ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

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ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by Bilbo on March 6th 2010, 8:09 am

I just emailed Raul to ask what happens when we hit the end of the 13 months, whether we will get any future updates etc.

He told me our accounts are permantly kept open and that we will receive any updates to the course material which is great.

He also told me they are working on a 2nd year of the course. No details yet as to exactly what that entails but I'm glad the current course is not the end.

I will sign up for the second course even though I'm still hopelessly behind with the first one!

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by Tweety on March 6th 2010, 9:11 am

Glad to hear that. I suppose it would be about endgames mainly
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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by Bilbo on March 10th 2010, 2:46 am

He wouldn't give me any further details but told me they were going to announce something on our accounts within the next month or so.

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by Tweety on March 10th 2010, 9:19 am

That is good news, we won't have to wait too long.
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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by Bilbo on September 12th 2010, 6:48 pm

I see they have finally added the new information. Sounds interesting, has anyone started it yet?

I haven't finished the first year yet, I find that in reality I only really get time to analyse my over the board games, and don't have time beyond that for study. I could make time but am not dedicated enough right now I guess.

Anyway, on to the course they are basically going to study the main opening pawn structures in detail, so Sicilians, Nimzo's and all the others etc and start a detailed study of the world champions, with 12 annotated games per month.

Sounds good, might check it out next year.

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by Bilbo on September 12th 2010, 7:02 pm

Couldn't resist, even though I'm not going to work through it for probably years I bought it anyway on an impulse.

Says 12 hours to update so I will let you know.

12 well annotated games a month will be nice though, I do enjoy their annotations.

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by StarByrne on September 12th 2010, 7:16 pm

Bilbo wrote:Couldn't resist, even though I'm not going to work through it for probably years I bought it anyway on an impulse.

Says 12 hours to update so I will let you know.

12 well annotated games a month will be nice though, I do enjoy their annotations.

Where is the new info listed? Can you give me a link? I logged into my account just now but it still just shows 13 months, no new months added. Did you receive an email?

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by Bilbo on September 12th 2010, 7:36 pm

It says it when I log in. It may be because I already have all 13 months and you still have some months to go?

Anyway, here is a copy and past of the details they give. A bit vague, but I signed up anyway. Now I'm waiting to be updated which I guess will happen tomorrow morning sometime.



Years 2 and 3

In this 2 year program of our Chess School, we will study ALL strong systems, like for example Sicilians, Spanish, Caro-Kann, Nimzo-Indian, King's Indian, Slavs, Grunfeld, and so on.
From every reliable opening, you have a great deal to learn. We study not the opening theory but the main ideas and structures of these openings with their typical developments, middlegame plans and complex endgames. Almost the entire theory of chess gravities around the pawn structures, characteristic to opening systems. Together we will go through static, solid, dynamic, intricate, double edged structures and typical plans of play.

The wealth of ideas you will learn from all these systems will be combined with the study of World Chess Champions.
Every month we analyze 12 highly instructive games structured after the opening systems and played by the greatest players of all times, Steinitz, Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Euwe, Botvinnik, Smyslov, Tal, Petrosian, Spassky, Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov and also others.
From the great players of the past, you will learn clear and brilliant ideas while more recent champions will demonstrate their supremacy in complicate struggles against other modern grandmasters.
The selection of the games is also very important so to be instructive in all stages of the game, including/especially the endgame.

Studying the strong systems AND the world champions, your benefit is double.

But the essence of a good training stands in quality. Our annotations are clear, concrete and constructive. We endeavor to give explanations that you can really use and improve your game.
In many moments of the games, we stop in order to offer a complete analysis of the position/situation and explaining how to really find the solution, how to think and how to take decisions in practical games. Beside the complete analysis of the game, we also show and explain different other moves/ideas that might be strategic unsound but are common mistakes for 'mortal' players.

Hoping that you enjoyed the first year of our course, we want to assure you that we keep up the good work. In the same time, we offer this product to you with a DISCOUNT of 30%
Instead of paying our 'normal' price of 39USD, you can subscribe now for only 27USD, the price for 'old' clients.

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by StarByrne on September 12th 2010, 8:42 pm

Bilbo wrote:It says it when I log in. It may be because I already have all 13 months and you still have some months to go?

Anyway, here is a copy and past of the details they give. A bit vague, but I signed up anyway. Now I'm waiting to be updated which I guess will happen tomorrow morning sometime.



Years 2 and 3

In this 2 year program of our Chess School, we will study ALL strong systems, like for example Sicilians, Spanish, Caro-Kann, Nimzo-Indian, King's Indian, Slavs, Grunfeld, and so on.
From every reliable opening, you have a great deal to learn. We study not the opening theory but the main ideas and structures of these openings with their typical developments, middlegame plans and complex endgames. Almost the entire theory of chess gravities around the pawn structures, characteristic to opening systems. Together we will go through static, solid, dynamic, intricate, double edged structures and typical plans of play.

