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Ausknight
24-07-2007, 08:28 PM
Hello everyone.

My name is Daniel, I'm a 33 year old living in Sydney. I used to play chess when I was a youngin' but gave it away as I entered my teens. Only recently I've been looking to come back and play again and need a little advice on how to get started.

1 - I am looking for a local club in Sydney, preferrably in the Strathfield area to play.

2 - I'd like to pick up a good book or two to get me started. Whilst I know the fundamentals of the game, I really feel like I'm starting all over so assume I'm a novice and recommend me a good book or two to get stuck into first.

3 - I'd like to also pick up a decent chess set for play here at home and / or at a local club. I'd be looking to spend around $100 for board and pieces - recommendations would be really appreciated!

4 - I'd also like to get some practise online. Recommendations on good free software for the PC would be excellent.

I would like to start playing socially, but then move to tournament level play a little later on. Advice on what steps I should take would be really appreciated.

Cheers

DanielBell
24-07-2007, 09:22 PM
Hello everyone.

My name is Daniel, I'm a 33 year old living in Sydney. I used to play chess when I was a youngin' but gave it away as I entered my teens. Only recently I've been looking to come back and play again and need a little advice on how to get started.

1 - I am looking for a local club in Sydney, preferrably in the Strathfield area to play.

2 - I'd like to pick up a good book or two to get me started. Whilst I know the fundamentals of the game, I really feel like I'm starting all over so assume I'm a novice and recommend me a good book or two to get stuck into first.

3 - I'd like to also pick up a decent chess set for play here at home and / or at a local club. I'd be looking to spend around $100 for board and pieces - recommendations would be really appreciated!

4 - I'd also like to get some practise online. Recommendations on good free software for the PC would be excellent.

I would like to start playing socially, but then move to tournament level play a little later on. Advice on what steps I should take would be really appreciated.

Cheers

I'll play some correspondence games on here with you if you want :D..

I'm new too, my thread is the 'Newbie' one.

http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=6592

Then maybe the guys here can give us some criticisms.

Southpaw Jim
24-07-2007, 09:51 PM
2 - I'd like to pick up a good book or two to get me started. Whilst I know the fundamentals of the game, I really feel like I'm starting all over so assume I'm a novice and recommend me a good book or two to get stuck into first.

There's a lot out there. I started with books by Yasser Seirawan (Play Winning Chess, Winning Chess Tactics etc). Without having seen or read them, I've heard good things about Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess and Chess For Tigers. I also recommended to DanielBell Understanding Chess Move by Move by Dr J Nunn. Personally, for such an introductory text, I'd first look at your local library, rather than shelling out $20-50 for a book you'll possibly outgrow quickly - at least that way you can see if it's worth buying ;)

Then I'd move onto a text that deals specifically with tactics and typical tactical motifs.

From there, IMHO, your focus should be on playing heaps and doing lots of tactical exercises/puzzles (there's plenty of tactical puzzle books out there too).


3 - I'd like to also pick up a decent chess set for play here at home and / or at a local club. I'd be looking to spend around $100 for board and pieces - recommendations would be really appreciated!

Try at Australian Chess Enterprises (http://wwww.chessaustralia.com.au), there's heaps on there (there's other Aussie online stores, I just don't have their URLs handy). I would expect you could pick up a tournament size, double/triple weighted set + folding board for a fair bit less than $100.


4 - I'd also like to get some practise online. Recommendations on good free software for the PC would be excellent.

Go directly to the Free Internet Chess Server's site (http://www.freechess.org) and register a username and password. Then go to Babaschess.net (http://www.babaschess.net) and download their excellent client software, which'll allow you to play on FICS to your heart's content. Plenty of opponents, plenty of games, and it's free.


I would like to start playing socially, but then move to tournament level play a little later on. Advice on what steps I should take would be really appreciated.

I'd get to your local club and start playing asap (face to face, over the board is the best IMO), combined with plenty of games online. You don't have to play tournament games at the club, but you may as well - it's good, if often demoralising, experience! ;) You'll find the general standard of club players quite tough at first, but the sooner you get 'battle-hardened' the sooner you'll improve - just don't get discouraged if you find yourself losing all the time. In my first year (last year), I think I won 2 out of about 25 standard rated games, both against players rated below 1350... :wall: this year's been slightly better so far - a win and 2 draws against players between about 1500 and 1650. It's a slow hard uphill slog to improve, I tell ya.. :)

Also - record all your games, and have them analysed, so you can see where you went wrong. To begin with, these will generally be pretty obvious tactical errors. The only way to stop making stupid mistakes is to learn from them the first time around! ;) Good luck:cool:

brett
25-07-2007, 06:55 AM
There are two local clubs which are close by

Try Wests Ashfield (Meet Tuesday nights)

Canterbury Chess Club (Meets Monday nights)

You can find links to the clubs from the NSWCA website. http://www.nswca.org.au/


Brett

Ausknight
25-07-2007, 08:06 AM
Thank you very much for the feedback Gents. I work in Parramatta so there's a library here I can check out first for some reading.

I downloaded and installed Babaschess last night and it works really well, although I had problems accessing their homepage to register an account (so I only played as a guest). From the trial game or two I played I realised I am very rusty, so a lot of practise will be required from here! ;)

I will wander over to that website mentioned in order to purchase my set. Any recommendations on something specific would be super. I'd like something nice and something that I can use for tournament play. Admittedly, I'm a rank ametuer on such things, so I am unsure of what's required/permitted - any advice on specifics would be appreciated.

Lastly, thanks for the club links. I will be sure to check out both of those in the very near future!

Cheers and thanks everyone.

Desmond
25-07-2007, 02:09 PM
Anything by Pandolfini is generally a useful beginner's tool.

Ausknight
25-07-2007, 02:27 PM
It's amazing how many books and how many recommendations there are on what to begin with. It makes me think that perhaps there really is no be all and end all starter book to get, but there's quite a few that are good to get you going.

Well today I picked up The Chess-Player's Handbook by Howard Staunton in a 2nd book store for only $12 so I thought the price was right at least.

I'm speaking with several people regarding books at the moment and hopefully I'll get a few and go from there. Sadly, there's little going at my local library under the recommended authors so I may just bite the bullet and buy a few anyway.

I like books ;)

CameronD
25-07-2007, 03:28 PM
I recommend getting chessmaster (10th ed) it sells for $20-30. It has heaps of tutorials from a very beginner to intermediate levels including an endgame course. It was what I started with for 3 months and got an ACF 1100 rating with.

Brian_Jones
25-07-2007, 03:33 PM
I recommend getting chessmaster (10th ed) it sells for $20-30. It has heaps of tutorials from a very beginner to intermediate levels including an endgame course. It was what I started with for 3 months and got an ACF 1100 rating with.

