Friday, 20 September 2013

While I Have Been Away

I have been busy with other things and have not had much time to devote to chess.  I did, however, make another through most of Just the Facts!  I also worked my way through the blue Coakley again.  I have been gradually working my way through Reinfeld's 1001 again, and am currently over a third of the way through. I have also been regularly solving various problems of the day.  I recently made another pass through McDonald's How to Play Against 1.e4, and have begun his Starting Out: Queen's Gambit Declined.  I am also working my way through Neishtadt's Test Your Tactical Ability.

I got bored towards the end of Just the Facts!  I think that I will try another opening text next time!  I noticed that Silman's text is available as e+book.  Perhaps I will give that one a try.  The e+book format seems to have a very good reputation.

The problems of the day that I have been tackling are at:  (Easy and Medium)


The Shredder problems can be very odd.  They often have incomprehensible one move solutions.  The Hard problems are often easier than the Easy problems.  Sometimes the solution given looks like the best continuation, but still appears to lose.  However, some of the problems are good, and even the incomprehensible ones keep me on my toes.  I wonder whether the Shredder problems on the ipad are any better?  I am keeping a file of positions where I had difficulty seeing something simple - over 200 positions so far.

For my last pass through How the Play Against 1.e4, I just reviewed to main lines and key ideas from the diagrams in the book.  I am going through Queen's Gambit Declined in detail, however, as it is my first pass.  It appears to be a fine book.

I marked the problems in Neishtadt with ticks and crosses when I was playing over twenty years ago, and again when I started to take an interest in chess again, but I do not have any record of the times taken.  My subjective impression is that my recent training has made me quicker at spotting simple tactics, but less thorough in analysis.  However, I am not too unhappy about that.  I can always get thorough again.  Neishtadt's more recent enlarged book is also available as an e+book, which gets round the problem of the tiny diagrams in the printed book.


  1. Welcome back!!

  2. Most Shredder's iPad app problems are pretty straight-forward, but there are enough tricky ones to keep you on your toes. I'm one-third through the second pass, and I would say that a substantial gain of material through a three move sequence is typical. But, there are one and two move checkmates, hanging pieces that can be snatched, and a few deep combinations.

  3. Some on line Shredder problems are apparent duds. I fail to find a solution and find that the solution offered is a one mover that appears to do nothing. On the other hand, some of the Shredder on line problems are too trivial to find their way into most tactics books, but are not easy to see. From what you say, it would appear that the packaged problems do have reasonable solutions.