Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Our Training Regimen

There seems to be some lack of clarity as to what we are doing, so I am going to pass on what we are doing.

This is the summer of being a chess mom. I am going to organize, and initiate the training, even when it sucks for him. We talked about it and agreed before this started, and we both signed up for only the summer. Whether or not he wants to continue with any sort of intensity after the summer is up to him.

He had gone from a 600 player at the beginning of the year, and just before state wanted to get better. His friend in chess class had won a grade championship. Today he just broke 1000. That is pretty darned good. We are hoping to get to 1150-1200 by the end of the summer. I think he can do it.

Currently he spends 4-6 times a week doing a tactics module in PCT. Occasionally we add in some other stuff. A video, a fritz trainer, the opening traps page at chess games. He plays real chess about 3 times a month. And plays me from time to time, and sometimes a few games on playchess on my account. Though I had been playing unrated games, I got accidently rated about 1600 which means it is harder for him to scare up games he can win.

Which brings us to how we play and the last post. As black he tends to always play e5 in response to e4. Not that there is anything wrong with that, and had been playing the two knights all fine and dandy, until state when he ran into the FLA for the first time. This caused me to change the games I played against him. I used to play fairly slow, fairly conservative, knights before bishops kinda openings. Now, I play very fast types of openings, Ng5 in the two knights, and the Evans Gambit. For a couple of reasons. This gets him used to reacting to these kinds of openings, and it plays to his strengths. Up until last week, he started showing some initiative to try some things of his own in reaction to what I had been playing.

This is a good thing! I applaud it wholeheartedly. However, I also think it is important to demonstrate through play if something is truly bad.

The pointer to Damiano's defense was good. It helped me to understand the weaknesses of what he is trying, and it will let me play tougher against him.

It is also interesting from a local cultural standpoint. Where I am from is somewhat of a backwater chess-wise. There was the Sierawan explosion, but that has since petered out. And there has been a movement in the Scholastic area, from a number of different fronts, including having an independent rating service. In Sierawan's time, most gambit systems were passe. He made his way on the power of the English opening and playing based on pawn structures. It was very successful, and shaped how chess is taught and played here locally. And with little other influence, I don't think I have seen a scholastic King's Gambit, but a lot of scholastic Reti openings. Keep that in mind if you are playing in any national tourneys with people from around here.

More Later...


likesforests said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
likesforests said...

My playing style has been shifting from defensive to aggressive as a result of reading Euwe's Masters vs Amateur. I think that's a good thing since aggressive play leads to tactical situations, and that's what we train the most.

In the position you posted last week dxe5 is a good move and I don't see it as simplification, I see it as opening the center which is exactly what you want when you have a development lead. His bishop attacks f2 once, but your rook and king protect it twice, and he doesn't have any good way to increase the pressure. It's a phantom threat.

If you're avoiding dxe5 you may have been stuck in defensive mode like I was, and now you're finally coming out of it!

takchess said...

I suggest you and your son take a look at game 7 in the Euwe book as you study traps. I have nicknamed this style of player as the pesky attacker. plays e4 e5 then 2.Qh5 then a series of cheap traps. I have found it helpful to revisit this chapter a number of times. If ever you or your son would like to play you can send me an email at my playchess account. My user name is takchess. Let me know your user name and I will put you in my favorites players file. good luck in your studies.

chessloser said...

sounds like a good program. the difference between you and the "crazy parents" i wrote about is right in the sentance "Whether or not he wants to continue with any sort of intensity after the summer is up to him."

you have to push the kids to get the best out of them, but you can't push them too far. you clearly want it to be fun for him. i think getting him used to playing alternative and different openings other than ...e5 will give him an edge, especially at that level...

Anonymous said...

Thats a really creepy picture

hisbestfriend said...

Yes, I have done some overnight research, and it turns out the reason that dxe5 is so good is that it threatens to open up the e8-h5 diagonal, and that threatens the f7 square, and the rook at h8.

This more than makes up for the obvious issues of controlling the black squared bishop. You don't intend to be in the game long enough to have that make a difference.

It works, though, and is a useful idea when there isn't such aching tactical ideas that are better out there.

Here is my Research PGN. (should be able to copy and paste into fritz)

[Event "Beating 4 f6"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2007.05.28"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Hisbestfriend"]
[Black "Mybestfriend"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C50"]
[Annotator "Hisbestfriend"]
[PlyCount "28"]
[TimeControl "180"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6

(2... f6 3. Nxe5 fxe5 4. Qh5+
Ke7 5. Qxe5+ Kf7 6. Bc4+ d5 7. Bxd5+ Kg6 8. h4 h6 9. Bxb7 Bd6 (9... Bxb7 10.Qf5#)
10. Qa5 Nc6 11. Bxc6)

3. Bc4 f6
4. O-O Bc5
5. b4 Bxb4
6. c3 Bc5
7. d4 Bb6
8. dxe5! fxe5

(8... Nxe5 9. Nxe5 fxe5 10. Qh5+ g6 11. Qxe5+ Qe7 12. Qxh8 Qf8 13.
Qxg8 Qxg8 14. Bxg8)

9. Ng5 Qe7
10. Nf7 Na5
11. Bd5 Nf6
12. Nxh8 Nxd5
13. Qxd5 Kf8

(13... d6 14. Qg8+ Kd7 15. Nf7 h6 16. Be3 Qf6 17. Bxb6 axb6)

14. Bg5 Qe8

hisbestfriend said...


I am going to take that game, and re-do it through fritz so I am not fighting descriptive notation, and overly dense difficult to read game. I suspect that you're right and there is useful info there.

A minin' I shall go.

hisbestfriend said...


Congrats! It is a creepy picture. I can understand going anonymous to not offend me, but it was selected do to it's creepiness. You never know with me!