Let's play chess

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Mrxyz
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by Mrxyz »

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL5YbN ... LIegT5QAbA

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Radi%C4%87

Check him out, his short video clips are very easy to follow and teaches you some background history also!
AngelFIRE
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by AngelFIRE »

DH and I started to play chess after watching the Queens Gambit. I do a little bit of practice on chess.com and we play each other. For chess study (I like to study) I love David Shenk’s “The Immortal Game” Also try Willy Hendriks “On the Origin of Good Moves”
It is a fascinating game
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simplesimon
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by simplesimon »

This thread finally got me to watch the first episode on Netflix as well as order a set from Wholesale Chess.
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Random Musings
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by Random Musings »

I still follow chess, but mostly quit playing in high school. I've played in college a little and in the past few years online a few times and at work occasionally at lunch. However, to get really good, you have to really understand modern opening theory. To me, it's almost like going back to my Organic Chemistry II class and memorizing synthesis steps, which really didn't interest me. I'm not, at all, minimizing middle game and end game technique, but if you are playing good players, a lost opening ends up in a lost game. Understanding transposition becomes important as seasoned chess players want to be in their comfort zone - board positions they have a better understanding of.

Computer chess, well, the beasts of today like Stockfish and Lc0 with their nets play a game humans really can not understand. 50 to 80 ply depth is standard. However, they are finding out a good number of openings are losing (mostly for black) on white move one. At least, for them.

RM
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remomnyc
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by remomnyc »

Didn't read the thread so forgive me if this was already mentioned. The Queens Gambit inspired my kids to play chess again. My kids said that chess.com has an A.I. where you can play any game against Beth Harmon at any age. They were able to beat her until high school. My son thinks she was ranked about 2,000 then.
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by LadyGeek »

I intentionally titled the thread "Let's play chess" because Beth Harmon said it quite frequently. "What should we do today? Let's play chess."

I'm currently working through the lichess.org practice lessons. Those practice lessons are enlightening, as they clearly show that I'm not seeing the board. I focus on a few pieces, then get trounced on a move from somewhere else. The practice helps me analyze all the pieces - what's defended, what's not - and figure out the most valuable piece to capture. Move with purpose...

(Your progress is tracked if you have an account.)

I also play against the lichess.org computer. You can set the difficulty of the Stockfish engine when you start a game. A quick google search shows that you can't correlate the difficulty level with a chess rating. Just set the level to what's comfortable.
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by Sandtrap »

I have 2 sons. Growing up, DW and son 1 like checkers and don't understand chess except that it's too comples and takes too long, they say. Son 2 and I play chess, don't care for checkers for the opposite reasons.
Go figure.

OP: thanks for posting this thread. Perhaps in retirement, I will get the "chess bug" again.
j :D
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tm3
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by tm3 »

remomnyc wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:44 pm Didn't read the thread so forgive me if this was already mentioned. The Queens Gambit inspired my kids to play chess again. My kids said that chess.com has an A.I. where you can play any game against Beth Harmon at any age. They were able to beat her until high school. My son thinks she was ranked about 2,000 then.
One of my gripes about the series (which I overall enjoyed, BTW) was its exaggeration of BH's accomplishments. The chess rating system if applied honestly is pretty accurate and repeatable -- there is no way that BH plays for a while in the basement with the janitor and then beats a player rated 2100 or whatever in her 1st tournament.

I believe that the series is loosely based on Bobby Fischer's exploits. He was outstanding, probably the greatest of all time, but he was not beating 2000ish players until years into his career.
tm3
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by tm3 »

Sandtrap wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:22 am I have 2 sons. Growing up, DW and son 1 like checkers and don't understand chess except that it's too comples and takes too long, they say. Son 2 and I play chess, don't care for checkers for the opposite reasons.
Go figure.

OP: thanks for posting this thread. Perhaps in retirement, I will get the "chess bug" again.
j :D
Interesting about checkers. I loved checkers as a kid and got a set for Christmas. It has been fun learning about checkers.

Some argue that checkers is actually more complex than chess:

http://www.bobnewell.net/checkers/rediscover2.html
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by KlangFool »

Sandtrap wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:22 am I have 2 sons. Growing up, DW and son 1 like checkers and don't understand chess except that it's too comples and takes too long, they say. Son 2 and I play chess, don't care for checkers for the opposite reasons.
Go figure.

OP: thanks for posting this thread. Perhaps in retirement, I will get the "chess bug" again.
j :D
Sandtrap,

We enjoy the "loser win" variation of the checker. Whoever loses all the pieces win. It is very enjoyable. You may want to try this sometime.


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Re: Let's play chess

Post by oldcomputerguy »

Angst wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:13 am I have the book lined up to read next.
I haven't played chess in a long, long time, but I used to play often. When I was a senior in high school, a sophomore classmate of mine and I started the chess club at our high school. He was much, much better at it than I was (I only beat him once in the two years we were in school together). He spoke highly of Aron Nimzowitsch's "My System". I recently got my hands on a copy and began reading, and after a couple of pages it way way over my head.
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by Sandtrap »

tm3 wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:08 am
Sandtrap wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:22 am I have 2 sons. Growing up, DW and son 1 like checkers and don't understand chess except that it's too comples and takes too long, they say. Son 2 and I play chess, don't care for checkers for the opposite reasons.
Go figure.

