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Old 01-07-2019, 09:44 AM   #1
YouKnowWho
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YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

Hello, peeps.

Been a while since I posted anything here, and frankly, not sure why I am doing so now, I guess I see Yugo dilligently ploughing away and thought I should join him in his efforts to revive this place at least somewhat

So, I am a 2390 FM with two IM norms. I've already been 2400+, so the rating requirement is completed - only one IM norm remains till the title. As has been fairly well documented though, due to work/family/etc. I don't really have the time to play tournaments where I would have an opportunity to score it - and therefore, it is hard to make myself study anything even for say 30 minutes per day (I know this is LOL compared to Yugo, but hey, to each its own ).

However, it so happened, that I am going to attend a new chess festival on the circuit - the Prague chess festival 2019. They don't really have a site yet (well, they do, but it's basically just regulations there: http://praguechessfestival.com/) and there is no players list, but considering what they are doing for the A and B invitational tournaments, I assume that the Open will definitely be strong enough to have a chance to go for the norm. As they update their page and/or add the players list, I shall update the thread accordingly.

Now don't hold your breath - I am mainly going there to spend some time with my wife and friends, to enjoy myself and the beautiful Prague, and between all that to play some chess still, though, I am excited and hope that something might come out of it.

As I said, I don't have any particular reason for creating this thread. I don't have any particular plans as far as updating it with my training progress or stuff like that - but I might, if I actually do some training and if the mood is right. I guess I just wanted to create to at least give myself sooooome motivation to try to patch some of the numerous leaks of my game in this period, but overall I'd just like to hear from you and get in to a "chess mood" a bit more, that's all.

My main preparation for the Prague tournament will actually not involve chess at all. I've let myself go completely in recent years physically and at my peak I weighed 320 pounds. It had obvious negative impact on everything in my life, including, to a massive degree actually, chess. So around middle of November I started taking a bit more care of myself and am now at 306 pounds, which is still hell of a lot of extra weight, but at least it is trending in to the right direction. The goal is to reach somewhere around 285 before going to Prague and hope that it improves my stamina and ability to concentrate

While I am at it, I guess I will try to get some knowledge from you guys - since I have a solid leak as black vs 1. d4 (well, or 1. Nf3, 1. c4, you get the point), basically trying to wing it every game, I have decided to go back to the love of my teenage years - the KID. I am looking for a book on it that I can read a bit before Prague. I know that Bologan has a rather new one, but from what I heard, it is very dull and variation-heavy - basically exactly the kind of book I hate. Is this a correct assessment, or was I informed wrongly? Sam Collins' book on the KID seems more up my alley, with a bit more explanations and less variations - has anyone heard anything about it? I am maybe a bit worried that it might be aimed more at club players and I might not get much out of it, but I am not sure if these doubts are at all warranted?

If neither of these two books, does anyone have any other suggestions on what books on KID I might try? As you probably understood, I prefer books that are a bit lighter on the variation side and has a bit more of strategic overview type stuff in it - basically so I can read it without a board

Now come to think of it, since I am already here and already created the thread, I will also answer whatever questions anyone might have, about anything (including, but not limited to, chess!). Please have at least one question, or I will look very dumb.

Let's go!
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Old 01-07-2019, 03:44 PM   #2
The Yugoslavian
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

I think I paged through the Bologan book even though I do not even KID and, yeah, looked like mini-me Kasparov analysis - just reams of lines. Since I don't play the opening I don't even know what else is out there. I mean, you could go through the most recent, let's say, 200 games in the KID by IM+ or 2300+ or something and learn it that way?

My biggest question after reading this is why you are so iffy on making IM an actual goal. I have a hard time believing somewhere in your head there isn't a massive 'I WANNA BE AN IM' alert going off every once in a while. Do you just assume you will get it without working at all? Or at some point you will have more time and do chess stuff (that doesn't feel like work) and then end up with it?

Or is it that you want to put in work but right now just are unwilling to make it a high enough priority?

