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How does one deal with diverse middlegames when many different openings are played?

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  • #31
    I've seen players reach strong expert level with shoddy openings and lack of opening knowledge. They just study tactics over and over again and as a result their games mostly comprise of out-calculating their opponent. It's normal for them to basically complicate the board and when there is a winning move they strike. So being proficient with tactics is one way to be able to play a myriad of positions.

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    • #32
      Unfortunate for them to find out they worked so hard to find out they must learn positional stuff to master the game. And then to find out you didn't really have to calculate as much as they generally do. That must be painful.
      I am a proud supporter of the GM Igor Smirnov way of teaching. If you would like to see the system and want to try out his teaching methods please follow this link: http://chess-teacher.com/affiliates/...?id=1517_2_3_1

      If you have questions/want a tutor inquire with messages. I am going to rewrite my web page and it will also go here.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by CookieMonster View Post
        Unfortunate for them to find out they worked so hard to find out they must learn positional stuff to master the game. And then to find out you didn't really have to calculate as much as they generally do. That must be painful.
        Yes, I think this true.

        But how many hobby/amateur players aim at be a master? If you do, I also think need much more than good tactics. And if the goal is to be master, start to play and learn the main openings as soon as possible.

        The problem which I see in my own play, is to try to play positional games, and miss basic tactics! I would call this a disease many weaker play has. They read a Silman book about positional play, looking for imbalances and blunder a piece.
        ----------

        But you don't have to play main lines. At least not on my level. I feel one of my biggest weakness, are calculation and tactics. When looking at my games, there are tons of lost opportunities and lost games, just because I didn't see the tactics in the position.

        So I will try to see how my results will be if I start to play more sharp openings.

        Here a game where I played the Urusov gambit. It's very seldom played by strong players, because if you know how to defend, white will not get any advantage. But on my rating level, people don't know the best book lines. And they don't manage to calculate this during the game.

        The black player is slightly higher rated then me (time control 45/45):
        1.e4 e5
        2.Bc4 Nf6
        3.d5 (Urusov gambit) exd4
        4.Nf3 c5?
        5.e5 (maybe not the best move, but I remember I have read some were this move should be played. Now I'm on my own)
        5...Ne4?? (black made this move after, for him, a very long thinking. But it's a blunder)
        6. Qe2 (and the black Knight is trapped, because black played 4...c5 which took away a flight square for the knigth)
        6...Qa5+?? (It's a bad move, but during the game I had problem how to handle this)
        7.Kf1 (I lost the castling rights, but blacks knight is still under attack)

        After this tense position, both sides made bad moves, but I managed to win the knight. And the game continued with me having a knight for a pawn. In the end I won the game, due to the extra piece I had.
        Last edited by markkus; 05-05-2013, 08:42 AM.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_thyself

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        • #34
          Originally posted by markkus View Post
          But how many hobby/amateur players aim at be a master? If you do, I also think need much more than good tactics. And if the goal is to be master, start to play and learn the main openings as soon as possible.
          Isn't the goal to simply play better chess?

          Originally posted by markkus View Post
          The problem which I see in my own play, is to try to play positional games, and miss basic tactics! I would call this a disease many weaker play has. They read a Silman book about positional play, looking for imbalances and blunder a piece.
          When understanding of chess kicks in, THEN study the books if you wish. Otherwise you are just memorizing moves and like you say, trying to force play good chess whlist mising out the basics. Understanding kicks in when you know/feel that your opponent missed something.

          Originally posted by markkus View Post
          But you don't have to play main lines. At least not on my level. I feel one of my biggest weakness, are calculation and tactics. When looking at my games, there are tons of lost opportunities and lost games, just because I didn't see the tactics in the position.
          For you to consider: do you miss tactics (in the sense of not actually seeing them) or do you choose not to consider certain moves because they look odd on the surface. Not everything in chess has to be as intuitive as we wish it to be; sometimes our intuition tricks itself and disposes of certain possibilities cos the move looks completely counter-intuitive.

          Originally posted by markkus View Post
          So I will try to see how my results will be if I start to play more sharp openings.
          Yes!
          Skype chess coaching? Send a message!
          Ever heard of The Hook and Ladder trick? Please refer to the famous game by Andriej Hook and James Ladder.
          Play as if you didn't understand chess. People always fear what they don't understand.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by markkus View Post
            Yes, I think this true.


