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I've made a bit of an observation with my online games as of late, although this does spill over into my otb games as well. I used to spend a lot of time doing tactics and reading about openings, not to mention reading My System.
Well, I stopped doing all of that about two months ago and the only thing I do now is occassionally play over classic games from a compilation book. I've had more success just by sticking to simple principles such as developing your pieces and castling the king, and others. It seems when I was studying tactics, openings, and reading My System or Jeremy Silman books I was losing more because I was so worried about one thing or another that I wasn't doing right.
Now I just look at the board and make smart moves that seem logical and don't stress about making a perfect opening and things seem to be working out.
Has anyone else had an experience like this? I'm definitely chalking a lot of my success up to the fact that I have a low rating and that just by sticking to simple principles I'm lessening the likelyhood of making mistakes before my opponent does.
I'm interested to hear what others have to say about this, or if they have had similar experiences.
Probably there is a grain of truth to what you've observed. I suspect that the psychology of it is something like this:
You actually did learn from all of that "study" but were applying it too anxiously. When you took a break from it you were able to put these new ideas into your long term repetoir and also play more relaxed. Thus, the study helped but just like a runner perparing for a major race. You needed to tapper off the day to day training. (Sorry for the running analogy but that is my other sport of interest.)
Thanks for the post Marmot. You have an interesting theory here, and I think you might be correct. I more than likely did learn from that study. In fact, I do remember often feeling anxious about playing because I was trying to remember all of what I had read.
So by your logic, would it be advisable to have periods of intense study, followed by periods of just playing and getting comfortable with the new information coming in?
I KNOW WHAT U MEAN! i think i also know what the source of this situation is, your not playing your own game of chess when you follow other peoples advise and this leaves you with less confidence in your game. was the case for me at least, but practise does help - mate in 3 or 'best-move' puzzles help alot
Not experienced enough to look at simple and difficult things at the same time. Very normal.
Thanks DutchChess. I never really thought about playing "my game style," but that might just be what I'm doing now. I do believe that some amount study is warranted, but I guess as to how much, that might be an individual answer.
Almost certainly yes. I'm not a good chess player nor a psychologist but I'm a reasonably accomplished recreational runner. The logic certainly applies to running. I would guess training the brain would be similar.
If this is true one should study tactics and strategy intently and play only a few games now and then to stay sharp (like what we call tempo running in run training.) Probably also some blitz work would be helpful as it would be similar to interval training in running (a hard effort over a shorter distance than training for but repeated several times.)
I'm still at the novice stage with chess but I think I'll give this training idea a try. Maybe I'll aim for a tough live tournament in the near future to remain motivated and "taper" for it.
This sounds about right. Also, you might be reading books too advanced for you. ICC ratings are inflated by about 200 points, and I don't know the inflation for this site but if it's similar than you might be 1300 ELO and maybe read books too advanced for you (please don't take this the wrong way). Books don't have a sticker that says, "For this rating range" so don't quite know the proper materials for our rating. If your opponents are dropping pieces and walk into tactics then will learning 20 moves of an opening line really help you?
Scorpion, I understand what you are saying about trying to learn things to far above my head for where I'm at now. For the most part my opponents are dropping pieces or walking into tactics. They seem to be making small mistakes that pile up into an advantage for me, like moving their king instead of castling...that sort of thing.
I'm wondering, like Marmot, if I should do periods of training and then taper the training down to just playing games for awhile to let the new information absorb. Very interesting theory of Marmot's.
Anyone else have comments?
Exactly. No need to read a book on the Carlsbad structure or isolated d-pawn when opponents simply drop pieces. That is time to hone tactical vision. Not only by solving problems by rote, but an understanding of tactics too, not just for material compensation but also positional. LeMoir's "How to Become a Deadly Chess Tactician" is a great book that not only has problems, but goes into detail explaining the types of sacrifices and even preparing to sacrifice.
I will have to check out that book. Thanks!
It shouldn't hurt to try! If after a little while you don't like it, you could always stop.
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