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  1. #1
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    my experiences (bumped)

    A few times on here it has been queried why we lose quite a few ppl to the sport of chess. So as a new person to the game(6 months approx in competition chess) I will talk about my experiences and my thoughts on where I think ill go from here with chess.

    Currently I have a rating of 1273, that will go down when the new ratings are released as I have had, in my opinion, two shocking tournaments.

    I lost tonight with the black pieces to an adult with a rating of 945 approx, in 15 moves no less . losses inside 30 moves are becoming way too frequent in any style of the game i play(lightning, rapid or normal).

    Something that i have noticed up here in queensland is that there is very few coaching resources. there are a few coaches up here, but they charge $30 an hour which with my budget is completely prohibitive. The club I play at has no coaching facilities that i know of. I see one young girl getting coached occasionally and that is it(I dont know if she gets the coaching for free or if her parents pay for it).

    the after- mentioned rates for coaching are from the gardiner chess centre.

    I feel like each time I make a move, that it could be a blunder, I dont have much awareness of whether a move is good or bad. I dont know how to improve my game or to get coaching that could improve my game.

    Now for the tournament scene (as it relates to keeping ppl in the game).

    The most popular form of tourney style is the swiss format. From my experiences and how i feel about my experiences, im starting to feel that for the average weekender or one day a week tourney, maybe the swiss format is not the best format.

    I dont know how to word this next idea so it sounds more politically correct, so ill just say it and lets you guys decide on a better wording for me.

    Instead of using the swiss format all the time, perhaps the entrants for each tourney should be divided up into rating groups and then you play only those ppl in your rating group. So for a 7 round weekender, players would be divided up into groups of 8. the top 8 players according to rating would be in one group(group A) and then the next 8(group B) and so on down the entrants. This way the players would be guaranteed that each game is against players of similar ratings.

    Also as players go from one tourney with this format to another tourney with this format, they would move between different groups, so they would get to play against players of higher and lower ratings.

    I am just suggesting this as a possibility because i feel like if i dont improve and get some coaching that will make a noticeable improvement to my games, I will probably go find another sport to play or go back to one that I have played before. I dont want to be one of the worst at a tournament and have to play on board 23 or so in each event. I want to be one of the better players have a chance of winning outright prizes, not hope for a rating group prize in a swiss event due to the vagrancies of swissperfect.

    Help would be appreciated, even more appreciated if someone can point me in the direction of affordable coaching

  2. #2
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    GG.

    Coaching at $30 per hour is cheap! If you look to any other sport, music or academic subject you will not find individual tuition for less than $30 per hour. Many places charge $50, $60 up to $100 for an hour of tuition.

    In a country where chess is small the way to grow is not to charge less for coaching, we need professional coaches who get paid as professionals. In the US coaches charge $100+ per hour and get it! It is more likley that the money spent will actually be WORTH it...often you can find a uni-student or someone who is an irregular coach who might charge just $30 per hour, but the benefit of this coaching is going to be far less than 1/3 of the benefit of a coach who devotes his professional life to being good at what he does. This is a hard thing for someone new to the game and rated just 1200 but it is the same as any other sport...good coaching costs money.

    Of course players want to improve, but that is not the only reason they play chess. The same as I play basketball, tennis and volleyball...partly it is competitive and sure I like to win and of course I don't like to be the worst, but more often than not it is social, relaxation and just fun! That is how chess should be too...

    If you are intersted in improving there are PLENTY of free resources on the net (try pittsburg chess club and exceter chess club)...it might even be worth going to the Gardiner Centre and paying for a "Guide" rather than a coach....get your Guide to show you HOW to study chess and HOW to improve, don't rely on them to make you a good player. Any coach who tells you they are going to improve your chess isn't worth $1! A coach should point out your weaknesses and design a program which will teach you how to improve, not teach you ABOUT chess. A well spent $30 every month to 6 weeks and some motivation at home and you could be 1600 in 3-4 months.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Account Permanently Banned firegoat7's Avatar
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    Watch strong players play chess live, try to figure out why they play that move. It is free and cheap.

