Tuesday, May 31, 2005
A Promise
It has been a long time now that he has gone by without her. It has driven him to near madness. But, he must endure. Nothing good can result by forcing things. He must wait for the opportunity to come.

"I will be patient".

The thought came unbidden. Where had it come from? No matter, that is what he should do..

A wolf howls in the night. Drops of rain falling from the window. The moon, white and glowing in the mountains.

"Not today, yes. But soon"
posted by Nezha at 11:10 PM | Permalink | 8 comments
Work is the killer
I am doing a mobile-phone related project right now. And since mobile phones have very strict time-to-market schedules, work has been a killer. I go to the office at 9am and dont come home until 12pm (or later). No time to do anything else besides sleep. I tried doing the circles last night, but I was just too tired. My brain doesnt function anymore. The momentum to finish the circles has gone by.

I can't take days off because the boss will kill me. And even if I did, my wife will kill me instead if I do puzzles instead of taking care of her..

posted by Nezha at 8:28 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Circle 5 Complete!!!

Mwaha ha ha ha ha ha

The funny thing about this circle is that - I'm still learning. Im still discovering things about the problems. Like, why the move is really the best move. Why the opponent cant do this or that. In a glance, some sequence doesnt seem to be forced. But on further reflection, they really are. Cool! Cant wait for circle 6 to finish so I can find out what other things I discover.

And we have an upcoming FICS tournament too, smack in the middle of me finishing the circles (I think). Hehe, what a good way to test my skills.

But - It's very hard to finish the circles on sched. Work is picking up and the wife is near revolt. Might have to treat her to dinner soon. Otherwise, we might end up having the "accidentally misplaced your book somewhere, and now I cant find it" dialogue.
posted by Nezha at 9:24 PM | Permalink | 4 comments
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Game with CD
I played a game against CD, and luckily won. Here are the game scores.
I will try to annotate more deeply later-on

Nezha (1689) vs. CelticDeath (1752)
Sat May 28, 20:41 PDT 2005
Rated standard match, initial time: 45 minutes, increment: 45 seconds.

1. e4 d5
2. exd5 Nf6
3. Bb5+ Bd7
4. Bxd7+ Qxd7
5. c4 c6
6. d6 exd6
7. d4 Be7
8. Nf3 Qe6+
9. Qe2 Qxe2+
10. Kxe2 O-O
11. Re1 d5
12. c5 Nbd7
13. Nc3 Rfe8
14. Kf1 b6
15. b4 a5
16. b5 bxc5
17. bxc6 Nb6
18. Nb5 cxd4
19. Nc7 Bb4
20. Nxe8 Bxe1
21. Nxf6+ gxf6
22. Kxe1 Re8+
23. Kd2 Nc4+
24. Kd3 Ne5+
25. Kxd4 Nxc6+
26. Kxd5 Nb4+
27. Kc5 Nd3+
28. Kb6 a4
29. Be3 Rb8+
30. Kc7 Rb2
31. Bd4 Rc2+
32. Kd6 Nxf2
33. Bxf2 Rxf2
34. Nh4 Rd2+
35. Ke7 Kg7
36. a3 Re2+
37. Kd7 Kf8
38. Rd1 Re3
39. Nf5 Rxa3
40. Kc6 Rc3+
41. Kb5 a3
42. Rd8# 1-0
posted by Nezha at 10:32 PM | Permalink | 1 comments
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Messed Up Schedule
I had been doing the exercises this past few days, and noticed that the problems had begun to be too easy. Too easy in fact that it gave me a quesy feeling. There must be something wrong here. I dont solve problems this fast. Then it finally hit me. I had done the exact same set of problems for the past three days. Thats why it became too easy. I've solve it before. Three times now in fact. Somehow, I forgot to move my bookmark, and ended up starting over again from the same exact spot.

And yes, this means I'm really delayed. Arrgh!

Satisfaction Guaranteed
I read fussylizards paper on his experiences and his remarks are consistent with the other graduates. Hmm, if enough people finish the program, and we find that the experiences and perceived effects on playing strenght is the same, then we will have a solid basis on which we can say "You do the program, this is what will happen". Almost like a guarantee.

