Monday, January 13, 2014

Trick yourself into moving slowly (quick notes unedited)

These "quick notes" were originally posted 10-11-2012.

- "Move slow" is the most common thing a lot of students hear.
- There are techniques to help you play slower.
- Think of 3 candidate moves or more, even when you have something memorized, or if you think your move is forced. Make yourself come up with 3 good moves.
- If you see a good move look for a better one.
- Try to calculate more moves ahead. "If I go here, his best move is... and I will respond with..." Just try doing that even if it is tiring. Usually people calculate terribly at first. Option 1) use your intuition only and never calculate (a sign of talent but also lazy). Option 2) Calculate every day even in positions that look simple. Play the chess game in your head and officially deliver the move on the board.
- Stop and assess the following on every turn:
King safety, Material, Development, Space, Pawn Structure, Good Minor Pieces (Knight on an outpost vs. Bishops in an open board), better use of squares and files.

Notating trains you to play slower. Always notate, so moving slowly will feel natural. Notating helps one create a routine and a "rhythm" similar to a basketball player who shoots free-throws.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Not Playing vs. Playing Terribly

Question: What's better. To play a low quality chess game where you play fast and don't think or simply not play at all?

Answer: I don't know. When you play low quality chess, you get some terrible habits that will be hard to reverse. The good news is that you will learn a few patterns. Overall, it's hard to get rid of bad habits and easy to learn patterns. So aim for high quality practice. If you are going to play low quality chess games, use moderation.

Practicing should be a lot more tiring than competing. Just make sure to remember that tiring practice can make some people quit chess. It's a marathon not a sprint (sorry... sports analogy).