Knight Keystor

A record of my journey of chess improvement.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Time to Give Tactics a Break? (Updated)

I think it may be about time to switch to strategy and/or endgame study in order to get those aspects of my game up to the same level that the tactical aspect is currently at. I'm finding my play to be extremely solid lately in regards to tactics. The games that I am losing are being lost in either closed or strategic positions or in the endgame. It's rare for me to lose a game on tactical grounds anymore...at least at this level of play.

Using today's G/20 game that I played against a 2045-rated player on PlayChess as an example, I played a tactically sound game (with the exception of the last 6-7 moves which were played under extreme time pressure,) but in the middlegame started to lose ground strategically. I'm thinking that once I finish Tactics Module-3 in PCT (I'm about halfway done,) I'll move into another area of study for a while. I'd greatly appreciate any thoughts both on the plan in general and in my assessment of the game:

Kknight (1905) - Pommes (2045) [C91]
Rated game, 20m + 0s Main Playing Hall, 08.02.2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0–0 9.d4 Bg4 10.d5 Nb8 11.Qd3 Nbd7 12.Bc2 Kh8 13.b4 Rg8 14.Nbd2 Nf8 15.h3 Bd7 16.Nb3 Ng6 17.Nh2 Nh5 18.Bd2 Ngf4 19.Bxf4 Nxf4 20.Qf1 g5 21.Bd1 Qf8 22.Bg4 Bxg4 23.Nxg4 h5 24.Ne3 g4 25.g3 Nxh3+ 26.Kh2 Ng5 27.Nd2 Nxe4 28.Nxe4 f5 29.Nd2 f4 30.Ng2 Bg5 31.Ne4 f3 32.Ne3 Qf7 33.Nxg5 Rxg5 34.Qd3 h4 35.gxh4 Qf4+ 36.Kg1 Rh5 37.Ng2 fxg2 38.Qg3 Rf8 39.Qxg2 Rxh4 40.Re4 Qg5 41.Rf1 Rf3 42.a4 Qh5 43.c4 Rfh3 Time 0–1

UPDATE -- The flip-side of the coin is that I have been seeing significant improvement in my playing strength and rating lately due entirely to tactical training. So should I just continue doing what has been working until I start to see diminishing returns and only THEN move onto endgame and strategy study? I obviously want the most bang for my study-time "buck" here.

4 Comments:

Blogger Nezha said...

I think you should continue what you've been doing and shift only when you've reached the limit. I mean you haven't reached the limit yet, and you want to abandon it? And just when its giving you good results too?

Seems counter-intuitive.

Whats the rush to strategic play? It will always be there - however, if you stop at tactics now, there is no guarantee you will reach the same tactical plateau - take it from someone who took a long break from tactics.. it seem like i'm starting from scratch really..

2/08/2007 11:45 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

Thanks for the input nezha. I think I've come to the same conclusion...best to continue what is currently getting me the results.

Thanks,
Ron

2/13/2007 8:29 AM  
Anonymous John said...

I wanted to provide this for "strategy light". I went to school with the guy, and I had forgotten how much this was being used at the time, and I have found that this provides me the guidance I need, when tactics are absent.

http://www.wholesalechess.com/chess/Pro+Chess+Video+Chess+Mentor+DVD

Essentially, treat it the the same as a tactics lesson. Watch the leasons over and over, until they are part of your DNA. It is a simple, yet effective program for providing strategy based on pawn structure.

3/23/2007 11:01 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

Thanks for the tip John. I'll definitely check that out.

Thanks,
Ron

3/26/2007 7:58 AM  

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