Sunday, June 8, 2008

Susan Polgar On Chess

From Polgar: Whether live or Internet, everyone can improve their chess Lubbock Avalanche-Journal Sunday, June 08, 2008Story last updated at 6/8/2008 - 1:37 am Here are some of the most interesting questions of the week: Q: What do you suggest for a beginner to improve and become a better player? A: One of the first things I suggest you do is study middlegame tactics and endgame techniques. There are many tactical puzzle books that you can learn from. For the beginning level, I would recommend "World Champion's Guide to Chess." For the intermediate level, "Chess Tactics for Champions" would be more suitable. My recommendation is to start with 5-10 puzzles daily. As you get better and more efficient, you can increase to maybe 15-20 puzzles a day. These puzzles can be checkmate in 1 or 2 or tactics that involve pins, forks, discovered attacks, etc. If you have time, the more puzzles you solve, the better you will become. You should also work with basic endgames. This should help you tremendously. Good luck. Q: Do you recommend chess players play on the Internet? Does it help or hurt your chess? A: This is a very common question that has been asked many times. There are pros and cons in Internet chess. The Internet is a great blessing for many young players, players who do not live near a big city or players who do not have much time to play over the board due to various circumstances. Many top young players became very good partly because they had a chance to play hundreds of games against top-level competition daily. The same goes with the older players. They have a chance to practice new opening lines, learn new things, gain self confidence daily at their convenience and improve rapidly. That is very important. Some chess clubs are open only one day a week. Internet chess is 24/7. You can play against people around the world. That is quite exciting. These are some of the good things. However, with every benefit there's a flip side. Internet chess takes away the personal touch, the personal face-to-face interaction. Some people prefer to play over the board. In my opinion, if you use internet chess properly, you can benefit a great deal. However, you have to weigh the pros and cons of Internet chess and come to your own conclusion. Different servers offer different kinds of play. Sample them and choose what is best for you. Q: Will computers rule chess in the future? A: In my opinion, the answer is not a matter of if but a matter of when. Right now, the computer is already so much better than human in blitz chess and fast-time controls. It is like trying to outdo a calculator. But computers still need to improve in the area of positional chess and complex endgames. When those areas are perfected, there will no longer be any competition anymore. I don't think we should worry so much about that now. Even with the best computers in the world, it won't take anything away from chess. It will only enhance the game. If you are worried about that, you can always try random chess. Keep those questions coming by sending me an e-mail at a You can also find a lot of information on the SPICE Web site or my daily chess blog

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