Friday, May 04, 2007

Back Rank Weakness

Last week, David reminded me that tactics reign supreme in chess, so I focused on mating patterns this week. According to CTS, this study has paid off:
Note: My real ELO is ~165 points higher.

1. Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games

White to move.
I have Laszlo Polgar's 306 mate-in-one puzzles in PGN format. Of course, these are easy, but the point is to recognize them instantly. After training against the puzzles three times, I doubled the speed at which I can solve them.

2. Predator at the Chessboard: The Back Rank Mate

Black to move.
Many positions do not have a forced mate, but maybe your opponent must make a serious concession to avoid mate. Farnsworth explains each solution, so you can check if you found the right move, but missed some crucial element of the position.

I went through these twice each. The puzzle above is quite elegant.

3. Chess Kids: Back Rank Mates

Chess Kids is a fine website for learning about chess. For one, the explanations are at just the right level for me! Another thing, small children will "ooh!" and "ahh!" at the drawings, buying you a few extra minutes of study time.   :)

Interesting "Back Rank" resources:

Predator at the Chessboard
Chess Kids: Back Rank Mates
A weakened Back Rank game collection
Back Rank Mate puzzles
The Back Rank chess blog

I hope you find these useful. I'll write again next Friday!


transformation said...

i almost never notice your rating. i do notice your percentage rank, since chipschap aka "bob" or ChessRelearner, is at #101, and my main ID is #138, and you fit handsomely between, never to be lost! as more users flood in, these ranks become harder to attain, but also more difficult to supplant.

dont worry about rating, but worry about correct *read accurate* thought process! we are not so much achieving attainments here as instaling the brain software of habitual thinking, that becomes second nature, albiet according to standards that we either determine or disallow.

and walks to the zoo with your daughter! as cannot be replaced very easily--either!

what live chess do you play, and how much and at what time frame, if i may ask, since you do make reference to your true higher rating?

four more days, and i have a twelve day vacation, but working TEN DAYS straight before then, so little bites of dishes, laundry, bills, email, etc daily only! so as not to exhaust and pace the path!

warmly, dk

likesforests said...

I play a couple games per week, on a physical chess board. When I was playing more frequently, I calculated that my FICS_ELO=CTS_ELO+185. I'm guessing that the relationship now is probably only slightly worse than then, but I don't know for sure yet.

: and walks to the zoo with your
: daughter! as cannot be replaced
: very easily--either!

I pity any chess player who thinks a rating is more important. :)

: and i have a twelve day vacation,

Great! Any plans for the vacation?

guillembaches said...

Qh6 is the key move

Can you please link my blog?


You are not bad at spanish :-) Good luck in your chess improvements.

Anonymous said...

Where can I download your pgn?