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Alekhine game study

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  • Alekhine game study

    Here's a game I studied thinking process, planning, calculation and did a guess the move (not ChessTempo but a database game). It's black to move in every position as I was looking from Alekhine's side.

    I'll post the whole game but want to post positions first:



    White has just played the weakening g3 needlessly.

    Imbalances:

    1.Black has a space advantage and is ready to castle, white too can castle but in any direction
    2.White has a bad bishop on a2
    3.Black dominates the center
    4.kingside light squares are weakened, white will likely castle queenside.
    5.black has a fork on d4, but is it safe? White looks like hes setting up tactical tricks so calculate carefully
    6.Undeveloped queen knight for black, but the bishop is on the long diagonal, making the g3? All that much worse for white.

    Black is at the very least clearly better here, but how to convert my advantages into a win?

    1...d4 is the obvious first candidate, it threatens both pieces and exploits the pin against the Nf3.

    can 2.Bxf7+ be met? 2.Bxf7,Kxf7 3.Ng5+,Kg6 4.h4 doesnt impress me, I can play h6 protect the king and get my rook into the game. Whites rook is under attack and h5+ is easily parried.

    1d4 also uncovers a pin against the Nf3 in addition to the fork. White is probably fishing for tricks expecting 1d4

    1d4 2.Bf4,Qc6 with an overwhelming battery. Now we see whites intention behind g3? But after the complications have been worked out it should leave black ahead, a permanent positional weakness isnt worth superficial threats.

    1d4 2.Nd5 attacking the queen but 2Nxd5 3.Bxd5,Bxd5 keeps the material.

    1d4 and on tactical and positional grounds decide to fall for whites trick as I benefit in the long run, pushes clock





    Can the bishop be taken safely?

    1Kxf7 2.Ne5+ no! whites tricks will fail after 1Kf8 castling by hand likely isnt viable because of g6-Bh6, need to develop the knight to d7 afterward.



    If black takes then the diagonal is sealed or the queen activates. I like Nbd7 best as a candidate, if Nxf6 then Bxf6 still covering the e5 square by the knight and bishop this time. White has some activity, and the side with space should usually avoid exchanges. However, whites pieces look free enough where the rule likely doesnt apply. Still, I dont want to trade down into an endgame until the Bf7 can be taken safely.

    1Nbd7 is the obvious move off general principles and making Kxf7 a real threat so pushes clock.




    Okay, a trade occurred, the diagonal is sealed, but I got to activate my rooks and seize the e-file. 1Nbd7 once again covering e5 and threatening Kxf7.

    No, 1Nbd7 2.Bd5 his pieces are too strong and coordinate too well controlling many squares on my side, cant allow that. The e-pawn would support the bishop. I knew there was something off about Nxe4 unless Alekhine had a deep strategic idea behind it.

    1Qxe4 2.Qxe4,Bxe4 looks best so far, although I really dont like trading down with a space advantage.




    Here I really like 1g6 forcing back control of e8 for my rook and forcing the bishop elsewhere, but is it safe? 2.Bh6+,Kf7 3.Ng5,Bxg5 winning material. 3.Bg4,Nc6 still looks great.

    1g6 2.Bh6+,Ke8 3.Bg4,Nd7 4.0-0-0,Nf6 looks great for black, or white can just play 4.Ke2 defending the knight.

    1...g6 2.Bh6+,Kf7 3.Ne5+,Ke6 4.Bf3,Bxf3 5.Nxf3,Nc6 with greater king activity for black, hard to visualize past this point.

    1g6 all lines look good so pushes clock.

    After this black wins material and enters a trivially won endgame as the posted game shows.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by JustMe; 10-14-2013, 10:06 AM.

  • #2
    In your first assessment, when you say d4 is your first candidate. Am I wrong? But why can't Bxd4+ just refute that? Or did you post the position wrong?
    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


    • #3
      The position was supposed to be after the trappy anti-positional 11.g3?! Chessbase is typically buggy so I probably copied the FEN wrong somehow.

      If you think this game was interesting there's a Dutch/Queen's Indian hybrid one (my favorite pawn structure as black usually, though can rarely work these days as white typically knows the correct plan of d5! weakening the e-pawn, which usually becomes backward on an open file) where Alekhine put the kibosh on white's kingside pawn majority counterplay. I even knew and mentioned it, but decided on an inferior (but still winning) move to Alekhine's ...h5! (actually doing something about white's potential counterplay) breaking white's kingside chain or at best (for white) making g4 the pawn base, which is typically quite vulnerable. I also noted a potential rook lift somewhere, though didn't think it was immediately plausible. ...Rf5! was better than my ...Qg6. I'll post that game now.
      Last edited by JustMe; 10-14-2013, 10:13 AM.

      Comment


      • #4


        Imbalances:
        1.White has the bishop pair.
        2.Doubled c-pawns.
        3.More central space.
        4.Black has only one pawn island.
        5.Two knights in a somewhat closed position.
        6.Minor pieces and pawns dominate the central light squares
        7.Whites knight made a move back, looks like a mistake.

        Id say the position is equal, but black needs to be aware of the infamous d5 push in these positions.

