woensdag 20 februari 2008

Two propositions

After my "wet dream" comment on DK Transformations post, I received form three sources the Chessbase files with all positions from Polgars "5334 problems, Combinations, and Games". The first one from someone who prefers to stay anonymous, the second from one of the knights and the third from Blue Devil Knight, who gave me a link to a source still available on the Internet. To all of them I want to express my gratitude and appreciation.

Both the anonymous sources also gave me chessbase files of Polgars Middlegame Brick. But these files are not complete. although I got several versions they all appear to come from the same source, because all of them contain only the first 1.000 positions.

Therefor I would like to make the following proposition to anyone who is interested and willing to put some time into creating a great file to practice your combinational skill. If we can find 10 people who are all willing to put in the effort of transferring 500 positions with solutions of the middlegame brick into chessbase, we can share these files and create a complete electronic version of the middlegame brick.

furthermore I propose to make files that help with training visualisation. I think a lot of us could benefit from training with positions in which the next 6 to 8 moves are given. These moves are not to be played however. You have to visualise them. As soon as the given notation stops there is a winning move. This move you have to find yourself. Again these positions will be made available in chessbase format.

A great source for games from which we could extract these positions, would be the under 12 section from a national youth champions tournament. These games are almost all decided by tactical means which are not very complicated. If we can form a group of ten, and everybody does 50 exercises, we again would create great training material for each other. I will provide the games. It will not be much work to make an exercise. You scan a game with an chessengine, and go to the last move before the decisive move (the move that has the changes the computers evaluation the most). This is the last move of the sequence given in the exercise. From that position you go back 6 to 8 moves, to get the starting position of the exercise. I would make exercises for myself this way, if making the exercises would not frustrate solving them (because I would have allready seen the solution). Therefor sharing is essential! Anyone who is interested can email me. I also would welcome other suggestions to make practice and trainingmaterial, by email, or in a comment.

17 opmerkingen:

transformation zei

great idea.

you will believe me when i thought of this days ago, but hadnt as yet had a proper moment to write you: get persons to render segments into cbv files, and everyone consolidate to you.

second, i am a serious chess student, with little that i have not seen in person directly, or at least heard of.

yet this book is not well known in the United States, where probably half your readers exist?

i have just checked. the first copy that i can find is at abebooks.com for US $62.00. even if someone somewhere can find a better price here in America, the truth is, this book is not available or, if it is, is just too expensive.

i dont doubt that it is very, very good.

but please tell us, how good is it? not to doubt it or you at all Phaedrus. but, again, just how good is it. please tell us.

what is in it that cannot be found from lots of other middlegame books?

perhaps it is like Gelfer's Positional Chess Handbook, only larger, better, more of? i pray so, then i must hunt it down.

please elaborate. i am interested in this project, for sure.

warmest, dk

Schereschevsky zei

I would like to collaborate.

I did a lot of little software to help me to train.

One of them was a "Talking" pgn.

You give me a pgn (with one or more games) and it does an output of .wav file with the moves.
For example "1.e4 Nf6 2.d4 Nxe4" the software will output a .was audio file saying "one, e 4, Knight f 6, two d 4, Knight takes e 4" and so on.

Phaedrus zei

Hello Schereschevsky and Transformation,

And then there were three! Thank you for taking op the challenge.

The Polgar book on middlegames (the exact title is "Chess: Middlegames") contains 4.000+ middlegame puzzles. The format of the book is not very user friendly. 6 puzzles a page, no explanation and answers in the back of the book. This book was put together by father Polgar in a period in which computers were not string enough to check the variations and evaluations, and later it became apparent that some of the solutions had flaws.

So why bother might you think. Well the collection has a lot of pluses to. The problems are categorized on theme and increase in difficulty. And quite a large number of puzzles is, though forcing, also quite positional.

The book was brought to my attention when I got stuck with the most brilliant pupil I ever had. The puzzles I could give him where no longer sufficiently challenging for him. Also one of the flaws in his play at that moment was that he played quit positions and would win most of the time because he would find every small tactic his opponent allowed.

This made him very successful in youth championships (he was twice national champion in the under 14 section), but it hindered him in his games with more experienced and stronger competition (to many draws).

I was advised to give him puzzles out of this book, because it contained a lot of puzzles that were sufficiently complex to strain him, and force him to calculate sharp.

This approach was a great success. I gave him the book and a year later he almost qualified for the finals of the national senior championships, beating an IM and a GM on the way in minimatches. He was eliminated because he lost a thrilling blitzgame in the final round against a GM). In this tournament he played in a style that was compared by many to Tall.

The best thing about transfering the puzzles and solutions of "Chess: middelgames" in a chessbase format, is that the disadvantages suddenly are turned into advantages. Ebooks are best when they are essentially puzzlebooks. The format allows you to be active and come up with your own suggestions and variations and compare them with the solution or the engine when the solution doesn't mention the variation you come up with.

So what I might be trying to say here Transformation, is that it is not as much a great book, but that it (paradoxically) does contain great material, begging as it were to be transferred into a really great ebook.

I am not sure that I get precisely what Schereschevsky is proposing with his audio-files. But it appears to be a suggestion that the variations used for the visualisation exercisers could be spoken out, instead of displayed in a window. If this is what he is suggesting, I think that it would be a cool feature, but not one that is absolutely necessary for the exercises I have in mind.