OP: thanks for posting this thread. Perhaps in retirement, I will get the "chess bug" again.
j :D
Interesting about checkers. I loved checkers as a kid and got a set for Christmas. It has been fun learning about checkers.

Some argue that checkers is actually more complex than chess:

http://www.bobnewell.net/checkers/rediscover2.html
I didn't know this. Thanks for the the link, I read it.
Mahalo
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BolderBoy
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by BolderBoy »

Funny, I binge-watched "The Queen's Gambit" miniseries for the first time just yesterday. Excellent, really.

But...

When I was 15 (and had been playing chess for several years) I was humiliated by a 7 y/o who beat me in 4 moves. Or was it a 4 y/o who beat me in 7 moves? Can't remember, but I've never played chess again.

I hate puzzles. But I like this thread.

Y'all have fun now, he'ah!
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Mrxyz
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by Mrxyz »

tm3 wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:03 am
remomnyc wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:44 pm Didn't read the thread so forgive me if this was already mentioned. The Queens Gambit inspired my kids to play chess again. My kids said that chess.com has an A.I. where you can play any game against Beth Harmon at any age. They were able to beat her until high school. My son thinks she was ranked about 2,000 then.
One of my gripes about the series (which I overall enjoyed, BTW) was its exaggeration of BH's accomplishments. The chess rating system if applied honestly is pretty accurate and repeatable -- there is no way that BH plays for a while in the basement with the janitor and then beats a player rated 2100 or whatever in her 1st tournament.

I believe that the series is loosely based on Bobby Fischer's exploits. He was outstanding, probably the greatest of all time, but he was not beating 2000ish players until years into his career.
This may be interesting read how he beat many 'higher rated player' EARLY in his career.........

https://en.chessbase.com/post/60-years- ... ampionship
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tarnation
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by tarnation »

I used to play on fics using babas chess. Will have check out lichess. Also FYI, there is a Stockfish port to iOS app on the AppStore ( but is not good for my old iPhone battery :D )
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lightheir
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by lightheir »

tm3 wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:08 am
Sandtrap wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:22 am I have 2 sons. Growing up, DW and son 1 like checkers and don't understand chess except that it's too comples and takes too long, they say. Son 2 and I play chess, don't care for checkers for the opposite reasons.
Go figure.

OP: thanks for posting this thread. Perhaps in retirement, I will get the "chess bug" again.
j :D
Interesting about checkers. I loved checkers as a kid and got a set for Christmas. It has been fun learning about checkers.

Some argue that checkers is actually more complex than chess:

http://www.bobnewell.net/checkers/rediscover2.html
I'm almost positive that this is a wrong statement (Checkers being more complex than chess.)

A quick google search reveals that checker has indeed been 'solved' by computers.

Chess has not and statistically will never be. Although for sure chess computers absolutely play better than the strongest humans of all time.
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Artful Dodger
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by Artful Dodger »

Raraculus wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 5:18 pm
Artful Dodger wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:33 pmI visited The Chess Hall of Fame a year or so ago when they sponsored an MC Escher exhibition.
The one in St. Louis? Is it any good?

The Chess Hall of Fame used to be located in Miami. Wish I've visited there back then!
Yes, it’s great. I’ve visited a few times, mostly when there was an exhibition. The MC Escher show was well done. There are also permanent exhibits related to chess playing, history, sets, etc. They moved here in 2011. It’s across the street from the St. Louis chess club. It’s in one of our better neighborhoods good for walking around with lots of shops and restaurants, close to Forest Park.
gips
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by gips »

I was pretty good, top 20 under 13 in the US and own the coveted line to fisher meaning I beat someone who beat fisher. Tied for top prize with Fedorowicz in high school tournament at the old mcalpin hotel. Never had the time or work ethic or really desire to make it to master, instead had a broad set of interests.

I started to study again post-retirement, exceeded my highest rating (even given that uscf and lichess ratings are not apples to apples) but my mind is noticeably slower and I find myself leaving the occasional piece en prise which is just hard to accept. And in certain positions, I used to be able to calculate 20 moves, now closer to 8. So I'm taking six months before I push again. sigh.

I don't know what rates are like post-queens gambit/pandemic, but I took some lessons with a master from another country on lichess for around $15/hour, it was an absolute steal. if you're just starting out and want lessons, you don't need a master, find a well-reviewed teacher with a rating around 400 points higher than your lichess/chess.com rating.

best,
Jeff Albertson
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by Jeff Albertson »

Anya Taylor-Joy is a guest on the recent Graham Norton show, starts about 7:45.
https://www.bbcamerica.com/shows/the-gr ... -12--53034
cheesepep
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by cheesepep »

I used to be quite good at chess. Number 1 in my high school, in fact. Used to play it every day during lunch, sometimes against myself. I was a big nerd, but it was good. I was in my own quiet world.

