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wschmidt 30 ( +1 | -1 )
Novice Nook # 23 Well, the weekend came and went and I totally missed posting the thread for the new article. Sorry. Too many irons in the fire. Here's the link - if it doesn't work, can someone please do it for me? Thanks. ws

ionadowman 118 ( +1 | -1 )
Good general advice... Possibly the reason beginning players will often exchange B + N for R + P is not so much that they think the latter worth more, or even that it's an even exchange. Rather (if my own experience is anything to go by) they feel better able to handle the R + P. Working with the N + B takes longer to learn. They don't seem to complement each other well - and whether they do or not may well depend on the position.
A similar observation, but at a more advanced level, might be made about the Bishop pair. On a wide-ranging theatre of war, the bishops complement each other very well, and can be devastating against knights. Switching rapidly from one front to another, they leave knights gasping. And the bishop pair is fairly easy to play, on the whole. But in a closed in position, or ones that are open but have a circumscribed theatre of war, or yet again others in which the knights are supported by a strong pawn formation vs Bishops having to defend a shattered one (however open the position), knights may well come into their own. None of these 'pro-knight' positions in unusual.
But it doesn't do to be prejudiced. I'd take the two bishops willingly...

yanm 39 ( +1 | -1 )
thought process problem This column on correct thought process made me thinking about my way of thinking moves. Actually, I realised that I've a huge problem with it. I went into the bad habit of blitzing most of my moves (even here at GK), and I've problem to get out of this downward spiral. Does anybody have any ideas on on to avoid blitzing? Willpower seems ineficient for me :(


mattdw 45 ( +1 | -1 )
Yanm I've yet to read the article (still quite far behind!), but the only advice I can give is to devise a way in which the new thinking process is forced to become habitual. The most obvious solution is that which I have heard mentioned a few times (and recently given as advice after a hasty move lost me a game) and that is to simply, and literally, sit on your hands until you have properly thought the move through. It's worth a try anyway. :)
ccmcacollister 247 ( +1 | -1 )
yanm ... In OTB they say to "sit on your hands" , which may quite often be literally done to solve that problem for a tournament player. Another thing in tmt play is to make yourself write down your anticipated move, and look it over one more time, before you play it. Just as part of a natural moving procedure that you develop and train to become habit.
The same idea can be applied to GK and other corr play if you Make yourself set up the board offline before moving. Maybe just peek to see what your opponent did. Better yet, just find out who moved via printing out the RSS feed; then set those up on a physical Chess board and set, and analyse your move to make before you ever sign on to GK. This should work, even without willpower since you are not even capable of blitzing out a move when offline! :) ... Do you think so?
I have an added recommendation if you are trying to learn openings. When you do set up the board like that, go ahead and play thru the game from Move #1 to the present position. After doing this for some time, you will find that the games become embedded in your memory without even having had to Try. I've used that method to retain over 40 corr games in memory, in the past. And this even helps tremendously when you actually ARE trying to play blitz Chess ... as you immediately see that "Ah, this follows my game Yanm - Topolov " . And it is not just the bare moves you retain, but also many of the ideas which follow from that.
This truly does work, and is one of the best Chess shortcuts I ever found, for anyone who is willing enough to do that little bit to improve. It can even lead to you becoming 'conditioned' subconsciously to what a 'proper' or 'improper' move looks like for a given opening; and your hand will begin to try refusing to let you play a blunder.
***Regards All , }8-)

[A little secret about GK ... if you have blitzed a move, and say to yourself 'oh no I have blundered' , as you are clicking the SUBMIT BUTTON ... then FREEZE your hand. If you have clicked ON the SUBMIT BUTTON, but NOT RELEASED THE MOUSE CLICK then you can still change your move ... by removing the cursor from the SUBMIT box before UNCLICKING it. I should hope no one comes That close to such a blunder, but if they do ... that's the recourse.]
ccmcacollister 45 ( +1 | -1 )
Just read NN#23 ... I see it agrees with the tmt practice of writing move before playing, and of developing a definate procedural order before each move. But besides that ...
This was a GREAT article and advice all in all, imo ! Definately some of the most useful points I have seen, and seems very true in reasons mentioned for failures. If one only read one Novice Nook, this one surely must be among the most useful for practical improvement.
yanm 34 ( +1 | -1 )
thanks mattdw and ccmcacollister I will try to follow these sound pieces of advice.

