Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Day 24 - Quandries Abound

Finals (for the 1st semester) went well yesterday and today. I was able to do 10 problems from "365 Ways to Checkmate." For my review of endgames, I looked back over opposition and outflanking.

I feel that the key to any chess improvement is dedication/perserverence. If a chess player dedicates himself to any plan that involves hard work is bound to find some improvement in their game.

I was contemplating what comes after the 7-Circles Training (especially with Sancho soon to leave). Since I am doing predominantly checkmating problems, will I try a scaled-back version of 7-Circles with general tactics? Will I devote myself to mainly middlegame, opening, or endgame study? I will do my best to answer these quandries in the coming days. I would also like to hear what the other knights think about these topics.

72 days left
1 hr. completed, 22.5 total
848 out of 1533, 685 left


At 4:15 PM, Blogger Pawn Sensei said...

Hey Generalkaia,

Well you saw my proposed regimen so you kind of already know what I think. Your program sounds pretty similar to mine.

If you need more books on tactics I would recommend 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations, or Polgar's book 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games. I already have the former book, and will order the latter either today or tomorrow. The second book should last you a good year or two.

Even if you don't do the 7Circles as written it is still tactics, tactics, tactics. Did I mention that tactics are important? Even people who don't like De La Maza's program still recommend that tactics be studied every single day possible. The other areas can be rotated depending on where you feel you need the most work at the moment. Everybody's chess strategies fluctuate but tactics remain the same. It's like baseball. Some guys practice hitting more, others practics catching and throwing, but everyone runs laps every single practice. Just my two cents!


At 4:55 PM, Blogger generalkaia said...

Hey Pawn Sensei

I already have 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations, it's a great book. I agree that daily tactics exercises are a requirement for chess improvement, even at higher levels. Thanks for your opinion.


At 6:37 PM, Blogger Sancho Pawnza said...

While I will be ending the 7 circles hopefully here shortly, it doesn't mean the end of chess training more likely the start of a well balanced schedule. With a different focus each week, and a more concerted effort towards playing and analyzing my games. But I will most assuredly continue with a good set of tactical problems in that plan. More than likely the focus will be on mating patterns. I have to practice those 2 foot putts and jump shots! :) It is extremely doubtful that I will place all of my focus in just one area of study again.

At 4:42 AM, Blogger Don Q. said...


An ambitious program. 187 days is a long time, particularly for a self-created program. I agree with you that it is easier to follow someone else's program than your own. The web is littered with people like Orange Knight who start a chess improvement program and then give up. Some examples:
2), and

One of the reasons I chose de la Maza's program was that it was established. I could talk about it, and people would know what I was doing. I see the biggest risk of your program that you won't be doing something that others are likley to be doing, but you've already got a built in support group with the Knights de la Maza; so you'll probably be alright.

Unlike others, I plan to take time away from serious chess study after I complete the program. I have a few other things I'd like to do. If I were to study, I'd like to work through one opening line in detail to learn all the major themes. My hunch is that, if I pick the right opening, I will be introduced to the basics plans in chess (usually based on pawn structure). I also want to get back to just enjoying chess for its own sake. Hopefully, and enlarged tactical muscle will make that aspect of the game less tiring so that I can focus on others.


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