phorku's chess blog

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Realistic Training Program

I have come to the conclusion long ago that the MDLM program sucks as a complete chess training program. However it is a very important part of my training and very usefull for training tactics.

Let's make a simple comparison.

In all the martial arts schools I went to it all started out the same. You learn the basics of everything first. First you learn the rules. Then you learn stances and balance. Then punches kicks, blocks, locks and throws individually. Then you learn combinations (McMartail arts anyone? I'll have a combo #30 with a side of form 1). Then if you are lucky you start training in a freer form where you figure out how it all really works.

How effective would it be if i just trained punches and kicks with no footwork, balance, locks, blocks or defensive abilities? I am guessing not very (Just take a look at the Arts that teach to fight with one fist on your hip. It didn't take too many sore jaws later to learn to keep my fricken hands up).

Also you hear about comments from various knights and masters about the accumulation and application of chess knowledge. I know far more book knowledge than I can apply in my games. But what knowledge goes unused? Is it the basics or the advanced stuff? Well as you can surely guess it is the advanced stuff. I am coming up on my 2 year anniversary of chess training. The MDLM training (1st year) did little for me except show me that my tactics were weak and make them stronger. The thing is I was not losing that many games to tactics. Sure I missed some but you are likely playing opponents at your skill level who are missing them too. I became stronger at tactics but I wasn't winning that many more games. Why? Because my openings, positional and end game skills sucked. After I added that training in my rating really took off. Apparently tactical training does not help you learn these things as MDLM states. Like the comment he makes about about whether you are better off studying Kotov's book or setting up random positions and looking for tactics. Absurd!

Anyway some basic opening, positional and endgame study had greatly improved my game along with some advanced tactical study.

Here are my training recommendations:

Learn the basics.

Pandofini's books are excellent especially the kid's books. I bought several for my son and found the very valuable.

The Rules
  • Find them online or have someone teach them to you.
Mating Patterns
Basic pawn structure /Basic positional themes
Basic endgame study
Thought process / General Principles

Heres some stuff I may write about later:

Subconscious training

Chess Study Hiatus

I haven't seriously studied chess in months now. I have been spending some time learning some more practical knowledge. I am playing my best chess ever. When I return to study I will probably try some 'Solitare Chess' based on several others suggestions. With recent study getting extra weight in my analysis I am able to play better chess (for now). Plus it is more fun.

Having completed some 5000 tactical problems I would have to say the MDLM program is garbage for complete chess study. It is fine for tactical training which should comprise a fair chunk of your 'Total Training'.

I am 3-0 out at the club championships this year so far. The first game contained my favorite chess quote:
"I am going to try something" = I am going to try this unsound sac
Second game was tougher he wasn't using his clock though.
Third game was against a weaker opponent. Scando declined, early f6, exf6 and death down the F file. Gave him my N and R for Q and P with his N and R stuck on the Qside...

I am going to consider myself graduated when I hit 7000 problems or 400 points in any of my ratings.

I am also going to post my chess training draft and update it when I have something to update it with. No use in it being invisible.

Happy hunting!!