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I have some free time coming in December and was thinking it would be beneficial to read through my copy of Logical Chess: Move by Move. Do you have any recommendations for effective ways to approach this book? Should I set up multiple boards and play through all the alternative moves? Play the games in my head? etc. I am sure this can be expanded to almost all chess books, so even if you haven't read Logic Chess, I would be interested to know how you approach studying a chess book.
If this topic has been addressed elsewhere, I apologize for the redundancy and would benefit from links to the previous forum posts if you know them.
Thanks for the help! It is greatly appreciated!
I once had a bit of trouble myself in that area. I checked out a book called "Chess Magic" it was a mid-end game coverage of national championships in europe and russia from the 20's to the late 60's. I didn't know what to do. Having only one picture per game and the unexplained coordination of rest of the game was perplexing. I found that there are many ways one can learn from a book, or your opponent just the same. Everyone knows the single optional moves for each piece, but knowing how to use multiple pieces for one joined force of checking is quite another. Always be on the lookout for these 'gangs' and you will see their stratagies start to repeat in many games and books. As for testing single moves or these multipeice plans, I enjoy choosing spicific ones to start with and giving half to each color. I would mix and match untill I find some ways to defeat them, or conquer as them. The most important is to learn why and how each move works on the boards.
This is how I have experimented with this game and continue to do so, but I am not that credible as the books themselves. I suggest starting with single piece move pro/cons, and read from books that best make sense to you. These will be the most effiant to learn from. I hope this gives you some help. Let me know if this is useful, I would be glad to discuss this further.
The traditional approach to studying is, as you've surmised, to set up a board and play through the book. It is helpful to have a second (or even third) board set up to explore variations. The digital age gives us other options. If you have a database (the game explorer here on site, but that's only available I believe to premium members) you can look up the game in question and play through it on the screen. Lots of free databases as well as GUI's to manage them. You could do a forum search for recommendations and then hit the download section. I sometimes find myself using a combination of the two. I'll use the database to play through the game while reading the annotations in whatever book I'm using, but I'll also have a small magnetic set handy for the variations. Whatever method you use, have fun and I hope that was helpful.
Whean I read through this book I just set up a board and played through the mainline of the game. When there were some variations I tried to work it out in my head without moving the pieces. This will help you with your visualizing and calculating skills. If for some reason you can't work out the variation in your head then it is time to move the pieces. It is a great book.
When I first read this book, I didn't need anything more than a chess set.
Just read it and play it through. The variations should be done mentally.
Mind you, when I read it, there was no such thing as the world wide web. There was also no such thing as PCs.
a great book i play with 2 chess sets.input moves on one and variations on the other. read the book over again and get used to the games and moves. this will improve your chess.
Thanks for all the recommendations everyone!
Just one thing, quite a few of those games are pretty obscure and don't appear in any databases if thats the way you were going to play over them. A better way to use a chess GUI like Fritz or Chessmaster with the book is just to set up a new game and turn the engine off then play through the moves. You have the advantage of playing through the variations in the notes and then being able to return instantly back to the main line without the hassle of setting up and destroying positions on different chess sets.
To familiarise yourself with the games and main themes, one option I read about is to read/play through the games but ignore any variations on your first time through.
I have never used the two board method. I use one board and play through all of the main lines and variations on that board.
After playing through a variation I re-set the position from prior to the analysis by memory. If I can't remember it then I start over from the beginning. At first it was difficult at times to be able to remember what the position was, but I was certain that forcing myself to learn this way would be beneficial.
Now it's fairly easy for me to keep everything straight in my head and it helps my calculation skills in OTB games immensely.
Improving at chess is not easy work. It's hard work. But you get as much out of it as you put into it.
Thanks again to everyone for sharing with me their ideas for making the most of Logical Chess! I played through the first game tonight (finally had a long enough chunk of free time) and found that I could keep everything straight with just one board. As the explanations become more complicated, I will experiment with two boards/ a database. I'm finding that I am more accustomed to looking at the pieces in print form, so playing OTB for now should help keep my visual assesment of the board balanced. I look forward to playing through the rest of the book!
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