Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18
  1. #1
    CC Candidate Master Ausknight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    96

    Lightbulb I need help and suggestions please! 10 Questions!!!

    Well I've dipped my toe into the club tournament waters and been made to look like an idiot time and again against the 1500+ crowd.

    I've read the idiots' guide to chess. I know the rules of the game comfortably now and even a little opening and end game theory.

    I've played through the online tutorials and chess academy on Chessmaster.

    I've downloaded and watched some tutorials by Grandmasters and felt really insignificant as a result

    I've grown weary of the players on Yahoo giving the new players grief, or Fritz teasing me when I make a bad move!

    I want to get better. Seriously better.

    So I've got some questions I'm hoping the better players can answer for me.

    First, I need to tell you what my goals are!

    Ultimately, I want to break a 2000 rating. That's my goal. At 33, I feel I am honestly too old to focus on any sort of FIDE title (although we all dream of it), but a 2000+ rated player is certainly achievable. There is no real timeframe for this achievement, but before I am dead would be most desireable. (chuckles)

    That's a long way off. But it shows where I am trying to focus. I won't be content with being a standard 1500 club player, I want to take my chess well beyond that. I like to win. I'm a competitive player. That's my nature and my mindset.

    So with this in mind... I need some serious and honest advice. 10 questions...

    1 - How much practise should I realistically be putting into the game? In terms of hours a week. I realise that people will say obviously 'as much as you can' but I'd like to get a better idea (especially if you're a 2000+ player) on what sort of time you needed to sink in to get to that level.

    2 - What sort of books / theory should I be reading? Assume I've read nothing at all... Get me from bunny to pro on books alone!

    3 - How regularly should I be playing? Online? In Person? Tournaments? Social? How many games a day/week/month?

    4 - I have been eyeing off a decent table top chess computer, should I invest in one if I already have chess on my PC (I have Fritz 10 and Chessmaster 10 atm). the Novag Star Diamond is in my sights at the moment and will be a constant competitive companion all the way - but would an unranked player still get as much benefit as one that's rated highly?

    5 - Opening theory. Should I just stick with the English (which is the basic one I've been using now) or should I look at something less common? Any recommendations? I get the feeling that playing common openings ensures that more opponents will have studied them, and know their weaknesses...

    6 - Should I continue to play the same opening (as white) for the first year or so until I know it backwards? Or would I be better off with perhaps studying two or three openings and only play those as white?

    7 - What about defensive openings? I am failing miserably at the moment because I'm playing the same openingings regardless of what colour I am and what my opponent plays. I need advice as pushing wood isn't winning me games. What are good defensive black openings against common white openings? Is it advisable to play the same opening for black regardless of what my opponent is playing or do I need to change my opening depending on what they're playing?

    8 - Should I invest in professional tuition? Would it really help me at the moment more than comments from other club players? It's expensive at about $40 an hour, I need to know if I should invest or wait until I hit a wall first.

    9 - Should I start recording all my club tournament games for analysis (bar lightning)? I need the notation practise anyway. Would people here be willing to help me analyse my games on the forums (and not laugh at my woeful skills?).

    10 - Chess ettiquette. I need advise on do's and don'ts at the table. When to offer a draw. What I can say and do etc. I plan on jumping in the deep end in the tournament scene once I've found my feet and even if I can't play the game competitively, I at least don't want to upset the balance at the table by not following proper ettiquette. Advice/comments/suggestions on further reading in this regard would be appreciated.


    Cheers and thanks gents. I know it seems pretty long winded, but this is just the stage I am at and I want to develop and go forward.
    Did you know that the literal translation for Silver is actually Money in 14 different languages, across 51 different countries?
    Who is John Galt?

  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Subtropical Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    11,245
    OK, Daniel. Enough!

    Stop all of this right now.

    1. Keep doing what you're doing.
    2. Get a book on tactics and combinations.
    3. Read it. Read it again.
    4. Get another book on tactics and combinations.
    5. Repeat until I say stop.

    Best of luck with your goals. See you at the Champs!
    There is no cure for leftism. Its infestation of the host mostly diminishes with age except in the most rabid of specimens.