            The problem which I see in my own play, is to try to play positional games, and miss basic tactics! I would call this a disease many weaker play has. They read a Silman book about positional play, looking for imbalances and blunder a piece.
            ----------
            This is really not a complicated problem. The thing is studying strategy and tactics are both important. If you only study tactics, then you will be lacking in positional understanding. The same can be told if you only study strategy, then you will be weak in tactical ability. The point is, studying both strategy and tactics are important for chess improvement. When you study positional play it does not mean you aspire to be a master, you just want to improve as simple as that. Knowing strategy, endgames and tactics is where the true beauty of chess come in. Chess is not just pushing woods.
            " Deep calculation is not what distinguishes the champions. It does not matter how far ahead you see if you don't understand what you are looking at. When I contemplate my move, I first must consider all the elements in the position so that i can develop a strategy and develop intermediate objectives"

            -- Garry Kasparov--

            "Tactics must be guided by strategy"

            --- Garry Kasparov--

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            • #36
              @Markkus:

              Sometimes, the problem with people trying to play strategically is that, they don't look at tactics when it's a strategic position. Even in strategic positions, there are tactics! It is important to be alert to tactics all the time, no matter what the nature of the game is.

              "Blame yourself, or blame God." - Delita, FFT
              "Give up on yourself, and you give up on the world." - Joshua, TWEWY

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Rimuel V2 View Post
                @Markkus:

                Sometimes, the problem with people trying to play strategically is that, they don't look at tactics when it's a strategic position. Even in strategic positions, there are tactics! It is important to be alert to tactics all the time, no matter what the nature of the game is.

                This is pretty on point. It is human nature to look at things in the least restrictive manner. That is why we train ourselves to do things easier. It is difficult to train good habits.

                What people usually do not know is most books on strategy warn you about this pitfall and give you insight into how to maintain your level of tactical abilities. Silman for example even recommends you to have your handy dandy tactics programs or books with you at all times reading his books to attempt to stay sharp in every position. He also suggests something he calls "Rules of recognition" which attempt to identify specific rules necessary for recognizing potential combinations and sacrifices. It's this kind of thing that people really miss and do not take seriously.

                Here is the deal. It is just as important get get different prospective on similar positions as it is to gain positional knowledge. You always want to trust the person you trust the most first, but gaining other ideas from everyone else is good for development. It gives you practice sorting out what will help you. While you do this it's always good to refresh on the "Themes" of a tactic/s position. It is said that all of the greats refreshed their knowledge all the time. Nimzowisch had a small black book with anything from tactical exercises to memories of positional themes. As well as many of the greats kept some form of memory aides on their possession. Maybe this will be a practice that is of some use to an average player? The question then becomes: What do you collect, and in what order do you review them? I do not know these answers. I have a feeling you just simply separate them into positional and tactical themes, then review as many as you can before, between (rounds), and after tournaments (games).

                I know it's hard to understand. I didn't realize I was starting to understand this stuff until I started repeating it without looking at the books and was able to explain it to my personal lower class-men. And honestly it was merely within the last 5 years this has happened. Crazy to me that my peak is either right now, or will be after I hit 40. I would have thought it would have been in my 20's. All you have to do is keep reviewing the material until you understand it and can even teach it. Then you will start doing it. You don't have to actually teach it, but if you can repeat it without looking at books, you will find you do it OTB.

                It's also easier if you understand that you don't always need to play the best move in every given position. Just understand the move you played, and know that it is good.

                Here is a common position from my opening set to illustrate this:



                I know it's boring. Friggin stone wall type position. "ARG!!!" Right?

                Well this is also a game from the 2008 Paris Open and the player of the black pieces was GM Fedorchuk. It's actually an illustration as to why Qc7 in the lines with Bd6 may force black to play cxd4 soon after. Does white need to know this to play well in competition? It helps, but it is not necessary. You have to do things like know what the difference is between Be7 and Bd6.. If you don't know this deep into this position, simple moves like Qe2, c4, and Rf3-h3 is good enough to play for wins in these positions. You can even play the best move and not fully understand it. Because when you get here and you know the move, you may play the move and then see the pattern after the move is played. How do you do this with preoficiency? You see the pattern A LOT.

                In the game white played, 11. Nxc6 Qxc6 12. dxc5! - And black declined the mainline and went for a pawn down position. White was an IM ranked over 300 points lower than the GM and they ended up drawing with white keeping a basic advantage through out the game. But what was the pattern? It's with 12. .. Qxc5, Keeping the long diagonal open. In the game black played 12. .. d4 to complicate things, but had he played 12. .. Qxc5 he would have had to defend 13. Bd4 Qc7 14. Bxf6 gxf6 15. Bxh7+! <-- Giving white a winning attack. Now ask yourself this. Does the GM drawing an IM mean 12. dxc5 has been refuted? No! Just means something happened afterward. But the theme should be remembered if you play systems like this. And they arise out of anything you would put a Pillsbury formation on. That is a lot of openings there guys.

