Finding my way in the chessdevelopment- and training jungle in order to improve my rating.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
. . . Rating progress or regression is sufficient reason to break the radio silence since I promised you to keep you informed about my path to 2000. I reached another all time high with 1874 (=+18) points according to the new dutch ratinglist. In the past year I surpassed a whole bunch of guys against whom I was looking up before. Margriet improved to 1552 (+44)
I noticed lately that I was more talking about chess improvement than I was actually working. The break from blogging has indeed boosted my study efforts as I hoped it would.
This is my approach: I made a checklist with which I have to verify each position in order to assess the characteristics and to find the best move. Then I lookup the answer and usually I haven't found the right answer. Then I adjust my checklist so that it will help me to find the right answer the next time. Since I switched over to Dvoretsky's positional problems lately this usually means quite an overhaul of my idea's. Unbelievable how ridgid, shortsighted and vague my ideas about chess are!
Take the following example from Dvoretsky's book:
. . . This is a position of a game of Anand. One of the things Anand said about this position was: "the black knight at b4 is bad". Well, according to my checklist it was quite good. So it took me a weekend to overhaul my idea's about good and bad pieces. I used to advocate the term "piece activity" as the nec plus ultra for the middlegame. But now it proves that that idea is way too vague. As BDK tried to convince me for a long time to no avail.
Piece activity in itself is not enough. The activity has to have a relation with attacking targets.
Or take the following example:
. . . White to move.
The move Dvoretsky proposed here was Bc2. For me, with my gambit background, h6 was screaming to be played. It simply blurred my thinking. It took me another weekend to overhaul my idea's so that Bc2 would fit in them. I had to revert back to Vukovic and his preconditions for a kingside attack before I realised that it is way too soon for an attack. So I had to add the preconditions in my list.
And so I'm moving along. I'm convinced it is the best way to improve. Thus closely following the ideas of Phaedrus.
For the time being I don't worry about visualisation or calculation. There will come a time when it will be appropriate to move that from the backburner to the frontburner. But that time is not now.