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ccmcacollister 157 ( +1 | -1 )
THE Schools of Chess: By this I refer not to learning institutions or clinics, but rather to the Schools of Thought associated with the game. That is what I would like to invite persons to discuss here.
This is a subject that I happen to be weak in, never having any formal Chess education and being almost completely self-taught thru reading and play, plus the occassional helpful postmortum whenever I could get one. But it is also one that I am very interested in. So I hope there will be a lot of contributions to this thread.
***
Here are Schools of Chess that I am aware of, and some founders of them:
Classical School=Steinitz
Hypermodern School=Reti & Nimzovich
? ? ? = Tarrasch
Russian School = (Tchigoran? Botvinnik?)
and
***
Personally I feel there should be a School of Tal, tho I don't know what it would be called. But to me his play has exempefied line opening capacity beyond that formerly known to mortal man. Perhaps it falls under Russian. I don't know.
***I wonder too if there is a name for the play characterised by Capablance, Petrosian, Flohr et al. And Karpov in positional mode. Perhaps just The Positional School ?
I've just never been able to find a good comprehensive book that defined all these areas of Chess thought & style well or anywhere near completely ....
Maybe we can add to such here then.
***
(It seems to me there is a distinct "American School" and "British School" of thought within the French Defense and how it is played, too. I use those nations as the authors promoting them are from there. Tho others may follow either...)
More: Chess
ccmcacollister 190 ( +1 | -1 )
Some basic treatments - center pawns Here are a few items that I do know, dealing with the various methods of handling the center pawns:
The Classical= Will seek to occupy the center squares with pawns, or start with one and then work to broaden it. Most 1. e4 e5 and 1.d4 d5 openings fall within this realm.
***
The Hypermodern= Will allow the opponent to occupy the center with his pawns, and attack it later, hoping to weaken or eliminate it especially if overextended. The
"Indian" openings are examples of this. And theory of attacking pawn chains is largely hypermodern. Especially attack aimed at the base. Those often there is a strike at the head of the chain as well.
***
Tarrasch= Unfortunately, I've never studied him. And probably should. I do know that a large part of his contribution deals with the question of the Isolani pawn and
associated play. Also handling of a hanging pawn duo. And openings such as the Tarrach variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined seek to gain ample minor piece play, and may attain central pawn fluidity at the cost of some solidarity.
***
Tal= I like the way he preserves his line opening potential, and tension almost as second nature it would seem, being that prevalent within his play. For instance, he may have 3 pawns attacking a pawn chain, not the one or two of a Nimzovich. And also utilitzes the "Russian Exchange" as they call it, when Rook is sac'd for minor piece in certain type positions. I do believe that IS a Russian School concept.
***
There are some thought to start things with. Please feel free to elaborate or correct what I've said :) Or dive into your own thoughts about it all. Surely there is plenty to be said !
I've probably missed whole Schools. I think a number of countries would like to consider themselves as having one. But I'm not sure who. Let us know, if you are.
Opinions welcome of course.
Regards, Craig A.C. }8-)
ionadowman 109 ( +1 | -1 )
Great topic Craig! Maybe all the 'schools' have undergone a species of evolution at that. We might consider Morphy as a forerunner of the Classical School, and Tarrasch as its most vocal exponent, who popularised the style. The Romantic School (shall we call it) was at its height when Morphy hit the scene (Anderssen, Labourdonnais and McDonnell being its most famous representatives), but after a lengthy eclipse, Tal emerged to revive it. A couple Englishmen in Anderssen's and Morphy's time were forerunners of the 'positional' School epitomised by Capablanca and Petrosian - one was Staunton, the other might have been Williams or M- (I can't for the moment recall the name - don't think it was Marmaduke - did well in the 1851 London Tournament, I believe). Steinitz, in my view, began another style of play exemplified in more modern times by Suttles and Ujtelski: rather provocative, undertaking a defensive stance with a view to counterattack. Nimzovitch also adopted this style from time to time. Finally, alone like a colossus, surrounded by his slain, stands Emmanuel Lasker, founder of no school, and exemplar of them all.
Cheers,
Ion
wschmidt 60 ( +1 | -1 )
A few one volume treatments... of this this "schools of chess" subject, Craig, are:

Konig - Chess from Morphy to Botvinnik

Reti - Masters of the Chessboard

Saidy - The Battle of Chess Ideas (Recently reprinted, I think, as "The March of Chess Ideas"). This may be closest to what you're looking for, although it's been a few years since I looked at it.

