Monday, January 08, 2007
Has anybody seen it?
When I was winning, I wasn't thinking that much. I don't even remember calculating variations. Just going by pure pattern recognition. By and large, that was enough to reach 1750. I remember chuckling because I was playing 30/30 blitz games. That is, the time is standard, but I play so fast that it is not uncommon after the game my time would actually be longer than when I started.

But so what, I was winning right? No need to fret over such things.

However, a few weeks ago, something went wrong. I remember distinctly going to CTS and, making errors upon errors. My rating there fell 100 points too. But CTS rating didn't concern me much. However, when I went to FICS and played, the same thing kept happening. I started losing over and over again. Its like something in my brain shut down. I couldn't see the patterns anymore....

You know how I wrote that I cant remember losing to a U1600 player? Well somebody clearly paid attention. Here is the statistics from the last ten games.

58: - 1704 B 1715 Susek
59: - 1692 W 1528 zfoxz
60: + 1693 B 1135 MrDiaz
61: - 1686 B 1745 KewlKrusader
62: - 1674 W 1525 Pachtet
63: = 1674 B 1689 hastony
64: - 1663 W 1528 salaccc
65: - 1653 B 1564 mrrookes
66: - 1642 B 1557 Kevral
67: + 1647 W 1491 icurmine

Talk about getting served. Its payback time. So all you U1600 player who wants to win, come play with me =>

But this is not my idea of fun. And this was for only my last ten games. Repeat this for another ten, and you get the idea of the chess torture I've been going through. I've been trying to play my way out of this funk, but something isn't working. I'm getting a little bit worried.

I think playing too fast for too long a time is coming back to haunt me. So I started hunkering down and forcing myself to calculate each and every move. What happened was something like this.

Me: Hmm, lets see.. I could try.. (Looking at a position)
  • Nd2, fxg4, e5, b2... etc.. etc..
  • e5, fxg4, nd3, b2... etc.. etc..
  • 0-0...
Did you notice? I was calculating the variations but I haven't been comparing the lines to each other. So, I wasn't reaching any definite conclusion. I mean, My mind just goes on and on moving the pieces in my head. But ultimately, I didn't know if the line is good or bad. I'd end up picking just any line. I remember a fellow chess player (CamyC) asking me "Do you even know if you have the advantage or not?", and I couldn't answer him. For truthfully I was just picking out the lines that looked good, and didn't lose on the spot.

Plus, massive calculations every move consumes so much time it forced me to lengthen my seeks from 30/30 to 45/45. However, at this point my calculation powers are so weak that by the 30th minute, I would get tired and relax, make some random move and get hammered. I blow winning positions time and gain.

The past few games, I've been trying to do the candidate move comparison more and more. What Mr. Heisman termed as the "King of the hill". So I hope it bears fruit soon. And I hope I can sustain the calculation process until the end of the game.

But its like learning to walk again. The long hiatus has affected my calculation muscules. Its too slow, and too shallow. But if everygame it goess deeper and faster, then even were I to lose, it would be ok somewhat (Hmm.. This sounds suspiciously like I'm rationalizing away my loses)

If I only I can find where I left my pattern recognition skill, then I can finally win me some.

Has anybody seen it?

Come here pattern recognition boy, choo-choo! Come here...

btw: Thanks to all who left a comment on my last post. I'll be thinking about what you said. Thanks a lot.
posted by Nezha at 4:24 AM | Permalink |


  • At 3:31 AM, Blogger Temposchlucker

    If you can't find a tactic right away, improve the activity of your pieces. Some call this positional play, but it is exactly what MDLM says too.

    The idea of Silman is: first find a plan that suits the position, then start looking for candidates that might fit in the plan. So DON'T start with candidate moves and calculation.

    For a plan you should ask yourself only two things:
    1. Is there an outpost I can conquer
    2. Is there a pawn push that opens line(s) which I can use and my opponent not.

    That's all.

  • At 6:33 AM, Blogger funkyfantom

    There is a bright side to having a lower rating. I always seek 200 points above and below my rating.

    With a lower rating, you will be playing less skilled players on the average, and have many more opportunities to create smashing attacks that higher-rated players won't allow.

    Enjoy it while you can, before your rating goes back up. Once your rating goes up, you will be playing
    merciless hunters who will punish you for the slightest mistake,and that can be debilitating.