Thursday, May 05, 2005

I have completed Circle 1 this evening! I treated myself to buying some of the new Star Wars Action figures. Pretty Cool... My scores on circle 1 were not that great, but that is ok, because I am confident that my scores will definitely improve in Circle 2! One very positive note on my scores though is that I got all variations correct on the first try on problem #1198 (All right!). Now it is time to create my schedule for Circle 2 and enjoy my new action figures.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Najdorf concensus.

Thanks for the comments on the Najdorf. It sounds like the Najdorf is more for the advanced strategist instead of a studying tactician. I will now put the Najdorf on hold. Does anyone have some suggestions on some other openings for black that I could take a look at?



CT-ART produces a pearl amidst its level 8 grip of death.

I have been working on levels 7 and 8 the last couple of days, and getting slaughtered in the process. However, all of the sudden I correctly solved both of the variations on problem #1135! Eight more days on circle 1.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

It has been a while since I have spoken with the knights. However, I am still alive and fighting the mighty CT-ART monster. I have now gone through 1132 problems on circle one. According to my schedule, I have 10 days left on the first circle. Any knights out there with experience in using the Sicilian Najdorf? I would love to hear some pointers, as I have been experimenting with that opening recently. Best wishes go out to Don, hopefully he will let us know about the fruits of his labors.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

This is Working

Just wanted to let everyone know that I am still here and dillegently working on circle one. I am now on problem #540. This stuff actually is working! Recently, when playing on Yahoo chess, I had a position seemingly right out of a CRT level 10 problem. In nearly complete disbelief, I double and triple checked the position. Then, drooling all over the place, I simply moved my rook next to his king. At this point the king was forced to take my rook, thus allowing my queen to take his rook with check, and then procede to claim a nice little prize, a free bishop, and then the win. There is no way that I would have seen this combination, if not for the study program. Of course, it is only fair to mention that in other games, I was destroyed, although there were also some successes. Fortunately, after continuing on with the study program, I believe that the number of bad games will reduce in number.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

A THANKS TO THE KNIGHTS ERRANT

My thanks go out to all of the nice "welcomes" by the Knights Errant.

I have noticed an increase in chess success recently by going to chess.fm and listening to the video lecture series. It is free and I highly recommend the games that are analyzed by GM John Fedorowicz. One can plow through nearly a books worth of material just by listening and viewing the analysis board. It sure beats sitting at the chess board and playing through the chess books that I bought, but never seem to finish. Chess books are great, in fact I drool over many of them in the store, however, my problem with chess books is that it takes me a "century" to set up the positions before I can read through the text to grasp the concepts. Not so with the video lecture series. I would love to see a complete video lecture series on the games of Tal. I know Convekta has a Tal software package, but I don't know how automated it is. Speaking of Tal, I wonder if some of his tactical play would fit in to CT-ART level 90, or... perhaps level 990.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

My "starting" date is somewhat unclear, because I first thought it best to attack the problems by category. The theory was to have some ryhme or reason to the problems popping up on the screen. However, I have decided to change early on to solving the problems in order of difficulty. The reasons are two fold, 1) to stay in sync with everyone else. 2) I was finding that I was getting too complex of problems too early on. Anyway, I guess I will call this Day #4, I have completed 142 problems. I have also been working on vision drills. I started these before I purchased CT-ART 3.0, so I have done one week of Concentric Squares and one week of Knight Sight. I am scheduled to start Knight Flight today. However, I am going to break Knight Flight down into 8 sections, starting at A and going through H.

Monday, March 07, 2005

I have started a new quest to complete the 7 Circles of De La Maza. What? ... This is an intense chess training program designed to greatly inhance your play in a 5 month period. The main part of the program is to go through 1200 tactical chess problems on the computer seven times over, thus the term "seven circles". The program also includes chess vision drills and instruction on thinking through move selection. Currently, I am six days into the program. I hope I can maintain my "steam".

I have purchased Convekta's Total Chess Training software suite. I am using CT ART 3.0 that is included to do my 7 circles. This software suite is excellent, it also contains a program called Strategy 2.0 which appears to be similar to CT ART 3.0, except it is strategy based instead of tactics based. I recommend buying the package from The Chess House (www.chesshouse.com). It was on sale for $80. Much cheaper than anywhere else I found. It contains 5 programs altogether. I will to try to set up some links to other Knights who are doing the same program.