This may turn out to be important later on for those who is only starting to research the MDLM method. I bet they will have the same questions like we did, including the all important "Can this program raise my rating points?". The conclusions drawn from the graduates will be a major source of information. And if a lot of people had already done it, the information will be reliable. For example, reading thru reviews of chess books in amazon, one frequently comes up with comments like this - "I read the book, and it added 50 points to my rating" Really? The validity of statements like this are doubtful. We cannot be sure that the reading of the book is the direct cause of the rating increase. Why? well because of the simple fact that we cannot be sure that during the time taken to read the book, the reviewer isnt reading anything else. Or undergoing any other training program besides. And why is he the only one? Why does some say something like this about the very same book "Nah, didnt help me improve. Just another rip-off"

This is an exagerated example of course, but the point is, claims to increases in rating points are very hard to take at face-value. We need hard facts. Facts corroborated across a broad spectrum of the human population. The good thing about the program is it requires focus, exclusivity. My personnal experience is that doing anything else (Even playing chess games) is impossible at the later circles. So the data gathered from it is more "pure". And if enough people does it, dare we say more "trustworthy"?

Do the circles, this is what will happen, satisfaction guranteed!
posted by Nezha at 10:06 PM | Permalink | 3 comments
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Don's Prediction
I was reading old blogs, and I came upon this old entry of Don -

I demand that this year for Christmas that I am released from prison.

Robert James Fischer
Chess Champion of the Universe

Dear Bobby,

I have arranged for you to have citizenship in Iceland. By the way,"Scheckte" is a Yiddish nickname. Enjoy eternity on a big ball of ice, you anti-Semitic f*ck.


Eeeriii!!!! (twilight zone music plays here.. todo dodo)
posted by Nezha at 5:45 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, May 23, 2005
Bad Game
Ok, I know I'm supposed to be solving problems, and not playing at FICS, but I cant resist. I had been chomping a bit on unleashing my "No rush" technique I learned from josh, that I just had to play. Here is tale of how it went

White: Nezha - 1659
Black: "I forgot the name" 1599

I was glad that a near 1600 player answered the seek. I found that players below 1500 are too weak tactically. I was ready for a long tense struggle. After all, we have only 60 points differential

1. e4 e5 - I was very happy here, I was gearing up for a ruy
2. Nf3 d6 - A Phillidor? Havent seen this in a long time
3. Bc4 c5 -
Another pawn push? but now my bishop have absolute control of the diagonal
4. d3 Nc6 - I think this is a mistake already
5. Ng5 Na6 -
6. h3
Now his light squared bishop dont have anywhere to go
6. .. Be7
It is understandable that he wants to castle quickly, but this is another mistake as this allows my next move
7. Qh5
Previously I can't do this as he can push pawn to g6. He spent a long time thinking about his next move. My assesment is he will have to castle here. In that event I was planning on Nf3, Bxa6, then Qxh6 to mess his pawn structure, but -
7. .. Rf8
A blunder which loses instantly
8. Nxh7

A miniature which although a win, I am not happy of. I wanted a work out and instead I get this? I milled around another 30min trying to get another match, but couldnt find any. Finally, I just logged out and went home. Its no use wasting time, I'll decided to do my exercises instead.

I am at problem 300. Did 75 problems last night. Hmmm, might have to do at least 125 today to catch up.
posted by Nezha at 5:56 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Problem 225
I am at problem 225. I'm doing good time I think. If all goes according to plan, I may be able to finish this week. I am already outlining my experiences doing the circles program, and its effect, good or bad on my game. I think, this epic post can last 150 pages. Dont know if anybody will read that monster, seeing as how, it can turn out like a legal treatise. But hey, crazier stuff has happened.

Also - At this point, some problems jump at me, but some problems I still dont have any idea. Its like the first time I've seen it. BUT, after seeing the solution, I remember that it was a problem I've solved quickly before. Huh!? youd think by now I would've memorized them. But, Nooooo! my brain just doesnt want to cooperate. Stupid brain.

Veselin Topalov won the mtel tournament in sofia. Ive been reading chess news now for a long time, and know his name of course. But I dont really follow his career. I dont have an inkling on his style. Like if somebody says "leko", you'd naturally think of a draw. Or if "shirov" youd think of complications. But "topalov" doesnt ring a bell to me. Maybe I should get acquianted with this guy here. We may have a new man in town.