        Judging on these imbalances I like 1Ne4 as my first candidate, followed up by Ndf6. I dont want to open things, except maybe the c-file for a rook, but recapturing certainly isnt forced for white if Rc8-c5. Pawns would undouble if white ignored but so what? The rook and likely bishop too could pressure the c-pawn. I like this idea, so 1Rc8 is also a candidate.
        Apart from the Bg5 theres not much contact between the pieces, the mood is quiet, use judgment and planning here.

        1Ne4 2.Bxe4 gives white opposite colored bishops, an ending notoriously drawish. Maybe 1Ne4 should be eliminated off these grounds? White clearly wants to play an e4 break, but 1Ne4 2.Bxe4,fxe4 fixes the e-pawn where it is and opens up the f-file for my rook. I like 1Ne4 much better now. If white ignores and I find nothing better I can always take on g5 and recapture the pawn with the queen.

        1Ne4 pushes clock.



        Okay, here we have opposite colored bishops and the e4 pawn is hard for white to target. Candidate moves include 1Qg6 1Nf6 1a5 and 1e5
        I like 1Qg6 best as it plays on the kingside whereas the white knight is scurrying to the queenside. A rooklift looks plausible sometime in the future too. 1Qg6 and e5 undermining the bishops support looks like a good strategy, if nothing else Ill have a passed pawn on e4 and weaken whites f4. ...e5 f5 white can just advance.

        1...a5 no need to push now, but is probably going to be the passer so sometime in the future I should play this.


        1Qg6 pushes clock.



        Black opted for the rook lift. Not a bad idea though premature I think. Still, I cant find anything wrong with it and should transpose to my Qg6 plan anyway. Thats the first candidate.

        1Qg6 with the idea of activating the queen and getting the other rook out.
        1Ra5 tying down the rook to the a-pawns defense. Still, I cant find a way to bring other pieces to attack it. Maybe ...c5 with Nxc5, but again, not forced from white.

        1Qg6 pushes clock.



        Here I no longer like Ra5 as the f5 push helps white. First candidate is Qa4 hitting the weak pawns.

        1Qa4 2.g4 now what? 2Rf7 3.f5,exf5 4.Rxf5,Rxf5 5.Rxf5,Qxa2 looks very promising for black, black obtained a superior endgame. Rooks committed to the kingside so queen isn't too vulnerable. The knight is also pinned to the queen. Wait, 4.gxf5,Qxa2 still looks good however.

        Too much unforced calculation, need to think in general terms. Plan: obtain a superior endgame, passed a-pawn or tying white down to its defense should be advantageous for me. Still be aware of white's kingside ambitions.

        1Qa4 pushes clock, complications worked out.



        White switched gears over to the queenside, probably waiting for a queen trap or defending the queenside pawns. White thinks he has a queen trap trick, but I think I can grab the pawn:

        1Qxa2 2.R2f1,Qa4 scurries back to safety. Do I have anything better? Whites center doesnt look too well supported, and whites kingside is overextended, to bring home the point Ill need to create even more targets in whites camp, the a-pawn isnt going anywhere.

        Time to form a mini-plan: encourage white to take on c5 or e5, give me an open d-file, and plant a rook on d3 supported by the e4 pawn pressuring the c3 and e3 pawns. I can then support it with the other rook, then finally take the a-pawn generating a passed pawn threat. Black is clearly better.
        1c5 2.d5 okay, not a problem, my knight now has the c5 square and can then jump to d3, either way I benefit from 1c5

        My Nf8 is restricted, and Ra8 needs to come into play, but they need something to do.

        1c5 pushes clock.



        Okay, 1Qxa2 is clearly off the table. My bishop adequately defends the weak light squares, and I can make more targets if I take on d4. Is it viable?
        1exd4 2.cxd4,cxd4 3.Nxd4 with some activity 3.exd4 with a vulnerable center. My rooks now have open lines whereas white is playing hope chess hoping black takes on a2.

        1exd4 pushes clock.

        (note: After going through this game with a computer it says 1...Qxa2! is best. A hole in my thinking process that needs addressing.)



        Things have complicated here; pawn contact, vulnerable queen, queenside pawns a potential target for whites bishop, passive Nf8, passed a-pawn, etc. Candidates include 1a5 and 1b5

        1b5 2.cxb5,cxd5 looking great for black. 2.R3a1,b5 3.Rab1,Qc3 the queen is kind of safe here, but doesnt coordinate with other pieces. Still, the passed pawns should generate something.

        1b5 2.dxc5,b4 two connected passed pawns and easily contained white pawns.

        1...b5 creates the most potential for multiple passed pawns so pushes clock.



        White has strong a-file pressure, but black has a choice of captures on c4 or d4. Taking dxc4 allows black to retreat with Qb5. Wait, 1dxc4 2.Qxc4 pinning the rook and controlling blacks escape square.

        1cxd4 2.exd4,dxc4 with advanced potentially connected pawns, but how can the black queen escape? 2dxc4 3.R1a2,Qb5 does it. Pawns easy to defend and hold, but still generate threats to leverage my pawns against him successfully. 1cxd4 pushes clock.



