Sunday, June 10, 2012

Chess Study and Training

One purpose of making the 3 previous posts was to improve my chess game.  In a roundabout way it has, I think.  While any type of chess study is said to improve one's game, at my age I'm looking for the most time-efficient method.  Those posts took a long time to put together, but somehow their lessons on my (poor) time usage during games led me to a resource that had almost certainly helped me in the past, but which I had since neglected.  In one over-the-board tournament a couple years back, in the first round as I recall, I had managed to reach a king+rook vs. king endgame but with very little clock time left.  I am convinced that it was the KRk bot training on ICC that I had included as part of my tourney prep that had converted a loss (on time) into a win in that case.

So the first step in my thinking was:  I need to find some chess training, as opposed to just study.  And the next step was going back to ICC's KRk and developing a ladder goal of completing three sequential all-best-move mates with at least 3:00 remaining on my clock (and no takebacks), with the next step in the ladder to be KQk.  I'm still working on the KRk.  Some of those first moves are really hard to know/guess.

I've recently gone to the nice online tablebase site to get a better overview some of the trickier first moves, e.g. when the black king starts in the center.

What I've found from just doing this training, is that it seems to have expanded way beyond just one set of mate patterns, into a better/quicker understanding in my mind of how rooks "work" in general.  I recently dispatched an opponent fairly handily with low time on my clock and only up the exchange or so in a busy position, with two rooks working together.

After KQk, I'm not sure how my ladder will go; the sequence in ICC seems to be KBBk, KBNk, KQkn, KRkn, KQkr.

Comments/suggestions welcome.