Thursday, February 10, 2005

A few oppressing questions

Thanks for the warm welcome guys!
I would be honoured to take part at the "Knights Errant".

Sometimes my English is poor so I'll make mistakes, sorry for that. For example I first thought that 'Knights Errant' meant 'Knights who make Errors'. Maybe that's why I missed Don's link.

I intend to spend the first posts on telling about the past six years. I don't think I missed a pitfall during this time, which should make me a connaisseur.
After being thrown off the board by a 13 year old girl I started an investigation. I interviewed people, read dozens of books, talked to a master and a grandmaster, visited tournaments and spelled magazines.
During a visit of the Dutch mastercompetition I noticed a stunning fact. The average age of the players was far lower than that of the racing cyclists of the Tour de France!
So what happened to the older people with more experience and more knowledge?
I read an interview with grandmaster John van der Wiel who took part at the mastercompetition at that time. Ten years ago he managed to maintain himself between the World Top. He told that during the last ten years his understanding of chess has deepened, he has become more allround, he trained a lot etc.
But his rating was now 100 points lower then it was ten years ago. How is that possible?
So the following oppressing questions arose:
What is the role of age?
Why does one reach a plateau at some moment?
Is there a kind of training that helps you growing after plateauing?
Papa Polgar proved that every child can be a wonder child by correct training.
Is such training for children suitable for older people to become wonder grandfathers?
Is there hope for me?
Most people (as did the master and the grandmaster) seemed to agree that games under rating 2000 were decided by tactics.
So I bought a book from Laszlo Polgar "5333+1 chess training problems" and started to work my way through it.
To be continued...


  1. Don't feel foolish for being confused about the difference between "Knights Errant" and "errant Knights". It has confused many native english speakers. It also makes it fun since we are clearly "knight who make errors" as well.

    As to your English, it is vastly superior to my Dutch. But for a few minor mistakes ("pour" is the spelling for pouring a drink. "Poor" is the spelling for something that is not good. Also, I think you meant you "read magazines"), I wouldn't have noticed.

    I am looking forward to reading your posts about the last 6 years in Chessland.

  2. I know this doesn't answer your question but it helped to give me courage. Link!

    BTW, I just received Polgar's brick too and it's great! 5000 wonderful chess problems. I keep that on the bookshelf and I plan to use my Reinfeld 1001 Tactics book as a portable puzzle book.


  3. With respect of raiting going downwards after some time, I think it seems to be a general tendency, though I cannot explain why.

    For instance, I've perused during the last six months or so the fantastic resources given by Dr. Dave Regis (aka DrDave) at Exeter Chess Club Coaching Page. All the material there seems to have been written by him, and one might think that after reading all that material one would end up being nothing short of a chess machine (and he wrote it, not just read it!). However, he reports in the site a constant and slow decline in his rating.

  4. Hello. I think the Exeter Chess Pages are great too.