  3. #3
    CC International Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    1,977
    What do you do in the way of tactics?

    Beat me to it, Gunner.

    Incidentally, I have read Polgar's Chess more than twice.

  4. #4
    CC Candidate Master Ausknight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    96
    'tactics' at the moment - I've just gotten into Chess puzzles. I admit I love doing them. They're hard without more theory under the belt, but they're a lot of fun none the less and I can take all the time I like. It's funny to see the results and think 'oh yeah, why didn't I see that?' but it at least gets my brain thinking in the right way. I could easily just read books on chess puzzles all day

    2. Get a book on tactics and combinations.
    I need practical examples and recommendations.

    I was going to get 'Playing winning chess' by Sierwan as my next book - recommended? Should I get something else?
    Did you know that the literal translation for Silver is actually Money in 14 different languages, across 51 different countries?
    Who is John Galt?

  5. #5
    CC Candidate Master
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    244
    Quote Originally Posted by DMarinas
    What sort of books / theory should I be reading? Assume I've read nothing at all... Get me from bunny to pro on books alone!
    I can't think of any specific titles, but work on tactics.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMarinas
    I have been eyeing off a decent table top chess computer, should I invest in one if I already have chess on my PC (I have Fritz 10 and Chessmaster 10 atm). the Novag Star Diamond is in my sights at the moment and will be a constant competitive companion all the way - but would an unranked player still get as much benefit as one that's rated highly?
    Don't bother with a table top chess computer, just play lots of friend mode games against Fritz.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMarinas
    Opening theory. Should I just stick with the English (which is the basic one I've been using now) or should I look at something less common? Any recommendations? I get the feeling that playing common openings ensures that more opponents will have studied them, and know their weaknesses...
    Avoid uncommon openings. You should maximise your exposure to common tactics and fundamental positions. So I suggest playing 1.e4 as White, and 1.e4 e5 and 1.d4 d5 as Black. That's probably all the theory you'll need for now.

  6. #6
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    40,358
    Quote Originally Posted by DMarinas
    Ultimately, I want to break a 2000 rating. That's my goal. At 33, I feel I am honestly too old to focus on any sort of FIDE title (although we all dream of it), but a 2000+ rated player is certainly achievable. There is no real timeframe for this achievement, but before I am dead would be most desireable. (chuckles)
    I have to be honest here and say that it is very very difficult for a player to improve several hundred points starting in their 30s; indeed players in the 35-45 age group are typically more or less static no matter how much work they put into their game. But if you are relatively inexperienced then fast adult improvement is still possible. I once saw a player in this age bracket go from 900 to 1600 strength in a matter of months. It's one thing to do that though and another to jump several hundred points to 2000. Keep aims realistic. If you can improve your rating by 100 points in a year, you're doing very well.

    5 - Opening theory. Should I just stick with the English (which is the basic one I've been using now) or should I look at something less common? Any recommendations? I get the feeling that playing common openings ensures that more opponents will have studied them, and know their weaknesses...
    Yes, but on the other hand they are better openings that have less weaknesses to begin with. If you are reasonably happy with what you have then stick with it for most games and try to understand it more deeply. But playing exactly the same thing against everyone makes you a marked man, and you may find certain opponents persistently handle your preferred opening well. If this is the case then you need a second-string choice that you can use against those opponents, or just now and then for a change.

    7 - What about defensive openings? I am failing miserably at the moment because I'm playing the same openingings regardless of what colour I am and what my opponent plays.
    What are you currently playing? If you have a specific setup that often isn't working then it may be that it is sound against some moves and not others.

    9 - Should I start recording all my club tournament games for analysis (bar lightning)? I need the notation practise anyway. Would people here be willing to help me analyse my games on the forums (and not laugh at my woeful skills?).
    Yes this is a good idea and usually you will find players here will offer plenty of advice.

