How to improve?

How to improve?

robbie_1969
robbie_1969
Mar 14, 2018, 4:13 AM |
3

Its a question that one will often meet if you peruse the chess dot com forums and well meaning replies often ensue.  'Study openings', 'study the endgame', 'get a coach' etc etc.  For me personally the process of improvement begins and ends with evaluation.  We must learn to 'read the chess board' and to make evaluations at every turn. Take this position below, it arose in the game Ding v Caruana in round two of the Candidates tournament 2018. I followed the game on chessbomb and someone commented that blacks game was already in jeopardy. I however held a different perspective and pointed out that black has an awesome position. Why? Who do you think is better (if anyone) and why? For unless we can evaluate chess positions all the calculation, all the visualisation in the world will not help us and neither will a chess engine.

Position after white played 18.Be3
 
Clearly there is a slight material disparity, white has a rook for bishop and pawn. However in my opinion black has certainly greater control of the centre, two bishops and a safer king in compensation for this slight material imbalance. White has light squared weaknesses around his king and no light squared bishop to take care of them. Some were suggesting that because of the material disparity black should avoid exchanges. Black does have some forcing continuations, ...Nxe3 and Nf3+ followed by ...d5. again we need to evaluate the efficacy or otherwise of these forcing continuations. What we are in fact doing is thinking in a general way and acting concretely. Its this entire process of evaluation and refinement, subjecting our ideas to falsification through the application of logic and evaluating the result that will help us improve in chess. Its entirely scientific.