Thursday, September 15, 2005

Chess Aptitude Test: How Do You Score?

While surfing the webwaves today i bumped into the following;

Jonathan Levitt, an experienced GM, devised what I believe is one of the most effective and simple, "self-tests" to determine chess aptitude. It was recently discussed in the Guardian's weekly chess column. (The Guardian is a UK paper, and the chess column is really great, I encourage you to go check it out)

I'll quote from the Guardian article here, it describes the test well:

"Place a white knight at b1 and a black queen at d4. The knight has to tour the board without ever being put en prise to the black queen or capturing it. It should visit squares in the order c1, e1, f1, h1, a2, c2, e2, g2, h2, a3 and so on to g8 (h8 is controlled by the queen)."

"The task may sound simple but is demanding on concentration, spatial aptitude, and willpower. Many people cannot even manage the first stage from b1 to c1, which takes nine steps. It is a timed test, so you need a watch as well as a chessboard and the two pieces."

"Levitt says that anyone who can do the full tour in less than 10 minutes at the first attempt has real aptitude. Michael Adams, a world title contender, took 5½ minutes, other GMs up to seven."

Take a break from your computer and try it!

And if it takes you longer than 10 minutes, don't despair... this test requires that you are able to think strategically about the chess board, not simply memorize moves.

Most people who simply memorize moves, but don't understand chess strategy, will have trouble with the test. Strategic thinking (not simply memorizing moves and tactics) essential to REAL chess aptitude.

This kind of strategic thinking is one of the things that my "GrandMaster Strategy Training Library" specializes in teaching you. It takes you step by step through the opening, middle game, and end game, and helps you not to simply memorize moves, but to understand and master strategic chess thinking. Once you are able to think strategically, memorized tactics and moves will become much more powerful weapons for you to use against your opponents.

Is this interesting or what? If i ever get around to doing it, i will post my results.


At 17 September, 2005 08:15 , Blogger Edwin 'dutchdefence' Meyer said...

It turns out i'm not the only one who came across this article :)


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