I haven't played much since, but I have since picked up Chinese chess also known as Xiangqi or elephant chess, and I find it very fascinating. It is played on a 10x9 board and on the intersections as opposed to the 8x8 board in international chess. It was one unique unit, which is the cannon, which I find difficult to master. The knight and cannon can be blocked which makes it challenging. I'm taking classes and hope to not come in last place in an upcoming Chinese chess competition in March.
lightheir
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by lightheir »

oldcomputerguy wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:18 am
Angst wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:13 am I have the book lined up to read next.
I haven't played chess in a long, long time, but I used to play often. When I was a senior in high school, a sophomore classmate of mine and I started the chess club at our high school. He was much, much better at it than I was (I only beat him once in the two years we were in school together). He spoke highly of Aron Nimzowitsch's "My System". I recently got my hands on a copy and began reading, and after a couple of pages it way way over my head.
"My system" by Nimzo is actually outdated and many of the examples, while still illustrative, have been disproven by refutations by CPUs and stronger players. More importantly, it's quite hard for non-expert players to digest. I tried quite a few times, and now I'm convinced that it only makes sense AFTER you have already learned the topics he is talking about (from somewhere else!)

There's a good failsafe and method to study for chess that will take you essentially to master level:

- Tactics, tactics tactics. This is priority #1,2,3. Even when you think you are 'great' at tactics, do harder ones. Probably the majority of games <1600 class are decided by a single errant tactical overlook.

- "Strategy" is simplest understood as all the non-tactics moves. Meaning when there is no instant-kill on the board that a CPU can pick out, these are the more subtle, slower moves you make to improve your position such that the opponent has to make more and more precise moves just to avoid falling into a tactical kill situation.

Strategy is actually super important even for the beginner player (even if their games are ultimately decided by blunders and tactical shots.) It can make the difference between keeping at the game vs quitting early due to "I literally have no idea what to do on any move until the opponent makes a giant blunder and I can take something obvious from them."

Probably the easiest and best way to learn this as a non-expert player is the watch youtube videos by the good youtubers mentioned above - John Bartholomew, St. Louis chess (Akobian is the best!!!), Chessnetwork, etc. And don't worry that these guys are often explaining during 5-minute blitz games - that's actually great because their concepts are so straightforward and thus simply explained that you don't have to be a genius or have crazy calculation ability to understand them. These guys actually cover everything in Nimzo's My System book - just much more clearly and with real-time game examples that you WILL see in amateur internet play with how to punish strategic blunders! (As opposed to grandmaster vs grandmaster where the errors are so small they are hard to punish.)

After you watch dozens+ of hours of these players, you will get a pretty good grasp of what to do in most situations.

- Openings - Totally overemphasized at the nonexpert level, with a big BUT.For long or tournament-style games, openings are almost irrelevant unless you are an "A" class player (near-expert). (You'll know if you're that good!) However, for BLITZ (5 min & 10 min games) which are the standard for internet play, you HAVE to know your openings really well or you will constantly lose on time to equal and even inferior players. Choose a few recommended by those internet personalities I mentioned above and stick with the ones they recommend for beginners, etc.

- And finally, when/if you get serious about chess, it's super important to learn how to analyze your games with computer engine. It'll point out where you missed tactics, or where you made a positional move and ruined your position. This is critical for eventual improvement so you don't keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

Good luck!
tm3
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by tm3 »

Mrxyz wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:50 pm
tm3 wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:03 am
remomnyc wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:44 pm Didn't read the thread so forgive me if this was already mentioned. The Queens Gambit inspired my kids to play chess again. My kids said that chess.com has an A.I. where you can play any game against Beth Harmon at any age. They were able to beat her until high school. My son thinks she was ranked about 2,000 then.
One of my gripes about the series (which I overall enjoyed, BTW) was its exaggeration of BH's accomplishments. The chess rating system if applied honestly is pretty accurate and repeatable -- there is no way that BH plays for a while in the basement with the janitor and then beats a player rated 2100 or whatever in her 1st tournament.

I believe that the series is loosely based on Bobby Fischer's exploits. He was outstanding, probably the greatest of all time, but he was not beating 2000ish players until years into his career.
This may be interesting read how he beat many 'higher rated player' EARLY in his career.........

https://en.chessbase.com/post/60-years- ... ampionship
He was a phenom at age 14, no doubt, but unlike the movie 14 was not EARLY in his career. He started playing at age 6 and ramped up quickly from there, including learning to read Russian chess magazines, so by age 14 he had 1000s of games under his belt.

He didn't come out of the basement and start beating 2100 players. No one can.
theDON2050
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by theDON2050 »

Hit me up on Chess.com! User name = Doubtfulthing

I'm a rather ordinary player. Rating on chess.com has lingered between 690 and 750.
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JupiterJones
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by JupiterJones »

tm3 wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:03 am One of my gripes about the series (which I overall enjoyed, BTW) was its exaggeration of BH's accomplishments. The chess rating system if applied honestly is pretty accurate and repeatable -- there is no way that BH plays for a while in the basement with the janitor and then beats a player rated 2100 or whatever in her 1st tournament.
Yeah, but to be fair, this is a fictional character we're talking about. She's an phenom with a preternatural connection to the game, almost like a sort of superhero-type character.

I mean, there's also no way a janitor reads some library books and then out-solves a Fields Medal winner either, but you won't catch me griping about "Good Will Hunting". :D
Stay on target...
stormswami
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by stormswami »

Thank you LadyGeek and others for the resources. My 6-year-old begun learning chess when the pandemic started. He is now consumed by chess books
from the library and plays and practices nearly every day. We have used Chess.com (free account) for my kids to play grandparents at a long distance, but I would like to try other resources. He currently has a 750 rating via Chess.com in limited online play.
Elena
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by Elena »

I cannot play chess, but wanted to add a nice allegory from Don Quijote: chess as life. While playing, every piece has its role; once the game ends, they all get mixed together and end up inside a bag, as life ends in a grave.