With a rating of 1100, I would avoid making recommendations on books (and software)! :)

CameronD
25-07-2007, 03:39 PM
I'm rated higher than that now. My point is that I got that rating with 3 months of training (30 hours roughly) before I played my first rated game (won against a then 1320). All I knew before then was the piece moves and that's all (didn't even know how to set up a board or en-passent.)

Basil
25-07-2007, 03:42 PM
With a rating of 1100, I would avoid making recommendations on books (and software)! :)
Go back to grissling at the ACF in the other thread Grump!
One noob to another is exactly the sort of chat we want here... not dribble from the grave! ;)

Brian_Jones
25-07-2007, 04:02 PM
Go back to grissling at the ACF in the other thread Grump!
One noob to another is exactly the sort of chat we want here... not dribble from the grave! ;)

Some kind of chip on your shoulder here Howard? :)

Or maybe you are a pom with a bad grasp of the English language? :)

Basil
25-07-2007, 04:36 PM
Some kind of chip on your shoulder here Howard? :)
Nope. All in good humour. You're a thousand year old ex ex ex ex excellent player with ACF honours and all sorts of good stuff behind you. Just let the lads chatter among themselves without your crusty ol' carping. Besides you were grissling in another thread and people of your age shouldn't keep too many balls up in the air at any one time ;)


Or maybe you are a pom with a bad grasp of the English language? :)
Yes. Everything that I said about you applies to me too. See you at the Champs/ Open / whatever!

Ausknight
25-07-2007, 10:00 PM
Cheers everyone.

I'll be looking to pop over to Parramatta RSL tomorrow night if I can. I understand you guys kick off from 7:30pm, is that correct?

I'm already a member of that RSL so that's not a problem for me to get through the door. Whome do I need to see or where do I need to go exactly once I'm there?

Look forward to seeing some of you very soon.

Thanks again.

peter_parr
26-07-2007, 12:05 PM
I recommend getting chessmaster (10th ed) it sells for $20-30. It has heaps of tutorials from a very beginner to intermediate levels including an endgame course. It was what I started with for 3 months and got an ACF 1100 rating with.


With a rating of 1100, I would avoid making recommendations on books (and software)! :)

Brian your response, with respect, is not only offensive but also completely incorrect.

CameronD purchased a quality product at a low price well done.
He learned greatly from the many tutorials well done. This product clearly helped CameronD to improve his game substantially.

It makes no difference if his ACF rating is 1100 (or ACF 2062 after a life time of chess) If the product helped him he is ideally suited to recommend the product as well as any books or software so that others of a similar standard of play can benefit as he did.

Ausknight
26-07-2007, 02:12 PM
I'm going to be at the Parramatta club tonight to check things out. I've been getting a lot of advice from a lot of people which is really appreciated and whilst everyone has their own view, I firmly believe people speak with the best intentions and from their own perspective of what worked for them and I'm very appreciative of everyone's input.

At the end of the day I am very open to many different options and have the time and motivation to explore quite a few. I'm very content to take on advice and help from everyone I can and move forward with what will work for me from there.

Thanks again for everyone's help. This is only the start of my journey and I'm glad so many people here are willing to help and set me on the right path. It's community spirit like this, with passion and drive that's obviously on display here that makes this grand passtime what it is.

I look eagerly forward to seeing you at the tables shortly and sharing my exploits with you all online.

Cheers.

Basil
26-07-2007, 02:26 PM
With respect Mr Parr, I have a great deal more experience of coaching (and training) junior and adult chess players than you have.
And me! But you're still wrong.


Maybe the player in question would have improved much more with better advice
Maybe so, but that wasn't your original. You initially questioned whether Cameron should be giving advice - and the case has clearly been made that he could.


Or maybe, as a shopkeeper and salesman, you are set in your ways and used to giving glib ill-considered free advice?
That's just naughty, isn't it? This has been respectfully argued on the facts - you're letting yourself down, Brian.

Axiom
26-07-2007, 02:34 PM
I'm going to be at the Parramatta club tonight to check things out. I've been getting a lot of advice from a lot of people which is really appreciated and whilst everyone has their own view, I firmly believe people speak with the best intentions and from their own perspective of what worked for them and I'm very appreciative of everyone's input.

At the end of the day I am very open to many different options and have the time and motivation to explore quite a few. I'm very content to take on advice and help from everyone I can and move forward with what will work for me from there.

Thanks again for everyone's help. This is only the start of my journey and I'm glad so many people here are willing to help and set me on the right path. It's community spirit like this, with passion and drive that's obviously on display here that makes this grand passtime what it is.

I look eagerly forward to seeing you at the tables shortly and sharing my exploits with you all online.

Cheers.
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Ged
26-07-2007, 03:40 PM
I thought this thread was about an interested newbie not Brian's elitist and offensive views :P
stop the squabbling and set a good example

ElevatorEscapee
26-07-2007, 07:51 PM
Hi D, welcome to the site, and welcome back to chess. :)

One of the books I can recommend as excellent for beginners, which covers a wide range of relative playing strengths (so you can keep on getting a lot out of it for a few years as you improve your play) is Leonard Barden's "Play Better Chess". (I've had my copy since 1988! - and still pick it up every now and again.)

One thing I can recommend to you, is learn to read both the modern, algebraic style chess notation, and also, the older 'descriptive' style notation.

You can pick up some fantastic old chess books, cheaply, at second hand book stores, and they will all use the older style notation.

Perhaps one of the most important things is not to view chess as just something to improve at, rather as something to enjoy - regardless of playing strength. A couple of good books to look out for that are not so much instructional but fun are Irving Chernev's "The Chess Companion" (lots of fun short stories and other stuff), and Fox & James "The Complete Chess Addict".

For sets and boards, I recommend a standard tournament set or board (around $30 combined) -[ check out the either Brian Jones' or Peter Parr's websites, they both sell quality products, have excellent reputations and are based locally to Sydney. :) ] The advantage of having a standard set and board as your 'home' set, is that you are studying on a set the very same size & design as those you are likely to be trying to win your next game on at the club. (Compared, to say, a decorative "Lord of the Rings" style set).

For computer programs, if you have a PC, then the Chessmaster range is both a rock bottom price. Simply ask at your nearest computer games store (or again look at the websites). I personally found Chessmaster 5000 & 8000 the more user friendly for starting up. I grew up using Chessmaster 2000 on a Commodore 64, using a cassette drive - the brand has been around for a while! Expect to pay around $8 - $12

Hope that the above is of some help and that you enjoy your return to chess. :)

Ausknight
26-07-2007, 10:34 PM
Many thanks for the feedback EE.

I went down to the Parramatta RSL tonight to check out the local club there and had a terrific introduction back into the game. I played four games (thanks John, you were great!) and actually won a game which I was a little surprised about, but enjoyed as well.

