Mate in two problems

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
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Niall Doran
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Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:36 pm

Mate in two problems

Post by Niall Doran » Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:19 pm

Currently working through the Yusupov books, and currently on a chapter with mate in two problems where there is generally very reduced material on the board so you have to consider lots of possible moves. Yusupov feels it's a good way to improve calculation, and I know that a huge part of the Polgar tome is just mate in two problems.

The thing is, the positions are generally very artificial, and I'm wondering if there is really a benefit in doing them. Has anyone else found their chess improved from doing mate in two problems?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Mate in two problems

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:27 pm

Niall Doran wrote: The thing is, the positions are generally very artificial, and I'm wondering if there is really a benefit in doing them. Has anyone else found their chess improved from doing mate in two problems?
From a practical viewpoint, if one player is clearly winning, does it matter whether you spot a mate in two or not? If there's limited time for study, other material is likely to be more useful. Checking each and every game where you drew or lost for alternative moves and plans as an example.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Mate in two problems

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:51 pm

Its work and chess related. If you're properly engaging with it then, yes, it will probably help.

If you're not (much more a priori likely to be honest :)), then probably not especially.

Niall Doran
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Re: Mate in two problems

Post by Niall Doran » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:47 pm

If by engaging you mean actually setting up the problem on a board and working out the solution and only then looking at the answer, then yes.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Mate in two problems

Post by MartinCarpenter » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:35 am

That's getting there, yes. Also ideally being really concentrated - near 'real' over the board levels - when you're trying to solve them, strict with yourself etc.

It really isn't easy and not something I've ever been able to do myself! So any sort of chess related material that gets you close to it is probably a good choice to study. Ideal if its fun too of course, as that is ultimately why we're playing :)

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Mate in two problems

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:00 pm

Niall Doran wrote: The thing is, the positions are generally very artificial, and I'm wondering if there is really a benefit in doing them.
My guess is that studying anything properly will improve your chess.

My absolute certainty is that the number of people not improving because they’re studying the wrong thing is substantially smaller than the number of people not improving because they’re not actually doing any (proper) work.

Richard Bates
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Re: Mate in two problems

Post by Richard Bates » Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:59 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Niall Doran wrote: The thing is, the positions are generally very artificial, and I'm wondering if there is really a benefit in doing them. Has anyone else found their chess improved from doing mate in two problems?
From a practical viewpoint, if one player is clearly winning, does it matter whether you spot a mate in two or not? If there's limited time for study, other material is likely to be more useful. Checking each and every game where you drew or lost for alternative moves and plans as an example.
Don't understand this. It may not matter if you find a mate in two(/most efficient method) of winning in a clearly winning position. When there is only a single path to victory (be it a mate in two or otherwise) then finding it clearly does matter.

And another way of thinking of an "artificial" position as produced by problems rather than real game situations is that they strip a position to its absolute essential elements for the purposes of the exercise, so in some ways could be seen as a better training aid.

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