Friday, March 29, 2013

Move First, Think Later

This book arrived earlier this week. It has a reputation as a good, but controversial book so it should be interesting to work through. I have gone through the 1st 2 chapters so far. Each chapter begins with a set of exercises, and then proceeds to the topic of the chapter with the answers interspersed throughout.

I will have more to say about the book later on, but so far I have enjoyed what I have read. Even if you do not agree with everything he has to say, he does make you think about his position.

Chess Hero revisited

A while back I had mentioned a program called Chess Hero, that would pick positions from set of games and let you do guess the move exercises.

Well in the time since then a newer version was released which allows you to play guess the move through entire games (sequential) instead just random selection of positions in a set of games. While it was already an interesting tool for training, I believe this addition makes it a lot better. Want to practice playing like Alekhine? Grab a set of his games, make a profile, and off you go. Your move is checked against the analysis of a uci engine, but you also can have it say that the gamescore is the top answer.

I encourage people to give it a try.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Recent additions to the bookshelves

I had a long break from buying any chess materials, but have picked up a few things recently.

Vladimir Tukmakov's Modern Chess Preparation  -- the chapter on deciding (important) games looks to be interesting

Yusupov's Chess Evolution 2 & Chess Evolution 3 --  completing the series of 9 books.

Neil McDonald's Chess Success: planning after the opening (kindle) -- I have enjoyed his other game collections so I doubt this one will disappoint.

Najdorf's Zurich 1953 (kindle) -- Considered by some to be even better than Bronstein's work.

Grivas's Chess Analytics (kindle) -- another interesting looking game collection

Soltis's updated Pawn Structure Chess (kindle)

Dvoretsky's Tragicomedy in the Endgame (kindle)

Karsten Muller's ChessCafe Puzzle Book 2, 3, & 4 (kindle)

Willy Hendriks's Move First, Think Later

Rabinovich's Russian Endgame Handbook

Jonathan Hawkins's Amateur to IM

Plenty to keep me busy for a long time. Now to find a place to put them. Since last August I have been working remotely from home, and by bookcases are filled with books on programming, computer science, and kernel internals. Most of my chess books are currently stashed in plastic storage containers.

Jacob Aagaard's New Chess Training Blog Post Series

GM Jacob Aagaard is starting a weekly series of blog posts on the quality chess books company blog.

Anything Jacob has to say should be good reading and I look forward to reading these. The 1st post is actually one I think a lot of amateurs could benefit from. I know I have had issues with maintaining a consistent training schedule. There are a lot of things that impact that such as work and family, but in most cases what it ends up coming down finally is getting burned out. When I have the bug for studying chess I go charging ahead 110% and keep going until I get burned out. I am going to try taking Jacob's advice and start out slow and build up over time.