    10 - Chess ettiquette. I need advise on do's and don'ts at the table. When to offer a draw.
    http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=1828

    In summary, against a higher rated player don't offer a draw out of hope or desperation, but only offer one if it is well into the game, and your position is superior (but if it is very superior, try beating them instead!) If the position is even then the higher rated player will decide when they want to offer you a draw, and offers at any other time will only annoy them and fire them up for next time you play.

    What I can say and do etc.
    Apart from offering a draw and accepting or declining it you typically shouldn't say anything to anyone while your game is in progress, unless there is a rules issue and you need to speak to the arbiter, for instance to claim a draw.

  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    5,539
    On draw offering:

    1. Don't offer a draw if your position is worse.
    2. Don't offer a draw to a higher rated opponent unless your position is better.
    For private coaching (IM, four times VIC champion) call or SMS 0417519733
    Computer tells you what to play. Good coach explains why.

  8. #8
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    4,437
    You sound quite a bit like me. Highly competitive nature. Over 3 years I've managed to get from 1100 to 1500 but its been hard work. I'm 44 years old. But I learned to play as a junior and was 1300 back 20 years ago. Here's my unschooled thoughts. Take it all with a large grain of salt:

    1. I get coached every second week for about 3 hours, in a small group. I play about once a week at the club. I play a little bit online in between, mostly "corespondence chess" in style, so I can focus on positional ideas. I have a library of "Starting Out" books on openings, so I can learn the themes behind most of the openings and I read them late at night when I can't sleep.

    2. Start with tactical books on the middlegame. Get familiar with patterns and themes. I'd also recommend a basic book on endgames. I've won more games over the years by knowing how to win K+P or K+R+P positions than by knowing just about any other thing I reckon. It will also help you to understand whether a K+B+P vs K+N+P is to your advantage or not. Having confidence going into an endgame is very useful against people or similar strength or those weaker than you.

    5. Play 1.e4 and learn to deal with all the common responses. My coach recommends to all his juniors to play 1.e4 ... 1.d4 and 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 can come later.

    6. Yes. Play the same openings over and over if you can. Familiarise yourself with the themes. I played 1.d4 f5 for several years as Black and learned how to play the Leningrad Dutch. It earned me several draws against 1700+ players in that time, simply because I knew the themes better than them.

    7. Not sure what my coach would say, but choose openings that interest you! I like the idea of the Leningrad Dutch. I like the idea of the Scandinavian ... even though in the latter I have scored something like 1 point out of about 6 attempts ... feeling comfortable with a position is important to me, more important than its theoretical soundness (that can wait until I myself reach 2000 ... or until hell freezes over, whichever comes first).

    8. It depends. I've been fortunate to have a well-qualified mentor to coach me. If you can afford it, and if you can find someone with the right approach, etc, then maybe. Otherwise take advantage of after-the-game analysis.

    9. Yes. Get a copy of Chessbase Light for starters (its free). Yes, post them here and solicit comments. But also take time to analyse them yourself. Just sitting with a board and last week's scoresheet, trying out different moves, can be very helpful.

    10. Observe others. When offering a draw, make your move, say quiety "Draw?" or "I offer you a draw", write down your move, sit patiently and wait for a response. Your opponent will either shake your hand to indicate acceptance, or will just make his move to indicate "play on". I hear what Igor says about not offering draws to stronger players ... and he's right about the etiquette -- if I were sitting opposite him in a serious game, I would want to be very, very confident I could draw before I would offer him one ... but equally right is the view that if you think its drawn and you believe that you see the way through to a draw, then feel free to offer a draw and see what happens. If it doesn't turn out drawn, get your opponent to help you analyse why after the game. One other thing about draws: after offering one, its etiquette not to offer one again unless the position has changed in some substantial way. Repeatedly offering draws can get you in trouble.

    IN SUMMARY: Forget all the above ... just enjoy your chess ... develop some friendships with people ... make the most of a fun pastime!
    Last edited by Spiny Norman; 31-08-2007 at 03:01 PM.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  9. #9
    CC International Master Carl Gorka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    1,677
    Quote Originally Posted by DMarinas
    'tactics' at the moment - I've just gotten into Chess puzzles. I admit I love doing them. They're hard without more theory under the belt, but they're a lot of fun none the less and I can take all the time I like. It's funny to see the results and think 'oh yeah, why didn't I see that?' but it at least gets my brain thinking in the right way. I could easily just read books on chess puzzles all day



    I need practical examples and recommendations.

