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View Full Version : Imitate Botvinnik or Najdorf



Capablanca-Fan
07-07-2007, 03:43 PM
This comes from Kotov's famous book Think Like a Grandmaster. Botvinnik would sit at the board the whole game, and it was very rare for him to get up until the game was over. Najdorf would get up after almost every move he made.

Kevin Bonham
07-07-2007, 04:14 PM
It's supposed to be better for one's concentration to just sit there rather than going for wanders and getting distracted by other games in progress (etc).

I find it depends on the kind of position it is and the importance of the game as to whether I will try to sit there for ages or not.

Capablanca-Fan
07-07-2007, 04:28 PM
For sure, Kotov said it was better to imitate Botvinnik, but admitted that he was closer to Najdorf.

20-times NZ Champ IM Ortvin Sarapu and I were dubbed "the wanderers" in a report of an international tourney in Wellington. When we played each other, quite often no-one was at our board. ;)

bergil
07-07-2007, 07:13 PM
I stay at the board and try to think of my opponents time.

What I find strange is the players who wander around and draw or lose games and then say they played this or that move because they were short on time. :doh:

ElevatorEscapee
07-07-2007, 09:30 PM
It depends upon the opponent, and the difficulty of the position... also if you are meant to be writing a summary of the games for a newspaper, you need to wander a bit to see what's happening in the other games. ;)

I find that I spend far more time at the board in my opponent's time if I am in a very difficult position, as I will be focusing all of my energies in trying to get out of it. However, it is possible to 'wander' and still be analysing the game in your mind.

I have a few regular opponents who are time pressure addicts, so I will often get up from the board when it is their turn to move to avoid distracting them ... and to encourage them to go into "long thinks". :)

WhiteElephant
08-07-2007, 10:13 AM
I find that I need to take a break every few moves and completely get away from the board or I go a little bit insane from all that concentrating. I distract myself by listening to my iPod, going for walks around the room and checking out other people's games. I also find that when I return to the board, I can look at the position with fresh eyes and sometimes discover something I've missed. Then again, in complicated positions or when in time trouble, I will knuckle down, turn off the headphones and stay at the board as long as it takes.

MichaelBaron
08-07-2007, 10:22 AM
I only wish i could stay at the board like Botvinnik did....Every time i play, I keep running around the chess club too bored to slow down and stay at my board. Not good for my chess (the running keeps me phisically fit though :owned: ) but I do not seem to be able to do much about it.:hmm:

WhiteElephant
08-07-2007, 10:45 AM
I only wish i could stay at the board like Botvinnik did....Every time i play, I keep running around the chess club too bored to slow down and stay at my board. Not good for my chess (the running keeps me phisically fit though :owned: ) but I do not seem to be able to do much about it.:hmm:

hehe sometimes as I'm walking around I get into conversations with people and by the time I'm back at the board, I've completely lost my train of thought :)

Garrett
08-07-2007, 11:30 AM
I frequently go for little walks becuase it eases the anxiety and stress. I am often still thinking about the game though.

Capablanca-Fan
08-07-2007, 11:35 AM
Sometimes you must break a abruptly conversation totally unrelated to your game (of course), because something happens to snap into your mind about the game that you didn't even realise you were thinking about, and you must return to the board.

eclectic
08-07-2007, 02:29 PM
I voted Najdorf because I am very restless when playing but wished I were like Botvinnik as then I'm sure my game would improve considerably.

Trent Parker
08-07-2007, 07:14 PM
I voted for 50/50.

I generally like to stay at the board but I do go on little walks. I tend to get thirsty while i'm playing so i'm normally in search of a drink or off to the bathroom when i'm on my little walks. The other time when I go for my little walks is when my mind is a bit frazzled. I find sometimes after a little walk my mind clicks into gear and I see different things when i get back to the board.

Phil Bourke
08-07-2007, 10:01 PM
I too went for the 50/50 option, because some games I may wander more than others. It really does depend on the game and calls of nature etc. I remarked to other club members that when I start to notice activity around me, that means that my game isn't so complex anymore. Found surprising allies, that they too often enter this state where the only thing that exists is the game and your thoughts on it. If my game is going well, I take this as a caution to not relax and blow it, if my game isn't going well, it means that I should be looking for a swindle (though it is often too late for it) or thinking about tipping the King over and shaking the victor's hand :)
I did notice that a few of the not so strong players argued the reverse that they always take notice of what is going on around them :)

Basil
08-07-2007, 11:44 PM
Sausages. Stretchies. What's going on over there, then? 50-50.