Anyway, I've got new goals for this year and a new study tracker (so I can actually tell everyone how much time I am spending on chess so everyone can have a nice lol when I stop improving). So let us gogogo!
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Old 01-07-2019, 04:04 PM   #3
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

Oh, the alert is there alright ) the time isn't though, and such is life at the moment, what can you do. Technically, I could find time, but at this point I am not willing to sacrifice the little free time I have to spend with my family and/or socialize to study chess. I do believe that I am capable of getting that third norm as is, however, I also believe that when the kids grow up a bit and I have hopefully risen a few ranks at my career, there should be more possibilities both to study and to play. So, if I don't get it "now", I will for sure get it then, or so I tell myself hehe

So basically you have answered it yourself - I do want to put in the work, but currently I am unwilling/unable to make it a high enough priority.

GL GL GL with your goals!
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:08 PM   #4
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

you can do it -- I believe in you!

tip: remember to keep your body low so that it doesn't see you coming.
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:28 PM   #5
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

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I've let myself go completely in recent years physically and at my peak I weighed 320 pounds. It had obvious negative impact on everything in my life, including, to a massive degree actually, chess. So around middle of November I started taking a bit more care of myself and am now at 306 pounds, which is still hell of a lot of extra weight, but at least it is trending in to the right direction. The goal is to reach somewhere around 285 before going to Prague and hope that it improves my stamina and ability to concentrate
****.



Ok, so this is where you start. (Chess or no chess.)


Tempted tho' I am, I'm not going to bro-science you. I do suggest you PM the 2+2-er Montecore (who is a stand up guy, a H&F longstanding poster & chess sympathetic - tell him I sent you if you like) for decent ideas on how to get better on this bit.
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Old 01-09-2019, 05:49 AM   #6
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

Hey, tchaz! Thank you very much for the concern and the referral. However, currently I am inclined to not contact Montecore, lemme try to explain why.

The problem I've had before when trying to approach my weight-problem was that there was too much information, simply put. Not only were there numerous articles, etc. on the Internet, but also almost every person to whom I've talked about it had their opinion on the matter. Sometimes those people (who weren't sharlatans, mind you), would say pretty much exact polar opposite things as to what should be done. As a result of that, my little brain would just get completely confused not really even at a stage of "how", but at the stage of "what" should be done, resulting in imminent failure.

Currently, I've decided to pick a certain approach, which I feel fits (pun not intended) me well, does not force me to starve myself, etc., and does not feel like a complete struggle all the time. The approach seems to be working at least so far, and whats most important, I feel quite happy doing it this way. I am not aiming at quick loss of weight, but rather at a long-term good-habit building. However, when you have so much excess weight, I gotta say it drops quite fast even when that isn't your primary goal I am sure it will slow down later on and I might need another approach at that point, but the goal is to already have much better habits by then.

Therefore, I will currently abstain from contacting Montecore, as I am afraid to "fix something that is not broken" so to speak and even though I am sure he is a beast at this stuff, I am afraid to clutter my mind again with various information.

Thank you again though, and I hope you keep chiming in to this thread
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:40 AM   #7
The Yugoslavian
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

I mean, I'm a longstanding H&F poster too .

What is your approach and what information do you currently believe regarding what you need to do to achieve your goal of 285 by Prague?

But if you don't want to abstain from talking to me about it that is fine .
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:58 AM   #8
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

My approach is basically improving my regime in general. That involves going to sleep at more normal hours, which has a direct impact on my eating habits.

In my line of work late-nights are fairly regular, but I can limit them by waking up earlier and going to work earlier instead. So, before hand, my regular routine would look something like going to work at ~9-9.30AM (without breakfast), eating lunch at ~12PM (various foods, mainly decent and not junk), grabbing some yoghurts and/or snacks and/or some stupid **** or so at ~4PM, and then eating pretty big dinner sometime late at night, cause I was super hungry and needed more energy to continue working. Also, I would sometimes just snack on something throughout all that. Naturally, this big dinner and snacking throughout the day were a killer since all of it goes straight to my belly so to speak.

