Saturday, May 07, 2005

The ball keeps rolling

Hello all. Thanks to everyone for the helpful comments on my MDLM knockoff, The Divine Tragedy. I have been continually updating the plan as I chew on the feedback provided. It has shaped up into something that should be fun (well, except for those last few Circles).

A lot has happened in the last week with my training. Here's what is going on...
Knight Sight
Finished knight sight drills last night. They were very helpful drills: I can now make the knight's squares pop out when I need to , and am much better at quickly calculating how to get the knight from one square to another. Some of the longer paths are still hard for me to work out quickly, so I think I should still work on that a bit.

Divine Tragedy: Precircle 1 Started
I started Precircle 1 today, which entails slowly working through TASC Chess Tutor. I already like it: it feels a lot more like I am working now than when I was doing the vision drills. After 40 minutes, my brain already ached! The initial levels are very easy (e.g., make a legal move with a pawn), but got more challenging fast. I am excited as I can see interactions between this and my Thinking Training (see below). Working on problems as simple as getting my king out of mate has forced me to put more effort into making hanging pieces 'pop out', and this is precisely the skill I need in Stage 1 of my thinking training. Overall I am very excited to be on this new phase, and since I really like doing chess puzzles I think I should continue to dig it.

Thinking Drills
Oh, the damned thinking drills. As you can see by my sidebar, I suck at this. I am always leaving pieces en prise. It often happens when I am excited and just want to make my "brilliant" move (then BAM my rook is gone because I didn't check to make sure I wasn't leaving something hanging). In general it happens whenever I haven't taken the time to carefully look over the board after every move my opponent makes and before every move I make. I am trying hard to build up "en prise vision" so that such pieces pop out. This will take work, but I am glad I am keeping the embarassing record of it in my sidebar. It motivates me to keep at it.

Most importantly
I am starting to enjoy chess more. I see more possibilities in board positions: I see my opponent sneaking up with forks, I see my own forking potentials, I am getting better at coming up with cool checkmates. Before when I looked at the board I had no clue what the hell was going on, and now I have started to see things pop out. It is beautiful. Usually I jump the gun and try to mate too early (as Fischer said, 'Patzer sees check, patzer makes check'), but it is cool to see the vague outlines of a more competent player starting to emerge. I think this is partly because I try to play as much as possible, but also because of the reading and drills I have done thus far. Yippeee!


Blogger takchess said...

here a book recomendation for you.
Chess master vs Chess Amateur by Euwe. This is a series of games analysis of a Chess Master vs various amateurs. Each game has tons of notes and analysis. I played through all the games in this book during my lunch at work last spring and found it quite helpful.

5/07/2005 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks for the suggestion, takchess. I just put it on my Amazon Wish List. :)

5/08/2005 01:22:00 AM  
Blogger King of the Spill said...

I am pretty much sold on TASC, too. Your on your way to more complicated challenges!

5/11/2005 04:05:00 AM  

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