Are we still learning?

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Are we still learning?

Post by hoopy on September 27th 2009, 4:01 pm

Given how quiet things have been on here recently
i was wondering.
Are we all still doing the course?
Anybody given up (would they still be here if they had?)

I confess since the Summer break I have not got back into it properly.( To be fair mainly work related issues/(excuses?)
From Tomorrow I go back to month 1 and start again. I think I was doing OK but I've stopped using what I learned.

Who really feels that they are better players than 6 months ago ( including reflected in grading)!!
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Re: Are we still learning?

Post by Blue Devil Knight on September 28th 2009, 11:29 am

I'm done with chess, have been since July. I still play, but have stopped studying the game. The course is great, but tough to maintain a commitment to it, and to playing.

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Re: Are we still learning?

Post by chesstiger on September 28th 2009, 3:46 pm

Still studying but at a slow pace.
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Re: Are we still learning?

Post by fanat on September 28th 2009, 5:19 pm

I studies up to month 6 then realized that I'm going too fast and not retaining that much material and went back to month 2 and now going slowly through it.

I definitely feel that I've learned a great deal ever since I've started the course. I'm definitely trying to do tactics every day or every other day and study endgame and especially transition form the middlegame to endgame in consistent fashion.

Also, I"m trying to study openings slowly but allocating less time to it then tactics/ICS/endings.
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Re: Are we still learning?

Post by HangingKing on September 29th 2009, 10:10 am

Where am I in chess today ? Big question.

I learned chess in elementary school and then played very little, I started again for fun in 2003 on Yahoo games, from a newbie elo (1000-1100) then when the interface changed (to ugly) I searched some more serious place to play and joined ICC (and FICS later) in 2006 with an elo of 1400 but it appears the elo drop down to 1200 on ICC where there are more serious opponents. But it doesn't last after a few months I established aroud 1400. At end 2008 I was 1600 on rapid games (15/0).

I began to feel stucked at this level during past year and started to watch some videos and review some games, then took the decision to join ICS course. I am now around 1700 and targeting at 1800 soon but I still have that major problem of inconsistency (dropping down to 1500 sometimes, losing lot of games in a row).

I read in another topic i takes 7-10 years to achieve GM level with intense preparation. Well, i'm not aiming at GM level, a 2000-2100 would be good i guess, and i'm also not doing it with the desired intensity...

So till now, i am more or less within a 100 ELO/Year gain, but it seems more or more difficult to improve.
I use several means of improving : online play at ICC and FICS, ICS course, Ct-Art & co tactical exercises, ICC videos, and Rybka analysis of my played games.

I can say, i'm not using these everytime, sometimes i am dedicated to chess and do it, and other times i just play games without studying nor analysing, depend of the mood.

Regarding ICS, i like the documents content, it is well explained and pertinent for my level, but i am not very fond of PDF files. I notice after several months that i have skipped some lessons only because it was long to reproduce (setting the position on the board, then replay all the moves, etc...). For example, "king safety" i didn't terminate because there were very long games to reproduce.

On the contrary, when chessbase or brower version were available, i finished all the material. Also it is very confortable to review it again if you forgot something, just open it, pick the information and go back to play.
With PDF files, you have to set again the position and so on, it is not very pratical.
I agree that doing it slowly with the board for the first time is more efficient (i'm not convinced still), but when you have to do it again later, it's boring.

So just because of a "technical" issue, i skipped some material and i'm behind the normal cursus.

For some parts, i made PGN of the positions in order to replay it on chess interface, but it's long to do it, switching on the screen between the PDF lesson and the interface setup...

Well, despite this annoying stuf, i'm still continuing ICS at my own speed, but did like all of us a summer break.
Objectively, ICS brought me some consistency.

I said i was stucked between 1600-1700 level and it is still the case, but now i regularly have performances over 1700 and far less often below 1600, so i expect to break through and establish a 1700-1800 profile soon.
Anyway i find it difficult to concentrate every move of my games, and very often make blunders (somehow big ones) in winnable games. So i have the potential to play good and i win 1900 players sometimes, but i also still loose against far weaker players. I tried to remedy this by forcing and focusing my attention, but eventually i do some silly move at some point.

After the summer break, this month, my games were awful. It was like i forgotten everything.
I was very disgusted of myself and started looking at some old games made several years ago (when i was 1300). I was stunned by 2 things immediately !

- First : these games were full of mistakes, weak lines, hanging pieces, and so on, and i was able to highlight them very easily.
- Second : there were beautiful ideas, fearless attacks, pawn storms but leading to various results.

The conclusion i got out of it, was that despite my thoughs (see "does ICS changed your style of play ?" topic), my style had indeed changed. Trying to apply ICS methodology, i became more "stereotyped", gaining in consistency and soundness, but loosing imaginative play.

