Thursday, March 16, 2006

Solitaire Chess

Pandolfini's recent book of fifty games of solitaire chess (he picked his favorites from Chess Life) is great for practicing my thought process.

For those who haven't read Pandolfini's column in Chess Life (I allowed my USCF membership to expire partly because I am sick of that awful magazine), each game is set up as follows. First, he describes the first few moves of the game, and the game's historical significance. Then, you have to pick the next move. On the following page is a column of the moves actually played, and the number of points you get if you picked the right one (the move actually played in the game). Hence, you are supposed to cover up the column, and work your way down the moves, accumulating points for each right answer. Many moves are discussed in more detail on the following page, where he awards bonus points if you considered and rejected certain plans. In my limited experience so far, the book is excellent because it rewards thinking deeply about each move, thinking through moves to quiescence, and attempts to play plan-based chess. Plus, the little competitor in me stays motivated because I want to get a high point total! :)

Since I have so little time right now, and am working through Wolff's book, I may make it Precircle 3 (!) to work through 25 games of solitaire chess. This will help to burn Chessplanner into my synapses so that in real games, I will think less about thinking and more about the pieces.

Hat tip to Patrick for suggesting this book as a good way to practice applying a thought process in a game-like situation. It fits the bill swimmingly.


Blogger Edwin 'dutchdefence' Meyer said...

That Pandolfini book sure sounds interesting...

3/16/2006 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger funkyfantom said...

After I graduated Pandolfini, I moved on to Graeme Buckley. I am still there and loving it.

3/17/2006 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger Calvin said...

I have that book too. Really good. Hadn't thought of using it for chessplanner or the like. good idea...

3/17/2006 11:09:00 PM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

Is the increase in work a temporary factor or a permanent one?

3/18/2006 04:44:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Tempo, it is likely permanent.

Last night, though, I played for many hours at ICC. I hope to be able to play at minimum once a week while doing Precircle 2.

3/18/2006 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger sciurus said...

That sounds good. I am trying something similar with an annotated game collection which helped me quite a bit. There is no point system in "normal" game collections, though, which sounds like a good motivation to think every move through.

3/20/2006 12:13:00 PM  

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