Sunday, July 01, 2007

I'm sort of getting sick of chess

During this rebellious phase of playing blitz and looking around at various openings which are not "best" (e.g., Scandinavian, whose second move is 0.13 pawns worse than e5, a difference in evaluation which surely counts as a refutation), I have also noticed that one reason I've stopped playing slow games is that I am getting sort of sick of chess. I can't wait to finish these Circles and take a break from this game! I should start Circle 5.1 within two weeks....And then probably two to three more months and I'll be done!!! I bought the cigar yesterday that I will smoke when I finish.

Hopefull the Circles won't burn me out. I look forward to working through a bunch of WC annotated games once I've achieved what will be my lifetime tactical baseline using the Circles...

Note added: compare this to the last time I felt "sick" of the Circles, a little over a year ago after I had just started them. Reading that is funny, as I said there that my goal was not to reach 1500, but just 1200. I wasn't even there yet. Now, nearly through with the Circles, I'm at 1400, with a goal of reaching 1500 (well, not exactly when I finish, but hopefully I will by the time I finish the Circles and incorporate these tactics into my thought process and get back into a sane equilibrium with my chess study). Thanks for the encouragement back then, Knights. Right now I'm in the home stretch, like finals week, not super fun, but finishing what I started with the hope that it will help...

I have gone nuts today with tactics. I'm about to finish my 250th problem today on Circle 4.5, way ahead of schedule (I was planning on finishing 4.5 in a week or so: I will likely finish it tomorrow).


Blogger hisbestfriend said...

I hate being right... At least you haven't just bailed. Hopefully 2 months will help you find peace.

I think this *is* actually part of the process...

7/01/2007 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

What were you right about?

7/01/2007 11:35:00 PM  
Blogger transformation said...

sometimes we must play ZERO chess for two or three months.

me? i wait till the fire roars in my belly, then i play, play, play. and when the fire is out, or more the usual, when i have attained a major benchmark, take a break.

when i come back, the fire is back.

tonight i took my usual nap. but after working for six days straight, too much blogging, too much internet chess bullet and blitz, it is rare, but even a ten minute nap--which for me is usually more than sufficient--i am still tired. i will take a second nap again now, with the sole purpose to play live chess, which i thirst to do still, but not when tired, please no! to be prepared fully to play, or not at all. all or nothing for me, always.

but you didnt say tired; you said tired OF. if you were to waive a magic wand, as 'they' ask in self actualization, what would you as a chess player look like?

i for mine think no one under 1600 should study openings. that is what i was taught. yes, by all means, LOOK at them. but study them????

tactics, endings, GM game collections, annotations and review... but no openings.

notice, please, i did NOT say take any break at all from training. this continues year round.

it is also good to have a 'crazy place to play' with no one watching, no big ratings, no big falls or advances or reports, just play.

if you are at ICC, then make a private handle at FICS or vica versa; play the crazy handle more often than not, and when you are 'on', play the second one for real.

that is what i do.

not even Kramnik or Topolov can be on year round. no. it comes, and it goes. we have 'it' or we 'dont'.

did you see my lattest post? grandpatzer, wahrheit, then chessDog.

7/02/2007 12:44:00 AM  
Blogger transformation said...

myBestFriend: first and formost, i feel, we all need to be nice to each other here.

the guru said, fear and doubt: these are the most harmfull.

of what benefit is your statement? does it help BDK? what does it do for you accept reaasure the validity of your own abandonment to your own higher possibility.

i think BDK can do it, and he needs understanding not repudiaton or casting of aspersions.

(i write THIS, and suddenly i am not tired!).

7/02/2007 12:48:00 AM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

Always be careful when "tired of". Don't force things you don't like. Usually tiredness takes over when ego grows. Ego lives as a parasite on figures, rating and, most important, the beauty of the game.

So search for an ego-crunching experience and start again from square one.

What keeps me going is that I'm very interested in the human mind. My mind. While it is so close to us we know so little of it. Yet does it govern our whole life.

7/02/2007 06:09:00 AM  
Blogger rockyrook said...

BDK ... I hear ya ... that's why I've "shortened" my goal in completing the circles. If I don't do this now, I may never get done. Plus, I want to relax a bit and not feel the stress or obligation to finish ... take my time and study tactics when I want, not when I have to.

