Thursday, March 03, 2005
Weekend Blog
One of the reasons why I lose games is the lack of calculation. Not only do I forget to do it, worse sometimes I didn't want to do it. Its really stupid because I'm supposed to look at my move and my opponents move, but want to know why I dont? Its because calculating variations is very tiring, thats why. Many times I'll look into a position and just know that I'd better think things thru, but if I'd start to attempt thinking of variations, I'll feel this pressure in my brain. It gradually increases and more often than not, I'd say Ah, just wing it.. and play the first move that comes to mind. I am not an expert, but experiencing this made me think that endurance and stamina seems to play a role on chess strenght. So my first sentence above could be restated as "One of the reasons why I lose games is that lack of calculating stamina"

"I impose highly complicated games on them, and by the fifth hour, they begin to break down" - Viktor Korchnoi

Of course now, it seems hard to believe that I think little of calculating moves 5moves deep. It even feels normal. Although I haven't found out yet just how deep I can do it accurately, and for how long, but there was time, and not so long ago that my head hurts just trying to see two moves deep.

But since starting the program, I havent had much time playing OTB. This cannot be helped and did not Botvinik himself state that playing too often is not necessary? But for my case, there is a slight psychological effect. Its just a teeny-weenie-entsy-bitty thing. Its ah, I mean I'm uh.. a little afraid to play and try out my new found skills. It's ridiculous, I'm turning chicken? Darn coward! I mean, logically my confidence should be at an all time high now right? But what if.. what if.. I played OTB and was defeated. I woudnt be able to resist thinking that all that hard work was a colossal waste of time. The experiences of the fellow knights in their own OTB play gives cause for optimism, but sibilant whispers echoes in my brain. "Defeat" it says "defeat". Arrrgggghhhh!!

On a lighter note: See an annotation of Nimzo's most famous game - "The Immortal Overprotection" . Now this is how a game is annotated!

Its already friday here so I'll not be able to blog this weekend. But happy weekend everybody.

To Logis: I'll add your link one of this days.
posted by Nezha at 5:42 PM | Permalink |


  • At 4:49 AM, Blogger fussylizard

    Don't worry! One of the benefits of the MDLM plan noted by several folks is an improvement in "calculating muscle". Doing lots of tactics problems and calculation gets your brain used to it, just like lifting weights for several months gets your muscles used to it. Soon you will find it much easier and faster to calculate. I've already noticed this and I'm not even half way through the second circle.

    I do recommend that you force yourself, as much as possible, to calculate as deeply and as thoroughly as possible on the problems to build up your stamina. Having a time limit per problem is a useful balance- doing 10 problems without thinking is probably not much better than doing 1 problem that you think all the way through. For the first circle you have 10 minutes per problem. You should find the first move in under five minutes, but don't be shy about using up your five minutes. At that point, take you best guess. From there, especially on the more difficult problems (say level 60+), you will probably have to limit yourself to only 10 seconds per move so you can finish the problem in under 10 minutes.

    Anyway, if calculating stamina is what you lack, you have selected a good program to help improve it.


  • At 6:02 AM, Blogger Don Q.

    What I noticed when I played in a tournament a month ago was not so much that I was seeing all sorts of brillant tactical shots as that the calcualtion itself was easier. Reminds me of marathon training. One day you just notice that you are running pretty fast and not breathing that hard.

  • At 9:15 AM, Blogger Temposchlucker

    The comparison of the brain with the physical body is always tricky.
    You have to build up stamina, but once it's there it costs a minor effort to maintain. Which is opposite to stamina of the body.
    What you are describing here with that pressure in your head I've seen often. It's a sort of barrier you have to overcome. Don't force it! but continue steadily. (it has to do with laziness in the past, recognize something?) Once you are getting over it, a pleasant feeling in the head will be your reward and much more insight.
    Further you write YOU ARE AFRAID OF LOOSING, well almost everybody is. But here you have coupled it to your efforts. That's not a good idea. Because there is a statiscal problem. Of course you (may)loose your next game. But as result of your efforts you will score far over 50% in your next 25 games. So take some distance.
    My two cents.

  • At 8:11 AM, Blogger Rakshasas

    I love Hans Kmoch's Nimzo parody. I died laughing the first time I read it. It's nice to see it ages well.