Yesterday I received the copy of Fighting Chess With Hikaru Nakamura that I ordered. I haven't had a chance to play through any of those games yet, but I certainly will be doing so over the next few days/weeks. But I have read some of the text. One of the things that I read was Naka talking about the role that computers played in his youth as he developed and got good.
He mentions that not only did he play against the computer, but that he trained against it as well. i.e. either tactics, or playing middlegame/endgame positions against it. Well, it would seem that the time has come for me to make the most of my premium membership at www.chess.com and start using the position trainers there. After all, that's how I learned to mate with the two bishops last month!
So I believe that the plan of the month will mostly be to do these things...
- Continue working on learning the Slav.
- Continue playing through annotated games.
- Continue solving endgame studies.
- Continue working on rook endings.
Continue Learning the Slav
I was playing the ...a6 Slav for a while, and in fact I was able to score my only draw against a master on the black side of this opening. Currently I am looking at more than just the ...a6 lines though. I have been reading The Slav: Move by Move by IM Cyrus Lakdawala. I really enjoy the format of the books in this series as it is a collection of well annotated games.
I plan on continuing to work through that book, at which point I will probably start working through Viktor Bologan's excellent work The Chebanenko Slav to refresh those ideas in my head.
Continue Playing Through Annotated Games
By this I mean continue to plod through Dr. Tartakower's wonderful work 500 Master Games of Chess. I am just over 100 games in, so my goal to finish this year is still in sight. Although I need to step it up and start working through 10 or so games on the weekend since I'm only getting a few in during the week.
Continue Solving Endgame Studies
Really I only just started working on these again recently. Interesting how having a blog forces you to do things that might not be your favorite. If you're honest with yourself then you wind up doing the things that you keep saying you need to do but aren't.
So far for this I have been using Endgame Challenge by GM John Nunn. At some point, once I am done with this I will seek out the book by the most noted endgame composer of all time, Genrihk Kasparyan Domination in 2,545 Endgame Studies which GM Akobian mentioned in a lecture that I was at.
Continue Working on Rook Endings
I made some progress last month working through about the first 20% or so of A Practical Guide to Rook Endgames by IM Minev (with an excellent forward by GM Yasser Seirawan by the way!)
I need to continue progress in that area. This is primarily where I plan on using the computer to train. It's time to get serious about forcing myself to calculate more, and this is how I plan on doing it.
So there you have it...the plan for June!
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