    I was going to get 'Playing winning chess' by Sierwan as my next book - recommended? Should I get something else?
    CT-Art
    I've never been so broke that I couldn't leave town

    I'm trying out a new blog site...
    http://gorkachc.blogspot.com/

    Victorian Team Championships

  10. #10
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    13,310
    With draw offers, probably the only 'right' time is when you really do think the position is drawn.

    But be aware also that if you are playing a higher rated opponent that they will take your draw offer to mean that you don't think you can win the position and most likely will play on, the only real justification being that you offered a draw and so don't have the confidence to win the position.

  11. #11
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    13,310
    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    Otherwise take advantage of after-the-game analysis.
    I would offer that this should be done in a one on one setting after the game. Having many people around really can just turn into a justification exercise and is of very little real learning value.

  12. #12
    CC International Master Carl Gorka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    1,677
    Quote Originally Posted by ggrayggray
    I would offer that this should be done in a one on one setting after the game. Having many people around really can just turn into a justification exercise and is of very little real learning value.
    I remember analysing a game I had with Henrik Tabatt, with Barbaros Kara, Michael Baron, David Hacche and maybe some others round the table.

    The resulting analysis proved beneficial to all of us, I think...no doubt Michael will disagree
    I've never been so broke that I couldn't leave town

    I'm trying out a new blog site...
    http://gorkachc.blogspot.com/

    Victorian Team Championships

  13. #13
    Account Suspended
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    928
    Quote Originally Posted by ggrayggray
    With draw offers, probably the only 'right' time is when you really do think the position is drawn.

    But be aware also that if you are playing a higher rated opponent that they will take your draw offer to mean that you don't think you can win the position and most likely will play on, the only real justification being that you offered a draw and so don't have the confidence to win the position.
    Thats where I've being going wrong. My draw offer to significantly higher players have more been.

    1. Look!! Your doing nothing to win this game and I'd be happy to leave with the draw, and I'll just kill all counterplay. Accepted once,Lost 0 drawn 2 won 1 when my opponent started to desperately make weak moves to unbalance the position.

    2. I might be marginally ahead (slightly better position), but respect your rating and be happy with 1/2 a point, instead of stuffing up the middlegame, as you'd probably be better at it.

  14. #14
    CC International Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,687

    comments

    Quote Originally Posted by DMarinas
    Well I've dipped my toe into the club tournament waters and been made to look like an idiot time and again against the 1500+ crowd.

    I've read the idiots' guide to chess. I know the rules of the game comfortably now and even a little opening and end game theory.

    I've played through the online tutorials and chess academy on Chessmaster.

    I've downloaded and watched some tutorials by Grandmasters and felt really insignificant as a result

    I've grown weary of the players on Yahoo giving the new players grief, or Fritz teasing me when I make a bad move!

    I want to get better. Seriously better.

    So I've got some questions I'm hoping the better players can answer for me.

    First, I need to tell you what my goals are!

    Ultimately, I want to break a 2000 rating. That's my goal. At 33, I feel I am honestly too old to focus on any sort of FIDE title (although we all dream of it), but a 2000+ rated player is certainly achievable. There is no real timeframe for this achievement, but before I am dead would be most desireable. (chuckles)

    That's a long way off. But it shows where I am trying to focus. I won't be content with being a standard 1500 club player, I want to take my chess well beyond that. I like to win. I'm a competitive player. That's my nature and my mindset.

    So with this in mind... I need some serious and honest advice. 10 questions...

    1 - How much practise should I realistically be putting into the game? In terms of hours a week. I realise that people will say obviously 'as much as you can' but I'd like to get a better idea (especially if you're a 2000+ player) on what sort of time you needed to sink in to get to that level.

    It is not the hours you put in. It is what you put into the hours. You need to take appropriate action. Start with tactics.

