Coaching

Wise words

The wisest things anybody ever said about chess improvement:
"
...Almost all players lose the overwhelming majority of their games not because of things they don#8217;t know, but because of not consistently applying things they do know.

"

Summer Coaching 2009

Some members have asked if I plan to do some coaching sessions again this year and I am of course :br / 1 flattered to be asked,br / 2 happy to do it,br / 3 hopeful of receiving your suggestions, andbr / 4 grateful for any offers of support.br / br / You all know the starting point by now:br / br / List three things about playing chess that you are good at (or likebr / doing):br / 1br / 2br / 3br / br / List three things about playing chess that you are not so good at and want to improve:br / 1br / 2br / 3br / br /

Annotating games

A recent email:
I've never annotated a game. Could be interesting. Perhaps you could
send me a game and I'll try to annotate it without computer. Might show
you my thinking.

The games that are most valuable to annotate are your own games, (but maybe in future it might be a good exercise to look at somebody else's). I think it's a good discipline to look at all of your serious games at least briefly after the game with your opponent, then again at home with some software, and record your thoughts.

Chess Psychology

Special lecture by Ish Ramdewar

Chess Psychology- It's all in the mind! 

Or

How Not To Play Chess

by Ish

I did an analysis on all my games this season, and I found that when I lost, it was mostly because of something wrong in my thought processes. Usually, I just got lazy! This is the number one reason I dropped points or half points! I trusted to instinct what I could have worked out. In no game did I drop below 5 minutes on the clock at any point, and only once below 10 minutes.

Do chessplayers think?

The late Simon Webb had a wonderful idea a while ago, to record chessplayers of different strengths for 10 minutes while they considered a chess position.  He published them in Barry Wood's old CHESS magazine in the 1970s, and I've used them before with groups.  We tried this last week; I gave them all this position:


Fridrik Olafsson
Svetozar Gligoric

Los Angeles (1)
1963

No. 1

Position for analysis from Simon Webb

A Thinking Process

I often think, only a correspondence player has the luxury of adopting a genuinely consistent thinking process. The rest of us have to contend with the clock, our emotions, our laziness...

I have struggled with this issue all my life, it seems. There has to be something which balances the thorough with the realistic.

For juniors, I have been playing around with a THINking scheme, which was really driven by the need to correct some common errors; it goes:

Joe, Harry and Jay: in praise of a second pair of eyes

To improve, you need to become an expert, not about chess, but about your chess.  You need to know what there is to be good at, and what you are good at, and what you are not good at yet.

Practice helps.  Books, databases, analysis software and especially going over your own games also help.  I always type my games into a computer and I always wince to see what tactics I've missed.  I also enjoy some of the computer's suggestions about alternative moves: sometimes they're real crackers, even if there's nothing in it by way of winning a piece or pawn.

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