Thursday, November 02, 2006

Questions from Bloggers

I had a few questions I thought would be useful to answer here from a famous reader known as 'Anonymous':

Do you think fast games are better than slow for beginners?

No. My belief is that you need to separate blitz from your slow play, meaning that playing too much blitz is detrimental to your slow play because you get into the habit of moving too fast and looking at the position superficially. A good rule is to not play blitz on the same day you are playing a tournament. Period. On off days, play a G10 or G15 game instead of several G5 games as described in the training schedule as "PL" . You'll get a better quality of games and it will translate better to your slow play thinking process.

Did you have more intermediate players in mind when formulating the training schedule?

This self-training guide - in fact, the entire blog - is devoted to players rated under 2200. All of it applies to players that range from rank beginners to Experts. This particular guide was devised in detail by Irina Mikhailova, GM, trainer, at the T.V. Petrosian Chess Club in Moscow. The version you see here is a layman's summary of that method. I kept the most critical parts of her program intact. The entire article can be seen at ChessOk.com.

Don't you agree that slower games are more beneficial for less experienced players?

Slower games are certainly more beneficial to your chess thinking process. Obviously, with more time to think you can delve deeper into the position tactically as well as recognize positional aspects at a higher level. I personally use G15 or less games to test out opening ideas and to explore middlegames from certain openings, but it's important to keep blitz separated from slow play on a daily basis - don't play blitz prior to when you are playing a slow game that day! You'll almost never see the better players in the open section in the skittles room between rounds playing blitz. there is a very good reason for that...

I hope this answers some of these questions for Mr. Anonymous! Feel free to ask if you have other ideas or questions you want to throw around on the chess-training blog. This blog is for everyone who wants to improve their chess and seeks a reasonable, proven method to do so.

Cheers!

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