You might also look in to Horowitz's "The World Chess Championship" and Winter's "Kings of Chess".

And I imagine the multi-volume Kaparov set could be said to address the same thing in greater depth. I've only browsed it in bookstores and haven't shelled out the cash yet. ws

chuckventimiglia 40 ( +1 | -1 )
To add to the above. I am going through Nunn's book
"Understanding Chess, Move by Move"

I find it to be a really good book of
relatively new GM games. He goes
through each and every game explaining
every move starting with move 1. It
is by no means a book for beginners but
beginners can lear a lot from that book.

Sometimes in order to improve one has to
return to the basics every now and then.
wschmidt 126 ( +1 | -1 )
Another interesting set of "schools", using that term a little differently, are the "thinking technique" methods that chess writers market for those of us who are a little less gifted than those top-level players who simply play "concrete" chess. Right now, here in the US, at least, we're in the middle of a Jeremy Silman wave and at least half the chessplayers in the nation are busy looking for or seeking to create "imbalances". "Candidate moves" has been around in one form or another for many years but clearly got knocked off by "imbalances".
*
One of my favorites, which briefly got a lot of attention in the late 50's or early 60's, was Horowitz's "Point Count Chess" which purported to apply concepts taken from the game of bridge and assigned plus or minus points to a list of various (dare I say it?) "imbalances". If your point count was high enough, you had a won game. Whether or not the point count method was worth much, it was a great collection of annotated games.
*
Silman, in "How to Reassess Your Chess" provides a brief overview of some of such methods, mostly to point out how his is a more encompassing and successful approach. Purdy is one of the authors that he mentions as being very close to his . I think it would be interesting to read an unbiased article describing the history of such methods. ws
ccmcacollister 150 ( +1 | -1 )
wschmidt Some great books there that I am going to try out!
**
And you hit it on the head again about Point Count Chess ....I was always tempted to read that book and never did buy it, and so always wondered what it was all about. And even asked that question here at GK forums long ago. So thanks again for answering a 33 year "hmmm?" !
***
Silman just neglects to tell people that he leaves out a good 3/5 of How To, to when focusing only upon dynamics. (and that is what we called "imbalances" in the 70-80's, as I'm sure You know. But he might have slipped that by some of the younger crowd. Still what he does teach people in dynamics IS very practical, and useful about, what would it be ... 80% of the time? That's pretty good. Yet I've seen on young Silman reader come out with the idea that it is not necessary for him to ANALYZE (!!!) if he can just pick the right strategic concept; then it will surely produce the right move every time ... Hmmm.
I must say that I seem to have some difficulty encircling That belief with a great big bearhug of enthusiasm, imho ... }8-)))
***
PS// Chuck, I gotta put that Nunn book on the Christmas list now too, looks like. I know just what you mean about reviewing the basics. I used to thumb my Think Like A GM before most tournaments. Seems to help get the mind into Chess mode
and bring some of the salient details back to the mental surface.
ionadowman 79 ( +1 | -1 )
I think this thread... ...is straying into personal methods of preparation and play, rather than shared styles (which includes, of course shared methods of preparation and play). There does on the whole seem to be a distinctive style that is characteristic of each 'school' of Chess: Romantic, Classical, Hypermodern, Soviet, or whatever. Maybe the Soviet is more eclectic than the others, though possibly this is due to each school representing an evolutionary stage in the development of chess understanding and praxis. Each school seems to make use of the discoveries of its predecessors and/or contemporaries. I don't know whether more modern 'schools of chess' (national, postmodern, post-Soviet...), have developed. Any thoughts on this? A 'postmodern school' would probably deny its own existence...
Cheers
Ion