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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Yusupovís 9 Book Series (Read 13431 times)
JonathanB
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Re: Yusupovís 9 Book Series
Reply #38 - 03/01/17 at 15:22:00
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ReneDescartes wrote on 02/28/17 at 13:00:55:
Why did QC not go all the way to the "super Yusupov challenge": not to read his books in the time recommended (1-2 hours per chapter and 1-2 more per test), nor even to punt each in 10-20 minutes, but--wait for it--simply to buy all 10 books in a year!

Admittedly it's a challenge making challenges less challenging. And evidently to maintain your professed standards while selling what was designed to be a long program of hard work to a public not patient enough to do it.

In this case I think the nervous-businessman Aagard got the better of the tough-talking-teacher-with-integrity Aagard. Maybe he justified it by telling himself that reading the books as blitz chess is better than not reading them at all, but it goes against his whole persona and I find it disappointing. But to err is human, and he does a lot†of good things for the chess world.




I think this is a little harsh - but I do know what you mean. It surprised me more than a little to see the suggested rate of progress.

Mind you the context of the blog post makes clear that JA is also planning to read 100 books this year. Iím surprised at that rate of progress too.

Itís not quite the same thing, I grant you, but I donít think this is just about flogging books.

Itís a blog post, after all. Thatís a pretty crappy method for flogging off books, Iíd guess.
  

www.streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com† "I don't call you f**k face" - GM Nigel Short.
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barnaby
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Re: Yusupovís 9 Book Series
Reply #37 - 02/28/17 at 22:09:32
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ReneDescartes wrote on 02/28/17 at 13:00:55:
selling what was designed to be a long program of hard work to a public not patient enough to do it.†


That is some serious insight being well articulated right there.

ReneDescartes wrote on 02/28/17 at 13:00:55:
In this case I think the nervous-businessman Aagard got the better of the tough-talking-teacher-with-integrity Aagard. Maybe he justified it by telling himself that reading the books as blitz chess is better than not reading them at all, but it goes against his whole persona and I find it disappointing. But to err is human, and he does a lot†of good things for the chess world.



Agreed and since no one is actually forced to work beyond their own pace its all good!

As per the original intent of this thread:

~ I started the series five years ago and have managed to get through all of them one time and am actually going through them a 2md time and close to finishing the 3rd book (again).†

On many times I scored a lot better and far too many times I scored worse on the second go round.† †Grin

I am still on the cusp is USA class A/expert last 3 years but was on the cusp class B/class A when I started.

I feel like a know a lot more chess and some things have clarified but one thing is that I have started accepting that if there is a ceiling I might be closing in on mine.† I love studying and playing so I keep doing it but at this point how much better am I going to get?

I am really good now at Knight & Bishop mates.† I actually played into one as the inferior side recently and my opponent (an expert!)† immediately offered a draw because he said he was tired and knew he did not know how to do it so why bother letting a crowd gather for that debacle, eh?† † Cool

I still have dreams of making it to actual expert level (USCF Floor rating 2000) and will keep working.


edit to add: and i just re-up my sub here and went all sections

Smiley



  
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ReneDescartes
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Re: Yusupovís 9 Book Series
Reply #36 - 02/28/17 at 13:00:55
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Why did QC not go all the way to the "super Yusupov challenge": not to read his books in the time recommended (1-2 hours per chapter and 1-2 more per test), nor even to punt each in 10-20 minutes, but--wait for it--simply to buy all 10 books in a year!

Admittedly it's a challenge making challenges less challenging. And evidently to maintain your professed standards while selling what was designed to be a long program of hard work to a public not patient enough to do it.

In this case I think the nervous-businessman Aagard got the better of the tough-talking-teacher-with-integrity Aagard. Maybe he justified it by telling himself that reading the books as blitz chess is better than not reading them at all, but it goes against his whole persona and I find it disappointing. But to err is human, and he does a lot†of good things for the chess world.
« Last Edit: 02/28/17 at 19:58:41 by ReneDescartes »  
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JonathanB
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Re: Yusupovís 9 Book Series
Reply #35 - 02/28/17 at 12:29:58
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Well this thread title should be corrected - itís 10 books, of course.

Anyway, it seems like theyíll be quite a few folk whoíve finished the series by the end of the year.

See the Yusupov Challenge thread on the QC blog.

http://www.qualitychess.co.uk/blog/5895



PS: Iím 1 book and 1 chapter ahead of the game.
  

www.streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com† "I don't call you f**k face" - GM Nigel Short.
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ReneDescartes
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Re: Yusupovís 9 Book Series
Reply #34 - 02/10/17 at 18:23:37
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JonathanB wrote on 02/10/17 at 13:40:29:
The simpler example should come first. Obvious, no?

Yes, of course.

