Saturday, July 15, 2006

Congrats to King of the Spill

[Bagpipe music should be imagined while reading this post]

King of the Spill, who started his Seven Circles in March 2005, has finished his circles! He heroically used Tasc Chess Tutor software, which consists of like 2500 problems. If my calculations are correct, that means King has done over 90 BILLION problems in his seven circles.

In one of his memorable boasts, all too common in the first half of TCT before the problems really pick up in difficulty, he once said "After 1000 + problems I think mastering TCT is going to be a piece of cake." Now, over a year later, he is battle-hardened, wise, and perhaps has a little more respect for his noble vanquished enemy.

This is a bittersweet day. King of the Spill's was the first chess blog I saw, and ultimately led me to the Knights Errant. I had already read, and liked, MDLM's book, so when I saw there was a community of nuts doing the Circles I decided to take the plunge. It feels like the last of the old guard is moving on. Nowadays, few people are doing the good-ol'-fashioned seven circles, opting for the Personal Chess Trainier, CTS, and the like.

King of the Spill, congrats, and I hope you keep us posted about your progress!


Blogger King of the Spill said...

Wow, I'm not sure what to say....

First I am glad you were inspired to join to quest. It's clearer with your games than anyone else that a big improvement in chess is possible in a fairly short time. You keep a great blog, too!

Secondly it's clear that TCT Steps 1-3 are a different level than 4 and 5. Those early levels don't really give one a taste for advanced chess (although I wish it were different!), and those higher steps are on a fundamentally deeper level of calculation. I spent most of my time bogged down there. Strangely they don't seem analogous to the Polgar Brick 5334 combinations from real games for some reason, which was what I was comparing it to. Where I stand at this point is finally being able to catch a few more errors on my own in the post-mortem, and more quickly be able to decipher some computer lines. My standard has a ways to go before I seriously change in rating. I will say that someone seriously into blitz could get to 1400 just with Steps 1-3 and solid opening and endgame background.

Lastly, over time I think that real 7 circle training will fall by the wayside as better tools become more common, tools that intelligently determine that you know really have something down cold, haven't cheated the variation considerations, and didn't abandon defense. Each person would go through as many circles as needed for each section. That almost sounds like PCT!?

7/18/2006 02:30:00 AM  

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