What is going on?

 A lot, actually. But most is not worthy to write a post about, so I obey the discipline to write nothing when I have nothing to say. In the meantime I'm working hard.

The essence of my new method is that system 2 does the work and system 1 looks over its shoulder. In the past 23 years system 2 didn't learn anything useful from my games. Now it is totally different. Drawing logical conclusions from your own games without a coach, is no sinecure. There are a whole lot of holes in my bucket, and no game is the same. Of course if it was otherwise, chess would be boring soon. But it is a lot of work to conceptualise ideas in a way that they become useful for other games, without over conceptualizing it by transiting it into trivialities.

Take for instance the idea of the good and the bad bishop. When the pawn structure isn't fixed, you cannot say which bishop is good and which is bad.

  • So you must develop some logical ideas about how to force the fixing of the pawns. 
  • And when the pawns are fixed, you must find tactical ways to trade your bad bishop against his good bishop.
  • And when you managed to do so, you must prevent your opponent from unfixing the pawns, otherwise his bishop becomes good again.
  • And you must avoid that he trades off his bad bishop, but not in such ridgid way that you compromise your piece play because you have to duck everytime.
  • And when you have finally reached the intended good knight against bad bishop endgame, you must learn how how to convert that into a win.
So in order to reap the fruits of the positional idea of the good and the bad bishop, you have to learn at least five logical elements. But only when you have fixed the first, you will encounter the next problem. And you will probably lose a few games before you have tackled the problem. If only one element fails, you won't reap any fruit. And all this you must learn from your own games, which totally differ each time.

Or you learn the French defense, and everybody plays the exchange variation. I finally have found the ways to spice up the exchange variation, and it was a lot of work. And now nobody plays the exchange anymore, and I have forgotten most other variations because everybody played the exchange variation the past ten months against me.

So there is a lot of work to do, and you only reap the fruits when every hole is plugged. It is important to celebrate every logic element that you master, even when you still lose the game.

 The joy of study and playing is increasing everyday. But I totally underestimated the amount of work that is involved. Yet I'm excited that my system works, albeit slow.

Nine days of tournament ahead. I look forward to it! See what I can learn from it!


  1. Tempo said : "And when the pawns are fixed, you must find tactical ways to trade your bad bishop against his good bishop."
    or often even better: Trade the bad bishop against a knight. In a position with fixed pawns a knight might be better than a bishop.

  2. We need to generalize insights: We need to exchange bad pieces against good ones but must not forget the potential development of the activities of the pieces in the future (endgame)

  3. Great to write your post after 2 months! Wishing you all the best!

  4. Result = what x how = positional goal x tactical means.

  5. Blogger has changed its e-mail notification system again, so currently I don't see automatically when there are new comments. So feel free to send me an e-mail if I don't react here. I will look for a work around.

  6. Your description of all the steps it takes to actually improve in a concrete way is daunting, yet realistic. It also means that for those of us who have yet to learn all these things, it means there is plenty of room for improvement !


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