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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Chess Book Review blog (Read 130584 times)
brabo
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #51 - 08/03/13 at 06:53:18
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Stigma wrote on 08/03/13 at 00:57:23:
The "old-fashioned" way to get publicity would be to publish just a small selection of the best/most interesting games from a tournament, maybe send a game to a local paper etc. It should still be entirely possible to publish some, but not all games. Though I guess there is more pressure now with the weekly updates from TWIC, Chessbase and others to send complete game files.

For me it's almost become a luxury these days to play a long time control tournament without having all the games published. And I've felt the need to vary more than I otherwise would, to avoid becoming too predictable. I don't object to 9- or 10-round international swisses publishing all the games, but for smaller weekend tournaments I really don't see the need.

Locally we have in most tournaments live broadcasting of the topboards which can even be followed on playchess with engines. This means organisers get automatically all the games of the topboards registered so no need anymore for the painful translation of the notations. The quality of the live registration is very high as often I use the live registration to correct mistakes in my own notation. Last tournament I played 8 of 9 rounds on the topboards so was fully able to use the feature: http://home.scarlet.be/~ping6819/pgnweb/open2013/open2013.htm
Besides some tournaments also provide the timeconsumption used during the tournament which gives very interesting analytical data to understand better the thinking process (and the errors of course).

As a FM, around 230 of my games are now published in the megadatabase and that is a lot considering I have played in my whole career approximately 650 games with a long time control. So my opponents have a lot of info about me. I try to compensate by analysing deeply my own games so I can show at any moment improvements. Other titled players choose less for deep analysis but more for continously changing their openings.
  
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dfan
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #50 - 08/03/13 at 02:47:10
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One thing that probably contributes to the difference in database presence between US and European players is that in the US it seems to be the exception rather than the rule for the tournament organizer to collect the scoresheets.
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #49 - 08/03/13 at 02:42:14
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If things in European tournaments are as Stigma says, then I can understand his side of things much better.† As a comparison, although I'm considered a 'Master' by the USCF, there are only about 10 of my games in Megabase 2013, and half are from 10+ years ago.† That means that a dozen games I've played against IMs in classical time control games are missing, not to mention games from faster time controls or against FMs, etc.† I can't honestly imagine being able to prepare against a typical class player in an American open tournament.†

I've made my point about preparation and won't belabor it, and I'm sorry if I seemed too harsh with proustiskeen.† My intention was to help; after seeing the notes to his first round game, I didn't feel that he had a good idea of why he lost.† If he's working with John Watson that will likely be rectified.† I would never be critical of a 15-minute pregame ritual that involved looking over a theoretical lines, but that wasn't how I interpreted his round 1 report.†

At the very least, I hope that people will consider trading theoretical preparation for resting their minds at a tournament and seeing what works best for them.†
  
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ReneDescartes
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #48 - 08/03/13 at 01:45:21
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ErictheRed wrote on 08/02/13 at 21:14:45:
But honestly, I feel as though your games are making my point for me.† You aren't losing (or winning) because of superior theoretical preparation.† When you beat the Alekhine player, it wasn't because you knew the line well--he simply blundered a piece.† And in your two losses, you weren't lacking in theoretical preparation.† You made bad long-term, strategic, "positional" decisions, followed up by miscalculating and tactical mistakes.† What to do with your light-squared Bishop in your game against David High, for instance: that's probably not something that you'll discover quickly in an hour of looking over lines.


--This may be true, but it could be a lot more gently expressed. All this harsh reality treatment because he habitually takes 15 minutes before the game to look up a little theory? Everyone has their pre-game rituals. The act of doing the same thing each time is important in and of itself. Personally I like to rest, gather my supplies and clear my head, but if looking up a little theory even helps to calm his nerves it's not so bad. If Proustikeen is studying with Watson then no doubt he knows why he loses games.†And if one is going to tell him he doesn't know where to put his bishop, it would be nice to tell him where he can put his bishop (er...in a good way).
  
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Stigma
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #47 - 08/03/13 at 00:57:23
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The "old-fashioned" way to get publicity would be to publish just a small selection of the best/most interesting games from a tournament, maybe send a game to a local paper etc. It should still be entirely possible to publish some, but not all games. Though I guess there is more pressure now with the weekly updates from TWIC, Chessbase and others to send complete game files.