Keep plugging along!

7/02/2007 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Zweiblumen said...

I don't think that you can trust computer evaluations on move 2. The Scandinavian is played up to mid/high GM level, from time to time, so I think that while it is probably not black's best way of fighting for equality, it is certainly playable, and certainly as good as anything else you might play below master level.

7/02/2007 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Zweiblumen said...

Ah, I also forgot: I have burned out on chess once or twice since taking it up. I don't like burning out, nor do I like taking months off. One strategy I've picked up to improve the burnout rate is to always put chess down and do something else when I still want to do it.

If I play a few games in a day and feel like I want to play more, I make myself stop and go read something non-chess related, or similar. I find that if I pause from chess when I still want more it helps me avoid getting tired of it.

It's a hobby, right?

7/02/2007 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger funkyfantom said...

Sounds like the Circles is turning chess into a chore and sapping the fun out of it.

Here's my confession- I am having more fun than ever with chess. My secret- no discipline whatsoever. If I feel like playing, I play. If I feel like looking at a chess book- I do. Have a bad game? Tomorrow it is all forgotten.

My desert island book? Chernev's 1000 best short games. If this book cannot inspire you, nothing can.

I agree, forget this obsessing over openings.

7/02/2007 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger BlunderProne said...

BDK, my brother knight, remember to ask yourself if you are still having fun.

A (non chess) book that helped me along at one point when I was running too fast on the hamster wheel of chess, was George Leonard's "Mastery".

In it he talks about mastery not being a goal rather as an acceptance and finding joy in the process of learning and training.

He talks about 3 types types of personas who may attemopt mastery for different reasons. ( DABBLERS, OBSESSIVES and HACKERS)

For instance: he mentions the DABBLER, who, starts many new things with gusto but once hitting a plateau, moves on.

The Obsessive lives for the growth spurt in a skill. If he's not constantly and actively growing he presses himself harder and faster. Eventually the Obsessive burns out and moves on to something else. I think a lot of us Knights tend to fall into this category

As for teh HACKER, once he has passed over the first major growth spurt and is on the first plateau he just stays there. He doesn't actively spend time trying to learn and grow. He just tinkers with the bit of skill he's developed and remains satisfied at that level.

The book goes on to describe the keys to mastery: Instruction, Practice, Surrender and Intentionality. Those last two we tend to forget about. Surrendering means being willing to lose a few as we change styles. For isntance, I knew I was going to lose rating points when I surrendered my old opening system last fall... and I did... I have since gained valuable ground and INSIGHT and feel I am about ready to launch off the plateau I've been on. As for Intentionality... this refers to focus... you definitely have that going for you.

I wish you the best in what ever you do.

Despite my losses at teh WO so far, I am STILL enjoying the journey. I am enjoyign the experience. I am also re-entering ( surrendering for the potential greater experience). I trust the results will follow.

I am no longer that frantic hamster in the wheel. I am a rat in a wait... wrong metaphore. I am happy as a clam as I am one with the ocean of chess.


7/02/2007 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

A few general responses:

1. To those who offered encouragement and constructive suggestions, thank you. I am thinking about all of them. I'm in the home stretch and every word of encouragement is helpful.

Transformation, you bring up the ever-important dimension of SLEEP. Also important to my chess mind is good diet and exercise. BP: I tend to be the obsessive type with new projects.

2. We'll see what this is. Is it burnout starting? Or simply a desire to be done with the Circles?

Even though I want to be done with them, I am actually not sick of the Circles. I am enjoying them. A lot. I just don't feel like doing anything else chess related right now and feel guilty about it. I just don't like this imbalance very much, but since my chess incompetence is not balanced (I am imbalanced in that I am worse at tactics than anything else), my training is reflecting that. We'll see: the Circles are definitely not balanced, but a tactical boot camp.

3. I was joking about the Scandinavian being refuted.

7/02/2007 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger funkyfantom said...

Sorry, a bit off-topic.

BDK- you seem like a "mad web skillz" kind of guy. I am contemplating getting back into blogging- I am pretty time-challenged for all the typical reasons (wife,kids,job, etc.)

Looking for a turn-key, out-of-the-box, non-commercial solution to showing some annotated games without investing a lot of time into the technical aspects.

