Thursday, May 12, 2005

Rating Fetishism /Tragedy /Thinking Drills Revision

I am a little scared, as my rating has been going up at ICC (I passed 1000!!!). This concerns me for two reasons: first, I feel my rating is too high as many of my wins have been lucky. I want an accurate rating. (I have read that most chess geeks think their rating is too low: I look forward to when I am that sure of myself!). Second, I have developed a little attachment to my above 1000 rating, and this is counterproductive to my goal of just getting better at this stupid game. As Heisman always says, ratings will follow your strength so quit fretting. Play for fun, play to improve, and don't worry about the flippin' rating!

I am near the end of Step 1 in TASC Chess Tutor, Precircle 1 in the Divine Tragedy. The problems are a lot of fun, and it never ceases to surprise me that I can sit there looking at a position for 5 minutes and miss a mate in 1! This is not an infrequent event! The program is really good: it has little instructional "videos" followed by specific tests for the material just taught, and then more tests that are cumulative in scope. If you get a problem wrong it will reveal what type of problem it is (e.g., mate in 1) to get you started, but not without a percentage drop for its trouble.

I have significantly revised my Thinking Drills. Requiring perfect performance for 10 games in a row before I move up a Stage is too lofty a goal: it was making me stress about the game, and especially was hurting me in situations that were time sensitive. Hence, I have modified the drills. Now, instead of doing the drills during actual games, I am doing them on games from a database. Also, I have to write down all the threats so that I can more objectively decide afterwards if I was right (e.g., for Stage 1, training to avoid en prise blunders, I have to write down which pieces are under direct attack after my opponent's move as well as right before my candidate move). After twenty games with no errors on these selected moves (determined after the fact by software), I get to move on to the next Stage. Also, in the board positions set up by TCT, I first try to see en prise potential, so there is good feedback between the Divine Tragedy and the Thinking Drills.

[Edited 5/14/05]


Blogger Jim said...

It's not luck. . .

De la Maza talks about this in his book. If you analyze your games (on Fritz, for instance) you will see the graphing of advantage - and the peaks and valleys he talked about. It's just a function of your current skillset. You make mistakes and don't see them or vice versa for your opponent.

But it will all start to smooth out as you get better.

You will get better and better at avoiding your mistakes and taking advantage of your opponents mistakes.

Then you will have achieved Balance with The Force, my young Jedi friend. . .

5/12/2005 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

Addiction to rating is cyclic. And I think for us unholy people it is unavoidable. When your rating moves up play becomes spasmodic. But there will for sure come a moment that you loose a few times in a row. That's always a relief. At that moment you start to play free again. You always can hear when someone reaches this state. When people say "I'm not interested in rating whatsoever" you know they have reach a dale in their performance and they are temporary relieved from the burden of their rating. On the other hand, when people start to draw unecessary, you know they reached their temporary ratingtop.
It's all in the game.

5/12/2005 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Mousetrapper said...

Worry about your rating absolutely does not matter as long you are not playing. When playing, just forget your rating and the rating of your opponent. The only thing that counts is the next move.

5/13/2005 10:20:00 AM  

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