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Showing posts from March, 2005

### Level 3, circle 2 done

Let's see if we can get an unround table in this post. TCT # problems circle 1 circle 2 circle 3 Level 3 540 96% 97% . Level 4 560 94% in progress . Level 5 580 75% . . Ok, looks nice. Only that 5th column is there because I stole it from Don's blog. I'm curious if a 6th can be attached to it when needed. The points are in the empty cells because otherwise they wipe out. It's unbelievable how fast one forgets. Level 3, circle 1 was only 10 days ago, but there wasn't much remembrance of the problems during the 2nd circle. The pace of solving isn't much higher either. Still I have the feeling that it works.

### When do I stop tactical training?

Papa Polgar has proven with his educational experiment on his three daughters that any child can be a prodigy with the right training. The question is, do you have to be a child to accomplish this? Well, it helps, but I find no reason in cognitive science why this should be the case. My quest is to find out if this can be done at an older age. So I find myself doing tactical exercises everyday. It helped me to gain my first 170 extra ratingpoints. Last summer I played two tournaments and looked seriously at the gamepoints I didn't got and why I didn't got them. 70% of the points I didn't get would I probably have won if I had more tactical abilities. 30 % of the points I could have won if I had more endgame technique. Because of this analysis I made a serious start with endgame training, until I looked again at my games. All of a sudden I realized that the endgames wherein I was involved only came on the board because of insufficient tactical skills. So I dropped the endgam

### Circle 1 finished!

I worked really hard the last days. I just finished circle 1, level 3,4 and 5 from TCT (1680 problems in total). It took me 8 days to accomplish this. A few years ago I have done the same course about 3 times. So probably I don't need 7 circles now to solve every problem a tempo. Level 3: 540 problems 96% Level 4: 560 problems 94% Level 5: 580 problems 75% Where I suck is at the endgame: rook vs pawn, wrong bishop, and 7th rank rook. I must have really talent for the endgame because I ALWAYS make the wrong move. If I had no talent then I should sometimes make a good move statistically.

### Problems that are a problem to me

Black to move This is problem I am not wired for. I had no clue after 20 minutes. Even after looking up the solution, it costed me a few days before I had the feeling that I really grasped it and would not miss it in a game. Maybe it's easy for you? (without your computer that is!) Source: TCT

### A test of the PGN to Javascript program

From Bahus I got a nice little program. Its a program that converts a PGN-game to a HTML-file (javascript). It's free and you can download it here This is the result: Another wild game at Corus 2005 Tasc Chess Tutor (TCT): Level 1 and 2: skipped, too easy, did it in the past. Level 3: 540 problems down 1st circle Level 4: 560 problems down 1st circle Level 5: just started Used time: 5 days George Renko intensive course tactics 1: delayed.

### Quickie time. . .

During the last Corustournament I played with black a very quick game (11 moves!!) against an opponent with a rating of 1791. 1.f4 e5 I always play the From-gambit against the Bird. 2.e4 That's the risk. White can transpose to the King's gambit. But Birdplayers have often a playing style that's not very suited for that. I play the Kingsgambit myself and there was a variation that caused me a lot of trouble the last 3 years. Only recent I found the solution. I decided to test if my opponent knew what to do. 2. ... Bc5 (the classical variation) 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. Bc4 d6 5. c3 Here starts the trouble for white. He has to reckon with Bg4 and Nd4. c3 prevents this, but moving pawns is not the main reason to play a gambit. 5. ... Nf6 6. d3 White has now moved four pawns and is not able to castle yet. 6. ... O-O 7.Qe2 d5 Black has developed at lightning speed. It's time to open lines against the enemy king. Even if that costs some wood. 8

### Survival of the fittest

Patterns in the long term memory behave like animals in the jungle. Only the fittest will survive. The human mind is very efficient. It never tries to find the objective best solution but it settles for the first solution that has succes. A solution just good enough to survive costs less energy than the best solution. If one is used to play 3. Df3 in a certain variation, that might be enough to become chesschampion of Honduras. So that pattern is stored in memory as "best fit" for the given situation. But when our Hondurassic champion tries this pattern for example in the Corustournament he might well be knocked from the board. So in international play this pattern of 3. Df3 will not survive. This continuous competition between patterns in the mind plays an important role. Here is where emotion comes in. A pattern "has to know" if it is needed any longer after being used. Emotion "rewards" the pattern with a good feeling if the result is good. The pattern

### The Fromm gambit

Today at the local chessclub I fetched a nice scalp from a guy with a rating of 1803. He played the Bird and I answered with the Fromm gambit. 1. f4 e5 2. fxe5 d6 3. exd6 Bxd6 He had been under great pressure during the whole game. In the end I had only 1 minute left while he had 10 minutes. Because of the clock I offered a draw, which he didn't accept. A few moves later he had to trade his Queen + 2 pawns for a rook and a knight. Still a few moves later mate was delivered. I sacrificed 2 pawns and twice a knight (once accepted) There were two tactical tricks he hadn't seen coming. Positionally this lad is very strong, but he couldn't neutralize the attack completely. I feel the force!