        Didnt think white would blindly pawn grab. Now I have three passed pawns and piece material is equal, though with opposite colored bishops my passed pawns are far more advanced and queen far more active. He has one passed pawn, but I have two that are advanced. 1Qd3 either supporting the pawns or creating connected pawns. Minor pieces need to support them. Be4 looks good if white trades queens, then b5-b4.

        1Qd3 defending my pawns and offering to obtain connected passed pawns pushes clock.



        Okay, a clear endgame, cannot relax, I'm clearly winning but don't want to get lazy, previous positions wore me out though. What kind of counterplay does white have? The passed d-pawn, and a potential passed f-pawn. His kingside majority could be trouble if Im not careful. My threats are more immediate and dangerous so I should use them. 1Be4 is the first candidate, supporting d3 so c3 can advance as well as preventing g4 from moving assuming white moves the Bg5 to allow it. Offers to exchange his active rook for my passive one.

        1...Be4 based off the principles of trade defending rook for attacking, defending a pawn, and indirectly keeping the Bg5 in place so 1...Be4 push clock.



        Wow, Alekhines h5! Was a great move, though if 1.h3,hxg5 2.hxg5,Nh7 3.Bd2,Be4 would be great for black too.
        Anyway, I must play this position, whites kingside counterplay is toast, and the rook is far more active. I like 1Be4 best, rook cuts the king off while it saves the piece.



        Elementary endgame tactics, 1Nxd4 and the pawn sails through winning the rook for a queen. White overlooked this tactic because of time trouble most likely but white had a resignable position for quite some time.

        1...Nxd4 2.Bxd4,d2 3.Ra1,d=Q+ 4.Rxd1,Bxd1 5.Nc6,Kh7 avoiding the fork. Advance the pawns and trade rook for knight.

        Not the easiest study, especially toward the end when I was getting worn out, though I'm also studying Soltis' Turning Advantage into Victory in Chess. It's a small endgame book that teaches about swapping and squeezing, when to trade down, when to avoid exchanges, etc. It even has trading an active for passive rook because the resulting pawn endgame is won anyway due to white's superior king position. As Tarrasch once said it isn't what leaves the board that counts, but what stays on.
        Attached Files

        Comment


        • #5
          Take a look at this:

          GM Smirnov Answers Students' Questions - YouTube

          Has a comment about similar methods as Silman and how it might waste time when assessing a position. Quite interesting in my opinion since I say similar even before I got into Smirnov.

          Let me know what you think.

          The subject in question is about listing 5 basic elements when assessing any position. Which is very much what Silman offers, but in a more exhausting way.
          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


          • #6
            Tomorrow I should get the ICC sub, I'm getting the month option.

            Yeah I can see where Smirnov's coming from with that. If we don't break a position down into its individual components then how can we recall thematic themes and plans for those imbalances? Piece activity is great, but isn't piece activity valuable within the context of a plan? Pure calculation also works in places like queen vs. rook endgames where the king is in the corner and can only shuffle back and forth and not go directly in front of your king or else be mated and your queen goes to the same color square as the rook and set up a fork (wow that was long!) or certain pawn endgames where you recreate the same position but with the other side to move by moving between three squares and the opponent has two...

            Maybe I should order Your Winning Plan, it's one of his courses I don't have.

            If I know who is better, by how much, and why it'll determine my plan. Why settle for a line that gives a slight advantage when another wins?

            Comment


            • #7
              Don't look at the chessgames.com link till you read everything cause I have a challenge for you. If you are not up for the challenge feel free to look. I want to try to establish a common ground, cause I like the fact that you are enthusiastic in doing analysis. But I am unsure I can follow everything you are doing all at once. Look at this post in full then decide. See you at the end.

              Well maybe to the point is that trying to work with those elements of positional play, IE: Most say 5, Silman says 7, and Dana Macenzie says 8, How have you really understood the position anymore than you did.

              Silman for example claims that using his system gives you the one move in every position. How is that possible? Furthermore, why is it every other GM claims you need as many candidate moves as possible to achieve your goal?

              So here is a game where Alekhine played Reti.

              Richard Reti vs Alexander Alekhine (1925) "Roughin' Reti"

              And maybe a good starting position to analyse is this one:



              This is the position that Alekhine claimed he saw from this point not only the move and calculation, but he CALCULATED every variation a whopping 30 moves deep!

              So? How did he come up with this move? Was there other moves? How long did he spend on this move? When did he come up with it? Can we do this? Does Silman's method apply here? (I am leaning toward no.)

              I bet we could analyse this for years and still debate about it.

              But let me do this. Is it really necessary to give full analysis on one post? Lets start with this. Are you familiar with this game before looking at the main link? And do you know what the move is without looking at the game itself?

              Then maybe we can move on from there? Be Careful on long winded analysis cause I get cornfused easily trying to follow them.

              Please answer the bolded questions first.
              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


              • #8
                No I'm not familiar with that game, but I'm assuming it's black to move since Alekhine is the star. I'll note what I see and go from there:

                1.White's bishop is somewhat passive on h1, it's blunted by a solid Nd5 supported by a pawn and Nf6.

                2.White has a sort of minority attack against the c-pawn.

                3.White has the kingside pawn majority, black has a potential passed c-pawn, but a weak one that would fall. cxb5 would be ideal for black when the time is right.

