A New Journey
I have recently become a member of GM Nigel Davies' Tiger Chess Course and have just finished my first month. I have considered Nigel to be a friend for some time now as I see him around the UK chess circuit a lot as he accompanies his ever-improving son as he ploughs his way up the rankings. I have much respect for what Nigel has done with his son and his social-media posts about coaching, training and what people should be doing to improve have always struck a chord with me.
I have been following Tiger Chess for a month now and have been focusing on his lessons on Strategy, Endgames and Annotation. Already, I feel I have a better understanding of pawn structure and how it should be used to formulate plans. The endgames so far are familiar to me but I have been resolute in practising them anyway by setting up a position on Fritz 11 and trying to beat the computer. I look forward very much to developing my endgame ability more than anything else. The annotation section is very interesting in that it gives you a position to set up on a real board, asks you to study it for five or so minutes and then answer a series of questions about it. Once you have done that, you watch a video that gives the answers and reasons behind them so you can see just how wrong you were. Actually, I am doing myself some injustice here as I have got some of the questions right each week, although some I have got horribly wrong.
On top of this, there are a series of articles to read that are all extremely relevant to the aspiring non-patzer, one of which has led directly to me starting this blog.
You can also purchase a variety of opening videos and I have invested in his Caro-Kann offering, presented by a very youthful Nigel. I have long played the Caro-Kann, actually on the advice of Nigel a few years ago, and it has been good to refresh ideas and knowledge. Against the Advance variation, I have always played 3...Bf5 but am now looking closely at 3...c5 and have started some correspondence games on chess.com to try this idea out. I think I would be nervous about trying it in a tournament at the moment as I am always loathe to play gambits but that is the beauty of chess on the Internet. You can try, and if you fail, work out why and adapt. You have lost nothing.
My first attempt with it was no help at all as I won against a weak player in eleven moves but I put it here just because this is my first post and I want to try the feature out.