Time to look at ze master games

Jul 17, 2008, 6:53 PM |

Hello folks!  I recently (and by recently I mean within the last 4 months) learned something major about chess that I didn't know before.  It revolutionized my game, changed the way I think about the position, etc.  I mentioned this briefly in my previous posts.  I have expanded on this realization since it happened, but it's seriously changed my game. 

The first main sign that it changed my game was that my ICC 5-minute rating went from around a 1900 high to a 2100 high.  That's a 200 point jump, and I wasn't able to get above 1900 for around 2 years.  So something changed, obviously. 

  I can't explain right now what changed my view of the game, but I'll try to put it into words later.  Suffice to say that Joshua Waitzkin's concept of 'maintaining the tension' (which he learned from Gregory Kaidanov) has revolutionized my game. 

  Anyways, since this perspective change, I haven't really looked at too many master games.  I've done many maneuvers and built up many positions.  I've watched some of the highest-rated 5-minute games on ICC and been amazed at some of the stuff they were doing. 

  The amazing change is that for the most part I *understand* what is going on.  WHereas before I would watch a GM game and just be flabbergasted, just look at it like a retard and drool, now I see the moves they are making before they make them and I see the dynamic of the positions.  Obviously they are playing at a higher level than me but watching those games is really teaching me something. 

  So my plan now is to look at some high-quality master games (slow, tournament games) and see what is going on there.  I haven't done this for quite a while, except recently I looked at some famous Topalov-Ivanchuck game and it seemed quite good to me (even though a video annotation I watched seemed to think Ivanchuck's moves were some kind of heresy). 

  Anyways, I'm going to fire up my old chess assistant 9 (hopefully they have some new patches by now, JEEZ) and take a look at some games!  Cool thing is I think the program came with some annotated games as well so I can see why some moves may or may not have worked in tactical situations. 

  I'll report back in an hour with how these games jive with my new outlook on chess =)