I could have been another Back_Yard_Professor
Well maybe not nearly as popular, but I could have fallen into the same trap of making videos trying to teach people how to play chess when I have absolutely no idea what I am talking about. If you don't know anything about the back yard professor watch this video and become enlightened:
When I heard that Silman disowned him I didn't really understand why at first. I mean he is just a budding chess player, we've all come from a lower place and have gotten better only after a lot of hard work, but then I saw the title of his video. Apparently he did not like the idea that a guy was trying to preach how to play chess the "Silman way," when in actuality, he was just a beginner making poor choices in the opening game. I've seen that he actually made some good videos, but I'm told, that among the 144 videos that he made, there are a lot of flops, enough to consider that perhaps this guy needs a shift in his thinking...
I've estimated that I have played over Five hundred thousand games over the course of about 10 years. Although I have played a lot of chess, I did not play them in an optimal environment, as my opponent a lot of times was a lot better than I, more than 300 points better, also, I didn't study, nor did I play any long games. I just played 3 minute blitz. There is a lot of controversy among people believing you should focus mainly on the long game if you want to get better, but there are a few that preach the opposite. I do not know which is correct, but I do know that in my personal experience, my chess growth was stunted because I was forced to play 3 minute chess when I could have been playing 5 minute chess or even a bit longer.
I'm not going to elaborate on this in the blog, as I have been talking about this on these blogs for years. Part of playing chess is the willingness to play different time controls with people that obviously cannot play the one you are playing very well, and the unwillingness to make a change, I believe, is both a mistake, and immature.
I say that I could have become just another chess clown, as one person calls him, or maybe was even performing as one in these blogs at times or in the forums, however, I have come to the conclusion that I and the BYP are a like in the sense that we both over estimate our abilities. I mean I have been playing for over 10 years, and got clobbered by someone who only plays correspondence on chess with friends, and has only played 21 games there! Clearly this guy has studied chess, or he is just using an engine, but, I do know that I cannot beat him easily, yet I have a lot of experience. (I don't know why but he is not nearly as good over the board, I could just assume he's cheating, but then again I'd like to know more...) I'm not going to say his name, but I will say if he is reading this that I will still play him on correspondence regardless, and if he wants to talk about this he may, however, I have gone though those games and found he made the computer move every time, and I just wonder, but regardless, maybe he is just that good? I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. We only played 3 online games. Not enough to be certain.
Dispite the fact that I have been known to make obvious blunders that I do not make very often over the board on correspondence, (yet another reason why I am doubting that my opponent that I've mentioned on chess with friends is cheating, as you do not need a computer to take advantage of a blunder) I play correspondence fairly well, and believe with practice, I can eliminate those blunders with time.
Anyway, back to the topic of this blog. I noticed when watching the video's of the BYP that he seems to believe at times that his opponent is inferior to him, or that he just doesn't understand Silman ideas, thus making him, "inferior", in a sense. Actually in the video that I posted here the BYP didn't talk about the full topic of imbalances that Silman was trying to teach in his books. He was just merely talking about squares of domination. Like, on e4 you control d5 and f5. But if you ask me, those types of things really don't matter much until you can find a way to exploit a weakness created by one of your opponents moves. In the game he claimed that he had great center control and incorrectly claimed that his king was safe. Sure he had center control, but he cockingly glossed over the fact that he left his knight hanging in his next move after Qf3+, and now he would be down a pawn for nothing, with a bad position. I believe Silman calls them imbalances because at the one side you may have some pluses to your position, but on the other hand your opponent has other pluses which give you your minuses, and these all are calculated by the static and dynamic possibilities of the position. In this position of the fried liver, a two knights defense opening, white has a lot of dynamics in the position, and it is commonly known that black is losing after Nxd5.
At times I think like the BYO. Not that I believe I am superior to others when I feel they have not read Silman books, but that I often look at moves that my opponent did, and say, "Why the hell did he do that it does nothing!" and end up losing later in the game. Instead of glossing over the position by saying, "That move does nothing," rather, look at the position, and see if your opponent has counter play after the seemingly bad move. That is the take a way I get from studying the BYO, not that I watched a lot of his videos, but that I know his thinking error, that he often glosses over some of his opponents "possibilities" over a "seemingly bad move." First assess the position to see if that move is actually bad, and then after that, try and eliminate his counter play with prophylaxis, and lastly, try and see if you can exploit any weaknesses that where created in this "seemingly bad move," if there are any at all. Never gloss over your opponents moves and say, "It's a dumb move," rather, consider every one of his moves like it was a move given to you by a computer engine. That is a tough skill to get good at, it seems. But it is necessary to get "good."
I've learned that almost everyone studies Siiman ideas. Even at 1400 blitz rating on chess.com. Your going to need more than just reading a Silman book to get to ELO 2000, most of it coming from practical experience having learned what you where taught from books and other materials along with a good study routine. You have to play a lot of chess to get good at chess, and study, and do a lot of tactics. An also improve your thought process, which is one of the big five. Part of the problem with BYP as I've said was his poor thought process that just because he was studying Silman ideas he figured that made him somehow superior, but most people know about his ideas that play chess regulary, even 1000 rated players know his ideas to an extent sometimes. More often than not, the games are usually won at the lower levels, as it has been said, due to hanging a piece. If you constantly hang pieces, like the BYP did in his video, why then are you spending time studying more advanced topics? Not that he shouldn't even open Silman books, but his chief focus should be more about learning to stop making easy to see blunders. There is no direct answer to that. The short answer is to just get better at tactics and general principles, as well as good chess thought process, but most people, having been told this, still cannot seem to refrain from dropping pieces in the opening. Another factor is chess experience. The more you play, the less mistakes you will make, but at the flip side of the coin you could have played over five hundred thousands games over the course of 10 years and still make a lot of mistakes. I can only guess that getting better at the big five that NM Dan Heisman talks about in his book A Guide to Chess Improvement, is enough to get better at this, but I do not know from my own experience. Maybe in a year I will get better. Who knows, but, if I get better, it wouldn't be because I believed I was "superior" to my opponent when playing him, even if he was lower rated.