Thinking Method and Move Consequences

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Thinking Method and Move Consequences

Post by cofresi on April 14th 2009, 10:53 pm

I'm enjoying the program so far -- I am halfway through month 2.
Some of the learning insights for me come from the thinking method and focus on consequences of the moves.
Many times we learn some opening as a list of 5-6 moves and don't give much thought to the deep reasons. This program tries to stop that by focussing on each move and the changes it has made to the board. Every move creates new open lines, new unprotected squares, new advantage points, new blocked lines. All of those must be considered, and the author gives many good examples of this with games and with opening sequences.

Obviously this forces you to look very slowly at the board, to catch all the changes and to think about them. So part of the practice means getting used to going slow slow slow.But this is exactly what will leave an impression on the mind.

Bluedevil mentioned that he has a problem with dropping pieces and losing to tactics. This exercise in slow looking will help with that. It does take time at first to consider all these board changes, but it goes quicker with practice once mental impression starts to take hold. Just like any skill -- guitar, martial art, language, it always takes much more time at first to go so slow, but it pays off over time.

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Re: Thinking Method and Move Consequences

Post by Blue Devil Knight on April 15th 2009, 11:56 am

cofresi wrote:I'm enjoying the program so far -- I am halfway through month 2.
Some of the learning insights for me come from the thinking method and focus on consequences of the moves.

Many times we learn some opening as a list of 5-6 moves and don't give much thought to the deep reasons. This program tries to stop that by focussing on each move and the changes it has made to the board. Every move creates new open lines, new unprotected squares, new advantage points, new blocked lines. All of those must be considered, and the author gives many good examples of this with games and with opening sequences.

Obviously this forces you to look very slowly at the board, to catch all the changes and to think about them. So part of the practice means getting used to going slow slow slow.But this is exactly what will leave an impression on the mind.

Bluedevil mentioned that he has a problem with dropping pieces and losing to tactics. This exercise in slow looking will help with that. It does take time at first to consider all these board changes, but it goes quicker with practice once mental impression starts to take hold. Just like any skill -- guitar, martial art, language, it always takes much more time at first to go so slow, but it pays off over time.

Very good stuff. I hope you are right that it helps me blunder less frequently. I can imagine it will.
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Re: Thinking Method and Move Consequences

Post by fanat on April 15th 2009, 12:10 pm

I think the ICS thinking method is very good. They way I try to incorporate it in my play is to print out the diagram of the game (since I play mostly correspondence games on chess.com) after each move and write down the consequences of the opponents move and "to do list". This way as I take my time and analyze the game I definitely stay way from most of the tactical threads and blunders!

Since I incorporated this method into my games I feel that it improved my play a little bit. I'm not sure how much yet but at least a little bit. Very Happy
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Re: Thinking Method and Move Consequences

Post by Strad on April 27th 2009, 6:30 pm

fanat wrote:I think the ICS thinking method is very good. They way I try to incorporate it in my play is to print out the diagram of the game (since I play mostly correspondence games on chess.com) after each move and write down the consequences of the opponents move and "to do list". This way as I take my time and analyze the game I definitely stay way from most of the tactical threads and blunders!

Since I incorporated this method into my games I feel that it improved my play a little bit. I'm not sure how much yet but at least a little bit. Very Happy
I agree the thinking method sounds really good. I think that "to do list" is the real cuore of the whole course since most of the material is about positional/estrategical issues in order to made a good positional evaluation and consequently a good "to do list ".
However the construction of this list is not completely well explained....i often get confusing when tryng to add moves for mi "to do list"
Some advice?

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Re: Thinking Method and Move Consequences

Post by HangingKing on April 27th 2009, 7:20 pm

I put my next move in the todolist, and consequently i always realize my todo list !

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Re: Thinking Method and Move Consequences

Post by chesstiger on April 28th 2009, 12:52 am

The to do list is indeed not so easy to make since sometimes even after listing the consequences i have no real good clue where to go to with the position.

But then again i still have to do the annotated games and hope those show me how to make such to do list. I guess it will after reading cofresi's opening comment of this threat.
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Re: Thinking Method and Move Consequences

Post by HangingKing on April 28th 2009, 9:12 am

To write a more useful comment than my previous one.

For the opening (answer to cofresi post), i've tried some games where i commited my plan rather than doing "learned by heart" moves.

Well... it leads to some interesting games because these was "agressive" play, but the fact is i had great difficulties to sustain it till the end, and get into serious trouble at around move 15-20 because i did not follow the theoretical moves and there were weak areas i did not intend. So i'm not very confident with applying the todolist from scratch, i prefer (at least for the moment) to stick to classic opening moves and apply the thinking method after.

Moreover, i feel in the courses of this month, that the theory is mainly dealing with a position where all is going according to your plans, you have the initiative, the game is yours, etc...