I went over to Parramatta Westfields beforehand to see what kind of book options were there and whilst the major chains (Dymocks and Angus and Robertson) were highly disappointing, I found another bookstore called Borders which was something of a little goldmine with two shelves devoted just to chess. I decided to go very basic and picked up the 'Dummies Guide to chess' and really start from scratch, as well as 'How to Assess your Chess' on a recommendation from a few other people. I also noted that bookstore stocked some Stilman works, so no doubt I'll be back there next pay to buy more books. I like to read, so I'm very happy there's plenty around on offer.

At the club tonight I noticed the standard fold up green/cream coloured boards and plastic pieces used were actually more than sufficient. I will definitely look to order a set online in the next day or so, because for a mere $30, you honestly can't go wrong and my wife and children want to learn to play here at home as well - very happy about that. I can always look at getting a more 'fancy' set down the line, the basic one I used tonight was more than sufficient.

My first club experience was a great one and I must express my gratitude and thanks to the gents at Parramatta. They were extremely accomodating, friendly, encouraging and supportive and it made my first club experience a very positive one. I look forward to coming back to continue playing with the guys in the future.

Right now, I need to do a heck of a lot of reading... with what I have and to follow up some of these recommendations as well!

Cheers for the ongoing support guys, I really appreciate it.

Garvinator
26-07-2007, 11:38 PM
I will definitely look to order a set online in the next day or so,
When you say 'order online' you mean with one of your two Sydney chess businesses right ;) not with an overseas competitor ;)

DanielBell
27-07-2007, 07:06 AM
Many thanks for the feedback EE.

I went down to the Parramatta RSL tonight to check out the local club there and had a terrific introduction back into the game. I played four games (thanks John, you were great!) and actually won a game which I was a little surprised about, but enjoyed as well.

I went over to Parramatta Westfields beforehand to see what kind of book options were there and whilst the major chains (Dymocks and Angus and Robertson) were highly disappointing, I found another bookstore called Borders which was something of a little goldmine with two shelves devoted just to chess. I decided to go very basic and picked up the 'Dummies Guide to chess' and really start from scratch, as well as 'How to Assess your Chess' on a recommendation from a few other people. I also noted that bookstore stocked some Stilman works, so no doubt I'll be back there next pay to buy more books. I like to read, so I'm very happy there's plenty around on offer.

At the club tonight I noticed the standard fold up green/cream coloured boards and plastic pieces used were actually more than sufficient. I will definitely look to order a set online in the next day or so, because for a mere $30, you honestly can't go wrong and my wife and children want to learn to play here at home as well - very happy about that. I can always look at getting a more 'fancy' set down the line, the basic one I used tonight was more than sufficient.

My first club experience was a great one and I must express my gratitude and thanks to the gents at Parramatta. They were extremely accomodating, friendly, encouraging and supportive and it made my first club experience a very positive one. I look forward to coming back to continue playing with the guys in the future.

Right now, I need to do a heck of a lot of reading... with what I have and to follow up some of these recommendations as well!

Cheers for the ongoing support guys, I really appreciate it.

so how about that correspondence game? :)? (they have a forum section dedicated to them!)

Ausknight
27-07-2007, 08:57 AM
When you say 'order online' you mean with one of your two Sydney chess businesses right ;) not with an overseas competitor ;)

Absolutely. I will always support the home grown business first. Matter of principle for myself right there.

I'm currently looking at the Australian Chess Enterprises website and not quite sure what I need to get. I'm after the same set that I was playing on last night at Parramatta. Can anyone please help? I'm after the tournament standard setup - the plastic Staunton set with the Green/Creme foldup board. I don't know specifically what size/part I need to get (especially in relation to size ie 51 or 57mm?). I assume 95mm King is 'tournament standard'? What about weighting? I admit I do like a solid weight to my pieces... ;)

http://www.chessaustralia.com.au/media/PCB3.jpg


I've just started to read the Dummies book to get me started. I don't want to assume any prior knowledge and really start from scratch to ensure I don't pick up bad habits from what I presume I already know.

Right now I have the following books on hand which I've managed to grab from local bookstores :

http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ACRR2DWZL._AA240_.jpg http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0764584049.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg http://i10.ebayimg.com/05/i/000/aa/25/b96d_1.JPG

So after I finish the Dummies guide, I'm interested in direction on which book to tackle next... :hmm:


so how about that correspondence game? ? (they have a forum section dedicated to them!)

Sure thing! How do we do that?

Cheers.

Ausknight
27-07-2007, 01:19 PM
Update - I've been in contact with Brian over at Australian Chess Enterprises and looking at my options on what I need. I am going to swing over there to the store in the next couple weeks and pick up a standard comp board and a nicely weighted plastic set to get me going, but recommendations on further reading that I might be able to get at the store would also really be appreciated from the more experienced players here.

I was looking at Learn Chess and Learn Chess Tactics by John Nunn, and the Winning Chess series by Y Seirawan. Chess for Tigers by S Webb looks pretty good too.

Thoughts? I admit I'm not familiar with the authors so I don't know if the purchases will be good ones or not.

Cheers.

DanielBell
27-07-2007, 05:06 PM
Sure thing! How do we do that?

Cheers.

I am going to my friends house tonight so tomorrow I will start a thread and link you to it. Basically we play using chess notation, I post my move, then you post yours, etc. There are many ways you could keep track of the game, perhaps using your board. We can say perhaps 1 day maximum to make a move? But you can move multiple times in a day if we're both online!

If you prefer real time games we could organize a game on yahoo or fics & save the result for the guys here to show us where we went good/bad. Just drop me your MSN or something in PM and when you're online we can work it out!

arosar
27-07-2007, 05:43 PM
STOP!

What is this? You're just coming to the game and the first thing you do is spend a lot of money on it? Jesus!

Here's another approach right. Get into the groove first. Meet some chess people is what I'm talking about. There's a crowd in Sydney at both Hyde Park and in Town Hall, just beneath the cathedral. You need to be a bit thick skinned because some of the talking could get to you. But they're all friendly and give you good advice. The point is that you wanna be getting into the feel of it - the culture, the lingo, the vibe and all that. None of this bloody overly studious approach, you know. Sometimes the best way to learn is to just get right into it, all hands-on.

Now if you must buy a chess book, you could consider Michael de la Maza's "Rapid Chess Improvement". The book has a cult following actually and many of these guys are bloggers who call themselves the Knights Errant. Just look down DG (http://boylston-chess-club.blogspot.com/)'s right side-bar for a comprehensive list. And here is a very good review of the book by one of the very best chess bloggers around, MG of the Kenilworthian (http://www.kenilworthchessclub.org/kenilworthian/2005/08/de-la-mazas-rapid-chess-improvement.html).

