Monday, June 18, 2007

Back To The Roots

I have re-discoverd a training method of the very beginning of my chess life: son against father. Now I am the father, and my son's playing strength is considerably lower than mine, therefore I give him the odds of a knight. Of course, as odds-giver, I am always White, and this position frequently arises on the board.

diagram

White to move.

In earlier games I used to launch a queenside pawn attack on his bishop and knight and often got my piece back. But as he improved his game, I began to lose with such a strategy. This is a wonderful thing: In handicap games, the stronger player has an equal opportunity to learn and to improve as the weaker player. My son is improving on his level, I am improving on mine. I started with a winning streak, losing now and then. Meanwhile I have to fight hard for every win, and often I only get a draw, and the losses become more frequent.

I must say, this is much more fun than CTS. Back to the position: The best plan for White is of course Bg5 to pin the knight and doing everything to make d3-d4 possible the sooner the better.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Farewell CTS

This post has been overdue for a long time. Weeks, oh no, it is months ago, I have been a CTS addict. I knew all the time that it is (too) demanding, hours went by, but I always hoped that it would boost my tactical skills.

I think it did to a certain extent. But at OTB games I had to learn two bitter lessons. Looking at a board and looking at a diagram makes a huge difference. And solving tactical puzzles and taking strategic plans in a game make even a greater difference.

After excessive CTS training and zero games for a while I had a losing streak. But after a while without CTS I have the impression that all this thousands of tactical motives have sunk into the deepness of my brain. I have to forget them. They must become part of my subconscious brain. And this may require time.

Thus, even without using CTS at the moment, I expect its positive effect to take place in the future, when I stumble upon tactical motives of all kind in my games.

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