Sunday, November 27, 2005

Time to experiment.

Rapid Cream Chess.
Yesterday I played in the 33th Cream Cheese rapid tournament.
There were about 160 participants.
I played a 5 round robin tournament G/30 against opposition with an average rating comparable to mine (1712).
I scored 2.5/5 which is decent.
There were a few thrilling games with beautiful sacrifices on both sides.
It was a really enjoyable event for Margriet and me. A lot of players we meet here are acquaintences from the Corus tournament. We laughed a lot. Between the rounds that is.
Traditional this tourney is a good measure for adjustments in the training discipline for the Corus tournament in januari.

So where am I standing?
My performances in the summer lead me to step up my efforts at CTS.
I have done 30,000 problems since then.
In an earlier post I declared the following:

100,000 probs = 10 months = 240 points at CTS = 100 points OTB

My performance at the tourney confirms my feeling that I'm not on track.
The last few weeks I have analysed the reason for my defeats over and over again.
I can't find any flaws in my reasonings so I stay with my original conclusion:

"CTS has a database with simple problems. Exactly the sort of problems I need to learn to solve a tempo. The sort of problems represents the sort of mistakes I make in my games.
The mistakes that cause my defeats."

No doubts about this.
But the question arises if problemsolving at CTS is the ultimate way to master the database.
Doing 30,000 problems at CTS is comparable with learning a language in the following way:
You take a list of 10,000 words of your desired language and try to memorize it by reading it 3 times.
How many words will you remember after doing so?
This is not a very effective way to learn a new language. On the other hand If you continue to repeat the immense list you will probably learn the language in the end anyway.

The coming weeks I'll start with experimenting at CTS to find out what is a more effective way to work with the database. Yesterday I saw a program on Discovery Channel (does that exist in the States too?) about mental practicing of racers by visualising the racetrack in the mind before a race. That gave me the first idea's for experiments.
I'll keep you informed.

Another Knight joins the table.
Please all welcome Sam Dluzewski in our midst, who is trying to combine the fine art of serving beer with the road to chessmastery. I dub him The Unbarring Knight.


  1. I look forward to seeing the beautiful sacrifices in your games as well as your new ideas in your program. How often do you miss a one tempo tactic in your games?

    Do you think you will reach a point where you will only rarely ( one in 100 games) miss a one tempo tactic?

    and yes we do have the Discovery Channel here in the states.

  2. And the visualization exercise you mentioned has been researched many times. I also read of an experiment where they did the same thing with shooting basketball hoops. It is a very effective technique.


  3. Jim,

    Since annotating is not obliged with rapid games, I don't have the games for you, alas.

    I have played and analysed 12 games the past few weeks. 5 wins, 3 draws, 4 losses. All the lost games were due to relative simple tactics a la CTS.
    Even in one of the draws both by opponent and me overlooked the win of my queen in one.

  4. It will be interesting to hear your further thoughts on CTS. Right or wrong, I'm pretty much on the same "track" as you, hehea

  5. Right now, I've been using CTS as sort of an exercise tool for my OTB games. When my rating drops in CTS, I can tell that I am slumping and that playing an OTB game against a strong opponent would be foolish. So, then, I do the CTS problems until my rating starts to either rise or become reasonable. I can usually tell whether I'm thinking correctly (tactically) or incorrectly (usually it's making bad move order choices). So, by working several CTS problems, I get back on track.

    Right now, I've begun to notice some chunking occurring. There are several positions where I don't even have to think about the right answer - it just comes to me. It's sort of strange and difficult to explain.

  6. Tempo,

    Any chance you can post the games here? I always like to do a post-mortem of games. It helps me to learn.

  7. same visualization exercise for cross country too. never tried it but i've heard it works well. do any of you actually have a thinking process you go through? mental checklist? i really need to compile one.