"aquella del juego del ajedrez, que mientras dura el juego, cada pieza tiene su particular oficio; y en acabándose el juego, todas se mezclan, juntan y barajan, y dan con ellas en una bolsa, que es como dar con la vida en la sepultura". (II,12).

* Queen Elizabeth of Castile is credited for replacing one of the figures with that of a queen.
lightheir
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by lightheir »

JupiterJones wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:03 am
tm3 wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:03 am One of my gripes about the series (which I overall enjoyed, BTW) was its exaggeration of BH's accomplishments. The chess rating system if applied honestly is pretty accurate and repeatable -- there is no way that BH plays for a while in the basement with the janitor and then beats a player rated 2100 or whatever in her 1st tournament.
Yeah, but to be fair, this is a fictional character we're talking about. She's an phenom with a preternatural connection to the game, almost like a sort of superhero-type character.

I mean, there's also no way a janitor reads some library books and then out-solves a Fields Medal winner either, but you won't catch me griping about "Good Will Hunting". :D
Not to quibble, but this is indeed with the realm of possibility IF the janitor in the movie was as knowledgeable and as strong a player as the books he was passing to her implied he was. The talent level at the top is insane - grandmaster level at age 12 for Sergey Karjakin. These kids hit 2100+ within a single year of play at around age 10-12.

(Math Fields medal >>> 2100 chess in difficulty.)
mak1277
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by mak1277 »

I play on chess.com as well. A 3-minute blitz game is the best way I can think of to spend 6 idle minutes in the middle of the day.
theDON2050
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by theDON2050 »

I'm actually in the market to buy a chess board. Sort of like the idea of being able to fold it up to carry it to a friend's house. Any recommendations?

I think if I keep it under $60 I would keep the wife happy...
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simplesimon
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by simplesimon »

theDON2050 wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:36 am I'm actually in the market to buy a chess board. Sort of like the idea of being able to fold it up to carry it to a friend's house. Any recommendations?

I think if I keep it under $60 I would keep the wife happy...
Look up Wholesale Chess. I just ordered a set from there.
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Unchained
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by Unchained »

LadyGeek wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:13 am I intentionally titled the thread "Let's play chess" because Beth Harmon said it quite frequently. "What should we do today? Let's play chess.
Every time I scroll by this thread I hear Sheriff Bart saying the same thing. 😉
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DrippingSprings
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by DrippingSprings »

Here are a couple of helpful links.
The Tarrasch Chess GUI This is a free very user friendly chess program. It includes a large searchable database (to which you can append more games) , computer engines (to which you can add additional engines you like), a computer you can play against, and much more. I have used a couple of different GUIs and in my opinion Tarrasch is the best.
https://www.triplehappy.com/downloads.html

The Week in Chess The Week in Chess (TWIC) is a chess news web site. The really nice thing about it is that you can download all of the latest tournament games (either in ChessBase or PGN format) for free and append them to your database. Thus you continually expand your database and keep it up to date if you so desire.
https://theweekinchess.com

edit: Chessable.com is my favorite site for learning and practicing stuff.
Chessable.com

If anybody would like to play me on Lichess.org, send me a PM.
halfnine
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by halfnine »

lightheir wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:24 am
JupiterJones wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:03 am
tm3 wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:03 am One of my gripes about the series (which I overall enjoyed, BTW) was its exaggeration of BH's accomplishments. The chess rating system if applied honestly is pretty accurate and repeatable -- there is no way that BH plays for a while in the basement with the janitor and then beats a player rated 2100 or whatever in her 1st tournament.
Yeah, but to be fair, this is a fictional character we're talking about. She's an phenom with a preternatural connection to the game, almost like a sort of superhero-type character.

I mean, there's also no way a janitor reads some library books and then out-solves a Fields Medal winner either, but you won't catch me griping about "Good Will Hunting". :D
Not to quibble, but this is indeed with the realm of possibility IF the janitor in the movie was as knowledgeable and as strong a player as the books he was passing to her implied he was. The talent level at the top is insane - grandmaster level at age 12 for Sergey Karjakin. These kids hit 2100+ within a single year of play at around age 10-12.

(Math Fields medal >>> 2100 chess in difficulty.)
Magnus Carlsen made some comments on a YouTube clip. My recollection was that his feeling was that overall it was extremely well done, however, he felt that her results in her first tournament weren't realistic. And that her rise through the last few tiers to the top would have taken more years that it did.
halfnine
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by halfnine »

lightheir wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:00 pm ...- Openings - Totally overemphasized at the nonexpert level, with a big BUT.For long or tournament-style games, openings are almost irrelevant unless you are an "A" class player (near-expert). (You'll know if you're that good!) However, for BLITZ (5 min & 10 min games) which are the standard for internet play, you HAVE to know your openings really well or you will constantly lose on time to equal and even inferior players. Choose a few recommended by those internet personalities I mentioned above and stick with the ones they recommend for beginners, etc...
This makes a lot of sense and is consistent with what I notice when my kids play.
lightheir wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:00 pm..Tactics, tactics tactics. This is priority #1,2,3. Even when you think you are 'great' at tactics, do harder ones. Probably the majority of games <1600 class are decided by a single errant tactical overlook.

