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Grandmaster Chess Training and Opening Preparation

  • GM arunabi
  • | Jun 27, 2011
  • | 31359 views
  • | 58 comments

Kkjimbo asked:

I am a low ranked club player (British Chess Fed 109) A fellow patzer at my club has agreed to spend some time with me in the close season training. We plan on a once a week 1 or 2 hour session. Have you any tips on how we could get the best out of this time.

Dear Kkjimbo,

What we would recommend is, to play a lot of practice games. Never mind about the result but try to give your best in each game. Take your game seriously and do not think that the player you are playing against is your friend. Try only to give your best in each game. Whether you win or lose you still have something to learn. After each game you both can analyze the game and share the ideas.  If you learn a new opening try to play those lines in practice games. You will gain lot of ideas before the real tournament game.

One more idea is, try to play blindfold games. One of you can play with the board and the other player will be playing blindfold. This will make you sharp if you are getting ready for a tournament. Try to solve as many tactical problems as possible. 

 

Hello!

What does it take to become a grandmaster, how much training and how much dedication. And do you think everyone, regardless of talent, can become a Grandmaster?

Greetings from Denmark, Simon Seirup

Officially the GM title is the highest title one can achieve in Chess apart from becoming a World Champion. It cannot be said that everyone can become a Grandmaster. To become a Grandmaster you definitely require talent and proper training. I have seen a few IM’s who definitely play at a Grandmaster standard but still don’t become a GM. One of our friends who became a Grandmaster a couple of years back, missed the GM title in a single game in 2005. He just needed a draw against a GM in the final round to achieve his 3rd GM norm and cross the 2500 mark. But he lost that game and it took him another four years to achieve the GM title. It is clear that not just training and talent matter, but also strong nerves. 

A Grandmaster should have a good opening repertoire. Hence to be a good GM, opening training is also important. Opening theory is developing in leaps and bounds in recent times and it is essential to keep track of recent developments. It does not matter how many hours you work but it is important to do the necessary work. Kramnik in one of his interviews said “Chess training is like gym training:” no matter what you will have to train every day. If you miss one day then you will have to work several days to makeup for it.

Players who are pretty good in tactics and attacking chess might not be strong in positional chess and vice versa. If there is a weakness it is important to work on it and eliminate it.   

 

I know GMs and IMs play the opening differently from other players, but how differently do they play the opening, what is their intention in the opening?

GM’s and IM’s are usually well prepared in the openings. They have clear ideas about the openings they play and they often try to get the advantage in the opening itself.

They prepare the openings in such a way that they have analyzed all the possible ideas for the opponent and they know the exact way to counter them. They study the opening in a much more concrete way than the normal players. They know the piece placements and pawn structures for different openings.

That is why when a GM plays a Novelty against another GM, it is not really easy for the latter to play, since the player who introduces the novelty would have analyzed all the possible ideas his opponent can play and will be ready to face them. But the one who is facing the novelty has to work out everything over the board, which is really not easy. Unless you have analyzed the opening and know the games previously played and ideas used in that line you cannot even understand that the opponent has played a novelty, much less respond correctly.

Comments


  • 4 years ago

    67jedichessmaster

    Do You think that most everyone can become a 2000 rated player? Do you think that is a good goal for a 44 year old guy ?  ;)

  • 4 years ago

    ignatiousjreilly

    The fact that Lazlo Polgar trained his girls so successfully absolutely does not prove talent is irrelevant! It could easily be the case, and I think it is, that the genetic make up of those girls placed them near the top end of the talent spectrum. In my opinion it is almost certainly the case that the same experiment would fail more often than it would succeed. In fact it probably has been tried and failed many times, but the failures are not newsworthy. In such cases it is only the successes that you hear about. It would need to succeed every time it was tried to prove talent is irrelevant, and for me, that is inconceivable.

  • 4 years ago

    fish_food

    j-pax,

    The question of talent is a non-question - it has already been settled. The experiment was done by Lazlo Polgar and we know exactly how it works. Talent is not needed but superior chess training and a strong desire (encouraged by the coach and parents) in the pupil is.

    Lazlo Polgar made this very clear. He announced to the world, before they were born, that his children would be world class in something. He finally only choose chess because it is objective, and could not be easily disputed (this was before the day of the mobile devices (lol)) -- although people still have not learned his lesson.  Not my problem that you -- and others --are not aware of Lazlo's accomplishment.

    Again, talent is not needed.

  • 4 years ago

    Agent-Carlos-1470

    Very instructive.
  • 4 years ago

    marismols

    Some people like Magnus have a lot of talent. Even without training at very young age they play incredible chess. How can us 'normal' people even compete with them? Do you know anyone who have achieve GM without haveing natural talent for chess?

  • 4 years ago

    higher_being

    chess is not played on book.After 20 moves its an unknows terrain.Calculation and intution works there.Playeres who mug up moves cannot become GMs

  • 4 years ago

    j-pax

    what do i mean with chess talent?? i think remembering patterns (when i always make the same mistakes i'll quit) and  calculation  (when i am always down a piece after a exchange i'll quit)

    this is  very simplistic ... but this is why i think most chess players have chess talent but not many have the other talents to become realy good

  • 4 years ago

    j-pax

    hello fish food,  you said

    "Of course, if you are a grandmaster, it is nice for your ego to think you have a special talent, but it is not a prerequisite."

    it sounds disrespectfull to people who work very very hard to develop the chess talent they have. i think, to become a GM, you need multiple talents.

    i think most people who are drawn to chess have the "normal"  chess talents... otherwise they would not enjoy the game and quit it!!!....

    multiple talents needed are so many... concentration, energylevels, health, fighting spirit, curiousity, dedication ...many more i think 

    you say "it is nice for the ego to think they have a special talent".... i think it is beter for the ego of many GM's to have normal chess talent but became good because of their hard work.

  • 4 years ago

    wbport

    [quote]For myself, the talent is when you need much less time to prepare or do something that other person so if you work the double that a person that has talent you can get it. I want to say that I think that you needn't talent to play chess just work more or less.

    If it isn't there, what really is the talent or what does the talent mean in chess?[/quote]

    I think talent is a combination of aptitude (or "knack" or "catch-on-quickiveness") combined with the desire to put in the work necessary to improve and get really good at something, be it chess, music, athletics, or any number of learned skills.

  • 4 years ago

    nakaw03

    For Arunabi, what does  the talent mean in chess?

    For myself, the talent is when you need much less time to prepare or do something that other person so if you work the double that a person that has talent you can get it. I want to say that I think that you needn't talent to play chess just work more or less.

    If it isn't there, what really is the talent or what does the talent mean in chess?

    Thanks and sorry for my English.

  • 4 years ago

    fish_food

    "Officially the GM title is the highest title one can achieve in Chess apart from becoming a World Champion. It cannot be said that everyone can become a Grandmaster. To become a Grandmaster you definitely require talent and proper training."

    LOL.

    The Grandmaster and International master title has become so diluted that at one time that may have been an unquestioned statement ...But even as long ago as  Reshevesky, if you read his best games, this cheapening of the title was mentioned. Pal Benko maes a similar comment in his book about his games and life.

    And one does not even have to bring up the recent occurences of cheating in international play using mobile devices....

    The Polgar sisters should dispel the notion of special talent. Training -- yes. Talent -- no.

    Of course, if you are a grandmaster, it is nice for your ego to think you have a special talent, but it is not a prerequisite.

  • 4 years ago

    SimonSeirup

    Thanks for answering my question!

  • 4 years ago

    kyldyl

    :)

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