Finally, the AUD is really strong ATM. If you really must buy books, you might actually end up saving a few dollars if you buy books from overseas, even accounting for shipping costs. Of course it all depends on the book, the number you buy, your choice of shipping method, etc. I recently bought some work books from amazon.com and I saved a fair bit.

And so that's it with that. Good luck.

AR

Axiom
27-07-2007, 06:44 PM
Finally, the AUD is really strong ATM. If you really must buy books, you might actually end up saving a few dollars if you buy books from overseas, even accounting for shipping costs. Of course it all depends on the book, the number you buy, your choice of shipping method, etc. I recently bought some work books from amazon.com and I saved a fair bit

AR
but lets support homegrown, ok....i mean if peter jones or brian parr dont make a sale soon, they'll follow in the footsteps of that jamaican chess champion fellow.

Southpaw Jim
27-07-2007, 07:19 PM
I was looking at Learn Chess and Learn Chess Tactics by John Nunn, and the Winning Chess series by Y Seirawan. Chess for Tigers by S Webb looks pretty good too.

I have both Nunn's book on tactics, and Seirawan's book on tactics (as well as 2 others, Strategies and Openings). I've not read Chess for Tigers, but I've heard good things about it.

Seirawan has a very nice, conversational writing style that is both easy and entertaining to read. Nunn's book covers much the same material, perhaps in more depth, but less enjoyable to read. Both are excellent teachers, and both books are roughly equal. I suspect Learn Chess by Nunn will only cover material you've already got.

I've skimmed through de la Maza's book (recommended above by Arosar) - I personally didn't like it, the whole 'Seven Circles' technique looked to make chess a bore. He advocates a very rigorous training regime that will make you a tactical behemoth, but requires a lot of time invested. Personally (ie YMMV!) with a wife, child, full time job and other interests, I don't have the time to invest in this kind of training regime. It's not a bad thing, a friend of mine attempts to follow de la Maza's approach, but it requires a lot of dedication - and as I say, it may take some of the fun out of the game. However, OTOH, many credit his approach with a massive increase in playing strength.

Basil
27-07-2007, 08:16 PM
peter jones or brian parr
$30 HCDs!

Long time coming but a goodie! ;) :clap:

Axiom
27-07-2007, 08:50 PM
$30 HCDs!

Long time coming but a goodie! ;) :clap:
thankyou gd,i have to say ,i was rather chuffed too with that piece of poetic spontaneous creativity.......its funny how they seem to flash in from some divine source of inspiration........its just finding that axiomatic crack in reality that frees the light,to shine on the barest bones of our perceptual framework,that seem to do the trick.

bergil
28-07-2007, 12:50 AM
thankyou gd,i have to say ,i was rather chuffed too with that piece of poetic spontaneous creativity.......its funny how they seem to flash in from some divine source of inspiration........its just finding that axiomatic crack in reality that frees the light,to shine on the barest bones of our perceptual framework,that seem to do the trick.Prat! :P

Ausknight
28-07-2007, 09:55 AM
STOP!

What is this? You're just coming to the game and the first thing you do is spend a lot of money on it? Jesus!

Here's another approach right. Get into the groove first. Meet some chess people is what I'm talking about. There's a crowd in Sydney at both Hyde Park and in Town Hall, just beneath the cathedral. You need to be a bit thick skinned because some of the talking could get to you. But they're all friendly and give you good advice. The point is that you wanna be getting into the feel of it - the culture, the lingo, the vibe and all that. None of this bloody overly studious approach, you know. Sometimes the best way to learn is to just get right into it, all hands-on.

Now if you must buy a chess book, you could consider Michael de la Maza's "Rapid Chess Improvement". The book has a cult following actually and many of these guys are bloggers who call themselves the Knights Errant. Just look down DG (http://boylston-chess-club.blogspot.com/)'s right side-bar for a comprehensive list. And here is a very good review of the book by one of the very best chess bloggers around, MG of the Kenilworthian (http://www.kenilworthchessclub.org/kenilworthian/2005/08/de-la-mazas-rapid-chess-improvement.html).

Finally, the AUD is really strong ATM. If you really must buy books, you might actually end up saving a few dollars if you buy books from overseas, even accounting for shipping costs. Of course it all depends on the book, the number you buy, your choice of shipping method, etc. I recently bought some work books from amazon.com and I saved a fair bit.

And so that's it with that. Good luck.

AR

Cheers for the feedback. I probably need to clear up a few things first.

I find Chess to be the very cheapest hobby I've ever been involved with. Most of the other things I've done have had initial expenditure in order of $1000 or more. Spending a couple hundred on a few books to get me started is something I don't see as going overboard at all, nor do I see it as expensive. If they're books I'm likely to acquire at some point soon anyway, whether I buy it now or later really doesn't matter to me. Indeed, I'm very happy I can get into chess so cheaply at the moment!

I am already playing face to face. I've recently started going to my local Chess club at Parramatta and I've been getting some hands on with some really accomodating and supportive gents. I have really enjoyed my experience thus far and my first evening has convinced me enough that this is what I want to do. I plan to combine my experiences at the club with online playing as well.

Lastly, whilst I agree I could probably save a few dollars by going overseas I would personally much rather support home grown businesses first. I would only go overseas to buy a book if I have exhausted my local prospects first. I have Australian Chess Enterprises here in Sydney and can even visit them in store to do my shopping. Now I don't know about you, but there's quite an element of fun and anticipation in going down to the store to buy new things that online purchasing just can't match. For my needs, I'm more than happy to support the local and if it means a few extra dollars towards his business from my pocket, I consider it a small price to pay for having a local presence. I'm more than happy with that arrangement.

But thanks for letting me know what my options are on this. I've been around in other gaming circles for some time and it would seem a lot of situations are quite similar concerning purchasing and supply, so I've had this particular discussion many times before. In a global market of course you can find someone, somewhere to undercut local businesses, but to me it's just not about dollars and cents alone. In fact, I'm planning on going down to ACE early next week and buy a few things in store... looking forward to it too!


I have both Nunn's book on tactics, and Seirawan's book on tactics (as well as 2 others, Strategies and Openings). I've not read Chess for Tigers, but I've heard good things about it.

Seirawan has a very nice, conversational writing style that is both easy and entertaining to read. Nunn's book covers much the same material, perhaps in more depth, but less enjoyable to read. Both are excellent teachers, and both books are roughly equal. I suspect Learn Chess by Nunn will only cover material you've already got.

I've skimmed through de la Maza's book (recommended above by Arosar) - I personally didn't like it, the whole 'Seven Circles' technique looked to make chess a bore. He advocates a very rigorous training regime that will make you a tactical behemoth, but requires a lot of time invested. Personally (ie YMMV!) with a wife, child, full time job and other interests, I don't have the time to invest in this kind of training regime. It's not a bad thing, a friend of mine attempts to follow de la Maza's approach, but it requires a lot of dedication - and as I say, it may take some of the fun out of the game. However, OTOH, many credit his approach with a massive increase in playing strength.