Waitzkin Games
The other day, my wife made me hold the baby so I couldnt do problems as the baby kept grabing the book. So I just watched Mr. Waitzkin's games from CM10 again. This time, I was amazed at how I understand what he was saying a little better(compared from the first time). Because I've already played hundreds of games, and faced lots of openings, I can relate now to his discussion of the french, and the sicilian, and strategy and endgames. The thing about his games is that there is a constant message through it all. He is always saying Do not rush! Do not rush!. It is interesting to say the least. Maybe that style of play is the correct way to play chess. Maybe thats how I should play. Not rushing, just improving the position. Not lunging forward all the time. But rather, just opening a line here, placing pieces there, Instead of forcing the issue. This is certainly something that I have to think about. I'll try to review all of them at least seven times too, to really get to the heart of the matter - but after the circles of course.

I tried to play at FICS last night, but I keep losing connection after every 5 minutes. As a result, I had multiple games I wasnt able to finish. Apologies to the opponents who summoned my seek. Of course, I dont think anyone of them reads my blog, but still..
posted by Nezha at 6:44 PM | Permalink | 4 comments
Thursday, May 19, 2005
The book I was reading "Simple Chess" is about positional play. So naturally, it uses model games exhibiting clear positional themes. Most of these games I noticed are from three persons - Botvinnik, Petrosian, and Fischer. (Is fischer a positional genius?) Well, anyway - The games are very, very smooth. The moves seems very logical, flowing from one move to the next, and one that even I can understand. But, why cant I play like that? Why is there not that logical progression in my game? Just a series of two-three moves. A pawn push here, some check there. Not the strategic plan conducted from beginning to end like Petrosian. I understand nothing about chess it seems.

Anyway, here is a quote from petrosian regarding tactics

"Although to many this seems strange, in general I consider that in chess everything rests on tactics. If one thinks of strategy as a block of marble, then tactics are the chisel with which a master operates, in creating works of chess art” - Petrosian

Body Routine Interfering with Circles
I have a routine. Everyday, I sleep at about 12pm. Very rarely do I stay up later than this. But since I wanted to finish the circles on time, I figured I should extend my waking hours to maybe about 1am. This way I could do more problems. But the thing is, at about 12pm, my eyes would suddenly become heavy. I would close it for a second and... wake up at 7am in the morning. Its like having an auto-shutdown procedure. I tried short-circuiting it with coffee, but it didnt work. As as result, I am lagging again in the amount of problems I have to solve. Hopefully, I can catch up this coming weekend, but if this continues, I may be forced to skip work so I can finish the circles.
posted by Nezha at 11:16 PM | Permalink | 3 comments
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Four! Four! Four! Four!
Circle Four is done, stick a fork in it. Ahhh, yes! It feels so good to finish this circle. I now have roughly two weeks for circles 5-7. So I think I will break it down like this
  • 8 days - Circle 5
  • 4 Days - Circle 6
  • 2 Days - Circle 7
    Seems to be reasonable enough. I will stop all non-tactic solving activities for a while (playing, etc..) so I can concentrate on finishing the program. Usually I do reviews of the problems I miss, but I will stop that also. If I miss a problem, then I miss a problem. Nothing to do anymore there.

    To fit the plan inside the month of May, I did not solve about 20-30 odd problems whose solution goes 10+ moves deep. Trying to solve one of them consumes about 30min to 1 hour. But I feel I dont get anything anyway, except as a sort of calculation exercise. So I just crossed them out.
    posted by Nezha at 8:00 PM | Permalink | 5 comments
    Monday, May 16, 2005
    Multiple 7-circles
    I went to a tournament last saturday. Unfortunately, the organizer failed to show up. We went a few hours waiting for the tournament to start, but when it became apparent nobody was going to organize, an impromptu blitz tournament was raised instead. Now, I dont like blitz so I did not participate. I did however strike a conversation with another player. I learned a lot of very interesting things. Like when we were playing, it amazed me how fast he sees tactics. I mean, afer I play something, he would say "that's no good" and then rattle off some 5-move combination. Wow, I was blown away. Things I see by calculating, he sees instantly. Wish I could have tactical vision like that. He told me that he can defeat master-strength players at ICC (About 2200), but find it difficult playing against 2300+ players. This suggested to me just how good at tactics a master is. It also humbled me because I realize just how much work I have to do to improve. Now, I am currently doing the 7-circles but I have to say that
    The circles is necessary, but not sufficient"
    I think, even completion of one 7-circle program is not going to get me to that level. So now, I am thinking of doing multiple 7-circles program. I have to do problems over and over and over again. Stopping only when I reach "Flabbergasting speed of chess comprehension". Right, Like I can stick to a plan like this. But it gives me something to shoot at at least.

