An unexamined life is not worth living.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Studying Chess Openings – How to Track Your Progress

It is not enough to develop an opening repertoire, it also needs to be continuously refined and practiced. Here is a quick tutorial on how to do this with a free version of Chess Position Trainer. I had previously posted a video tutorial on this tool.
Step 1 – Import Repertoire from PGN file
For now I imported my White Repertoire, which I have been long maintaining in a pgn file/database.
Step 2 – Choose variations to practice
As a starting point, I’d like to limit my practice to Sicilian and Scandinavian defences.
Step 3 – Track your progress
In training mode – alternate between “Only New” and “Only Learned”
Right now, I have only practiced 28 positions out of over 3000, so I have long ways to go, but this gives me a clear picture of where I am at!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Best Place Online for Playing Rated 15 minute Chess games at the expert/master level?

Question for the readers - I am in the low 2200 in my national, FIDE, and ICC standard ratings, and I want to get a few 15 minute games a week on ICC to meet some of my yearly goals.  However, lately am finding I have to wait for a long time to get a game against opponent rated above 2000 on ICC. Otherwise the quality of games tends to be lower than what I see in the local chess tournaments, so this is a less than optimal situation. Is there a better option in terms of other playing sites?

In addition to ICC, I am open to looking at ChessPlanet, Lichess, PlayChess, newly launched Fide playing zone, etc, but want to hear if any of the readers have better experiences with getting slower games?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

One Good Game - Improving Chess Results by Focusing on Quality of Play

While the focus of a chessplayer is usually on the quantifiable aspects of the game, such as rating, points, prizes, the quality of play is often not paid much attention to, and for no good reason. Rather than aiming for a certain result, such as 75 % of points, I’d like to recommend another approach.

In a given tournament - try to play one good game that you can be proud of! 

But what about the rest of the tournament? The reason for my advice is simple. If in a single tournament, a player is able to have one game where they play consistently well in the opening, middlegame and endgame – I believe that a good overall tournament result will follow along, and one would not have to worry about it. It is also easier to focus on playing strong moves, rather than trying to calculate your expected post-event rating after each round. And as it happens in life too, we can only be responsible for our efforts and actions, not for their outcome.

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