Training Logbook #1

Training Logbook #1


Hello; in this post, I am going to simply show you a couple of my recent games, and talk about my training. I think these posts might be released monthly.

It is possible that you can become good at chess not through excessive hard work, but by being efficient, and this is typical of all endeavours. There are a few distinct areas which I group my ideas into, and these are widely accepted as ways to improve. But, I believe that in order to be good at chess, it is not about knowing a load of stuff, it is about approaching the board from an unbiased perspective and working from there. It is basically a 'mode of being', with which you judge every position. Anyway, I shall digress from this quasi-philosophical conversation and get on with the chess.

It has been a while since I have written any more articles, well that is because I am busy. But here I begin...

Tactics: I use tactics trainer. Recently I got my rating over 2000, which was fun, alas it has dropped down into the mid 1900s. Normally the issue is not spending enough time on a certain tactic. Obvious moves are not necessarily the best moves. Human intuition has limitations. I am going to do a tactic right now, while I am writing this, on the 'rated' section of tactics trainer, and talk through my thought processes:

  • Queen takes g7 feels strong, attacking the bishop twice.
  • The bishop would be pinned - the king can`t move, because the bishop would drop - therefore black must defend the bishop or create counterattack.
  • They can only defend the bishop once more, with the black rook.
  • I can attack the pinned bishop again with Bh4 - this should win a piece.
  • Double check: hmmm, is RxB immediately a way to win? Then QxB, and Nd6+, well no, because after Ka6, my queen has no route into the attack, therefore I like Qxg7
  • Here was the combination, that I responded with after Rg8:

Practice games: I play one or two 20 minute games down my local club once a week, of which about 60% are worthy of analysis. Here is one such game. The best part of this game was that it was both against a strong player (1900/161 ECF) and I won. It was the Boleslavsky variation on the French apparently (according to the database). The point was that as we went into the late middle-game, I had well positioned pieces to start an attack against my opponent`s king, and I allowed no counterplay from this point onwards. Here it is:

Here is my 1st ever game against a GM 

Endgames: It is of indisputable importance that you know your endgames. Strategy can be developed intuitively, and positional chess can be natural, but in this field of chess, it is more concrete than anywhere else. Whether or not you have the move can decide the outcome of the game, and it isn`t always an advantage to have the move - for example when you take the opposition. 

At the moment, I am working through '100 Endgames You Must Know' which more or less covers all you need to about endgames. Here is a study from it:

Feel free to join my club: