Sunday, November 26, 2006

Strategy Synergy via Pandolfini

I recently finished re-reading Pandolfini's Weapons of Chess, his book on strategy. While I have complained about its lack of systematicity (he uses a dictionary format rather than an organized system of presentation), it really is pretty good, and the little sections can be read in 5-10 minutes which makes it good bedtime reading.

Plus, the book meshes quite well with his excellent Russian Chess, which consists of six fully annotated games in which he focuses on strategic ideas behind each move. Thanks to Takchess for suggesting Russian Chess: it is quite a gem that I had never heard of. The two books make a nice synergy, and are aimed at anyone who knows some basic tactics.

Circles Update: Finished minicircles 2.4 and 2.5 (i.e., problem set two I've gone through five times now). I am starting to really do these problems fast now, so in addition to cranking through Problem Set 2, I have started doing five problems a day in Problem Set 3 (i.e., minicircle 3.1).

# CirclesPercent Correct
Problem Set 11498-99-100-100-100-100-100
Problem Set 2590-93-96-99-99
Problem Set 30
Problem Set 40
Problem Set 50
NOTE: Circles done with CTB.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I remember well, you said you like math problems. Maybe I may pose a problem before you. I read a discussion lately about the dilution of the grandmaster title at Susan Polgars weblog. The grandmaster title is among other things based on the rating. Rating seems to inflate overtime. Nobody mentioned the reason why rating inflates though.

To my knowledge the reason that rating inflates overtime is because people start with a low rating, but leave the chess scene with a high rating. Can that be true or is that a myth?

11/27/2006 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

I'm not sure how you are defining 'inflation.'

Assuming it means something like the overall average rating increasins, it could happen because of the mechanism you mention. It depends on the relative rate at which new people start playing compared with the rate at which established players leave the game. It's like a population growth problem in ecology: you have to compare birth and death rates. If we assume rating increases linearly with time in chess the variable of rating is just like the variable of age, whose average will increase if the birth rate goes down.

11/27/2006 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

My bet is that the popularity of online chess is like a plague that selectively infects newer players...

As for the different topic of how "easy" it is to be a GM these days, my guess is that it is bull. The average GM of today would destroy the average GM of 30 years ago.

11/27/2006 09:24:00 AM  

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