                4.Pressure at e2, instead of weakening the squares around it white defends it with pieces while remaining active.

                5.Only one minor piece per side was traded, despite that it still kind of feels like an endgame.

                6.The Nc5 protects black's c-pawn from major piece pressure.

                The goal here I think should be trade down some pieces, but get the king at least a move faster than white's, so Kf8 is certainly a candidate.

                If it were white's turn then bxc6-bxc6 with play against the weak pawn would be a candidate, but it's black to move, is it worthwhile to stop this plan, or at least make it too slow for white?

                1...Kf8 2.Bxd5,Nxd5 3.bxc6,bxc6 4.Nxc6,Qxc6 5.Qxg4 is too slow, tactical pressure remains, and queens cannot be advantageously exchanged for black. The plan of getting the king closer to the center has to wait.

                1...Ra3 with pressure against the weak g3 pawn, 2.bxc6,Rxg3+ 3.fxg3,Qxg3+ 4.Bg2,Ne3 so 2.bxc6 is refuted, but need to double check to ensure the mate is real.

                1...Ra3 2.Nf3 forces white to move back 2...Rea8 with pressure down the a-file, but doesn't seem to achieve that much.

                2...cxb5 3.Qxb5,Rc3 4.Rxc3,Nxc3 queen can't take pawn or the knight hangs, I like this variation.

                Yeah it's a long and confusing position.

                1...Ra3 2.Bf3,Bxf3 3.exf3 with some structural damage giving me an endgame edge. 3.Nxf3 not as good as it allows cxb5 when white's plans revolve around containing the passed pawns.

                1...Ne3 back to the previous weakness on g3: 2.fxe3,Qxg3+ 3.Bg2,Bh3 but white would see it, 2.fxe3 isn't forced and I can't sift through all the potential refutations, nothing involving Rc3 though since it would get the rook off the back rank where it's needed. Still, silent sacs leading to a check are always worthy of being candidates, especially when the opponent's pieces are occupied elsewhere whereas you have at least a queen and a minor in close proximity to their king.

                1...Ra3 2.Ncb3 gets in the way, white's plan of bxc6 still viable as cxb5 loses a piece.


                Position is so complex, hard to determine who is better, it's probably equal maybe with an advantage to black due to his potential mating threats, but taking on g3 or e3 isn't forced, and I can't look more than five moves ahead without it getting hazy and retained image errors rear their ugly heads. Positions like these are why I don't look at Kasparov games! Still, with random games you never know when something would be overwhelming in a tactical sense and judgment alone can't help. Always blunder check, but a refutation could be a non check, capture, or threat.

                1...Nh5 looks worth investigating as well, but I'll do that tomorrow.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes yes.. Spend as much time as you like. So far you seem to be doing good. I think the main thing is that this can be a tactical theme. But you also have to know that those "tactics" that everyone studies? May not help you here. This could be more practical if you are a student of a GM or you took those Smirnov courses.

                  And specifically if you took the course "Calculate till Mate" or maybe "GM's Positional Understanding". Because of the fact that he gives methods in figuring out positions that are more complex like this. That is why I posted it. Because of your Smirnov influence. It would be a good way to focus on calculation. Since I am familiar with this game, as well as most probably so is Skwerly. It might be better if those of us who ARE familiar with the game do not interject too early.

                  So let me ask you.. Do you have those two courses? And are you relatively familiar with the ideas in them? It's possible we may need to take this to private chat as to not confuse people with theory. Let me know if you have them.


                  -------------------------------

                  I guess I should mention... Alekhine is black.. It IS black to move, and that this is the exact point where he did his so called exclam move.
                  Last edited by CookieMonster; 10-16-2013, 01:09 AM.
                  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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CookieMonster View Post
                    Don't look at the chessgames.com link till you read everything cause I have a challenge for you. If you are not up for the challenge feel free to look. I want to try to establish a common ground, cause I like the fact that you are enthusiastic in doing analysis. But I am unsure I can follow everything you are doing all at once. Look at this post in full then decide. See you at the end.

                    Well maybe to the point is that trying to work with those elements of positional play, IE: Most say 5, Silman says 7, and Dana Macenzie says 8, How have you really understood the position anymore than you did.

                    Silman for example claims that using his system gives you the one move in every position. How is that possible? Furthermore, why is it every other GM claims you need as many candidate moves as possible to achieve your goal?

                    So here is a game where Alekhine played Reti.

                    Richard Reti vs Alexander Alekhine (1925) "Roughin' Reti"

                    And maybe a good starting position to analyse is this one:



                    This is the position that Alekhine claimed he saw from this point not only the move and calculation, but he CALCULATED every variation a whopping 30 moves deep!

                    So? How did he come up with this move? Was there other moves? How long did he spend on this move? When did he come up with it? Can we do this? Does Silman's method apply here? (I am leaning toward no.)

                    I bet we could analyse this for years and still debate about it.

                    But let me do this. Is it really necessary to give full analysis on one post? Lets start with this. Are you familiar with this game before looking at the main link? And do you know what the move is without looking at the game itself?

                    Then maybe we can move on from there? Be Careful on long winded analysis cause I get cornfused easily trying to follow them.

