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Statics vs Dynamics

Jul 1, 2015, 1:48 PM 1

One of the prerequisites for sustained progress in any challenging field is an effective feedback loop that goes something like this:

Perform --> Receive Feedback --> Reflect on the Feedback --> Make Changes --> Perform Again.  

I've engaged several masters over my two year chess improvement journey, primarily to give me this feedback through hourly coaching.

Recently, though, I tried something different. Instead of an hourly lesson, I payed a master on Chess.com to analyze 10 of my games and send it to me in PGN's. Wow, it was great feedback and very cost effective. (10 games for about the cost of an hour of traditional coaching.)

The primary feedback the master gave me was that my "bread and butter knowledge" was excellent (I assume for my rating) but that I need to get a better grasp of "dynamics."

This first made me ask, well, what do you mean by dynamics? The answer seems to be a bit of a grey area (at least to me) but includes things like piece activity, initiative, development, king safety, and time (tempi).

His suggestion was that I should read How to Reassess Your Chess or Revolutionize Your Chess (which appears to have very mixed reviews).

The good news is that I have been reading How to Reassess Your Chess for the past 9 months and the next chapter is, drum roll please, "Statics vs Dynamics"!

In addition to reading "Statics vs Dynamics", I went to Chess.com to find videos and/or Chess Mentor courses covering dynamic chess. Unfortunately it is not a straightforward subject to pin down, unlike a more concrete subject like "rook endings."

After sifting through a dozen videos and courses, I think I've found a pretty good Chess.com curriculum on the subject of chess dynamics that should be at least a good introduction (don't skip the two Chess Mentor courses!).

If anyone else has recommendations on good dynamic chess videos or lessons on chess.com or around the internet, I would appreciate any links you post in the comments.


Start with these (in order):

Good: http://www.chess.com/video/player/nominal-and-absolute-power-of-the-pieces

Very Good: http://www.chess.com/video/player/nominal-and-absolute-power-of-the-pieces-2

Very Good: http://www.chess.com/video/player/member-analysis-the-psychology-of-the-initiative

Very Good: http://www.chess.com/video/player/play-fighting-chess-using-the-initiative---part-1

Very Good: http://www.chess.com/video/player/play-fighting-chess-using-the-initiative---part-2

Very Good: http://www.chess.com/video/player/play-fighting-chess-using-the-initiative---part-3


If you want more, check out these:

Good: http://www.chess.com/video/player/defensive-tips-im-amanov-vs-gm-khachiyan

Good: http://www.chess.com/video/player/learning-from-the-best-tigran-petrosian-part-6

Good: http://www.chess.com/video/player/evaluation-and-dynamic-thinking-i

Good: http://www.chess.com/video/player/evaluation-and-dynamic-thinking-ii

Good: http://www.chess.com/video/player/live-sessions-the-theory-of-dynamic-compensation

I cannot say these are the best videos but it is what I was able to find.


Finally, test your new knowledge with these Chess Mentor courses:

1) IM Silman's course titled "Mental Domination" with 20 lessons (I averaged 80%).


2) GM Shankland's course titled "The Essense of the Initiative" with 20 lessons (I averaged 68%).


(The above is my suggested order of completing the material though it probably doesn't matter much.)

I believe the above study has helped my greatly open my mind to dynamic opportunities and the importance of piece activity, development, initiative, time and exploiting a vulnerable enemy king. In addition, you can review the games of the old dynamic/attacking players like Morphy, Lasker, Alekine, and Pillsbury and then move on to the more modern players such as Bronstein, Geller, Larsen, etc (thanks to hicetnunc and SmyslovFan for the player recommendations).

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