As you may already know, I conducted a live “Ask Me Anything (AMA) event” on the RCA Facebook page on 15 August. I conducted this event to celebrate the release of our new course “Winning the Middlegame” (released on the 17th). If you missed it, you can check the Facebook post here and go through the questions asked by our students.
I was on roll as I answered the students’ questions for about 2 hours. I had to make sure I answer almost every single question and to do so properly – to provide you with the right answer and the tips/advise for YOUR improvement.
Yet, unfortunately, I was not able to answer a few questions and I missed a few questions as some students posted their questions directly in our FB page instead of following the “procedure” to comment down the event post. Therefore, I’ve decided to answer the unanswered questions today!
Let’s go to the questions right away:
It’s better to study with chess board + book, but I know you’ll use ‘chessbase’ anyway, don’t you?
The good thing about using real chess board is that it somehow provokes you to think. While observing a game using software, you are enticed to press ‘forward arrow’ and scroll through the game too quickly.
On a positive side, computer engine can help you see the lines and evaluation. Therefore, you can check if your ideas are right or wrong.
Any opening is good when a good player plays it.
Objectively speaking, both London and Colle systems deviate from the fundamental chess principles. Thus, these are not the most powerful openings.
However, it’s easy to study and play such openings. White plays the same moves against almost any replies of Black. That’s why some players prefer to play London/Colle.
In my view ‘London system’ is a bit dull. GMs make jokes about it, saying that ‘White is fighting for a draw’.
I would recommend that you play Colle. People commonly consider ‘d4-e3-c3’ pawn setup to be ‘Colle opening’
It’s not bad, but I would rather recommend that you fianchetto your queen-side bishop – it’s more aggressive.
You may hope to get a position as shown in the above diagram in the middlegame. White has good prospects in the king-side attack.
Trompowsky Attack violates one of the opening principles, and therefore can’t be really dangerous for Black. Any logical response will give a good position for Black, for instance 2…Ne4, 2…d5, 2…e6.
I like 2…d5 variation, as it’s both solid and active. If you would like to study it seriously, check out the course “The Grandmaster’s Openings Laboratory“.
Black to play
4…Nc6 looks good to me. In case of 5.fe you’ve got an unpleasant surprise for your opponent – 5…Nd4! And White is struggling.
Now, just find that guy and challenge him again. You’ll beat him badly!
Some of my foreign friends think that I manufacture ‘Smirnoff vodka’, and this is my recipe for relaxation.
On a serious tone, I do physical sport, reading, communication with family, strolling through the park, etc. Aside from that, I’m a big fan of self-improvement topic, and it energizes me a lot.
Also, there are some psychological tips for chess players specifically. But on the top of all that, it’s your life philosophy that matters the most.
Finally, I’ve already written a whole book ‘Champion psychology’ about this topic.
Hi Philip, it’s nice to hear from you again! Thanks for your nice words!
I plan to update the RCA website and make it mobile friendly. Hopefully, we’ll launch the update within a month.
As for the courses, I will definitely strive to adapt future courses to mobile devices. Not sure if it’s worth the effort for the past courses… Will you really review them once again in case they start working on mobile devices?
It’s a very good question, although it’s really HUGE, almost like “How to play chess?” question
If you are tight in budget, however, check out my free videos about preventing blunders. This is a very good point to start from, while buying your thinking algorithm.
Although I’m a chess coach, in your case, frankly, I would recommend that you opt for a standard job (not related to chess). For a beginner-level player, it’s hard to make living from chess.
Still, you’ll be able to devote a few hours for your chess study before or after your work. Start from the course “The Grandmaster’s Secrets”. You’ll see improvement within a few months of training. Once your chess level gets higher, you’ll be able to shift to chess playing/coaching.
Also, you may give it a try and apply for a job at RCA: http://chess-teacher.com/career/ We are constantly growing, and from time to time there are new open vacancies.
Note: questions 10 and 11 meets the same answer.
Q10: What’s the best way to analyze my games – Ahmed Seif
Q11: Hi sir, I want to know the study plan for intermediate player ( how we can proceed further)..as i am stuck around 1600+ rating on chess.com and not able to increase. some times it got inscreased by 1750 but again i came back to 1600, now there is no improvement in my rating…:( can you suggest some good book resources and a details structure for how i should study and from where i should study..??? so that it can enhance our skills..I think every body have this question that how they have to proceed from an intermediate level to advance level player. – Kanhaiya Gupta
With very few exceptions, most of the players at your level suffer for lack of proper coaching/guidance. As a result, you suffer from unstable results.
I developed a complete course dedicated to effective self-training, it’s called “Self-taught Grandmaster”
If you are tight in budget, study the free mini-course “Chess Training Plan for Rapid Improvement”.
GMs often use a few engines while analysing openings. Each engine has its style, and one may hope to find new or unexpected opening moves for an opponent. However, for your needs it’s absolutely enough to use 1 engine.
Not sure if I got your question about depth/speed. Anyway, you may pick ANY engine. Stockfish, Houdini, Rybka etc… – don’t worry, they all are good.