... "Strategy" is simplest understood as all the non-tactics moves. Meaning when there is no instant-kill on the board that a CPU can pick out, these are the more subtle, slower moves you make to improve your position such that the opponent has to make more and more precise moves just to avoid falling into a tactical kill situation.

Strategy is actually super important even for the beginner player (even if their games are ultimately decided by blunders and tactical shots.) It can make the difference between keeping at the game vs quitting early due to "I literally have no idea what to do on any move until the opponent makes a giant blunder and I can take something obvious from them...
This is where I have a question. My son (under 10) seems to do fine tactically but struggles in the strategic, positional aspect of chess. For reference, on Lichess his puzzle rating is 2000, he tactically wins games at the 1700 level but will just as often lose at the 1400 level due to poor positional chess. His problems largely occur in the middlegame whether he is playing children or adults. I have noticed that adults at around his level have good openings where he can hold his own but also have poor endgames where he can then exert his own will. Against children those roles are reversed. But against either he can lose it all in the middlegame. So, back to my question, what does he do to improve his middlegame positional awareness?
rockstar
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by rockstar »

Lots of good videos up on Gotham Chess on YouTube this past two weeks.
Thesaints
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by Thesaints »

I stopped playing competitively kind of at the beginning of the computer era.
The biggest jumps in a player's strength, after learning the rules of the game, are:

1) Learning apertures. Nothing too fancy required: choose one when playing white and two when playing black (against E4 and D4) and be comfortable with them.

2) Endgame theory. King and pawns, to begin with.

You will immediately start to regularly beat players your were losing to before.

Excellent book for beginners is Capablanca's and when ready to go deeper into the endgame Grigoriev's
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by lightheir »

halfnine wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:34 pm
lightheir wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:00 pm ...- Openings - Totally overemphasized at the nonexpert level, with a big BUT.For long or tournament-style games, openings are almost irrelevant unless you are an "A" class player (near-expert). (You'll know if you're that good!) However, for BLITZ (5 min & 10 min games) which are the standard for internet play, you HAVE to know your openings really well or you will constantly lose on time to equal and even inferior players. Choose a few recommended by those internet personalities I mentioned above and stick with the ones they recommend for beginners, etc...
This makes a lot of sense and is consistent with what I notice when my kids play.
lightheir wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:00 pm..Tactics, tactics tactics. This is priority #1,2,3. Even when you think you are 'great' at tactics, do harder ones. Probably the majority of games <1600 class are decided by a single errant tactical overlook.

... "Strategy" is simplest understood as all the non-tactics moves. Meaning when there is no instant-kill on the board that a CPU can pick out, these are the more subtle, slower moves you make to improve your position such that the opponent has to make more and more precise moves just to avoid falling into a tactical kill situation.

Strategy is actually super important even for the beginner player (even if their games are ultimately decided by blunders and tactical shots.) It can make the difference between keeping at the game vs quitting early due to "I literally have no idea what to do on any move until the opponent makes a giant blunder and I can take something obvious from them...
This is where I have a question. My son (under 10) seems to do fine tactically but struggles in the strategic, positional aspect of chess. For reference, on Lichess his puzzle rating is 2000, he tactically wins games at the 1700 level but will just as often lose at the 1400 level due to poor positional chess. His problems largely occur in the middlegame whether he is playing children or adults. I have noticed that adults at around his level have good openings where he can hold his own but also have poor endgames where he can then exert his own will. Against children those roles are reversed. But against either he can lose it all in the middlegame. So, back to my question, what does he do to improve his middlegame positional awareness?
I answered your question regarding strategy in my prior (long) post.

Just have him watch those videos on youtube from sources I've mentioned - there are tons of them. If he is a 1700-rated player online on lichess or chess.com, he will find them extremely interesting and invaluable to his play and improvement, as that's the perfect candidate level for best benefit from those videos.

Around 1700 online, you really start to have to force your opponent to 'blunder' into tactics with strategic play. If you just move without an understanding of improving your position, you will quickly find yourself in situations where there is only one hard-to-find saving move from losing a piece.

If you run your son's game through the lichess 'game analysis' engine, you will see how good/poor your son's strategic ability is. If the game graph fluctuates wildly above and below zero, he needs a lot of work. If however, it goes up slowly and steadily throughout most of the game and then spikes at the killing tactic, he's doing well. The computer engine on lichess is strong enough to accurately score even slightly improving subtle strategic moves.
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by lightheir »

Thesaints wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:55 pm I stopped playing competitively kind of at the beginning of the computer era.
The biggest jumps in a player's strength, after learning the rules of the game, are:

1) Learning apertures. Nothing too fancy required: choose one when playing white and two when playing black (against E4 and D4) and be comfortable with them.

2) Endgame theory. King and pawns, to begin with.

You will immediately start to regularly beat players your were losing to before.

Excellent book for beginners is Capablanca's and when ready to go deeper into the endgame Grigoriev's
Kinda disagree with this.

Openings don't win games. Middlegames and endgames do. Non-experts can lose pieces outright in the opening and have ample chances to win. If doubt this, play the lichess Stockfish engine and take away his queen and one rook right off the bat. I'll guess that the engine will still easily defeat nearly every single person who has posted here save the tournament-experienced ones, and it wont' even take more than mediocre play to do so.

Endgames are SUPER critical in slower tournament-style play (30+minutes long games). They are still important in 5 & 10 online minutes blitz games, but not as crucial until you are a fairly strong player, as usually the game has been decided by then (down a piece or more). The clock decides most games of equal blitz players that are intermediate level.

I learned this the hard way myself when I took a deep dive into endgames doing a lot of Mark Dvoretsky's endgame manual, and could not deploy any of the skills I had learned in blitz games despite being 2000 rated online. However once I slowed the game down to 30 minutes or longer, I found I was beating higher-rated players largely due to superior endgame planning and strategy. It shifted my choice of openings to 'super-boring equal' openings where things get traded off rather quickly, but left me with a chance to outplay them in an equal endgame situation. (Highly-rated online blitz players are remarkably bad at endgames, reflecting my comments above!)
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by lightheir »

Thesaints wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:55 pm I stopped playing competitively kind of at the beginning of the computer era.
The biggest jumps in a player's strength, after learning the rules of the game, are:

1) Learning apertures. Nothing too fancy required: choose one when playing white and two when playing black (against E4 and D4) and be comfortable with them.

2) Endgame theory. King and pawns, to begin with.

You will immediately start to regularly beat players your were losing to before.

Excellent book for beginners is Capablanca's and when ready to go deeper into the endgame Grigoriev's
Kinda disagree with this.

Openings don't win games. Middlegames and endgames do. Non-experts can lose pieces outright in the opening and have ample chances to win. If doubt this, play the lichess Stockfish engine and take away his queen and one rook right off the bat. I'll guess that the engine will still easily defeat nearly every single person who has posted here save the tournament-experienced ones, and it wont' even take more than mediocre play to do so.

Endgames are SUPER critical in slower tournament-style play (30+minutes long games). They are still important in 5 & 10 online minutes blitz games, but not as crucial until you are a fairly strong player, as usually the game has been decided by then (down a piece or more). The clock decides most games of equal blitz players that are intermediate level that survive to equalish endgames.

I learned this the hard way myself when I took a deep dive into endgames doing a lot of Mark Dvoretsky's endgame manual, and could not deploy any of the skills I had learned in blitz games despite being 2000 rated online. However once I slowed the game down to 30 minutes or longer, I found I was beating higher-rated players largely due to superior endgame planning and strategy. It shifted my choice of openings to 'super-boring equal' openings where things get traded off rather quickly, but left me with a chance to outplay them in an equal endgame situation. High-rated online blitz players are remarkably bad at endgames, reflecting my comments above!
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by LadyGeek »

lightheir wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:56 pm I answered your question regarding strategy in my prior (long) post.
Your (long) post was exactly the overview I needed, thanks. :beer
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by trumpet83 »

I'm a USCF Expert and have been chasing the Master title for many years now.

It's great so many people are becoming interested in the game. It has so much to offer.

A few ideas based on a combination of enjoyment and improvement...

1. Yasser Seirawan's "Play Winning Chess" or Dan Heisman's "Everybody's Second Chess Book". There are more books written on chess than any other game I believe and part of the fun of studying is finding new books. These would be great places to start.

2. Try to do a lot of puzzles. You can buy tactics books or do the problems on the different sites. You could get so much better just by doing this.

3. Consider taking some lessons. Lichess, chess.com, and ICC have always had extensive lists of coaches that you could contact. You may have someone local as well. It's fun to learn new things and assuming you get someone good, it will really help guide you along.

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Re: Let's play chess

Post by BogleFan510 »

I play frequently on lichess 5/3
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by tm3 »

halfnine wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:47 pm
lightheir wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:24 am
JupiterJones wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:03 am
tm3 wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:03 am One of my gripes about the series (which I overall enjoyed, BTW) was its exaggeration of BH's accomplishments. The chess rating system if applied honestly is pretty accurate and repeatable -- there is no way that BH plays for a while in the basement with the janitor and then beats a player rated 2100 or whatever in her 1st tournament.
Yeah, but to be fair, this is a fictional character we're talking about. She's an phenom with a preternatural connection to the game, almost like a sort of superhero-type character.

I mean, there's also no way a janitor reads some library books and then out-solves a Fields Medal winner either, but you won't catch me griping about "Good Will Hunting". :D
Not to quibble, but this is indeed with the realm of possibility IF the janitor in the movie was as knowledgeable and as strong a player as the books he was passing to her implied he was. The talent level at the top is insane - grandmaster level at age 12 for Sergey Karjakin. These kids hit 2100+ within a single year of play at around age 10-12.

(Math Fields medal >>> 2100 chess in difficulty.)
Magnus Carlsen made some comments on a YouTube clip. My recollection was that his feeling was that overall it was extremely well done, however, he felt that her results in her first tournament weren't realistic. And that her rise through the last few tiers to the top would have taken more years that it did.
Nice to hear the top player in the world validate my impressions!
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by tm3 »

theDON2050 wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:36 am I'm actually in the market to buy a chess board. Sort of like the idea of being able to fold it up to carry it to a friend's house. Any recommendations?

