Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Long Term Condensed Simplicity

A friend shared a nice little story:

"Thanks farbror, I appreciate the kind words. Yea I agree. Big difference between learning and having practical knowledge. I'm a martial artist and my master taught me a lesson. He stated now that your advanced what is the greatest lesson I've taught you. I stood there for about 3 minutes thinking (scared in front of a huge crowd) and then said a black belt knows that simplicity is best which comes from the mind. He stated exactly. The 4-5 th degree black belts used to beat me with the simplest of moves. Mastering the basics is so important. He said right, you can know a thousand moves and not know how to use one in a real life situation or have one technique that you can always use to great effect. Thats why we see in cage fighting usually same moves over and over because they are practical. In chess same applies. My trainer now finds small little things in my game and adjust them and it's like wow! I notice the improvement right away." (My Boldface)

This very clear example of the importance the basics and not rushing things is very much in tune with solid instructions posted at "The Path to Improvement"

So, here is my New Single(!) Long Term Plan. No more Meta Pseudo Training wasting a lot of time and energy.

The (Re-)Reading Project
A list of books to read or re-read. I strongly consider to write short reviews of all the books along the road.

  1. Everyone's Second Chess Book (Heisman)
  2. Learn Chess Tactics (Nunn)
  3. Silman's Complete Endgame Course (Silman)
  4. Chess Openings (Basman)
  5. Best Lessons of a Chess Coach (Weeramantry & Eusebi)
  6. Lasker's Manual of Chess (Lasker)
  7. New Ideas In Chess (Evans)
  8. Logical Chess Move By Move (Chernev)

The "Guess-the-Move" Project

In parallell with the reading project I plan to replay all the games in the excellent collection "The Mammoth Book of The World's Greatest Chess Games" in chronologic order.

Daily Tactics -- Three Strikes and You're Out!

Solving problems at until I have failed three problems. Each failed problem should be carefully studied and understood.
(An idea suggested by IM Pruess massaged in to a post by yours truly )

The Openingphobia Remedy

Opening Worries or Openingphobia is another energy drainer. No more reconsidering opening choices for at least a ......long time. I think Dan Heisman has a solid point when he suggests that playing openings that suits your style might slow down your development. Playing stuff outside of my comfort zone will force me to work on my weak areas. I will use the recommendations from: 

"An Opening Repertoire for the Attacking Player" (Gufeld)


  1. Hi farbror,

    Very nice post, I enjoyed it a lot!

    I have some problems with your reading list. It would be better if you give a motivation behind each book, something you want to learn by reading it.

    #2, isn't CT doing the same? You can endlessly practice every possible motif

    #4, another opening book? :-) Get your repertoire together, learn it and then just play it unless you really want to broaden your knowledge.

    #1+6+7 seem to cover very similar things. Pick one (probably not Lasker) and learn it by heart?! The finer details will only become important when you are higher rated.

  2. Hi Coderyder,

    Thank you for the kind words and interesting questions. The driving forces behind the reading list was among other things:

    - Improve the Basic Knowledge and to get a firm basis for more advanced stuff

    - Avoiding time wasting planning etc by simply following someone other's suggestions. I did however make a few changes to books I already own

    - CT is a Lifelong friend. Reading a well structured tactics book will also help me to teach the kids some tactics.

    - Basman's book is more of a generic chess book that a opening book. I will spend very little time reading my repertoire book. I will just play through the few games in the book and look up lines after my own games.