Monday, September 23, 2002

Today I start

Today, I started studying Chess Tactics for Students. It's basically a workbook covering 13 common tactical motifs. Each chapter consists of 5 instructional diagrams to introduce the motif, followed by 26 problems for the student to solve. Following author John Bain's suggestion, I worked through the first 5 diagrams in each chapter to get an overview of all 13 tactics. It was fairly easy.

I can see how this workbook format would appeal to educators who want to introduce chess in the classroom. It reminds me a lot of the vocabulary texts that I used when I was in middle school.

Now that I've completed the overview, I'm supposed to work through all chapters in order. The chapters are:
  1. Pins
  2. Back Rank Combinations
  3. Knight Forks
  4. Other Forks/Double Attacks
  5. Discovered Checks
  6. Double Checks
  7. Discovered Attacks
  8. Skewers
  9. Double Threats
  10. Promoting Pawns
  11. Removing the Guard
  12. Perpetual Check
  13. Zugzwang
To prevent burnout, my goal is to complete one chapter per day.

Chess is 99% tactics

Chess is 99% tactics - Richard Teichmann

This saying rings true especially for the class player. In his book Rapid Chess Improvement, Michael de la Maza describes a study plan based solely on the study of tactics. Surprisingly, he recommends the intensive study of basic tactics, not the 4, 5 or more move combinations that are presented in advanced tactical texts. Taking his advice, I've decided to begin my chess study with basic tactics.

Searching for an appropriate book, I came across NM Dan Heisman's Chess Page, where he lists the book Chess Tactics for Students as his "first recommendation for learning tactical motifs". I already own this book, so I'll begin with it tomorrow.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

A journey of a thousand miles begins

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step - Chinese proverb

This blog was created out of frustration. For the past 10 years, I've been stuck in class B (1600-1800), with a current USCF rating of 1669. My chess career has been sporadic, consisting of long periods of inactivity mixed with infrequent tournament play and even more infrequent periods of chess study. I have a chess library of over 300+ volumes, most of which are mint and unread. The ones that aren't mint were probably bought at used bookshops.

I'm tired of inconsistent chess results. I'm tired of superficial thinking, fostered by years of blitz play. I'm tired of chess mediocrity. These pages will document my journey on the road to Chess Master.