Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Powerplay 10 Calculation - GM Daniel King

I'm always looking for fresh ways to study tactics ... As the tactics puzzles I attempt to solve get more difficult I realise I am still lacking considerably in my calculation skills! To remedy this, I recently purchased a copy of Dan King's Powerplay 10 Calculation (DVD).

The lesson's start with Dan introducing 5 complex chess positions where the student is asked to choose between a course of action. E.g. "In this position, is it safe for White to take the knight on a6?" The student is then asked to go away and spend some time solving the problems. Dan advises you to use a board (as he does) to play through the positions. I personally thought it might be a useful discipline to play through the variations in my head as far as possible, because this is what I will have to do in a real game. I managed to spot most of the tactical ideas in the positions shown, but made a couple of astoundingly bad oversights! I therefore need to practice looking at EVERYTHING! I am also very guilty of stopping my analysis after 3 or 4 moves for each player which really isn't good enough for some of these positions.

Having done my own analysis - it was refreshing to see how a Grandmaster i.e. Dan King went about solving the same set of problems. He was totally thorough and objective - a lot more so than me. Like a dog with a bone he persisted in analysing each variation and some subvariations in great detail leaving no stone unturned. It was also quite interesting to see what extent intuition played in his analysis as well ...

So far as I can see, these lessons from a Grandmaster are excellent at making you think with the right mindset. There are over 4 hours of study on this DVD and I think that if you need to improve calculation as most of us do, then this is a great training tool. I thoroughly recommend Powerplay 10 - Calculation !

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