Wednesday, July 19, 2006

J'adoube

No, not the famous blogger, and not my pieces, but the The Divine Tragedy.

I thought of giving up on the Circles tonight, not because I think they aren't what I need to improve at chess (they are), but because life calls. For instance, I need to focus more intensely on my career (e.g., my Neuroscience Blog, grants, papers, coding, running rats, etc.), and chess is starting to take up too much time and mental energy.

Rather than give up altogether (that would be sort of extreme), I think I'm going to modify things. First, a maximum of one hour a day at chess, unless it is a day I am playing in the 45 45 league. Second, instead of putting a 98% correct rule on myself (where I have to repeat Circles in which I score below 98% correct), I'm just gonna go through the dang Circles and be done with it. If I want, I can go crazy when I'm done, and keep going through them until I get 100% correct or whatever.

In some ways, I am glad I discovered chess so late in life, after I finished school. Given my character (flaws), I probably would have let it devour my life when I was younger.

11 Comments:

Blogger phorku said...

Welcome to the OCD family ;-)

7/19/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

Bummer. I have the same problem. A boss with a wrong idea of the importance of chess in comparison to work. From time to time I have to throw him a bone.

BTW OCD is not in my abbreviations list yet. What does it mean?

7/20/2006 02:05:00 AM  
Blogger Pale Morning Dun - Errant Knight de la Maza said...

OCD = Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. A psychological condition/illness in which a person becomes fixated on certain activities in order to alleviate some sort of inner conflict. Some people wash their hands non-stop, some people check every door in their house to make sure they are locked...three times, others....well they practice tactics problems. I knew some people in med school with OCD. One person had a routine in which they locked their car then went around the car and checked every door and the trunk twice before going off to class. It's a weird one no doubt.

7/20/2006 02:09:00 AM  
Blogger transformation said...

exactly my friend! not to give up chess or flee for cover. not to have OCD (Ivanchuk is reputed to have had a 'working relationship' with his wife :) but, "with Vasily there was only chess, and chess, and chess... that was the problem". He is, as you might know, reputed to be maybe semi-autistic. but what a chess and, as it also turns out, a poetic genius who can recite over 100 russian poems from memory...).

none of that. but to play the game of the game, to see 'see how good can i get within xyz parameters of time'. hopefully todays email helped therein?

if you do four hours a day, you loose your life. if you do twenty minutes a day of chess, you loose your chess.

scale or size or proportion is a key here. what is the right scale of activity for my goals and lifestyle? at what scale can i maintain my pace?

early on, i was a man who would ZOOM breathlessly up the pacific northwest cascade scrambles... 2,200 meters or say 6600~7000'. only to have to stop two or three time along the way while my yogic friends watched me smiling with knowing nods...

i learned latter on to go less fast, but to be able to go up a mountain for five hours without stopping except briefly, and thus more surely to the top.

7/20/2006 05:45:00 AM  
Blogger Dinomike100 said...

Well here is my opinion (not that it is worth much):

I would maybe consider saving time by studying openings less. They just aren't that important below master level. I used to have a problem with spending time on openings, then I switched to the Nimzo-Larsen attack (1. b3) for white and I don't have to worry about losing in the opening phase of the game half the time. But to play this attack, you have to start learning endgame, which in itself should net you hundreds of points. I think the ChessMaster 9000 Josh Waitzkin lectures are great for improving endgame. They let you see how IMs and GMs think about chess, and he explains everything completely.

But maybe you should wait until you are around at least 1400 before looking into the stuff above.

But I really think it is a great way to save time when studying chess, since opening lines just don't usually win games with reasonable play from the opponent. (Although knowing some general opening principles and applying them is important).

7/20/2006 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

So this is what we all have in common: a tendency toward life-crippling addiction.

Chess Addicts Anonymous. Step 1: Admit chess is kicking your ass and that your life is a complete mess because of it.

THanks for the thoughts, transformation. I think you are right about 20 minutes: for the first year or so here I only spent about 20 minutes a day, and my resultes were not so great. When I started spending at least an hour a day, my rating went up about a hundred points within a couple of months.

I think an hour, though, is a good limit. We'll see how good I can get within its constraints.

dinomike: I agree. See a previous post about this. Perhaps, since I am now limiting myself to an hour of chess a day, I should impose a "rule of 15". Only 15 minutes out of that hour can be devoted to opening study. That's usually enough to either enter, or freshen up on, some main lines.

And then, should I count time spent blogging into the hour? Probably.

7/20/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

You have to be time efficient of course! Who needs a television? I don't. The news you can hear on your car radio. Saves 3 hours a day.
Who needs a social life? I don't. I meet friends at the tournament hall and at the club (and the web). I don't like anniversaries and thelike so I don't go there. Best way to find out who your friends are. Saves 30-40 evenings per year. Family stays family anyhow. Besides they know it's you. My own birthday is always during the Corus tournament and since I don't want to give a round of beer to 700 people I keep that quiet. Corus is a feast anyway. Quality time? With Margriet behind a chessboard studying the Fajarowitzch.

Be creative and you will find more ways!:)

7/20/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

LMAO, Tempo. Nice.

My two-year wedding anniversary is Monday: maybe I'll suggest to Julia that we go to a tournament. :)

7/20/2006 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger transformation said...

what if chess IS not chess? what if chess is a tool for modifying brain frequencies? what if playing chess is not fun but stressfull, but chess study is fun, and all the interesting folks you get to know through chess is a real charge, a real jolt of java? what if chess is a battleground whereby you get to learn HOW you learn, or learn how to learn? what if chess is a way of freezing time?

7/21/2006 04:34:00 AM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

I don't know if there are children on the stocks allready but you can go to the restaurant on monday as long as you remember: "NO KIDS":)

7/21/2006 04:35:00 AM  
Blogger transformation said...

the sins of the forefathers will be visited upon the grandchildren.

7/22/2006 04:15:00 AM  

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