Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

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Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by Blue Devil Knight on April 13th 2009, 12:29 pm

A thread for discussing how you are going through the material in the first month.


Last edited by Blue Devil Knight on April 13th 2009, 3:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by Blue Devil Knight on April 13th 2009, 2:36 pm

It would be helpful if they made this a bit more systematic at the web site. With this program I feel to some degree like I am thrown out in the snow with a bunch of puzzle pieces that I have to figure out how to put together. Just to get started, here are the different lessons for Month 1:

Theory
Piece Value
Evaluation of Positions with material equivalence
Think like a strong player [** below are associated problems]
Making decisions in chess
Tactics 1
Positional Evaluation 1

Annotated Games
Introduction
game 001
game 002
game 003

Learn from Capablanca
game 01
game 02
game 03

Tests, Problems, Individual Analysis
TEST 01 // Solutions to the TEST 01
Game for analysis // Solutions
**5 Problems for you to work on "TO DO LIST"//Solutions
**18 exercises for you to work on "CONSEQUENCES"//Solutions
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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by Blue Devil Knight on April 13th 2009, 2:47 pm

Here is the order I plan to go through things the first month. The material breaks up somewhat naturally into three blocks.

Block 1: Initial Test
1. TEST 01 (16 test problems)
2. Solutions to the TEST 01

Block 2: Thinking theory and problems
1. Theory: Piece Value
2. Theory: Evaluation of Positions with material equivalence
3. Theory: Think like a strong player
4. Theory Making decisions in chess
5. 5 Problems for you to work on "TO DO LIST"
6. Solutions for "To Do" list
7. 18 exercises for you to work on "CONSEQUENCES"
8. "Consequences" solutions

Block 3: Tactics/Strategy theory and annotated games
1. Theory: Tactics 1
2. Theory: Positional Evaluation 1
3. Annotated games: Introduction
4. Annotated games: game 001
5. Annotated games: game 002
6. Annotated games: game 003
7. Learn from Capablanca: game 01
8. Learn from Capablanca: game 02
9. Learn from Capablanca: game 03
10. Game for analysis test
11. Solutions to analysis test game
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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by fanat on April 14th 2009, 1:43 pm

I thought the amount of material for the 1st month was a little too much. Maybe it's because I signed up for the opening module also and opening study takes a lot of time.

I went through almost all the material for the 1st month but I didn't get to finish some of the problems or even the test 1 Very Happy
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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by Blue Devil Knight on April 14th 2009, 3:33 pm

The test was really hard. I don't remember my score, but I'll post it when I get home tonight. I wanted to establish a baseline.

I spent all day Saturday doing it. Frankly, it was exhausting.
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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by fanat on April 14th 2009, 3:49 pm

Even though I'm in month 2 now, I will definitely try to finish the test. The final test is like a year away so it will still give a good idea on overall improvement.

Speaking of keeping up with material, how do you divide your time between main module and opening module?

The material in opening module is great but it's challenging to go through so many variations (I am just looking at d4 section as I'm a d4 player) get familiar and remember some of them.

I feel that I'm getting buried because of the demands of the opening section or maybe I'm just doing it wrong? Let's not forget that later in addition to d4 or e4 opening system we will have to learn defense systems of each one of this!
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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by Blue Devil Knight on April 14th 2009, 4:06 pm

fanat wrote:I thought the amount of material for the 1st month was a little too much. Maybe it's because I signed up for the opening module also and opening study takes a lot of time.

I went through almost all the material for the 1st month but I didn't get to finish some of the problems or even the test 1 Very Happy

Well, maybe that will give those of us just starting time to catch up Smile

On the openings stuff, I also ordered the openings, but frankly it just seems like too much. Plus, I just started playing the Bird and the Slav and have put about 10 hours each in. However, I'll consider playing the Najdorf once they get to it (do they bring that up in month 2?).

I'm worried that they recommend the Sicilian. Can they really cover the sidelines (c3, Grand Prix, Smith Morra, etc).
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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by fanat on April 14th 2009, 4:30 pm

Blue Devil Knight wrote:
fanat wrote:I thought the amount of material for the 1st month was a little too much. Maybe it's because I signed up for the opening module also and opening study takes a lot of time.

I went through almost all the material for the 1st month but I didn't get to finish some of the problems or even the test 1 Very Happy

Well, maybe that will give those of us just starting time to catch up Smile

On the openings stuff, I also ordered the openings, but frankly it just seems like too much. Plus, I just started playing the Bird and the Slav and have put about 10 hours each in. However, I'll consider playing the Najdorf once they get to it (do they bring that up in month 2?).

I'm worried that they recommend the Sicilian. Can they really cover the sidelines (c3, Grand Prix, Smith Morra, etc).

To be honest, I'm not worried about what they recommend for Sicilian for our level since we are not experts.

In month 2, they give Catalan and Catalan vs Slav for d4 section and more Ruy Lopez for e4 section.
The Slav material is very good so it will be helpful to you!

