Reversing Mate: World Champions Edition Vol.1

Drilling is one of the most important aspects of chess training. In spite of being so, it is often neglected, most often because it sounds boring. What a mistake.

I use drilling exercises quite often. They are good for getting into rhythm and practicing very quick board vision. This is good not only for blitz, but also for classical chess because it gives you confidence when you see the “small tactics” quickly.

There are different types of drilling exercises. Chessable recently published “the ultimate”ones – the mating exercises.

It is funny that I haven’t done these types of exercises since I was a kid. At that age it’s all about the king and mate, mate, mate! As we grow, we like to think that we’ve “outgrown” playing for mate as we concentrate on other aspects of the game. But the aim of the game is still to give mate, so when I started going over the Reversing Mate: World Champions Edition Vol.1 it all felt distantly familiar.

The author Alan Bester is not widely known. But as Kasparov used to say, I’ll paraphrase, an amateur with passion can sometimes create great things. Alan did the monumental work of first collecting and selecting and then classifying the games of all the World Champions that ended in mate.

The course works in two ways. One the more elementary level there are exercises that are mate-in-one drills that can be practiced with Chessable’s patented MoveTrainer. On the more advanced level, the one that I used, the exercises are multiple-move mating exercises. As I understand it, the author intended the mate-in-ones to be the first step towards the solution of the more complex mutltiple-move mates. From the simple to the complex.

An interesting part (for me at least!) was that even though all the exercises were from the games of the World Champions, not all of them were won by them! Very often they would be brutally mated (often in simuls) by completely unknown players.

While solving the exercises I experienced on myself the addictive aspect of this type of chess work. Once I started it was difficult to stop (and this is way much useful for chess improvement than the endless online blitz sessions, which are equally addictive!). With a huge number of exercises it’s easy to see the next one and say, OK, just one more and I’m off to bed. Then suddenly you discover it’s almost dawn.

But this is actually good! That is the actual point of drilling. Being exposed to the wide variety of mating patterns is hugely beneficial for sharpened attacking instincts and recognition of these patterns in one’s own games. What I found appealing with this course is that it is benefical to pretty much everybody – I found it beneficial to myself and the range of players who can use it to their own advantage goes all the way to beginners who can happily solve mate-in-ones to their own delight.

Alan did a great job creating this training book. I enjoyed it tremendously working through the exercises, especially as I knew this was to my benefit. Giving mate is always sweet, even if it is just in training! I hope you will find the course both enjoyable and useful, so please check it out  following the link below.

Reversing Mate – World Champions Edition Vol.1

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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