                    Please answer the bolded questions first.
                    Knowing that Alekhine is a good calculator, he might based his move there mostly on calculations(not sure about this). Other players in that position might calculate less, and might base their move on strategic idea.In one of their games Tal commented that he calculated many variations and Botvinnik calculated the right move. Botvinnik commented that he did not really calculated that much with that move, he just follow a chess strategic idea.

                    In easy position(or if you are familiar with that pattern chess position),you will recognize the most important elements of the position and you don't need to go on the step by step process on considering the positional elements of the position. Example of this easy position. Let say you have a chance to exchange your bishop for a knight that will left you with a strong knight vs a bad bishop endgame.. To come up with this move you really don't need to think all the strategic elements of the chess positions.

                    I think assessing a position based on the strategic elements(Silman calls this imbalance other calls this Steiniz elements) will be useful on positions that are difficult and not clear to you.

                    In the book Stellungsbeurteilung und Plan, Karpov and Mazukevich employs seven criteria to asses a chess position. IM Grooten employed this method to his students and organized it in a better way. IM Grooten with his training sessions with his students asked them to think aloud with the help of the following questions.

                    1. What is the material balance?
                    2. Are there any (direct)threats?
                    3. How is the safety of both kings?
                    4.Pawn Structure
                    5. Where are the open files and diagonals
                    6. Are there any strong squares?
                    7. Who is controlling the center
                    8. Who has more space and where on the board does he have it?
                    9. Which pieces are active and which are not.

                    IM Grooten(highly regarded and well respected in his country) used this thinking method on his students. He produced many IM and GM, his most famous student is GM Loek Van Wely. On a note, when Grooten asked Van Wely to insert this thinking method Van Wely's result suffer at first(he need to adjust to his new thinking method). But soon Van Wely's result improved and the rest is history. GM Van Wely(and other players) attributed their success with their training with IM Grooten in their younger days.
                    Last edited by ryan_c; 10-16-2013, 03:52 AM.
                    " 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--

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ryan_c View Post
                      Knowing that Alekhine is a good calculator, he might based his move there mostly on calculations(not sure about this). Other players in that position might calculate less, and might base their move on strategic idea.In one of their games Tal commented that he calculated many variations and Botvinnik calculated the right move. Botvinnik commented that he did not really calculated that much with that move, he just follow a chess strategic idea.

                      In easy position(or if you are familiar with that pattern chess position),you will recognize the most important elements of the position and you don't need to go on the step by step process on considering the positional elements of the position. Example of this easy position. Let you have a chance to exchange your bishop for a knight that will left you with a strong knight vs a bad bishop endgame.. To come up with this move you really don't need to think all the strategic elements of the chess positions.

                      I think assessing a position based on the strategic elements(Silman calls this imbalance other calls this Steiniz elements) will be useful on positions that are difficult and not clear to you.

                      In the book Stellungsbeurteilung und Plan, Karpov and Mazukevich employs seven criteria to asses a chess position. IM Grooten employed this method to his students and organized it in a better way. IM Grooten with his training sessions with his students asked them to think aloud with the help of the following questions.

                      1. What is the material balance?
                      2. Are there any (direct)threats?
                      3. How is the safety of both kings?
                      4.Pawn Structure
                      5. Where are the open files and diagonals
                      6. Are there any strong squares?
                      7. Who is controlling the center
                      8. Who has more space and where on the board does he have it?
                      9. Which pieces are active and which are not.

                      IM Grooten(highly regarded and well respected in his country) used this thinking method on his students. He produced many IM and GM, his most famous student is GM Loek Van Wely. On a note, when Grooten asked Van Wely to insert this thinking method Van Wely's result suffer at first(he need to adjust to his new thinking method). But soon Van Wely's result improved and the rest is history. GM Van Wely(and other players) attributed their success with their training with IM Grooten in their younger days.
                      ryan_c

                      I really highly doubt that GM Van Wely goes through all that in style of Silman. Or IM Grooten if you would rather associate the system to him. If he indeed trained in this way, it more likely it's been ingrained as an automatic assessment. And I don't associate Steinitz laws of chess as similar at all with Silman's elements. And I don't disregard understanding the elements. What I am saying is it is probably not necessary to make it a thinking style. Like it is impractical to think in that way. On the other hand I also say if it helps you then by all means.. what ever..

                      I am not downing his attempt to list Silman. No.. I am trying to give ideas that his assessment can be cleaner and better understood if he gives all the steps.

                      I also don't think that knowing Alekhine is a good calculator should dictate your methods. If you look at every position as a calculation then it is on you to do all that work. The difference between Alekhine and us is, he already knows what to think about prior to calculating. We or those of us that do not know what to think about only think about the calculation and hope we come up with the correct move. But here is the thing... If those of us that know how to come up with similar moves are practicing those methods we have one up on those of us that don't.

                      Edit: In retrospect I believe it was probably wrong to post Alekhine's study because it adds a position. And lower down in this post I suggest "LESS" positions. So I am not being true to my own suggestions. I made a U-Turn in that to attempt to bring this to light and posted a spoiler to assist in maintaining sound integrity.

                      ----------------------------------------------------------

                      Justme

                      I want to follow up on an idea.

