What am i doing wrong?

How do i improve the efficientcy of my chess study? How do i get more out the hours i am busy with chess? That were the questions i asked myself when deliberating my chess study. What did i come up with?

First of all let me remind you of my study regime. I am studying tactics, covered with a sauce of tactics, and as dessert a big portion of tactics. With other words my study is (so far) only at one subject of chess , no diversity.

Since i wasn’t progressing the way i liked i decided to analyse my regime and came up with the follow points.

1. Study has a negative ring to me.

Study has a negative ring to me. It sounds to much as if i am back in school. Back in the benches to wear_away my pants. So i decided to rename study to training which in my opinion covers the load much better. I am not cramming my head full of knowlegde that i have to recite at any moment when asked. No, i am training my brain to come up with a good plan during a chess game.

2. I seem to be one of those persons that needs structure

I seem to be one of those persons that needs structure before they can start upload new knowlegde in my brain. Which means that i have to schedule my chess training. No more random training when it pleasses me at nine or eleven o’clock at night but at a set hour namely nine o’clock at evening.

3. Concentration

Concentration on what i am doing isn’t always optimum. I am distracted by television, radio, or even other thoughts that wander into my brain. So sometimes i make mistakes when i am solving tactical puzzles since i am not with my head entirly by the task at hand.

So off go television or/and radio. No more sitting in my comfy couch, laptop on my knees, while trying to solve the exersises of the TASC CD. No more sitting in my comfy couch with a chess book trying to grasp what is written. From now on all my training will be done at my desk without any distraction other then chess.

4. Duration

Duration, which is tightly connected with concentration, per day spend at training will be one hour (atleast for monday to thursday since friday to sunday are still reserved for OTB chess). Better to learn something new in small packages and let it ripe into the brain then smashing the brain with a big load of new knowledge, in a four hour session, that it never can process.

5. Setting goals.

Setting goals. These ‘small deathlines’ will also help me concentrate on my training. 

Before i start with a one hour trainingsession i will set me a certain amount i shall (will) learn. At first i will have troubles with how much that amount of new knowlegde or how much exercises must, may, be. But after awhile i will know how fast i can absorp new knowlegde and will become good in setting my goals per day.

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On another note i would like to bring your attention to a wonderfull chess website namely chessedelic . It really is a pearl, a gem, of a website for beginning- and intermediate chess players. Check it out and be amazed what a good job Waldemar Moes, a dutch chess trainer, is doing.


Progress report

My chess study goes slowly but in a steady pace. I am using the Tasc chess cd 2. It’s based on the steps method created by Rob Brunia (who sadly died january 5 of the year 2005 at age 57) and Cor Van Wijgerden. It was created to teach childeren the wonderfull game of chess but it turns out also a fantastic tool for adults to learn all about the game we all love so much namely chess. It’s a succesfull method, prove of it are all the young players who now sport a rating over 2000 elo that i know learned chess with it.

Step 1 (click below on ‘the steps’ then on ‘ booklet step 1’ to see a summary what is in step 1) i went thru in a flash. The numerous exercises i solved without mistake. All 100% correct.

Step 2 (click below on ‘the steps’ then on ‘booklet step 2’ to see a summary what is in step 2) i thought i knew already but to my surpirse i made mistakes when solving the exercises. Either by miscalculation, overlooking something very simple or wanting to solve them to fast. Because of it, not having 100% on them all, i had to redo all exercises after i finished step 2 as ordered by my chess coach/trainer. The second try on all exercises i maked sure i didn’t moved to fast and checked my calculation to make sure i didn’t miss my 100% once again.

So now i have started step 3 (click below on ‘the steps’ then on ‘booklet step 3’ to see a summary what is in step 3). I am only at lesson 2, discovered and double check, at the moment. It’s going good, i am learning more about chess in a way i like and enjoy. What more a chess player can wish?

To end i will give you one of the exercises.

 

play the best move(s)

Highlight solution: []Qxg6+ fxg6 2. Bf8# ]


They think so long

Last saterday it was my turn to go help at the IGM tournament (from 23 august until 31 august) my chess club is organizing with the help of the compagny Iventi. The tournament is named Iventichess 2008 since it’s played in the offices of this compagny. An IGM tournament isn’t cheap so Iventi had to find other firms to co-sponor the event. 10 other firms were agreed to step into the organisation. They are now the sponsors of the players, a firm per player.