    Status Report
    Completed circle 4 of chapter 11. Semi-completed chapter 12. I have only three more chapters before total completion. This will give me at least two more weeks for circles 5-7. Maybe I can do the whole 7 circles after all.
    posted by Nezha at 6:42 PM | Permalink | 5 comments
    Thursday, May 12, 2005
    Java Board
    I went to an internet cafe last night to play at FICS. Unfortunately, the computers dont have the latest java installed, so I have to use the old java board instead of Jin. This board really sucks. The response time was very slow, and just when the game was beginning to get interesting, my pieces suddenly disappeared. Huh!? No amount of refresh made it to reappear. I had to resign the game (how can one win without seeing the pieces?)

    Your dead java board. You hear me? Dead3x!

    Status Report
    I am at problem 550. I only have a few weeks to go before my self-imposed deadline elapse (Until this month only). I don't know If I can finish the whole 7-circles, but whatever happens - I stand by my plan. I will do problems until this May, then stop the circles starting June 1. (Although I will continue to do problems everyday, but not as organized as right now. I may even take the unthinkable - offdays)

    Will I be a graduate then? Although I would have done tactical exercises for 5 straight months, I am hesistant to place my name alonside those who did the whole sheebang. But then what am I? (Words such as pseudo-knight, halfling knight, the unwhole come to mind) I can't decide what to do. Would the knights take down my links, I wonder.
    posted by Nezha at 7:32 PM | Permalink | 10 comments
    Wednesday, May 11, 2005
    Nothin Doin
    I'm at work right now, and I'm bored right out of my skull. Wish I could whip-out my book and start solving puzzles. Of course I can't do it because, oh I dont know, maybe get fired? And here I am trying to look busy because I wanted to get promoted this june. Seriously, If I havent got a family to feed I would have quit a long time ago, and looked for a less time-consuming job. Albeit with a lower salary.
    If you are a bachelor boy and you're reading my blog - dont get married too soon young man. You dont know how good you got it right now.

    Duty as heavy as a mountain,
    Grinding me down to dust,
    I am a hollow reed

    I work for a japanese firm, and so learning japanese is a must. One of the key to learning this language is rote memorization of chinese characters (kanji). There are about 50,000 kanjis in existence.. but a person only needs to know about 1850 characters to able to read a typical newspaper. Now would'nt it be great if we can map out tactics that way. Like, there are about 50,000 known tactical operations, but you only need to know 1,850 to be considered a tactical adept. Then we could setup tests and certification exams to scientifically measure a players progress. I dont know why this could'nt be done. If an exhaustive study was conducted, I think this is feasible.

    Pawn Endgames
    I played a game at FICS yesterday, and was glad to have played a pawn endgame. I dont normally get that kind of endgames. I made some mistakes, but my opponents made some too. In the end his proved to be the decisive one, and allowed to me to escape with the win. I am now at 1681. Whooho! (My goal is to reach my previous high of 1720 again).
    posted by Nezha at 11:18 PM | Permalink | 5 comments
    Tuesday, May 10, 2005
    Study and Play
    Doing the tactical exercises is very draining, both on time and energy. But we should not forget that doing exercises, and playing games are two separate things. In a 30-move game, not all those moves are going to be about tactics. There are a lot more involved in playing a complete game. Things like time management, psychology, prophylaxis, etc. My recent tournament results proved to me that studying is not enough. I can't just study for three months, then suddenly play like Kasparov. This is akin to a chain-smoker quitting cold turkey. Regular play must be mixed with study to bring it all together.

    And so I decided to play at least four games a week.

    Though I know that this will delay the circles the results have been very encouraging. Playing regularly strengthens my ability to judge positions and allows me to apply all those tactical ideas I've memorized.