The wealth of ideas you will learn from all these systems will be combined with the study of World Chess Champions.
Every month we analyze 12 highly instructive games structured after the opening systems and played by the greatest players of all times, Steinitz, Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Euwe, Botvinnik, Smyslov, Tal, Petrosian, Spassky, Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov and also others.
From the great players of the past, you will learn clear and brilliant ideas while more recent champions will demonstrate their supremacy in complicate struggles against other modern grandmasters.
The selection of the games is also very important so to be instructive in all stages of the game, including/especially the endgame.

Studying the strong systems AND the world champions, your benefit is double.

But the essence of a good training stands in quality. Our annotations are clear, concrete and constructive. We endeavor to give explanations that you can really use and improve your game.
In many moments of the games, we stop in order to offer a complete analysis of the position/situation and explaining how to really find the solution, how to think and how to take decisions in practical games. Beside the complete analysis of the game, we also show and explain different other moves/ideas that might be strategic unsound but are common mistakes for 'mortal' players.

Hoping that you enjoyed the first year of our course, we want to assure you that we keep up the good work. In the same time, we offer this product to you with a DISCOUNT of 30%
Instead of paying our 'normal' price of 39USD, you can subscribe now for only 27USD, the price for 'old' clients.

Wow looks very good, yes I'm only on month 4 atm. Does it give any details of what happens in year 3? Or was the above whats included in years 2 and 3? I hope some endgame prep is included in years 2 and 3.

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by Bilbo on September 12th 2010, 9:17 pm

That's all the details they gave so far. It sounds like the annotated games chosen will include much endgame content which will be good.

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by BorgQueen on September 12th 2010, 9:18 pm

I heard that "year 2" was going to be endgames? Now it's openings! I wonder where endgames will fit in?!

Seems payments to ICS may be endless after all ^.^

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by Bilbo on September 13th 2010, 2:18 am

Ok I now have the first month.

It is 12 annotated games in the Nimzo Indian Defence. They say will study the Nimzo for 2 months, and then move onto the Sicillian Najdorf.

Glancing through the material, it basically looks like what I hoped the original opening module would be.

The games look to be fully annotated to their usual decent standard in the main module so I am sure the course will be entertaining.

Two interesting things to note.

Firstly, and disappointingly, they say they only currently have the first two months and the rest isn't ready. Hopefully this won't mean waiting around for months. Probably related to this being incomplete, currently only pdf files are available for the games rather than the chessbase files. This doesn't bother me as I don't mind creating my own database but may annoy some.

Secondly, and intriguingly, they are planning to introduce videos to this course! I have to say I am definitely curious to see that!

Its $27 a month rather than the previous $39 for both modules. There are no more details I can give at the moment as to what other openings etc, it seems to be a work in progress.

But it looks promising. For me annotated games is the most easy and enjoyable way to learn and 12 a month is a decent amount, 3 per week, which I think is enough to realistically be able to work through for the average working person.

I will await the future months with interest, especially the videos!

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by PawnCustodian on September 13th 2010, 8:34 am

I'll be looking forward to hearing comments from early subscribers.

If it's only openings I think there will be tough competion from other premium sites like chesspublishing.com which is more topical and lower in price. Still, if they're true to their word and really do get "down and dirty" with detailed expostions of middle and endgame plans I'm probably in.

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by BorgQueen on September 13th 2010, 9:54 am

Yeah I would have preferred an endgame study than an opening one.

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by Bilbo on September 13th 2010, 10:17 am

Ive not studied the games yet but glancing through the material they do seem true to their word in that most do feature important endgame ideas.

Each game averages 6 pages of annotations so that is around 70 pages of material per month I guess.

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by HangingKing on September 13th 2010, 1:25 pm

Bilbo wrote:70 pages of material per month I guess.

Gasp !
I'll never find time to read all this.

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by Bilbo on September 13th 2010, 1:29 pm

Obviously I won't copy and paste any games here but I just thought I'd put up a brief sample of their endgame annotation. Of the 12 games, most do indeed have very instructive endgames and it seems they explain them well. In many ways this will be better than endgame books, which generally deal with very specific basic positions that seldom occur in a real game, at least for me.

Here's a sample from Game 8, which ends with a bishop of opposition colour endgame.



