Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fresh eyes, clear mind

My daughter surprised yesterday morning as I was heading out for work- I asked what she had going on besides her chore list for the day and one of the things she mentioned was "practicing her chess"!

I was tickled and told her to either do Logical Chess game 1 again or do game 2 and make notes with any questions she had.

She ended up not looking at it, but I'm still tickled that she has some independent interest in chess right now.

Last night was the family 'No TV' night, which includes no computers or videogames. My daughter fell asleep at about 6:30 pm and my wife was working late, and after two games of Logical Chess Move-by-Move (LCMBM), I cracked and got on PCT. I only played a single ~10 minute module, but it was really cool to feel some of the old memory muscles waking up.

I had a realization while playing through the LCMBM games that in the past I wasn't really seeking to understand the material. Chernev will describe the negatives of some moves and attention is paid to the exploiting of them and capitalizing on opponent's errors, but I found myself several times looking at what moves would have avoided the trouble.

He described Black's 7th (iirc) move in one game as one a beginner would make quickly. Because it is so early in the game, and it wasn't an outright blunder, I know there might not be a clear "best" continuation, but I spent some time looking at possible moves, looking for tactics they walked into and settled on 3 possibilities.

Tonight I will un-shelve the NCO and see if the lines are covered. If not I'll probably pop it in Crafty to see if there is anything forcing I missed and if not go to Chess Forums to see what others can point out.

After LCMBM and a dab of PCT, I read Silman's criticism of de la Maza's 400/400 method, updated my future book list (there's a Morphy book that I was interested in before, Chernev's Most Instructive Games, and then Silman's Reassess Your Chess and The Amateur's Mind), and got info on a couple big tournaments coming up in Maryland January and February.

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