Friday, August 31, 2007

Sleep, ratings, and paperwork

First, note that there is now a blog for the Carolina Cobras, a team in the US Chess League.

I really need to recalibrate my circadian rhythm as I am tired all the time, staying up until the wee hours of the morning. Good habits in the areas of sleep, nutrition, and exercise are important off-the-board facets of chess improvement.

I hit a rating high with my secret ICC account. Not 1500 yet, but starting to taste it (I hit 1443). I need to remind myself that it doesn't matter. Whenever I hit a "milestone" I start to worry about my rating, start to think that I shouldn't play because I don't want to lose, that I should study tactics or openings for a week and then come back more likely to win. Screw that crap. It's a game. It's for fun. The way to improve is to lose. A lot. Also, that strategy just does not work. I get better when I play a lot. When I take time off to "study" chess I always come back rusty and actually play worse. The best approach is more balanced between study and play.

Also, a boring "administrative" question for the Knights Errant. How do you feel about adding one more duty to the Secretary Knight? Namely, the Secretary needs to maintain the FAQ and provide a link on the sidebar? If I don't hear any objections, I'll update the FAQ to reflect this change.


Blogger transformation said...

brilliant in every way.

brilliant about playing instead of stopping. brilliant about balance of play and study. brilliant about rest versus effort. brilliant idea for secretary knight. thank goodness im not a knight (but just a 'friend of the Kngihts').

8/31/2007 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger The retired pawn said...


I fully agree. I also due the same thing...covet my rating, and then I don't play for fear of losing ground. You are absolutely correct when you say there is a balance to be maintained. Lev Alburt once wrote something along these lines; you should study chess everyday for about an hour, breaking the topics into segments, and then finally play two quality games. You may use your games for study by finding the errors. For this part, I like taking David Bronsteins advice of playing through the games three times and making notes. Just my two cents.

9/01/2007 10:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on your rating rise [is that 5 min blitz?].
I find 5 min blitz fun (playchess server mainly and am only rated around 1300. Today as Black I played my first ever Old Benoni as Black (A43- simply 1.d4 c5) and won though I wasn't sure what to do as I have only just stumbled on this opening.
My opponent didn't know how to play it either!! I have not been confident against d4 openings as I prefer being white and opening e4 or playing as black against 1.e4 with the French! I will look into these Benonis and Benkos as they look more fun than my previous Slav or e6 vs 1.d4
Good luck with your games...

9/01/2007 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Anon: it's in standard games. My blitz rating hovers below 1100 usually.

RP: I prefer a fairly high ratio of playing time to analysis time, though I have been neglecting opening improvement in my analysis which I need to remedy.

DK: thanks. You are like an honorary knight. ;O

9/01/2007 07:16:00 PM  

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