For ccmcacollister, when you say "I have an added recommendation if you are trying to learn openings. When you do set up the board like that, go ahead and play thru the game from Move #1 to the present position". Did you analyse each move again, or just play them mechanically?
mattdw 121 ( +1 | -1 )
Good question... Yanm, "For ccmcacollister, when you say "I have an added recommendation if you are trying to learn openings. When you do set up the board like that, go ahead and play thru the game from Move #1 to the present position". Did you analyse each move again, or just play them mechanically?"

I've done this a few times and have remembered complete games with this method, I did little, if any re-analysis on subsequent replays though - maybe I should try that. I also suggest reviewing games (plus annotating and noting valuable lessons related to each game). If you have a diary or calander with which you keep track of things try making a note to quickly review the moves and the important lessons of a game one week, one month and one year after the date it was finished (and once every year or two afterwards, or however long you think will be best for you). I have only just began doing this as I was too short of time to do much significant analysis and reviewing up until recently, I'll let you know how it goes. So far it has been great, I don't think I've forgotten anything important since I started doing it, unless I just can't remember that I was supposed to know it! ;)
ccmcacollister 154 ( +1 | -1 )
yanm ... I did not find it necessary to even analyse the moves again. Not like doing a postmortum everytime. However, I would say you can go thru the moves quickly, as long as you actually SEE them as they are being made. I would suggest to watch intently enough that the logic of the moves is apparent as the game is unfolding you can "feel the flow" of it. And sense a connectedness to the moves.
This way, rather than becoming completely mechanical about it.
Still, if pressed for time at a particular point, then it shouldnt hurt to be more mechanical occasionally.
I also liked to take note of anything that did not "Fit" well, like mistakes. And as I go thru, I would just write down, in parentheses beside the game move, any new Candidates or Ideas that come to mind (this can be a surprisingly inspirational procedure). Then have those to look at after making the current move, or before the next game. And then they are not lost.
I lost a lot of knowlege & ability since my 7 year Chess vacation. So I'm going to do this again myself; knowing it works.
Shall we both give it a try, & see what can be added to our play in 2006 ? I feel it
would be interesting to note measurable results, whether game-points or rating.
Have you considered where you would be without those hasty moves made? I am going to, myself. I'm unhappy with too many games this year. Managed to win one of those; but hope to be Crushed in others to cure my laziness + lack of attention
& book-study.
yanm 29 ( +1 | -1 )
ccmcallositer Quote "Shall we both give it a try, & see what can be added to our play in 2006 ? I feel it would be interesting to note measurable results, whether game-points or rating."

Very good suggestion. Lets give a try and see what happens. Fancy a game?


misato 53 ( +1 | -1 )
writing down the move before playing it is forbidden in German OTB, since last year.
It is said not to be a German rule, it comes from a higher organisation (FIDE?).

Lots of players have got used to it (and then they placed their pen carefully over their intended move to hide it from the opponent!).
The only intention I can imagine is to avoid cheating: A friend or club-mate with better knowledge might react in either way depending on the quality of the written move.
But as far as I noticed, nobody cared for that silly rule so far.
wschmidt 69 ( +1 | -1 )
Thoughts about two items in this thread... There's a FIDE rule against taking notes during an OTB game. My understanding is that writing down your move before moving is considered taking a note and thus, against the rule.

With regard to playing through the entire game as an aid to becoming familiar with openings, I've used that method on and off myself and like it very much. However, I make sure to add a note in each GK game at the point where I'm out of book. Only when the game is finished and I've looked over the game with a stronger player or Fritz do I feel comfortable that I want to lock that out-of-book line into my neurons.
ccmcacollister 21 ( +1 | -1 )
I didnt know of the rule change... But I suppose because you can code an entire string of analysis into "writing down a move" ... !?
many Let you know in a few days. Regards :))