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2.Heisman's Improving Chess thinker to see how class A and experts think differently and how to better emulate them. Also evaluate flaws in your own thinking process."
This is also the way Silman writes in his books and it is highly regarded as a good way to take a given position and see how players of differing strengths see (or don't see) how to procede. I find it very helpful as well as interesting reading.
I have a rating of about 1850 and I think it's almost impossible to go higher than that without a coach AND hard work. Books can help , of course , but they are not enough. When I reach 1850 I get crushed by higher rated people and I move back... The same happens to tactics... 1850-1900 and then back because of failures.
The same thing with Blitz (bullet is a complete disaster for me because of my tablet pc and slow connection).
Bridging the gap between the intermediate and the master level is just not easy...
You do notice, though, that you're answering people who were posting here several years ago...
A big difference between masters and everyone else is their knowledge of the endgame. I recommend Capablanca's Best Chess Endings: 60 complete games.
Yeah , that's an old forum. Didn't notice.
A big difference between masters and everyone else is their knowledge of the endgame.
. . . and their grasp of the middlegame. And their grasp of the opening. And their positional understanding. And their tactical vision. And . . .
You are actually very wrong and he is right.
Endgame understanding improves significantly the middlegame and the opening understanding.It also improves the ability to calculate and plan.
So overall a better's player main quality is his superior endgame understanding.
Could be. At my level, though (below master-class), it seems that most games are decided by tactical blunders in the middlegame, rather than long-term endgame play.
Either way, I still firmly believe that master-level players have a firmer grasp of all areas of the game, from studying each phase in particular (and not just a trickle-down effect simply from endgame study).
Back to the topic of the thread, I'd recommend books like "Reasess Your Chess" by Silman, and "My System" by Nimzo—books that teach you a positional and strategic understanding that can be applied to all phases of the game.
Though I still firmly believe that master-level players have a firmer grasp of all areas of the game (and not just a trickle-down effect simply from endgame study).
Most masters that I know of actively study things (like current opening theory, et cetera), rather than simply saying, "What do I need to study anything else for? I just need to study endings and every other aspect of my game will be perfect!" :D
But the problem with the masters is that they don't want to focus on one topic because they need better tournament results and they think opening play is one of the main ways to get them.
It is also a huge chessplayer psychology issue.One that gets crushed in the opening won't say "I am clueless" , he will say "I didn't know the opening".
He won't say "my understanding sucks".He will say "I need to study openings".And happy for discovering the "ultimate truth" he will do so
It is more than certain that if you don't start with endgames when you are a beginner , the gap will probably stay for ever.It is also more than certain that if you don't see it working(The Big Digestion) you will never believe in it.
That was the "big" secret of the so called Soviet school.
Teach endgames before everything else.
People that know the value of the endgame will never say " study endgame to win the endgames that occur in your games".Because that's the less important of endgames virtues.
One man that really understood a lot said:
"In order to improve your game, you must study the endgame before everything else. For whereas the endings can be studied and mastered by themselves, the middle game and opening must be studied in relation to the end game."
As you see Capablanca doesn't say study endgames to win endgames.He says study endgames to understand chess.
But you also see that he says study endgame before everything else.Capablanca knew more than anyone that if you don't start with endgames , it will become increasingly difficult to study them later.
Unfortunately everyone thinks that he knows better than Capablanca.
"I am living proof that the NM level can be reached without focusing more on endings than the other 2 phases of the game . I have focused the bulk of my chess study time on middlegames and openings with the least amount of time going to endings and this has resulted in the ending being my weakness when compared to the other two phases , most of my wins come in the middlegame and I try to play my games in such a way that a crisis is reached in the middlegame because at my age I no longer have the stamina/energy to play long drawn out endings anyway." - NM Reb (~5 weeks ago)
"Look through Chapter 4 and you will get a good idea of how sloppy your endgame play can be. ... do national masters come into their own here? Can we claim to be strong players in the endgame at least? Alas, the answer is a resounding no! ..." - NM Peter Kurzdorfer (2015)
What It Takes to Become a Chess Master by GM Andrew Soltis (2012)
Reaching the Top?!: A Practical Guide to Playing Master-Level Chess by NM Peter Kurzdorfer (2016)
By the way, a cautionary tale might be of interest. About 4 years ago, a player in the 1900s announced his intention to try to become a master and regularly report on his progress. His rating went down and, as far as I can tell, never got back to the level of the number given in the first report. After about ten months, the writer wrote about the size of the world compared to the game, and, as far as I can tell, stopped writing the reports.
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