Two Plus Two Publishing LLC
Two Plus Two Publishing LLC
 

Go Back   Two Plus Two Poker Forums > >

Notices

Chess and Other Board Games Discussion of chess and other board game strategy.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-03-2018, 07:05 PM   #1
crash
journeyman
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 287
Entering first tournament in 25 years...

In October I will be entering my first tournament in around 25 years. Not really sure why... I guess I have a burning desire to get my ass kicked by a bunch of 12-year olds. I am "preparing" by doing the following:

1. Doing around 100 problems a week on Chess Tempo (blitz set)
2. Browsing through HTRYC (3rd edition with super-ugly cover)

My questions are these:

Any better ways to prep, given that my time is limited to a few hours a week here and there?

Historically my opening play has been terrible. Best way to do casual opening prep? I clearly will not be studying opening in any detail, but back in the day I recall getting into trouble within 4 or 5 moves, especially with the less-common openings. (E.g. center-counter, Petrov, Alekine). I'd like to at least not blow it early. (My plan is plan to blow it from moves 5-15.)

Background: at age 15 I reached 1600 or 1700. Quit around age 17, although I played a couple weekenders here or there in early 20s. Now late 40s.

I always played openings under the idea of "what has my opponent prepared the least for". Since I had done no opening prep, I didn't want his/hers to be of any value. So as white I played Sicilian closed, Ruy exchange, French exchange, etc. With this thought, I wonder if c4 wouldn't be a good choice for me.

As black I played the Dutch just because it seemed to annoy people. Against e4 I played the French, only because of a lack of other ideas.

Time control on October tourney is 40/90 I think, or thereabouts.


Thoughts on adopting openings?


Thought on ChessTempo? Just keep pounding the blitz problems?


Thanks
crash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2018, 10:32 AM   #2
The Yugoslavian
STTF HUC II Winner
 
The Yugoslavian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 24,236
Re: Entering first tournament in 25 years...

For openings I highly recommend you check out chessable.com and browse what they have available to see if any of the openings match. Some of their free content may overlap as well. Training on that platform is very easy with spaced repetition and you can even set it to not quiz you on full lines (I believe, anyway) in case you end up with a book that is too detailed to learn fully in the next couple of months.

For chesstempo my recommendation is to do standard problems, not blitz. At the very least until you are at problems where you need more than 5 minutes to solve them. This will help train your calculation a bit too and in a real game you are not really under blitz time conditions - getting as many problems right (or all problems right) should be the goal, not how quickly you are solving them.

Having said that, at some future point solving for speed may make a lot of sense.

I'm not even sure going through HTRYC is even useful - I went through some of it many years ago but my memory is that it focuses a lot on positional stuff and long-term planning - things I'm not sure you can "brush up" on. I think something better than that would be to go through an actual game (in one of the openings you plan to play) between high-level players and guess the moves for the side of the opening you play. The idea would be to write down all main variations/ideas for each move that you have - perhaps using a chess clock or timing yourself in some way somewhat similar to game conditions.

If you have annotations for the game, that's great as you can compare your thoughts to them. Even if you don't you can try to understand why the GM played his/her move and how it may differ from your moves - and also seeing other ideas from the computer. The idea is to simulate the skill of playing in an actual game and also to try to "see more" - ideas, tactics, positional elements, etc.

However, this sort of training is pretty time consuming and fairly demanding. If HTRYC seems more "fun" or "doable" it almost surely will be more useful - it's far more important to do something that you can fully immerse yourself into and focus on hard.

What Dutch do you play? I play Classical Dutch but have pretty much no experience with the French or playing 1.e4 fwiw.
The Yugoslavian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2018, 10:37 AM   #3
The Yugoslavian
STTF HUC II Winner
 
The Yugoslavian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 24,236
Re: Entering first tournament in 25 years...

For example, these are likely all excellent 1.e4 repertoire books:

https://www.chessable.com/opening-bo...xplained/2774/
https://www.chessable.com/opening-bo...or-white/7543/
https://www.chessable.com/opening-bo...pertoire/8209/ - this one was done by an up and coming chessable user and has gotten a lot of praise

They all have overview videos I think where it may let you know what kind of lines are recommended in the various books.

I don't think there is much specifically for The French or Dutch openings...but I may be wrong.
The Yugoslavian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2018, 03:02 PM   #4
AALegend
old hand
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Philly
Posts: 1,427
Re: Entering first tournament in 25 years...

Also, I would play some competitive "standard" length games. Like ICC 15-minute pool or 45 45 league to get in the mood of playing slower games.
AALegend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2018, 12:59 PM   #5
crash
journeyman
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 287
Re: Entering first tournament in 25 years...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Yugoslavian View Post
For openings I highly recommend you check out chessable.com and browse what they have available to see if any of the openings match. Some of their free content may overlap as well. Training on that platform is very easy with spaced repetition and you can even set it to not quiz you on full lines (I believe, anyway) in case you end up with a book that is too detailed to learn fully in the next couple of months.