I think if I keep it under $60 I would keep the wife happy...
Good folding boards are hard to find. The nice linen ones seem to be no more. The best one that I have seen recently comes from the US Checkers organization:

http://www.usacheckers.com/store/index. ... duct_id=57

Most portable chess boards these days are roll up with either a silicone or vinyl surface. I like the vinyl better -- if you are careless with it you can wrinkle it, but the silicone traps dust and other trash and is hard to clean. You can find these boards at many places online like the USCF

https://www.uscfsales.com/chess-boards/ ... oards.html

House of Staunton has some really nice wooden boards, and IIRC there may be a folding version.
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by JupiterJones »

tm3 wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:46 am
theDON2050 wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:36 am I'm actually in the market to buy a chess board. Sort of like the idea of being able to fold it up to carry it to a friend's house. Any recommendations?
Most portable chess boards these days are roll up with either a silicone or vinyl surface.
Yes, it seems that the most-common "portable" chess solution nowadays are those roll-up boards. Get a good set of plastic pieces, maybe a clock, and a cloth case/bag to tote everything around with (all available at USCF sales and elsewhere), and you're good-to-go for not a lot of dough.

That said, for some reason I've always wanted to pick up one of those retro portable wooden Soviet chess sets that you see on eBay and Etsy. Apparently they were standard issue in the USSR back in the day, quite cheap, and nearly every home had one.

They're not fancy, and you wouldn't want to trot one out at tournament or anything. Perfect for taking to a friend's house for a casual game though.
Stay on target...
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by manatee2005 »

oldfatguy wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:02 pm Thanks for the resources! I just started playing again myself after many years, when I started teaching my 8 year old daughter a month or so ago.
Two things I remember my dad taught me when we played chess

1. Never give up. There’s usually a way out.
2. Always think 4 steps ahead

I’ve been using those lessons my whole life in everything I do, it’s served me well.
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by LadyGeek »

Discussion of dishonest behavior or bypassing the law is totally unacceptable.

I removed a post linking to a site which offered free download of copyrighted material.
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by LadyGeek »

Until recently, I haven't had time to focus on chess. I've restarted my efforts by working through the lichess.org practice lessons and some puzzles.

I very quickly realized that I wasn't seeing the board - there were too many obvious blunders. Also, going through lessons wasn't enough. I needed a structured overview to this ultimate game of war.

Thanks to this thread, I found what I was looking for: Everyone's Second Chess Book, by Dan Heisman. It teaches you from the perspective of "Board vision". The Kindle version allows you to view the book in your web browser (Kindle "Cloud Reader). I have the book open in one browser window, lichess.org opened in another.

The lichess.org community forum post Best chess books mentions that several books have been converted to online lichess.org studies. Specifically, capablanca chess fundamentals • lichess.org. The original book is in the public domain here, but you can get the algebraic notation version from Amazon for $1.99.

I think this is a huge advantage, as it's very difficult to go through a ton of games in book format. Doing this "live" side-by-side allows you to walk through the game and understand things in context. It's also how you would play an online game.

In addition to the book and online play, I'll continue looking at YouTube videos and chess sites recommended in this thread.
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by lightheir »

LadyGeek wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 8:52 am Until recently, I haven't had time to focus on chess. I've restarted my efforts by working through the lichess.org practice lessons and some puzzles.

I very quickly realized that I wasn't seeing the board - there were too many obvious blunders. Also, going through lessons wasn't enough. I needed a structured overview to this ultimate game of war.

Thanks to this thread, I found what I was looking for: Everyone's Second Chess Book, by Dan Heisman. It teaches you from the perspective of "Board vision". The Kindle version allows you to view the book in your web browser (Kindle "Cloud Reader). I have the book open in one browser window, lichess.org opened in another.

The lichess.org community forum post Best chess books mentions that several books have been converted to online lichess.org studies. Specifically, capablanca chess fundamentals • lichess.org. The original book is in the public domain here, but you can get the algebraic notation version from Amazon for $1.99.

I think this is a huge advantage, as it's very difficult to go through a ton of games in book format. Doing this "live" side-by-side allows you to walk through the game and understand things in context. It's also how you would play an online game.

In addition to the book and online play, I'll continue looking at YouTube videos and chess sites recommended in this thread.
Honestly, your intentions are good, but you're not doing it as efficiently as you should. Trust me, I did exactly what you are trying - it works for other fields with different emphases, but it it not optimal for chess.

First off - forget capablanca chess fundamentals. Yes, I did that too, it was free, he was a world-champion type figure, this book is quoted by numerous ex-pros, etc, but the truth is that it's archaic, the examples either too easy or too obscure, and nowhere near as clear in explaning concepts as current beginner chess media. I've also read literally all the books you mention - they're good, but again, too advanced for your level (despite being called a beginner book.) I guarantee you will gain nearly zero rating points from reading Heisman's book at your level.

You're learning the hard way (as everyone does, literally) that for a LONG LONG time, it's tactics, tactics, tactics tactics. And even when you 'get good', it's often still tactics tactics tactics.

Honestly, until you reach then 1800+ level on lichess ratings, your games will almost entirely be decided on a single errant tactic that decides the game. Note that when I say 'errant tactic', I do NOT mean just that you missed an attack and someone took a piece or pawn from you. I mean that you overlooked a winning tactic that may have been 3-5+ moves deep that you could have played and which a computer can point out instantly. In chess, if you miss such winning tactics, you often will lose the game as that's the ENTIRE point of chess strategy - to set up tactical wins, even if they are complex, and if you can't execute the kill, your position instantly weakens (watch it on a chess computer score go down on the very next move.)

