Saturday, May 27, 2006

Chess Exam and Training Guide

I personally found it to be a very rewarding book.
Having someone point out your Achilles heal(s) has to be a good thing, the Exam grades your relative strengths and weaknesses in 12 different areas.
You have to complete the entire book before you can begin scoring the tests.
The author combines 3-5 motifs for each of the 2 part questions. You may score really well in one chapter, and suffer through the next. I did notice there were a few questions in where I had zero idea of how to even start my approach in answering them. While others I found being related in one form or fashion to classic examples and started my search for the answer using those themes.
In hindsight I think it is a very accurate portrayal of my playing ability, and it further confirms what I thought I needed to improve. It has even shown me a few new areas that I had never even considered, but make perfect sense now that I realize they have a name. More importantly it further encourages me to focus my training on improving my weakest link (Strategy) which happens to be what I was trying to improve by reviewing complete games. (See my last post about playing through the games of Morphy.)

So anyway for your entertainment here are the “Titles” I received on the test.

Overall - Class (B)
Endgame - Class (B)
Middle game - Class (B)
Opening - Expert
Calculation - Class (A)
Standard Positions - Class (B)
Strategy - Class (D)**
Tactics - Class (B)
Threats - Class (B)
Attack - Class (B)
Counter Attack - Class (C)
Defense - Class (B)
Sacrifice - Class (B)

Looks like I’m going to have to dust off “Winning Chess Strategies”-Seirawan,
“Logical Chess Move by Move”-Chernev, and “Reassess your Chess”-Silman
In that order. :)

Off to the book case.


Temposchlucker said...

Well, that's a clear outcome:)

Pawnsensei said...

How is Winning Chess Strategies? I believe that is the one book in his series that I haven't checked out yet.


Blue Devil Knight said...

Sancho, are you gonna play in the tournament in Saluda this weekend? Here is the info.

Sancho Pawnza said...

Very enjoyable and a quick read, or I should say reread. That's the great thing about chess books. You can revisit them some years later and get a whole new perspective.

Sancho Pawnza said...

No that's a bit far for me at the moment. Baby Pawnza hates to ride in cars.
6 plus hours in an automobile with an unhappy baby is not much fun.

But you should go, take Mrs. BDK and go site seeing. It really is a beautiful place to travel.
Last of the Mohicans was filmed at Chimney Rock. Dirty Dancing was filmed at Lake Lure. A few other films as well.

You wouldn't be far from Asheville. You could visit the Biltmore House, but I would schedule a whole day for that, it is massive.

Play the tournament on Saturday, stay overnight in Asheville. Get up early and hit the sights.
Mrs. BDK would think you were the man! :)

Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks for the tips.

Unfortunately, I'm going solo: my wife has something she has to do Saturday :(

I'm gonna play some 30 games on ICC to see how it feels...

katar said...

A former 2300 recommended that book to me! It's next on my list to buy. Thanks for the review.

Blue Devil Knight said...

The Amateur's Mind by Silman is really good for strategy. It is geared toward people rated 1200-1800.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your blog and am enjoying it. I am trying to find time in my very busy schedule as a father of 3 to start studying chess for the enjoyment of it. I started taking lessons with Predrag and am enjoying them . I have Silman "assess your chess" book and havent found time to really study it but the little I have perused it does give me great hope that it is going to be one of the better books I read (when I find the time)
DO you have a bio listed where I canread more about your chess journey.


Sancho Pawnza said...

Hi Dan,

Sorry, this blog is about the closest thing to a chess bio that I have at the moment.
Good luck with your studies.