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I like to play. But I like to study, to improve.
What do you think?
A chessplayer is easy to spot. Whenever there is a chessboard out with a position on it, whether it is in a coffehouse, a library, a bookstore, a chessclub, etc., the chessplayer is drawn to studying that position. Most people just walk by, but not the chessplayer. She/he is mesmerized. Like a moth to a flame. It is an obsession that is fun whether you are studying chess or playing chess, because in either case you are engaged in your obsession. It is like a drug to the brain. You spend hours analyzing until you are exhausted. Then you take a shower, get something to eat, sleep, and then sometime the next day you indulge in your favorite obsession again.
But what do you make of someone who refuses to study, plays only, can't break 1000 and blames it on "old age"?
I know some people like that. Odd, isn't it? (lol)
Maybe it has something to do with their enjoyment of the game. Perhaps learning opening lines or anything else detracts from their pure calculation. It may be that chess is more of an art to these people. And learning technique is not art. Poets don't concern themselves iambic pantameter, rhyme or anything else. They just write poetry. Authors don't concern themselves with the techniques to craft metaphors. Or phrases that make the narrator omniscient(can read the characters mind in a novel) , or first, second or third person perspective in constructing narrative or dialogue. Authors just write and rewrite until it feels right.
In other words, artists don't concern themselves with technique. They just create art. It is the critics and art theorists that concern themselves with analyzing art, because many of them cannot create art themselves.
But don't you think they should at least learn the difference between a fork, pin and skewer. Crap like that? (lol)
Thanks for all the swell posts.
What is the best opening? I think its The Grob.
I like it a lot. Being an oldster, I just find it a pain to study. Someday I'm gonna learn the intricacies.
Most of you youngsters have probably never heard of it, by golly. (lol)
Neither is fun... So far. But I am in it to learn. Maybe something will click eventually.
I really like to just play. I could get better but I'm just not interested in the work required for it. I wouldn't enjoy it at all so I just don't bother anymore.
Sometimes I watch games but that's as much studying as I like to do.
Fair enough. At least you know and acknowledge why you are where you are. And, you are having fun. Good for you.
I've come to realize that there are many, many viewpoints about playing chess online.
Some just want a quick, fun fix regardless of whether or not they improve. Others intently want to improve and they work at it. I am in the latter category.
Losing at chess is not my idea of fun. And, I will not compromise by using any aids whatsoever during chess play. Hard work and developing skills...gee, how "old fashioned" a notion that is.
Chess study is classwork and homework. Chess play is the test.
I hate tests.
I hate(d) homework.
Well, I prefer sex, whisky and cigars. Can't do that all the time. So, chess fills in the gaps.
I enjoy studying when I learn a general principle and try it out in practical games. One example is what Capablanca wrote in his books (A Primer of Chess; Chess fundamentals) about pawn endgames: a unit that holds two. This is a handy bit of general theory which I managed to use in my own games recently and therefore brought me a feeling of satisfaction.
What I hate on the other hand is mere isolated facts without a broader picture. For example when I read something like "This move x is bad, because Player A lost with it to Player B in the candidad matches 1959 .. blah blah .. ".
I much prefer principal knowledge over factual one.
This is EXACTLY how I feel about it. Or maybe better yet, like a musician who loves tinkering and playing with his instrument, running scales and such, then gets that nervousness before going on stage to actually PERFORM to show his stuff.
I look forward to going home and studying, now even moreso that I finally have a real chess set to study with. Each time I pass by one of my local Starbucks, I'll some of these old Russian guys inviting me to play. Even though its fun, I get nervous.
I spend about an hour a day on tactical problems. And another hour playing rapid chess against any one of a variety of online or offline engines, about 10 minutes per game...five or six games per day.
In between, I read chess books...got three recent ones on my ebook reader and several in paperback.
The progress is slow but steady.
I would disagree. Artists, composers, creators of all kinds ARE concerned with technique. They study it, manipulate it, refine it. Great works of Art have a beautiful blend of technique, intuition, refinement, and individuality (among other things). Technique itself is never the goal; developing a better technique allows one to achieve a higher level and a richer (albeit) different experience.
I prefer playing over studying.
If I was so good that I could win just about all the time, I would cut back on the studying or...what the heck...give it up altogether.
But, as much as I like to play...I dislike losing.
So, logic tells me: Play some but study even more so. If or when I can get to the equivalent of a titled level (actually...my realistic goal is A...beyond that -- too much effort when I haved finite time resources and other interests).
But, that's just me.
Maybe I'm weird in that I don't just want to play blitz or bullet all the time and never study Jack sh*t.
Study? no study! play! play! play! or so I began in my early club days. I did learn from many of my mistakes simply by going over my losses to try & see what went wrong, and began to see common themes that I had been letting myself in for. I was reminded several times that I really should study if I wanted real improvement. looking over to the shelves of books available for sale... which one should I get? "Ah!" exclaims the resident expert... "Nimzovich's 'My System' is a definite must have for any serious chess player's library." Yeh, ok. Bought it. It had a few sound ideas that made sense in it, as well as some enjoyable games to play through, but for the most part, it was way over my head. I tried to study it, but the more i pored over it, the more the notation & theories began to overwhelm me. When I tried appliing what did sink in (very little I'm afraid), my games actually got worse. Funny thing about that though... it seemed that when I studied my own games, things started to improve, then I hit the books and my games worsened. But as I went through this ebb & tide between study & play, overall my performance did improve, a little more each cycle (for lack of a better word). I'm pretty sure the overall improvement was due to the book study. The problem I suspected was perhaps I was trying to force what I learned into games where the positions didn't necessarily warrant the theories I was following. maybe.
Either way, i think study is important, but more important (to me) is the enjoyment of just playing the game.
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