Saturday, April 11, 2009

Transformations, questions, and new improvement sites

After nearly four months, DK Transform has updated his blog. Unfortunately, he brings sad news with the post, and my condolences go out to DK and his family for their loss.

In other blog news, the question blog, Chess?, is off to a good start. I am very curious about the International Chess School (ICS) that he is undertaking. Does anyone have any reviews? Does it include endgame study? It was started by GM Andrei Istratescu, I believe.

In addition to ICS, some British GMs (in particular Tony Kosten) have started a chess improvement site called Improve Your Chess. Any reviews of that site out yet? Note I know there are endorsements from Shahade and Watson on the front page of the site. However, they look like promotional blurbs, not excerpts from actual reviews, which means they are worthless. Correct me if I'm wrong, and link to the reviews!


Blogger Banatt said...

Not liking the look of that site. Its got that look to it. Kinda liking the look of "chess magnet school" better, but nothing beats your own study plan, right? ;)

4/11/2009 07:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check the bottom of the introduction page where it says; Our 1-year program provides a complete chess training, including strategy, tactics, ENDGAMES... Anyway, i know a local chess blogger who als makes use of the ICS and was very positive about it.

4/11/2009 07:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Btw, that Improve Your Chess site has been around for quite a while. Though it seems to me that it is just a paid version of sites like Chess Tempo or Chess Tactics Server, which are for free. Personally, i've been wanting to give AMCA a try for some time now...

4/11/2009 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger Clive said...

I was in ICS for over six months but dropped out together with some others all at the same time. It is expensive and they do not live up to thier promises. I am a pretty strong player, but contrary to the promises, they do not give any real individual help. Thier products start off pretty well, but after 2-3 months rapidly go down hill.

4/13/2009 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Clive: very interesting to hear that! I wish there were some reviews online. I bought the first month, and the material seems quite inconsistent, definitely in need of a good copy editor. The initial test was fun, and their analysis was OK, but they should at least analyze your score or something (not in person, but have an extra page that does that).

Plus, they need to have a user forum. I started one, not sure it is worth it though to jump in like that so maybe I'll hold off a bit.

Perhaps I'll just work through Aagaard's 'Art of Calculation'.

Crap. Such a great idea, but if the execution sucks it ain't worth it.

I noticed also that the first page on piece values is just awful. It either didn't make sense, or just a table of values with zero explanation.

Does that kind of thing get worse?

4/13/2009 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I use ICS and it has helped a great deal. I don't take advantage of their individual feedback because I don't have time, but the material they supply is far better than anything I have bought so far. Currently, most evaluations have me between the 1600-1700 range. I expect I'll make 2000 before in another year or so, depending on the time I have to devote.

4/13/2009 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

J'adoube: that is cool. I wish you would write a review.

I like the content, even though it is not the most polished material I have ever seen.

Maybe I'll do it until I hate it, then stop :)

4/13/2009 10:39:00 AM  

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