Thursday, August 31, 2006

Recognizing Subproblems On CTS

Today I got a problem on CTS I've never seen before, but instantly recognized a 3-move mate subproblem in it. Only this time there was a 'removal of the guard' to be done by a 'decoy' first. It took me far less time to recognize the mate, than I usually need to orient myself even to roughly see the position. Not to even mention spotting the tactics yet. It was just instantaneous. -The recognition took less than half a second, and then I just built the rest of the solution up to make that 3-move mate happen. It made me think: "this must be the way the really good players see the tactics", and strengthened my belief that I'm on the right path with massive repetition of tactical problems. Recognition, not calculation. It's all starting to come together.

CTS: 1559, 77.6%, 56175, session 25f/159 = 84.3%
RHP: 1717, 165 games, wld 106-53-8

Sunday, August 20, 2006

CTS Rating 1551

And not a moment too soon. - I was stuck at 1520-1530 for a long time, but finally got some new ground covered. I knew I'd do it if I just got a good night's sleep, and after last night's 10h slumber it was like snatching candy from a kid. And with an exellent success rate too, compared to yesterday's appalling 75%... I just couldn't do any better, no matter how I tried. - Goes to show how much a good night's sleep really matter.

I'm feeling very sharp in my tournament games on RHP also. Seems like I just see more than before. The new games are all against higher rated players compared to before, so there should be some sweet rating points coming my way as well. Maybe I'll finally get permanently over 1700.

CTS: 1551, 77.5%, 53208, 18f/151 = 88.0%
RHP: 1683, 160 games played

Friday, August 18, 2006

Learning The Wrong Patterns

Just back from the chess tactics salt mines. Had a relatively good day ratingwise, a little bit worse getting problems right. Somewhere during a marathon session, one thing started to bother me. The problems I get wrong: -It seems I'm having pretty strong recollections of the wrong way of solving familiar problems that I've failed before. And because the time is scarce, I often jump and do the wrong move. And of course, in the fraction of a second after I see the frowning smilie, I remember "oh yes, that was the wrong solution."

I'm thinking maybe I should run through the failed ones more than once after a session. Maybe even three times, to make certain that the right pattern leaves stronger memory imprintation than the wrong one.

CTS: 1544, 52814, 77.5%, 33f/183 = 82.0%

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Combinative Vision vs. Calculation

A friend of mine has been nagging for months about me not training slow tactics. He seems to think CTS is comparable to blitz, and while I don't really agree on that, I do see a shortcoming in my tactical training. Which is lack of calculation exercises. - Hacking away problems on CTS is all good for developing combinative vision, but it doesn't really affect calculation that much. Which I've begun to see as the weakest link in my tactical ability.

So, I've been looking for a suitable problem set for daily solving of slow problems, calculating as I would in real game instead of the more intuitive 'spotting tactics' which CTS is all about. Unfortunately, all sets I've come by so far have been somehow inadequate, lacking solutions, wrong kind of positions etc. - I took a peek at some tactics books for intermediate players, but then I thought I'd just go ahead and order CT-ART3.0 and get loads of suitable problems with an interface. So, today I ordered it, and when it arrives I'll start doing daily slow tactics as calculation exercise. I'll be still training combinative vision on CTS as well, but probably somewhat less intensively.

good session on CTS today though:
1537, 77.4%, 51090, 4f/57 = 93.0%

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

50 000 Problems Done On CTS

Halfway there. It was a long way from 1050, and although some stronger players have said that I should be doing slow tactics instead of CTS, I think it's been worth it. CTS has been my only method of tactical training during this first year, and I think that's the biggest reason why I'm at 1665 RHP now. I've seen a lot of people stuggling at 1300-1400's after their first year, so I think I'm doing okay. Lots of room for improvement of course, tactically and otherwise also, but I feel that I'm getting most bang for a buck with my current training program.

It seems obvious the improvement rate gets considerably slower at around 1500, but progress is still happening quite steadily. No reason to start feeling too comfortable though, it's still a long way to the goal of 2006, 1600 CTS.

stats for today:
CTS: 1517, 77.3%, 50231 problems, session % 13f/99 = 86.9%