Cheers, this is the kind of feedback I was after. Would Nunn be a decent purchase then, or would you recommend something else for my 2nd book?


I am going to my friends house tonight so tomorrow I will start a thread and link you to it. Basically we play using chess notation, I post my move, then you post yours, etc. There are many ways you could keep track of the game, perhaps using your board. We can say perhaps 1 day maximum to make a move? But you can move multiple times in a day if we're both online!

If you prefer real time games we could organize a game on yahoo or fics & save the result for the guys here to show us where we went good/bad. Just drop me your MSN or something in PM and when you're online we can work it out!

Sounds great! Tee it up when you're ready and we'll see where it goes ;)

Basil
28-07-2007, 10:16 AM
Hi DMarinas (from Queensland)


I find Chess to be the very cheapest hobby I've ever been involved with.
:clap: Breath of fresh air, mate. Chess players will argue the toss over $5, be it a book, an annual fee or whatever.


I am already playing face to face. I've recently started going to my local Chess club at Parramatta and I've been getting some hands on with some really accomodating and supportive gents.
Aha! You've met Burgess. That's one up you've got on me. What's he like then? :lol:

bergil
28-07-2007, 02:15 PM
Aha! You've met Burgess. That's one up you've got on me. What's he like then? :lol:A miserable sod who thinks he's very funny . ;)

DanielBell
28-07-2007, 03:03 PM
http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=162542#post162542

There ya go mate. :)

Ausknight
28-07-2007, 03:59 PM
Hi DMarinas (from Queensland)


:clap: Breath of fresh air, mate. Chess players will argue the toss over $5, be it a book, an annual fee or whatever.

Aha! You've met Burgess. That's one up you've got on me. What's he like then? :lol:

Lol!

I'm terrible with names sadly, it will take me a little while to match names and faces. I only remember the guy sitting next to me giving advice, John, who I played 4 games with and Bob, who the rest of the lads were constantly taking the mickey out of.

I'll remember people the more I go, for now it's just a feeling out process. Already looking forward to next Thursday too.

As for cost. Absolutely. It's a very cheap hobby comparitively speaking with a lot of the investment it would seem coming from literature and even then, it's actually not THAT much for what is often an educational text. I personally think books are an excellent investment anyway as they don't need any maintenence and in terms of hours of benefit from cost, they represent excellent value indeed. Plus, like I said before, I get great satisfaction from sitting down with a cuppa and a good book to read an evening away.

Today I went down to another local library to where I live and grab a few more books that looked either interesting or inviting. None of them were on the list mentioned so far, but I get the feeling that there's literally thousands of books out there so I'm not surprised. Even still, I'm feeling like a sponge at the moment, even working through the Chess for dummies book as my initial primer I'm re-discovering information I'd lost in the dark recesses of my poor memory and learning a few new things along the way as well. It's been about 25 years since I played any decent chess, so I really am effectively starting over from scratch. But the journey is enjoyable. I am sure many of you can remember the thrill of learning this game when it was still fresh and a million possibilities yet to be explored.

Right now, it's time for a correspondance game with DanielBell, so I'm off to have a crack with that. Should be fun!

bergil
28-07-2007, 04:06 PM
Lol!

I'm terrible with names sadly, it will take me a little while to match names and faces. I only remember the guy sitting next to me giving advice, John, who I played 4 games with and Bob, who the rest of the lads were constantly taking the mickey out of.

I'll remember people the more I go, for now it's just a feeling out process. Already looking forward to next Thursday too.
I was that guy (Shane) next to you offering probably bad advice and taking the mick out of everyone myself included. :D

Ausknight
28-07-2007, 04:15 PM
Yes, I just checked the photos on the website for reference and realised that just now. *blushes*

Many thanks Shane, you were definitely a boon and whilst I'm in no position to question any advice given (tongue in cheek or otherwise!), the moral support and encouragement you gave was perfect and for a beginner and new club attendee, being made to feel welcome was what I thought was most important. So thank you for that!

bergil
28-07-2007, 06:25 PM
Yes, I just checked the photos on the website for reference and realised that just now. *blushes*

Many thanks Shane, you were definitely a boon and whilst I'm in no position to question any advice given (tongue in cheek or otherwise!), the moral support and encouragement you gave was perfect and for a beginner and new club attendee, being made to feel welcome was what I thought was most important. So thank you for that!Your welcome. :D

Ausknight
29-07-2007, 01:29 PM
btw, like the sig? ;)

Basil
29-07-2007, 01:46 PM
Might be a tad large :eek:

Axiom
29-07-2007, 03:41 PM
7 Days since I had a sausage.
4 Days since the Hydro-SuckerTM was required.
2 Australian GMs.
2 Phone Boxes not owned by Telstra.

and a possum in a pear tree !

Ausknight
30-07-2007, 07:32 AM
Might be a tad large :eek:

Fair enough. Didn't know what the policy on graphics in sigs were here. :doh:

Fixed it up now.

Ausknight
30-07-2007, 07:31 PM
I went over to Australian Chess Enterprises today and picked up a plastic set (triple weighted) plus a larger tournament standard board. Very pleased with my purchase!

I also took a few shots around the store on my phone camera...

http://img407.imageshack.us/img407/1905/ace1pi1.jpg

http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/1434/ace2oh6.jpg

http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/6205/ace3wj2.jpg

http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/8148/ace4uu0.jpg

There was plenty of variety on offer, certainly enough to put my local bookstores to shame. I had a browse through the store and a chat with Brian - overall a fantastic experience and I'm very glad I waited to buy direct.

Needless to say, with so many books there, I'll be back to start developing my library.

Many thanks to Brian and if you get the chance, I highly recommend you pop into the store to take a look. It was literally 50m from the local railway station and very easy to find.

Southpaw Jim
31-07-2007, 10:19 PM
Cheers, this is the kind of feedback I was after. Would Nunn be a decent purchase then, or would you recommend something else for my 2nd book?

Well, either that or the Seirawan text. Without knowing in detail where you're at at the moment, I'd suggest getting Nunn's text, but keep it light. Skim. Don't try and digest absolutely everything on a given concept, just play through the main (ie bold in the book) lines and get a feel for the idea/concept generally. You can, and I certainly do, always go back through the book in more detail. You'll find that information and ideas that were a mystery (or downright invisible) to you on first reading suddenly make sense once your ability and understanding have improved.

You may find you come back to Nunn's book several times - I know I have with Seirawan's book on strategy, for example. Don't be afraid to read and re-read your chess books, after all the price you pay for them kinda justifies it!

