My blog has been pretty quiet! Apologies (sort of) truth is… its not so easy to keep up at the blog- and some winter illness has made my prioritize my efforts.
I was reading among the ‘Advertising’ of GM Smirnov… While his self- promotion (and High prices!) is kind of a turn off… he published an very interesting interview with a student. One of the things the student said, I think rings Very True, about Chess improvement. And is worth Emphasizing (and reiterating)…
ANY CHESS IMPROVEMENT PLAN THAT WORKS NEEDS TO BE PERSONAL, It needs to be a Sincere adoption of what the Chess Student really believes Works.. because More than anything Chess Improvement is a matter of a REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE of our thought patterns. If we are to shore up weaknesses- we must start seeing that 2+2=4. BASICALLY WE’VE SPENT ALL OUR DAYS, SEEING IT AS 5.
…. There’s Irony in GM Smirnov- man who HAS the SYSTEM (“YOURS FOR $99.99!”)- Iterating the truth of the importance of a personal approach to chess improvement.
In Short, you can buy What you want to buy; but it doesn’t do any good to Passively Browse the Material. IF YOU GOING TO LEARN IT, YOU MUST BECOME THE BIGGEST PROPONENT OF YOUR APPROACH TO CHESS IMPROVEMENT. So what’s My Angle? What my Current and Personal approach and how to further Evolve in this game?....
….. “IF YOU GET AN ADVANTAGE HOLD IT!”…. So you Might ask (and Should really)- What is Your approach to Chess Improvement? What is the Current Situation. Realizing that the core of a Good Program is optimism and Determination- My deal is that its important to understand whats Going well, and Build from that.
And what recent games Have REALLY emphasized is the Importance of Holding ON to a AN ADVANTAGE. Theoretically, Advantages come from bad moves from the Opponent- but practically- One has to Find it, play it! and HOLD IT!!
It’s the holding on- that difficult! The Equilibrium of a position is that often in seizing an advantage (and by that I often meaning gaining material)- things get out of place, less active and the opponent can gains some chances.
Even In Good moments less than forced check mate, allow the opponent the opportunity to try to throw chaos and problems in your plans.
SO you Must Work hard to make sure You’re snuffing out the Opponents chances. This involves
- UNDERSTAND your Opponent Advantages (and seek to destroy any future counterplay!)
- MAKE EXCHANGES Forceful! Weakish offers of exchange are almost an insult to the Opponents Intelligence! (yet how many players comfortably ahead make them. Like How DENSE do you think the opponent is).
- PRESS for Game Ending Play BUT
- DON”T be Wild, DON’T Gamble…
- Its better to have a firm, resolute and bulletproof plan- than any no Plan or A WILD ‘ALL OR NOTHING’ kind of play*
- Take time in simple spots to Carefully assess the plan (too Many chess players only try to deal with rigors of calculation After things have become Undone)…. But the problem, then, is that often they are all USING MASSIVE amounts of time- when there is in fact, play has become forced. Big Thinks in forced play that is caused by a misplayed variations- is actually “AGONALYSIS” that is often More Harmful than Helpful. Instead…
- WHEN THINGS go wrong- the first calculation should be “Is there A reason to calculate deeply right Now”
- The Magic Rule is ….” If your UP on material- Play As safe as you can Without blunting the beauty of any tactical Victories- IF your IN TROUBLE, Gamble”!
The ‘Magic Rule” IMHO, then is the PRIME REASON why Holding the advantage is so Instructive.
IF your HAVE an advantage; you Have the time and ability to deeply assess your Opponents play. as Important as it is To find your own 2+2=4. Chess is a Battle of Minds! You have to Learn to “set up” your opponent to fail.
Deeply understanding how to do this, is to deeply understand the nature of chess advantages itself….
EVOLUTION AS A CHESS PLAYER
One Last Point about this! Its not Clear to the beginner that one player Can (and should!) Set up his Opponent to Fail! (Instead it is usually thought of as a race between both sides to the winning blow). This INABILITY OF A WEAKER CHESS PLAYER TO PREVENT THE OPPONENT FROM SUCCEEDING IS A MARK OF A PATZER. (one of the reason why strong players get so little out a chess game from the beginner as well….)
By Working on understanding how to ruin the opponent’s game under the Best of Conditions (when your ahead)— Your Working on how to understand HOW To do that – All the Time- and how to go Head to Head against a strong player.