For me it's almost become a luxury these days to play a long time control tournament without having all the games published. And I've felt the need to vary more than I otherwise would, to avoid becoming too predictable. I don't object to 9- or 10-round international swisses publishing all the games, but for smaller weekend tournaments I really don't see the need.
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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brabo
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #46 - 08/02/13 at 22:29:16
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Stigma wrote on 08/02/13 at 21:01:20:
I guess the U.S and European tournament experiences can be very different. Loads of my games end up in the databases, and the same is true for many of my opponents (and even for people well below 2000). In countries like Norway and Denmark organizers seem particularly obsessed with publishing games from even smaller tournaments. They don't seem to realize that in a way, they are "punishing" all the players in their tournament by giving their future opponents more information...


Last year I also touched this topic on my blog: http://schaken-brabo.blogspot.be/2012/11/partijpublicaties.html
2 reflections:
- More than 15 years ago I heard that one could earn money by sending fresh games to chessbase. I very much doubt this is still the case but if it is then it can explain why some organisers are fond of publishing their tournament games.
- I see locally (West Europe) some tournaments stopping to publish tournament games which I find a sad evolution. Publishing the tournament games, is a way of advertising for your tournament or in general chess. The last example is now iccf which recently stopped providing the games for the open public.
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #45 - 08/02/13 at 21:14:45
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Well I understand your point Stigma.

Mr. Hartmann, I see that you are continuing to blog while playing--naughty boy!  But honestly, I feel as though your games are making my point for me.  You aren't losing (or winning) because of superior theoretical preparation.  When you beat the Alekhine player, it wasn't because you knew the line well--he simply blundered a piece.  And in your two losses, you weren't lacking in theoretical preparation.  You made bad long-term, strategic, "positional" decisions, followed up by miscalculating and tactical mistakes.  What to do with your light-squared Bishop in your game against David High, for instance: that's probably not something that you'll discover quickly in an hour of looking over lines.  It's something that comes with understanding, especially from playing over high quality annotations by experts of the line you're playing.

I don't think that preparing openings between rounds at your level is going to help you win any games, and on the contrary could actually hinder your play at later stages of the game, because you are more fatigued, thinking too much about "theory" when in fact your actual position is similar to, but not exactly, a theoretical one, etc.

Again my comments are directed mostly for non-titled players playing in Open tournaments.
  
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Stigma
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #44 - 08/02/13 at 21:01:20
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I guess the U.S and European tournament experiences can be very different. Loads of my games end up in the databases, and the same is true for many of my opponents (and even for people well below 2000). In countries like Norway and Denmark organizers seem particularly obsessed with publishing games from even smaller tournaments. They don't seem to realize that in a way, they are "punishing" all the players in their tournament by giving their future opponents more information...

ErictheRed wrote on 08/02/13 at 10:30:29:
So yes, preparation should be done at home, and it should consist of much more than just learning "theory"; it should consist of understanding the plans and the ideas of the specialists in the variation in question (notice that Bologan didn't cover Yusupov's plan in that variation).† Any "preparation" done during a tournament should not lead you to purposely play some variation for the first time.


"Should" this and "should" that... being prepared in this deep way when leaving home for a tournament would be wonderful, but it's just not my reality. And I'm not going to stop playing tournaments until I reach a level of preparation I'm entirely happy with, which may well be never.

It reminds me of "never cram the evening or night before an exam", which is excellent advice... but only if by that time you actually know what you're supposed to know! Wink
  

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proustiskeen
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #43 - 08/02/13 at 15:59:22
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brabo
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #42 - 08/02/13 at 14:31:56
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I also know lots of players (even IM level and above) feeling perfectly at ease without preparation during a tournament. Looking to their repertoires they don't go for the most fashionable and critical lines but are satisfied with a playable position. However if you use the powerplay method (as i do) so searching in every position for the most critical setups then you never have done with learning.
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #41 - 08/02/13 at 10:30:29
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proustiskeen wrote on 08/02/13 at 07:03:58:
I studied a new-to-me line in the Alekhine before the tournament.† It's in my database of things I play.† The guy had 10 games in Megabase.† More than one was an Alekhine.† So I went over my notes for 10-15 minutes.

Call me crazy, but I don't think this is excessive.


No, that's not excessive.† What blew my mind mostly was that a 1400 player had 10 games in a database!†

Also, when I discourage "preparation" during a tournament,† I'm speaking more of typical open tournaments in the U.S.† In these, you often play 2 games (or even 3) in a day, which easily leads to 10+ hours of actually playing chess.† Factor in that the pairings are often not posted until shortly before the round, your opponents usually have few games in a database (if you aren't playing people with FIDE titles), and that the pairings are often changed at the last minute because someone requested a bye, and I think that instead of "preparing" between rounds and eating a burger and fries, you should get a healthy meal and try to rest your mind for a short while.† 10+ hours of chess is grueling.†

If you're only playing one game a day then preparing makes more sense, but still--at the class level I doubt you'll be able to find your opponent's games anyway.