Spiny Norman
09-07-2007, 11:18 AM
I tend to be a walker. Plus the older I get, the more I need to visit the conveniences! :eek:

Capablanca-Fan
09-07-2007, 05:05 PM
I only wish i could stay at the board like Botvinnik did....Every time i play, I keep running around the chess club too bored to slow down and stay at my board. Not good for my chess (the running keeps me phisically fit though :owned: ) but I do not seem to be able to do much about it.:hmm:
Sounds good. Now will you please vote ;)

Igor_Goldenberg
10-07-2007, 09:59 AM
I'd love to be able to concentrate for the whole game like Botvinnik (especially given that with age I become more prone to time-trouble).
At the same time, going from 100% Naidorf to 80% Naidorf 20% Botvinnik improved my results by almost 100 rating points.

ER
13-07-2007, 02:52 PM
Sitting on MY seat all the time? :doh: Looking at MY positions? :doh: You gotta be joking! It's better to go around gossiping with other "walkers", plus like Howie would say "goin for a sausage", or simply visiting my little treasure hunt place at the Box Hill Chess Club!
ok ok no Sherlock guesses here!
It's only the book shelves in the analysis room, where one can find some incredibly interesting Chess books. I have also borrowed one (with Trevor Stanning's permission of course) and returned it the following week.
Cheers and good luck!

Kevin Bonham
24-02-2009, 08:22 PM
Something foolish I've done at least a couple of times goes like this. I've had a tough game with black against a strong opponent and prepared a line. The opponent has obligingly played straight into my prep, and not only that, not played what I considered to be the most incisive line. It's about move 11 or 12 and I feel that my position has no real problems, and the opponent is starting to get behind on the clock. Satisfied with this, I get up and go have a look at some of the other games. When I return to my seat, I play something really dreadful and get smashed.

This happened vs Dowden (2006 Tas Champs) and Dyer (2009 Lton Weekender); there may have been other cases.

I'll be trying especially hard to avoid this sort of nonsense in the future.

Basil
24-02-2009, 08:27 PM
I don't know about the prep part, and I don't know about the higher rateds part, but as far as casually wandering around the hall and disrespecting the game and opponent ... :uhoh: I too hope to eradicate that sort of rubbish.

It's not the act for which I self-flagellate, it's the profligacy of it.

Zwischenzug
24-02-2009, 08:27 PM
Something foolish I've done at least a couple of times goes like this. I've had a tough game with black against a strong opponent and prepared a line. The opponent has obligingly played straight into my prep, and not only that, not played what I considered to be the most incisive line. It's about move 11 or 12 and I feel that my position has no real problems, and the opponent is starting to get behind on the clock. Satisfied with this, I get up and go have a look at some of the other games. When I return to my seat, I play something really dreadful and get smashed.

This happened vs Dowden (2006 Tas Champs) and Dyer (2009 Lton Weekender); there may have been other cases.

I'll be trying especially hard to avoid this sort of nonsense in the future.

One thing I've noticed is, usually the top seeds (as well as 2nd or 3rd seed) seem to stay seated for their ENTIRE game.

Miranda
24-02-2009, 08:41 PM
I can't stay seated for the entire game - I get too bored!

Miranda
24-02-2009, 08:42 PM
Anyway, it's much more interesting to go and look at other people's games than just sit there and wonder what's going on across the hall..

ER
24-02-2009, 09:51 PM
Jono, having faced and drawn vs a world champion can you tell us about Boris Spassky?
Was he a wonderer? A sitter? In Sydney, he didn't play a tournament game of what I remember but he was seen chatting with everyone who approached him and being very nice too.

Davidflude
24-02-2009, 11:02 PM
According to the late ortvin sarapu Tal would watch all the other games as well as playing his own. In the post mortems he would then show players what they missed.

I think that you should only leave the board for food drink and toilet stops. Do not watch the other games until your game is finished.

Adamski
27-01-2010, 11:33 AM
I only wish i could stay at the board like Botvinnik did....Every time i play, I keep running around the chess club too bored to slow down and stay at my board. Not good for my chess (the running keeps me phisically fit though :owned: ) but I do not seem to be able to do much about it.:hmm:If you did that in Allegros, Michael, you wouldn't be anywhere near as successful in them as you are! ;)

that Caesar guy
27-01-2010, 06:35 PM
I've tried a Botvinnik before, failed horribly. I just cant sit at the board, I need to walk around, get some fresh air, especially after landing in a winning/losing position, just to refresh myself. I'm definately a Najdorf.

JM

Paul Cavezza
27-01-2010, 07:23 PM
Tough to compare as when I get up I'm not rotating 100 variations in my mind like najdorf, i'm getting tea...

AzureBlue
27-01-2010, 09:22 PM
Maybe I was a Botvinnik once upon a time, but now definitely a Najdorf, I walk around all the time!

