Chess Improvement – the Old and the New
An age old question I ask myself if “what if chess talents of yesteryears like Bobby Fischer had access to modern tools today like chess engines, chess databases, table bases, computers etc, how much stronger would they become or would that have made no difference?”
One thing that cannot be denied : You can make improvement in your chess abilities via the modern and traditional method.
Modern vs Traditional
Modern ways using chess engines, online chess coaches, online chess tactics exercise, online games.
Traditional ways are: reading chess books, face to face coaches, face to face over the board sparring.
• Accessibility – With modern technology, it is easier than ever to access a variety of chess resources. Through the internet, players can access chess engines, online chess coaches, online chess tactics exercise, and online games.
• Variety – With modern technology, players have access to a wide variety of chess resources, which can be tailored to their individual needs.
• Convenience – With modern technology, players can access these resources from the comfort of their own home.
• Cost – Many online resources are free, or very low cost, making them more accessible to players of all levels.
• Dependence – Players may become overly reliant on modern technology, losing the ability to think for themselves.
• Insufficient understanding – Players may not fully understand the material they are presented, leading to ineffective study and improvement.
• Technical issues – Technical issues with the internet or computer hardware can lead to frustration and wasted time. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if you are tech savvy and this will become a non-issue.
Modern technology can be highly effective, if used correctly. It is important to find the right balance between using modern technology and traditional methods. If used judiciously, modern technology can be a powerful tool in improving your chess abilities.
• Experienced Instructors – Instructors have a wealth of experience, and can provide direct instruction and feedback on what players are doing right, and wrong. They know which path is effective and not because they themselves have taken the pains to have tried them.
• Focus – Traditional methods require players to focus on the task at hand, rather than being distracted by the convenience of modern technology.
• Engagement – Players are more engaged in the process when studying via traditional methods.
• Cost – Traditional methods can be expensive, due to the cost of face to face coaches and books. That is why I am not surprised talking to some top juniors at a Malaysian tournament and them responding they have no coaches! Not even online ones!
• Location – Traditional methods are often location dependent, meaning that players may not have access to the resources they need.
• Time – Traditional methods require more time than modern methods, as players must physically travel to coaches or bookstores.
Traditional methods can be an effective way of improving chess abilities. Experienced instructors can provide direct instruction and feedback, as well as a level of focus which modern methods can lack. However, players must be willing to invest the time and money required to take advantage of these methods.
Of course both the combination of old and new ways matter and is needed if one is to improve effectively. We just have to recognize the strengths of each and not be deficient in using any of them. For example, the younger ones may be totally focus on the modern methods and skip tradiitional ways and the older generation may shun the new tech. A balance must be struck.
Also there chess coaches are now better at packaging and including a potpourri of tools and materials for students to consume and improve their game. A good example of a company leveragin this technique to take advantage of the mass chess coaching market is Chessable. They provides a variety of resources such as:
Learning new openings and strategies: include a wide range of courses in the form of online reading materials covering different openings, strategies, and endgames. Players can expand their repertoire, gain a better understanding of the game’s fundamental principles, and learn how to tackle specific positions.
Memorizing chess patterns: Chessable uses a technique called spaced repetition to help players memorize key chess patterns, such as tactical motifs and endgame positions. By repeatedly reviewing these patterns over time, players can improve their ability to recognize and apply them in their games.
Practicing chess puzzles: Chessable has a large collection of chess puzzles of varying difficulty levels. By solving these puzzles, players can improve their tactical vision, sharpen their calculation skills, and learn how to spot common patterns and themes in chess.
Analyzing games: Chessable also allows players to upload and analyze their own games, or games played by other players. By analyzing these games, players can identify their weaknesses and strengths, learn from their mistakes, and improve their overall understanding of the game.
Overall, Chessable provides a variety of tools and resources that can help players improve their chess skills and increase their strength. However, it’s important to note that consistent practice and study are essential to making progress in chess.
Not trying to market or promote Chessable but just highlighting what works (Chessable is now pretty profitable!) and how independant coaches as well as students can copy and leverage such techniques.
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