May 25, 2024


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“The Indian Way” – A review of “Improving Your Cuts” by RB Ramesh

“The Indian Way” – A review of “Improving Your Cuts” by RB Ramesh

Indian way

By Harry Shack

For many decades there was only one way to learn chess correctly: the Soviet way. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of powerful chess programs, the influence of chess schools diminished. However, with the increase in the number of international players in recent years, the Indian coaching philosophy has become increasingly popular. One of its main actors is RB Ramesh. The Grand Master is one of the most successful young coaches in the world. He has taught hundreds of students in Chennai since 2008, dozens of whom have gone on to become youth world champions. Among his disciples were Harikrishna, Adhiban and Praggnanandhaa. In 2023 Ramesh received Coach Fed Award And also Book of the Year Award To write Improve your chess game Calculation.

Now Ramesh has a DVD Improve your pieces It was produced for ChessBase, where he presented his unusual method. The engines have made chess very tangible, but Ramesh views the game from a higher level. The DVD is a talk about chess and basic thinking patterns. Ramesh wants to systematically record the topical reasons for this or that decision. It's not so much about concrete variables as it is about a basic understanding of the game. how One should think about what aspects of the position are relevant and how one might arrive at the candidate's moves and plans based on these observations.

Such basic analyzes of situations can be found elsewhere. But Ramesh takes a holistic approach as he critically questions notions of players' identity. How are their thinking and thus their way of playing chess directed in certain directions? When youngsters develop an opening repertoire, they tend to do so because they believe they are tactically skilled or central players. We manipulate our knowledge with such labels. We build our game on who we think we are. “And this is where the problems start,” criticizes Ramesh.

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One of his most important principles is to open one's mind, remain flexible, not to commit too quickly and not to rule anything out, neither in a particular game nor in one's chess development.

Formal mobility plays a central role in Ramesh's education. To do this you have to understand when characters are passive and when they are active. Ramesh first explains this using simple diagrams showing that there are different levels of negativity, which he divides into A, B and C. This gives Ramesh a compass for determining which piece to improve first. He repeatedly shows how one can arrive at a candidate through a logical process of elimination.

More abstract topics are also covered, such as how to put knowledge into practice, how one should understand dynamics and statistics and that most situations are a combination of these.

As entertaining and memorable as they are, Ramesh's many analogies from everyday life are used to make the process of learning and understanding comprehensible. “Learning is only fun if you learn something along the way!” It is one of his original sayings.
Ramesh's good educational understanding can be seen in the selection of his useful examples. There is often something surprising and surprising about them. Sometimes the first look is deceiving, as was the case when assessing the Rene-Yusupov game situation. Or the first move in the starting position is unexpected, as in the Karpov-Schowicker game.
When replaying and analyzing a match, you should always ask yourself how the players made their moves and whether your way of thinking differs, recommends Ramesh. For example, you can learn from the best players which positional aspects they prefer. You will then notice that in modern chess, pawn structure and materials are valued less than piece play and king safety.

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Ramesh's DVD is an emotional plea for a deeper understanding of positions in a computer-driven age where chess is often viewed in terms of tangible differences. The goals of his training are to expand knowledge and change perspectives. The huge success achieved by the youth sector proves the validity of Ramesh's method. Tangible implementation can only be achieved through a healthy foundation of understanding the game of chess.

rp ramesh,
Improve your pieces –
The winning system you need to know
chess rule 2024,
DVD or download
39.90 euros

Sample video

RB Ramesh, “Improving Your Pieces” Buy in store…

This review first appeared on Karl 01/2024. Published with kind permission.