Reports | November 06, 2010 22:30

Do you have a question for Mark Dvoretsky?

Questions for Mark Dvoretsky?Many famous personalities are visiting the Tal Memorial regularly. One of them is the world famous chess trainer Mark Dvoretsky, who agreed to an interview today. But here's the deal: we'll let the ChessVibes readers ask the questions!

We just spoke with Mr Dvoretsky in the Tal Memorial press room, and he agreed to do an interview later this week. Just like we did a few years ago with Anatoly Karpov, we'll mainly ask questions from our readers. So here's your chance to ask the most famous chess trainer in the world. about improving your chess.

So just drop your question in the comments below. We'll make a selection of the best questions and these will be included in the interview. We hope to publish it somewhere next week.


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Terry Ardeno's picture

Thank you for granting chess fans this interview!
My question is "Who is your all-time favorite chess player and why?" Also, what is your opinion / impression of Paul Keres?
Thank you sir!

Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

what is your religion ?

François's picture

Is Mark Dvoretsky planning to write a new endgame book any time soon ? Which top players has he been training recently ? What does Mark think of computer tablebases analysing many endgames perfectly nowadays ? Can all that computer power be generalize in concepts such as John Nunn tried to do ?

Fléo's picture

@François, I think Peter, the two last questions are VERY GOOD. Because it defines the limits of the trainer. Where one can't explain anymore the logic. It's a question which is linked with Arne's statement, because it says that chess has a part which can't be explained, and where the trainer is just useless. And therefore, the human battle, doesn't end when computers will find the definite answer to the game, whether it's a draw, or a win.

Maybe you have to formulate it better, but the chess content is good.
And John Nunn, with all his valuble work on endgames, should be mentioned I believe.

Igor's picture

Dear Mark Dvoretsky, i own your book on endgames (Endgame Manual). When learning from it, should i use a board or try to do the calculations in my mind? What will improve my chess more?

Pogonia's picture

I read that book, and I can tell you, it's really impossible to do everything in your head. You need a board.

Sébastien Le Roux's picture

Thanks for that great opportunity, my question for Mr Dvoretsky is:
In your opinion what is the recipe for becoming and remaining a world class chess player nowadays ?

victor pastrana's picture

What do tou think about the decision Magnus Carlsen took?

Luis's picture

Do you think is it possoble to a regular player become a GM or an IM, with study and practice, or it depends on his natural talent also?

Richard Vedder's picture

Dear Mr. Dvoretsky,

In NIC 2010/6 Jan Timman does not agree with your evaluation of the ending Rook+pawn - Bishop+pawn. You wrote in your magnificent "Endgame Manual" that it always wins. Timman disagrees. Did you read his article? And if yes, what is your reaction?

Guillaume's picture

What is the most important thing to make progress in chess, apart from hard work?

Jasper Geurink's picture

Dear Mr.Dvoretsky,

What do you think of Anish Giri compared to players like Sergei Karjakin and Magnus Carlsen? Is he as talented as them?

Dws's picture

At what stage of your game do you develop a plan?

François's picture

Peter the dog.

Too bad you toke my questions away, they had value.

Much more the all the shit questions combined here.

Chessvibes is really going down the hill.

Peter Doggers's picture

There was never any 'taking away'; some comments simply end up in a moderation queue before they go online, of which you were notified. No reason to get unfriendly that quickly, is there?

Nima's picture

Peter, I have to say this, you regularly impress me with your measured and professional replies to people's emotional behaviour. I do not think I would have had the same patience.

Deep Mikey's picture


Alper Dincer's picture

1. Among contemporary chess prodigies who would you like to coach?
2. In the past you coached Kasparov, Anand and Topalov. What were their specific shortcomings and how did you attack to these problems?
Thnx for the opporutnity.