I think the teaching philosophy and the understatement of the target-audience rating are still the main difficulties, though. Unfortunately, these reinforce each other. A too-difficult problem in the everything-is-intricately-related style can look like chaos even when you read the solution, making you just feel lost. The pure style is not as demoralizing for those below the target audience (though in they many not be improving much); it may be impossible for a 1200 player to find Taimanov's corridor mate in three against Karpov, 1977, but once he reads the solution he remains oriented.
« Last Edit: 02/10/17 at 22:24:00 by ReneDescartes »  
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JonathanB
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Re: Yusupovís 9 Book Series
Reply #33 - 02/10/17 at 13:40:29
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 02/09/17 at 20:58:42:
I may be the only person on the planet who isn't completely enamored with the Yusupov series.


No. I have my own reservations. Principally, the issues that you mention.

Smyslov_Fan wrote on 02/09/17 at 20:58:42:
I
I love the exercises, and I think the books are excellent for chess coaches. But there are many pedagogical issues with the actual books. For instance, has anyone else noticed that when Yusupov uses his own games as examples, they are almost always very complex, and not very good examples of the theme he is trying to demonstrate?


Yes, indeed.† Also, for example, Chapter 14 in book one - Open Files and Outposts - when he doesnít actually explain what an outpost is



ReneDescartes wrote on 02/09/17 at 22:21:38:
I did the chapter you refer to. In the Baburin game, the fragment gives a realistic combination culminating in a straight Damiano mate at the end. The next example gives an abbreviated version (only one rook sacrificed) that is pure wit no preliminaries. After these, if you hadn't already, you would know the new idea.


The example you cite struck me as an example of the poor teaching method that sometimes crops up the book. The simpler example should come first. Obvious, no?


I did wonder about the teaching of the Kandp stuff and how well a person would get on with it if they were of alleged target audience strength and working through the book all on their own.†I would agree that you probably would need other sources to learn the principles of each chapter if you werenít already familiar with them.

These criticisms, notwithstanding, I still think the chapters have been helpful. Not perfect, no, but helpful - and I would agree that there is a value in 'messy realityí as well as simplified "ideal case".†

The test/exercises are the main event for me though.
  

www.streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com† "I don't call you f**k face" - GM Nigel Short.
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ReneDescartes
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Re: Yusupovís 9 Book Series
Reply #32 - 02/10/17 at 03:10:17
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Excuse me, Golenischev, on which the Yusupov books were partly based. Guseinov is a contemporary player whose name was in my ear. I got them mixed up.

http://chessok.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=7_26_45&products_...

The book/program contains great explanations but in a clumsy translation, though the meaning is always clear. Great basic expositions of two-bishops technique, how to deploy three3 minor pieces against the queen, etc. Not super-wordy, but not as laconic as Yusupov either; just examples obviously chosen by a talented teacher, with clear to-the point comments at critical junctures. (The recent games added by the pedagogically untalented editors, however, are about as clear as mud. I just ignore them.)

There is also an Android version.
« Last Edit: 02/10/17 at 19:21:38 by ReneDescartes »  
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Re: Yusupovís 9 Book Series
Reply #31 - 02/09/17 at 23:52:52
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Guseinov?
  
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ReneDescartes
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Re: Yusupovís 9 Book Series
Reply #30 - 02/09/17 at 22:21:38
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Well, I think it's a Russian philosophy of teaching. It's like the examples in Blokh, where you must try to calculate through preliminaries and obstacles to bring about a situation where the idea can be executed. When I'm reading Yusupov's examples, I have to look actively for the idea, and ask myself how it's functioning in the game. This active learning is very effective--if you can stand the strain.

I did the chapter you refer to. In the Baburin game, the fragment gives a realistic combination culminating in a straight Damiano mate at the end. The next example gives an abbreviated version (only one rook sacrificed) that is pure wit no preliminaries. After these, if you hadn't already, you would know the new idea.

In the chapter on centralization in the same book there is what you might consider an even more extreme case--the study-like save of Fisher-Keres,where Keres, in the manner of the World Champion he would have been, allows Fisher an extra queen--but now matter how it tries, it can do no damage in the presence of Keres' piece configuration. The example is late-Mozart-level genius, a tour de force, and hardly graspable at once without work, but you go through it and ask yourself "ok, so how did centralization save Keres?" And the answer is that when the emergency happened, the queen was able to cover a few key squares--that's all. Then you ask yourself "is that all there is to it?" And you realize: it just takes covering a couple of key squares to make everything work. A centralized piece doesn't have to act like Kasparov's† "octopus knight," dominating every other life form on the planet, to be energized by its central position. But consider centralization in your variations and candidates as Keres did, and good things will often pop up like bubbles in sparkling water. "That's the way it is," as Walter Cronkite would say.

As I said above, if you want a pure presentation and clean drill of ideas, use the Steps (I really am impressed with these Dutch textbooks. And the style of the examples is noticeably like Euwe's playing style). If you want ideas with a natural surrounding of calculation, where, as in a real game, you must fight for your idea, in harder cases without success, use Yusupov--or Blokh, or Guseinov, or Khmelnitsky, which all have the same flavor. Or, better, use both approaches together.
« Last Edit: 02/10/17 at 13:20:16 by ReneDescartes »  
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Re: Yusupovís 9 Book Series
Reply #29 - 02/09/17 at 20:58:42
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I may be the only person on the planet who isn't completely enamored with the Yusupov series.