Any clues, links, etc.? (This is an open question.)

7/02/2007 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

FF: I wish I had mad web skilz.

I like, which lets you publish games (it claims to have blog capacity, but that is not developed). I like to link to games there from my blog, so I don't have to clog browsers with slow Java applets. (For instance I did it here). I like this one best because it is easy to annotate and link to games.

Some use PGN Viewer and paste the result into their blog. I really don't like this, as it slows down browsers so much.

Didn't you used to have a blog?

7/02/2007 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Brad S said...

Here is a reason to not play the center-counter: it doesn't lead to fun games. All the tempo lost moving the queen causes you to lose control of how open the game is. White gains the initiative and can close the game up if he chooses. Yuck. A closed complicated game may lead to more subtle tactics, but it takes too long.

The Ruy gives white the initiative too, if you choose to follow its lines (chasing the bishop twice may not be optimal, but its close enough and gives you some initiative as black in recompense). But if you're going to be in a closed game anyway, use the French defense and drive it into suckage on your own.

7/02/2007 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

"3. I was joking about the Scandinavian being refuted."

Good thing, I was about to come off my hiatus and challenge you to a game just so I could beat you up with the Scandinavian! :)


7/02/2007 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger Eric Thomson said...

Brad: for the reasons you give I think I will play the Scandinavian with 2...Nf6. What do you think of that line?

7/02/2007 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger takchess said...


Perhaps you are just tired of blogging and us nosey so-and-so's telling you what you should be doing. (present company included)

So I am officially going on the record:
Wishing you good play in playing what you want (openings) as often as you want for as long as you want (blitz etc) !

Live Free Bro

7/02/2007 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger hisbestfriend said...


I had noted to those around me who follow my madness here :-0 that BDK, had been not as cheery. that the tone had changed. Nothing specific, the overall gestalt.

I hoped I wasn't correct. That this was just, I don't know stuff.

And that was a pretty shaking statement from the rock. My Idol so to speak. And I was grateful that he just didn't go away, as some have.

And to Transformation. I had also worried that I was being seen as not "nice". And I hope that isn't true, and I had already tried to take it to heart. Because, yes niceness matters. Especially here. It seems to be a big part of the point. The journey.

I hadn't meant to be mean, if I was perceived that way, mostly just trying to find my "voice". Much as I am trying to improve my game.

And the point to BDK ultimately, is that I think this sucky part seems to be part of the process. Some get through it, some don't. But look around at many of the knights who have fallen, or just gone 404. I think the journey often gets sucky at some point.

My hope, is that he seemed to give himself a 2 month deadline, and that I really hope that he finds the peace that he needs to continue. Because I hope, this is fun in the end, and that he does inspire others here. It would be a shame for it not continue to be.

Yours in camaraderie,
Knights Errant Uber Alles

7/02/2007 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Tak: thank you! Live free or die. But don't see the movie that parasitized our great state's motto, as it just was sort of lacklustre.

7/02/2007 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Sancho Pawnza said...

I have complete confidence you will finish your circles.
Transformation is right on the money with a major accomplishment usually being accompanied with a break.
Sometimes you get a better idea of your bearings when you take a moment to lift your head from the plow.

7/02/2007 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks Sancho. Discussions with you have kind of inspired me to start playing around with the Scandinavian. Little theory, large fun.

7/02/2007 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger funkyfantom said...

I think spending some time with the Scandinavian is a good thing.
( I assume we are talking about the Queen takes pawn variation).

It gives more opportunity than the typical opening for opposite-wing castling, with which every developing player needs practice.

The pawn structure is pretty similar to the Caro-Kann, so that is an equivalent choice, it seems to me.

7/03/2007 09:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,im one of many people who follows your blog.Ive done the DeLa maza circles but i dont really sense any changes in my play.Because of this and that problems ,i've stop playing chess.I always hang pieces to 1500+ player.well im 2000+ player but i lose points because of the stupid blunder.Maybe because i only play 30 minutes games.Well ,why dont u just finish the circles and see what happen?Im sorry if im off the mark here....

10/16/2007 02:44:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Anonymous: you are a bit late with this one! I finished last week.

10/16/2007 09:27:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home