Sunday, January 21, 2007

1805 On Red Hot Pawn

Wupee! Finally there. Well, at least for a while. No doubt I'll fall back under 1800 soon, but the first time you break an even hundred is always a cause for celebration. The mental barrier has been broken, and now I'll just have to establish my rating above 1800 for good. It took me 1½ years, 202 rated CC games and 73 882 problems on CTS to get there. It's time to set the sights for 1900.

CTS has been going extremely well also, after I stopped daily training. During the last two weeks I've hit another bumb, and risen up to around 1630 (1639). I think it's because I've been at it really hard the last six months, averaging at about 200-300 problems a day, so now that I've taken it easy I'm more alert and less exhausted.

I've been slacking a bit with CT-ART, mainly because I don't want to do it tired. I would just start guessing, which is the exact opposite of what I'm trying to gain from it. Which is exhaustive and complete calculation training. But I'll get back to it as soon as I feel more alert.

RHP: 1805, 202 games, wdl 134-11-61.
CTS: 1621 (1639), 73 931 problems, 77.7%

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Year 2006 And Goals For 2007

I guess it's time to make a quick summary on the year 2006. Looking back, chess improvement went reasonably well, although I didn't get around to playing standard games. Other than that, I pretty much reached my goals for the year. broke 1600 on CTS, 1200 in FICS blitz, and would've even broken the 1800 on RHP without the 40 swindled points I mentioned in my previous post. So, all in all, things went pretty well.

For the year 2007 I'm making some minor changes in my training program. Tactics will no longer be the primary training I'll be using my efforts on, instead I'm concentrating on endgames. I'll still be doing some CTS just for fun and CT-ART for calculation exercises, but the bulk of my time will be devoted to mastering the material in the 3 Karsten Müller endgame dvds I acquired. I have watched through the dvds 1&2, and now I'm drilling all the examples against fritz until I can instantly recognize and perform the necessary procedures. I'm now drilling the pawn endgames, and needless to say but it has made all the difference. I'm pretty sure all of my explicit knowledge of the related theory was almost useless, as in reality I had to actually calculate K+P vs. K. Now I recognize the critical squares etc. instantly, and can tell with great certainty if the situation is won/drawn in 20 moves, and what needs to be done to make it so. Suddenly, the deadly boring endgames have actually become fun! It's almost like magic when you know the theory, and know without calculation that no move exist for the opponent to break the theory, no matter how he answers.

Goals for the year 2007: RHP 1900, FICS blitz 1500, and let's say 1600 for FICS standard if I (hopefully) get around to playing standard games. I realize the standard goal isn't exactly on par with the other goals, but I'm going to work first on my blitz, and only then standard if there's time/energy.