Wednesday, January 10, 2007

 

Composed Checkmates

Years ago when I bought 1001 Brilliant Ways to Checkmate I had the goal of completing the book. After I learned about the circles, I figured a better approach would be to work through everything once except the composed problems, and then repeat any problems I got wrong. I specifically avoided composed problems because I hated them they did not seem to help my game.

Well, worse has come to worse, and I have started on that last infernal section of the book. No circles on this section - I am just going through it once and repeating it once. I am pleasantly surprised to find I truly have improved from before starting the TASC circles; rather than never getting the right answer in 5-10 minutes, I am solving them about 50% of the time in that amount of time. Unfortunately I always seem to leave out one or more defensive variations, and that tells me I have some fundamental calculation blindspots to work on.

They still strike me as unnatural and overly clever, but solving them is a chess workout.
-=-=-=-=-

In order to keep things balanced I review some ordinary checkmates fairly regularly. One thing that is hitting home stronger now is how beneficial solving "upside-down" checkmates are (i.e. normal board but with Black to move). This is what I am doing before each move anyway, so why not practice it. Before the TASC circles it was tough to do, and now I realize it is important to do.

Comments:
the beauty of the 1001 books is that you can CARRY them... we all spend so much time here, at the web!

another parallel, is to READ chernev's practical chess endings, or averbakhs endings, essential knowledge. no board. takes a LONG time. im almost done the latter... ive spent a month on one single diagram, it takes a lot of watts!

david
 
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