There are many chess players with ELO rating under 2000 around the world who would like to increase their chess capabilities. And reach the level of 2000 ELO points. Just like me.
This blog is exactly for them.


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Summary of First Half of 2011

Summary of First Half of 2011

chess_20091130The first six months of this year are over and it could be the right time to make a short summary of my chess results. So, let’s go!

I played in two events – chess team competition (January – March) and spring club tournament (April – June). The number of games I played was 24.

My result was +9, =4, -11 with performance 1719 (my average ELO was 1760).

I was better with white pieces (+5, =3, -4, performance 1785) than with black ones (+4, =1, -7, performance 1696).

This year I play a bit more aggressively than last year (see the amount of draws in my stats for 2010) and it resulted in some lost games. I consider them as a tax to learn more and score more points in the future. Especially in the team competition I over-risked some games, because we wanted and needed to score as much points as possible (you know, it is a dark side of being the captain as you always have to show fighting spirit to the rest of your team :)).

I shared some my games with you already and I want to show you one won game also this time. I am proud of my 19th move :) You can find the game under the article.

BTW: What are your stats for the first half of 2011?


Why Are Some Kids So Talented At Chess?

Why Are Some Kids So Talented At Chess?

Why are some kids so good at chess? How do some chess prodigies that are barely 8,7 or even 6 years old manage to play chess at a master level with little formal chess coaching? How have they managed to accelerate their intellectual development in this specific field at such an exceptional rate?  How can we learn from these prodigies and their secrets that we can use to teach better chess to all children?  It is difficult to determine exactly which cultural, biological, and/or environmental factor plays the greatest role in this phenomenon.

Samuel Reshevsky, Bobby Fischer & More …

In the early 20th century, Samuel Reshevsky began dominating simultaneous exhibitions against experienced masters before he turned 10.  In 1958, Bobby Fischer won the US Championship when he was only 14.  Yet these achievements have been overshadowed by the increasing number of child prodigies who are becoming the dominant force in the changing face of modern chess.  The term chess prodigy traditionally referred to a young master who was competing on equal footing with experienced professionals, however in the 21st century a true prodigy must be a junior that is capable of competing for the World Championship in the near future.

Natural Intelligence or Cultural/Environmental Factors (A look at the Polgar sisters)

Human’s haven’t evolved too much in the last 100 years so we must look to cultural and environmental factors to explain this type of elite specialization.  Well before having children, Laszlo Polgar wrote Bring Up Genius! where he explained “Genius equals work and fortunate circumstances” and “Geniuses are made, not born”. Laszlo went on to prove his theory by raising three exceptional female chess players – Susan Polgar achieved the GM title at 21, Judit Polgar at 15, and sister Sofia is a strong IM.  While Laszlo certainly maintains an above-average IQ, biological predisposition alone cannot explain these results.  The Polgar sisters developed their impressive chess skills in a favorable environment conducive to very diligent, hard work.

Lots of Tutoring or Naturally Gifted? – The 10,000 Hour Rule

The article Developing Young Chess Masters: What are the Best Moves? by Kiewra & O’Connor presents a detailed study confirming hard work and a positive environment are necessary requisites to create genius in chess.  Referring to young chess masters, they state “These youngsters, on average, practiced chess about 20 hours per week for eight years before attaining master status. Even if they were born with incredible gifts, it still required about 8,000 practice hours to realize those gifts.”  That doesn’t quite meet the criteria for Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 Hour Rule”, however this estimate certainly comes close.  Practice alone is not enough, it must occur in a favorable environment to achieve optimal results.  The article also discusses the financial investment parents make “Most spend about $5,000 – $10,000 annually on lessons, tournament registrations, travel, and materials.”  While it is not 100% mandatory for success, nearly all rising chess masters had been working with titled players for multiple years prior to exemplary achievement.

Effect of Technology on Chess Prodigies

While improvements in genius creation techniques have raised the global Prodigy Per Capita (PPC?!) rate and parents have become more financially and emotionally supportive of their rising stars, there is one more significant factor in this equation – technology.  Google Translate wasn’t available in the 50s and 60s, so Fischer taught himself how to read Russian so that he could study recently published games and annotations in Russian chess magazines.  Not only does Chessbase 11 with the Mega Update maintain a database of nearly 5 million games, you can use 4 different and highly powerful chess engines (simultaneously!) to analyze technical perfection.  The invention of the internet and relevant technologies have made information sharing immediate, and the development of young chess players has been exponentially impacted.

No Substitute For Hard Work

There are a plethora of contributing factors to the development of chess genius at a comparatively young age – and that “young age” is decreasing daily.  Biological predisposition and technology have definitely accelerated the learning curve, however an intensively favorable environment yields the most effective results.  The true secret to success is theoretically simple yet operationally difficult: Long Hours of Hard Work.

This post is written by William Stewart of Online Chess Lessons.


Why The Hell Should We Cheat in Chess?

Why The Hell Should We Cheat in Chess?

There is some story about cheating in chess from time to time. The last example is young FM Christoph Natsidis from Germany, who was caught cheating in the last round of German championship. You can read more about the whole case on Chessvibes “Player caught cheating at German Championship“.

I do not really understand this behaviour. All of us were used to play chess for fun, although there are some sport aspects and all of us rather win than lost our games. But should not we be fair and accept situations where our opponents are stronger? Yes, we should!

How could we be happy if we would win a game with “small” help of our smartphones or even friends on the phone?

It is also a reason why I never talk about my running games with my friends in the playing hall. One could also consider it as cheating. Or at least trying to help.

If we would cheat for example to gain a title or higher ELO rating, then how would we really enjoy being titled player? Would not we really go down with our rating when we stop cheating? If we stop, of course.

Would one really believe it will help him in his chess carriers?

I am happy that I have no experience with cheating so far. On the level where I am it would be really absurd. to try reaching ELO 1850 instead 1750 by cheating.

I am against cheating (I hope it is clear enough from the words above) and I would be for quite tough penalty for cheating players.

Do you have any experience with cheating? How did you deal with it?


I Played 21 Games in 2010

I Played 21 Games in 2010

1413284133_132194163b_mA few days ago I checked my games from the last year and put them into my database. I founded some interesting facts about those games which I would like to share with you now.

As the title of this articles says, I played 21 games the last year. I mean serious and tournament games. My result was +9, =9, -3, performance 1780 (my average ELO was 1743).

I was clearly better with white pieces:  +6, =4, -1, performance 1828 (my average ELO was 1743), while my statistics for black pieces are: +3, =5, -2, performance 1743 (my average ELO was 1743). It surpsised me a bit as I was better with black pieces in previous years.

The number of games is not too high because I did not play any game in the second half of 2010.

This year I plan to play 4 tournaments at least and the first one – the competition of teams – will start next week. It should result in about 40 games per year at least.

Do you do this kind of stats for your games?


Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has been elected as a president of FIDE for next period

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has been elected as a president of FIDE for next period

Kirsan IlyumzhinovJust a few minutes ago Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has been elected as a president of FIDE again. He received 95 votes during elections on FIDE congress.

His opponent was Anatoly Karpov – the former chess world champion. Ilyumzhinov offered him a position of vice-president of FIDE.

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