Hi everyone!

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Hi everyone!

Post by mrhollywood95 on January 15th 2011, 10:04 am

Hi everyone!
I am at the end of month 2 of the ICS. I am a 1900 rated (USCF) player who has been stuck in Class A for about 10 years. I had been looking at the ICS course for about 6 months before I finally decided to join. I'm hoping to make it to at least 2000 by the end of the year.

I know this question has been asked before, but... Has anyone made any real progress with the program?

Good luck to all,

Tony

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Re: Hi everyone!

Post by PawnCustodian on January 16th 2011, 3:07 pm

Good question.

I haven't seen anyone post claiming to have worked all the way through the 13 month program. That in itself is a worthy goal.

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Re: Hi everyone!

Post by Blue Devil Knight on January 16th 2011, 4:35 pm

Great to have you here, welcome to the jungle! Razz

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Re: Hi everyone!

Post by mrhollywood95 on January 16th 2011, 5:34 pm

PawnCustodian wrote:Good question.

I haven't seen anyone post claiming to have worked all the way through the 13 month program. That in itself is a worthy goal.

Especially seeing that a good majority of the posters here started more than 13 months ago. I was hoping to see some success stories here.

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Re: Hi everyone!

Post by HangingKing on January 16th 2011, 7:52 pm

Well i started ICS course in a jobless period i had plenty of time to follow it and made good progress at the beginning. Then i moved to a new job and it was difficult to find time to keep up reading all the material in schedule.
So after 1 year, like many people i haven't yet finished the course, more or less i picked up some pieces of information through all the months not really completing them.
And i'm finishing the lessons one after the other in this second year.

Thus i haven't reached the level i was expecting for, nevertheless i started ICS course with a best level (i always talk about ICC 15-min games) of 1650 trying to break up 1700, then 1800. A few weeks ago i made up 1879, so the progress is there no doubt, but my average level is not that good, i still go down to 1600 as soon as i play without full concentration. Such a 200 - 300 ELO gap is not good i believe...

I find some frustration in playing more advanced players now, because i never wanted to learn openings lines, i was not interested in that and most of my new strong opponents catch me in some tricky opening line.
I mean, if i can get an opening line i know a bit, i generally manage to win or draw using what i learned on ICS about strategy and with my ability on endgames.

But if i try some fancy variation, i often get a game in which whatever i could try tactically or strategically it is already too late to invert the loss, this because my opponent played the book move (he may or not understand, but he plays it) which not strictly based on palpable strategy gives a serious advantage if i do not respond myself with the book move.

So i a way i'm satisfied with what i learned on ICS that gives me clean games, but i'm disappointed that so much people rely on book lines that undermine all my efforts to keep the game simple and "on the rails".
At some point strategy and tactic cannot fight against "magical" moves...
So i'm forced to memorize myself some openings, just to keep up fighting at equal, and i don't like that!


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Re: Hi everyone!

Post by BorgQueen on January 17th 2011, 6:29 am

Same here... I really am not interested in memorising lots of opening moves/lines as some love to do and I often find myself in trouble in the opening.

Sometimes though, my lack of knowledge leads to advantage in the opening -- I play off book, which throws my opponent into unknown territory and I can sometimes end up with a significant advantage.

I can't say that the ICS course has made me stronger, but I am certainly learning some stuff which is helping. Ultimately, raw talent I believe plays a much more significant role than any amount of knowledge. You can play the best positional chess from knowledge accumulated, but still fall prey because of a missed tactic.

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Re: Hi everyone!

Post by mrhollywood95 on January 17th 2011, 7:18 pm

Well guys - I can understand your frustrations with keeping up with opening theory. Its a major bore that I do not like to get into either.

I just play simple, less popular openings and try to beat my opponents in the other 2 phases of the game. This technique was good enough to get me to the 1900 level. Now unfortunately, in order to get over the 2000 barrier, I will change my opening repertoire by using the ICS recommendations.

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Re: Hi everyone!

Post by BorgQueen on January 18th 2011, 4:58 am

I just hope I can get a working repertoire. I seem to always manage to forget what I learn in opening studies.

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Re: Hi everyone!

Post by PawnCustodian on January 18th 2011, 12:24 pm

mrhollywood95 wrote:

I just play simple, less popular openings and try to beat my opponents in the other 2 phases of the game.

That pretty much sums up the ICS repertoire philosophy - avoiding the highly analyzed lines and leaving you with playable although sometimes very difficult middlegames on the assumption that the basic couse material will carry you. There is synergy between the basic and opening course so each reinforce each other.

There seems to be a dramatic leap in quality with the semi-slav material in month six - they've added a comprehensive introduction section, and I'm not finding as much to quibble about when I subject the repretoire to computer evaluations.

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Re: Hi everyone!

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