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Your questions answered by Natalia Pogonina

  • WGM Natalia_Pogonina
  • on 7/2/11, 12:21 PM.

19

The rules are simple - send us your questions and see them featured in Natalia's Q&As column!

Q1:  Hello. I'm a new club player and learning through books, but I'm lazy to play.
So my question is: How many games (online) minimum per day should I play to put all that theory to good
use?

A1: If you don't like playing chess, then why study it at all? regular_smile.gif Seriously speaking, playing online (that's usually correspondence or blitz) won't take you as far as competing in tournaments at standard time control. My suggestion is that you should try to play chess live whenever possible since it's quite different from playing online. As to the ratio: the stronger the player, the more study is required. For beginners and "new club players" the ratio should be about 80% play, 20% study. For expert-NM level it's about 50%-50%, while top GMs may have to spend 80% of their time preparing and 20% - playing. Please keep it in mind and don't try to imitate the training routine of leading GMs.

Q2: What is your best advice to a beginner who is serious about improving he/r game?

A2: Enjoy chess & the environment, not the achievements. Remain faithful to chess by playing or studying every day, and you will become a perfect couple with the game.

Q3: Hi Natalia, I am a fan of you, so between Anand and Gelfand in your opinion will get
the title?

A3: Thanks. Ratings, statistics and other factors tell us that Anand is the favorite. However, life is not as easy as some people want to make it look like. For example, while chess fans were busy arguing who would win the Candidates - Aronian, Kramnik or Topalov, Gelfand emerged on top. Boris is a top professional who can put up a great fight against anyone, so, although I also think that Anand's chances are higher, it's not like we know the outcome for certain.

Q4: How should a player think about the moves during a normal game, or analysis. Should
he "speak to himself" like "R from e1 to e5, pawn from d7 to d6, R from e5 to h5..."
etc or he should just visualize the moves in his mind? And how about in blitz or
time trouble?

A4: I am not a scientist, so it's hard for to give a qualified opinion about this. However, I believe that you should a) follow the rules - muttering something out loud is prohibited b) depending on your dominant type of perception (visual, audio, kinesthethic, etc.), you can choose the approach that suits you best. For example, if you grasp things easier then you hear them, you may want to speak in your head. If your main perception type is visual, you can probably rely on visualizing. However, I guess the more channels you can employ, the better. If you can smell the best move, and the opponent can't, then you have an advantage! teeth_smile.gif

Q5: Hi Natalia, could you tell us how you win a won game? Are there things you do and
things you tell yourself every time?

A5: That's a popular question indeed. I have written two articles about converting winning positions. Take a look:
Converting winning positions
The art of converting winning positions
 
Q6: c4 or KID against much stronger opponent? Or any other?

A6: Playing for a draw or trying to trick a much stronger opponent in the opening is not a good idea. You had better play the openings you like and know well. This gives you more chances, and even if you lose, you still learn a valuable lesson. On the contrary, if you play some offbeat line for the first time in your life, you will still probably get outplayed (just due to the fact that the opponent is much stronger in general), but the learning experience won't be that useful.

Q7: Are there fundamental differences in the way women and men play chess? If yes, what do you think it is? 

A7:  Men are usually more hard-working and goal-oriented than women. For example, many leading female players quit chess after motherhood, while I have never heard of a top male chess player who finished his career for this reason. As to playing styles: women’s chess is less predictable and more exciting – no short draws, fighting till the very end, etc. Men are more predictable and stable.

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