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Study old masters games

  • #1

    I would study GM's games, but before study modern games I would study old master's games (Morphy, Steinitz, Lasker, Capablanca, Rubinstein, Alekhine), and then study modern games with books like "Understanding chess move by move". Do you think it is a good idea?

  • #2

    Download the latest fritz you can get your hands on. It comes with a database. Go to the tab that shows what year the game was played and click it. After that, go through it and analyze with Fritz.

    Books are nice. But the new wave chess computation can be like having one of the best books ever written that is infinately many pages long. It can create an anlysis as deep as a GM with some time invested in a mater of seconds. It doesn't speak english, or any dictated language for that matter, but it is very concise about positional advantages for black or white.

  • #3

    LoL! Well put. And I see where you are coming from. However, I would argue that chess computers have the ability to simply show you exactly why a certain move is questionable or a blunder by playing out every possibility you could imagine and showing you what combinations lead to material advantage. 

    I definately agree chess books offer insight a computer could never replicate, and I would go so far as to meet you half way and recommend a combination of the two. One for instruction, and the other for asking questions. 

    One classic book that everyone seems to talk about for the past ten years is Pawn Power in chess by Hans Kmoch.

  • #4

    A very good book is "Why Lasker Matters" by Andrew Soltis, Batsford, London, ISBN 0 7134 8983 9 ( also www.anovabooks.com ), 318 pages.

    I quote : " With over 100 annotated games, Soltis analyses the tricks, traps and techniques behind Lasker's winning moves, and makes Lasker's method's accessible to todays players ".

    If not available in Italy, see www.schaakboek.nl

  • #5

    Now I can't buy other books because I already spent some money on books.

  • #6

    Fritz 13 does a decent job of showing you alternate lines and moves.  It also gives you alternate lines at the point where the opening leaves the "book" and refers to GM game continuations for the first "departure" move.  It will give you comments such as "black is cramped" or "a shorter path would be..." but it doesn't discuss strategy or positional considerations.

    Many of us have a tendency to rely on computer analysis to show us what went wrong, but this is all but useless unless you replay the game, move by move first, making your own notes and list of candidate moves before asking the engine to give you all the answers.  You have to be able to "see" the best move, not "saw" the best move after the game is over.

  • #7

    True. But the goal of looking over games with a chess computer is to evolve your aspect of the game and how you think about chess in general. Getting caught up with one little game you played and all the thoughts that could have possibly gone through your head is quite exhausting.

    For the most part you have a good point. It is not a good idea to too heavily rely on chess computers immediately without doing any calculating on your own. If you don't do the work, you won't get better.

  • #8

    I agree with @paulgottleib.  Putting it another way, they tell us what but not why.  It's a bit like taking a test and having someone give you all the answers.  You'll pick up a bit of knowledge by osmosis but you must be able to do it yourself OTB without a crutch - unless of course you enjoy playing with computers rather than learning chess.


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