Friday, January 30, 2009

Becoming a Squire

Michael de la Maza suggested a method for rapid chess improvement. The method which in short is based on tactics drills and pattern recognition was presented in two articles (part I and part II) at

A handful of chess players started to follow the guidance of de la Maza and you can follow their progress on several interesting blogs.

I do think the suggested method has a lot to offer. I just do not have the time to try it out. A steady diet of Tactics problems is my chosen path which perhaps will disqualify me for knighthood but maybe I can hope to become a squire on their noble path to knighthood.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Study Buddy?

Would anyone be interested in some slow training games and exchanging analysis of those games? Perhaps some chess chat using Skype? Or maybe an online Chess Book Reading Group? Please let Please drop me a note!

Early Morning Tactics Session

Yes, I am a Chess Tactics server Junkie! Skip the morning paper! I want tactics problems to my first cup of coffee.

However, life sometimes interferes with my morning ritual but I have found the perfect counter measure: “Practical Chess Exercises” by Ray Cheng

So, is it yet another collection of tactics problem? Not quite! This little darling is a collection of all sorts of problems: tactics, blunder alerts, positional…… you name it! The really neat thing is that you do not know what to look for! You really have to think about the position and find a good move. The problems are pretty advanced from time to time but the solutions are very clear and informative. A gem!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


We played a few friendly G/15 after work. Holy Hand Grenade! I made so many weird moves as if a malfunctioning brain had no connection to a disobeying hand.

Well, OTB chess is so much fun but it is even more fun to play closer to my true (non-)skill.

The Team4545 League starts this week and I need to get my act together. CTS training has been OK lately but it would be nice to reach a new Personal Best anytime soon.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Warm-up game

Here's a warm-up CC game I recently played. Nothing exceptional. More of a web posting exercise

A Patzer analyzing Master Games?

Silman suggests in an interview that an U1900 player should invest about 30% of the study time in analyzing master games and maybe 15% on Tactics. Does That make sense?

How should a patzer approach the task in an efficient way? I fear that you easily end up with some type of "learning-by-nodding".

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Opening Worries

I don’t have the time to develop a stellar repertoire. I just want a few lines that will take me into a playable middle game. Also, I want to have fun playing chess. David Rudel has done a fine job writing ”Zuk’em – The Colle-Zukertort Revolutionized” and almost lured me over to the Dark Side (i.e. playing 1. d4). Mr. Rudel has a strong allied in the writings of Purdy (Household Hero!).

As Black? Well, I have had flirts with the Modern and the Black Lion (d6, Nf5, Nbd7, e5) but my results using those systems have been so-so. IM Martin has a new DVD on an all purpose 1… b6 repertoire.

Training regime

The back bone of my training regime is daily 15-20 minutes sessions at the Chess Tactics Server ( Agreed, 15 daily minutes does not sound like a lot but it adds up in the long run to something. Right? IM Andrew Martin has in various forums promoted the idea that 20 intense daily study minutes might be enough for a weekly improvement of 1 ELO point.

So, if I eat my veggies and do my tactics problems, then I just might be able to reach my goal of 2009!

On top of that I try to read some chess books. Mendis “How to Play Good Opening Moves” and Stean “Simple Chess” are top candidates on the to-read list.

50 points

The humble goal for 2009 is to improve my ICC rating by at least 50 points. Is it possible? Well, since I do believe that my training regime will do some good it might work out according to plan.