    Join ICC, plenty of free coaching and lots of practise.

    Look at your own games and pick out key positions to ask stronger players at your club what they would play in this chess position.

    Buy a chess book and actually read it.

    Billet players when they travel interstate. These friendships can last forever and generally lead to a shared experience of chess.

    Don't worry about improving just study and enjoy the game.

    regards FG7

  4. #4
    CC International Master JGB's Avatar
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    I agree with both post former postings.

    and get yourself a good chess program, preferably Chessmaster 8 or 9000 or a new version of Fritz and strating playing against it at about a rating of about 200 above yourself. Analyse all your games, get the computer to also analyse it. Play Blitz and longer games, mix it up bit, but always analyse your games: where did you go wrong, what where the better alternatives, where were sacs to be made or combinations to be played. You dont need a good coach, you need a bit of time and lots of practise at different types of positions. Understand why you win and lose and learn from your loses. They are more valuable than your wins! Its sad but true.

    Good gaming.

    James

  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firegoat7
    Watch strong players play chess live, try to figure out why they play that move. It is free and cheap.

    Join ICC, plenty of free coaching and lots of practise.

    Look at your own games and pick out key positions to ask stronger players at your club what they would play in this chess position.

    Buy a chess book and actually read it.

    Billet players when they travel interstate. These friendships can last forever and generally lead to a shared experience of chess.

    Don't worry about improving just study and enjoy the game.

    regards FG7
    fg, i already have quite a few decent books on different aspects of the game, openings middlegames endings etc and other assortments. I read them quite often but i think they could have done more harm than good lol(if that is possible). i feel i play better on the net than i do in real life, mainly to do with the distractions in a tourney environment.

    to chessguru, why is $30 an hour a good deal for the student? One of the advantages of the sports you listed is that a person doesnt have to win to feel like they played a good game. For instance, basketball, its a team sport. For your standard of basketball, you can perform your skills to a standard above your normal in a game and still lose. at least that way you can say, ill played well, better luck next time etc. The $30 coaching for your skils improvement was probably well worth it if you leave the game satisfied with your skills improved.

    In chess, the only way to really judge if you played well is the end result(99% of the time), a player can play 60 good moves and then one howler and its end of game, i cant think of another sport that is that harsh. I dont know how to express what i feel any better than this

  6. #6
    CC International Master JGB's Avatar
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    In chess, the only way to really judge if you played well is the end result(99% of the time), a player can play 60 good moves and then one howler and its end of game, i cant think of another sport that is that harsh. I dont know how to express what i feel any better than this [/QUOTE]

    sorry chess doesnt work like that.... If you play good chess and your opponent plays much worse you will win. There will be no 'howler move'. A howler win is only possible in a game played between 2 players who have no idea what is taking place. If you play better moves than your opponent your going to win most of the time. The chance that you will pull out a howler move is pretty slim if youve been playing much better chess the whole game. Only the player who has played better chess will have the available resources to force a quick win (95 % of the time). Your opponet will be much more likely to blunder if hes playing worse chess as he will have more threats to defend. And more possiblities for a howler.

  7. #7
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JGB
    The chance that you will pull out a howler move is pretty slim if youve been playing much better chess the whole game.
    I've done it, though, several years ago. Beware complacency. A rook up and waiting for my comprehensively outplayed opponent to resign, I hung my queen to a knight. Q for R down vs a 1700 I would expect to lose 99% of games but I somehow contrived to win the game anyway. And the tournament as well.

    Learnt my lesson though, I hope.

    Only the player who has played better chess will have the available resources to force a quick win (95 % of the time). Your opponet will be much more likely to blunder if hes playing worse chess as he will have more threats to defend. And more possiblities for a howler.
    This is very true. Most blunders occur under pressure in inferior positions.

  8. #8
    CC International Master Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggrayggray

    Help would be appreciated, even more appreciated if someone can point me in the direction of affordable coaching

    GG, if you want help at the Gardiner Chess centre, there's always someone around to go through your games, etc. Tell Graeme you want a little feedback on your games. Myself or Bernie Saavedra have been around on monday nights, and either one or both of us would be happy to go over some games at the end of the night. In fact, we're holding a FIDE comp at the moment, and there are some competitive games to watch/analyse, etc.