I love the exercises, and I think the books are excellent for chess coaches. But there are many pedagogical issues with the actual books. For instance, has anyone else noticed that when Yusupov uses his own games as examples, they are almost always very complex, and not very good examples of the theme he is trying to demonstrate?

Also, many of the exercises have almost nothing to do with the introductory material.
Here's an example from book one chapter 4, simple pawn endings:

The introductory material starts off with a single pawn in the center, moves to single g-pawn, then covers single rook pawn vs lone king before moving to zugwzang positions where both sides have 1 pawn and finishing up with a simple discussion of the square of the pawn. The most complex example in the chapter has 2 pawns each, but white immediately sacs one of those pawns to block off the opposing king. It's all very straight-forward. But then the exercises cover all sorts of other "simple pawn" endgames that weren't covered in the introductory material.

This would be fine for a chess coach who knows about this stuff. But for someone trying to learn the material, it's setting up the student to fail.

In the same book, (chapter 2), Yusupov introduces the Damiano Mate with a brilliant tactical game that Adianto played against Baburin, rather than by showing the mate in its purest form. This is a pattern in all the books I've used.

The Yusupov books offer some fantastic material but I am extremely skeptical of any new player being able to use these books without prior guidance and experience. I'd recommend the series to chess coaches, but not students.

The Step method is a much better series for the self-paced student.
  
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Re: Yusupovís 9 Book Series
Reply #28 - 02/09/17 at 15:36:12
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I think you have to enjoy  the hard work, enjoy the search for self-mastery. If that has an element of masochism in it, then so it is. After all, most people's taste does not run to our final goal--doing the intellectual and physical equivalent of a six-hour math exam that makes itself harder whenever you have a good idea!
  
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Re: Yusupovís 9 Book Series
Reply #27 - 02/09/17 at 15:20:44
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Re: Yusupovís 9 Book Series
Reply #26 - 02/09/17 at 12:19:15
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Gerry1970 wrote on 02/07/17 at 00:25:19:
...  Long and the short of it is it become more like work and less like fun. So I quit. So I am back with a healthier attitude I think and going through the Yusupov books.

...


I am also working on my process at the board in terms of concentration.



Iím sure thatís why improvement is so difficult - the process isnít fun particularly.  Not sure thatís particularly unique to chess though. When I complained to my piano teacher that Iíd had to really slog my way through learning a piece, she said that was just how learning to play the piano is.

I suppose it has to be like that really. Not many people - as per the previous posterís comment - like being wrong all the time but to improve you have to put yourself in that position.

If it wasn't like that weíd all by Grandmasters and concert pianists, I guess.


Btw:
Part of my motivation of trying to focus on Yusupov and work my way through the books is the concentration practice.

  

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Re: Yusupovís 9 Book Series
Reply #25 - 02/09/17 at 12:14:27
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RoleyPoley wrote on 02/05/17 at 20:51:14:
what would you recommend for 1500s instead?



Well iím a bit late to this and I donít have too much I can say anyway. Iíve used Step 1 and 2 a lot - I teach beginners - and itís very good. I didnít know the later Steps got so advanced but given what people say above Iíd definitely suggest theyíre worth checking out.

Itís not just the Steps material per se, itís the method that I thinks work well. Puzzle and active thinking based, generates concrete results data to track progress and allows things like Axel Smithís Woodpecker Method.

The only possible downside might be I thought they were designed to be used in groups with a teacher. They arenít any answer books, I believe, which may prove tricky if youíre working on your own.

Or maybe thatís just how I use them.
  

www.streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com† "I don't call you f**k face" - GM Nigel Short.
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Re: Yusupovís 9 Book Series
Reply #24 - 02/07/17 at 00:25:19
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JonathanB wrote on 02/05/17 at 14:33:39:
...
Anwyay, Iíve picked up a fair amount of knowledge along the way - e.g. endgame theory and I recognised certain test positions (Morphy at the Opera crops us - and thereís a position fro the first Alekhine - Capablanca game for instance). What I lack, I think, is the skill to apply this knowledge.

I donít think Im rushing too much yet but Iíll certainly have to slow down later. What i do need is to work out how best to work with the books. I think Iím too fond of the tactics chapters. Its easy to feel youíre making progress by completing those.


Lots in your post but the bold really resonated with me. In the past I have made what I thought was a serious study attempt including using a spaced repetition system. Long and the short of it is it become more like work and less like fun. So I quit. So I am back with a healthier attitude I think and going through the Yusupov books.

Because there is so much in these books I am slowly adding the positions to a spaced repetition system to help recall. And it is interesting to see which positions I struggle with etc.

Still I wonder about applying this knowledge! It seems that I get so few of the positions on the board! (But then again I am only starting Book 2 so that could get better.)

I am also working on my process at the board in terms of concentration, etc. It is helpful that others are going through the Yusupov books as it acts as inspiration in a way.

  
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