Grivas Training: Getting to Know Ourselves

2/13/2011 – Young chess players need to be able to identify the assets and weaknesses of their chess personalities. Many trainers and trainees have wondered how this can be done properly. The basic resource are one's recent games, which are used to produce an "X-ray image" of one's chess-self. GM Efstratios Grivas, a world-class trainer, tells us how to go about it, in Part 2 of his lecture series.

Training by GM & FST Efstratios Grivas

Schedule – Hamburg, 22.01.2011

10:30-10:50

Physical and Psychological Factors; Getting to know Ourselves

11:00-11:50
Building a Repertoire; Chess Literature
12:00-12:50
Activity of Bishops and Knights
Break
 
14:00-14:50
The Backward Pawn
15:00-15:50
The Art of Exchanges
16:00-16:50
The Golden Rules of the Endgame; How to Think in Endgames

The aim of this series of lectures is to enable participants to teach young and gifted players in schools and chess clubs, and to educate trainers and chess teachers not only in their own countries but also on an international basis.


Successful chess trainer GM Efstratios Grivas


Training session in the ChessBase office with young talents from Germany


Attentive students: FM Hagen Poetsch, 19, and Jonas Lampert, 13


IM Elisabeth Pähtz, 26, the highest ranked female player in Germany


WIM Melanie Ohme, 20, the poster girl for German chess


WGM Marta Michna, formally from Poland, now playing for Germany

The material started to develop in early 2004 and was used Grivas' personal training sessions, where he developed a system based on serious sport (chess is treated like a sport) and chess material (focusing on middlegame and endgame). "I use this material to make my students understand that health and other sport assets are valuable for a chess player's improvement, and not just never-end analysis in openings," says Stratos (as his friends call him). "For example in Turkey, where I am working on my program, all my trainees exercise some physical activity in accordance with their chess education." Since middle of 2006, when he started training youthful Turkish talents, three players have made their grandmaster norms and two more are close to this goal. And a number of IMs have also arisen in the process.

Trainers (and players) all over the world can use the series presented on the ChessBase news page freely. Any question can be addressed directly to the author: GrivasEfs (at) yahoo.co.uk.


Getting to Know Ourselves

By GM Efstratios Grivas

It is essential to become acquainted with ourselves chesswise so as to be able to identify and codify the assets and weaknesses of our chess personality. Many trainers and trainees have asked me how this can be done properly. Well, as when you ‘feel the pain’ you make the necessary examinations to identify the problem, the same you should do with your chess!

But how can this be done? Our basic source shall be the recent games we have played so far. We must re-examine this valuable and important material (yes, you should write down all your games!) and produce an 'X-ray' image of our chess-self. This examination must include all three parts of the game, opening, middlegame and endgame, for each of our games.

Starting with the opening, we shall fill up two charts, one for the white and one for the black pieces. These charts will provide very clear-cut information about ourselves (provided of course that we do this work with strong self-criticism) and will show how well we understand the openings we have chosen or, in the bottom line, whether these openings really suit our style (difference between opening outcome and game result). The bigger the sample, the more accurate the conclusions (it is advisable to twice photocopy the following – one for white / one for black).

Opening examination
Games with white
Opening outcome
Game result
  Opponent
Rating 
Opening

+

=

1

½

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

  Totals            

Opening examination
Games with black
Opening outcome
Game result
  Opponent
Rating 
Opening

+

=

1

½

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

  Totals            

In the ‘Opening outcome’ column, ‘+’ means that we got a better position in the opening, ‘=’ means that we had an about equal position in the opening and ‘–‘ means that we did not really knew the opening or just that we got a bad position out of it. It is advisable that you should fill the charts alone and then ask the help of a trainer in case you feel uncertain or simply you need a second opinion. Here is an example of how to fill up these charts:

Opening examination
Games with white
Opening outcome
Game result
  Opponent
Rating 
Opening

+

=

1

½

0

1

Shirov,Alexei

2732

Sicilian Defence

Χ

Χ

2

Gelfand,Boris

2690

King’s Indian

Χ

Χ

3

Next, we shall move on to a similar chart in order to examine our performance in the middlegame. This chart will contain our games with both white and black, and requires (as usual) a sample of at least 40 games (20 with white and 20 with black pieces) to produce reliable results.

Middlegame Examination

Games with white and black
Handling
Game result
  General type Middlegame type
+
=
1
½
0
1  Strategy Open position
2 Semi-Open position
3 Closed position
4  Tactics Attack against the king
5 Defence of the king
6 Combinative play
  Totals            

An example of how to fill up the middlegame chart:

Middlegame Examination

Games with white and black
Handling
Game result
 
General type
Middlegame type
+
=
1
½
0
1  Strategy Open position

4

2

0

5

0

1

2 Semi-Open position

2

3

3

3

2

3

3 Closed position

0

3

3

0

0

6

4  Tactics Attack against the king

5

0

0

5

0

0

5 Defence of the king

1

0

4

1

1

3

6 Combinative play

6

2

2

5

4

1

  Totals

18

10

12

19

7

14

We will then work similarly to create our endgame chart:

Endgame Examination

 
Games with white & black
Handling of the endgame
Result of the game
 
Endgame type

+

=

1

½

0

1

Pawn endgame

2

Queen endgame

3

Rook endgame

4

Bishop endgame

5

Knight endgame

6

Combinations of the above

  Totals            

After completing this work we will have a much clearer picture of both our weaknesses and our strengths. It is recommended to repeat this process at frequent intervals, provided of course that we have gathered enough material from recent games. In this way we can evaluate our improvement or discover other hidden aspects of ourselves.

Grivas lecture series


Efstratios Grivas

Efstratios Grivas is a grandmaster and highly experienced chess trainer and chess author.

e lives in Athens, and he is also a FIDE Senior Trainer (Secretary of the FIDE Trainers' Commission), an International FIDE Chess Arbiter and an International FIDE Chess Organizer. He has represented his country on a great many occasions, winning the fourth position in the World Junior Championship 1985, an individual gold medal at the 1989 European Team Championship and an individual silver medal at the 1998 Olympiad.

In 2010 he was awarded the worldwide highly important FIDE TRG Awards – the Boleslavsky Medal (best author) for 2009.

Copyright Grivas/ChessBase, photos by Frederic Friedel


Feedback and mail to our news service Please use this account if you want to contribute to or comment on our news page service



Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register