Tuesday, October 10, 2006

No long plans allowed

I have done alot of thinking lately about my use of time during my last game. I made quite a few positional moves, looking 5 to 9 ply ahead, at least.
First I tried to imagine what kind of training would be necessary to speed up the invention of these long term moves. The only thing I could come up with is: invent them at home.

Then I tried to see how useful these moves during the game actually were.
I got the initiative, I was better after the opening, was it a rated game, I would have drawed because of time trouble. Now I lost due to a miscalculation in time trouble.
If I look back, then this is how it always goes if I not just crush my opponent.

Today I re-read the article of DLM. Especially the part about thoughtprocess.
If I subtract everything I am allready doing automatically this is what remains:

Implement a simple plan:
  • Increase piece mobility
  • Trade pawns
No long plans allowed.
He might be right. Long plans you have to invent in the study room. OTB you just can't permit to use so much time in such a feeble way.
I don't know why he wants to trade pawns, but I will have a look at it.

Time for another experiment. I hope I'm not too addicted to long term plans.


  1. I think MDLM's suggestion to trade pawns comes from his view that open lines and open positions offer more tactical opportunities than closed positions with locked pawn chains.

  2. Thinking about long term plans at home before the games sounds suspiciously like studying positional chess.

    Following all of MDLM's techniques, particularly his thinking method seems like a flawed idea. Remember that he stopped playing tournament chess once his rating got over 2000 (and only twice beat players rated over 2000). It seems his technique of no long term plan and looking for tactics can only take you so far.

  3. I agree with loomis. why not use the time slice for a move for longer planning if needed and possible? after there's no more regular losing blunders, the quality of the plans is what decides the game. I don't see why there should be any artificial limits in that regard. too much is too much of course...

    restricting yourself to short plans probably works at lower levels, as long ones might be overkill. but, it very much feels like a faulty thought process to me. just like trading pawns/opening position without good reasons.

  4. DG,
    ok. I usually don't have closed games, so that doesn't seem to be something to worry about.

  5. Loomis,
    well there's nothing wrong with studying positional chess, is it?

    I wouldn't mind to reconsider my approach when I'over 2000:)

  6. Wormstar,
    Blue Devil inspired me to have a close look at a game of mine. After two days analysis some doubt is cast at my approach to moves and some questions arise about the effectiveness of my use of time. I do some reading and decide to start an experiment.

    Of course I can try to guess what the outcome of the experiment will be, but why should I?

    I have studied positional chess in the past. My understanding of chess improved. But my rating didn't.
    There are 10 or 12 positional concepts like outposts, weak squares, queenside majority, bishoppair, good and bad bishop etc.. All these concepts are allready automatically applied by me. How do I know that all that talk about positional chess beyond these basic concepts isn't just mystification?
    "Because everybody say so" isn't an argument that uses to convince me.

    If I analize a game, I must do something with the analysis, otherwise it's a waste of time. Since I don't know anything, I have only one weapon: trial and error. In my more optimistic moments I sometimes refer to that as "logic":)

  7. Tempo,

    I don't wish to be insulting, but your views on positional chess do not seem up to the intelligence level you display in everything else. Even at the grandmaster level, some players are better than others at positional chess. To say that all the concepts are already automatically applied by you is quite bold.

    Imagine somebody telling you, oh there are only 10-12 tactical ideas pins, forks, discovered attack, etc. all these concepts are automatically applied by me already. In fact, many of us could go through thousands of beginner problems with practically zero mistakes.

    The convincing reason why this is nonsense for tactics is that you can easily give someone a tactical problem that 1) they cannot solve and 2) once shown the solution, they understand the solution to be correct. Unfortunately, part 2 is not so easy for positional problems. Even when shown how a master played positionally well in a game we are often left wondering "but how did I *know* that was correct?" As a result, you dismiss anything above your positional ability as "mystification" and pronounce yourself proficient at positional play.

    Paradoxically, you desire to understand long term plans in your home study before your games. This is a major part of positional play! How to recognize the important features of a position that lead us to make a plan. We get good tactics when our pieces are active and work together and they don't get this way by accident, they get this way through planning. Improving how we plan is the goal of studying positional chess.

  8. Why does everybody always want me to have "views" and "opinions"? I don't have them because I DON'T KNOW. And as far as I do have them they are SUSPECT. Since I'm parroting other people.

    I don't need arguments, I need checked FACTS. How can I get checked facts without experimenting, without making mistakes, without being wrong, without an open mind?

    That's why it's called trial and ERROR. I have done things for 8 years in a certain way, now I'm going to do them different for a few weeks. DON'T PANIC!!

    BTW, I appreciate your comments very much!

  9. I consider line calculating in quiet positions a time blunder. I have lost many games earlier this way, before I have realized and stopped it. I lost my games by lacking of the wasted time when things became tactical.

  10. Mouse,
    that's exactly what I mean. That's what the analysis of my game revealed. Most moves could be found purely based on simple positional considerations, without heavy calculation and use of time.
    I never get into an endgame for this reason and I allways have to accept draws in better position due to time shortage. I'm addicted to long plans. Overambitious. I never noticed that before.
    Such attitude is fine for correspondence play but not good for OTB games.

    I did the circles in a modified way. I dismissed the thoughtprocess of DLM as nonsense, like Loomis and Wormstar. I didn't get the same results as DLM, so now I have a look at the things I dismissed in the first place, like microdrills and thoughtprocess. No matter my "opinion". Looks logical to me.

    I see you are doing reasonably well against heavy opposition at your tournament. I assume you have a restday now?
    My experience is that the performance of most people degrades in the last half of a tournament. I used to fight against fatique during tournaments by doing some CTS everyday. Just to awake the brains everyday. That worked very fine for me.

  11. Tempo, I had a very bad start with 3 zeros in 4 games. Now it seems that I made a turnaround because I booked 3 points out of the last 4. At the moment I have 3/6 which is not bad so far. No CTS for me during tournament, I prefer to look up my future opponents in Chessbase online. Today I'll have to play against Sicilian which gives me the long-waited opportunity to play my first Morra Gambit. No rest day, BTW. Wish me luck.

  12. slowMouse and mousetrapper, chessDog and chessNerd, dktansform and dogWaste, and now temposchlucker and slowTempo. what is the world coming to? everyone is in on 'it' now! percentage wars. let them begin.

  13. "slowMouse and mousetrapper, chessDog and chessNerd, dktansform and dogWaste, and now temposchlucker and slowTempo. what is the world coming to? everyone is in on 'it' now! percentage wars. let them begin".

    May the force be with you!

  14. I had a question on a completely different topic, and since most Knights seem to swing by Tempos blog, I thought it a good plan to post my question here. Wow, that's a long sentence.

    Anyway, I see that most bloggers seem to pick quite freely amongst photos/pictures on the net and post them. Since I started blogging I haven't posted any due to copyright laws. So whats ok? Can I post a frame from a film without getting sued, or from a online newspaper?

  15. Oh, and if anyone has any good tips on resources with photos/images etc, it would be greatly appreciated.


  16. David,
    Sometimes it's necessary to take a break from heavy problemsolving by doing some light stuff:)

  17. Samurai,
    I consider things on the web to be free. Since the things that aren't free, like books, you can't find on the web. I rename the pictures to disencourage people who like to sue for the sake of sueing. If somebody claims copyright, I will remove the picture. Something that hasn't happened yet.

    For text from books you are free to cite parts when you name the source.

    I have no particular source, just Google.