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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) "Grading the Openings" + New Tie-Break (Read 11257 times)
ReneDescartes
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Re: "Grading the Openings" + New Tie-Break
Reply #29 - 03/08/15 at 13:34:55
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I agree. What's more, White's attacks against the Benonis don't really follow a clear pattern after the center is advanced--and that's after the theory ends, so there's no memorizing one's way out of it with a little study. White has to create, to invent, drawing on a broad general background of attacking tropes such as 1.e4-e5 d6xe5 2.f4-f5. But for Black it's easy to push the queenside pawns after some standard prep, play 1....c5-c4, and sink a knight into the outpost.
« Last Edit: 03/08/15 at 17:50:29 by ReneDescartes »  
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Stigma
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Re: "Grading the Openings" + New Tie-Break
Reply #28 - 03/08/15 at 01:11:04
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There's certainly something to the idea that the Benko is a good choice in practice below a certain level. Black's play is simply much easier to understand than White's, at least in the accepted lines.

As a developing class player, I struggled as White in lines with a space advantage - It's a complex task to juggle maintaining the centre, preventing counterplay and switching to an attack. Specifically, openings like the Benoni, Benko, Pirc/Modern and Alekhine were a headache to face, which lead me to trying several of them with Black just to understand them better. Later I also used the English Defence (1.d4 e6 2.c4 b6) with some success - there it's absolutely typical that lower-rated White players will do the "principled" thing and put three pawns in the centre and then start struggling in the sharp lines once they're out of theory, while masters are much more pragmatic and choose something solid with an early a3 or g3 (unless they have some good preparation ready in the centre-grabbing lines, of course).

The "advantage of the bishop pair" is also not at all well understood or utilized on lower levels, so the Nimzo-Indian should be a good defence - Black's typical advantages there, like development and play against a doubled pawn, are easier to understand. And in general many attacking lines should provide better results than they objectively "deserve".

Within the Sicilian, class players as White often do well with specializing in an Anti-Sicilian, like the Grand Prix, 2.c3 or even the Morra. Black players are often much less well-prepared for these than for their favorite Open Sicilian. Ironically, this success may lead White players to never see a need to learn the Open Sicilian, which might have been very good for their long-term development.

These are just my impressions; I haven't looked at any actual statistics.
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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ReneDescartes
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Re: "Grading the Openings" + New Tie-Break
Reply #27 - 03/07/15 at 23:07:37
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Yeah, I tend to agree, I just think it varies heavily with the player even within a level. (Reputable) gambits are probably a good idea for many at really low levels because defensive technique is harder to learn than attacking, and the opponents can't convert the pawn.
  
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RdC
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Re: "Grading the Openings" + New Tie-Break
Reply #26 - 03/07/15 at 16:19:27
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I doubt whether an analysis of percentage results in openings, particularly only the early moves is going to have much effect on opening choices of players above a level where you would assume them knowledgeable and competent.

It might be interesting to see the results lower down. There might be openings that players of a particular level ought not to employ, you could rather suspect that the noise of less skilled play would drown any message from the opening choice. At an even lower skill set, knowing any opening could prove an advantage against someone almost seemingly moving at random with no underlying objective or feel for the position.

  
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ReneDescartes
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Re: "Grading the Openings" + New Tie-Break
Reply #25 - 03/07/15 at 15:25:51
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I didn't say what is in that box...
  
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Jupp53
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Re: "Grading the Openings" + New Tie-Break
Reply #24 - 03/07/15 at 14:54:15
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barnaby wrote on 03/07/15 at 14:35:26:
Innate skill and raw talent are the crux.

Without them, no amount of hard work, no matter how correct and on point, is going to produce strong chess players.



Do you have any observations to support this?

Why do I ask: There's surely a minimum of abilities necessary to get a strong player. But what is strong, what is minimum? Average speed in learning, attention, memory seems to be enough to reach the FM.

The main point seems to be the differences in working habits imo. Changing bad habits to good habits is really a hard task. It's possible.

This is not selling everybody could become WCh. But in most cases club champion seems possible to me.

Edit:

Just read the topic about Smirnov's training courses. This points to one bad habit: Taking wrong training material. I don't want to know, how many hours I spent over bad books.  Angry

Edit 2:

According to the remark of René Déscartes
« Last Edit: 03/07/15 at 19:02:33 by Jupp53 »  

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barnaby
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Re: "Grading the Openings" + New Tie-Break
Reply #23 - 03/07/15 at 14:35:26
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ReneDescartes wrote on 03/07/15 at 03:11:30:
.

Bottom line: Working right matters more than working hard, and more than talent, whatever that means.



Innate skill and raw talent are the crux.

Without them, no amount of hard work, no matter how correct and on point, is going to produce strong chess players.
  
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ReneDescartes
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Re: "Grading the Openings" + New Tie-Break
Reply #22 - 03/07/15 at 14:17:52
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I didn't mean you at all, I meant RdC! A respected poster here and not rude--it's just that he might have not realized that a hardworking player might feel ashamed reading such a post.

I agree about your ideas on improvement. Working right matters more than talent? I don't know...it's not like you can do an F-test and separate them out so easily. Did Capablanca work right? He did work on rook endgames...
  
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Stigma
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Re: "Grading the Openings" + New Tie-Break
Reply #21 - 03/07/15 at 11:35:46
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ReneDescartes wrote on 03/07/15 at 03:11:30:
Heisman, past master of weak players, estimates 8.5 years of steady work to reach 1800 USCF=1700 FIDE from scratch. Nakamura did it in two years. But see this research:

http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/bitstream/2438/2120/1/CogSci-2008-deliberate-practice.p...