And as for a 3rd book? I wouldn't! :eek: I'd recommend a piece of software called CT Art (http://www.chesscentral.com/software/ct-arts-chess-tactics.htm). It's available on either PC or Pocket PC (the latter is v. good if you commute on train/bus), and is basically a software version of a tactics puzzle book. It is BY FAR THE BEST TACTICS TRAINING SOFTWARE AVAILABLE (that I know of :uhoh: ). You can have the software present problems to you in a variety of ways - by difficulty level, by tactical theme (pins, forks etc), or by combinational motif (eg weakness of a rank/diagonal, removal of defender etc). Don't be put off by the description of 1600-2300 ELO, the beginner level stuff isn't that hard. It's highly regarded, and is also recommended by de la Maza for use within his 'Seven Circles' regime.

Regular tactics training and play should see you make serious and rapid improvement, provided it is regular. This should, if you can, be combined with some introductory endgame study - personally, I highly recommend the recently published Complete Endgame Course by Silman. There are other texts that have a longer standing pedigree, but are far less beginner friendly (I'm thinking of Karsten and Mueller's Fundamental Chess Endings or Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual). IMHO, Silman's book should be fine for you until you're a serious contender to win your club's championship, then maybe move onto the more advanced texts ;)

I'd say that with Nunn's text, CT Art, and maybe also Silman's endgame text, that should be enough for you for the next 12 months. However, that's easy for me to say, in the last 12 months I reckon I've bought about 10 books on various chess topics... :hmm: :uhoh:

Other aspects of the game, such as general strategic concepts and particular openings, shouldn't be neglected, but the focus should be far more casual until the reasons for your losses become less obvious. Ie you stop leaving your queen en prise, or you stop falling victim to those nasty knight forks, and instead your losses become more of a gradual slide into oblivion for some inexplicable reason. That's when you need to know more about good/bad minor pieces, control of files/diagonals, pawn structure, control of colours & space etc.

:cool:

Ausknight
01-08-2007, 07:50 AM
I was told Nunn was quite complex, especially from a begginners point of view. I'm still just reading the Dummies guide and getting a really simple and basic grounding before going into more books.

What about Purdy? I'd be keen to follow an Australian author as well.

Never heard of the CT Art software, I'll definitely check it out.

At the moment I'm reading a lot (whenever I get the chance really) as well as playing the odd game online. I'll hopefully be able to sharpen the skills more face to face at the club and a little later on, really drop myself in it by starting with tournament play. I usually learn best from doing rather than reading, but anything is better than nothing. I'm not put off by losing either, I'd rather play difficult opponents because it has the best opportunity for me to learn.

I'm interested to see how I go over the next 12 months though. Still very early days for me, but so far, so good - I'm enjoying it immensely.

Cheers.

peter_parr
01-08-2007, 03:20 PM
With respect Mr Parr, I have a great deal more experience of coaching (and training) junior and adult chess players than you have.

You are well aware this is not the case. I learnt coaching and training first hand (1950-1960)from my father (btw he dropped below 2300 at the age of 72) and my brother (btw also over 2300)- you understand Brian why neither applied for the FM Title. I coached and trained numerous fellow students at Sutton Grammar, Surrey from 1960 -1964 resulting in my school becoming one of the largest and strongest school clubs in the United Kingdom.

In 1965 my coaching and training included, as part of my voluntary community service, training the most notorious prisoners in the top security wing of Wandsworth Prison - (8 prisoners, 12 guards) (Axiom this cold hard place is worse than Alcatraz) cancelled when Great train robber Ronald Biggs escaped from the wing (inside jail help) the day after I was there. My main student 1964-1968 was Chief General Manager of Westminster Bank at Head Office, Lombard St in the heart of London CBD.

Millions of Australians were glued to their television sets as I presented the games of the Fischer-Spassky 1972 match on Channel 2. Millions learned chess children, adults, pensioners, everyone. By 1973 I was cruising the South Pacific as an entertainer teaching, coaching and training chess to numerous P and O Passengers. Later in 1973 I opened my Sydney Chess Academy in Redfern, one station from Sydney Central CBD. As principal teacher at the chess academy for 6 years I taught numerous lessons. In 1979 I opened the Chess Centre of NSW (Sydney CBD - over 300 annual members in 9 months)where I taught for a number of years. One schoolboy regular learnt fast and grew fast into one of Australia's leading IM's.

Brian I have taught chess in schools in Sydney and Melbourne. I have given the largest ever lectures and chess exhibitions in Darwin. I have lectured and taught chess in many shopping centres, department stores etc.

My experience on 4 FIDE commissions has been passed on to my students.

My regular chess column of over 34 years has taught many. My high circulation low cost Australian Chess Magazine ran for over 14 years teaching thousands more players. I have managed and trained 6 Australian Olympiad Teams.

One student with a rating of 20? became over 2200 strength in only one year from my training. He later became 2300 having fully qualified - by strength - for a FIDE Master Title. As an International arbiter for 29 years and chief arbiter of the Doeberl Cup 20 times I have taught others of the high standard required for arbiting, common sense, pairings etc.

You will recall Brian from your many visits to my shop that playing chess and teaching chess in my CBD shop was happening 6 days a week.

Your claim that you have a great deal more experience of coaching and training than myself is simply nonsense. You are well aware of my teachings over many decades. Individual coaching in the last few years has been substantially reduced due to the enormous increase in chess sales in my shop in the CBD which takes most of my very busy schedule.


Maybe the player in question would have improved much more with better advice. (No offence was intended to Cameron.)

The best advice was that he had in fact purchased the best product on the market in that price range - available only from quality retailers.


Any chess training programme (including the selection of books and software) should be tailored to the specific needs of the individual.

The selection of many good books and software products by an expert remain the same for many customers.


Or maybe, as a shopkeeper and salesman, you are set in your ways and used to giving glib ill-considered free advice?

Brian why the insults? I have been running a highly respected chess business in the CBD six days a week (paying high rents for a Central location for the convenience of customers) for the last 34 years. I respect your decision for a quieter life (where the cows graze in the field next door) a pleasant 54km drive from the Sydney CBD and your support for chess in Parr - amatta just 26km drive from the Sydney CBD. Your constant dismissal of chess events in the Sydney CBD are with respect not in the community interest. Every major city in the world has a road and rail network branching in all directions from the City inner CBD. All facilities are there and the most people. Each year sales increase, there are more and more chess players, good for everyone involved in chess whether you are in the CBD or distant suburbia.

Brian have a nice day.

Southpaw Jim
02-08-2007, 08:45 AM
I was told Nunn was quite complex, especially from a begginners point of view. I'm still just reading the Dummies guide and getting a really simple and basic grounding before going into more books.

It is complex, if you work your way through the whole text - but I don't think you'll struggle with it if you initially stick to the main lines and ignore the extra information/side lines. Thus, by buying Nunn and re-reading the more complex material when you're ready, you'll essentially get a basic and intermediate/advanced text in the one book. Seirawan's book is much more accessible to the beginner, but you may find you end up buying Nunn later on anyway.

