Monday, July 18, 2005

Post Cycle Update

I have actually been really busy since completing the Cycles. My focus has been solidifying my opening repertoire and creating my "playbook" so to speak. At first it seemed overwhelming, with so many lines and sub-variations then it dawned on me, it was sitting there the whole time in full view.
The single most important thing that I noticed while studying the various lines and inputting moves is the common thread all the time tested openings share. It doesn't matter whether I'm looking at King's Gambit lines or Nimzo-Indian lines it is all the same. The thread you ask? Piece activity/development with a plan, plain and simple. Increase your piece activity while making moves to limit your opponents. I have yet to see an opening that helps the opponent develop.

The moves are what they are because they have to be, a response to maintaining a balance. Give and take.

There comes a point when I'm inputting the moves where I have to truncate the lines. Realistically unless I'm playing a particularly sharp line where the theory is so well known that move 10 is the starting point (for example certain variations in the Sicilian Dragon) what’s the point of taking something out to move 25? At my level of play my opponents will most certainly deviate long before then, so why waste time. My plan at the moment is to memorize lines up to the point where all of my pieces are developed, learn the relevant themes involved of each opening concerned and try to steer the game down paths where I have some sort of strategic clue. To do this I will have to play through the games of the greats plain and simple. It all comes back to the pattern recognition. Openings are patterns to get you through the mine field, and middle game planning involves the strategic patterns. Knowledge of past master games is the way to learn what constitutes an advantage and how to capitalize on said advantage. Endgames are where you bring home the bacon. An advantage is useless if you can't capitalize on it.
I plan on absorbing/studying some endgame technique while playing through the master games.


DreadPirateJosh said...

This sounds like a good post cycle plan. What do you input the moves into?

takchess said...

This book is an opening book based on a decision tree of what moves are played. mainly pictures of positions. I found it very pleasant just to look at how openings are played. Out of print but most likely available from your library or used book seller.

Sancho Pawnza said...

Right now I'm doing a combined effort, using both Bookup and Chessbase. Once I get the openings refined and the lines pruned to a manageable length I can then export the games into any format I choose. I will probably set up something for Chess Position Trainer which I like but it seems they are about to release a newer version. So until then I will hold off creating anything in that format.

Thanks for the book tip. I will be on the lookout for it.