So i decided to push myself a little and play more risky moves, like i was used to do formerly, but this time trying to take ICS knowledge into account (king safety, stablize the center before the attack, avoid locating pieces at bad places, etc...) but not applying it literally, more using it as a guard against weak moves, than as a guide to strong lines.
I am quite please with the consequences, in fact i managed to win a few good short games, and loose some with style rather than after 78 moves with my opponent queening his single pawn left.

My elo didn't changed much yet, but i enjoy better the games, and i will try to continue this way, maybe i can work for you too, have a try !

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Re: Are we still learning?

Post by chesstiger on November 5th 2010, 12:26 pm

Restarted the course again after a long break. First week i did the test 01 with a humble 33 as a result. Now i am doing think like a strong player and doing the exercises. So yep, i am glad our accounts are lifetime since after a year and half i am only in my second week of ics. Laughing
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Re: Are we still learning?

Post by BorgQueen on November 7th 2010, 6:41 pm

Good that you have returned to it!

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Re: Are we still learning?

Post by Blue Devil Knight on November 7th 2010, 9:21 pm

Good to see so much activity here!

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Re: Are we still learning?

Post by fiveredapples on October 14th 2016, 9:30 am

I started on October 1st of this year (2016) and quickly finished 3/4 of the first month's readings and practices in a week, but then I went dormant for a week. Kind of disconcerting that I'd lose my motivation so fast, but I have time to finish this month on time and hopefully be motivated to continue to the 2nd month. But that option to get my money back will be tempting.

I'm starting to question my commitment to Sparkle Motion.

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Re: Are we still learning?

Post by BorgQueen on October 19th 2016, 8:18 pm

There is no doubt -- the course does require motivation and commitment. It really comes down to how much you really do want to improve your chess. If you have that desire to get significantly better, then keep that as your goal, fixed in place. That is what kept me going and studying for up to 4 hours a day until I completed the course. It IS worth it if you want to improve, but it is also hard work.

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Resistance is futile.

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Blue Devil Knight wrote:The danger of studying positional chess at the expense of tactics is that you will spend a half hour thinking about where a Knight belongs, and then proceed to put it on a beautiful square where it is en prise. Smile
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Re: Are we still learning?

Post by kramnikstudent on October 20th 2016, 2:24 am

@ Borgqueen 4 Hours a Day! Wow , How fast did you complete the course. Seems that pace is on the higher side. I thought that the pace needs to be good enough for the ideas to settle down in ones mind

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Re: Are we still learning?

Post by BorgQueen on October 20th 2016, 2:52 am

Keep in mind that I was approx. 45 at the time, so some stuff I had to re-do to fully understand the ideas put forward, so a younger mind might have been able to get away with just 2 hours a day. I completed the course 2 months ahead of schedule.

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Resistance is futile.

----
Blue Devil Knight wrote:The danger of studying positional chess at the expense of tactics is that you will spend a half hour thinking about where a Knight belongs, and then proceed to put it on a beautiful square where it is en prise. Smile
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Re: Are we still learning?

Post by HangingKing on November 27th 2016, 3:47 pm

Long time no see !

Well I have made a long pause from chess, with the course I went as high as 1900 on ICC 15/0 games, but at some point is was frustrated by the repetitive aspect of chess.

So I switched to a completely new challenge and learned to play go. Learning it this late, was difficult, but i'm now almost 4 kyu on KGS, which according to the level of reflexion engaged in a game is similar to 1800 elo in chess.

Yet I continue to play chess casually on ICC, and I was surprised not to drop deeply down. I can maintain my level around 1700 without worries and I enjoy it much that way, so the things I learned with ICS were not just wind, some principles sticked there for good.

I see there is not much activity on the forum that there used to be, but if some old pal pass by, I'd be glad to read about his journey as well. Smile

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Re: Are we still learning?

Post by BorgQueen on November 27th 2016, 8:57 pm

My story is kind of short.

I have been part of my club for 30+ years and won every event repeatedly, except one. I have never won the club championship.

This motivated me to improve. And with the help of ICS and consistent effort, my standard rating is getting very close to 2000 and my rapid rating passed 2000 (ACF) this year, and this year I also finally won the championship.

Because attaining the goal of club champion was almost a life-long one, and my primary source of motivation, since then I have become jaded. My interest has waned along with my motivation. I know I could keep improving, but I also know how much work it is to keep improving and every time I think of doing another study I sigh and go and play Elite Dangerous, which I am finding far more engaging.

I think I will drop the books now and just play for fun.

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Content will be assimilated.
Resistance is futile.

----
Blue Devil Knight wrote:The danger of studying positional chess at the expense of tactics is that you will spend a half hour thinking about where a Knight belongs, and then proceed to put it on a beautiful square where it is en prise. Smile
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