    I think video's are a great learning tool, and I would recommend Daniel King who is a great, systematic commentator on video.

  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David_Richards
    GG, if you want help at the Gardiner Chess centre, there's always someone around to go through your games, etc. Tell Graeme you want a little feedback on your games. Myself or Bernie Saavedra have been around on monday nights, and either one or both of us would be happy to go over some games at the end of the night. In fact, we're holding a FIDE comp at the moment, and there are some competitive games to watch/analyse, etc.

    I think video's are a great learning tool, and I would recommend Daniel King who is a great, systematic commentator on video.
    lucky you didnt recommend two of the current staff there for coaching david i would have had some fun with that if you did :p

  10. #10
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggrayggray
    Instead of using the swiss format all the time, perhaps the entrants for each tourney should be divided up into rating groups and then you play only those ppl in your rating group. So for a 7 round weekender, players would be divided up into groups of 8. the top 8 players according to rating would be in one group(group A) and then the next 8(group B) and so on down the entrants. This way the players would be guaranteed that each game is against players of similar ratings.
    Many players would dislike this. Firstly even an exceptional performance would only net them a divisional prize and a promotion to the next division up; you would not get to see wonderful results like the sub-1800s who have placed 2nd or so in a few strong weekenders in the last year.

    Secondly and more importantly, many players realise their game will best improve by playing against stronger players and watching how they win.

    We had this discussion at our club last night as a single division round robin for our club champs is getting quite impractical, it runs for several months. Even so, a motion to split into two divisions didn't quite get up because of these kinds of concerns.

    By the way, this board itself is something of a free coaching resource. Post a game you've played in the analysis section and you should get a few useful comments.

  11. #11
    CC International Master Kerry Stead's Avatar
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    From my own experience, just play ... and play a lot! Its actually a really good way to learn ... and make sure you look over your games at the end (preferably with your opponent if possible).

    Another good thing to do is find a group of people at a club that are around your strength (something like the Sydney Grade match competition is ideal for this - not sure if there's anything similar in Queensland), and play lots of games against them. I remember when I was starting out, and played at a club ... was playing in an U1400 grade match team ... and from time to time the team would get together for an afternoon of blitz somewhere - good social atmosphere, as well as getting a chance to work on your chess.

    Also don't be afraid to try different things ... I discovered an opening at a junior chess camp that I went on ... saw a book on it at a tournament not long after ... did a little bit of reading ... and then it became a mainstay of my opening repetoire! Blackmar-Diener Gambit - you should at least have a look at it sometime ... not only did I get good results with it, but being a gambit, it FORCED me to attack, so I had to improve my calculation and tactics, otherwise I would just get mauled! I've since moved on with my openings, but it still helped add about 500 points to my rating.

    Also as has been mentioned, have a look at some GM games - you won't understand them all - heck neither do I a lot of the time - and try to figure out why someone played a move ... also if you can look at some annotated games, where a GM helps explain the moves, then that will also help a lot. You might even find a GM who's style you can try and emulate ... something to aim for.

    Don't be too discouraged - we all have to start somewhere!

  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Stead
    . You might even find a GM who's style you can try and emulate ... something to aim for.

    Don't be too discouraged - we all have to start somewhere!
    just to scare a few ppl, i have done alot of this and i for some reason seem to find kramnik's games rather easier to understand that is though when he decided to play a game that lasts more than 30 moves

  13. #13
    CC Grandmaster Alan Shore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggrayggray
    lucky you didnt recommend two of the current staff there for coaching david i would have had some fun with that if you did :p
    Are you referring to Sonter and Anastasia? What fun would you have had?

    Steadmeister's advice is good.. I also recommend doing puzzles.

