Site hosted by Build your free website today!
Cox's Chess Journal

Notes on Study from Amateur's Mind

Silman's "Amateur Mind" is full of instructive thinking tidbits. Here is a good tip:

"When you accept laziness into your mental processes, it becomes a habit that's hard to break. Work hard from the very first moves!" --pg. 82

Continuing in my Study of "Amateur's Mind." Here is another good tip to mediatate on:

"Any class player will make great strides if he realizes that the control of individual squares is as important as any other stragey in the game." --pg. 193

Here is a nugget from "Amateur's Mind":

"Don't just develop pieces. You must make gains with every move!"--pg 236.

12.7.02 Here is another tidbit from "Amateur's Mind" that was meaningful to me:

"If you have a long range win, but dont have an immediate knockout, Stop ALL Enemy Counterplay" --Silman pg. 273.

12.8.02 I really NEED to consider my opponents plans better. If I dont I will never improve to the level I desire to attain.

12.9.02 "Listen! If serious chess means you need 30 minutes to find a solution to a problem, then that is time well spent. If you can't solve the position, at least you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you tried as hard as you could" --Silman pg. 284.

12.10.02 I got some revenge sparring with Fritz on the harder version today. I won a piece in the middlegame then converted to an ending where I ended up with a knight and pawn against 3 pawns and the better king position and converted this to a win. You can see this with diagrams HERE

12.11.02 I have finished the text of "Amateur's Mind" by IM Jeremy Silman. I highly recommend this book. In fact before beginning any kind of tactical training program this is a good book to study as it helps one to evaluate positions and think strategically which can only help you as your tactical strength increases. I am now doing the Tests section in "Amateur's Mind."

12.12.02 Here are some final tidbits that stood out for me from IM Silman in Amateur's Mind:

"The creation of a unified plan should always take place over a random gain of material." --pg. 335

"The side with more space should not exchange pieces." pg 343

"Queenside play usually bestows a better endgame upon its bestower. If your defending against a kingside attack (which requires several attacking units to succeed) an exchange of pieces weakens his attack and brings you closer to a promising endgame." pg. 373

"Keep your eye out for key moments in the struggle"

  • "A key moment has arrived if you are in charge of the game and sense it is time to search for a knockout blow"
  • "A key moment has arrived if you are poorly placed and need to find a move that gives you a new lease on life."
  • The exciting moves that often arise from key positions can be found only if you make a conscious decision to look for them. This means that you must turn off the autmoatic pilot and try to make the position conform to your will."

    I really enjoyed this book of Silman's. I highly recommend "Amateur's Mind" for the class player. It is the best chess book I have read thus far for the player wanting to improve. You will find quality instruction and Im sure some advice and tidbits that will take on special meaning and help you to improve your game.

    Conclusions on Phase 2:

    The following weaknesses are the most outstanding:

    1. Some calculation weakness (improving with tactics training)
    2. Not supressing opponent's counterplay when playing with advantage
    3. Tendency to overlook weak squares in my own camp
    4. Have some bad habits (e.g. laziness), like hurrying and not spending enough time analyzing key moments.
    5. I sometimes reject an idea for the wrong reasons because I am not analyzing deeply enough.

    I believe I have helped numbers 2 and 3 with this phase of my study program. Number 4 is going to take some real effort on my part. I have increased my chess knowledge and filled some gaping holes in my chess thinking. I am now ready for Phase 3.