So, currently I am trying to follow a better regime - I come to work at ~8-8.30AM, eat healthy breakfast with a cup of coffee (no sugar, obv - actually, basically no sugar at all), and then eat at around 2-2.5 hour intervals - some fruits at around 11AM, then lunch at around 1PM, then some yoghurts/curd or smth like that (as little carbs as possible) for my snacks at ~3PM and ~5PM, and then dinner at ~7PM. Throughout the day plenty of water, and then after the ~7PM dinner also water till going to bed. No extra snacking apart from what's written above.

So, this way I don't eat a massive meal late in the evening/at night, which in itself is huge. By eating at these intervals, I do not feel big hunger and there is really no struggle to not go to the kitchen at work to grab something stupid to bite on. So far it has worked very well and I intend to keep doing this until I see that more is needed to drop further.

Junk food wasn't really a big problem even earlier (1-2 times per month), but of course I've completely eliminated it now, as well as sugar.

As far as exercise, so far I go on long fast-paced walks, which I enjoy very much, because I can solve some chess while I walk - look at 2-3 puzzles before leaving and try to solve them in my head while I go.

I love many different sports, but I've been expressly told to not do them yet, due to weight. So, walking for now, and hopefully more stuff a bit later on

The thing is, at this stage there is absolutely no reason for anything more advanced than this - it is maybe needed when you need to lose some excess 3 kg or so, or have even bigger goals, but not when you are so overweight.
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:45 AM   #9
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

This sounds very good and, at least it seems to me, quite sustainable. Keep in mind whatever routine you adopt and transition to needs to be possible long-term - it will be a habit change to follow for years, not just a couple of months.

I agree that your approach can work well for some amount of time - and getting to 285 - but if you have a different long-term goal then at some point you may very well stall and get frustrated. I can go over what needs to be done at that point (and starting to do it now is a good idea but if it makes things feel overwhelming then I'd recommend against it). And I am pretty sure at 285 you will still be in the obese/higher risk for health issues category. What I'm not sure is what weight will take you out of that category but I would strongly recommend that should be the minimum long-term goal.

Also, at some point I am going to recommend you lift some weights. Getting old and having no base of strength very much increases chances of death since the body won't be able to withstand inevitable age-related issues. Again, I can go into this sort of thing more if/when you want to read something or are interested. It is never too early to start this sort of training and you are not too fat to start either .
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:49 AM   #10
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

Also, feel free to let me know about certain "facts" regarding nutrition if you want me to help you decide what they actually mean. Most are really just things that help some people comply with some kind of weight loss and get turned into necessary rules. E.g. someone discovers the fried liver attack and for quite some time it is the only way to play chess b/c it works at 700 ELO or whatever and before it they were losing all the time to their friends. But it turns out that it's just some kind of opening and quite possibly not optimal even for that person who now loves it.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:28 AM   #11
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

I have definitely felt overwhelmed before, therefore I really like the current approach so far. The fact that the weight is literally burning every day helps, I gotta admit

When I stall (I realize it is a when, not an if), I shall need a new approach, but then I will already be a) much better physically b) have much better habits, which hopefully will make the new approach not seem overwhelming

So when that need comes, I might let you know

On another note, still don't know what KID book to get. Where are our book afficionados?
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:17 AM   #12
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

I assume the QC Katronias is the one everyone at your level has. Also, the warfare one by Smirin from QC I've heard very good things about. I'd try to check out the TOC of each of them and then decide.
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:22 PM   #13
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

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Hey, tchaz! Thank you very much for the concern and the referral. However, currently I am inclined to not contact Montecore, lemme try to explain why. ....

Good to hear that you are doing things that are currently working for you.


Being in better shape is somewhere you can probably make easier gains than chess ones.


Good luck with getting the last norm.





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This sounds very good and, at least it seems to me, quite sustainable. Keep in mind whatever routine you adopt and transition to needs to be possible long-term - it will be a habit change to follow for years, not just a couple of months.

