Thursday, November 21, 2013

Study Chess with Matthew Sadler

I just finished a quick, initial read through of this book by Matthew Sadler. A couple of years ago he jumped back into chess after a 10 year break from professional chess, and had some phenomenal events. This book talks about some of the things he does. In this initial reading I mostly skimmed through the games. The 3 main things I took from the book are:

  1. Learning Openings - Kind of an Aagard lite (from Jacob's Excelling at Chess book)
  2. Different Modes of thinking - active , reactive, prophylactic
  3. Endgame Study
Matthew likes to do something for learning openings that is similar to part of what Aagard talks about for learning an opening. Matthew likes to get about 80 or so example games for his line, and then plays through them and marks the different ideas he finds. Aagard's approach involves first looking at the endgames that arise from that opening. Then playing through a bunch of games in the opening, and noting the different ideas down as you find them. Finally Jacob will look at the actual theory for the opening

In the section of different modes of thinking, Matthew talks about these 3 modes of thinking. Active is where you focusing on enforcing your plan on the game. Reactive mostly involves finding your move by comparison and process of elimination. Prophylactic thinking involves determining what your opponent wants and working to thwart that.

In the final section of the book Matthew discusses studying the endgame. He talks about studying theoretical positions from something like Averbakh, studying endgames from modern grandmaster play, and also studying classics (and annotating the ideas in them similar to what was done with the opening games).

Overall I think it is a worthwhile book, and I look forward to actually working through the games.

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