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 |


  • At 11:09 PM, Blogger Fraktál

    "playing chess for three years and not being a very strong player eats me inside"

    Well, I have very great respect for people who are rated in the 1700's on FICS. In fact, before giving up with FICS, my lifetime goal has been reaching that rating. If you need some motivation, compare yourself to amateurs, and you'll see just how strong you are :) I'm sure lots of people envy your chess strength.

    Oh, and keep in mind, "It is not enough to be a good player. You must also play well." (S. Tarrasch)

  • At 7:16 AM, Blogger Margriet

    I understand your frustration. I started learning the game at 44.
    But I've seen progression because of tactic training. Now the so called house-players (I'm a clubplayer) cannot beat me anymore. Don't worry about how long it takes to increase your skills. Just live be the day. Chess is FUN.

  • At 7:35 AM, Blogger CelticDeath

    When I was a sophmore in high school, I joined the chess club. I played probably around an 800 elo game of chess and alternated the bottom spot of the school chess club with a blind kid who played by feel.

    I began to study seriously (but not in a very well-planned fashion). By my junior year, I was middle board of the school chess club and got to play in my first chess tournament. I won 2 and lost 4 games at that tourney.

    My senior year, I became top board and dominated the school chess club. One fellow, who had been 1st board since I joined back in my sophmore year got so ticked off that he quit chess club because he wasn't going to be first chair that year at the state tournament. My USCF rating was about 1300. That year, I went 6-0 at first chair in the Illinois state scholastic chess tournament. The only other 1st boards to do that were one fellow with an 1800 rating and another who has since become a national master (NM Steve Szpisjak).

    Then, I went off to college and played off and on, but not very seriously. I rejoined USCF in 1996, played for about a year, and let my membership lapse. My rating stayed around 1300. I rejoined USCF in 2001 and, again, played for about a year, and let my membership lapse. My rating? Still about 1300.

    In December 2003, I made a determined effort to get back into chess seriously. I bought CT-Art 3.0 and started reading several of my chess books that I had bought in the past and had never finished. I rejoined USCF in March 2004. I made 2 circles of CT-Art 3.0, before faltering, and took 6 months to read Pachman's Modern Chess Strategy and memorize the games in it. I played in several tournaments both OTB an on-line, and in Feb. of this year made a commitment to do my blog and to do the 7 circles with Reinfeld's 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations. The result has been that my rating has broken well into Class C territory (currently 1534).

    So, my point is that hard work does pay. If you aren't committed to the goal and don't work hard you will not see improvement (which is why I stayed at 1300 for so long). If you do commit, and you do work hard, you WILL improve.

  • At 9:16 AM, Blogger Jim

    Good adjustment. For instance, CT-ART, I juts found out, is for players rated around 1600 to 2300, which I'm no where near.

    Hence, I struggle and ave to repeat the levels, but, don't worry about the memorization issues. For all intents and purposes, chess is greatly about memorization - or at least recognizing the board configuration.

    It's said that Kasparov has memorized 1000 games - there's something to be said for memorization. . .

  • At 12:01 PM, Blogger Blue Devil Knight

    Cool post, and very interesting chronology from Celtic Death.

    Why don't you want to use software Nezha?

  • At 5:21 PM, Blogger Nezha

    > Why don't you want to use software Nezha?

    Because I'm a software programmer and so I stare at the screen all day (8-12hrs). If I try to stare again at night, I develop eyestrain and feel pain. I am fearful of getting blind when I get old, so I try not to stare at computers as much as I can.

  • At 7:38 PM, Blogger Blue Devil Knight

    Ah. I see. That really sucks. Now it all makes sense!

  • At 8:32 PM, Blogger fussylizard

    Be sure you understand your weaknesses. If you don't know why you are losing it is difficult to work on it. Studying tactics is important, but make sure it is the most important thing for you. For example, if your thought process is weak (i.e. you make moves without checking every one of your opponent's replies) then it doesn't matter if you are 2000+ on tactics since you will drop a piece yourself before your tactical skill can make a difference. Also, be sure you are playing lots of slow games (G/60 minimum) so you can really think about your moves. I think I started improving quite a bit when I started playing a weekly game with a friend at G/120 (or slower).

    As for MDLM, he studied and played chess for two years without a job. If we all had that kind of time, we'd all be class-A players. :-)