13 Comments

After reading Kuljasevic's book on 'How to Study Chess on Your Own' (he calls these simulations, as opposed to Solitaire Chess), this is something I've been more aware of, and have done on and off - but especially in the last month or so have been trying to make a habit off doing at least as much simulation work as I do exercises.

Apart from playing itself, this is really the closest thing you can get to playing a real game.

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As for selecting a player to follow, there are many. I would recommend Paul Keres. He had a beautiful attacking style and he was one of the great chess writers.

His chess autobiography "Grandmaster of Chess" contains many deeply annotated games arranged in chronological order, giving lucid insight into how a great chess master thinks.

The book is one of the jewels of chess literature, but sadly rather overlooked these days. Yet you will never go wrong taking Paul Keres as your chess hero and model.

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Lucas Chess has IMHO the best version of this. Train / Games / Play Like a Grandmaster. Choose the player whose game you wish to go through. You can even import your own! Why use your own? Lucas Chess doesn't just give you right/wrong on your guess, but whether it's better or worse than the original move. Improve on your own moves!

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Note: the original volume by Keres was later converted to algebriac and edited by John Nunn. It was issued as two volumes: Road to the Top and Quest for Perfection. So those are the volumes to get.

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Nice post, I'll definitely try this out. What's the dedicated chessbase feature you mentioned?

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CS Purdy used to advocate this type of chess improvement a lot. He said it was like having three chess masters helping you - the two players and the annotator.

There are lots of high-tech and fancy chess improvement methods available today. I'm not knocking them, they can help.

But in spite of all of them, a book of well-annotated games, a piece of card (to hide the moves) and our own brain is still one of the simplest and best methods to improve our chess understanding.

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If the purpose of solitaire chess is to develop analysis skill, isn't it better to analyse your own games?

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I have a book titled "Solitaire Chess" by I. A. Horowitz. It has a bunch of selected games from different masters. I agree that this is excellent training.

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I am glad to read this post concerning the benefits of solitaire chess. I really enjoy using the Chessbase dedicated feature

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HIARCS has also a "guess the move" feature (macOS users can get HIARCS, but not Chessbase).

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Great stuff, thanks for the post Nate! While I feel like it’s a commonly touted training method among titled players, I don’t often see much work done on the specific “do’s and don’ts” of solitaire.

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