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wschmidt 216 ( +1 | -1 )
Novice Nook #50 !!! Well, we are finally here, at our 50th article in the Dan Heisman Novice Nook series. We've missed a week or two over the course of time so it's clear we've been at this little project for a year or more. Those of you who have hung in there up til now, thanks a lot for the time and energy spent!

As luck would have it, this week's article is a particularly good one. It's called "Reviewing Chess Games" and is a fine discussion of how to approach: (1) reading over master level games; and (2) how to go over your own games. I'm not sure I agree with all of Heisman's recommendations but it is definitely food for thought.

Specifically, I'm wonder about the following statement in the article: "The more time you play over the same game, you get diminishing returns on what you learn on each replay." I think that for someone with an excellent chess memory, that is in fact the case. And perhaps for general principles, like "Control the center" or "A knight on the rim is dim", that's true. But I think that for a lot of more technical chess play, many players like myself benefit from returning to a game now and then and getting a refresher on matters.

I remember doing a chapter a week read of Reti's "Masters of the Chessboard" with a friend from GK a couple of years ago. Several times I would see a particular technique being used and say to myself, "I'd like to go back at some point and really learn that". I've never gotten back to the book and, while I enjoyed reading it, I really don't think I took away much in the way of real instruction.

Any thoughts?

As to his section on how to review one's own games, I think he's right on. I'm in the process of rethinking my whole approach to this and I'd be appreciative of any suggestions from anyone reading this about how they go about self-analysis/annotation.

Also note the final paragraph at the end of the article, titled, "The Hidden Secret of Tactics". I don't know when it dawned on me that this was the real reason for doing tactical study, but it rings true to me.

Again, thanks for hanging in there.

The site is: ->
ionadowman 60 ( +1 | -1 )
Great article... ... One thing's for sure: Tigran Petrosian took that final lesson to heart.
It is probably true, too, that once you reach a certain level of experience (whatever that is) you get more satisfaction from spotting and avoiding a tactical shot than from carrying one out when the opponent makes a mistake. Really hard to spot tactics are nice to have "out there, on the record" if you get to play them, but you will also feel a private glow of pride when you reject a move owing to having found the complicated refutation of the move you had in mind.
cascadejames 38 ( +1 | -1 )
reason for studying tactics Regardless of whether the real use of tactics is offensive or defensive, I want to say thanks to
some of you and Heisman for encouraging novices to devote time to studying tactics. It has
worked well for me. I still have long way to go, but I can tell that my game has improved
significantly. I simply seem to see things that I missed before. I still make blunders, but
significantly less frequently.
wschmidt 31 ( +1 | -1 )
So true, James. I limit my activity in the Chess Coaching Club to students who agree at the beginning of our relationship to devote some time every day to tactics study. I don't care whether it's from a book, software or on-line, but something tactical on a regular basis. Other work is important as well, but the underpinning is tactics.