Who is the slowest Calculator that you know who is also currently 2200 strength? Any IM/GM who are

darkunorthodox88
SeniorPatzer wrote:

"Basically, my point is that, There is such a thing as being slower than your rating peers in seeing things"

 

Thanks for saying that DarkUnorthodox88.   Since you are a NM, you have obviously played other masters in OTB rated games.   Have you done postmortem analysis with them and they were noticeably slower than you, or you slower than them, in calculating variations?

 

A derivative question.  Have you played a lower rated player, did a post mortem with them, they were faster than you in seeing things, but they still lost the game?

 

I don't really see why a fast calculator should lose to a slow calculator, in general, unless their ability to evaluate resulting positions is considerably faulty.  

 

I mean, if I was a fast calculator, I would just steer the game towards complicated tactical affairs with a wild sprawling thicket of variations, and win by out-calculating my opponent, and by seeing him in severe time trouble, and ultimately blundering.

And then during post mortem, he says, "I didn't see all that."

 

Have you ever won or lost that way?

positionally, i can hold my own very well agaisnt much stronger masters, but if we ever get in a position where concrete calculations of many lines is required, thats where i usually falter. Instead i do best in crazy positions where neither side even knows what direction the engine eval would be in! there my intuition is usually very strong.

as for weaker players? sometimes. I know a couple of 1900's who know almost no chess aside from being great blitzers and tacticians and they see as much as me, but MUCH faster, its kind of intimidating. They are what call "elite chess rednecks". no finesee but tactically, will chop you to pieces like they were swinging a machete. especially in blitz. These guys have GM scalps in blitz, bc of  how difficult it to refute some of their attacks in short time.

 

one of the ways being "slower" manifests in practice, is that i would sometimes lose my train of concentration, and would need to look at the same line 3 or 4 lines to finally have a clear idea of what's going on, whereas my faster compatriots are much more efficient in the process of elimination. Like i said earlier, what keeps me afloat is often a very strong intuition/sixth sense.

as for post-mortems i never felt too inadequate in the calculation process unless my opponents where much stronger. even as a 2200, whenever i discuss chess with some 2500 trying to show me something, i sometimes need to ask them to slow down a bit for my benefit.

Another thing about postmortems is that when we discuss games we played, we kind of already have in our heads, the lines we thought about and ready to discuss them, so its more comparing notes than actually calculating anything novel in front of us most of the time.

as for complications, well its difficult to say because the dichotomy between tactical vs positional chess is  often too one-dimensional. I am not a tactician by any means for example, but i love unclear messy positions. my chess is very "Laskerian" that way. Why i prefer positional disbalances over pure tactical slugfests,  i dont shy one bit going into the rabbit hole even vs GM's. I have even outplayed a Few GM's in very complicated games with my pet 1.b4 in serious games before.

But yes, people obviously try to steer games into their comfort zone. If you are not great at calculating, chances are you play safer more positional chess to compensate for your weakness. Likewise, if you are a tactical monster, you probably shoudnt be playing the karpov caro-kahn. 

SeniorPatzer

Darkunorthodox88, your comments are quite helpful.  Thank you.  

 

I chuckled out loud when I read your term "elite chess rednecks" for sub-2000 players who have no positional finesse, but who are lightning fast calculators for tactical melees.

 

"even as a 2200, whenever i discuss chess with some 2500 trying to show me something, i sometimes need to ask them to slow down a bit for my benefit."

 

Thanks for sharing that.  I appreciate the transparency, and the humility.

 

"I have even outplayed a Few GM's in very complicated games with my pet 1.b4 in serious games before."

 

You seriously have played 1.b4 against a GM in a serious OTB rated game before!  That's freakin' hilarious.    Now I totally get why you play 1. Nc3 at least once in every tournament.  You like the element of Opening Surprise.

chuddog

When it comes to improving dynamic and tactical play, I would say the priorities, in decreasing order, are:

 

(1) Learn to see tactical ideas to begin with: this is a combination of pattern recognition and your own creativity.

(2) Get into a habit of calculating (as in, at all). This may sound stupidly obvious, but you have no idea how many of my students <2000, and other players <2000 (and sometimes up to 2200) I've met, think almost entirely in terms of general concepts and don't calculate specific lines.

(3) Learn to calculate accurately. This is honed by solving lots of puzzles.

(4) Learn to calculate fast enough to avoid getting into terrible time pressure and thereby blundering or losing on time.