For chesstempo my recommendation is to do standard problems, not blitz. At the very least until you are at problems where you need more than 5 minutes to solve them. This will help train your calculation a bit too and in a real game you are not really under blitz time conditions - getting as many problems right (or all problems right) should be the goal, not how quickly you are solving them.

Having said that, at some future point solving for speed may make a lot of sense.

I'm not even sure going through HTRYC is even useful - I went through some of it many years ago but my memory is that it focuses a lot on positional stuff and long-term planning - things I'm not sure you can "brush up" on. I think something better than that would be to go through an actual game (in one of the openings you plan to play) between high-level players and guess the moves for the side of the opening you play. The idea would be to write down all main variations/ideas for each move that you have - perhaps using a chess clock or timing yourself in some way somewhat similar to game conditions.

If you have annotations for the game, that's great as you can compare your thoughts to them. Even if you don't you can try to understand why the GM played his/her move and how it may differ from your moves - and also seeing other ideas from the computer. The idea is to simulate the skill of playing in an actual game and also to try to "see more" - ideas, tactics, positional elements, etc.

However, this sort of training is pretty time consuming and fairly demanding. If HTRYC seems more "fun" or "doable" it almost surely will be more useful - it's far more important to do something that you can fully immerse yourself into and focus on hard.

What Dutch do you play? I play Classical Dutch but have pretty much no experience with the French or playing 1.e4 fwiw.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply

I am somewhat relieved to hear you suggest the standard Chess Tempo problems rather than blitz, I enjoy the standard problems more anyway.

Re: Chessable, I will take a look, especially at any free things. I am unsure how much I will play after this tournament so I am reluctant to sink much money into prep. I have a fair # of books although some of them are a bit old. I do have some annotated GM games (e.g. Karpov's Best Games) so maybe I can do some "cover up the moves" practice.

Re: Dutch. It's been so long I don't really remember what I played after f5. I am not sure I even knew what the Stonewall etc. were. My goal was to try to take the opponent out of book early, since my own book was non-existent.

Last edited by crash; 08-08-2018 at 01:00 PM. Reason: Chessable not Chessbase
crash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2018, 01:07 PM   #6
crash
journeyman
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 287
Re: Entering first tournament in 25 years...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AALegend View Post
Also, I would play some competitive "standard" length games. Like ICC 15-minute pool or 45 45 league to get in the mood of playing slower games.
Would posting a game here with my thoughts at various moves be appropriate? I guess I would feel a little presumptuous, like I was trying to get free lessons from people
crash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2018, 09:09 PM   #7
The Yugoslavian
STTF HUC II Winner
 
The Yugoslavian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 24,236
Re: Entering first tournament in 25 years...

No that would be totally standard. Definitely post!
The Yugoslavian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2018, 10:11 PM   #8
NL Loki
adept
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Southern Hemisphere
Posts: 838
Re: Entering first tournament in 25 years...

Legit just do like 100 puzzles a day in the weeks coming up to those tournaments... tactics will be the main deciding factor in most of the games you play
NL Loki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2018, 07:37 AM   #9
The Yugoslavian
STTF HUC II Winner
 
The Yugoslavian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 24,236
Re: Entering first tournament in 25 years...

Don't hang a piece like I did last night, lol.
The Yugoslavian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2018, 11:15 AM   #10
BobJoeJim
Tournament Director
 
BobJoeJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Eugene, OR
Posts: 11,147
Re: Entering first tournament in 25 years...

Yeah, I've always been on-and-off-again with chess that I've "returned to the game after a long break" multiple times. Not nearly as long as your break, but enough to have tried different things different times.

The only thing that ever worked well (I actually felt good about how I played at the event) was the time I did about an hour of tactics every day for about a week prior, except intentionally did nothing the day before, and intentionally didn't worry about anything else (openings won't win or lose the game down in the 1500 rating range, if you go out of book first with a move that looks reasonable, it's maybe a half-pawn disadvantage and your opponent probably doesn't know how to capitalize.)

Sharpen your tactics (getting the rust out there really is critical), stay out of your head, focus on having fun, and you'll probably end up playing better chess than if you tried to study "more seriously".

If you have a great time in the tournament and decide to really get back into chess, go ahead and do some more serious study *after* this tourney. Openings, strategy, all that stuff that's valuable, but mostly only if you invest relatively serious time in it.

(And not hanging a piece is great advice of course, except that you probably will at some point. When you do, remember it's not over and wily veterans can often coax weird blunders out of overconfident kids by making the position "strange")

Chess is fun! That should be the core of your prep imo. And tactics. So many tactics.
BobJoeJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2018, 04:18 AM   #11
redghost289
stranger
 
redghost289's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: as distant as the stars
Posts: 6
Re: Entering first tournament in 25 years...

Quote:
Originally Posted by crash View Post
back in the day I recall getting into trouble within 4 or 5 moves, especially with the less-common openings. (E.g. center-counter, Petrov, Alekine). I'd like to at least not blow it early. (My plan is plan to blow it from moves 5-15.)
Play 1. d4.
redghost289 is offline   Reply With Quote

Reply
      

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2008-2017, Two Plus Two Interactive
 
 
Poker Players - Streaming Live Online