Takchess Chess Improvement

A Novice chessplayer works to get better at chess using an improvement program based upon the methods of Michael de la Maza and the teachings of Dan Heisman

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

300 positions

I had a week at the beach and brought a stack of chess books to read. My earlier goal was to read My System by Nimzovitch during this time and get away from studying
tactics. I found this to be too heavy reading for the beach and ended up reading from 2 books.

The Chess Training Pocket Book: 300 Most Important Positions and Ideas by Lev Alburt and a book on checkmates by Robertie.

I really like the Alburt book which is pocket sized with the left page containing 4
position and the right side page containing the answers and a paragraph on each position. Unlike a typical tactic book there is much more variety: simple pawn vs king endgame positions, position where it seems intuitive to take a piece but doing so would lead to losing material, quiet moves, simple checkmate nets and more complex ones. They are hand chosen by Alburt to contain 300 positions that he feels
are the most important to know. This is the closest thing I know of as to someone creating a set of flashcards for the most important positions.

300 positions is a number that has some significance. According to the book GM-Ram,
Russian Chess Folklore says there are 300 positions contain the essential knowledge one needs to be a grandmaster. The debate of course what are those 300 positions. Gm-Ram contains the collection of about 250 positions that Ziyatdinov feels are important without any discusions about them. You are to study them on your own. The first 130 are endgame position and the balance are middlegame positions.

Perhaps there is value in doing fewer tactics and studying them deeper: Stoyko exercizes. I may incorporate some simple endgame studies into my circles.

I like Roberties writing very much. His books have good illustrative games,lots of positions simply explained. One thing I picked up is the Boden-Kieseritzky Gambit.


I have played this before in games without knowing the name and can be derived from the Petrov as well. It leads to some interesting open positions. Here is a link to the game listed in the Robertie book that leads to a Legal style Mate in 9 moves.


Good luck with J'adoube reading of De Groots book . If ever a chess book needed cliff notes this is the one. I'll be interested in reading his post on this.

Hope to write a post on my latest thoughts the MDLM Experience soon but want to get
more tactics done first.


  • At 7:18 PM, Blogger King of the Spill said…

    >>a week at the beach

    Ooo that sounds nice. Those books sound really good, too.

  • At 2:44 AM, Blogger takchess said…

    Ooo two weeks at chess tournament
    in Holland .That sounds nice !


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