Thursday, July 21, 2005

Day 27, Tactics, tactics...

I have really gotten into the mood of solving problems again. I guess I have just had too much to do lately. First of all I have an exam in anatomy and fysioligy coming up on the 15th of august, and then there is of course my wedding at the 30th of july. So you might just say that sometimes my head tends to be filled with other things than chess, wich of course is a good thing. I don´t think you could consider me to be sane if I fled the altar and the love of my life just to keep up my daily quota of problem solving. I´m not that hardcore!

Problems soved so far:

  • CT-Art: 457 problems. 61 problems solved at level 30 with a 71% succes.
  • Combinational Motifs: 168 problems solved.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Day 26, Alive & kicking again

Ok. So I got over the first hurdle and I´m solving problems again. Sometimes you sit there in front of the computer and the easiest puzzles seem impossible to solve. No matter how much you try your brain just won´t allow you to see more than one move ahead and you fail utterly, problem after problem. But than after a couple of days, you´ve somehow managed to get your head back on straight, and you think every problem that comes in your path is childs play. So the old pyrotechnic knight is back in the saddle, heading for new adventures in the black and white unknown...

Thank you for all the support. It was greatly appreciated.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Day 23, Tired...

I guess I´ve hit the first plateu in my program. The last four days I have hardly solved any problems, mostly due to lack of time. When I have sat done with a problem, I haven´t really been able to focus though. Mostly been sloppy and hurrying through them. This has also led to less succesfully solved problems and a decline in motivation and enthusiasm on my behalf. I know I just gotta keep on going, but man, today it´s not easy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Day 19, The Final Plan

Puh...I think I have finally found a plan that works for me. Since I don´t have all the time in the world to devote to chess or in front of the computer, I´ve had to figure out a way to make the most of all the spread out little time-windows that appear during a day.
Since I rarely have my computer around when I have time left over for tactics, I decided to include a book in my training for these moments. The book I have chosen is M. Blokh´s Combinational Motifs which, from what I understood, was used as a basis for creating the computer program I´m also using; CT-Art. This means that a lot of the problems in the book are present in the program as well.

I have decided to study these two seperate sources of tactics in different ways though. The problems in the book have been structured according to combinational motifs and patterns with an increasing difficulty within each section. This structure will hopefully increase my combinational vision. The problems in CT-Art I´m solving in true MDLM-style; starting with the easy level 10 ones and moving up to harder levels without knowing the combinational motifs and patterns beforehand.

The plan is to finish the Seven Circles with CT-Art as fast as I can. Since I never know how much time I can spend by the computer every day, I have no set deadline. During the same time I will go through the 1206 problems in the book and try yet again to solve the ones I failed when I´m done.

Problems solved so far:
  • CT-Art: 411
  • Combinational motifs: 129

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

What would De La Maza do?

Fellow knights. I have ended up at the crossroads and don´t know wich way to choose and have therefore called for your assistance. I´m at my first circle with CT-Art and have justed finished level 2 with a succes rate of 81%. Now...what do you guys and girls think I should do. Should I keep on going through level 3 or should I go through level 2 again until I get around 90% of them right.

How did La Maza do it? I never had a chance to read his book, so I don´t know if he brought this issue up. Did he keep pushing straight through level 1-10 not caring about how many problems he got right or did he just solve most of them succesfully the first time he tried? I read through his article 400 points in 400 days, but did not find anything enlightening on on this subject. If anyone know, please let me know.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Day 16, Chess improvment update

For half a year or so I´ve had a rating at FICS that has been around 1600. Well, I guess it would be more accurate to say that I´ve been holding on to the 1600-marker for dear life. Since I started the MDLM program 16 days ago, I´ve played four standard games at FICS (15/15 min) and have won them all. What´s really sweet about these four wins, is that all the players had higher rating than me. One had 1600+, two had 1700+ and my last opponent had a rating of 1900+! I have hardly ever beated such highly rated players at FICS before, especially not one with 1900+.
This has also meant an increase in my rating from around 1600 to 1678 in only 16 days! Man, I´m so relieved to finally be leaving the 1600 plateu and move on to higher altitudes.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Day 15, structurising...

I have realised that I don´t have as much time to sit by the computer every day as I thought. But no prblem without a solution ey! So I´ve decided to structure my studying on Blokh´s book Combinational Motifs. The structure is quite simple; go through each chapter and redo the problems I failed the first time around. I´m hoping that the combination of using CT-Art to solve problems that increase in difficulty and the book to solve problems grouped in combinational motifs but with varying difficulty will prove effective.
Since yeasterday I´ve solved the first 37 problems in Combinational Motifs. Out of the 37 problems I failed 9 of them. This gives me a succes ratio of about 75% so far.

The last 3-4 months I´ve been playing mostly blitz over the net. I haven´t felt motivated enough since the last tournament I played earlier this year to put in more time into my games. But now the will to play longer games has steadily been coming back. It doesn´t feel like I learn very much in blitz games anyway. I´m starting to enjoy the time at the chessboard again; on a constant lookout for new bloodcurling tactical schemes and attacks.

I have also got some good news! The future tournament that was one of the motivational factors for me to start the MDLM program is not in actually starts in october, wich means that I have additional time to put into tactics! Jolly good, jolly good!