Sunday, January 31, 2010

Swimming with sharks

I have decided to join the Tuesday League at ICC. It looks as if they have cancelled the U1500 section (or what is U1800?) so I get a chance to wrestle with the Elephants and dance with the Sharks or whatever.

Another attack of Opening Phobia is haunting me! I wish I could find a Low Maintenance Repertoire to my liking. I suppose wishful thinking is the true sign of a Grand Patzer?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chess Exam Progress

The book is really interesting but my scores are sad. My forecast (based on four problems) for the score on the first interim report is a fat 1079.

The data is sparse but a first observation is that my moves are stronger than my evaluations of the positions. Another observation is that I do a few chocking blunders.

Ergo: I need to improve my evaluation skills and I need to get a proper thought process.

Some of the frequencies for the combination of answers presented by IM Khmelnitsky is quite surprising. My humble logic (and please remeber that I have no chess evaluation skills) would label some of the combinations as impossible to conclude but still they pop up with some frequenciy. I will try to explain what I am aiming at with an exagerated example: Suppose white has a clear mate in one. To suggest the winning move and evaluate the position as even does not make sense. Right?

The frequencies presented by the authur is based on real players of different skills solving the problems. The odd looking frequencies might tell us that a lot of players do the analysis then select a move more or less ignoring the analysis? Interesting.

I really like to books by IM Khmelnitsky and I think that I will learn a lot from solving the problems.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Year of the Books and High Expectations

We enter a new year with high hopes and hopefully great expectations. I have decided to make this the Year of the Books. A betting buddy made a friendly wager with his loved one about the number of books to read in the year to come. Reading has always been a passion of mine but after the arrival of the small dear ones, the reading hours have been few and far in between. Passive Reading has been my cup of tea (i.e. “Have you been reading any good books lately?”)!

The third leg in me personal makeover will be linked to personal health: Less of me and more exercise!

The health goals will be reached with the help of the “6 Changes approach” which is based on the simple idea that a new habit is best established by a series of small steps. A few weeks from now, I hope to start each day with a 20-30 minute “Power Walk”.

The Year of the Books will of course influence my chess training. The first item on the agenda will be to study an appropriate chunk of Silman’s: “Complete Endgame Course” aiming at an Endgame IQ slightly higher than my goal ICC rating (1400+ by the end of the year).

Generic Chess Training Regime:

Monday: Chesstempo for 15+ minutes (CT), One problem from Chess Exam: You vs. Bobby Fischer (CE)
Tuesday: CT, CE, ICC Monthly Standard Tournament
Wednesday: CT, CE, Annotating tournament game
Thursday: CT, CE
Friday: CT, CE, Reading Silman
Saturday: CT, CE, Reading Silman, Chess Books Reading Group
Sunday: CT, CE

After brushing up my endgame IQ, I plan to start working on something like Stean’s “Simple Chess” and some collection of annotated games.