Friday, December 31, 2004

Day 5 - Continuing the Work

Today, I did 86 problems.
So, it's now 425 out of 1533, with 1108 to go.

I've been able to get so much work done because of the holiday. Hopefully I can keep this up. Those last days will be hard, I gotta say.

I'm looking forward to the coming year, and I hope everyone else is too. Happy new year!

1 hr. completed, 6 total (rating same)

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Day 4 - Starting 6!!! Circles

Yesterday, I bought "303 Tricky Checkmates" and "More Chessercizes: Checkmate." That brings my total of problems to 1533. I'm going to be doing a 96 - 48 - 24 - 12 - 6 - 3 (6-Circles Plan). The total of days is now going to be 189 rather than 127. I changed the plan because of the hightened number of problems. I think that the order of difficulty is:

1. 303 Tricky Checkmates
2. More Chessercizes: Checkmate
3. 365 Ways to Checkmate
4. The ChessCafe Puzzle Book

That is also the order I plan to do them. If I need to, I can substitute some of dejascacchi's sets of 100. (The 2 last puzzle books I mentioned in the list are very high quality, nice books, but you pay extra for that. The first two are fairly easy problems with a few errors here and there, and the price mirrors that.)

On Tuesday I had completed 115 puzzles of "366 Ways to Checkmate." Yesterday, I did 124 problems from both "303 Tricky Checkmates" and "More Chessercizes: Checkmate." Today, I did about 100 problems.

If I can, I want to do a 48 - 24 - 24 inside of the 96 (48+24+24=96) and then resume the plan as scheduled.

I realize that my plan is ambitious, but If I can make it a habit of studying every night, I have a chance at making it all the way. I wanted to speed up the 96-day cycle so that I can improve enough to see results at my high school's chess club and go to the state tourney again. :)

On Tuesday it was 115 out of 1533, 1418 to go.
On Wednesday it was 239 out of 1533, 1294 to go.
Today it is 339 out of 1533, 1194 to go.

1.5 hrs completed, 5 total (rating same)

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Day 3 - Feeling Motivated!

Today I added links to all of the sites other than Sancho Pawnza. I also just looked at De la Maza's book, "Rapid Chess Improvement". It's a complete ripoff at $13.00 for a half-inch thin (I'm being generous) book that you can get for free on the internet. Okay, there were a few extra ideas about the drills, some tactical exercises, and confessionals from satisfied chess players, but the necessary content was the same. I really like De la Maza's ideas, and I continue to use them, but the book's price is unfair. Anyways, I also read Silman's review of "Rapid Chess Improvement." I think that Silman's thought process is good when you can't find a tactic. However, De la Maza's inspiring and encouraging book and articles are good for chess players to become motivated, not often seen with boring chess texts! Plus, they aren't as bad as Silman suggests. Additionally, De la Maza's methods seem to work for people other than himself too (see Link to Sancho Pawnza's site, December 28th). Anyways...

1 hrs completed, 3.5 total (rating same)
Today I did 3 Concentric Squares and 1 Knight Sight. My first CS took 15 minutes, while my second go took a little over 13 minutes. My 3rd took 12 minutes 30 seconds. The Knight Sight took no time at all. I think I will start to do the second version of KS, where you try to find the fastest route to a square (almost like concentric squares). I am starting to see the CS much better and faster, but I don't seem to be making much progress on KS. Well, maybe I should just give it more time.

Also ... I realized that it is impossible to get at a rook at a certain distance from the king. With the King at d5, it is impossible to get a rook at b8, f8, h8, a7, g7, a3, g3, b2, f2, h2, a1, and g1. Basically, if the king and rook form a (x) by (x+1) rectangle, when x is greater than or equal to 3. so like a 3 by 4, 4 by 5, or 5 by 6 rectangle.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Day 2

1 hour completed, 2.5 total (rating same)

I did 3 CS and 1 KS. The CS is much easier than yesterday. I bought "365 Ways to Checkmate" and "The ChessCafe Puzzle Book" at Borders today. The 1st book has - surprise! - 365 checkmate puzzles in 5 livels of difficulty, and the 2nd book has 565 tactics problems with exercises, tests, and problems covering the opening and the endgame, all in order of difficulty. I'm thinking that I will make a total of 1030 by also using dejascacchi's Tactical Combinations (the 1st easy set of 100). I was also thinking that Circles 2 and 1 will have to occur on a fishing trip or something else. I also might need to just split them up among several days.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Day 1 - Starting Off

1.5 hrs completed, 1.5 total (rating in high 1300's)

Today I started the training method taught by De la Maza in his articles "400 points in 400 days". I am motivated but am also cautious not to hurry in order not to get burnt-out.
I did two concentric circles (CS) and 2 knight sights (KS). I plan on doing 14 days of CS, as much as possible, while also doing KS if time allows. I also hope that SCAN (from Viking Chess - is better than De la Maza's planning method. I can't neglect my other chess needs: tactics, games, etc. Within a few days, I will likely need to add variety to CS by changing the king's position along with changing the white piece. I also need to find a book of chess exercise (or CD) with 1000 puzzles ranked in order of difficulty. When buying it, I need to bring the "400 in 400" article.