Friday, July 11, 2008

A New Target

Local Club Championships
Sept 25 to Nov 6, G/120, 7 rounds

My goal is to train and take my time to avoid simple, 1-2 move tactical errors. If I succeed at that, I expect my provisional rating to climb about 200 points.

Training Schedule

Cardio45m M, W, FHike 3 miles, use an elliptical, or swim

15m T,RUse an elliptical
Weights30m T, RAlternate between heavy loads & functional lifting
Tactics45m dailyCircle through my tactics books
Openings dailyStudy games in my openings with any remaining time

I removed advanced endgame books from my study tracker. You could become a GM without ever reading "Secrets of Rook Endings", and I got the optimal result from every endgame I played in the tournament, so that's not my weakness.


Tactics, tactics, tactics. As long as I don't fall down a rabbit hole, I should have no problem climbing up the rating ladder to a more respectable level.

These opening books are not new, but I've used them more as reference books and never deeply studied all the games they contain.


Tommyg said...

Hey Likesforests,

I just finished the Dan Heisman tactics book and just started Chess Tactics for Champions. The Heisman book was GREAT. It really helped me lot and Susan Polgar's book has been a great book to as well. I think they work real well in that order. After I finish the Susan Polgar's book I am going to make my way to Reinfeld's books.

I am going to play a quad at my local chess club this week and then in two weeks I am going to go to my first Swiss tournament a couple of hours away. I can't wait!

Have a great night,


likesforests said...

Cool! I did 4 circles through the Heisman book before the World Open and I'm about half-way through the S.Polgar book. I agree they make an excellent 1-2 combo. I thought about doing Reinfeld after... I chose the ChessCafe Puzzle Book mostly because it's on my shelf. :)

Good luck on your tourney! I made two simple blunders in my games... in both cases I moved too fast. If it takes you 5-10s to spot tactics in the book, make sure you spend at least that long considering the board every move, regardless of how fast your opponent plays.

transformation said...

sounds very sensible.
sorry, im all talked out.
three hours writing, a call from europe from Phaedrus, a load...

Banatt said...

Wow, good luck!

Your official rating is around 1800, right? If you can get the tactics in the chesscafe puzzlebook down cold, than I expect you can raise your rating 200 points.

likesforests said...

They assigned me a provisional rating of 1400. I don't put much stock in it because that rating is based on assumption that the average rating of my opponents was 1200.

There was a 1279P5 in the section. He got lucky and had two games where opponents didn't show, but he lost 6/7 of his remaining games. Also, I did not play as well tactically as I do online at G/45.

Playing at a club where 50% of them play regularly and have an established rating should help me establish a proper rating.

And studying tactics should make sure there are no repeats of some of my games in Philly. ;)

likesforests said...

And if I'm wrong and I really am a 1400 level player then tactics study is again the way to go anyway!

dk, thanks, heh no problem. :)

the chess player said...

You really should consider getting Hertan's Forcing Chess Moves For your tactics training. It is well on it's way to become one of the best books on the subject.

likesforests said...

I'm sure it's a good book, but IM Donaldson said it was intended for an audience of 1800-2200 strength. I haven't proven I'm an 1800 yet, so tackling such an advanced book might not be as productive for now as one aiming at my (temporary!?) rating.

BlunderProne said...

It's good to aim high ... just caution that perhaps you should aim for 1500 first. You may find that the Class D players can give you a run for your money with Basic tactics and openings.

Play over whole games that look "familiar" to what you play as black and white. Annotate master games on your own then check them with fritz or a book that may have lots of words between moves. Chernov's books ( Most instructive games ... as a for instance) might be a good start, easy to understand, well annotated... but look up the answers only AFTER you struggle on your own for a while.

Good luck

likesforests said...

Blunderprone, thanks, perhaps I set the wrong goal. It's like weight loss. I have control over my choices of food and exercise, but I don't control how many pounds I happen to lose in a week.

"My goal is to raise my provisional rating 200 points in my next tournament."


"My goal is to train and take my time to avoid simple, 1-2 move tactical errors. If I succeed at that, I expect my provisional rating to climb about 200 points."

I've taken your advice to study master games to heart--but I've chosen ones in my opening lines to begin with. In some lines I still feel uncomfortable and don't have good middlegame plans; I feel a close study key master games in my openings should help with that.

BlunderProne said...

That sounds like a simple plan. I also agree with weight goals in parallel ( I have an alter-alter ego as well in my other quest:

Who are the masters you will be studying? Inquiring minds want to know.

likesforests said...

For the Black pieces, Antoaneta Stefanova. She plays the same lines as me (Scandinavian & Semi-Slav), is a GM, and has won the Woman's World Championship. After I read about a line in my opening book, I search for her games in that line.

Glenn Wilson said...

Studying games of strong players in the openings you play is a great routine. You get the benefit of seeing the opening. You get the middlegames and endgames that arise from the opening. And you get the benefit of studying a good game.

Conversely I have been looking at so many of Morphy's Evans Gambit games I may just have to start playing it!

BlunderProne said...


on the Evan's gambit, I may want to caution you. During the Hastings 1895 event, E. Lasker defended it successfully 6 times earning him a prize as well as bringing the popularity of this once lively Gambit to a screeching halt. It was the height of the Romantic Period that its popularity came about. Lasker's successful defense against plus the rise of positional play flattened the quick sharp tactics this game once thrived on. After the Hastings 1895, this gambit was rarely played.

likesforests said...

For my 3rd tactics book, I replaced the ChessCafe Puzzle Book which was there because it's already on my shelf with Understanding Chess Tactics which was recommended to me as the next by Elizabeth Vicary and many fellow bloggers enjoyed it.

transformation said...

your impecable judgemeent in selecting books to ACTUALLY use--for me--is one that i stand up and take notice on. didnt know about this book. intriguing. thank you. do i need more chess books? no. but this one sounds fantastic.

logisschaak said...

For endgames, one book, 'The complete endgame course' of Jeremy Silman.

likesforests said...

Thanks for the comment, logischaak, but I'm a bit beyond that book. I got the better result in 7 out of 7 of my endings so I'm taking a break from studying endgames.

likesforests said...

I will probably do a bit of endgame review before my next tourney, but from Secrets of Pawn Endings and A Practical Guide to Rook Endings. