Tuesday, June 14, 2011

There Is More to Chess Training

After scouring the Malaysian chess blogosphere, it is hard to ignore the fact that the only consistent "source" for chess training tips comes from someone who does not play chess. Unfortunately, THIS does not count as chess training tips (Sorry Jimmy). But thankfully, the internet is a vast resource, and that is why I am able to share the following articles by IM Goh Weiming here:

1. This article mostly contains analyses of Weiming's own games and his thought processes during the tournament. The more subtle pointers included the weight that Weiming places on opening preparation. I am afraid I am not qualified to assess the strength of Weiming's play, but I think it is clear that he puts in a great deal of effort in opening preparation, not just prior to the tournament, but as a whole.

2. The second article, although classified as a book review, shows that training and preparation goes far beyond opening preparation. Many of us revel in the fact that we keep ourselves up to date with the latest novelties, but how many of us truly understand chess openings? A strong player would be able to play any opening based on understanding alone (Mok is one such example) but this is by no means discarding the importance of opening preparation. My point is that openings are not everything, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this. One of the most foresaken part of training among players (based on anecdotal evidence) is in analysis. The main reason for this is that Malaysia has way too many rapid tournaments. To be "successful" in Malaysian chess simply does not require strong analytical skills. If I may be so bold, I would say it requires strong cheapo skills, and a lot of experience in time management (among other things).

So, the above articles are for those of you who are more serious in improving your chess. Be warned that it is unlikely to improve your results in rapid chess significantly, but it could help you in tournaments like the Malaysian Open or the KL Open. Of course, the key takeaway is not just in the contents of the articles, but in the methods of training.

P/S: It took me quite a while to go through the two articles in their entirety and even then, I still don't think I have fully benefitted from them. But then again, it could be due to my weak chess skills.

1 comment:

  1. I am certainly looking forward to the day our non-chess playing coach takes some time to play in a real-life chess tournamnet of any kind. The reason I do not use the word "participate" is because the said coach feels that he is "playing" by just his contribution of verbose comments and tips as well as by proxy via his "students", or at least those who had ever "trained" in his house. Has anybody noticed he has just disappeared when others are awaiting for his assessment of the success (failure?) of his methods spanned over 3 international tournaments? Raymond Siew, if you have faith in your methods, please come out of hiding and tell us what went wrong!