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I was a Diamond member for a year, but only tried Chess Mentor a few times. I just watched the introduction video for the first time, as a Platinum member, that explains all of the little buttons to click on. I never thought to click on any of the buttons on the bottom! Pretty cool stuff.
Would Chess Mentor help in regards to mate in one, two or three? I miss too many of these in live games, and I don't think I get enough repetition in this area with tactics trainer. Maybe I'm not using tactics trainer correctly either.
Here's just one example of the many games I have lost because I could not find checkmate. After seeing this missed mate, what will fix this problem the fastest - 1) tactics trainer, 2) chess mentor, 3) puzzle books, 4) nothing?
Now, I had a terrible cold at the time of this game, but even with a terrible cold, I can play my guitar just fine. I've got all of the guitar lead lines and chords down to the point where I don't have to think anymore. Is that what checkmate can be like?
I was too wordy in the first post. Sorry.
Would Chess Mentor improve one's ability to checkmate their opponent in one, two or three moves? Are there exercises in Chess Mentor that focus on checkmate? Thank you.
in your game black is still easily winning at the end position
there are plenty of exercises in chess mentor that focus on tactics. Champion Tactics by GM Wolff courses are all good
Thanks for the response. I am getting great practice here at chess.com with Tactics Trainer.
My greatest tactical weakness right now is checkmate.
I am very interested in checkmate exercises on a computer that focus precisely on checkmate in one, two and three. I miss too many of these when playing live chess.
i saw this mate almost instantly. i think it is soley due to the tactics trainer i doubt i would have gotten this one a couple of months ago before i started using tactics trainer.
on the note about mate in 1, 2, and 3 deals...tactics trainer does not allow (that i know of) for you to isolate such things. however, i like it that way becuase in the real world you need to be able to spot tactics without knowing the goal and how many moves to get there. often times i miss tactics because i take a queen when there could be a mate, or i miss taking a queen because i figure there must be a mate forthcoming. so i think it helps in the overall playing to be able to spot the differences between times that you should go for mate and times you should take the material. not sure if that makes any sense.
Thank you. It does make sense now. Tactics trainer does expose one to many different pins, discovered checks and numerous other tactics that occur in a real game.
I missed the above mate in one because I failed to see that White's rook was pinned to his King on g1. Had I seen the pin, I would have seen the mate in one.
there are several great tactics courses in chess mentor!
Your biggest weakness are tactics in general ( I told you that before, didn't I? :P ) which is the only problem for all of your level. In order to be able to spot tactics fast and accurate, you need to exercise. A lot. Tactics trainer is great for that, as is Chesstempo. You need to study these easy problems until there's no way you can EVER miss a mate in 1 or 2.
Your problem isn't quality, it's quantity. Thre are dozens, perhaps hundreds of checkmating patterns, and there's no course which will make you memorize them in a few hours. It needs hard work.
Yes, you (and everyone!) need to concentrate by far most of study-time on tactics in general since at amateur level probably just about all games are decided on tactics and tactical errors and missed chances. That means a good course in the basic themes - pins, forks, skewers etc. and working through lots of examples, not just to 'solve' them but to imprint the patterns.
And really, most of the work should involve examples of gain of material rather than 'mate in one, two etc.' since that is a much more accurate reflection of what decides most games.
Chess mentor is like a tactics coach who is personally teaching you:
1. extensive positions (hundreds)2. ask for a subtle hint if stumped3. ask for another hint if you still don't get it4. given the answer when you can't t get it at all5. progress chart to show how well you're progressing (relative to the use of the hints)
Better than reading traditional tactics and puzzle books because of the speed of progression!
just to add my my thoughts on this. i find the gain material tactics more helpful than the mate tactics for two reasons. it seems to me that the gain material things come up throughout the game whereas mating sequences (by definition, i suppose) occur mostly at the end of games. what i mean is, that i spend a lot more time (moves) trying to gain an advantage than i do trying to mate. also, i think that finding the tactic that wins you a piece, even if you miss a more subtle mate, should eventually give you the advantage to win later, theoretically anyway. of course, i don't play live games, so time is not an opponent of mine.
another great thing about tactics study, is you learn not to fall into those traps yourself. i have really become more aware of putting my pieces in situations where they can be pinned or forked. i think this adds to the previous point of going up a piece because i am also less likely to give that piece back later in the game.
You could do Bxf2# too
30...Bxf2+ 31. Bxf2
I have not forgotten your kind attention to my weaknesses.
Everyone who has posted in my thread is absolutely correct. I really need to buckle down and do tactics trainer daily. Now that I have been able to upgrade back to diamond status, I will dig into chess mentor as well and pick a lesson and complete it, then move on to another and complete it, etc. Rinse and repeat.
These chess patterns need to become as familiar to me as the thousands of guitar patterns and other instrument patterns that I can see in my head.
Finally, I am starting to practice chess in my head, like I did with the piano, guitar and saxophone. In music, I can look at a written (difficult) passage that I have never played before, practice it in my head with my eyes closed, and then execute it without error on those musical instruments.
So, I have just started this same learning process in chess - I close my eyes and see the board, the colors of each square - practicing various openings, tactics, etc. It helps to make the patterns stick.
As I typed the last sentence, I saw the first 5 moves of the Ruy Lopez flash before my eyes. It has become automatic, with no thought required.
just to add my my thoughts on this. i find the gain material tactics more helpful than the mate tactics for two reasons. it seems to me that the gain material things come up throughout the game whereas mating sequences (by definition, i suppose) occur mostly at the end of games. what i mean is, that
1. i spend a lot more time (moves) trying to gain an advantage than i do trying to mate.
2. also, i think that finding the tactic that wins you a piece, even if you miss a more subtle mate, should eventually give you the advantage to win later,
theoretically anyway. of course, i don't play live games, so time is not an opponent of mine.
Word. Two excellent points!
I know this man from chess.com who is taking a group lesson from Judit Polgar. He is a very strong, long time OTB tournament player. Polgar's goal for him and her other students is to teach the winning of just one pawn. That is it. One pawn! At his current rating, I can see where one pawn could be decisive.
At my rating in live blitz chess, I'm better than most in getting the lead in development. When I do win a minor piece, the game tilts towards a decisive advantage for me about 50 percent of the time, because my goal is clear. I trade down when ahead in material to simplify the endgame, i.e., pawn promotion or a basic checkmate.
So, any tactics training to gain a material advantage of more than one pawn is exactly what I need to be doing more of.
In my most recent 10/10 Blitz game, you will first see me establish a lead in development by playing the Danish Gambit. You will then see me miss a pawn fork, but then see it a few moves later, luckily winning a minor piece. Later in the game, my opponent blundered and I was able to exchange my rook for his queen. After that, I just kept trading down to simplify the endgame - checkmate. I made a few mistakes, but this is one of my better blitz games of the 463 that I have played here.
I took the time to annotate this game myself. You will gain an insight into my current amatuer chess thinking process. If you like, feel free to pick apart any faulty thinking on my part and correct it. I'm still a beginner.
Otherwise, just enjoy this Danish Gambit 10 minute blitz game played by a very low rated, but still having fun, beginning chess player.
"Hack Attack! with IM Thomas Rendle and John Sargent"
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