chess for beginners

Chess For Beginners

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wschmidt 43 ( +1 | -1 )
Novice Nook # 28 Well, I'm going to give up on trying to post links in this these threads. Matt, can you or someone else do so for me, please. Thanks.

This week we're looking at a tactics quiz and some reader's questions. I'll be interested in my own results on this quiz - I've been studying both a tactics book and an endgame book pretty rigorously for several weeks (my own adaptation of the De la Maza approach). Hopefully, I won't embarrass myself.
thunker 10 ( +1 | -1 )
Link ->
ionadowman 16 ( +1 | -1 )
H'mmm... ... I wasted too much time trying to make the ghost Legal's mate work.
I got them all, but was pretty slow on some. Tac rating c.2000.
How about you?
mattdw 13 ( +1 | -1 )
I'll have a go at this in a moment, not sure how I'll do though. Tactics has been at the centre of my study for a while now - hopefully I won't let myself down!
wschmidt 16 ( +1 | -1 )
Well, Ion established the ceiling, so I'll provide the floor - 1186. Using too much time killed me, plus missing one of the simplest problems. I have to tell you, it hurts to post this!
ganstaman 35 ( +1 | -1 )
At least you're not alone I got 1190. Pretty much the same excuses wschmidt used :)

That said, it's probably true. I could have gotten all of them if I had taken a lot more time. That's why I'm playing chess here, where I can think for days. 5 minute blitz kills me.
mattdw 148 ( +1 | -1 )
About the same... I got 1238, mixed fortunes for me - I got 7 out of the first 8 quickly but ruined all that by spending about a minute each on the last few. I can't believe how obvious some of the things I missed were though! I would put that down to a couple of factors, firstly that being under time pressure (actually the first time ever for me in chess!) put everything into a completely different light - my vision went completely out of the window! On one of them I completely overlooked the position of the queens in the removal of the guard problem (Bxf7+), temporal blindness - it was just bizarre! I think I became completely focused with something else that looked promising way before I had actually even absored what was going on in the position as a whole...but secondly, and being brutally honest I just need to do more basic tactical motif practice!

I wouldn't read too much into the scores though as there will be more variables than just simply our motif recognition skills, especially on such a small number of problems. Also, our thought process habits could play a huge part in skewing our scores (I know mine is pretty rubbish and I often get transfixed with some slightly dubious line before the real solution jumps out at me when I finally start looking at the whole board again!) but even so, for me this is still a kick up the backside to do even more tactical work!
rallyvincent 60 ( +1 | -1 )
Recognition The recognition is not everything, IMO.
Just looking at a given situation does not reveal your full strength in tactics. If the last two or three moves would have been given, these puzzles were easier to solve, since the moves are made with an intention. Just by thinking which the intention was, a potential threat/win-situation often appears much clearer. And by this, one would learn how to create these win-situation, not just recognizing them. And that is what we want - creating threats, not stumbling over them by chance.

Rally V.
ccmcacollister 84 ( +1 | -1 )
Sigh of discontent ... I got 2220 for 180 seconds, after getting hung up on number 10. A bit silly since there were only two tactical moves in the problem! But after seeing it, it took over half a minute to convince myself it worked. It feels a bit strange since that is Very much like my otb analysis tends to work. Seeing some sac or trick immediately but going into time trouble to be sure its convincing. So after all these years, same old thing all over again ... -sigh again- .
Another thing tho. It has always been twice as easy to see what can be Done to the other player, as to see what might be Done unto me. If this had been a Black to play and Defend test ... I dont even want to think about THAT.
Is anyone else a good counterattacker but a lousy defender?
ganstaman 79 ( +1 | -1 )
ccmcacollister "Is anyone else a good counterattacker but a lousy defender?"

I'm the opposite, much better at defense than offense. This is why I'm working on playing openings that have clear attacking plans with thematic sacrifices and the like. That way, I don't have to figure out my attack in every game since I've already seen it before.

You should play like I think I've read Tal played -- he'd make the sacrifice unless he saw that it would lose. That is, don't convince yourself that the attack wins, just be sure it doesn't lose. It's almost the same thing, but should save you some time and allow you play what your intuition tells you (you've already proven that your intuition is often right, so why doubt it at the board?).
ccmcacollister 76 ( +1 | -1 )
More depressing thoughts ... bogg gives me 5 to 2 time odds and wins at Least 90% . Or FM Blankenau about the same at 5 to 1. And I saw NM/CCM Mitch Weiss win probably two out of three once against him. Still IM (maybe GM now?) Michael Valvo is probably the best I've played, probably the best Ive seen. I'm sure they'd all go to the max of 2400 on this thing ...
All this has got me thinking it would be interesting to look up some ratings for the blitz Chess federation of Walter Brownes. Something like World Blitz Chess C !? See who is really up there. From my day, Browne, Dimitry Gurevich, & Tal were big time.
Maybe Seirawan. Fischer was great. Ive heard Anand and Kasparov are fantastic nowadays? Wonder how Velimirovic would stack up for blitz.
ionadowman 77 ( +1 | -1 )
rallyvincent is right... ... but recognition (to be more accurate, recall) is a big help. Most of the ideas in Heisman's quiz - even the positions in some cases - I had seen before. Most of those could be recalled easily, and got the split second treatment. But in the "Can white win material safely' question, I was about to move on to the next problem before I noticed that in fact White could defend the back rank. If you had never before seen Legal's mate, you might have solved that particular problem more quickly - the check-check-fork sequence crops up frequently in certain types of opening.
Altogether, I would have been more than happy to have solved them all in 3 minutes. Well done Craig!
ccmcacollister 82 ( +1 | -1 )
Ive seen a much harder test of positional ability. Which showed a position for so many seconds, then asked the players to recall where the pieces are. And I was abysmal at it. I think that would have much more meaning tho, than being asked to see a one shot position.
Thanks ionadowman and the same to you.
I found that one took longer than the single shots too since you had to see the capture, see the backrank, then see the interposition, then verify a shot didnt follow that. Even tho I Knew there would either be that interpose there or not and specifically looked for it.
I consider it a kind of IdiotSavant skill that I'd see the one shots in seconds ... then take forever to followup if it were a real game. My flag is always teetering.
cjjpeterson 6 ( +1 | -1 )
It was Ok I was able to get 9 out of the 12 in 200 seconds. This yielded a 1730 rating.