I have both, but to be honest, I don't read a lot about tactics at this stage, I practice them. I'll probably return to Nunn sometime soon, but not Seirawan.

If you're in Sydney, you'll have the luxury of checking Nunn's text out in either Brian or Peter's stores and seeing for yourself what it's like.


What about Purdy? I'd be keen to follow an Australian author as well.

No experience with his books, although he is well respected as an author - I've seen him mentioned here and elsewhere many times. Although never a 'conventional' GM, he was the world's first World Champion in correspondence chess. That, in itself, should be enough of a recommendation ;)


Never heard of the CT Art software, I'll definitely check it out.

It's only $40 too!


I usually learn best from doing rather than reading, but anything is better than nothing.

I'm the same, but have to say - the best way to learn is by experience and repetition. Reading is good, especially for conceptual stuff, but practice and only practice will drill tactical motifs and patterns into your brain such that you recognise them automatically over the board. If you have to actively look for tactical traps, chances are you won't see them ;)

:cool:

Ausknight
03-08-2007, 10:36 AM
Peter/Brian, many thanks for your input here. I didn't know both of you ran stores in Sydney. I'm still very new to the scene and any advice I can get is going to be most welcome. I would hope my questions and asking for advice wouldn't promote any bad blood between you gents, I am more than happy to give my business to the both of you, and your advice is always appreciated and welcomed.

I work in Parramatta and live in Strathfield, which means that the Parra chess club is most convenient for me to attend to after work on a Thursday evening, although a city store location would be more convenient for my shopping needs. That said, I was very impressed with Brian's layout and support when I went to visit him out at Riverstone, so there's no reason at all why I won't go back there again. My first experience was there and it was very positive.

I'm very late coming to the game at 33, but I am hoping I can learn to play a decent game and develop quickly. As such, I am grateful for any support and advice I can get, because as a beginner, pretty much everyone in Chess that I meet knows more the game than I do and whilst we can debate some advice is better than others, I know it all comes from both experience and with the best intentions. That's always appreciated.

Eurotrash, many thanks for your support and advice. I was really hoping to get some good tips on where to head next and your help is really appreciated. I am about 2/3 of the way through the basic dummies' guide (learning classic openings) and supplementing it getting soundly thumped on Yahoo, Babas and at Parra on Thursday nights. I don't mind losing games at all as long as I am learning something and I've found with Chess, the learning curve is very steep. As long as I stick with it, read and PRACTISE I know I'll get better for sure. If anything, I'm one of those people who sees a challenge like this as a flag to a red bull. I like to win, it's in my nature. But I don't lose sight of the forest for the trees. Chess is as much an artform as it is a game, and I take great pleasure in playing. I also know that before I can run, I need to walk. Lots of reading and practise, practise, practise.

Shane at the club last night starting talking with me about coaching. My budget is fairly limited I have to admit, but that said, I don't see this as being a bad idea really. I think the going rate I was quoted last night was between $30 and $40 an hour which sounds reasonable.

Would this perhaps be a wise course of action? With a view in mind that eventually I would like to try my hand at playing competitively if I can, should I stick with books and social gaming to learn, or employ a ~2000 player to coach me? Perhaps both?

I am going to check out Nunn and Seirawan for sure. If the texts are a little complex at present, that's okay, books don't have an expiry date and I can always come back to them later. Like I said, I'm still learning the basics at the moment - learning the classic opening patterns - and enjoying it immensely.

My only regret is that I waited until I was 33 to start playing again. If only I kept playing when I was chess club champ at primary school... the possibilities...

Southpaw Jim
03-08-2007, 01:23 PM
No problems, I was where you are about 12-18 months ago. 31yo and deciding to get serious about chess... ;)

Basil
03-08-2007, 02:20 PM
Ditto! Aged 33 (I think)

And quite frankly, a pattern is starting to emerge; viz:

People who get into chess after the age of 30 are better looking and less pointy than their early-bird counterparts. It's a scientific certainty.

Ausknight
03-08-2007, 03:11 PM
Ditto! Aged 33 (I think)

And quite frankly, a pattern is starting to emerge; viz:

People who get into chess after the age of 30 are better looking and less pointy than their early-bird counterparts. It's a scientific certainty.

LOL

Sounds quite reasonable if you ask me!

Rincewind
03-08-2007, 04:14 PM
It's a scientific certainty.

Science doesn't deal in certainties. For those you need to go to church.

A quote I used elsewhere recently was...

Those who have excessive faith in their theories or in their ideas are not only poorly disposed to make discoveries, but they also make very poor observations

- Claude Bernard (The physiologist, not the priest)

Basil
03-08-2007, 04:35 PM
People who get into chess after the age of 30 are better looking and less pointy than their early-bird counterparts. It's a scientific certainty.
Not to mention less frugal and more rounded as human beings. I think the nub is that we are slightly better human beings.

Basil
03-08-2007, 04:36 PM
Science doesn't deal in certainties. For those you need to go to church.
Barry, at present you and I are neck and neck for the 'Least Able To Let It Go HADBBA'

Brian_Jones
03-08-2007, 05:13 PM
Barry, at present you and I are neck and neck for the 'Least Able To Let It Go HADBBA'

No Howard, I think you win the award by a country mile.

What was again that you couldn't let go of? :)

Basil
03-08-2007, 05:27 PM
No Howard, I think you win the award by a country mile.
:P


What was again that you couldn't let go of? :)
Well, as you have suggested, it is true that I appear to have a very firm grasp of it :eek: , but for those watching in black and white and also interested in my original intention, my unwanted qualification for the HADBBA was for political commentary (my specialist subject being 'Lefty Bashing' without any apparent provocation (although I'd argue their mere existence is sufficient ;)), while Barry's nomination is for Theological commentary (specialist subject being wedging anti religious propaganda into the most unlikely and sometimes amazing orifices).

With that out of the way, you must consider yourself back on HADBBA radar, Brian ;)

Sunshine
03-08-2007, 05:28 PM
Not to mention less frugal and more rounded as human beings. I think the nub is that we are slightly better human beings.

In regione caecorum rex est luscus (Desiderius Erasmus)

Your observations may be true among chessplayers.

Ausknight
14-08-2007, 08:39 AM
Well I've read through the basic dummies book. The 'Play winning Chess' book is next in the crosshairs, but right now I'm going through the training in Chessmaster 10 in order to get some practical experience under the belt, focusing on the common end game scenarios. It's actually a really good program, allowing me to practise and learn at the same time.

