Getting started...

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Getting started...

Post by grimm1111 on February 19th 2014, 6:59 pm

I'm starting out with an ELO of 1550-1650 depending on the rings of jupiter and the alignment of the stars. I'm giving this ICS thing a run so I'll let you know how much better I get at chess as a result.

Background.... I've never read a chess book, never entered a tournament, I don't know a single opening. I'm just the guy who always beat his dad and all his friends at chess growing up and it never really dawned on me that one can study the game and become better at it. It's time to develop awesome chess skills so that I can someday rule the world.

My starting ELO is determined by a program called HIARCS chess explorer. I'll use that same measure at the end of the program and we'll see how much I improve.

I made it through month one materials in two days. I thought the materials were brilliantly laid out and I look forward to future lessons as I do feel like I've learned a lot already in terms of how to think about and approach a given chess position. I did fairly well on the tests, got most of the answers right but I missed a few things that made me facepalm after I read the solutions for missing the obvious.

Anyway, cheers.

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Re: Getting started...

Post by Mystique on February 20th 2014, 2:47 pm

Good luck Grimm1111, and keep us posted about your progress. Are you going to: enter a chess club, playing games on the internet or just playing with friends to bring your study into practice?

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Re: Getting started...

Post by ernestosim01 on February 21st 2014, 3:27 am

Good luck Grimm1111. I'll look forward to your progress report. I'm jealous by the fact that you completed M1 in 2 days and yet performed decently on the tests. While here I am still baffled by M2 of the course which I started almost a year now. If you will have a consistent speed as M1, I think you can finish the full year in just a month or less, provided you subscribed to the full course at once. So good luck and let us know how you go.

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Re: Getting started...

Post by BorgQueen on April 14th 2014, 10:02 am

Best of luck grimm :-)

I remember a few facepalms on the tests too ^_^

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Re: Getting started...

Post by *4167 on May 30th 2014, 2:54 am

Hey, keep updating on your current ICS studies. Would love to see how far can one go with this brilliant program.

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Re: Getting started...

Post by BorgQueen on May 30th 2014, 3:01 am

If you keep studying it, I think it would be very helpful! Unfortunately for me, I have forgotten a lot of it already... I need to do it all again!

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Re: Getting started...

Post by *4167 on May 30th 2014, 3:05 am

I just subscribed this course for a full 13months.
Background : enjoy playing blitz. My national rating is 1407.
I have a goal, to be the first Grandmaster in my country.
But I have to babystep starting from the bottom. Maybe a National Master first.
Do you have a specific goal?

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Re: Getting started...

Post by BorgQueen on May 30th 2014, 3:24 am

No, not really, just to improve enough to play the best in my state.

I have improved (I completed the course quite a while ago) a fair bit, but definitely not enough for me to have any hopes of being a GM!

What country are you in/from?

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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: Getting started...

Post by *4167 on May 30th 2014, 3:29 am

So that scares me bit. I have always thought that everyone who finishes this course can reach or at least a profound knowledge to the level of IM.
I have GM Smirnov GM's secret too but did not take a look at the corse for a while since I just brought ICS.
I am from Malaysia.

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Re: Getting started...

Post by BorgQueen on May 30th 2014, 4:00 am

Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that. You could read 20 books on how to be a brain surgeon, but if you have a drinking problem, or you have parkinson's, you won't make it.

With chess, all the knowledge and secrets revealed will give you the tools, yes, but then there is still those "unteachable" qualities:

* mental ability to calculate deeply and accurately
* concentration ability
* dedication
* practice / exposure
* devotion / commitment / time
* resources / money

Which, without them, means you cannot become an elite player... eg a GM.

Me, I don't have the commitment to be able to spend 6-12 hours a day focusing solely on chess in order to have a shot at the GM title. I don't want to. Chess a hobby for me, not a profession. If I turned it into a profession, I wouldn't enjoy it so much!

I also don't have the resources (or inclination) to travel to other countries to even get an IM title. I don't even want to travel outside of the state (due to cost and time commitment) in order even get a FIDE rating.

So, I'm screwed ^_^

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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: Getting started...

Post by Leavenfish on June 1st 2014, 11:24 am

*4167 wrote:So that scares me bit. I have always thought that everyone who finishes this course can reach or at least a profound knowledge to the level of IM.
I have GM Smirnov GM's secret too but did not take a look at the corse for a while since I just brought ICS.
I am from Malaysia.

4167 - If you maintained it all in your head, you might have that level of knowledge, true. But, as with anything, it is in how you 'apply' what you know. A USCF Master and longtime frien once told me about...20 yrs ago, that I "Knew more about chess" than he did. "Perhaps", I said, "but you PLAY it better".

The secret to chess success is not likely to be found in any course you pay a lot of money for, the secret to chess success is how well you apply what you do know. Think of it this way, at one time computer programs played with maybe a 1600 level of chess 'understanding', but they could calculate thousands of positions a second...and did not miss tactics or drop pieces, etc. Yet they were "Master level" strength. They were able to apply the "I go here, you go there" and make a fairly rudimentary evaluation and play at the Master level because they could apply so well what they actually could do. It is the same with you or me or anyone else.

Capablanca did not have any great 'course' and any early 'teacher' was weaker than he pretty quickly. But he was REALLY GOOD at certain things and accentuated those. Tal was not a Petrosian or a Botvinnink or a Smyslov when it comes to positional play back when he won the title...not by any means. BUT, he did something REALLY REALLY well and looked for positions where that was most useful. Later, he played better positionally but he never really got close to the heights he reached before. It is too simplistic to say that such 'new knowledge' or putting more tools into his toolshed was the cause, but, one thing is undeniable - when he accentuated what he did really well, he achieved great heights.

As I see it, the ICS course is useful in many respects. Yes, it teaches you things, but it's most useful in that it probably 'should, ideally' be forcing you to pay attention to your chess throughout the month simply because you are PAYING every month and (psychologically at least) will probably think that you need to consume what you are given and 'think' about it. When you pay for something, you are more likely to consume it than if say someone at a chess club held monthly one hour 'classes'. Really, the rest is up to you and, unfortunately, THAT is the hard part! Most of us are too lazy or (as you get older) have too much of 'life' getting in the way. But still...it does its part to help hold you accountable for your chess progress simply because it is dolled out regularly and you are paying for it. "You can lead a horse to water, but you can not make it drink", as they say...

That said, I quit the main course after 3 months. I have been rated 2000 to 2017 for the past 20 yrs. It was not giving me enough in those early months - really did not teach me anything I did not already know, although it used some different terminology than I was use to. I REALLY wanted to skip to about month 8, but alas, they will not let you do that so, I stopped.

I am however taking the "extra courses" at the moment. I might even take the Strategy Puzzles course...that actually sounds interesting.

In short, do not think because you take a course, you are going to achieve great things. You alone are responsible for utilizing what you do know...wherever you obtained it.

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Re: Getting started...

Post by BorgQueen on June 1st 2014, 11:58 pm

Well said :-)

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