When i was watching the games i saw something very strange. One should think that GMs know their openings but on all the boards each player spend an hour or even more to play the first 15 moves. I wonder what was going on in their head when taking so much time for the opening phase of the game. Where they running over all those opening lines they know of variation x of line c? Or did they look for possible improvements of opening c variation d line z? Why did they take so much time for those first moves? Do you know?

Some information about the tournament:

Website (pity it’s only in dutch)

http://www.inventichess.com/splash.php

Players

 

Name age   Country Elo
GM Xiangzhi Bu 22   China   2710
GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko 29   Ukraine   2593
GM Rafael Vaganian 57   Armenia   2594
GM Zoltan Gyimesi 31   Hungary   2586
GM Jan Werle 24   Netherlands   2591
GM Jan Timman 56   Netherlands   2562
GM Kateryna Lahno 18   Ukraine   2507
GM Gerhard Schebler 39   Germany   2453
IM Bart Michiels 21   Belgium   2442
IM Geert Van der Stricht 36   Belgium   2426

 

 

Life games (each day start at 14:00 hrs)

http://www.inventichess.com/index_nl.php?test=program_nl


Bad tournament result

From 2 to 9 august 2008 i played in the Hoge Zeeland international tournament, Vlissingen, The Netherlands. It wasn’t my tournament. I played badly and only managed to score 4.0 points out of 9 games. A normal score would be atleast 5.0 points.

My scoresheet:

Round

Rating opp.

Nationality opp.

My colour

Result

Overall result

1

1435 N

The Netherlands

White

1

1.0

2

2202 F

The Netherlands

White

Draw

1.5

3

2202 F

Belgium

Black

0

1.5

4

1659 N

The Netherlands

Black

0

1.5

5

1777 N

Belgium

White

0

1.5

6

1661 N

The Netherlands

Black

Draw

2.0

7

1628 N

The Netherlands

White

1

3.0

8

1725 N

The Netherlands

Black

1

4.0

9

1734 N

The Netherlands

White

0

4.0

 Rating opp.: N = national rating; F=Fide rating

The reason for my bad result i can find in not having played for three months, playing to quick, missing threats, miscalculation and playing the second move instead of the first move of my calculations.

To end i will give you an example of moving to quickly.

After 15. … f6

Here i played immediatly 16. Qh5+ but the better move is offcourse 16. Ba5+ which wins the game much easier. Namely 16. Ba5+ Nxa5 (16. … Nd7 17. Bxd7+ Qxd7 18. Nxd7 with a Q to B advantage for white) 17. Qxa5+ Bc6 18. Qxc6+ Qd7 19. Qxd7# So next time i better go sit on my hands before i move, or find a good thoughtprocess.

 

 


WHO AM I

I am a belgian chess player who is already 16 years addicted to the game of chess. I never really spend time on a study of this marvelous game. But slowly the coin fell and i couldn’t get around the fact that if i want to achieve my goal of getting over 2000 rating (national and Fide elo) i need to take chess more seriously.

My current ratings:

Belgian national rating: 1916 (higest ever: 1969); Fide rating: 1977 ; Antwerp commercial chess rating: 2033

(The Antwerp commercial chess federation is standing on it’s own and has it’s own competition. Only firms and compagnies that are located in Antwerp may play in this competition. I am playing second board for General Motors in the first division.)

My chess study:

I will focus mostly on tactics. For this i will use the TASC CD. Also i will be using the DVD Total Chess Training which include the programs Strategy 2.0, CT-Art 3.0, Endgame Studies 2.0, Encyclopedia of Middlegame and Encyclopedia of Opening Blunders.

I also got myself a chesscoach. You may know him since he also blogs under the name Phaedrus ( http://chesstrainerphaedrus.blogspot.com/ ). Who, if needed, will give me other chess work.

Can you help me?

I am a bit in the dark to what to put on this blog and how i should, can, do it. So if you have any hints, wonderfull ideas, then don’t hesitate to post them in a comment.