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Questions about chess...



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 13th 03, 09:47 PM
Christopher
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Default Questions about chess...

Hi guys/gals,

I've discovered chess only last year, and I've been playing it ever
since....especially against the computer and human players. It's the
best game I've ever played....

I have a few questions about chess....

1) Why is it that losing at chess....is supposed to make you a
stronger player in the end? It just seems logical that losing at chess
would make a person feel down, and perhaps not want to play it.
Especially if you don't know why you lost in the first place (e.g.
your opponent was really offensive throughout the whole game, yet it's
not because you made a mistake per se)

2) How do you train yourself to use a clock? I've never used one
before....but the thing is this, when I rush through my moves (less
than one minute per move) I always make some huge crucial mistake
which makes me lose the game. How exactly do people play speed chess,
where they can make really good moves in such a short period of time?
Do they just practice a lot? (e.g. memorize board positions?)

3) On these newsgroups and various chess websites, there is talk about
"french defense" and "sicilian defense"....how do you guys first learn
about this? Do you have to read a chess book and memorize these move
combinations.....or can you learn this through natural experience
playing your own chess games?

Thanks in advance.
  #2  
Old July 13th 03, 10:08 PM
Brian
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Default Questions about chess...

I'm not a great chess player but see my opinions below:

"Christopher" wrote in message
om...
1) Why is it that losing at chess....is supposed to make you a
stronger player in the end? It just seems logical that losing at chess
would make a person feel down, and perhaps not want to play it.
Especially if you don't know why you lost in the first place (e.g.
your opponent was really offensive throughout the whole game, yet it's
not because you made a mistake per se)


It's generally accepted that people learn from a failure better than they
learn from a success. It forces greater retrospection and analysis.

If you lost, you DID make a mistake, or a series of mistakes. I'm sure your
opponent did too, but you lost because he capitalized on those mistakes
better than you did. So, you need to learn to recognize mistakes. After
the game, talk with your opponent if possible, or use a chess program to
help you through your game.


2) How do you train yourself to use a clock? I've never used one
before....but the thing is this, when I rush through my moves (less
than one minute per move) I always make some huge crucial mistake
which makes me lose the game. How exactly do people play speed chess,
where they can make really good moves in such a short period of time?
Do they just practice a lot? (e.g. memorize board positions?)


Most people recognize patterns, for sure, but I'm not sure about positions
(except for openings). Clocks just take time to get used to. The challenge
in shorter time controls is to try to come up with a good move in a short
period of time. Practice, really. Undoubtedly you will make better moves
with more time, but so will your opponent.

3) On these newsgroups and various chess websites, there is talk about
"french defense" and "sicilian defense"....how do you guys first learn
about this? Do you have to read a chess book and memorize these move
combinations.....or can you learn this through natural experience
playing your own chess games?


Openings are fairly static things, such as the sicilian. Software is pretty
good at this (CM or Fritz), you can use an opening book to learn from, etc.
Or search the web. If you're just learning, you should learn a few openings
(like the English, French, Sicilian) but then forget openings and go on to
tactics. You'll find that openings get fairly deep but generally, most of
the moves (if you know the basics of opening theory) are often played by
intuition, even though you may not know it.

-Brian


  #3  
Old July 13th 03, 10:17 PM
Greg Teets
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Default Questions about chess...

Welcome to the world of chess. I just started in December or so at
the age of 47 and am enjoying it immensely.


1) Why is it that losing at chess....is supposed to make you a
stronger player in the end? It just seems logical that losing at chess
would make a person feel down, and perhaps not want to play it.
Especially if you don't know why you lost in the first place (e.g.
your opponent was really offensive throughout the whole game, yet it's
not because you made a mistake per se)






2) How do you train yourself to use a clock? I've never used one
before....but the thing is this, when I rush through my moves (less
than one minute per move) I always make some huge crucial mistake
which makes me lose the game. How exactly do people play speed chess,
where they can make really good moves in such a short period of time?
Do they just practice a lot? (e.g. memorize board positions?)

Don't worry about a clock for now. FORGET ABOUT SPEED CHESS. Excuse
the CAPS but I feel that this is very important.