I want to draw your attention to some important rules connected with the opposite color
bishops endgames.
When you defend this kind of endgame where there are pawns on one flank and the
strong side has a passed pawn on the other flank, in order to defend accurately use the
following rules to guide your action.
1. The passed pawn has to be guarded with the king.
2. The other pawns have to be placed on the same color with your bishop, in a
chain, with a base that can be easily defended.
3. The bishop has to attack the strong side pawn’s base (not allowing the
formation of a passed pawn).
4. The strong side has to arrange his pawns on the same color with his enemy
bishop in order to restrict his activity.
With all of this in mind, let’s see how we can defend this endgame, and where the danger
lies.


This kind of information was definitely the kind of real world practical advice I wanted to see, and glancing over the other games it seems this is a typical annotation.

I'm not sure I will work through every month, for example being a 1.d4 white player, and playing ...e5 against 1.e4 I will likely not study the Najdorf but I imagine I will get an awful lot from the openings relevant to me.

I just wish the openings module had been like this, it was exactly how I wanted it to be!

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by Blue Devil Knight on September 13th 2010, 1:43 pm

This sounds awesome I guess in the next couple of weeks I'll update this site to reflect the additional material!

Do you think it would be beneficial to study it on its own, even if I haven't finished the first year of the course? E.g., if I want to play the Najdorf?

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by Bilbo on September 13th 2010, 2:06 pm

It seems to be just annotated games themed around specific openings so I absolutely will work through any material related to openings that I play. I hope they spend some time on the Queen's Gambit Declined, I'm sure they will as it's one of the most important of all openings.

I'm looking forward to seeing what they cover on 1.e4 45. I know the Lopez is coming up, but a look at alternatives would be great, especially things like the Italian and Scotch.

I'm looking forward to it. I think their endgame stuff is exactly what I was looking for. All my endgame books tend to deal with 'bare bones' type positions rather than actual games. I think this will be more helpful.

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by chesstiger on September 13th 2010, 6:11 pm

Subscribed to year two and three although i havent finished year one but a 30 percent discount i could not lay next to me. Also, since i have seen Andrei Istratescu ïn person (sadly i hadn't time to talk with him) during the GM-norm tournament my club helped organize i am sure the next years will be at a good enough level for me to help me improve.

Actually i am thinking of redoing year one mixed with year two and three since i have the feeling that i forgot alott already from year one first months.

Now that i have time, workload has become smaller at work, so i can spend more time at this course again although i have to prepare lessons for the chess course i give at adults at my chess club.
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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by BorgQueen on September 13th 2010, 8:27 pm

Sounds very good...

I think I'll read some of my endgame books before doing these though. I find the endgame more important to study than the opening.

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by Bilbo on September 14th 2010, 8:38 pm

It's complete annotated games, not just openings but your point is well taken. I think there is much more to learn before you decide to study games in depth, in openings you don't even play.

I'll get it anyway, I'm looking forward to the videos and for some weird reason I kind of like supporting these guys. Like a fan being proud to support a less well known band rather than the mainstream chart crap Very Happy

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by BorgQueen on September 14th 2010, 9:22 pm

Bilbo wrote:...I think there is much more to learn before you decide to study games in depth, in openings you don't even play...
Definitely. Such study is ok and helpful in understanding, but if you don't play these lines then you will never encounter them, so it all seems like a waste of time and effort that could be devoted to other things that you will encounter.

Bilbo wrote:...I kind of like supporting these guys. Like a fan being proud to support a less well known band rather than the mainstream chart crap Very Happy
Me too, but I think I'd be just throwing money away somehow.

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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by chesstiger on September 15th 2010, 12:03 am

In my opinion it isn't throwing away money.

You focus to much about the opening thing while those annotated games are far more then that (atleast the two i read and played over so far).

Look at it more as well annotated games with a total packet. Although they may be given the games in some sort of opening choice they go also deeper into other things like endgames.

No, i am glad i purchased year two (and three) already.
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Re: ICS New Course Plans: Two more years of material added

Post by Bilbo on September 15th 2010, 12:13 am

Hey chesstiger. I've not played over any games yet but I've glanced through them.

What did you think of them? They look great flicking over them and I might play over one or two tomorrow. From what I've seen glancing through them they have specifically chosen games that have instructive endgames.

I'm looking forward to this course, I find annotated games easier and more enjoyable to study than sample game fragments and positions. I find I need to see an entire game rather than just be jumped into a position, as I find it harder to find my bearings.

One slight concern I've got is that in game one they say they focus this month on the Nimzo variations where White plays 3.Nc3. Correct me if I'm wrong but if White plays something else, Nf3 for example we reach a completely different opening, either the Bogo or Queens Indian for example.

So I'm curious to see what we are getting next month, whether it is more Nimzo Indian stuff or whether it's going to be Queen's Indian and Bogo?

I suppose either is good. Very Happy

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