Schereschevsky zei

My coach said me once, that he used to train a GM on deep visualization with the following technique:

The set up a position on the board, the GM concentrates on the position and only on that. Then the coach start to "talk" a sequence of moves, a lot of them. Then the GM, that never interrupted his concentration, has to give the winning move.

He told me that it will be a very different excercise is the GM has to "read" the moves. Not also it distract concentration, but also more important is that in a game, you are not reading moves, you are just looking at the board. Thats why someone has to talk the moves. A computer can do that.

Is that excercise what you are thinking of ?

Phaedrus zei

Hi Schereschevsky,

I must admit I never thought about the difference between listening and reading, but it does make sense. listening will probably be more like tiniking in a game than reading.

It reminds me though of a situation at my office. One day a guy at the office was really upset by the noise and chattering. It made it impossible for him to concentrate. After a a while he couldn't take it anymore and shouted out: "Please everybody, be quiet, I cant even hear myself think anymore". After this it was completely silent untill someone said: "Well Adrian, I don't know if in your case this is a problem."

transformation zei

thank you. understood.

now the matter of the book. copying it and sending is too expensive, it is agreed? do you have sources for it there in europe or suggest a source here? to do this, those of us that except need a physical copy...

4158 positions. so, how is this best divided up? 10* 416= 4,160. not many persons will be able to discipline themselves for this. you or i can, i know, but... your average person?

thank you again, and greatly appreciated that you have the mental and social initiative that you have.

warmest, dk

Phaedrus zei

Hi transformation,

I saw that the book is available in europe for prices around € 30,-
But with the dollar in decline for US citizens that is still a steep price for this book. If I see a good bargain for you I will send you an email.

For as far as transfering the content to an ebook is concerned, don't forget that I allready have the first 1000 positions and solutions as a chessbase file. So it is now 1000 down 3.160 to go.

And supose, just supose, we find 10people who are willing to join this project. How may positions can you do in an hour. I would think 75. So doing 300 would be 4 hours of work to get and share a unique ebook.

A lot of people can do this, but do they have the book?

tcoem zei

Aren't you worried about any copyright's?

By the way, i have a question for you which i will email you if thats okay by you.

Phaedrus zei

Hi Tcoem,

Thank you for raising this issue. It is most relevant, because I think that coyrights should be respected. But I don't think that copyrights are really at stake here for the following reasons:

1. The middlegame brick is a collection of gamefragments, so there is no copyright on the positions or on the gamescore that is given as the mainbranch of the solution

2. There are very few sidebranches to the gamescore (mainline) in the book, and I strongly suspect that these were taken from other sources (game analysis e.g.) by Polgar himself.

3. This is not about commercial or unlimmited distribution. It is about a combined effort to make a collection of gamefragments and sharing the results

4. The book is out of print and out of stock.

I think 1 and 2 deal primarily with legal issues and 3 and 4 with the moral issues.

As far as anyone thinks that there is a flaw in my reasoning, I would appreciate it very much if he would speak up. Because, as stated earlier, I most certainly do take copyrights issues seriously.

Phaedrus zei

Hi Tcoem,

Of course you are free to email me. Send your mail to chesstrainer.phaedrus@gmail.com

transformation zei

i have ordered this from the UK. not sure if i will actually get it at the shipment price mentioned, but never bought a book on line 'overseas'.

lets see what happens.

as for copywrite issues. forget it. everyone will own this book.

think of all the Ossimitz books available on line. for most, like me, we own all these books already but simply want study tools.

i dont know if we will succeed in getting ten persons to do this, but whether we do or not, i am starting.

75 seconds per problem is way too optimistic. dont these games have player names, dates, tournement locations? and, it must be done right.

at 3 minutes per position (ok, call it 2 minutes if you must), then this is 20 positions per hour, maybe 30. so lets call it 25.

320 positions (4,160-1,000=3.2k)* 10 puts us full.

320+25 = 13 hours. no big deal.

warmest, dk

ps, totally agreed. entering the positions then looking at them is probably better than HAVING THEM!

transformation zei

320/25= 13 HOURS

Phaedrus zei


I completely forgot to include the time necessary for entering names, dates etc. Tranformations estimation therefor seems to be the most realistic.

Sir Piño zei

Hello Phaedrus,

I would like to participate. I own the middlegame and endgame book. I will email you so you can contact me.

Phaedrus zei

Thank you Sir Pino. If we were to start now we would have to do 750 each. Two more Knights and the number is down to 500.

transformation zei

the systematic part of me--and it is a very large part of me--is inclined to say lets get fifteen or twenty, not seven.

but as i wrote you privately, we dont need more bodies, but ten accurate persons. the consequences of error here are significant, and we need ten serious participants, who will enforce perfection we each others benefit.

increasing participant starts to
have 'diminishing returns' but ten is a good clean number, with clarity.

the issue is NOT can seven do it (it can) but that IF we are at an impass, are reassured that seven could pull it off, but is not to say that it is ideal, we all agree?

warmest, dk

transformation zei

question: i am finishing translating twenty Informant Endings, The Pearl in Endings, Part One link from chess Cafe, and The Pearl in Endings, Part Two with not only positions, but all variations in detail.

early on, i had to create several postions, but latter on, found most of them in my 3,000,000 game database in chessbase (surely not the latest megabase, but last three years updated at week in chess carefully...).

do all your participants have at least a 3M game database? for finding games will greatly reduce labor in F2 or game data entry, as distinct from 'postion set up' only!

sorry, but i am getting excited and the planner in me is in ascent here.

warmest, dk