When this is the case on the board, i effectively manage to create some todolist of my own and more or less unroll it.
But when things are not so perfect, when i have to answer serious threats, when i have the unpleaseant feeling i'm always 1 move behind (you know that feeling ?), etc... it is impossible for me to create a todolist, the priority of avoiding short disaster, takes all my thinking time.
I say, i will make my todolist when i finish answering all these urgent matters, BUT the problem is, these urgent matters are lasting through the whole game... And either i loose quickly, either it is already the endgame, and then it is more a question of technical ability than todolist.

So, do you manage to apply the thinking process when you are in trouble ?

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Re: Thinking Method and Move Consequences

Post by Blue Devil Knight on April 28th 2009, 9:38 am

I think when there are threats, that needs to be the priority (they rightly put 'look at threats' at the start of the thought process). I think the to do list is more when there isn't much tactical going on, and you need to make plans. When there are threats (and you are sure the threats are real!), the plan is obvious: address the threat.

If I am about to lose a piece, then worrying about increasing the qualitative value of a Knight should not even be on my radar.

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Re: Thinking Method and Move Consequences

Post by chesstiger on April 29th 2009, 3:56 am

BDK is right. First one has to battle the threats (tactics) before one goes looking in ones to do list (positional) for what to do next.

It's the same in real life. If somebody is going to hit you with his fist (threat) you first make sure to get out of range of that fist before wondering how you can calm your attacker so he can tell you what is on his mind (positional).
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Re: Thinking Method and Move Consequences

Post by Blue Devil Knight on April 29th 2009, 7:50 am

I have to relearn this lesson all the time. I wrote the manifesto Safety First in a state of frustration of getting a great position and then losing because I'd forget to look for tactics first. It is the most important thing I have ever written at my blog. As I said there, "It is stupid to think about a mosquito on the horizon when there is a gun to your head."

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Re: Thinking Method and Move Consequences

Post by AoxomoxoA on July 3rd 2009, 3:35 pm

I still dont get it in total. Maybe i have to play a ( or 100 ) time-unlimited game (in the net ) and write all down. the whole suggested algorithm is not that easy, its spread to several papers. the "consequences" influence our todo-list. writing the estimated moves from my oponent down might be helpful to.

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Re: Thinking Method and Move Consequences

Post by cofresi on July 3rd 2009, 8:46 pm

My game is changing a bit, as I notice myself thinking differently through the moves. Before I would think about short-term tactics, and look no farther than four or five moves at most. I would get into two-piece scuffles, and then have a board depleted of active play after my pieces were gone.

Now I notice certain thoughts intruding : where is the play going to be? What pieces will be better suited for that area? How do I get them to that area?

These thoughts seem to come from the course and its ideas such as the emphasis on local superiority of active forces. The trick is to remember the ideas, but also to remember to remember, if you know what I mean. Instead of just 5-8 mechanical moves, remember to stop yourself and look for guidelines.

Lately I have gotten some fantastic positions, with lots of power aimed in the right direction.

The problem I'm having now is how to finish the attack. And then of course this leads to time trouble. So this will be the next focus of practice. How do the big boys finish the attack?

The nice thing is that now I have a focus for going through annotated games -- which makes them much more enjoyable to go through. So the course seems to be working! Slow but steady.

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Re: Thinking Method and Move Consequences

Post by Bilbo on July 4th 2009, 6:50 am

It's certainly made a big difference in my play. Now when sitting at the board I feel I have a far greater command of what's actually going on at the board.

Prior to learning the thinking method my approach to chess was to kind of sit there at the board, scan the position for a while and a move would 'pop' into my head. I'd do some basic calculation to see if the move was ok and then play it.

I had an understanding of things like weak squares, bad pawn structures, minor piece battles, exposed king, open lines etc from reading through Yasser Sarewein's Winning Chess books but I didn't yet know how to assimilate that information and use it to come up with a plan.

Now I rarely feel like I have no idea what's going on and I notice certain key things much more clearly now.

Going back through past games my biggest problem prior to ICS was in creating weak squares and holes in my position through advancing a pawn or moving a piece that was covering a key entry point allowing a way into my position for my opponent.

Now I'm not making those mistakes, and its because after every move I'm making a mental note of the position and what are the consququences of each move.

I also liked the bit about piece roles. Knowing that some pieces are playing both an attacking and defensive role, that one piece is purely defensive, that anoter is not being sustained etc has really helped my play. I guess I never really focused on the qualatitive value of pieces before.

I felt the first month was so good that that is all I'm doing regarding ICS right now.

I'm using Yusupov's Build Up Your Chess to make sure I've got the fundamentals covered and th ICS I'm just going over and over the first month material again and again so I the thinking method is completely internalised.

I don't intend to start Month 2 for another 8 weeks or so as I want to complete Yusupov's book first.

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