I agree that your approach can work well for some amount of time - and getting to 285 - but if you have a different long-term goal then at some point you may very well stall and get frustrated. I can go over what needs to be done at that point (and starting to do it now is a good idea but if it makes things feel overwhelming then I'd recommend against it). And I am pretty sure at 285 you will still be in the obese/higher risk for health issues category. What I'm not sure is what weight will take you out of that category but I would strongly recommend that should be the minimum long-term goal.
co-sign
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:37 PM   #14
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

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I have decided to go back to the love of my teenage years - the KID. I am looking for a book on it that I can read a bit before Prague. I know that Bologan has a rather new one, but from what I heard, it is very dull and variation-heavy - basically exactly the kind of book I hate. Is this a correct assessment, or was I informed wrongly? Sam Collins' book on the KID seems more up my alley, with a bit more explanations and less variations - has anyone heard anything about it?
Here's the problem with looking for a book of the sort you describe at your level - first, obviously most books are going to be written for the club level. By the time you're in the upper 2300s, you undoubtedly have a solid grasp of the principles and themes of the KID, and (as far as I know) there aren't a ton of new insights into those themes. It didn't suddenly become that you shouldn't play f5, or you should trade off your light squared bishop in the classical.

As a result, most of the innovations in an opening like this are just going to be more efficient ways to use those themes, and if you're looking to consume the newest and most relevant ones, the authors are going to assume that you have a very solid grasp on those themes and that you'll be able to intuit why the new concept enables you to play the opening more efficiently.

In summary, I suspect you'll have trouble finding a useful resource that won't be primarily notation.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:29 AM   #15
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

I think that is an excellent point and not something I have thought about. My grasp on main aspects of KID can certainly be improved, so I think I am going to go with the Collins book for now, and then see if anything else is needed after finishing that. Thanks a lot for the insight!
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:47 PM   #16
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

GL with the weight loss and chess!

As far as advice on health and fitness is concerned, Yugo and Monte are both solid H&F posters and essentially equivalent for what you need at this point. I'm sure you would get good advice from both.

Another thing to consider is to post a log in H&F. You'll get a lot of good advice, and I doubt it will be conflicting like what you've seen in the past. And generally speaking, everyone is quite supportive there, which a lot of people find helpful when things get harder and the pounds just stop flying off.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:07 PM   #17
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

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Another thing to consider is to post a log in H&F.


Yeah top marks. & I had another 2+2er PM send me exactly that suggestion re this thread.


Quote:
You'll get a lot of good advice, and I doubt it will be conflicting like what you've seen in the past. And generally speaking, everyone is quite supportive there, which a lot of people find helpful when things get harder and the pounds just stop flying off.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:43 AM   #18
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

Yo, let's keep it on chess for now (till I did not start struggling what I am currently doing)

So, since my birthday is coming up, I gave myself a present - logged on to Amazon at around 2 AM from my bed, and in my semi-asleep state managed to order not only the Collins' book on KID, but also Gelfand's book on Positional play. Not sure how it happened. No, really. It was completely an accident totally! oh well, I guess I will have to read that one too...

I will also participate in the Lithuanian Chess League, which is an annual Lithuanian team championship, which takes place over three separate weekends. It is not completely clear yet, but it seems only one of the weekends will take place before the Prague tournament, so I will likely only get a couple of practice games in classical time controls. Pity, I expected to get at least 4-5 in the league, but oh well, can't control that.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:52 AM   #19
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

gl bro
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:35 PM   #20
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

Gelfand book is very good (of course). I've read most of it although how much have I understood? Over 0% but below 100%, let's just put it there, .
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:48 PM   #21
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

Will you be very offended if I’ll say that it’s a good sign?
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:25 PM   #22
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

Nope! lol
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:38 PM   #23
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

Oh, and do you mind if I ask my own questions in this log or would you prefer I put them in my log?