### The Dutch Connection

For the moment it's rather difficult to blog. Posting is quite slow, publishing sometimes impossible. Commenting on other blogs is near to impossible. Do you encounter the same problems, or is it just that the "Dutch Connection" to Blogger is so bad? (If I don't see comments on this post I'll know you do:)

### Chess is like learning a new language

Click to enlarge!

### Attacktical openingsrepertoire I play with black.

Yesterday I posted my repertoire with white. Now with black. The scandinavian defense: 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. c4 e6! the Icelandic gambit. I score 70% with it. 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. d4 Bg5 the Portugese gambit The idea is to castle long in most Scandinavian variations. Queen Pawn: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 Ne4 Budapest gambit Fajarovic variation. Score 60% With black I have one big hole in my repertoire: 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 I don't know what to do. I have tried everything here. But I just hate the move e6. After that all your possibilities for a kingside attack are gone. I play now the idiotic 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 Ne4 ?! with some sort of transposition to the Dutch defense (with f5 and Be7) which at least gives you a fight for the initiative and a chance for a kingside attack. To anybody: HELP!! for an opening without e6 after 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 Did I mention I tried EVERYTHING? English: 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 e4 4. Ng5 b5 the Bellon gambit. This is really a weird gambit.

### A tactical openingsrepertoire

King Ots is thinking about putting more tactics in his openings. This is my repertoire: White: 1. e4 e5 f4 Kings Gambit (so no need for the Cochrane gambit!) 1. e4 c5 2. c3 The alapin attack of the Sicilian 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Le3 Alapin-Diemer gambit. I score 85% with this gambit. 1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Qf3 Caro-Kan. Followed by gambits in the diverse variations: 1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Qf3 d4 4. Bc4! 1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Qf3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Bc4 Ngf6 6. d4! Nb6 7. Bd3 Alekhine: 1. e4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. f4 Kind of Kings Gambit. 1. e4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d3 dx 4. Bg5! Modern/Pirc 1. e4 d6 2. d4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. Be3 Nf6 5. Be2 O - O 6. h4 I play all these openings for more than 3 years. Tomorrow I'll show what I use with black. BTW yesterday I realized all of a sudden that no one of the Knights knows that Margriet and I are married very happy for more than 20 years. Only Sherlock Holmes could have guessed that by our blogs. We do everything together

### Chessweather

Minus zero, so it's good weather for solving chesspuzzles. . .

### Circle 6 completed

I just finished circle 6 of the first 1355 problems from the CD intensive course tactics by George Renko. I have decided to postpone circle 7 a few weeks, because right now I remember almost all the moves of the problems. And just memorizing the moves without knowing what you are actually doing makes no sense. Tomorrow I start with circle 1 of the next 1183 problems of Renko's CD. Because I feel the training is working I don't feel the need to leave the saddle. Besides, I trained the last 3 years so I'm pretty used to it. I don't like watching television, I have no kids, my wife plays chess too and everyone already think I'm nuts so that's no big deal.

### Seeing the game as a chesspuzzle

Yesterday night I played at my chessclub a game with a guy of rating 1653. Because I have a reputation on my club for playing aggressive some weaker opponents start to open in a strange manner. So did he. The idea seems to be that playing strange moves will get me out of my book. Well of course that will be the case, but the most good moves are in the book, and if you play strange moves they are often not good. So I crushed him in 23 moves. Sometimes your ego needs an opponent who throws himself into the fire to get along with this harsh tactics-training. The strange thing is that the guy has had a decent education in chess. It seems a form of schizophrenia that he forget everything when he opens a game. I had a new experience. I played the game as if I where solving a chesspuzzle. If this manner of playing is gonna be the standard in the future I have good hopes!

### Webpage update monitor.

Since the Knights seem to breed like rabbits lately, I found a freeware program that may be of interest to you. It costs amounts of time to check every website and every comment of the Knights. With this program you can automatically or manually check if there are any updates of a webpage (since the last check). It seems to work good so far. The amount of webpages you can check is unlimited. You can download it here: Webmon

### What would you do?

White's last move was 28. Rd2 and offered a draw. Black to move. White has 45 minutes left on the clock and black 25. Rating white= 1803 Rating black= 1701 Would you accept the draw? Last saturday I had this position during a tournament. This is a typical situation for me. Black (me) has worked hard for a good position against a stronger opponent. Which costed me much time. Then the opponents offers a draw. Anxiety to loose ratingpoints creeps in, and I accept. Afterwards you think "I'm a coward, white has no winning chances, black has to try his luck. After 28. .... Rd2: 29. Bd2: Bb6+ 30. Kh1 Bd3 31. Rc1 the white pawn on c4 will drop off the board in the end. I lack the courage to follow my deeming of the position. I really wished I had courage enough to say "I never a draw again". And stick to that. Or do you think there's nothing real for black in this position, and with less time against a stronger opponent it's reasonable to accept the draw?