    Why the circles work
    I think one of the reasons the circles work, is that due to the repetitions, there will come some point in time, maybe in the second, maybe in the seventh circle, you suddenly understand a problem. The cartoon lighbulb suddenly appears in your head. It happened quite a few times to me. And only now when I am now in the fourth circle. I would stare at a problem, then instead of variations coming to me, what I would see is the idea. After that, everything falls into place, and solving the problem becomes almost trivial. Tempo posted about seing all the moves in one tempo - this is maybe what he is talking about. I'm sure all the knights will experience something similar like this.

    I am falling behind the circles as I keep on reviewing the problems I have missed, and my study time is now down to 1 hour, but even if slowly, well get there.

    Status report
    Problem Start of Chapter 10: Demolition of Pawn Strukture
    posted by Nezha at 6:27 PM | Permalink | 2 comments
    Sunday, May 08, 2005
    I got sidetracked the past three days. I became too busy reading my new books that I hardly had time for the circles (I was down to 30min per day). But studying simple chess is too addicting I can't stop. Maybe its because I had been doing the exercises for the past 5 months that doing something different suddenly felt very good. anyway, I am at problem 450 now, so I think I can complete level 4 within next week.

    A Win
    At last I won again at FICS playing a higher rater opponent. He was only 1750, and I was down to 2 minutes, but at least the losing streak is over. I won due a combination of tactics, and manuevers vs weak pawns, so I can definitely say that my play is improving. Both tactically and positionally. I mean, at least I don't get shredded like before. It would be interesing to know how much I have progressed once I finished the circles (and by extension, the simple chess book).

    p.s. Welcome to our newest member, Mr. Talim. Hope he does well with the exercises
    posted by Nezha at 11:47 PM | Permalink | 3 comments
    Saturday, May 07, 2005
    Book Review
    I got the two new books I ordered from amazon. "Simple Chess" by Stean, and "Excelling at Chess Calculation" by Aagard. I did a cursory read of the two and here are my assessments.

    1. Simple Chess - This book is really, really good. Reading between the lines, the book is not simply a positional manual trying to teach basic positional concepts. It is actually trying to teach you a style of play. This style of play is aptly named "Simple Chess", hence the title of the book. The greatest exponent of this style is Capablanca, he whose dictum is to "Keep it simple". To give an example on how good this is, lets take the chapter "Outsposts" as a sample. Now, outposts are about the most elementary of positinal concepts, and I am quite sure all sufficiently advanced chess players know of it. I myself have read about it from "Best Lessons of a chess coach" and "Judgement and Planning", and I thought, I can't learn anything new here. But the book proved me wrong. The explanations are outstanding. I mean, I know about outposts, but why dont I find it in my games? Reading the book, I realize that my understanding of it is quite superficial. I am almost tempted to study botvinnik. I can't praise this book enough. This is classic! Buy it! Read it! Watch you rating climb! =>

    2. Excelling at Chess Calculation - If I am not doing the 7 circles, I might have found this book noteworthy. Sure the book has some interesting ideas and stuff but, its nothing new. If not for the 100 exercises found at the back of the book, I might have consigned this to the cabinet, never to be opened again. Originally, my intention on buying this book, was to use it as a workbook on solving candidate move problems. Sort of like the stoyko exercises that Mr. Heisman recommended. On hindsight, I might have been better served buying a specialized book of that genre like "Analyze Now" or others. I intend to work thru the 100 problems of course, no use wasting money. But I cannot recommend this book. At least not with people at my level.
    posted by Nezha at 5:03 AM | Permalink | 4 comments
    Thursday, May 05, 2005
    A Drawn Game
    I played at FICS yesterday, and saw harmless there (Hello harmless). He defeated me too =<, and also lost the next game against a 1400++ player. Talk about embarassment. So that loss brought my losing streak to 10. My rating is now down to 1640. I'm now on a slump I said to myself as I posted another seek. This time I played against an 1850 opponent, and we came to this position

    White(nezha) to move

    This is a won position. I am ahead two pawns and black has no winning chances here. The most he can hope for is a draw. He was down to two minutes too. I was trying to decide on whether to simplify first into a favorable endgame, or try to create a passed pawn first, then simplifying. I was strongly leaning towards Bc2 or Qc2, when my opponent offered a draw. Look, I knew I was winning here, and that barring me from doing anything stupid, he can't stop the inevitable. So what did I do with the draw offer? I accepted it. Dope! I coped out. But, psychologically, it was too much pressure for me. I mean, I would have done anything to break that ten game losing streak. The extra rating points were nice too, and so I took the easy way out.

