Thursday, January 20, 2005

Day 25 - Various Topics

I have also been thinking about thought processes and plans. I have seen several (Silman, Seirawan, Black, etc.) and tried to make my own. I also looked at MDLM's thought process, which I think is a bit on the skimpy side. Also, I think that MDLM took Silman's analysis in "How to Reassess Your Chess" too seriously. Silman isn't the top chess player ever, but his ideas and teachings can be beneficial. For example, I realized that, in a game I was playing recently, I had the opportunity to exchange my queen for the opponenet's rook and knight. I also saw that in the resulting position, my bishop would be protected in front of its own pawn in a semi-closed game. I played the exchange and maneuvered my rooks and bishop well against his queen and rook. He eventually traded his rook for my bishop, and I was up material (unfortunately I got disconnected and couldn't continue the game). The point of this story is that I realized that material wasn't important and that my superior development, pawn structure, and strong bishop would dominate.

On a different note, I feel that chess should be studied as a whole as much as possible. During concentrated study, such as 6-Circles' focus on tactics, a person should try to make as many connections with tactics to openings, positional play, and endings. I feel that this holistic approach to chess will bring about improvement quickly.

Switching topics again, I have been playing really well lately. My winning percentage for the weeks since the beginning of this training must be around 90% or higher. I don't know if it's psychology, tactics, confidence, or a mix of the three, but I feel that I should keep up what I am doing.

When I finish this first Circle, I plan on doing some detailed endgame and middlegame study. I will documaent my studies and will probably memorize a few GM games, much like PawnSensei. I am thinking that a few of the Corus Games (the Wijk aan Zee Tournament) from this year are worthwhile.

Also, I was at a chess tournament a year or two ago, and a chess teacher was showing some kids an endgame. He had taped a piece of paper to the bottom of the king that covered all of the squares that the king could move to, and he suggested that the kids do the same at home. I was wondering what the Knights thought of this.

Also, I am going to scale the first 5 Circles back by 160 to 1373. This is a pretty dramatic cut-back, but I will use the last 160 problems in Karsten Muller's "The ChessCafe Puzzle Book," as he suggests, in the 6th Circle. I think that this will make my load much lighter and provide a measure of my tactical skills. I might just add 100 exercises from Dejasacchi's Chess Site to make up some of the difference.

Today I did 12 problems from "The ChessCafe Puzzle Book" and 8 problems from "365 Ways to Checkmate," for a total of 20.

71 days left
2 hrs. completed, 24.5 total
868 out of 1373, 505 left


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