Saturday, January 24, 2009

Accumulate Small Advantages

Well, I'll see how long this lasts. Don't they say you need to do something for 21 days to make it a habit? So I'm going to try to keep this up for 21 days ... even if I have nothing to post.


I did 20 today. I went on quite a roll and rattled off 9 in a row and moved above 1800 for the first time in a LONG time. The minimum goal is 20 blitz tactics a day at ChessTempo. I was up over 2000 (blitz rating) quite a while ago, but dropped dramatically after the admin updated the algorithm for rating adjustments. So getting to 1800 after being in the 1750's-1780's for the last several weeks is a good sign.

Logical Chess

When I started reading this book, I was updating a .pgn file with all the commentary Chernev wrote so that I could have the whole book in .pgn format. My reason for doing this is so that I can go back and read the book over and over again, but have it in .pgn file for easier reading. The downside to this is that it is so tedious. I'm up to game 9. But since I've been in this book for so long, I just want to get through it without putting pressure on myself to put it in .pgn format. So I'm just going to read the book and follow along in the .pgn file without worrying about typing it up.

Today I went over game 9. I would regularly ask myself what move I would make before looking at the next move. I've heard this is a great way to study GM games. I felt the cogs turning in my head and was much more into the book than if I had just read it.

I learned a couple of concepts from game 9.

Get the rooks out of their corners.

The other one is one particular paragraph. It says,
"Note that White has not embarked on dubious long-range combinations. His plan,
in most cases aimed at increasing his positional superiority, is made for a few moves only. Don't believe all those stories you hear of chess masters analysing intricate combinations with dozens of variations for thirty moves ahead. They don't do this because they don't have to! It is far easier and more to the point to look only a few moves ahead and try to maintain at least an equal game at every stage. Winning by accumulating small advantages is more consistent with a common-sense approach than to seek to overwhelm the opponent with bewildering combinations and venturesome sacrificial attacks. Strengthening one's own position gradually while undermining that of the opponent is more important than indulging in fruitless speculative fancies."
This is what the whole book is about ... how you go about identifying weaknesses in your opponent's game and how you can accumulate those small advantages.

That's all for today.


  1. So Logical chess gets thumbs up from you? Any review on the net you wholeheartedly agree with?

    Tactics is good to practise so that you keep it in your fingers but i am not a believer of the circles methode. But as it works for you then go for it, for me it just doesn't work since i only learn the answer out of my head instead of the charistics of the position.

  2. Yes, Logical Chess gets a thumbs up from me. I've heard both argument for and against the book. I guess I trust those who really recommend it. Dan Heisman comes to mind. I've heard other players (who are quite bit higher rated than I) who said they've read the book several times.

    As to the tactics ... I don't do the circles method any more. I simply try to hone my tactical vision by working on at least 20 tactics a day at ChessTempo.