Chess Advice most chess players don't like to hear

sfaok

Chess is just a game.

Sigmoid_Flexure
Shivsky wrote:

 

...So a hopefully fun forum question => What kind of "good" chess advice has most players sticking fingers in their ears and going "la-la-la-la" or is  shunned like a vampire running away from a crucifix?

To start the ball rolling => "Roll up your sleeves and learn to actually analyze a position  ...  stop trying to wing it!"


la la la la Smile

yusuf_prasojo
Shivsky wrote: => stubbornness to follow said good advice holds a lot of us back ...

The problem is that there are too many good advices, and there's no standard to quantify the goodness of each advice, to compare one good advice with another good advice. And it is almost impossible to quantify it because the situation is different from player to player. So, how can you follow all of them? Isn't it normal to follow some good advices and skip some others?

There's one common practice that I don't follow. It must be "important" when the method is used in and by good chess school. But I just don't want to follow it because I have many agenda queeing on my to-do list. And no one can show me how important it is compared to the ones in my to-do list.

It's to practice playing chess with chessboard being flipped.

orangehonda
yusuf_prasojo wrote:
Shivsky wrote: => stubbornness to follow said good advice holds a lot of us back ...

The problem is that there are too many good advices, and there's no standard to quantify the goodness of each advice, to compare one good advice with another good advice. And it is almost impossible to quantify it because the situation is different from player to player. So, how can you follow all of them? Isn't it normal to follow some good advices and skip some others?

There's one common practice that I don't follow. It must be "important" when the method is used in and by good chess school. But I just don't want to follow it because I have many agenda queeing on my to-do list. And no one can show me how important it is compared to the ones in my to-do list.

It's to practice playing chess with chessboard being flipped.


I took the question more as, what are some things we know better than but chose not to do them anyway.  Like advice we consider good or useful, but for whatever reason proverbially have our fingers firmly in our ears.

Something for me, I play a lot of blitz, and often against easy opponents -- I know it doesn't help but chess isn't a job to me, I use it to unwind too.  Not that I purposefully avoid stronger players... but if a fish happens to join my game and want to play 10 in a row I never say no Smile  If instead say I sat down and deeply analyzed some WC match for hours at a time and after a few months had looked over the games so much as to have them memorized -- hell I'd probably jump 100 points in no time, but it's not worth the work Tongue out

As for advice I've heard but don't know how good it is... I was told if you memorize all of Fischer's tournament games, one after another, (without having to recall all of them at the end, just hold them in your memory for a few days as you keep going on to the next) then your rating will automatically jump 300 points...

Artsew
orangehonda wrote:

I was told if you memorize all of Fischer's tournament games, one after another, (without having to recall all of them at the end, just hold them in your memory for a few days as you keep going on to the next) then your rating will automatically jump 300 points...


I hope Carlsen hasn't done that yet. He will be the first to breach the 3.000 then Cool

 

But on topic. "Always take your time to understand the position before moving. Especially when your opponent is just blitzing out moves"

I've got a student who can play pretty well, but starts losing when his opponent begins blitzing moves. He then somehow feels obligated to do the same. Even when he has over 1 and a half hour left on his clock. Very sad.

El_Gremio

yea i dont study games

i just play to have fun

rothbard959

Train, Play, Analyse

Train, Play, Analyse

Train, Play, Analyse...

And

Just Play!

rubygabbi

I'm admittedly lazy when it comes to studying the openings (in any kind of depth, at least). And I'm a bit confused about its value. On the one hand, you had a great player like Reshevsky who hardly studied the openings, and Capablanca himself stated many times that too much emphasis has been placed on this, whereas studying endgames is far more important.

On the other hand, all you see nowadays is the analysis of openings - in books, articles, blogs - everywhere.

So what's the better advice?

hicetnunc
rubygabbi wrote:

I'm admittedly lazy when it comes to studying the openings (in any kind of depth, at least). And I'm a bit confused about its value. On the one hand, you had a great player like Reshevsky who hardly studied the openings, and Capablanca himself stated many times that too much emphasis has been placed on this, whereas studying endgames is far more important.

On the other hand, all you see nowadays is the analysis of openings - in books, articles, blogs - everywhere.

So what's the better advice?


At first, you need basic opening knowledge (control the center, develop your pieces, etc.)

Then you need to play

Then you need to look at old GM games,

Then you can start serious opening study, but you're probably at least 1800 elo

Atos
rubygabbi wrote:

I'm admittedly lazy when it comes to studying the openings (in any kind of depth, at least). And I'm a bit confused about its value. On the one hand, you had a great player like Reshevsky who hardly studied the openings, and Capablanca himself stated many times that too much emphasis has been placed on this, whereas studying endgames is far more important.

On the other hand, all you see nowadays is the analysis of openings - in books, articles, blogs - everywhere.

So what's the better advice?


Capablanca played at a level where he could be pretty certain of reaching an approximately even endgame, so that he could apply his endgame skills. If you get mated in the middlegame, or you get into the endgame two pieces and several pawns down, endgame knowledge will not matter much.

There is literature on endgames though but I am not an expert.

DMX21x1

I don't like studying either, I'd rather play.  Most of my knowledge of the game comes from experience accumulated playing it.  I like to learn as I go, as Gandalf once said "The burned hand teaches the best." 

I try to avoid overly complicated positions wherever possible, just keep it simple.  Easy said but for the most part this works for me.  I do look over old defeats, although not usually the entire game.  Most of the time it's not necessary, I am aware almost instantly where I went wrong.  On a rare occasion where I can't find it I'll ask Fritz.