    Man, I should have tried to go for the whole point. Now, this position keeps popping in my head. I missed a golden opportunity to win, and now I keep getting distracted.

    Status Report
    Circle 4: I made an extra pass for Chapter 5: Opening of line (#313-381). This time I went thru it in an hour as I still remember most of the solutions. Starting chapter 6 today.
    posted by Nezha at 6:34 PM | Permalink | 6 comments
    Wednesday, May 04, 2005
    A Short Story
    They came without warning. The enemy must have known beforehand he was traveling through here. It means somebody inside was working for the enemy. The commander filed this information away in his brain. Mentally instructing his powersuit's computer to encrypt the information and send it via secure channels. The high admiral must know of this.

    "Photon torpedoes coming starboard side, eraser mines directly in-front us"
    the steersman shouted. Red lights flashing menacingly. The "Wheee! Wheee!" of the siren blaring throughout the ship.
    "Transfer power to front shields, increase speed, maximum propulsion"
    The ship jerked forward violently, a collision with the mines inevitable.
    "Now, emergency engine stop, engage front thrusters!".
    The twin action of the stop and the sudden activation of the front thrusters caused the front of the ship to tip downward, and the back of be thrown forward. A groaning sound reverberated. When the ship is about 30 degrees slanted the commander bellowed "Cut front thrusters, transfer power to top shields and engaged main engines!"
    To an outside observer, the ship seemed to have travelled into an L shape pattern. A few of the eraser mines came into contact and detonated, but the ship was otherwise unharmed. It was a brilliant maneuver, but no time to admire such things now.

    "Activate maneuver alpha".
    The ship suddenly warped out of space. And warped in within a proximity of a few thousand kilometers. Then warped out again, and in, and out, and in. All in random locations, each time discharging photon torpedoes before warping out. The enemy ship saw this and proceeded to do the same maneuver. The torpedoes hitting empty space where it had been before.

    The two ships appeared as random points in space. Now present, now gone. Were it not for the constant discharge of photon torpedoes, they would look like two fireflies dancing around a flame. But this dance has a very deadly intent. But the winner of this contest is totally unpredictable. Fights like this can last days. Ending only when one of the ships lose power or breaks off. Indeed, it is almost impossible to detect where the next position of the enemy ship would be. Not to mention hitting it with torpedoes. Even the most advanced nega-engines could not predict with 100% reliability. But the commander has lived close to two hundred years. He's learned a few tricks of the trade.

    Yes it was almost impossible to determine the next location of the ship, but tracing the trajectories of the enemy torpedoes, and the patterns it made, suggested a maneuver to him.
    "Steersman, stop maneuver Alpha. All power including life-support to forward shields. Then discharge six torpedoes to the following coordinates".
    As soon as the ship stopped teleporting out, it was rocked by enemy torpedoes. Damage reports indicate 30% hull damage, A few sectors crumpled, but the redirected power did its job and dissipated most of the heat into space. Now, five torpedoes had been launched at seemingly random positions. It is a small matter to evade them on-by-one, and the enemy ship did - only to be hit directly by the sixth torpedo.

    Space vacuum prevented sound, but a circular array of light provided its replacement. The enemy ship's destruction a beautiful sight.


    The commander is resting inside his room, when a soft sound alerted him to the presence of a visitor. It is the sub-commander.
    "Come in number two".
    The room opened to reveal a middleage man in a powersuit. He raised his right hand, then brought it to his chest.
    "For the emperor"
    "For the emperor" the commander responded to the traditional salute.
    "Commander, damage repairs completed. We are now prepared to continue traveling to the Solarrium star system."
    A good one this man
    "Very good number two"
    But when he hesitated to go out
    "What is it?"
    "Sir, how did you know where to fire the torpedoes? Even the nega-engines cannot predict it with accuracy?"
    The old commander smiled lightly and said
    "It's called a mating net. I recognized the pattern Colonel".
    "Sir?" a confused look greeted him.

