Thursday, June 30, 2005

Day 185 - Back from Sea Ranch

I just took a trip to the coast. There I was able to do over 320 problems, along with swimming, playing frisbee, watching TV, and just relaxing. I have also been reading over the other blogs and thinking about Tempo and Mousetrapper's x-rays and system. I think that their ideas are very good and that I should try them myself. So sometime in the next few days, I will start implementing their plan.

Additionally, I logged back onto CTS and went through a few problems. I quickly brought my rating up to about 1410 and hovered there for a while before stopping. The reason I could finally reach 1400 is because I realized that the solutions were simple. So I feel much better about myself :)

Monday, June 27, 2005

Day 182 - Wow!

I just finished a game on FICS. My rating is now 1613. I feel that this one is worth showing. I will post the moves, as I don't have anything to show it with.

1. e4 d6
2. d4 Nf6
3. Nc3 g6
4. Nf3 Bg7
5. Bc4 O-O
6. O-O a6
7. Be3 Nbd7
8. e5 dxe5
9. Dxe5 Ng4
10. Bf4 Ngxe5
11. Nxe5 Bxe5
12. Bxe5 Nxe5
13. Bb3 b5
14. Re1 Nc6
15. Bd5 Bd7
16. Qf3 Nd4
17. Qe4 c6
18. Qxd4 cxd5
Here I saw the next 3 moves. It was pretty exciting for me anyways.
19. Nxd5 Bc6
20. Nxe7+ Qxe7
21. Rxe7 Rad8
22. Qf6 Rd2
23. Qxc6 Rfd8
24. Re8+

I am still doing the tactics exercises. Good stuff.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Day 181 - Back From Geek Week

I recently returned from a weeklong stay at Youth Business Week at Sonoma State University. I was unable to play chess or do chess problems there, so I am trying to catch up. Anyways, I have also tried to get onto the ICQ Group, but I seem to be going in circles, even though I have a password and number. I am hoping one of you guys can help me. I will soon be leaving for Sea Ranch, and that should be good fun (Another three days gone!). Hope to post again soon.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Day 173

I figured since it has been 6 days since I last posted, I should write down my thoughts.

I have yet to actually begin my tactical training by the 7-circles path. After a game and a talk with nezha, I have decided that I will find a plan and then stick to it. I hope that just determination to stay the course will help me improve.

For my circles, I plan on doing easy circles progressing to harder circles. I am thinking that I will do a full 7 circles on the easies, 7 on the low medium, 7 on medium, 7 on high medium, etc. I think that this plan will ease me back into chess very nicely. Feel free to chime in with input.

Also, I would like to say congratulations to nezha for completing his 7 circles.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Day 167 - Feeling Good

Yesterday I played 4 games on FICS and emerged with 3 wins, 1 loss, and a 1648 rating. I played well and also met another player that I should be able to play with regularly. In one of my games, I reached an endgame in which there were opposite-colored bishops and I was up to pawns. To queen one of my pawns, I had to sacrifice a bunch of my pawns and maneuver my king and bishop correctly. It was pretty exciting. It seems that everyone is doing well and improving slowly but surely.


I was thinking about thought processes (no pun intended):

Levels of Progress and Thought Processes in Chess

At its heart, chess is a game between two players, each trying to checkmate their opponent's king. To do so, they must make use of goals, plans, and tactics. At this simplistic level, chess is basically a contest of wills, each player implementing simple plans. These plans are often very simple, but as a player progresses they may become more strategically complex; it can use numerous "imbalances" or just a few simple blunder-checks. As a chess player develops, they realize that the opponent also has a plan. The chess player now can incorporate propholactic and defensive moves into his game, hoping to stifle his opponent's plan, if that plan is worth stopping. This chess player can't forget his own plan if he wishes to succeed. Additionally, the player will develop a certain style of play, favoring attack or defense, open or closed positions, etc. At this point, it is likely that the player will hit a rating "plateau". He may wish to join the Knights Errant (You never know!!!) on their MDLM quest, or he may choose to read books, buy software, and play online chess. Either way, he will likely try to develop a thinking process. Ending this highly-forced, terrible narrative, I have several questions:

Should a thought process mirror the (ideal) progress of a chess player: from simple to complex?

Should a plan be "idea" oriented, "imbalance" oriented, or "blunder-check/list" oriented?

Should a player's plan/thought-process mirror or fit his style?

What is the best way to escape the rating plateau?

Would an evaluation of a player's strengths and weaknesses help him to get past the rating plateau?

If any of the knights respond to these questions, I would be very grateful (and thanks for reading the atrocious story).

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Day 166 - Summer Has Arrived!

Today is the official start of summer for me. Yesterday, after school, I went to the beach with two of my friends, and played frisbee, soccer, and baseball for 5 hours. I then headed home, took a shower, and went to a surprise birthday party for another of my friends. We (the approximately 20 people at the party) then went to the park and talked and swung on the swings. So it was a very good end of the year for me.

Because summer has officially set in for me, I can devote more time to chess. Yes! I hope to get more time in doing problems and playing online.

Also, the reason I haven't posted recently is because I was studying for finals and for the SAT II Biology and Math Tests. I think that I did well on all of the tests that I took. I can't wait to get my results in the mail.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Day 159

Today I finished off the last problem set with an 84%. I usually got all of the decisive tactics, but missed draws/stalemates, and quieter moves. Once again, I got impatient and just flipped to the answers on some of the last ones, and those are the ones that I needed to concentrate on the most.

It seems that I am doing pretty well just doing tactics. I'm wondering, What do the Knights think about adding a thought process now, or just waiting until my success wears off?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Day 156

After posting yesteray, I proceeded to dismantle a 1500 player on Pogo. It felt very good and very reassuring. Today I finished my 3rd set of 25, with a 76% after missing only six. I missed most of these problems because I just didn't want to devote any more time to the problem and wanted to finish. Feeling good overall.