    And what would you see as acceptable coaching rates? $30 is quite good I think.
    "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
    - White Queen, Alice through the Looking-Glass

  14. #14
    CC Grandmaster arosar's Avatar
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    This is very interesting thread. See gg, don't be discouraged man, We need people like you who can start interesting threads. This is very important.

    As for the system you suggested - which is that players are divided into ratings group, well KB's already addressed some shortcomings. However, I want to mention that some tourns do cater to this because they are 'close' events. Like the Aus Ch and Doeberl. Then there are other tourns like the recent Toukley which are 'restricted' (ie. under 'X' rating). I recall NSWCA tried this a coupla years back - some U1800 only event - but can't provide comments on that as to numbers, feedback from players, etc.

    As for coaching, next time I see you on ICC man, I give you some tips OK. Like when to use crimson jihad, gang-bangs, scaring-scaring, sixty-five, and so on. Shall we make a date? Listen, important thing is: you enjoy your chess. I don't play tourns anymore but I play chess everyday, solve puzzles evey night, play through games. And don't focus too much on 'how to play'. Expand a bit and read chess history. As a quick primer I recommend R Eales' book. Also buy the Addict series. See also, 'The King' by Donner - brilliant! Finally, this one I keep crappin' on about - a fine intro into Aussie chess - 'Aus Chess into 80's' by the man himself - Rogers. If you can find 'em up there, might wanna purchase some of them old CW's and CIA's - I have a few in my collection. Finally, take out a subs with NIC. You just need to get to know the game of chess a little bit for it is like a gorgeous sheila that you just met. Know what I mean?

    Now this business of coaching a little bit. I was talking to a chap last night about this topic actually. There's a mob down here in Sydney who charge this sorta amount, $30. My god man, I tell you man I reckon chess coaching is the way to go. These mob down here have got virtually the entire market cornered. I just about reckon that they're making a killing! They got 'em 1700-1800 players going around to schools teaching kids. Easy money!

    AR
    Last edited by arosar; 27-02-2004 at 08:57 AM.

  15. #15
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    a great AR post

    Quote Originally Posted by arosar
    This is very interesting thread. See gg, don't be discouraged man, We need people like you who can start interesting threads. This is very important.

    As for the system you suggested - which is that players are divided into ratings group, well KB's already addressed some shortcomings. However, I want to mention that some tourns do cater to this because they are 'close' events. Like the Aus Ch and Doeberl. Then there are other tourns like the recent Toukley which are 'restricted' (ie. under 'X' rating). I recall NSWCA tried this a coupla years back - some U1800 only event - but can't provide comments on that as to numbers, feedback from players, etc.

    As for coaching, next time I see you on ICC man, I give you some tips OK. Like when to use crimson jihad, gang-bangs, scaring-scaring, sixty-five, and so on. Shall we make a date? Listen, important thing is: you enjoy your chess. I don't play tourns anymore but I play chess everyday, solve puzzles evey night, play through games. And don't focus too much on 'how to play'. Expand a bit and read chess history. As a quick primer I recommend R Eales' book. Also buy the Addict series. See also, 'The King' by Donner - brilliant! Finally, this one I keep crappin' on about - a fine intro into Aussie chess - 'Aus Chess into 80's' by the man himself - Rogers. If you can find 'em up there, might wanna purchase some of them old CW's and CIA's - I have a few in my collection. Finally, take out a subs with NIC. You just need to get to know the game of chess a little bit for it is like a gorgeous sheila that you just met. Know what I mean?

    Now this business of coaching a little bit. I was talking to a chap last night about this topic actually. There's a mob down here in Sydney who charge this sorta amount, $30. My god man, I tell you man I reckon chess coaching is the way to go. These mob down here have got virtually the entire market cornered. I just about reckon that they're making a killing! They got 'em 1700-1800 players going around to schools teaching kids. Easy money!

    AR
    hi AR
    Usually I am not on your wavelength for some reason. But this post to g'g' is super. Well done. Beautifully written in the vernacular.

    Now g'g'g, read closely what AR has written and appreciate the highlights.

    starter
    Last edited by ursogr8; 27-02-2004 at 09:18 AM.

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