    "I cannot explain in so many words, but are you perchance familiar with an old earth pastime called chess?"
    posted by Nezha at 8:23 PM | Permalink | 2 comments
    Tuesday, May 03, 2005
    I think I need a new book
    I did'nt want to admit it then, and have eggs on my face but, this book by maxim blokh contains problems that's too hard for me. The solution is way beyond my tactical skills. I get some of them right, but most of the time, I just stare at the problems without any ideas on how to proceed. And this is at circle 4. Short of memorizing the lines, which I am hesistant to do, even if I add more circles, I dont think I will gain more benefit from continuing like this. Of course, we can say that I am also sharpening my calculating strenght tackling such hard puzzles. But I have already ordered a new book "Excelling at chess calculation" which I think will train me in that area more efficiently. Maybe "combinational challenge" by hays would be good? *But* Alas, scourvy mate! tis too late for me. I have to wait until I finish the current circles as it is. The course is set, and I have to follow it until the end. We may ask, Why continue if I have doubts? Is this not foolishness? But because I fancy myself (fancy is the operative word) as a man of my word - to me, not finishing something I started is a feeling worse than any pain caused by the current program.

    The moving hand writes, and having writ,
    moves on, nor all your piety nor your wit,
    shall turn it back to cancel half a line,
    nor all your tears wash our a word of it

    On a side-note:
    I read some forum yesterday, and someone said that it took him him about 4-5 years to go from a 1600 to a 2200 class player. This gives me hope. I mean, playing chess for three years and not being a very strong player eats me inside. But maybe it take much time. Contrary to MDLM's 400 points in 400 days contention. I want to believe MDLM.. really I do, but.. you have to understand, I dont want to be disappointed..

    I also studied karate and aikido when I was younger. I had to discontinue when I fell in-love with a girl, who incidentally, turned me down faster than you can say flouccifauccinihillifilificate. Ohhh, that hurts. Even now when I remember. Was I that foolish? Ahh, if only youth knew, If only age could.
    posted by Nezha at 8:09 PM | Permalink | 8 comments
    Monday, May 02, 2005
    Rating Fluctuations
    Ok, Ive played about over 20 games in FICS now, and my rating have fluctuated from 1680-1720. The numbers are not too far apart that maybe we can take the median, and say I'm a 1700 player? Dunno what the number is supposed to tell me though. I mean, a 2600+ player is supposed to be a super-GM. Capable of feats beyond normal human capabilities. But, what is a 1700 player capable of? And if I am really 1700(though I have my doubts of course), then I pity this class. Why? because I suck, and by extension this class should too (Ok, you can flame me now)

    I've got a seven game winning streak. It almost seemed to easy. I defeated an 1800, a 1700, a 1600, a 1500, a 1400, a 1300(2x) player in succession. So what the heck, "maybe I'm stronger than I thought" I said to myself as I issued a challenge to a 1900 player. I got my head promptly handed to me on a platter. But wait, that loss may be a fluke. Maybe its just his lucky day. So I asked for a rematch. And lost, again - and again - and again. Guess that's no fluke huh! Maybe I'm really not stronger than I thought. I should admit that a 1900 player is too strong for me. Or, hey, maybe only this player. Maybe he's stronger than he though. So, I looked around for another 1900 player. This time, I got to the endgame before I lost. Of course I coud'nt help asking for a rematch, after rematch, after rematch. By the third game I'd have been happy for a draw. No such luck. Sheesh! I now have a eight game losing streak. Its good that my rating gets docked by only 5 points per loss. Otherwise, I would have been in the high 1500 now.

    Strenght Differences
    One of the things I noticed playing opponents with such diverse ratings is the way my opponent consistently select moves. The 1500 below class, selects sub-optimal moves most of the times. The 1800 above class on the otherhand, doesnt make any seemingly bad moves. Of course, this is my point of view. To a GM perhaps, all moves by class players are bad moves. But to me, it doesnt seem to be particularly bad. Just good solid moves. They see my tricks, easily parry them, and set tricks of their own. And, it is really very tempting to say that I lost because "I didnt know the lines of the french defense" or that I had "no endgame knowledge". But this is not really the case. I mean, most of the time, I got into a pretty even middlegame. My 1900 opponents just made slightly better moves than me. Nothing spectacular. No deep tactical shots. Just slighly better moves by slightly better moves.

    Cicle 4 Status
    I am at problem 312. 400++ to go before circle 4 completion
    posted by Nezha at 8:15 PM | Permalink | 3 comments