    2 - What sort of books / theory should I be reading? Assume I've read nothing at all... Get me from bunny to pro on books alone!

    At your level you need the el-cheapo books with lots of diagrams little text and where you have to find the tactical trick. The great news is that there are lots of these books out there and they cost peanuts. You want big diagrams so that you can look at them on the train or tram. Someone once said the "Fred Reinfield books with all diagrams and little text were very good but his books with little text were no good at all.

    Also log into the "Exeter Chess Club Site" they have lots of stuff to download suitable for players of your strength.

    3 - How regularly should I be playing? Online? In Person? Tournaments? Social? How many games a day/week/month?

    Don t know

    4 - I have been eyeing off a decent table top chess computer, should I invest in one if I already have chess on my PC (I have Fritz 10 and Chessmaster 10 atm). the Novag Star Diamond is in my sights at the moment and will be a constant competitive companion all the way - but would an unranked player still get as much benefit as one that's rated highly?

    I would not buy a chess computer especially when you have two exekllent chess programs. You could buy a copy of Chess Mentor. We have a copy in the club and it has exellent material split into levels so that you can move onto higher levels as you improve.

    5 - Opening theory. Should I just stick with the English (which is the basic one I've been using now) or should I look at something less common? Any recommendations? I get the feeling that playing common openings ensures that more opponents will have studied them, and know their weaknesses...

    I would stop playing the English until your rating reaches about 1800-1900. It is a positional opening which will be harder for you to play well than the open games. You will learn a lot more about playing 1.e4 as white

    Buy just one repertoire book which covers all the openings for insta
    nce "John Emms" Attacking with 1 e4 Play the opening in the book consistently.

    6 - Should I continue to play the same opening (as white) for the first year or so until I know it backwards? Or would I be better off with perhaps studying two or three openings and only play those as white?

    Play an open game white repertoire as suggested above.



    7 - What about defensive openings? I am failing miserably at the moment because I'm playing the same openingings regardless of what colour I am and what my opponent plays. I need advice as pushing wood isn't winning me games. What are good defensive black openings against common white openings? Is it advisable to play the same opening for black regardless of what my opponent is playing or do I need to change my opening depending on what they're playing?

    "Again you need a repertoire book. Against 1. e4 I would look at one dealing with 1.e5 There are a couple of them available

    What to play against 1. d4 . c4 and 1. Nf3 is hard. One suggestion which will cause short term pain and long term gain is to buy "Starting out: The King's Indian" by Joe Gallagher. You will learn an enormous amount about chess playing this opening but be warned it is fearsomely addictive

    8 - Should I invest in professional tuition? Would it really help me at the moment more than comments from other club players? It's expensive at about $40 an hour, I need to know if I should invest or wait until I hit a wall first.

    The first thing to do is to analyze your game with your opponent after each game. Often you will find players in your club who love analyzing games. I know that in our club you will see five or six people looking at games together.

    Next enter all your tournament games into Chessbase Light especially your losses. It is a legal freebee. Try and annotate them. Then let Fritz look at them. Also compare what you played with your repertoire book.

    It you do decide to get professional tuition it will help if you can give your coach some of your games which you have annotated. This will give him a great start point.

    9 - Should I start recording all my club tournament games for analysis (bar lightning)? I need the notation practise anyway. Would people here be willing to help me analyse my games on the forums (and not laugh at my woeful skills?).

    See above

    10 - Chess ettiquette. I need advise on do's and don'ts at the table. When to offer a draw. What I can say and do etc. I plan on jumping in the deep end in the tournament scene once I've found my feet and even if I can't play the game competitively, I at least don't want to upset the balance at the table by not following proper ettiquette. Advice/comments/suggestions on further reading in this regard would be appreciated.




    Cheers and thanks gents. I know it seems pretty long winded, but this is just the stage I am at and I want to develop and go forward.
    daf

  15. #15
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Subtropical Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    11,245
    Quote Originally Posted by Davidflude
    daf
    What does this mean?
    There is no cure for leftism. Its infestation of the host mostly diminishes with age except in the most rabid of specimens.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •