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Hi everyone. I know that Urk is no longer with us, but his advice is still with me.
Urk advises us to improve our chess by playing over several hundred games played by great players from 1850-1950 or so. The games should be played on a physical board, preferably tournament size and wooden. The games should be played relatively quickly, though take the time to get at least a reasonable idea why a move was played. He said this is the most effective way to improve up until 1800 or so.
This advice sounds good to me, especially if you supplement it with practicing tactics problems. I wonder why this advice is not part of the conventional advice that is given when people ask how to improve. I suppose most people do say go over grandmaster games, but often the detail about how to do that is left out.
What are your thoughts on Urk's advice? Has it worked for you? Is it an efficient use of time vs other studying methods or even just playing more games?
I'm so confused
I've studied lots and lots of games. But I think it hurt me not to recognize tactics patterns first.
I would strongly urge doing it in that order, but don't simply solve tactics problems. After each problems, decide for yourself WHICH tactics were involved. Then compare your results with the tags others have applied to the problem. If you don't know what an X-Ray Attack is or a Dovetail Mate, etc. and you can't recognize the pattern when it's right in front of you, you are playing with an incomplete tool kit. You can see why certain moves were made in a GM game if you can see the tactic that was being set up. While books on tactics are very worthwhile, I think you should first know every tactic - by name and moves and pattern - that are on these two pages:
Urk was in our chess club, and was an inspiration to all members! I recommend you do exactly as he suggested.
There is no chess secrets. Your all going to end up Terminated in the end
You should see at AlphaZero games.It's moves are seems so random without humanistic pattern.The appearance of moves depend on the the response between both players.But the depth of tactical reasoning will determine the moves appearance.
Thanks for the input. I have been trying to follow Urk's advice recently. It can be hard to keep track of the move I am on, so I feel like it takes a long time to go between the board and the book without losing my place. I suppose that gets easier with practice?
I have been reading through a Tarrasch book and have been playing White or Black according to what he played. It seems he has played a lot more games as White based on this book, but maybe it contains hand-selected wins? Anyhow, should I keep playing the moves sitting from Tarrash's point of view or should I alternate colors each game. Don't want to only see it from White's point of view.
MickinMD - Good point, I should review the named tactics to make sure I can identify all of them when they come up. I have the basics down, but there are some tactics I am not as sure of (like xray). Those links look like they will be very useful!
I am using my wooden board too.
It might also help to have another small board next to your main board when you go over games. That smaller board is for going over variations so you don't lose your place in the game.
That is very good advice, with a little talent aswell you will get 1900ish with that method. Fischer endorsed playing through the games of Tarrasch, Keres and Bronstein(in that order) on a nice tournament board and pressing the clock after every move(with a digital you would not turn the clock on). This is so you get training in playing a good move(those GM's will expose you to quality moves) and pressing the clock. Play a good move and press the clock-exactly what club and tournament play is about. Fischer considered those players as the best for gaining improvement. So I got Tarrasche's "300 chess games", Keres' "The road to the top 1, and Bronstein's "The sorcerers apprentice". All wonderful books that together handle all parts of chess. Most importantly, the piece-meal approach of studying chess needs to end when you get to someting like 1600, in case you want to improve further. The game of chess is a homogeneous whole, thus complete games need to be played through. Urk is dead-right about this.
SeniorPatzer with this method you will be playing through hundreds of games per month, skip all the long disheartening variants otherwise you'll never finish such books. So no analysis board needed! And that method works!
There is no wonder to it, the people who write about chess need to make money to continue their chess addiction. To do that they have to re-hash the same old ideas in a new packages and hope that the sheep will not see it and just follow along.....
Several hundred games is an overstatement.
And openings are important.
I think Urk was just trying to convey how to play over games for improvement as it worked for him.