Also, every time my opponents have "prepared" for me between rounds (that I know of), I've ended up winning easy games.† One case in point: I was paired against a promising young player (he just became a Master last week) in the last round of the Colorado Open a couple of years ago, and we knew of the pairings a few hours ahead of time.† I always play the Saemisch with 6.Bg5, and I'd won all of my previous KID encounters against this player (two in 6...Nbd7 followed by ...e7-e5 lines and one in some other ...e5 line).† †He spent the hours cramming his head with all of Bologan's recommendations and I had a healthy meal and a quick nap.† When we got to the board, this happened:




That was one of the easiest victories against a pretty strong player that I've ever had, honestly.

So maybe I'm crazy or old-fashioned or whatever, but this† has happened to me all the time, and I usually win an easy game as a result.† So yes, preparation should be done at home, and it should consist of much more than just learning "theory"; it should consist of understanding the plans and the ideas of the specialists in the variation in question (notice that Bologan didn't cover Yusupov's plan in that variation).† Any "preparation" done during a tournament should not lead you to purposely play some variation for the first time.†

Anyhow that's my philosophy; others may disagree, and that's fair enough.† But I find that exercising, resting, and eating well at a tournament is much better than cramming some book lines in your head and worrying about what your opponent may or may not play during your off time.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #40 - 08/02/13 at 10:24:34
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On the preparation thing, I agree with Stigma and brabo. But I guess it all comes down to the time/amount of energy invested, which is probably very different if you're an average club player than if you're playing at Eric's level (NM).

I've always found light preparation (15'-40') to be very beneficial, if only to get a feel about your opponent's preferences (attack, defence, likes endgames...) and brush up one line or two.

Sometimes it only serves the purpose to increase your confidence, even if the prepared line never appears on the board.
  

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brabo
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #39 - 08/02/13 at 08:47:01
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ErictheRed wrote on 08/01/13 at 22:45:52:
Since you're posting this here I presume that you're open to feedback about your games, so here's what I thought when I saw your game.† Granted I know nothing about you other than what you wrote in the link above.

1.† Preparation: Why on Earth would you frantically spend an hour trying to find information about a 2200-player from Wisconsin?† Do you really think that you can cram preparation into an hour?† Do you think that your opponent will walk into it?† Your time at a tournament should not be spent "preparing," but resting, eating well, and trying to get into a good frame of mind to play.† Your preparation should have been done beforehand--are you suddenly going to begin playing different openings based on one or two games you can find on the internet or in Chessbase?† What would you have done with those 20 minutes of "prep time" if you hadn't spilled your coffee?†

Maybe look over some basic endgames or solve some simple tactics, but unless you're a professional or semi-professional player, the tournament hall is not the place for "preparation."† That should be done beforehand.† Your mind should be kept as clear as possible, you should want to play, you should be well rested and eating well, etc.

I believe unless you are a professional that it is impossible for an amateur to have studied in advance most common openings. Also it is impossible to study in advance all the openings of potential opponents. To cover these gaps, I find it very fruitful to prepare once the pairings are known on 1 or a few lines which have a high chance to come on the board. In my last tournament i was able to prepare 3 times properly and to my astonishment 3 times my opponents played exactly what i prepared which of course helped me a lot (2 clear wins with white against 2200s and 1 easy draw against 2300). On my blog i wrote last year what a preparation can be http://schaken-brabo.blogspot.com/2012/09/de-partijvoorbereiding.html

ErictheRed wrote on 08/01/13 at 22:45:52:
2.† Posting While Playing?: I just realized that this event is currently in progress--are you honestly wasting time and energy updating your blog while playing in a tournament?† Really?† Go out and walk around, swim, get some sun and then take a nap if you have time.† Don't waste time updating a blog and thinking even more than you have to about chess.

A chess tournament is grueling, and you have a limited reserve of mental energy.† Don't waste it updating a blog if you expect to play well.

I fully agree. I never write any articles on my blog during a tournament as I am sure it would negatively effect my performance.
  
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hicetnunc
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #38 - 08/02/13 at 08:25:06
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You won, so you were certainly right !

Besides, it's always courageous to publish all your games on Internet !

Good luck for the next ones† Smiley
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #37 - 08/02/13 at 07:03:58
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I studied a new-to-me line in the Alekhine before the tournament.  It's in my database of things I play.  The guy had 10 games in Megabase.  More than one was an Alekhine.  So I went over my notes for 10-15 minutes.

Call me crazy, but I don't think this is excessive.
  
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