                The point? The more you play the more positions you will encounter. The positions where you lost, try to trace where you lost understanding. Compare with other positions of similar nature, and logically find where you lost your thread. The more you see the positions, the more you will come up with the correct moves faster. In the last position, on move 11, All the moves are known candidate moves that a player like myself should assess automatically. The more experience we have with this position the more we know what moves work in what situations. These "tabyia" positions occur in pretty much every opening no matter how much you know..

                Tactics are learned first because they are easiest to learn, Once you get a working knowledge under you you should start positional understanding. Chess really is more fun when you can not only blow your opponent out of the water, but also refute a bad attack because you are that good in defending. I do this often in OTB positions. I can't do it so well online for some reason. Don't know why.. Been trying to figure it out lately and it's actually dropped me considerably trying to work it out. Hopefully I will finger it out soon.
                I am a proud supporter of the GM Igor Smirnov way of teaching. If you would like to see the system and want to try out his teaching methods please follow this link: http://chess-teacher.com/affiliates/...?id=1517_2_3_1

                If you have questions/want a tutor inquire with messages. I am going to rewrite my web page and it will also go here.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Re: CookieZombie's comments

                  "He also suggests something he calls "Rules of recognition" which attempt to identify specific rules necessary for recognizing potential combinations and sacrifices."

                  In which book did you read this?



                  It is said that all of the greats refreshed their knowledge all the time. Nimzowisch had a small black book with anything from tactical exercises to memories of positional themes. ...All you have to do is keep reviewing the material until you understand it and can even teach it. Then you will start doing it.

                  This just gave me an idea for my tournament prep.

                  Actually this is exactly how we study in school! We repeat the stuff until it sticks. It's also the basis of the Spaced Repetition System.



                  The more you see the positions, the more you will come up with the correct moves faster.

                  Compare this with watching a TV series. When you just started watching you don't know anything at all about the story. But as you keep watching episode by episode, you start to get an idea of the story (i.e. the "thread" of the story. ). Eventually you can tell other people about the story.

                  When you watch Episode 10 of the story, you are not only watching Episode 10, but also bringing forward the ideas and concepts that you learned from Episode 1! Kind of like, balance brought forward! (An accounting term.)

                  "Blame yourself, or blame God." - Delita, FFT
                  "Give up on yourself, and you give up on the world." - Joshua, TWEWY

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Good comments, so I will answer the only question you presented:

                    In which book did I read this?

                    Answer: How to reassess your chess. It's I believe in chapter 3 or 4. I also believe there is a crash course to "How to reassess your chess" in "The amateur's mind".

                    The reason is because you are "Suppose" to read reassess your chess first, but sometimes you get people who go to the other book first. In those cases he "Recommends" reassess first then just gives a crash course for the people who would just rather read the book.

                    I would suggest How to reassess your chess first as well with the provision that "His method" may not be all it's cracked up to be. If you get my drift.

                    Originally posted by Rimuel V2 View Post
                    "He also suggests something he calls "Rules of recognition" which attempt to identify specific rules necessary for recognizing potential combinations and sacrifices."

                    In which book did you read this?



                    It is said that all of the greats refreshed their knowledge all the time. Nimzowisch had a small black book with anything from tactical exercises to memories of positional themes. ...All you have to do is keep reviewing the material until you understand it and can even teach it. Then you will start doing it.

                    This just gave me an idea for my tournament prep.

                    Actually this is exactly how we study in school! We repeat the stuff until it sticks. It's also the basis of the Spaced Repetition System.



                    The more you see the positions, the more you will come up with the correct moves faster.

                    Compare this with watching a TV series. When you just started watching you don't know anything at all about the story. But as you keep watching episode by episode, you start to get an idea of the story (i.e. the "thread" of the story. ). Eventually you can tell other people about the story.

                    When you watch Episode 10 of the story, you are not only watching Episode 10, but also bringing forward the ideas and concepts that you learned from Episode 1! Kind of like, balance brought forward! (An accounting term.)
                    I am a proud supporter of the GM Igor Smirnov way of teaching. If you would like to see the system and want to try out his teaching methods please follow this link: http://chess-teacher.com/affiliates/...?id=1517_2_3_1

                    If you have questions/want a tutor inquire with messages. I am going to rewrite my web page and it will also go here.

                    Comment

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