Thursday, May 11, 2006

Training with Aagaard

After working through the first couple of chapters I can highly recommend IM Jacob Aagaard's book Excelling at Chess Calculation. One thing I've taken away so far, a point that I was aware of already but can never be emphasized enough, is to look at a wider variety of moves when considering candidates in a position. I have a tendency to narrow my focus as the game gets more complex, often considering only two or three moves, when there is a fourth, stronger possibility.

I am at a point in my chess career where better calculation would do wonders for my playing strength; I have fairly good opening knowledge and seldom come out of the opening with a poor position, I understand positional factors pretty well, and I have developed a good feel for gaining the initiative. I am rarely getting pushed around the board, even against players rated several hundred points higher. Deeper and more accurate calculation of variations is the piece that's needed for me to really make a jump in strength, and I'll be concentrating my study time on that for awhile.

We will see tonight how I'm doing when I take on a dangerous attacking player rated 2007 in many-times Reno CC champ David Ryba!

1 comment:

Eric Shoemaker said...

Hi Robert! What happened? In my humble opinion, which at times isn't so humble, here's what went wrong: 1) the move ...b5 was not that great, it's too loose. In d4 openings, whoever blocks the c-pawn is at a disadvantage (See Reuben Fine's "Ideas Behind The Chess Openings"). In other words, c5 is your move. But even that notwithstanding...Unless I missed something, your position was already better than Ryba's. There was no need to sac a piece for two pawns. You were already better. Ryba was cramped, couldn't play e4 and visibly frustrated. You should have looked at him! It wasn't just that big belly that was making uncomfortable! His position sucked. If you had sat on it and just made good solid moves, what could he do, except wait for the bad news to arrive? Although I prefer 3...Nbd7, I have to admit 3...Bf5 gave you a great game! You have to beat Reyes, but I cannot root for you, since if Reyes wins, I'm "IN!" And if you beat him, it's going to get complicated! See you Thursday!! Eric