                      If I may, I would like to highlight something I find off or possibly "missing".

                      Imbalances:
                      1.White has the bishop pair.
                      2.Doubled c-pawns.
                      3.More central space.
                      4.Black has only one pawn island.
                      5.Two knights in a somewhat closed position.
                      6.Minor pieces and pawns dominate the central light squares
                      7.White’s knight made a move back, looks like a mistake.

                      I’d say the position is equal, but black needs to be aware of the infamous d5 push in these positions.

                      Judging on these imbalances I like 1…Ne4 as my first candidate, followed up by Ndf6. I don’t want to open things, except maybe the c-file for a rook, but recapturing certainly isn’t forced for white if Rc8-c5. Pawns would undouble if white ignored but so what? The rook and likely bishop too could pressure the c-pawn. I like this idea, so 1…Rc8 is also a candidate.
                      Apart from the Bg5 there’s not much contact between the pieces, the mood is quiet, use judgment and planning here.
                      Okay.. So I am familiar with Silmans method. I teach this stuff when people assess in this way better. So lets take Justme's method. He LISTS the imbalances.. Then he makes a broad assessment with these imbalances and picks candidate moves.

                      Now lets look at Silmans thinking process:

                      1. List imbalances..
                      2. From those imbalances choose which side of the board to play on. And what factors are important in those imbalances. Decide if the position needs to be calculated or if it needs to be improved.
                      3. Choose "CANDIDATE MOVES" based on the the assessment from step 2.
                      3a. If it's a calculated position - List specifically what the moves are and you should reassess the position using the rules of recognition in every position you calculate.
                      3b. If it's not a calculated position - base your assessment on the general method. IE Which side of the board you are playing on, and attempting to improve the position.
                      4. Explain in words what you believe is the assessment.
                      5. give your candidate moves - and if there is a calculation needed give the specific calculation. And Silman recommends Kotovs method of calculation BTW.;-)

                      6. Choose the move in which you believe is the best move based on this assessment.

                      So the problem I have with this?

                      Imbalances:
                      1.White has the bishop pair.
                      2.Doubled c-pawns.
                      3.More central space.
                      4.Black has only one pawn island.
                      5.Two knights in a somewhat closed position.
                      6.Minor pieces and pawns dominate the central light squares
                      7.White’s knight made a move back, looks like a mistake.
                      GREAT! Except one thing.. some of these are not imbalances but opinions. And in a general assessment you need to list imbalances ala Silman and be objective.

                      I’d say the position is equal, but black needs to be aware of the infamous d5 push in these positions.
                      Okay, but how did you conclude that the position was equal? Just on the imbalances listed? And what does this "Infamous" d5 move have to do with imbalances? d5, is not infamous in that position BTW. It's not even close to a bust in that pawn structure. It's merely a maneuver used to create another imbalance. In which is apparently missed in your assessment. So.. What is the imbalance it attempts to create?

                      Judging on these imbalances I like 1…Ne4 as my first candidate, followed up by Ndf6. I don’t want to open things, except maybe the c-file for a rook, but recapturing certainly isn’t forced for white if Rc8-c5. Pawns would undouble if white ignored but so what? The rook and likely bishop too could pressure the c-pawn. I like this idea, so 1…Rc8 is also a candidate.
                      Apart from the Bg5 there’s not much contact between the pieces, the mood is quiet, use judgment and planning here.
                      How did you come with 1. .. Ne4 and then Ndf6? I don't understand this. When Silman explains things he shows how he did it. Whereas this seems like you did part of the assessment then went into your old methods of coming up with a candidate move. And presented THAT move.

                      In this assessment it "SEEMS" as though you did step one. Then skipped to step 5 or 6!

                      Do you (Justme) think like that? Or do you think Ala Silman in the background and just give the rudimentary assessment? In this case if you do it that way, it's just better to not give Silman's method. If you would like to practice Silman's method I would suggest maybe working on it with one position rather than 10.

                      This is just a suggestion.. I am not saying you are wrong. Just thinking.. Maybe this is why I believe you are scattered. Cause I could be wrong.. Maybe you are not scattered.. You are just appearing scattered because you're posting scattered.

                      So what I did was posted one position to look at. That way we can focus on something.. Then if you would like.. you can post Ala Silman if you want. But if you don't mind. Give us the full method. That way we can nitpick you properly.

                      Why don't I give you an opportunity to nit pick me, I will place it in spoiler tags to give you a choice to look at it or not:

                       click to show
                      Last edited by CookieMonster; 10-16-2013, 06:55 AM.
                      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


                      • #12
                        Usually whenever I play f5-e6-d7-c7-b6-a7 structures white has the d5 maneuver that creates a weak backward pawn on e6. Piece placement matters but know that d5 is thematic for white. I thought the position was equal since both sides have potential for active play and neither is forced on the defensive.

                        The d5 push blunts the Bb7 and creates a weakness on e6, as the pawn becomes backward, so in these types of Dutches and even Queen's Indians they're frequent. The pawn itself must be danced around since white usually has it well supported.

