Have you ever read a chess book like you would your favorite novel…not wanting to miss a word for fear that a later detail would have added more substance to the story? Today I hear all the rave about database this and database that, but if you came up in the days of reading books, there is something you can do that database junkies can’t do. Go back and reread your favorite chess books. Mine had folded page edges, highlighting, coffee stains, snapped spines, heck one book was in three pieces and the 1st 64 pages are missing. 2 of my favorite books are in descriptive notation!! When I 1st read these books I had to set the board up to see and solve the combinations. When I read them today I don’t need to set the board up and I can spot the errors that occur so frequently in old analysis. Rereading an old chess book is like taking a test and finding out that while you can answer more questions, you still don’t have all the answers!!
white to move
The thing databases don’t do is they don’t explain anything. Why did 2900 choose this move while 1100 chose this move? I know there’s only 15 games with that move but white won 80% even though the engine says =/+.
So if you’re going to improve your thinking not just your memory someone is going to have to talk to you! You can’t get or follow GM advice by exclusively using a computer!
Today’s cupcakes disdain books. That is their Achilles Heal. Databases and your computer are not raw materials. Only material that explains what’s going on is raw material. Thought and action will transform it into a little bit the same and a little bit different for everyone!
Want Raw material for your chess success, re read your favorite book on chess! You’ll find that you’ve come a long way and there’s still a long way to go. Burn the Midnight Oil!!