23 december 2009

Thoughtproces and something about practise-study ratio

Many questions have been asked about thoughtproces. Many answers have been given, both by respected chess players like IM Silman, NM Heisman, GM Kotov, GM Aagaard, ... and amateur players from my chessclub and in the blogosphere.

The best answer so far,in my personal opinion,comes from GM Natalia Pogonina at her chess.com blogpost "getting-better-in-chess-critical-mistake-to-avoid".

She is right on the money when she writes that a suitable thoughtproces can only be formed by playing lots of games. By games i mean not bullet, blitz or rapid games (which are only good to get a feel of new studied openings) but games of atleast 60 0 (60 minutes and 0 seconds increment) because afterall you must have some time to think during the game at hand.

The rules, examples, of thoughtproces given by Silman, Heisman, Kotov or Aagaard one must see as guidelines, not law. Because i can honestly say that my thoughtproces isn't 100% the same as one of the mentioned players/authors. I have taken a piece from here, a piece from there, a chunck of ..., to mould my thoughtproces and so have many other chessplayers that i know.

In this article GM Natalia Pogonina also writes, and i quote: "success is 80 percent practice, 20 percent study". With this i have a problem because if i study one hour i must have 4 hours of practise. I doubt my practise/study is 4/1 based, rather 1/1 (or 50-50 if you like it more percent wise).

Does that mean i will never face succes? Offcourse not! I will never be GM or even IM but i have seen many players, who are in the same situation as i, namely "working class" who can reach FM-level. Some even make it to IM but they have something that i dont really possess namely chess "Talent". I have to work hard for every little rating point i can get my hands on. :-)

I guess for us, working class people, a ratio of one serious game (of atleast 60 0)a week is sufficient to go a long way in the practise department. Wich means about 50 games a year, which i know from personal opinion, is doingable. I have about 43 (official) games a year, if i dont count in the games i play in a major tournament in the summer holidays. The quickest timecontrol is 40 moves in 2 hours + 15 minutes to end the game. So if i can do it, so can you.

To end i wish you, dear reader, best of luck in your endeavours, both on the chess front as in real life. Have a happy and pleasant 2010.

9 opmerkingen:

Kindling zei

I'm not sure we should take this too seriously as she's not an experienced trainer with adult wannabe players like us. There are adult players who play lots and lots and never improve. Pogonina had several advantages when improving: very young, very talented, lots of superb trainers from the Soviet School around to teach her. As an adult you can benefit (and need to) from expert trainer advice. Training on though process (for example) helps to unlearn bad habits like wasting lots of time on calculating irrelevant sidelines and growing more effective habits. An adult has a high tendency to repeat the same mistakes over and over. This must be stopped explicitly with help from external forces. A child has more (much more) ability to improve by itself through practice. Be careful about who you believe. If you really want to improve go with the best trainers possible and work hard and, yes, play lots of games and analyze them thoroughly.

Phaedrus zei

There is no improvement possible without playing enough games. No discussion about that. And I also agree that playing and afterwards analyzing with a stronger player is a very good way to test yourself and improve.

But aside from this, coordinated practice can add a lot. The trick is to find the balance. Taking work, family, other obligations and possibilities to play against strong opposition into account.

wang zei

Speaking for myself I improved from 1008 in 2007 to 1466 at the end of 2008. In that time I played in 22 tournaments (11 per year) of time control of G60 or greater. In 2009 I was able to hit only 5 tournaments my rating is currently 1508.

In Chess Exam and Training Guide, Igor Khmelnitsky stated that your study to play ratio should be at 80/20 when you are rated around 1000 and slide in the opposite direction to 20/80 when you get to expert and beyond.

Rolling Pawns zei

Yes, only playing OTB as much as you can, you will improve. I played about 25 rated games a year 2 years until September. Since September 1 I managed to play 15 rated games, so this year hope will be more. I liked her expression about studying - accumulating tension then releasing it at the board.

CHESSX zei

Happy new year

Anoniem zei

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harvey zei

Two paragraphs stick out in WGM Pogonina's blog:

1. "It’s also important to mention the psychological side: studying a lot builds tension in you, so you need to play live games to release it. Otherwise you’ll get stuck in front of your monitor playing blitz or correspondence games (no offense meant to these pastimes – I appreciate them a lot)..." --- wow I can relate to that --- I think her Pareto rule (80/20) is a good one. For me is correspondence chess, for Howard (a friend) it's blitz. Starting tomorrow, I am pledging (to myself, not publicly) to plat every week at my local club -- MetroWest CC near Boston USA.

2. "As to decision-making at the chessboard: it's a complex subject. Some people have tried to formalize it (starting from Steinitz). It usually begins with evaluating the position..." -- wow again. I think I am all done with books that promise one system or another. I think I just need to see a lot of stuff (books), and play a lot of games and just learn chess, not a rigid dogma.

Thanks for finding this!

Anoniem zei

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