Topic Suggestions

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #41


    Yes -- specifically identifying and acting on key middle-game imbalances would be great:

    • Superior versus inferior minor peices
    • What to do when you've secured a space advantage/how to play when your opponent has
    • What to do when you've secured the centre/how to play when your opponent has
    • What to do with a lead in development/how to play when your opponent has

    And many more I'm sure I haven't thought of off the top of my head.

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #42


    I second/third the suggestions on

    a) pawn structures and their importance

    b) specific opening variations - my vote is for the French (any variation - say the Winawer, for example) with the strategic plans explained.

    c) specific endgames - I really enjoyed Silman's rook endgames course. It was particularly effective the way certain positions repeated through the course - an excellent learning tool. I'd like bishop + pawns vs knight + pawns endgames in a course.

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #43


         How to deal with "driving range syndrome" and take one's game "to the course".
    Just like in golf , where one can hit shot after beautiful shot at the range only to
    implode over 18 holes, in chess one can study strategy and tactics and position for hundreds
    of hours only to get swamped in a game and wonder what went wrong.
         It seems I have never played the Philidor, Lucena, or Saveedra in a real game.
    I have rarely sacrificed a rook for a knight as occurs in every third Tactics Trainer
    problem.  I have never traded my queen for the h6 pawn and then swooped in
    with my rook and knight.  And I have never moved my b-pawn one move like
    Karpov and suddenly gone from a losing position to dominance.
          I say this with humor but I really do have a problem of finding "when" to
    play the right move, yet I always seem to notice good moves when I am
    observing highly rated games.
           A course on "timing" in chess, which is so crucial, would be greatly

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #44


    Yes, there's a difference between recognizing when the conditions are right for a Lucena position and actually creating those conditions.  Some focus on how to actually create favourable transitions to the endgame as opposed to simply recognizing them when they're already there would be good.

    That said I trade rooks for minor peices to simplify into won King-and-pawn endgames quite frequently.

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #45


         How about a course on "How to analyze your own games."  It seems very
    few average players know how to review a game, even when they look at the
    computer analysis they can be lost.

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #46


    zankfrappa wrote:

         How about a course on "How to analyze your own games."  It seems very
    few average players know how to review a game, even when they look at the
    computer analysis they can be lost.


    How to analyze a game and how to evaluate a position. These are key skills seldom taught satisfactorily and comprehensibly anywhere I have ever seen.

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #47


         How about some chess games of Julio Becerra and Iryna Zenyuk.  They both
    write weekly columns for and both played in their respective U.S.
    Opens this year. 
         I think a lot of members here don't even realize this fact.  Also, we could
    have courses analyzing some of the other masters who are members here, we
    have about 100 titled players.

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #48


         Here's an idea although it may be difficult to come to fruition.  A course that
    breaks down a game into percentages.  Let's say Game A is determined to be
    45% tactical and 55% positional, or Game B is broken down as 30% tactical,
    50% positional, and 20% strategic (if it can even be broken down those three ways).
         We could have several different experts at debate and see how
    much they agree or disagree.

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #49


    paul211 wrote:

    Pawns moves in the opening and the middle game to be ready for the endgame.

    I like this idea.  Also, those mysterious rook moves....

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #50


         How about a course on "Vote Chess" games.  Some of the games at
    could be reviewed, and strategy for this format could be discussed.

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #51


         Since I used to teach and tutor math, how about a course on math and chess?
    Some Knight's Tours follow the Magic Square patterns, the probability of moves,
    unusual math and chess statistics, fun math and chess facts and so forth.

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #53


    First of all. Thanks to you dpruess for all your contributions to I se there is a lot great ideas here. I would also love to se a course on gambit-openings, and some rare/unusual(but still good) openings:)

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #54


    Gambits and maybe even more genrally exploiting a lead in development would be good.  I often find I have better development and the initiative but that I'm a little lost on what to do with it.

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #56


    All of the ways to avoid or minimize the things we get distracted by, things happening off the board....

    This could mean showing up hungry, thirsty, tired, nauseous, drunk or hungover.

    It might be things outside of our control, like a noisy playing area where you can hear a baby crying or an old man that won't stop coughing or clearing his throat. Others eating or rummaging through backpacks are also irritating.

    The temptation to go watch other games and get caught up in that game more than your own.

    I suppose it's different for everybody, but it could even be the simple things like the lure of a woman in a revealing top or seeing the bright sunlight shining through a window while you're inside in a cold, dim-lit chess club. 

    These things affect performance, but I haven't seen too many GMs comment on this. I guess it's the basic question: How do we keep our head in the game with so much else going on around us?

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #57


    How about one for "learning to calculate complicated positions better " ? The kind where lazy thinking or merely playing from the gut will get you nowhere?

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #58


         How about a course on bullet and blitz chess?  Some of the strategies, such as
    eliminating knights since defending them takes time to calculate, and should one
    attack or defend and so forth.

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #59


         I noticed in the last 4 rounds of the U.S. Women's Open there were no draws,
    twenty games in-a-row, which must be a record.
         How about a course on really unusual chess records, games, statisics, or
    anything that really stands out from the proverbial norm?

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #60


    There is already a course on , it's called google

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