23-Days To Better Chess: My First Training Game

23-Days To Better Chess: My First Training Game

Oct 3, 2011, 10:40 AM |

Chess is very much like boxing.

There are 2 players and both would like to knock the other out of the game. This is something that beginning and intermediate players often forget. They disproportionately spend their thinking time coming up with plans, cooking up threats, finding tactical blows, etc. forgetting in the heat of the battle that the guy right in front of them has the same ill-intentions that they should keep an eye on.

Remember what happened to the Ortiz - Mayweather boxing match earlier this year? The former spent more time hugging his opponent (after what looks like an intentional headbutt) and less time keeping his guard up. Then BAM! Two earth-shattering punches from Mayweather sent him down at the canvass and he's unable to recover.

Chess is like that. If you don't keep your guard up all the time, you might be just a move away from a knockout. Well, not literally unless you are playing chess boxing.

This is what I will train for the next 30-days: to sharpen my mind's eye...to be always on the look out for blows that the opponent may be cooking up, while looking at the drawbacks of his moves and possibly taking advantage of it.

Since I haven't come up with a day-by-day training plan, one that allows me to train this part of my thought process well without spending 8-10 hours on it, I thought to myself: "Why not play a rated / training game against Fritz 12 and see what happens?"

With all of my writing jobs taken care of, I decided to give it a go. And this is what happened:

There are A LOT of things I noticed when I played this game:

First, I was tense. I don't know why BUT I was. (Perhaps it's because of the thought that I have to post it here. :D) And this resulted to spending exorbitant amounts of time on simple developing moves.

Second, I found myself jumping to calculating variations right away. Not a very good idea! Before one can calculate efficiently, he has to know what to calculate first. Self-talk...asking yourself what's going on and keeping yourself updated with what's up at the board move-by-move is a good first step.

And last BUT not the least, READ THE DARN FRITZ 12 MANUAL! Well, probably I have lost the game too, BUT not without a fight. Not when I know that I have some compensation for the lost piece -

(1) 3 pawns (although the pawns are doubled)

(2) King stuck in the center

(3) An offside Knight on a5

(4) Pinned Knight on e7

(5) 2 Bishops (but I think I'll lose the LSB soon)

(6) And some dark square control

I think I'll analyze this very short game... or maybe even better, I would take up the final position (as White) and play it against Fritz 12 (HURT ME! HURT ME!).

Anyway, that's about it for today. I really would appreciate if you guys would help me devise a study plan for the next 23-days.