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Review: Robert Ris: Calculation Training in Attack & Defence Vol. 1

by Aanjaneya Phatak - 25/11/2021

Every month a few ChessBase DVDs get released. Which one to get and which one to pass? Which one should be prioritized? Well, that you have to figure out on your own or with the help of your trainers or sparring partners. Once you have figured out the area you need to improve on or become stronger, it becomes that much easier to select a DVD and start working on it. Aanjaneya Phatak, shares his own personal experience as he reviews the latest DVD by Robert Ris, titled Calculation Training in Attack & Defence. Check out the review and see if it helps you to decide buying this DVD.

Vol.1 Review

Aanjaneya Phatak reviews Calculation Training in Attack & Defence Vol.1 by Robert Ris

Calculation Training in Attack & Defence Vol.1 home screen

Hello everyone! So recently I read Robert Ris' DVD on Calculation Training in Attack & Defence Vol 1, and I would like to share my experience of working on this course with you.


I think that this is a fairly new and strong way of improving calculation. Before going through this DVD, I was mainly relying on books and solving the puzzles in it to improve at my calculation and pattern recognition level and of course it did. There are no two ways about it: books like in the Grandmaster Preparation series have made me what I am today. But often the problem I had while solving these books was that most of my answers were going horribly wrong. Let's just say like 70% of the time it would go wrong. I would always think for 10 to 15 minutes, turn up to the answer page and proved myself stupid again and again. The issue with this method is that once you turn up to the answer page, now you know the answer. After that you are forced to move on to the second problem. Also sometimes the answers are so long that it might seem impossible to solve it.

Having said all this, I don't want to say that do not read books, my point is that these are some practical problems one has to face while going through a tough book. Okay! Now let us come back to the dvd. So, why was I explaining you all this because in this dvd whenever you make a wrong move on the board, Mr. Robert pokes you and tells you why is this this move wrong.

If you make a mistake, Robert will ask you to try again

He would not reveal the answer! So by this method you are forced to find the right solution and try not to lose your mind until you find it. Many times in this DVD you will come across the answers which are very long and it will be impossible to calculate that further so, in such cases Mr. Robert would come to your rescue and would pause at every critical movement and force you to come up with the correct idea. Also by this method you could check your intuition level. If you are getting right answers without calculating your intuition is good and if you are getting wrong answers whithout calculating your intuition is bad.


So after you complete the test section of this DVD you have 10 practice positions. These positions are to be played against Fritz which you can purchase or use in the chessbase account. I had a pretty tough time trying to convert winning positions against the engine. I and many other players also might have the weakness that we are unable to win a won game. Playing against Fritz increases your advantage conversion power, and you will develop the "No Mercy Power"!


Examples -

Now we shall look two examples from the DVD which kind of would give you the taste of this DVD

Timofeev - Jones, 2021

Black to play

Let us dive into one of the exercises in the DVD. This position is black to play.

Carlsen - Firouzja, Wijk aan Zee 2021

Black to play

In a practical game, we always have to make such decisions! Above all, when defending the position we have to be even more alert and accurate. Such defences have to be found purely by calculating and nothing else. So here we go! Black has a number of options with his pieces, and we have to find the best one!

One last major thing to avoid while solving this DVD is "moving the piece on the computer without thinking" It also happened to me a few times that I would play out the move within 10 seconds after seeing the position. This is a habit that one should avoid. The positions are very tricky. Give them at least 5 to 10 minutes to think and on frequent occasions even more! Personally, I had a lot of fun going through this DVD and I hope that you guys enjoy it too.

About the Author

Aanjaneya Phatak is a 20-year-old chess player from Pune, Maharashtra. He is currently rated 2212. He is a self-taught player and uses books, DVDs and other material to improve at chess on his own.

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