The more I learn about Catalan the more I get an idea that it's actually a pretty hard opening but they material they provide is very good. What I'm looking forward to is that next month a book called "Play the Catalan is coming out by Nigel Davies" so maybe it will have some good and easy explanations and annotated games to help us. You could preview this book on Amazon.

I'm learning some French Defense on my own so once they start giving material for that at least I will be familiar. I know Sicilian requires TONS of theory and time so I'm not sure I will jump on that right away.
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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by Blue Devil Knight on April 14th 2009, 5:17 pm

I think I'll stick with my white opening. I've had a lot of luck with the Bird (basically it's a Dutch with an extra tempo).

But for black, I'm very tempted to finally give the Sicilian a go... affraid

Incidentally, this weekend or sooner I'll add a bunch more categories at this forum....
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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by HangingKing on April 21st 2009, 4:16 pm

I started with part of the theory lessons, switching to some of the 6 games analysis to read, go back to theory.

Well, it's like the same that when i was in school, i let the exercises for the last and ultimate moment No

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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by chesstiger on April 25th 2009, 4:34 pm

I tend to first go thru theory (with example games if the text points towards them). Then i go thru the annotated trying to remember the theory and even hoping that i understand why a move is played before reading the annotations.

Then i do the tests and hope to do well on them. If not then thats not a problem. I will just put them aside a week, read the theory again and do them again in the hope to get a better result and better understanding then after my first try.

The only problem i am having so far is how to divide my time. They ask to work six hours a week but does that mean 2 hrs on three days or one hour a day with a rest day? But i guess after a few weeks i will get the hang of it.
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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by hoopy on May 5th 2009, 2:43 pm

Was it just me or we left hanging with the quiz? I thought there would be some total score that indicated Elo or areas of weakness so that we can compare it to when we complete the course. Did I miss something?
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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by Blue Devil Knight on May 5th 2009, 3:19 pm

Yes, I agree I thought it was pretty lame. And then they throw in Lucena/Philidor with nothing.

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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by chesstiger on May 6th 2009, 5:51 am

hoopy wrote:Was it just me or we left hanging with the quiz? I thought there would be some total score that indicated Elo or areas of weakness so that we can compare it to when we complete the course. Did I miss something?

At the end of the course, after month 13 you get another (positional) test (quiz) to solve and then in comparison with the test (quiz) of the first month one can either notice one has improved (or not).
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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by hoopy on May 6th 2009, 11:23 am

I agree but a score of say 50 is rather vague. There are many other quizes that I have seen which estimate gradings or wekanesses. I thought that this rather than a points score would be more meaningful.
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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by Chess? on May 7th 2009, 12:54 am

hoopy wrote:I agree but a score of say 50 is rather vague. There are many other quizes that I have seen which estimate gradings or wekanesses. I thought that this rather than a points score would be more meaningful.

I felt the same way when I did the test. So I end up with a number, is that a baseline for a future test? Maybe ICS has another test in the later months.
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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by chesstiger on May 7th 2009, 3:21 am

Chess?,

Like i wrote before. One gets a simular test at the end of the course aswell. So one can compare the before and after (the course).

Cool
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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by AoxomoxoA on June 28th 2009, 4:05 pm

First read theory and games , then do the exercise, the test in between whenever i have some quiet moments

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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by Chess? on June 29th 2009, 1:41 am

fanat wrote:I thought the amount of material for the 1st month was a little too much. Maybe it's because I signed up for the opening module also and opening study takes a lot of time.

I went through almost all the material for the 1st month but I didn't get to finish some of the problems or even the test 1 Very Happy

finat, you will have to give the test a go. it's extreeeemly humbling.
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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by fanat on June 29th 2009, 8:36 am

Chess? wrote:
fanat wrote:I thought the amount of material for the 1st month was a little too much. Maybe it's because I signed up for the opening module also and opening study takes a lot of time.

I went through almost all the material for the 1st month but I didn't get to finish some of the problems or even the test 1 Very Happy

finat, you will have to give the test a go. it's extreeeemly humbling.

I've done some problems on the test I and I definitely agree that it's very humbling! I don't need a test to tell me how much I suck! Very Happy
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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by AoxomoxoA on July 3rd 2009, 4:46 pm

[quote="fanat"][quote="Chess?"]
fanat wrote: I don't need a test to tell me how much I suck! Very Happy
The solutions are good, i like it to think about a problem and then get a "solution". The points, who cares

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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by asimpereira on August 6th 2012, 11:21 pm

I am using "Chess Book Study" app on my Android device to read the ICS pdfs.
Makes it easy to read AND make moves on the accompanying board, all in one screen!

play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pereira.booknboard

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Disclaimer: I am the developer of the app.

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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by BorgQueen on August 12th 2012, 9:54 pm

So it shows the pdf AND an analysis board on one screen?

Sounds bloody hard to read!

And you have to be an android??

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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by asimpereira on August 12th 2012, 10:02 pm

Yes, you have to be a Droid!
Useful if you have a large screen phone or a tablet.
Ofcourse, the board can be hidden at will to make reading easier.

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Re: Getting started at ICS: How are you going through the material?

Post by BorgQueen on August 12th 2012, 10:53 pm

Meh, I'm not a droid.

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