                        How I came up with Ne4 and Ndf6 is it is usually solid and gains ground. White has no pawns to bounce back the knight as the e-pawn is backward. It controls more squares on white's side of the board and if the knight is taken it'll just be substituted by another knight, still pointing at the c3 weakness and other squares. If the knight is immediately taken then the f-file can open, though the pawn blunts the bishop rooks need open files as Smirnov says.

                        Thinking process is said to be the most important, yet overlooked aspect of chess so it's one of those things I want to work on.

                        I have a problem with a pure Kotov approach since looking once and once only at a variation gives only limited scope to the variation whereas if you return you could look deeper and maybe find a refutation or determine other ideas with it.

                        I do more than one position as it establishes relationships between them within the same game and I familiarize myself with more plans within more phases of the game. I also see where the master gets it right and how I could have done better.

                        I have Smirnov's Positional Understanding course but not Calculate til Mate since he recommends that one for people 2000+ and if you're below that level it won't help (his words). Next on my list is his openings course and then Your Winning Plan.

                        Heisman says that many Class As and Experts spend an overly ridiculous amount of time with calculation and refers to Max Euwe's protocol, where he says, "much is still up in the air" after determining that 1.Bxd4,cxd4 (black's best in De Groot A) was a clear advantage for white without having to analyze very wide and deep. He recommends to stop calculation when the position becomes quiet.

                        Although he didn't explicitly state why it's a good bet he knew it was because piece captures there lose material for black (which he did state, but), so he's forced to create an isolated d-pawn of his own closing the open file towards white's isolated d-pawn, neutralizing white's weakness in effect.

                        I did however ask myself, "Is it worthwhile to parry that?" regarding the hanging b-pawn (my words were can I get away with leaving it hang? I learned to ask myself that from reading Kotov's book) whereas many players automatically played the bad 1.b4 from there.

                        Maybe the Silman stuff is too impractical, but I should know not to settle for a line that gives equality when I can seize an advantage.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I know d5 isn't an imbalance but a plan stemming from them. Yeah the pure Silman method seems overly impractical but with thought process we have to work on it long enough to be subconscious. I noticed that white has some more space, but pawn moves create weaknesses so I didn't really think it's an advantage. Black owns the center light squares with a knight, pawns, and bishop whereas white has a strong clamp at e5, but I can't see a way for white to make practical use of it just yet.

                          That's the thing about chess, there is just so much to learn. The computer taught me that white's d5! plan gives black a lot of trouble as it crushed me in many such positions, so I'd go for a typical setup but with Nf6 instead of a preliminary ...f5. White still has d5 in many variations, but I'm using more of my time for piece play, get to castle earlier, and trading exd5 is viable. Time management is also important and using such a method on all positions would eat it up.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JustMe View Post
                            Usually whenever I play f5-e6-d7-c7-b6-a7 structures white has the d5 maneuver that creates a weak backward pawn on e6. Piece placement matters but know that d5 is thematic for white. I thought the position was equal since both sides have potential for active play and neither is forced on the defensive.

                            The d5 push blunts the Bb7 and creates a weakness on e6, as the pawn becomes backward, so in these types of Dutches and even Queen's Indians they're frequent. The pawn itself must be danced around since white usually has it well supported.

                            How I came up with Ne4 and Ndf6 is it is usually solid and gains ground. White has no pawns to bounce back the knight as the e-pawn is backward. It controls more squares on white's side of the board and if the knight is taken it'll just be substituted by another knight, still pointing at the c3 weakness and other squares. If the knight is immediately taken then the f-file can open, though the pawn blunts the bishop rooks need open files as Smirnov says.

                            Thinking process is said to be the most important, yet overlooked aspect of chess so it's one of those things I want to work on.

                            I have a problem with a pure Kotov approach since looking once and once only at a variation gives only limited scope to the variation whereas if you return you could look deeper and maybe find a refutation or determine other ideas with it.

                            I do more than one position as it establishes relationships between them within the same game and I familiarize myself with more plans within more phases of the game. I also see where the master gets it right and how I could have done better.

                            I have Smirnov's Positional Understanding course but not Calculate til Mate since he recommends that one for people 2000+ and if you're below that level it won't help (his words). Next on my list is his openings course and then Your Winning Plan.

                            Heisman says that many Class As and Experts spend an overly ridiculous amount of time with calculation and refers to Max Euwe's protocol, where he says, "much is still up in the air" after determining that 1.Bxd4,cxd4 (black's best in De Groot A) was a clear advantage for white without having to analyze very wide and deep. He recommends to stop calculation when the position becomes quiet.

                            Although he didn't explicitly state why it's a good bet he knew it was because piece captures there lose material for black (which he did state, but), so he's forced to create an isolated d-pawn of his own closing the open file towards white's isolated d-pawn, neutralizing white's weakness in effect.

                            I did however ask myself, "Is it worthwhile to parry that?" regarding the hanging b-pawn (my words were can I get away with leaving it hang? I learned to ask myself that from reading Kotov's book) whereas many players automatically played the bad 1.b4 from there.