Adnen Bourkhis's picture

What about making some chess DVDs? Don't you think that it would be easier to communicate your already-wonderful lessons ?

john's picture

Q: I have bought a few of your books (technique for tournament player etc) but they are too tough for me. Would you ever consider releasing a book teaching a player from scratch rather than assuming they are already quite good?

KOOSHA's picture

Dear Mr.Dvoretsky

Could you please tell me about an effective and efficient plan for self development .

for juniors with rating between 2000 to 2200 and good English knowledge .

Best regards

KOOSHA's picture

Dear Mr.Dvoretsky

Could you please tell me about an effective and efficient plan for self development for juniors with rating between 2000 to 2200 and age under 13 with good English knowledge.
Best regards

Andrea's picture

Mr. Dvoretsky, Which are, in your opinion, the most important developments in chess strategy and general understanding after the Kasparov era? How is the game improving? What have the world champions after Kasparov added to chess?
Thank you

John Upper's picture

Every time a strong GM seriously misplays an endgame --- e.g. Kasparov losing the R+4 v R+3; or Kasparov-Short (g9) where both players blundered in a R+2 v R ending --- commentators say something like "this shows the importance of understanding endgames". But it seems to me these mistakes show exactly the OPPOSITE: they show that a player can become a very strong GM without mastering the endgame.
Maybe mastering the endgame is much less important than other chess skills?

sotov's picture

@John Upper,

If by mastering the endgame you mean never making a mistake, well then no one is a master.

If not, you are stating that Kasparov is not a master of the endgame. Kasparov is a master of all phases of the game.

Humans make mistakes, but that does not mean they are not competent in the area that they made that mistake.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, and group your question into this lot.



ask's picture

which all chessplayers did you train?
which of your chess students were the best? :)
whom do you train now or in future? Carlsen?:)
who were your chess trainers in the past?
how important is a chessengine and chess database today for a training?

st32's picture

How should strong players (like 2400+, 2500+ and so on) train in chess? And as one gets stronger, is there anything else to train on except openings and ones own games? Also, how should a player train when he is in the process of stagnation/bad form and the like?

Marvel's picture

My Questions are:

1) What do you think of Chess in future, say in 2050. Today calculators are being used for even simple mathematical calculations which were once done just mentally or by oneself. Will future generation think, 'when my chess engine can play or solve chess then why should I spend so much time on it? I can use my creativity and intelligence for some other thing which a machine can't do!'

2) Who do you think is a stronger player if we have one person who is World Champion and other person who is No1 on ELO rating list? Which is the best way to know who is the strongest player in the world?

Thank you

L.Medemblik's picture

Dear Mr. M.Dvoretsky,
Do you agree that playing chess at the highest level (Oft topsport under pressure from the parents) for children aged 5 till 17 actually is an unhealthy activity because the total surrender and fixation costs a lot of individual development and spiritual/physical joy?
Thank you for your answer!

noone's picture

I am 23 years old and 2350 rated. Is it possible for me to become 2700 in four years?

John Upper's picture

@noone, maybe you should tell him how long it took you to get to 2350...
if it took you 5+ years then the answer is probably "no"; if it took you one year, then "maybe".

Pogonia's picture

And if not, is it possible in 231 days ?

S's picture

Wow that's a nice coup of hair you have there. Have you ever considered modelling just like Magnus Carlson?

vladimirOo's picture

What are you favorite books? Those who you cherish the most? Those whom you learned the most?


Kristian Pade Frederiksen's picture

Dear Mr Dvoretsky,

Two questions:

1) If it is true that by studying the games of the great masters of the past you repeat the steps of development of chess history in your own development as an individual (Kramnik, amongst others, thinks so), is it then possible to recommend the study of games of a specific period in chess history to players of a specific rating level (i.e players rated 1200-1500 should mainly study the games of Morphy and his contemporaries, and players rated around 1800 the games of Tarrasch and his contemporaries, etc., just as an example, of course)?