Sheroff
29-01-2010, 10:32 AM
I'm definitely a Najdorf. I am analyzing the position whether I'm at the board or wandering the hall. The more comfortable I am with the position, the more I wander. If I'm on my feet more than sitting down, you can bet my opponent is busted, and I'm justing waiting for him to get around to coming to the same conclusion. If I'm sitting full-time, I'm not so relaxed with my game.

Some of my best combinations come to me while I am going to get a drink or checking out the other games in progress. I have also won several games against future opponents in the same tourney, by wandering around checking out the openings they're playing in their own games, and thus preparing a suitable surprise for them in my head, while simultaneously playing my own current opponent. In Blitz, I am confined by circumstance to merely craning my neck down the table to sticky-beak what's happening on the other boards. Like Tal, I also have the unfortunate habit of telling players on other boards what they might have done, post-mortem. Tal was always correct in his pronouncements, however, while I, often, am not...

When I played Grandmaster Benko in the Oz Open a thousand years back, I analyzed a long but conclusive drawing combination, left him to it, and wandered over to Guy West's board for ten minutes or so, where he was crushing somebody with a very nice attacking combo. So I guess it doesn't matter who it is - I wander away from anybody!!

Cheers
Kevin Casey

Saragossa
02-02-2010, 05:21 PM
I exploit other people's time quite regularly. Making an unclear move then calculating deeper in their time whilst they calculate the preliminary stuff. I had a game vs Yilun Ding where I used the concept quite effectively, just the execution that failed. : P

Kevin Bonham
14-01-2016, 05:25 PM
*bump*

I wonder if there is any evidence on the respective health outcomes for Botvinnik vs Najdorf types, given that regular prolonged sitting without exercise is supposed to be unhealthy. Though in any such study it would be necessary to control for the wanderers also being more likely to be smokers.

MichaelBaron
14-01-2016, 05:43 PM
Err...I've got to be running around the tournament hall :)

Adamski
14-01-2016, 10:16 PM
As I get older, I wander less. So Najdorfs can become Botvinniks.

Denis_Jessop
15-01-2016, 08:09 PM
I doubt whether time spent at the board is a relevant factor in determining a player's health. There are accounts of players being quite active away from the board where it counts. Cecil Purdy was an A Grade tennis player. GM Simon Agdestein was a member of the Norwegian national football team and so on. There may be a question about the effect of Ragozin's blowing cigarette smoke into Botvinnik's face as part of his training for the World Championship match against ?Smyslov? , Botvinnik being a non-smoker. The case of Nimzovich adds interest to the debate. His doctor told him to take more exercise so Nimzo went to a corner of the tournament room between moves and did physical jerks. This is not to be confused with his having leapt on a table after a blitz tourney and crying "Gegen diesen Idioten muss ich veloren".

DJ

MichaelBaron
16-01-2016, 12:16 AM
I doubt whether time spent at the board is a relevant factor in determining a player's health. There are accounts of players being quite active away from the board where it counts. Cecil Purdy was an A Grade tennis player. GM Simon Agdestein was a member of the Norwegian national football team and so on. There may be a question about the effect of Ragozin's blowing cigarette smoke into Botvinnik's face as part of his training for the World Championship match against ?Smyslov? , Botvinnik being a non-smoker. The case of Nimzovich adds interest to the debate. His doctor told him to take more exercise so Nimzo went to a corner of the tournament room between moves and did physical jerks. This is not to be confused with his having leapt on a table after a blitz tourney and crying "Gegen diesen Idioten muss ich veloren".

DJ

The sad irony is - Nimzovich died quite young and was generally not a very healthy person during the last 5 or so years of his life. Najdorf had a long life and was an active chess player till his mid-80s

triplecheck
16-01-2016, 10:10 PM
I have a few regular opponents who are time pressure addicts, so I will often get up from the board when it is their turn to move to avoid distracting them ... and to encourage them to go into "long thinks". :)


I frequently go for little walks becuase it eases the anxiety and stress. I am often still thinking about the game though.

I can tick both these.


As I get older, I wander less. So Najdorfs can become Botvinniks.

Not with me. If I try to Botvinnik now I will just get sleepy. I have to keep myself at least a little bit alert.

Judit Polgar said that she sees no point in wearing herself out by sitting at the board calculating replies to moves which the opponent might well not play.

machomortensen
17-01-2016, 06:55 AM
@ Michael Baron

Nimzowitsch was more or less a victim of bad Danish doctors according to the Danish doctor Preben Løvgren. It "could" mentioned in Per Skjoldager and Jørn Erik Nielsens book about Nimzowitsch, which I have but haven't read as it seems so boring.