Thursday, October 25, 2007

It's OK. I'm not a Professional - nor do I play one on TV.

Q: What's the difference between a Professional Chess Player and Large Cheese Pizza?

A: A Large cheese Pizza can feed a family of four.

All this talk lately about opening preparation with chessbase ( which is awesome... and if I had the time, of course I'd like to emulate my Hero Gary Kasparov...of which it's going on 2 weeks since I washed the hand that shook the hand when he was in Boston...but enough of the digression) has me feeling YET AGAIN, that there is ANOTHER part of my game I can improve. Then I got to thinking that the tool I do use, Bookup is adequate for my opening preparation because .... not to surprise anyone here... I am not a professional chess player. I get a little annoyed by Mike Leahy ( proprietor of the software) when he comes up with a new and improved version and insists I transition. I refused the last round of updates... I may live to regret but I don't care. I also get annoyed at myself for falling into the hype being generated over "novel" approaches. Sorry, I refuse to feel left out of this one.

I go with what works for me. I am transitioning from pure Rote memorization of lines to more of an understanding of where my openings are heading. Long story short, a couple years ago I stumbled on book that was a treatise on an opening system ( the London). A system versus a full blown opening variation, is one of much less theoretical understanding and more of a positional understanding and targets piece placement. This being a simple opening to understand and learn, I learned it from the bottom up. I could see the positions that would arise from typical responses and "knew" how to handle Black's responses rather well. Last year I transitioned from that system because as "simple" as it was... it too was a simple one to defend. But the way i learned it was novel to me.

I used Bookup to import games. I found the program easy to import PGN games and all. Plus there was an actual bookup book that was on the London. I added to the "canned" data base ocncepts from the books I had and off I went. I used the training mode to first work on depth and secondly to work on variations. I liked the training mode in Bookup over chess base and stuck with it.

Fast forward to what I have today. I have a separate book that I MADE for each of my 1.e4 openings, and defenses as black. I put MY OWN annotations in and check it with the "Starting out" series or even verify it with Chess base search on positions. Yes that can be tedious but since I have my repertoire base already established in Bookup, I didn't see the value add of transitioning to Chess base and re-entering all my lines again. I have to pick and choose what I do with my study time carefully.

Besides, Openings is not where I lose most of my games. I'm still tactically deficient despite the seven circles of hell and my continuing spin into further circles. I've learned that openings can provide a false sense of security but once exposed in the middle game, who's your daddy? Topic of a whole other post. Which I may continue... if I have the time.


Unknown said...

Interesting. I recently bought the upgraded Bookup and I am getting ready to start putting my correspondence games into it. They tend to be a bit more even tempered and might actually be a foundation for a repertoire. I use "The Chess Advantage in Black and White" as a start, supplemented by Chessbase (Big 2006 and Chess Mail correspondence "Mega Corr 4" CD".

Any thoughts on how to start? I'm a virgin at this, but am eager to start. Maybe you could do a post to help us virgins out?

transformation said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
transformation said...

lovely post. thank you george. your style is all your own, and this is beloved. i was tempted to change the photo, but instead my next post will lead off with a (as yet) secret GP rated photo you will love. dont even try to guess! warmest, dk

Glenn Wilson said...

I probably spend under 5% of my chess study time on openings.

I have Bookup and I like the software. I have a beta (Chess Opening Wizard!) of the new version which seems to let me add audio and video, but I have no current need for that.

I have some lines in Bookup and occasionally practice them in training mode (which is great). But I rarely get into games that are book lines. There are a few places where I really need to know some theory to justify playing certain lines that I play and Bookup is a great tool for that.

Blue Devil Knight said...

I heart bookup.

But mike leahy scares me.

Polly said...

Mike Leahy is a good salesman, but all the good sales pitches in the world don't help if one is too lazy to use what was sold to her. I have an old copy of the London System I bought from him. It's so old it's on a floppy disk!

BlunderProne said...

Harvey, I may have to get back to you on that. Email me personally if you are stuck.

DK, your spirit is boundless with energy of warmth.

Glenn, thanks for stopping by and sharing about Bookup.

BDK... I'm with you man!

Polly... I added you to my links. Thanks for stopping by.

CL .. I know you are out there... write on brother! Write on!


Mike Leahy - Bookup said...

Thanks, George.

No worries about using Bookup 2000 for the near future. You'll need to get Microsoft's patch for Vista to run Bookup's classic Help file though.

The new graphics and features in Chess Openings Wizard certainly aren't required to study more effectively. They just make the job easier, a bit faster, more effective and more enjoyable.

The real benefits of the new program will be more obvious when the ebooks begin incorporating audio annotation with animations. This is the best of DVD's and software combined.