My coach - who I'm not positive is amazing but is very positive and in that respect for sure way better than my last one - is recommending I do endgame studies as a primary part of training. So I'm trying to average at least 1/day, spending 10 minutes on it.

I know you introduced me via "etudes" although I kind of got discouraged and quit doing them - it may have been a bit early for me motivation-wise to tackle them.

Anyway, my question is how important it is to find ones where I can solve a decent % of them. I've done ~50 and solved very few. I've found some sort of partial solution and seen multiple ideas in most but it's hard to tell if I'm getting any better at them or not. Any tips? Just keep doing them until I've done a couple hundred and then try to determine if I'm better or not?
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:25 AM   #24
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

Of course, ask anything you want

Props to your coach for encouraging you to do studies - I still believe it is a great way to go.

See with studies, I believe it is not so much in fully solving them correctly, as the process itself.

Firstly, it helps tremendously with the calculation and concreteness - you can't just wing it. So even if you are calculating things that are not necessarily correct, it forces you to calculate concretely, which is super important, especially for those who tend to rely on intuition more. And calculating concretely, instead of sort of giving up through the middle of the line and saying "this is probably OK" is a skill that has to be learned.

Secondly, as counter-intuitive as it sounds, it helps you to improve the intuition, as well - especially if you set yourself a time limit, which means you can't calculate everything. That in turn means, that you have to intuitively remove some variations without calculating them deeply - also a very important practical skill. When you get things wrong, you have to go over the answer and try to understand the patterns and the reason why your intuition removed that variation even though it was correct.

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly - it helps tremendously to "broaden your horizon" so to speak. Maybe the most common problem in players of 2000-2200 caliber is often playing too shallow, too straight-forward. Recent games of Loki in his log is a good example - even though he was stronger than his opponents, his play was a bit too straight-forward to really pose them any difficulties. This happens because we humans are lazy in general, and we tend to rely on well worn paths instead of broadening our search. In studies, this approach simply does not work, so you are forced to dig in and look broader. Imagine a fly that flew in to the room and is now trying to leave, but keeps hitting the glass window - except that the window is open, but the fly sees too narrowly to see it. That's what studies do to you - if you don't broaden your horizon you just keep hitting the glass window, i.e. calculating the same lines over and over, though at some point its obvious they don't work. The ability to leave your comfort zone (i.e. "natural" plans/patterns, etc. which you have already performed countless times) and look for another approach is also supremely important practical skill, especially when playing weaker opponents when you need to create winning chances for yourself.

And finally, and this is strictly personal, and not sure if it applies to anyone else - studies are a fantastic example of my most favorite saying ever, by Sherlock Holmes (well, by the author Conan-Doyle, actually) - "when you remove the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, is the truth". It might sound weird, but this phrase has helped me countless times during my games to assess the position. Like, let's say I've played 10 moves of well established theory, then my opponent deviated, I responded with a couple completely natural and quite obviously decent moves, but now it seems that my opponent has the initiative and I should be in trouble - but wait, how can I be in trouble? I followed theory, played natural moves after that - it is quite impossible for me to be in trouble (unless the entire theory is cooked, which nowadays is quite little chance), meaning there has to be a refutation for his approach. Something like that

So you will notice, that in order to help you improve in those areas, it is not entirely necessary to actually fully solve the study. Of course, when you keep doing them the results will naturally become better and better, but just know that even if you don't solve them correctly, you are still getting a lot out of them.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:02 PM   #25
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Re: YouKnowWho hunting for that IM title (sort of...)

Very awesome response! I agree with you and most of that sounds very familiar and vague examples of games you've played come to mind when you say all of that .

It is one reason why I am doing studies even though it feels a bit hopeless and I'm not sure it is fun (yet, anyway). Any advice on enjoying them more and/or finding a way for motivation/inspiration?

Perhaps at some point I just need more beautiful studies...the new Practical Chess Beauty by Afek by Quality Chess is supposed to come to me soonish - while I have to be careful not to see the answers, perhaps those studies will blow me away and the simple aesthetic charm of the studies will be motivation enough.
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