Think as long as you need to. I have very often made the mistake you
talked about above. I think I have a great move and as soon as I move
my piece, something real bad happens (it gets taken, especially if it
is a Queen!).

I got an old book from my library called Logical Chess Move By Move by
Irving Chernev. It analyzes 33 games (I think). He tells you about
every move. It is available from Amazom.com or other booksellers
(there are some who specialize in chess; you may want to patronize
those) in a newer algebraic notation edition. Buy this book and read
it. Work through the games on your board (not in your head, on the
board), making notes of the points that help you.

Yes, practice makes better. Play as much as you can. NOT SPEED
GAMES. Would you agree that your problem is not thinking long enough?
When your problem becomes thinking too long on every move in every
game, you can think about playing speed chess.

Read the internet column called Novice Nook by Dan Heisman. Go to the
archive and get the back issues. They will help your more than going
to the bookstore and reading all the books.

Play a lot of chess. When I tried to learn many years ago, I couldn't
find anyone to play with. On the Internet, you can always find
someone to play with. I play a lot on Yahoo. There are some
goofballs but just ignore them and don't play them twice.

I have a program called Crafty (free on the Web. find it with your
favorite search engine.) I email each game to myself after finishing
it. I then run the game through Yahoo to see what I did wrong. At my
stage, I'm only worried about big errors: what obvious good mood did
I miss? what obvious blunder did I miss? I keep a chess diary in an
Excel spreadsheet and keep notes of things I should have done better.
I also have made a list of people I enjoy playing and look forward to
playing again.

Believe it or not, I have had several games where I had the guy in
checkmate and did not see the move! Some of these games I ended up
winning but I also lost some of them.

3) On these newsgroups and various chess websites, there is talk about
"french defense" and "sicilian defense"....how do you guys first learn
about this? Do you have to read a chess book and memorize these move
combinations.....or can you learn this through natural experience
playing your own chess games?


Forget about this stuff for several years. Work problems, play games,
work problems, play games. When you are winning most of your games
because you have studied so much, but you lose to somebody playing
something with a name, you can worry about that particular strategy.

Welcome to chess! Have fun!

Greg Teets
Cincinnati Ohio USA



  #4  
Old July 15th 03, 07:21 AM
Harold Buck
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Posts: n/a
Default Questions about chess...

In article ,
(Christopher) wrote:

Hi guys/gals,

I've discovered chess only last year, and I've been playing it ever
since....especially against the computer and human players. It's the
best game I've ever played....

I have a few questions about chess....

1) Why is it that losing at chess....is supposed to make you a
stronger player in the end? It just seems logical that losing at chess
would make a person feel down, and perhaps not want to play it.
Especially if you don't know why you lost in the first place (e.g.
your opponent was really offensive throughout the whole game, yet it's
not because you made a mistake per se)


Losing doesn't make you bettter, but if you never lose, you're never
being challenged. And if you're never challenged, you'll never get
better.

Face it: if you could become world champion knowing what you know now,
why would you have to work harder? But if you play people who can beat
you, you'll look for ways to improve.


2) How do you train yourself to use a clock? I've never used one
before....but the thing is this, when I rush through my moves (less
than one minute per move) I always make some huge crucial mistake
which makes me lose the game. How exactly do people play speed chess,
where they can make really good moves in such a short period of time?
Do they just practice a lot? (e.g. memorize board positions?)


IMHO, speed chess should come later. It's mostly about tactics and
memorized openings, about which you still have much to learn.

3) On these newsgroups and various chess websites, there is talk about
"french defense" and "sicilian defense"....how do you guys first learn
about this? Do you have to read a chess book and memorize these move
combinations.....or can you learn this through natural experience
playing your own chess games?


You learn about openings from chess books, but that shouldn't be your
first goal. Get a decent beginner's book or two (the Microsoft Press
books by Seirawan are good; see
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...d=1058238121/s
r=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/104-9898400-1647132?v=glance&s=books) and a book about
tactics (e.g.,
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...f=pd_sim_books
_1/104-9898400-1647132?v=glance&s=books). You can probably find these
used on half.com; if you want, I can send you a coupon for $5.00 off
your first order.






--Harold Buck


"I used to rock and roll all night,
and party every day.
Then it was every other day. . . ."
-Homer J. Simpson
 




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