Kasparov analysed his victories too but I only do that if I was particularly impressed with myself in that game or if I'm needing a lift out of some Chess related slump. 

nuclearturkey
DMX21x1 wrote: 

Most of the time it's not necessary, I am aware almost instantly where I went wrong. 


If you were to analyze some of your games with a strong coach (Master), you'd quickly realize that's probably not the case.

nuclearturkey
DMX21x1 wrote:

Kasparov analysed his victories too but I only do that if I was particularly impressed with myself in that game or if I'm needing a lift out of some Chess related slump. 


I think it's a good idea to analyze all of your serious games. There'll almost always be mistakes in any game and very often for me my wins are just as full of them as my losses...

justice_avocado

don't play chess naked

dpruess

As a teacher, my impression is that there is precious little advice the student actually wants to hear. Almost anything about how you need to work to improve is disregarded.

For example people write in to Jeremy Silman's column and ask him how to become a master. He'll list many things including "playing over 10 000 games" (I forget the exact number). Rather than starting to look over games, they'll reply in the comments section that he's lying, making it up.

"You should analyze your own games: losses and draws particularly." So, I've been doing this program "your games analyzed" for over 20 weeks now, in which a chess.com member has the opportunity to select any game of theirs and show it to me, and i'll go over it, ask about their thought process, and give my comments and feedback on the game. I believe I have seen 1 loss and 1 draw submitted out of ~25 games.

"Don't use computer engines until you are over 2400." but you see, a computer can "analyze" a game in a few minutes without any effort from the player-- who cares if they won't learn A SINGLE THING? and it's cheaper to ask a computer what you did wrong than hiring a master-- never mind that after the computer affixes a ? (or two) to one of your moves and provides an alternative, you'll be none the wiser as to why your move is not best, why the suggestion is better, what principle(s) is in operation, why you made the mistake you made, or what you'd have to do to produce the computer's move in a future game.

or when i give players in the 1000-1800 range advice on improving their tactics, viz: 10-15 min per day of solving simple tactical puzzles. the goal is to increase your store of basic patterns, not to work on your visualization, deep calculation. remember that is your goal. you are not trying to prove that you can solve every problem. if you don't solve a problem within 1 minute, stop. it's probably a new pattern or you would have gotten it by now. (with private students i'll take the time to demonstrate this to them: show them through examples that they can find a 3-4 move problem in 10 seconds if they know the pattern, and that they can fail to find a mate in 2 for 10 minutes if they don't know the pattern). look at the answer, and now go over the answer 3 more times in your head to help the pattern take hold. your brain can probably take on 2-3 new patterns between sleeping, so you should stop once you've been stumped by 2 or 3 problems (usually will take about 10-15 min). there is no point in doing more than that in one day. and any day you miss, you can't make up for. a semi-random estimate on my part is that you need about 2000 of these patterns to become a master. so you need to do this for 2 years or more.

i would guess that less than 1 in 100 of the people i have given this advice to have followed it to the letter. if they enjoy it, they'll waste their time doing it for 1.5 hours in a day, choosing to ignore that it's not helping them [after 15 min]. or some with ego issues will insist on trying to solve every single position (if only they linked their ego to their self-discipline Tongue out).

i could go on and on. from my experience, there are exactly two kinds of advice players *do* like to get:

- "you don't need to do x." Love, love, love, love that!! eg: "you don't actually need to memorize openings to be a master;" or "you don't need to calculate in positions like this, you can just move your pieces towards the best squares;" or "you don't need to study the endgame until your games are balanced enough to reach a lot of even endgames." people really drink that stuff up. sort of related is #2

- "see, this principle explains the entire position." provided the principle was well-explained, people love this too. well, on the one hand, powerful principles can often be pure gold; but i can't help but jadedly suspect that part of it may be that it is another pass for playing without working. playing according to principles is so much easier than employing painstaking analysis.

but anyway, chess is supposed to be fun, so have fun. you don't need to calculate if you don't like to. you don't need to revisit your losses if they are painful. you all have my not-even-one-iota-of-sarcasm-or-irony blessing to keep playing as you do. it's even fine with me if you ask me for advice and then ignore it as long as we all have fun in the process.

besides, people with an extremely strong desire to improve (in any field) pretty much all do put in serious work, and take pains to make sure they incorporate messages they are instinctively resistant to into their thoughts. when other masters tell me: "david, you aren't going to like hearing this, but here's what i think your problem is," i perk up. but currently i'm not doing the work to take advantage of that advice. i just enjoy playing Smile

zankfrappa

IM Pruess,

I joined Chess.com on November 21st, 2008 and I often spend hours on the
Tactics Trainer.  I peaked at 2295 and now am at 1710(However, Jay tweaked
the rating system so most people have dropped quite a bit).
 
Anyway, my point is am I overdoing it?  I certainly feel I can learn more than 2-3 problems a day before sleeping, maybe 9-10. Should I do only 15 minutes per day? I am remembering a lot of the problems when I see them again so they are
in my long-term memory, but then again there are 49,648 total problems.

Shivsky

@IM dpruess : Thank you for writing that.  Was hoping to hear a regular coach share some of his observations and this was very, very helpful!

Shivsky

NM Dan Heisman has a lot to say about roadblocks that we seem to be in denial about.

http://www.chesscafe.com/text/heisman23.pdf

dpruess

zankfrappa, since the whole point of this thread is about how people do or don't listen to advice, i'm going to turn your question back to you: what do you think my answer is to your question? (it's in my previous post).

shiv, glad it was helpful :-)

zankfrappa

IM Pruess,

Okay, I am going to spend only 15 minutes per day on Tactics Trainer.  I guess I
feel like since I paid for a Premium Membership I should get my money's worth.

I will spend more time on Chess Mentor and analyzing instead.  Thanks.