I find that playing online at places like Yahoo has been somewhat demoralizing. I've noticed some really strong players tend to hang out in the beginners' channel and if you start a game you inevitably attract one of these vultures looking to boost their ranking rather then engage in a fair matchup. I kind of gave up playing there recently and wanted to focus on playing something that I can learn from. Whilst Chessmaster 10 is going to be even tougher than the Yahoo players, it will at least tell me where I have gone wrong and help me analyse my game. Plus, I'm one of those players who enjoys the 3d view a lot more. I tend to have problems visualising the board when I go from 2d to 3d so often.

I'm also now playing in my first Comp at my local Chess club. I'm playing appallingly bad at the moment (it's being held over 2 weeks) and yet to get a win under the belt, but the experience is good and it will assist me in getting a rating of some sort at least.

Well, we all have to start somewhere. I'm just annoyed I waited until this age to get back into the game... I'm sooooo far behind the 8 ball here!

I've also had a chat with the lads at the SCA who are in the same area as where I live (10 minutes walk!) to get some private 1 on 1 tuition. At $40 an hour, it's not cheap, but it could also be a good thing too. I'm tempted to train a little more with books and the computer until I hit a wall and then go to the SCA - would this be a wise move? Private tuition seems to be a premium cost, I really want to ensure if I go down that path I'm going to get good value from it.

Southpaw Jim
14-08-2007, 10:39 AM
I've never had formal tuition myself, but my experience in paying for tennis tuition is that you'll get a lot out of your first couple of lessons, after that it becomes a lot more marginal. When I see my tennis coach these days, I'm not learning anything revolutionary, I'm just tightening up my forehand technique, improving my first serve, focusing on accuracy etc.

If you're keen for some tuition, it could point you in the right direction from the start - but I'd recommend just having 1 or 2 lessons, then spend six months playing and practicing. Then maybe have a couple more lessons.

As I've said before, I don't know exactly where you're at, but the stuff you need to learn in the next 6-12 months is conceptually basic, but it needs to be drilled into you through repetition. Only once you've stopped making stupid tactical blunders will it be worth studying anything more esoteric.

Thus, a first lesson or 2 to get you recognising tactical motifs and employing sensible development would be good - but you then need to assimilate this knowledge. Until you do, there's not much more a coach will be able teach you - they'll just be drilling you on tactics etc, which you can do yourself, you don't need to pay $40 p/h for it. Moreover, until you assimilate this knowledge, your losses will largely stem from stupid tactical mistakes that just need to be eliminated. Thus, regular coaching might be marginal in the benefits you'll derive. However, your mileage may vary.

This can easily be seen if you computer analyse your games - if, in the opening/middlegame particularly, the evaluation goes from about even to +3 or more in your opponent's favour, you've made a blunder that will probably be the cause of your loss. These are the stupid mistakes that need to be ironed out of your game - as I say, IMHO you can largely do this on your own, although there are a couple of tutors on here who may contradict me.

Ausknight
14-08-2007, 12:16 PM
Cheers for the feedback.

Yeah, I think the pro tutoring will most definitely help, but I'm at such a new stage (been playing for about a month now) that I really need to work on getting the basics down before I move onto the next steps.

I'm reading stuff, watching stuff, going through annotated games and playing against the computer as well as attending the club. I am familiar with all the basic moves in the game and right now just practising a common opening and the commend end game mating patterns. I'm mostly stuck after the opening sequence at the moment - learning an opening is just a memory thing - but the mid game can rarely be taught to follow any specific pattern. From there I need to look at the game differently. I've been far too impatient so far in trying to force a mate as quick as possible and realised that's not going to work against anyone except the most new player. So now I've taken a step back and trying to work through the concepts of time, space, material etc that Seirwan teaches (downloaded a video of his). Good stuff.

Most of my blunders now comes from not seeing moves ahead of time and falling for forks, skewers and discovered checks regularly- which leads to a constant loss of material/space/position and ultimately the game. Fixing that will be about experience, practise and drills but it will take time.

Right now, I'm trying to squeeze in as much game time as possible around work. I found a neat little basic human vs PC chess game for windows for free that allows me to play during the day in between work. It's a basic program and the programmer says it's not overly smart, but it's excellent for a beginner like me. It's been able to outfox me every time. When I lose a game, I assess the position and just start over ;)

It even allows me to print out notation for future reference which is handy too.

One step at a time at the moment. Last week at the club I was seriously taken to task at the board and realised if I am ever going to play a decent game at club level I need to pull my finger out and start studying... so that's what I am doing.

Wish me luck!

DanielBell
14-08-2007, 03:53 PM
I had a lot of problems with visualizing on a 2d board (I couldn't see diagonals for some reason, if someone went on an all out slaughter with bishops i'd be screwed) but having a few games on yahoo after work every day i'm getting alot better with it (my rating went from ~900 to ~1350 in no time.. still climbin!

I usually play really quickly on there, even in untimed games and I find that has helped me recognize patterns better. I wanna play some proper games at rooty hill as I have never actually played a game where you sit there and think about it for a while hehe. Work doesn't really leave me much time and often there's quite a few games still going when I leave.

Ausknight
15-08-2007, 11:17 AM
Nice work. I don't really have a rating - unless you call 'dumb n00b' a rating ;)

I can play quickly, but I'm just pushing wood when I do so. I am struggling with the basics at the moment and need to better develop my plans when I'm making moves. Right now I push either too hard and too fast for Checkmate, or I head blindly into attack without providing adequate defence for my pieces and lose too much material.

Practice and time will be the key. But I need to be able to take the time to think about my moves before I make them. It's tricky for a beginner. I'm used to other games that use very different patterns of thought to achieve their objectives. It's like emptying the glass and starting over...

DanielBell
16-08-2007, 07:05 AM
Nice work. I don't really have a rating - unless you call 'dumb n00b' a rating ;)

I can play quickly, but I'm just pushing wood when I do so. I am struggling with the basics at the moment and need to better develop my plans when I'm making moves. Right now I push either too hard and too fast for Checkmate, or I head blindly into attack without providing adequate defence for my pieces and lose too much material.

Practice and time will be the key. But I need to be able to take the time to think about my moves before I make them. It's tricky for a beginner. I'm used to other games that use very different patterns of thought to achieve their objectives. It's like emptying the glass and starting over...

I don't have a proper rating yet (yahoo is hardly comparable to the system people in NSW use), i'll play some competitive games eventually to get one but right now i'm just gonna practice a bit more. What day does Parramatta meet? Maybe I can come down one day and give you a couple of games :).

Ausknight
16-08-2007, 07:07 AM
Thursday nights. Parramatta RSL from about 7:30pm.

DanielBell
16-08-2007, 03:47 PM
Thursday nights. Parramatta RSL from about 7:30pm.

I'm off work the 6th of september for APEC holiday (my week starts a day earlier than others, I get the holiday on Thursday night, instead of Friday), perhaps I'll come down on that night?

Make it a date? :P

Ausknight
17-08-2007, 10:35 AM
Well I'm there every week so sure! :)