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A little training game to solve a common problem

Here is an idea for players who have a tendency to give up on solving (Critical Moment thinking – view it like a math problem, you cannot guess, you have to work it out) and just make a move. I did this with Sam Shankland over the holidays and we found it quite entertaining. (Especially in the beginning, before he tired out entirely!)

I would give him not too difficult problems and 20 minutes on the clock. If he got it right, plus one point. If he got it wrong, he would crash out with a total of zero points. In the beginning he crashed out a lot, with maybe 3-4 points. Because he was losing concentration and guessing. This is of course very human in a six hour day, but if you manage to keep your concentration level high for many hours, you will also keep it for the twenty minutes where you feel you have a big chance in your tournament game…

In the position below, from a recent game from Catalonia, he actually decided to run his time out, as he did not solve it correctly. You can have a go if you like, but it is nothing remotely close to easy.

Black to play and win!

You can find the solution here.

  1. dieus
    January 12th, 2018 at 09:59 | #1

    So work and again work is the secret!
    I found after 2-3 minutes thinging the solution of the diagram!

    • Jacob Aagaard
      January 13th, 2018 at 07:43 | #2

      No secrets, but yes. Work on your strengths and weaknesses.

  2. Frank van Tellingen
    January 13th, 2018 at 11:30 | #3

    I find that rather hard to believe, but who knows. If Jacob writes it is not easy, it most certainly contains a few nasty things one tends to overlook. @dieus

  3. Abhinav Dubey
    February 2nd, 2018 at 02:51 | #4

    Sir, can you please suggest a book for interesting positions which can be useful for training games?

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