At your entry level, forget about books. Too slow, too annoying. Do tons of tactical problems. Until you're sick of them and then do more. And more.

And to learn strategy - again, forget about books. Just start watching the youtube personalities mentioned above like John Bartholomew or Chess network. Free (if you have internet), super easy to understand (they are generally playing 5-min blitz games so it's almost all core concepts, not super rare subtleties), and shows the stuff you absolutely will see in actual online play. (As opposed to studying Grandmaster books which is so sophisticated it'll look NOTHING like your amateur games, even if you are good.)

Oh, and of course, ironically I forget to mention the single most important thing, which is play and learn from your mistakes.

In summary, the priority list to get better as a early beginner.
1. PLAY as much as you can! You don't even need to deeply analyze your games at this point, just play as much as possible, take lots of beatings, run the lichess CPU analysis on them to see what you missed tactically!
2. Tactics tactics tactics. It is even ok to do more tactics than playing as a beginner, but you still do have to play some.
3. Watch videos AFTER you've done a lot of #1 and #2.
4. Watch your rating go up!

This should get you to 1600-1700 on lichess fairly quickly. After that, it's still almost the same as above, but you will have to add in more self-analysis of games, and some dedicated endgame study, but that's for later.

Chess books are actually pretty terrible for beginners in chess. Hate to say it, but it's true. Just by design, chess books are hard to get through on a board (impossible, actually!) and because they are word-based, they invariably focus on higher level strategy, even if they are beginner-aimed books. I've met and beaten tons of book-loving chess players (usually older adult players), and been beaten by probably as many zero-book players (kids, actually). It's the unfortunate truth that in chess, books really become valuable only after you are quite a strong, like near-expert, because of the outsized role tactics plays.
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Re: Let's play chess

Post by LadyGeek »

lightheir wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:59 am ...Honestly, your intentions are good, but you're not doing it as efficiently as you should. Trust me, I did exactly what you are trying - it works for other fields with different emphases, but it it not optimal for chess.

First off - forget capablanca chess fundamentals. Yes, I did that too, it was free, he was a world-champion type figure, this book is quoted by numerous ex-pros, etc, but the truth is that it's archaic, the examples either too easy or too obscure, and nowhere near as clear in explaning concepts as current beginner chess media. I've also read literally all the books you mention - they're good, but again, too advanced for your level (despite being called a beginner book.) I guarantee you will gain nearly zero rating points from reading Heisman's book at your level.

You're learning the hard way (as everyone does, literally) that for a LONG LONG time, it's tactics, tactics, tactics tactics. And even when you 'get good', it's often still tactics tactics tactics.

Honestly, until you reach then 1800+ level on lichess ratings, your games will almost entirely be decided on a single errant tactic that decides the game. Note that when I say 'errant tactic', I do NOT mean just that you missed an attack and someone took a piece or pawn from you. I mean that you overlooked a winning tactic that may have been 3-5+ moves deep that you could have played and which a computer can point out instantly. In chess, if you miss such winning tactics, you often will lose the game as that's the ENTIRE point of chess strategy - to set up tactical wins, even if they are complex, and if you can't execute the kill, your position instantly weakens (watch it on a chess computer score go down on the very next move.)

At your entry level, forget about books. Too slow, too annoying. Do tons of tactical problems. Until you're sick of them and then do more. And more.

And to learn strategy - again, forget about books. Just start watching the youtube personalities mentioned above like John Bartholomew or Chess network. Free (if you have internet), super easy to understand (they are generally playing 5-min blitz games so it's almost all core concepts, not super rare subtleties), and shows the stuff you absolutely will see in actual online play. (As opposed to studying Grandmaster books which is so sophisticated it'll look NOTHING like your amateur games, even if you are good.)

Oh, and of course, ironically I forget to mention the single most important thing, which is play and learn from your mistakes.

In summary, the priority list to get better as a early beginner.
1. PLAY as much as you can! You don't even need to deeply analyze your games at this point, just play as much as possible, take lots of beatings, run the lichess CPU analysis on them to see what you missed tactically!
2. Tactics tactics tactics. It is even ok to do more tactics than playing as a beginner, but you still do have to play some.
3. Watch videos AFTER you've done a lot of #1 and #2.
4. Watch your rating go up!

This should get you to 1600-1700 on lichess fairly quickly. After that, it's still almost the same as above, but you will have to add in more self-analysis of games, and some dedicated endgame study, but that's for later.

Chess books are actually pretty terrible for beginners in chess. Hate to say it, but it's true. Just by design, chess books are hard to get through on a board (impossible, actually!) and because they are word-based, they invariably focus on higher level strategy, even if they are beginner-aimed books. I've met and beaten tons of book-loving chess players (usually older adult players), and been beaten by probably as many zero-book players (kids, actually). It's the unfortunate truth that in chess, books really become valuable only after you are quite a strong, like near-expert, because of the outsized role tactics plays.
My background is engineering, so I naturally take the analytic approach and start with the theory - books. Thank you, I just needed guidance from someone who's done this before.

You make excellent points, as I didn't realize that different subjects require different learning methods. I will adapt my learning to what you've suggested - especially your 4 point summary.

Books are never wasted. I only realize that I can't see the board now and that Everyone's Second Chess Book is intended to fill in that gap.
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