge.
  • Familiarizing with the lay of the land, wherein that knowledge comes to play.
  • Understanding the events as a FLOW or FLUX rather than single individual events that are not connected.
  • Achieving mastery in creating favorable conditions on the board based on familiarity.
  • Building confidence by repeatedly following the above steps.

Stagnation in ChessThe last point is what propels and fuels chess growth. It is the paramount key to a chess player’s individuality in the black and white jungle.

So the next time you find yourself in a rut, stop trying superficially.

Do your training keeping the above points in mind and when you start playing online games without pressure, you are reinforcing new neural path ways. These neural pathways are what help you intuiting your way around a complex position.

Don’t stress yourself with ‘here’ and ‘now’ of chess positions but place them in context of your learning in your mind.

Overcome your Stagnation in Chess. by adopting creative training methods like Lucas Chess Trans-Siberian Chess Training.

In closing watch this motivational video from a different discipline but applicable for chess.

how to conduct online chess class

How to conduct an online chess class

(Part 1)

That is the question that I get asked often when I talk with my friends who are coaches but not tech savvy. And the most surprising thing is that I did not find any solution when I ‘googled’ this topic! So here is (hopefully) a exhaustive discussion on the tools and methods that coaches may use to conduct online classes. Some are free while some are partially free depending on the level of the student.

Difficulty – 4/5

(which means you must either be tech-savvy or hire a friend/technical engineer to get the know-how. No one is born an expert. I learnt many
things by trial and error so there is no escape from this…)

I will be re-touching this article in due course as and when I get updated on anything specific. Most of the suggestions are from my personal experience and therefore I will be able to solve any pertinent questions you may have. 

In this first article I will be discussing the most important technical requirements that are essential before starting an online class (also known as a ‘net session’).

IntroPart 1 – How to conduct an online chess class – Checklist before beginning an online chess class.

1. Stable Internet connection either by Optical Fibre cable or fixed line broadband or 3G/4G dongles. (For coaches it must be fast)

2. Decent performance PC or Laptop (preferably newer ones).

3. Webcam.

4. Microphone (Coaches must have a professional one, while students can do with decent headphone+mic).

5. Decent quality Keyboard and mouse.

6. Decent sized single (for students) or Dual monitor setup (for coaches) to increase the productivity.

Software Requirements
legal-software

1. Skype + membership (free).

2. Teamviewer for both student and coach.

3. Membership in online chess sites like Chesscube (VIP for coaches is a must), Playchess (some issues to get sorted but great overall), Chess.com, ICC and FICS.

4. [For Coaches] Chess Programs like Fritz, Chessbase, Chess King, SCID and some more which are based on specific requirements.

5. [For Students] Firefox or chrome (updated),

Personal/expertise requirements – Coaches 

require1. Room free from noise or distractions.

2. Patience to deal with technical irritants (have a pain balm in hand or have a green tea)

3. Healthy body and a healthy mind.

4. All relevant topics (that will be discussed and asked) must be noted in advance.

5. Any database that needs to be accessed must be kept ready.

6. Be prepared for relevant chess homework assignments to students.

7. Having a good command of the language of instruction is essential.

8. Focus on one or two topics, and let the student absorb at his pace.

9. Don’t restrict your class by time controls. Instead focus on completing something tangible.

10. Never do it solely for money. That is a sure shot way to demoralize and move someone away from chess.

Personal Requirements – Students studentrequirements

Register for online classes only if you are free and completely focused.

Ask questions when you do not understand anything, else it will be a waste of time and money.

Make a note of the points covered in a session and if you have time review them before the session is over.

Always try to finish your homework in time. Homework must be done with proper attitude.

Part 2 will continue next week. As usual comments and suggestions are welcome!

Visit Goldenchess.in for dedicated online classes.

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76,132 Studies by Harold van der Heijden - A mind-boggling effort by the author that took him 3 years of hard work (in perfecting...