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Modern Methods of Training in Chess - Part 2
Examining New Methods for Training Chess Players

Modern Methods of Training in Chess

Part Two

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Chess Training System

During my Higher Coaches school course I developed a training system with the aid of the chess software from Convekta Ltd. It turned out to be especially efficient for the players who failed to demonstrate their abilities and potential in a proper performance in competitions due to various reasons. This system was tested for the first time on Vladimir Yevelev (born 1983). I became acquainted with him in the beginning of 1998. He had an ELO rating of 2220 then., and I commented to him during our first meeting that he had much greater potential.

The first step was for Vladimir himself to compile a dossier on himself, this was to include a history of his chess experiences and his own comments. Next a working program was developed where the immediate, short term & long term aims and tasks were defined. The most important short-term goal was to achieve a performance level that made it possible to fulfill the FIDE requirements for the IM title in competitions. To this aim, we designed the schedule and its content and also arranged participation in various competitions, the work began.

Vladimir recollected later: "Luckily, I had only one option then - to trust this guy's experience and to use his methods. I never thought about these questions before. Partially, the training process included participation in some active chess tournaments with the time controls of 15, 10 and 5 minutes per game".

It was easy to work with Vladimir - there was less chess software about then, but what we had was simple to use and perfect in its quality.

Weekly Plan of Individual Studies in a Computer Class

Weekday

Hours

Theme and subject

Monday

 

 

 

2

studying openings with Chess Assistant

 

0.5

 

rest

 

1

solving the tactical positions with CT-ART

 

1

studying strategic problems with Strategy

Tuesday

 

 

 

2

solving studies with Studies

 

0.5

rest

 

1

playing chess against the programs Genius or Hiarcs

 

1

solving tactical tasks with CT-ART

Wednesday

 

 

 

1

studying strategic problems with Strategy

 

1

solving strategic examples and tasks using Strategy

 

0.5

rest

 

1

playing chess with Genius or Hiarcs

 

1

solving tactical positions with CT-ART

Thursday

 

 

 

2

studying openings with Chess Assistant

 

0.5

rest

 

1

solving studies with Studies

 

1

solving the tactical positions with CT-ART

Total

16

 

It is best when planning individual sessions to take into account the individual style of the player, his/her tournament performance and perspective tasks. We put the chess software to use by doing the following with it:

  • solving combinations;

  • solving studies (endgame-like positions with tactical content);

  • solving strategic tests;

  • studying typical middlegame positions;

  • studying typical schemes of attack against the adversary's king;

  • studying typical methods of play in opening;

  • elaborating on an opening repertoire and developing plans for the transposition into the middlegame.

The complexity of the tasks are arranged by strength and increase from 10 points (novice) to 90 points (master/GM level).

When starting this work back in 1998, our basic plan of chess learning sessions on the computer (one week, 4 academic hours per day) was as per the one presented above.

Subsequent tasks were formulated for Vladimir during the various stages of the training process over the next 2.5 years:

  • Short-term tasks - obtain the FIDE master title and achieve an ELO rating of 2300; One training year (01.1998 - 01.1999). The list of training sessions and tournaments scheduled is given below (table 2).

  • Intermediate tasks - achieving an ELO rating of 2400; the second year of training (01.1999 - 01.2000) and obtaining the IM title.

Schedule of V. Yevelev's training (1998)

January

 

February

 

March

 

April

 

May

 

June

 

1

 

1

 

1

 

1

 

1

 

1

 

2

 

2

 

2

 

2

 

2

 

2

 

3

 

3

 

3

 

3

 

3

*

3

 

4

 

4

 

4

 

4

 

4

 

4

 

5

 

5

 

5

 

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5

 

5

 

6

 

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7

 

7

 

7

 

7

*

8

 

8

 

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8

 

8

 

9

 

9

 

9

 

9

 

9

 

9

 

10

 

10

 

10

 

10

 

10

*

10

 

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*

15

 

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16

 

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*

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*

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19

*

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21

 

21

 

21

 

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22

 

22

 

22

 

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22

 

23

 

23

*

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24

 

24

 

24

 

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24

*

24

 

25

 

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*

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27

 

28

 

28

 

28

 

28

 

28

 

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*

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*

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29

 

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30

 

 

 

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30

 

30

 

30

 

31

 

 

 

31

 

 

 

31

*

 

 

(table continued)

July

 

August

 

September

 

October

 

November

 

December

 

1

 

1

 

1

 

1

 

1

 

1

 

2

 

2

*

2

 

2

 

2

 

2

 

3

 

3

 

3

 

3

 

3

 

3

 

4

 

4

 

4

 

4

*

4

 

4

 

5

*

5

 

5

 

5

 

5

 

5

 

6

 

6

 

6

 

6

 

6

 

6

*

7

 

7

 

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7

 

7

 

7

 

8

 

8

 

8

 

8

 

8

 

8

 

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*

9

 

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10

 

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10

 

10

 

11

 

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11

 

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*

11

 

11

 

12

 

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12

 

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13

 

13

 

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13

*

14

 

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15

 

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*

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*

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*

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27

 

27

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28

 

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29

 

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*

29

 

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31

 

31

 

 

 

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31

 

Legend

 

Tournament games; time control 2 hours per game and more

 

Active chess tournaments, 10 minutes per game, Central chess club - Wednesday

 

Tournaments, 5 minutes per game, Chess Club - Friday, Saturday

*

Active chess tournaments, 15 minutes per game, Central chess club - Sunday

 

Working with Convekta Ltd programs together with coach and at home

Then, following his father's advice, Vladimir Yevelev finally read an exciting book by A. Nimzowitsch called My System. He was astonished by the fact that the classicist's ideas are perfectly embodied in the chess programs Strategy 2.0 and Encyclopedia of Middlegame by Convekta Ltd. He succeeded in exploiting these ideas when he fulfilled his final IM norm.

V. Yevelev's long-term goal was to achieve all the IM norms and obtain an ELO rating of 2450 during the last half-year of training (01.2000 - 06.2000).

The dynamics of his changing ELO rating during two and half years was as following: 2220-2280-2327-2346-2352-2452.

The diagram below of V. Yevelev's rating displays (fig.1) pre-planned goals (dotted line) and achieved increase of rating (solid line).

In the period from June 1999 to January 2000, the plateau in his ELO graph is explained by a temporal abstinence from tournaments; here he concentrated his efforts mainly on analytical work and on the training process.

Similar tasks were put to Arthur Gabrielian (born 1982, now an IM). Taking into account his age, personal characteristics and features of temperament, we may say that the speed of his growth and the intensity of his studies were somewhat raised.

During two years of training with chess software Arthur's rating shot up to 2482! Training become more interesting for the chess players who entered the club later, it also became more sophisticated as Convekta Ltd started flooding the market with new software. By now the number of chess programs to pick from grew to around 20.

Below the characteristics of learning with the programs of Convekta Ltd are given, these ones being used in the training process this present day.

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