 

That last point, which is the one you're asking about, is by far the lowest priority. If you calculate slowly but accurately, and have the creativity to find tactics and make them happen, you will improve tremendously and have much better results in tournaments. Moreover, tournaments with a classical (long) time control provide a lot of time to think. Unless your goal is to become a better speed chess player, I would put much more emphasis on developing your tactical abilities and less on your tactical speed.

SeniorPatzer
chuddog wrote:

When it comes to improving dynamic and tactical play, I would say the priorities, in decreasing order, are:

 

(1) Learn to see tactical ideas to begin with: this is a combination of pattern recognition and your own creativity.

(2) Get into a habit of calculating (as in, at all). This may sound stupidly obvious, but you have no idea how many of my students <2000, and other players <2000 (and sometimes up to 2200) I've met, think almost entirely in terms of general concepts and don't calculate specific lines.

(3) Learn to calculate accurately. This is honed by solving lots of puzzles.

(4) Learn to calculate fast enough to avoid getting into terrible time pressure and thereby blundering or losing on time.

 

That last point, which is the one you're asking about, is by far the lowest priority. If you calculate slowly but accurately, and have the creativity to find tactics and make them happen, you will improve tremendously and have much better results in tournaments. Moreover, tournaments with a classical (long) time control provide a lot of time to think. Unless your goal is to become a better speed chess player, I would put much more emphasis on developing your tactical abilities and less on your tactical speed.

 

Thanks so much Chud Dog!!  I really appreciate the guidance on prioritizing which skills to work on.

aladork118
Me
kamalakanta

Senior Patzer, what year were you born?

SeniorPatzer

I was born in the 60's!

DanlsTheMan
SeniorPatzer wrote:

I was born in the 60's!

Do you remember the 1st lunar landing?

SeniorPatzer
DanlsTheMan wrote:
SeniorPatzer wrote:

I was born in the 60's!

Do you remember the 1st lunar landing?

 

Not really.  Unfortunately.  

DanlsTheMan

I was only about 1-1/2, too young to remember

ronwest911
chuddog wrote:

When it comes to improving dynamic and tactical play, I would say the priorities, in decreasing order, are:

 

(1) Learn to see tactical ideas to begin with: this is a combination of pattern recognition and your own creativity.

(2) Get into a habit of calculating (as in, at all). This may sound stupidly obvious, but you have no idea how many of my students <2000, and other players <2000 (and sometimes up to 2200) I've met, think almost entirely in terms of general concepts and don't calculate specific lines.

(3) Learn to calculate accurately. This is honed by solving lots of puzzles.

(4) Learn to calculate fast enough to avoid getting into terrible time pressure and thereby blundering or losing on time.

 

That last point, which is the one you're asking about, is by far the lowest priority. If you calculate slowly but accurately, and have the creativity to find tactics and make them happen, you will improve tremendously and have much better results in tournaments. Moreover, tournaments with a classical (long) time control provide a lot of time to think. Unless your goal is to become a better speed chess player, I would put much more emphasis on developing your tactical abilities and less on your tactical speed.

This is one of the nuggets of gold hiding in the endless trash heap of these forums. Thank you for your valuable insights.

SeniorPatzer
chuddog wrote:

When it comes to improving dynamic and tactical play, I would say the priorities, in decreasing order, are:

(4) Learn to calculate fast enough to avoid getting into terrible time pressure and thereby blundering or losing on time.

 

That last point, which is the one you're asking about, is by far the lowest priority. If you calculate slowly but accurately, and have the creativity to find tactics and make them happen, you will improve tremendously and have much better results in tournaments. Moreover, tournaments with a classical (long) time control provide a lot of time to think. Unless your goal is to become a better speed chess player, I would put much more emphasis on developing your tactical abilities and less on your tactical speed.

 

Thanks again, Chud Dog.  With regards to #4, I certainly see your point about it being the lowest priority.    Moreover, there really is no practical way of knowing whether you are calculating "fast enough to avoid getting into terrible time pressure."   And a large part of it is decision-making and time allocation.  I.e., "I don't have enough time to calculate all the variations and subvariations of various candidate moves to the depth I would like, so I'm going to decide on this one!  In the interests of clock management!"

 

Lastly, the recent big-splash news about AlphaZero greatly affirms your recommendation.  AlphaZero does not calculate at neither the speed or the depth of StockFish, sometimes several or more magnitudes of speed slower, but its analysis and evaluation of positions is much, much better than StockFish's.  

 

I've been so dazzled by the fast calculation that I see in Chess Streaming, and in kibbitzing sessions that I did believe to a large extent that fast calculation is the Holy Grail of Chess Excellence.  It's obviously a very helpful and a significant part of Chess Excellence, but slower calculators can still be very competitive!