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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) The Abysmal Depths of Chess (Read 1508 times)
brabo
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Welcome chessfriend

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Joined: 02/02/07
Re: The Abysmal Depths of Chess
Reply #2 - 06/05/20 at 05:15:26
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JonathanB wrote on 06/04/20 at 20:08:34:
Since beginning the blog a couple of weeks ago Iíve started to become a bit obsessed with collecting visitors/readers from new countries.† Iím up to 22 so far.

So while everyone is very welcome to drop by, Iím particularly hoping that youíll come have a look if your homeland is none of:-

Argentina, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, Iceland, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USA

* Tony has OKíd this post.


Ah join the club of bloggers. I know the feeling of getting obsessed by the statistics. Even after running a blog for more than 8 years, I am still curious each time how a new post is perceived by the readers. Sometimes I really wonder who the person from the exotic country is, willing/ able to read my Dutch or maybe the click was just by accident. Anyway you only continue to write articles when you see people enjoy it otherwise it makes little sense. Also realize that for each comment on the blog, you have approximately 100 silent readers. This can be frustrating sometimes as you give a lot but get little or nothing back.

Goodluck and enjoy the experience !
  
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kylemeister
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Re: The Abysmal Depths of Chess
Reply #1 - 06/04/20 at 21:20:47
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Nice.  I once had some issues of that magazine and remember that series.  One bit I recall is that Michael Basman was (at least once) among the panelists.
  
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JonathanB
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The Abysmal Depths of Chess
06/04/20 at 20:08:34
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Short Version
Iíve started a blog - https://theabysmaldepthsofchess.blogspot.com - dedicated to Beat the Masters - a series of articles from the late 80s/early 90s CHESS Monthly - that gave the reader a set of positions to analyse and then the chance to compare their choice of move with a dozen or so IMs and GMs. ChessPubís own Tony Kosten* (then an IM) was a regular on the panel.

I found these articles a preferable alternative to online bliz/rapid whilst waiting for normal chess to come back.

Iíve published five positions so far:
1: A Sicilian middlegame
https://theabysmaldepthsofchess.blogspot.com/2020/05/btm-1-is-sicilian-defence-r...

2: Tal
https://theabysmaldepthsofchess.blogspot.com/2020/05/beat-masters-2.html

3: To sac or not to sac
https://theabysmaldepthsofchess.blogspot.com/2020/05/beat-masters-3.html

4: A minor-piece endgame
https://theabysmaldepthsofchess.blogspot.com/2020/05/beat-masters-4.html

5: An opening position
https://theabysmaldepthsofchess.blogspot.com/2020/06/btm-5a-78-bishops.html

My aim is to upload two a week at least for the rest of the year at least.


I hope some chesspub members might find these articles of interest.




Longer Version
Iíve not been playing OTB for a few years (for various reasons, all of which can be categorised as 'life stuff') but when lockdown started I had a lot of time to fill so I decided I might as well make a dent in the very large collection of unread chess books Iíd built up over the last three decades.

Pretty soon I wanted to play more. Online chess doesnít really work for me though. I donít think that the cheating/suspected cheater problem can ever really be solved in longer time controls and casual blitz would be fine if I wasnít rubbish at it. Just canít seem to get through a game without blundering away a piece or more.

So I broke out some old chess magazines and started doing some Beat the Masters positions Ö and really got into it. Iíve done over 80 of them over the past five or six weeks. After a while it occurred to me that other people might enjoy them too.

If youíre not of an age to remember these articles/ were living elsewhere, they work like this:-

  • every month CHESS would publish 9 positions
    you chose your move
    the follow-up article a panel of Masters (IMs and GMs) would give their choice and offer a few comments and lines of analysis
    if your choice matches the most popular panel choice you got 10 points
    If your choice wasnít the most popular but still matched some of the panel you got points in proportion to the number of Masters who agreed with you.
    If you didnít match any Masters you still might get 1 or 2 points
    If you were way off you got zero.
    
At the end of the 9 positions youíd have a score out of 90.
    The next month youíd do it all again and could kind of track your progress.



The positions were mostly middlegames and mostly not with a single clear best or outright winning move. Sometimes the panel were unanimous in their choice, other times you might get up to 6 or 7 suggestions.

I find it more fun and easier to stay motivated to keep going with these problems rather than studying annotated games. I like the range of feedback you get with so many Masters involved. I also find the fact that you get a 'score'. Itís a bit silly in someways (you score maximum points if you choose the right move whether your analysis is entirely accurate or complete cobblers) but it somehow makes it feel more meaningful than looking at random positions.

Iíve found that comparing scores between sets of positions adds a bit of pressure too. If I happen to do well in the early puzzles and am heading for a record score out of 90 I really start to feel the extra tension when doing positions 7, 8 and 9 not wanting to mess up.  On the other hand if I start badly I have to push myself to work as hard in the later positions and not just feel "well this set is beyond hope, I might as well knock them out quickly and get on to the next set".

and thatís pretty close to how I tend to feel during real games.


I usually spend about 30-45 minutes looking at each position without moving the pieces. Thatís time enough for 5 or 6 blitz games.  Doing Beat the Mastersí puzzles feels like a much better use of time.

Iím sure this sort of thing wonít be attractive to everyone but please do have a look at the blog if you think it might be something youíd like to try.


Since beginning the blog a couple of weeks ago Iíve started to become a bit obsessed with collecting visitors/readers from new countries.  Iím up to 22 so far.

So while everyone is very welcome to drop by, Iím particularly hoping that youíll come have a look if your homeland is none of:-

Argentina, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, Iceland, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USA















* Tony has OKíd this post.
  

www.streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com† "I don't call you f**k face" - GM Nigel Short.
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