The Chess Wanderer

"Les pions sont l´âme du jeu" Francois-André Philidor, 1749

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Please Don't Tell My Girlfriend

I just bought $120 worth of chess books from Amazon. Two of them were library binding so they were damn expensive. She would kill me if she finds out. I hope she doesn't sign for them when they arrive. At least I put them in two different shipments so hopefully they won't arrive at the same time.

I like CD's post on OCD. I think good chess players need to have a little of it or they wouldn't keep at it. It takes a different person to do chess problem after chess problem and never get enough. I forgot which one of the knights said it but they did something like 15,000 problems in the last year or so! Can you imagine if we all did that many math problems? We would be living on the moon right about now. I'm having a hard time concentrating on work though, my mind keeps wandering to mating patterns and clearance sacs.

I'm still working on tactics but I really need to get cracking on "Winning Chess Endings", my games keep falling apart toward the endgame because I am at a loss for moves. I usually shuffle my rooks around and Fritz gets all pissy on me for that. I'm taking a DLM approach to "Winning Chess Tactics" now. I re-read three chapters at a time then I go back and only do the diagrams. So far so good, only missed two problems and it takes me a lot faster to recognize the themes this time around. I think it helps that I used a day to memorize the different motifs mentioned in the book (Double Attacks, Pins, Skewers, King Tactics, Deflection, Open Files and Diags, Pawn Tactics, Decoys, Clearance Sacrifices, X-Rays, Windmills, Zuschwizug, Types of Draws). Recognizing the different themes is becoming second nature to me now. I surprised one of my opponents at the chess club because I didn't fall for his deflection tactic that he must have thought was cleverly hidden. It shouldn't take me longer than a couple of days to go through the book in this fashion. Then I plan to tackle the endings book before going into Don's 10-Circles of Hell program.

Finally, they say you should pick a hero and I've decided to pick Steinitz. I like his style of play and I want to model my playing style after his.


At 2/22/2005 11:03 AM, Blogger Temposchlucker said...

Hi PS,
I tried to signup on the ICQ-interest group, but got no response from you. Maybe I did something wrong because I'm new to ICQ?

At 2/22/2005 11:08 AM, Blogger Temposchlucker said...

Ok, I'm in.

At 2/22/2005 7:15 PM, Blogger Don Q. said...

Your secret is safe with me. It's all about the chess books anyway. Sure we can do problems all we want, but everyone knows that chess improvement is directly proportional to the number of chess books you buy. Even better is the number of unread chess books you have.

At 2/22/2005 7:27 PM, Blogger Jim said...

$120? Heck, if that was all I spent my wife would dance a little jig. My freaking clock alone cost $80.

Spend the $$$, partner. . .you can't take it with you and you should make your kids earn their own rather than leave it to them. . .


At 2/23/2005 8:27 AM, Blogger fussylizard said...

Sounds like you are well on your way to "Chess Book Grandmaster". Welcome to the club. :-)

I've actually gotten better about buying fewer chess books lately, thought my weekly match opponent has switched openings a bit so I had to get some references on that.

At any rate, I really enjoy just reading through chess books, even though I know it does about zero for my chess improvement. At least I'm reading rather than watching TV or playing video games or something...


At 2/25/2005 10:12 AM, Blogger CelticDeath said...

I've got quite a few chess books, myself, but I'm convinced that I really don't need all but a very few of them. After all, you can read them all you want, but if you don't master the material they cover they will only minimally add to your game. Last year, I spent 6 months studying Pachman's Modern Chess Strategy. I went through and memorized each game as well as its variations. Only when I could replay the game and variations from memory would I move on to the next game/subject area. I plan to do the same with Silman's Reassess Your Chess starting in June.

At 2/25/2005 3:59 PM, Blogger Pawnsensei said...

Actually they are chess history books, not for studying. I wouldn't pay that much for a couple of training books. I buy the cheap paperback ones so I can read them to shreds. The chess history books stay at home for leisure reading.



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