                            Maybe the Silman stuff is too impractical, but I should know not to settle for a line that gives equality when I can seize an advantage.
                            Originally posted by JustMe View Post
                            I know d5 isn't an imbalance but a plan stemming from them. Yeah the pure Silman method seems overly impractical but with thought process we have to work on it long enough to be subconscious. I noticed that white has some more space, but pawn moves create weaknesses so I didn't really think it's an advantage. Black owns the center light squares with a knight, pawns, and bishop whereas white has a strong clamp at e5, but I can't see a way for white to make practical use of it just yet.

                            That's the thing about chess, there is just so much to learn. The computer taught me that white's d5! plan gives black a lot of trouble as it crushed me in many such positions, so I'd go for a typical setup but with Nf6 instead of a preliminary ...f5. White still has d5 in many variations, but I'm using more of my time for piece play, get to castle earlier, and trading exd5 is viable. Time management is also important and using such a method on all positions would eat it up.
                            Excellent posts. And if I might be as forward now as to suggest something to you. I believe now that I can instill the idea that instead of listing imbalances, which I believe it is good to have a "knowledge of" said ideas from Silman. I would like to be so bold as to suggest not listing imbalances in analysis, but to improve your thinking process by means of the purchased package from Smirnov. The reason being is two fold.

                            1. You admit it is not practical to use Silman.

                            2. You obviously purchased the Smirnov package, so you have invested a good deal of money in this.

                            My suggestion is to work on his method.

                            I think you are posting great and everything.. So what you should do is literally write down Smirnov's method down somewhere so you can visualize it. Then when you can picture certain elements automatically start to take away the visual aspects of his method till you can do it automatically without thinking.

                            And that is the secret.. You want to make his thinking process automatic so you do it without thinking. That way you can focus more on the moves and calculation when necessary and not about the thinking process.

                            Don't be in a rush to do this. Spend at least 3 weeks to make this system automated. Start with the basics and make everything as automated as you can.. GM Secrets first obviously, then GM positional understanding.

                            Once those two are automated, you should look at the openings course.

                            I guarantee if you do it that way you will understand why I have been pressing it the way that I have. Endgame expert is fourth, and Your winning plan is fifth.

                            The calculate till mate: Yeah I might agree that you might need to be at least 2000 in order to understand it.. but maybe just "close to" 2000 is sufficient. Remember it's not necessarily the rating you accomplish, but the understanding of the material you have.

                            The assessment of Kotov? Yes, I agree. Kotov strictly speaking is bad practice. But Kotov not strictly speaking is "GOOD" practice. It otherwords, Kotov where he tells you to list your candidate moves go till the end of your ability, and only analyse once.. is probably bad.. But Kotov where you do regressive analysis but maintain an order of things is probably better. Be willing to double check your lines you think are the best after you have decided on your best lines. Kotov is good cause it systemizes your calculation. You don't want to ponder too long on one variation and you don't want to revisit variations too often. That is why Kotov is more practical than lets say Silman.. Cause his advice to "limit" your regressive analysis is golden, as well as analysing to the maximum of your ability. This is actually explained in the courses. I know you are not this far yet, so don't worry.. Just know that you seem to be doing well cause you are admitting where you need to fix.


                            And you should go to my first suggestion of focusing mainly on ingraining into your subconscious the main thinking process. Be able to do at the very least the ideas behind GM Secrets without forcing it to be thought about. Make it automatic! Okay?? Because if you ingrain first GM Secrets, it makes it easier to add on GM Positional understanding. And then it makes it easier to digest the other courses.

                            Anyway..I literally do have to goto bed. I just had to make this reply, because I was so happy to see your current replies. And I hope you take my advice to try to make it easier on yourself. Don't focus too much on how much material you should obtain.. Focus on the thinking process. It will make things a lot easier in the long run.


                            BTW: On the calculation recommendation from Heisman? Smirnov says the same thing.. but he explains it in more detail. Good job for Heisman I say for actually having easy to digest advice. It's hard to find that with him. I think possibly your sticking to your guns with Dan Heisman might give you an advantage when learning the material for Smirnov in the long run.;-) But again.. the key isn't speed or amount of material.. It's focusing on the thinking process and quality of the analysis or moves. It's Quality not quantity!

                            Hope this helps,
                            Last edited by CookieMonster; 10-16-2013, 12:04 PM.
                            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


                            • #15
                              "My suggestion is to work on his method."

                              I thought I was doing just that. In GM Secrets his practical part says to explain why a move is good (or not) and consists of entire games to analyze each move deeply. Then I take what I learn from Positional Understanding and think, " He could fix his pawns this way to blunt the bishop" or "fix his pawns that way so a bishop can't target them". Smirnov's principle of the least active piece and maximum activity make sense, but we need to understand what activity means and in what context.

                              In Self-Taught GM he said study one thing for about a month, I did that with Fine's Basic Chess Endgames and completed the pawn endgame, rook endgame, and recently the queen endgame sections, even playing guess the move and repeating lines to ensure I understand the concepts. I did a little of the minor piece endgame part, but most of it was impractical compositions. I did however like a knight endgame position from a Botvinnik game. It's a thick book and I'd need to go over it again.

                              I'm currently getting back into the thought process since I haven't been doing whole game/thought process/strategy studies in that time since that period was over. I don't want to lose any information I gained and haven't jumped straight into candidates "just because", but should do it regularly to keep improving the thought process.

                              I appreciate the input, it was helpful.

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