2) Say you have two players A and B below master strength with the same rating, i.e. 1800. Do they need to work with roughly the same aspects of the game to improve, or is what they need to do to improve an individual thing, meaning for instance, that player A can have a "tactical" rating of 2000, but a "positional" rating of 1600, and player B the opposite?

Thank you for your great books, particularly the endgame manual!

Kristian Pade Frederiksen

Arne Moll's picture

I always like questions that force people out of their comfort zone, especially when they're used to getting praised all the time. So I would ask something like, 'What are the biggest drawbacks of your training method' or 'What techniques have you simply copied from other trainers?'

silvakov's picture

@Arne Moll, I second these questions, very good ones indeed

Fléo's picture

@silvakov, I agree with Arne, but I believe a question which would have much more impact would be : Why aren't you a GM ?

Fléo's picture

Arne, you obviously didn't read the introduction to his endgame manual, as Dvoretsky explains which autors were helpful to create his book and how did he get there.

Plus every example has the names of the different composers ...


But ok, " which are the biggest drawbacks of your method ? " Do you really think saying that one should work endgames is such a bad idea ? I mean, before playing with 32 pieces, isn't it logic to know how to play with 3 or 4 on board ?

It's something which Capablanca said !

What's new in Dvoretsky's method, is THE WAY HE EXPLAIN THINGS! Not his method to improve !

Fléo's picture

@ Arne: As an IM, how expensive is he ? 20 euros/hour ?

Pierre's picture

@Arne Moll, Or why are you just an IM ?

anonymous coward's picture

Ignore the trolls, Arne. Your questions are excellent. I might suggest, along those lines, asking which book or books by another author that Dvoretsky wishes he had written.

Adolfo's picture

Hi dear Mark, I am a great fan of you and your books. Probably the most useful has been your outstanding Endgame manual Thanks for agreeing to answer to the public.

My questions would be the following:

1- Which players that you either trained or not, of the top chess world do you consider that they are at least equal (or maybe even better) in natural chess pure talent to the very best (players that made it to WCH or the top ranks), but for other reasons (laziness, personality, etc) haven’t or wont ever been able to be either WCH or even the top 5. In my view, the most notable example is my favourite genius Vasil Ivanchuk.
2- Alexei Shirov recently said that a top GM preparation is more than 90% about the openings. Do you believe that this is the correct approach? If you should divide the time of study and work for a A) Class A (1800-2100), B) Candidate Master (2100-2300) C) Master and above (2300+) of working in three fields, namely 1-openings, 2-middgame (including calculation training) and 3-endgame, how would you recommend it (for e.g., for someone with 6hs a day, if you were to consider the 3 equally important, the division would be 2 hs. for each)
3- Do you believe that “Blitz (or bullet)” chess in prejudicial for one’s game? Don’t you think that it could also tell something about the person sheer chess talent, as we can see that the best classical time players often “happen to be” the best chess blitz players too?
4- What is your opinion of GM Hikaru Nakamura?

Best regards,


Pierre's picture

@Adolfo, Very bad questions.

bird's picture

I like Adolfo´s questions. Good ones.

Adolfo's picture

Thanks Bird. Don’t pay attention to Pierre. He is just a troll that if he keeps doing so, he will be banned from here and elsewhere. By the way I asked some of the same to Peter Svidler.( Stay in touch, I believe, for Wednesday 10th when he answers.

Polizei's picture

Thank God Mark doesn't agree to answer all these stupid questions !

Patrick's picture

Mr. Dvoretksy, which openings do you think an improving player with Elo between 1500 and 1800 should play? And should he play the main lines or try to deviate quickly?

Pierre's picture

@Patrick, Dvoretsky would say to work your endgames first.

Dr. Wolfgang Berghorn's picture

Dear Mr Mark Dvoretsky! Looking backward into chess history, what do you think about Bobby Fischer´s non-computer-era endgame technique in comparison to other world champions and modern top grandmasters? Thank you very much in advance for your answer. Dr. W.J. Berghorn, Waldkirch, Germany


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