21 January 2019

Training quote of the day #19: Lev Polugaevsky

From GM Lev Polugaevsky's Grandmaster Performance:
Some 30 years ago, when I was still a boy, I was given some advice by one of the oldest Soviet chess masters, one of Alexander Alekhine's fellow players back in the 1909 St Petersburg Tournament, Pyotr Romanovsky.  "If you want to play well," he said, "in the first instance study games.  Your own and other peoples'.  Examine them from the viewpoint of the middlegame and the endgame, and only then from the viewpoint of the opening.  This is more important than studying textbooks."
Perhaps such advice is not indisputable, perhaps it will not appeal to everyone, but I accepted and have followed this recommendation all my life.  Of course, on becoming a master, and then a grandmaster, I had to make a detailed acquaintance with opening monographs and with endgame guides, but nevertheless the analysis of games still remains for me the most important thing.


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