Friday, February 04, 2011

chess improvement

I thought a bit about chess improvement and noted that what some people (learners, not instructors) seem to miss sometimes is the importance of actually playing the game and playing it at tournament speeds (ie, slow, for those of you without any chess experience). Perhaps it's just me, so don't be offended if you feel implicated. One canonical example discussed on web-logs is the phenomenon of Michael de la Maza - what the people don't comment on much is that he played around 200 tournament-speed games over 2 years when doing his "rapid chess improvement" and critically examined them. Many discuss his tactical study plan, but few try to emulate that aspect. Dan Heisman recommends, IIRC, 55% practice, 45% study, but it's easy to let get out of balance, as it's easy to sit there with a book and hard to carve out time for a G/90. That's three hours, after all! And all at once! Probably with another human (at least, it's best with another human)! Anyway, there are some opportunities around me to regularly plan in tournaments, so I'll do that and just let my rating float up.

Note: I'm being very lazy up there, I could just google what Dan Heisman recommends, he has a great web site with some great articles. It could be 45/55 rather than 55/45, but the point is still the same.