Anyway, my main point is that it is inappropriate and unfair to denigrate the effort put in by players of any rating--or for that matter, to do the same to anyone in any field. I worked very hard on music, but I don't go around insinuating that those poor insects--we've all seen them--who can't hear a Mozart symphony in their heads from reading the score, or play an old show tune after hearing it once, obviously haven't put in much work.

I certainly didn't mean to denigrate anyone's effort. Heisman's estimate looks too high to me, though if you take "scratch" to mean first learning the moves or joining a children's chess club, it took me 12 years to reach 1700. Only in the last 3 of those years did I start playing adult tournaments, which was absolutely essential to progress.

But merely counting years active or even time spent "working on chess" is a wildly inaccurate measure, since some ways of training are vastly more efficient than others: Starting at an early age if possible, getting lots of patterns of good play into one's head, playing a lot with long time controls and against stronger opposition a good portion of the time, and analyzing the games honestly looking for systematic weaknesses. These four really should be well known, though many instructional writers (certainly including Heisman) obscure the issue with too many "methods", "checklists" "thinking techniques" and whatnot. Afters years of hardly any progress as a child, I somewhat luckily ended up doing all of these in my late teens (hypothetically I could have started training right much earlier and/or crammed my head with lots more patterns, with likely much bigger progress).

Bottom line: Working right matters more than working hard, and more than talent, whatever that means.
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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barnaby
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Re: "Grading the Openings" + New Tie-Break
Reply #20 - 03/07/15 at 03:59:52
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Its harder to market and sell to people goods and services that purport to help them help themselves get better at something when the underlying reality is that the individual is limited due to factors beyond their control.

Thus the marketing gods created the mythos of personal growth and the silly notion that we can all be whatever we choose to be with the right amount of hard work, due diligence, and the proper attitude.
  
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ReneDescartes
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Re: "Grading the Openings" + New Tie-Break
Reply #19 - 03/07/15 at 03:11:30
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Heisman, past master of weak players, estimates 8.5 years of steady work to reach 1800 USCF=1700 FIDE from scratch. Nakamura did it in two years. But see this research:

http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/bitstream/2438/2120/1/CogSci-2008-deliberate-practice.p...

Anyway, my main point is that it is inappropriate and unfair to denigrate the effort put in by players of any rating--or for that matter, to do the same to anyone in any field. I worked very hard on music, but I don't go around insinuating that those poor insects--we've all seen them--who can't hear a Mozart symphony in their heads from reading the score, or play an old show tune after hearing it once, obviously haven't put in much work.
  
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Re: "Grading the Openings" + New Tie-Break
Reply #18 - 03/07/15 at 00:46:52
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dfan wrote on 03/06/15 at 20:35:50:
Whether or not you think of yourself as having any special gift for chess, apparently you do. Congratulations! Unfortunately, your experience does not seem to generalize to the general chess-playing population.

I think there's a natural tendency for people who are experts in a subject to think of their own skill as just a little over the minimum that any reasonable person could expect to attain with a little work, but this is underselling themselves.




Dunning-Kruger effect.
  
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Stigma
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Re: "Grading the Openings" + New Tie-Break
Reply #17 - 03/06/15 at 20:54:50
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@dfan:
Maybe I should mention that my first national rating was as low as 1100, I stayed at that level for two years despite being convinced I played fantastic chess*, and I only got that first FIDE rating after playing some 300 games over 5 years that were only rated nationally. 2000 was the lowest possible FIDE rating back then.

Do I look a bit less gifted now?  Smiley

I will admit one factor that really does matter here is age. I made my fastest progress from 17 to 23. It's harder to improve as an adult (for both neurological and life circumstance reasons), and conversely even easier as a child, given motivation and access to good training.

*
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect
  

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dfan
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Re: "Grading the Openings" + New Tie-Break
Reply #16 - 03/06/15 at 20:35:50
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Whether or not you think of yourself as having any special gift for chess, apparently you do. Congratulations! Unfortunately, your experience does not seem to generalize to the general chess-playing population.

I think there's a natural tendency for people who are experts in a subject to think of their own skill as just a little over the minimum that any reasonable person could expect to attain with a little work, but this is underselling themselves.
  
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Stigma
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Re: "Grading the Openings" + New Tie-Break
Reply #15 - 03/06/15 at 20:02:56
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TonyRo wrote on 03/06/15 at 19:03:31:
ReneDescartes wrote on 03/06/15 at 17:42:32:
I doubt anyone who is not naturally gifted can get to 1700 FIDE without working hard.


Depends on what you mean by working hard. The jumps in strength possible at the lower ratings are really dramatic.

1700 really isn't that high. People who get stuck below 1700 usually have huge and obvious holes in their ability to spot tactics, avoid blunders or play sound, positional chess, or some combination of these three.

When I got my first FIDE rating around 2100, basically all I had done was play lots of rated games, work through a couple of tactics books, study some offbeat openings without much detail (though in retrospect I should have gone for main lines straight away), and go through Reassess your Chess from cover to cover with a board and pieces once or twice. It's a stretch to say the above constituted especially hard work (most of the effort was spent actually playing), though I don't think of myself as having had any special gift for chess either.

I believe most people who really work both hard and effectively on chess should be able to fight for an international title (i.e. way above 1700) if they have the time and motivation.
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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