Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ape the masters

Margriet is a few days out of town and I have taken a few days off, so I'm doing some serious chess study. Inventing the wheel all by myself by pondering 10 hours per position in order to master practical endgames isn't very effective. There are a lot of annotated mastergames around though with useful endgames. I study everything I can lay my hands on. You must see the main idea's of all sorts of practical endings as played by the masters several times, before you can recognize these idea's yourself in a new position. That is simply 100x as effective as trying to find it all by yourself. Given the fact that I still have 2 weeks before the tournament, and given the boost in endgame insight, I must be able to play the endgame with confidence by then. Since I have no experience at all, I will not be a Capablanca right away, but when I have an idea what to head for in the position that makes a huge difference in comparison to my usual state of total despair when the queens have disappeared from the board.

K+B+N vs K is quite mastered.
K+Q vs K+N today I solved my first one. In 45 moves, so I have to exercise some more. It is difficult to train against the computer since the computer doesn't play the lines which are the most difficult to cope with for a human. I try to emulate that by playing against different engines, but humans know simply better which lines are the most difficult to handle.
K+Q vs K+R is in progress.

Everyday I do board visualisation exercises, which goes better gradually.


  1. tempo, i need coaching. do you know of any 1100 blitz players who can coach me to 1500 bullet?

    preferably someone who has been at chess five, maybe ten years less than you with superior insight?

    with the balls to tell me what to do (read: or you?).

    warmest, dk

  2. Typically you are very thorough, so you probably already know the theory on K+Q vs. K+R. (This is with no pawns, correct?). My recollection is that there are some theoretical draws there, but that they are very difficult for a human to play the proper defense. Or do I have that the other way around?

  3. Loomis,
    it is without pawns yes. It is theoretically won. Proper defense is difficult, but when you master that it is my take that the attacker will not find the win if he doesn't know it. I use the Nalimov tablebases, since the book I have doesn't explain all the variations.