The Art of Studying
Last week, I was browsing through some chess books in a famous Paris book store, looking for inspiration, when the shop owner offered his help.
I politely declined, but when I looked up in his direction, I noticed an unusual position on the wall :
“Who is the author ? I enquired
- Lasker ! Can you see the idea ?
I found it after some thoughts, and the man offered a broad smile.
- Do you know this one ?”
I was then treated to a couple of hours of artistic studies, but not the kind you can only solve after hours of painful research, rather those light ones with beautiful artistic touches.
I then asked the man if he had a book for sale with those kind of studies, but he wasn’t able to find any. He had build his personal collection over the years, and wasn’t aware of any text on the market.
I find that solving studies is a very enjoyable way to work on your calculation ability, develop your imagination and enjoy the artistic part of chess at the same time. Besides, you can show the most beautiful studies to your chess friends and organize informal solving contests.
Among famous players advocating study solving, there is the world-famous trainer Yusupov, or the French champion and composer Chéron. When I was a teenager, I remember a friend, Norwegian champion IM Björn Tiller, explaining he had accepted a draw offer from a Russian opponent, because "they are used to solve many chess studies" (meaning, they can find their way in complicated positions).
I tried to find a good collection of not-too-difficult studies on the web, and eventually found this one (item#7) which is edited by a strong Ukrainian GM. For a few bucks, you get hundreds of carefully selected positions, so I recommend it heartily.
If you have heard of other good endgame studies collections, your suggestions are welcome !
note : the position is actually a study by Rinck, 1903