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Among other things, I’m reading up on championship games in an attempt to improve … maybe even reach that ever-elusive Grail of “competence” one day! But with very few exceptions—with almost NO exceptions for modern games—none of the games I study ends in a mate. One side or another always resigns first. And because of this, I always finish studying a recorded game more confused than I started.
Now, if you’re already a good player, you can probably see exactly why the loser resigned a particular game. If you’re a decent player, you can study it and eventually deduce why. But I’m not perceptive enough to do that yet, and plenty of other learners aren’t either. (How does one learn what a “lost” or “won” game is, if no one at tournament level and above ever demonstrates the REASON it’s lost/won?)
More to the point, is there some reference or source of high-level games that have actually ended in mate, so that one can see what the opening and middle game are attempting to do?
Happened between Anand and Short a few weeks ago
Most strong players see the mate before it happens and don't want to sit there when they know they're lost. Occasionally, it does happen if your person whose going to get mated is nice and let you do t he spectacular mate. In a recent elite tournament, there was a mate performed in the middle of the board. I don't recall the players but that was one of the few instances. Many resign far before mate as well when they have a completely losing position. The most common time mates do occur is in bullet when they have a chance to beat their opponent on the clock.
Understood, and it's hard to blame the players (though if mate's impending within a move or two, it seems less than sporting & mature not to take it like a man).
And I understand that a high-level game is primarily a competition, and only secondarily a learning tool. Still, this almost universal reluctance to let mate occur really hampers its effectiveness in this secondary role. As I said, it's almost impossible to learn why a position is "losing" if you can never see the CONSEQUENCES of the losing position play themselves out.
Check out this miniature between 2300+ players here on chess.com:
Thanks, Jemptymethod. And speaking as an ex-Atlantan: How 'bout them Gladiators?
At higher levels, players tend to resign once the situation is hopeless. Mate may not be anywhere in sight yet, but a lost position can still be obvious, for instance when one is down significant material without compensation for it. At master and higher levels, resignation often comes before the material even comes off the board, but once its loss is inevitable.
But don't worry that you don't understand why masters resign a game - try to figure it out yourself! Even if you can't, it isn't so bad, you probably don't understand a lot of the moves in those games, right?
Checkmate still occurs at all levels, but fairly rarely at higher levels of play.
that's hardly relevant. Your opponent blundered. End of. Stop showing off your wins and focus back on the topic
If you wanted to learn to play tennis, would you start by trying to return the serves of Andy Roddick?
If you wanted to learn to play basketball, would you start by playing one-on-one with Lebron James?
Forget the GM games, start with the basic mates, King and queen vs King, king and rook vs king, king and two bishops vs king.
Then basic won endgames: equal pawn's but one pice ahead (bishop, knight)
-3 pawn's ahead, 2 pawn's ahead, 1 pawn, same amount of pawn's but bad king vs good king.
After you have done this and understood some of it, you probably know better why people give up games long before mate...
I'd rest my hopes on the possibility that Lebron can't actually spell "H-O-R-S-E."
Still, though I wouldn't presume to match up against your examples, even the rawest beginning tennis player or basketballer can watch Wimbledon or the NBA finals on TV, understand the essentials of what's going on, and derive informed enjoyment from it.
Thanks: probably the best course of action. Shall see if I can find some resources. (Of course, it would be heavenly to understand how to REACH one of these "won" endgames!)
Shall see if I can find some resources.
www.chesstempo.com - this is a very good site to practise
Study them until you can spot them in your sleep. :)
Why dont you concentrate on not dropping pieces before you worry about the study of master games.
I tend to disagree; anyone who knows the rules of chess can benefit to some degree by studying master games. If you're better, you might get more out of it, but anyone can benefit to some degree.
its also fun to see a plan work perfectly from start to finish.
I agree with what this person wrote. :)
it takes practice and patience to see why a player resign in master games. i'm not a great player, but i try to figure out why he/she resigned by trying to "finish" the game. some games i get it, some i don't.
One of the reasons I enjoy chess is watching games like this unfold, whether it be a master or not. Chess just has so many little surprises that keep it intriguing to me.
I think master's games are great if they come with commentary aimed at a player of your current strength. If it is just he score of the game one might be left scratching one's head at many of the moves, as they are responding to tactical threats that we don't see of positional issues that we don't grasp.
I would reccomend the book "Logical Chess Move by Move" by Chernev. Its an older book, writen mid 20th century, but still very useful. It takes 33 games in which at least one of the players was master strength, and annotates each and every move from both sides of the board. The commentary is designed to be instructive to the novice. I am working through it right now and its a great book.
The chess teacher Jeremy Silman also reccomends looking over master games, but he suggests playing over large numbers of them and moving through them quite quickly, as an exercise in building up pattern recongnition and seeing typical themes and motifs, not as a "deep study". The idea is that if you are going to play x system then to take 30 masters games fort that opening and go over them fairly fast, not trying to deep analysis, but to get a general idea of "humm, looks like the most common approch is a queen's side attack", or "the a8-h1 diagonal was important in many of these games", that sort of thing.
I'm glad you wrote about Chernev's book, because I have it, but could not remember the exact title. I cannot find it and I hope it was not lost when we moved. I purchased it when it first came out. The notation is in descriptive, and for some that may be a problem. I learned to play chess using descriptive, although I think algebraic is far better. I would also recommend the book, and I hope I will be able to locate mine.
There are editions of Chernev's book that use modern notation. Barnes & Noble carries on in paperback for around $15.
This is good to know if I am unable to find my book. Thanks.