Masters Game Analysis, where to start?

OldPatzerMike
TS_theWoodiest wrote:

Okay than you. I have been working through Yusupov's build up your chess series and use the 500 master games of chess for annotated master games to analyze. Would you say that Pachman's book should be done in place of that or as well as? Skimming through, Pachman seems to have mostly full game scores anyway.

I've also started Yusupov's series and finished the first book last week. It's hard work but well worth it. To take a break from Yusupov, I am going back through Pachman. My belief is that there is great benefit from doing both, because of their different emphasis and teaching style. It also can't hurt to use the 500 master game book. 

Of course, we all have different learning styles, so what works for me might not be suitable for you and vice versa. Personally, I like some variety in my study materials, so I alternate books: Yusupov book 1, then Pachman, then Yusupov 2, then maybe books on IQP positions, followed by Yusupov 3, etc. In between books, or even while studying a particular book, I occasionally take time out to study some games from a collection.

In short, I wouldn't eliminate any of the books you are working on -- they're all valuable. Just mix them up to the extent you feel like doing.

TS_theWoodiest

I think I worded my last post poorly. I will continue the Yusupov series regardless. I meant to ask if Pachman's book would serve as a replacement for master game analysis. If so I would still eventually go through the 500 master games.

TS_theWoodiest

Actually I just realised that Pachman's book aims to achieve the same thing as Soltis' Pawn Structure Chess(although they are quite different), which I already have and am working through so I will save Complete Chess Strategy for another time.

OldPatzerMike

You can’t go wrong with any of the books you’ve mentioned, in any order. As a follow up to Soltis, I found Mauricio Flores Rios, Chess Structures: A Grandmaster Guide to be outstanding.

I’m curious what you think of Yusupov. After just the first volume, it has changed the way I think at the board. He does make you work, which is why his lessons sink in. My plan is to work through the whole series.

TS_theWoodiest

I love it. I'm only part way through the first book but it gives me a way to actually work through the book and to test the knowledge gained.

 

With other books I'm not always entirely sure what I should be doing. Or if I'm doing the right thing, I don't know if I grasped the material sufficiently to move on. I end up simply playing through examples and not really getting the point. Or maybe I did get the point and I should go to the next section but there is no way to test that.

 

I actually never really understood why most chess books aren't structured this way. I know some are reference material and others are like encyclopedias but I mean, every other textbook for any subject is structured that way.

 

It's like trying to learn physics by reading a novel about Einstein.

OldPatzerMike

Good to see another vote of confidence for Yusupov. After getting through about half of his first book, I played the best chess of my life: +4-1=1 in rated events, against opposition with a higher average rating than mine. His instruction is very effective.

My problem with a lot of other chess books is that the authors assume knowledge that you might not have. Years ago, I tried studying Botvinnik's "100 Selected Games". It was a waste of time because he was addressing players with a lot more knowledge than I had. It was frustrating to read "In such positions,..." without an explanation of what defined the kind of position. It would be helpful to have a rating system for chess books that gave a minimum strength for which the book would be helpful.

May your studies go well, and your results follow.

kindaspongey
OldPatzerMike wrote:

... My problem with a lot of other chess books is that the authors assume knowledge that you might not have. ... It would be helpful to have a rating system for chess books that gave a minimum strength for which the book would be helpful. ...

Some reviewers do try to provide this sort of information, but I suspect that there is a problem because the result of a book-reader interaction is not necessarily reliably predicted by the rating of the reader. Whenever practical, I suggest trying to examine an online sample before buying a book.

OldPatzerMike
kindaspongey wrote:

Some reviewers do try to provide this sort of information, but I suspect that there is a problem because the result of a book-reader interaction is not necessarily reliably predicted by the rating of the reader. Whenever practical, I suggest trying to examine an example an online sample before buying a book.

Good point. Things have improved since my experience with Botvinnik almost 50 years ago. And your links to reviews of books mentioned in posts are quite helpful. But there does remain some uncertainty, evidenced in many threads on these forums, about the appropriateness of various books for certain levels of players. I don't think a strict classification system is possible, but that doesn't stop me from wishing there were a better way for lesser experienced players to find out what they can reasonably handle.

BonTheCat
OldPatzerMike escreveu:

Good to see another vote of confidence for Yusupov. After getting through about half of his first book, I played the best chess of my life: +4-1=1 in rated events, against opposition with a higher average rating than mine. His instruction is very effective.

My problem with a lot of other chess books is that the authors assume knowledge that you might not have. Years ago, I tried studying Botvinnik's "100 Selected Games". It was a waste of time because he was addressing players with a lot more knowledge than I had. It was frustrating to read "In such positions,..." without an explanation of what defined the kind of position. It would be helpful to have a rating system for chess books that gave a minimum strength for which the book would be helpful.

May your studies go well, and your results follow.

This is why I recommended to wait studying the games of Botvinnik, and only do so after a number of other world champions/strong players. Once you reach a level of around 1800 and upwards, repeated study of Botvinnik's games closely is fantastic training (in my view, he's the most under-estimated of all World Champions - he was essentially an amateur from the outbreak of World War II onwards). Also, I think this is part of the point of studying well-annotated games collections, you won't get a clear picture of what you've actually learned, but you will have developed a better intuition, an innate skill as to where your pieces should go, and also a greater feeling for the transitions between phases in the game. My experience was the same with the Kotov and Keres series 'The Art of the Middle-Game', Think Like a Grandmaster', 'Play Like a Grandmaster', and 'Train Like a Grandmaster'. I came to them far too early the first time around. I remember having the same thought as you.

Yusupov is concrete, which is great on a more conscious level.

kindaspongey
BonTheCat wrote:

... the Kotov and Keres series 'The Art of the Middle-Game' ...

http://www.jeremysilman.com/shop/pc/Art-of-the-Middlegame-The-77p3554.htm

BonTheCat

Exactly, kindaspongey (although I think that perhaps Silman overstates the level somewhat, I'm not an IM, and I greatly enjoyed the 'The Art of Analysis' chapter on re-reading the book). Paul Keres is in my view one of the best authors on chess the world has ever seen. Batsford republished his best games collection in two volumes in an algebraic edition. They fleshed it out with some 15 or so games from the mid 60s through to his death in 1975, annotated by John Nunn. The difference is stark.

That said, I've started re-reading a number of old books, where I remember thinking that I didn't quite grasp the concepts presented, or where I felt I'd like to have more meat on the bones. With the experience gathered over the years, these days I'm much better able to appreciate the knowledge the authors are conveying.

DeirdreSkye

Keres is indeed one of the best authors , no doubt about it. All his books are  real masterpieces.

 

BonTheCat
DeirdreSkye escreveu:

Keres is indeed one of the best authors , no doubt about it. All his books are  real masterpieces.

 

Aren't they just! I always feel fired up to play having read one of his books or articles - he really makes the tournament chess come alive. Which reminds of a favourite quip of a friend of mine: 'A Keres game a day, keeps the losses away!'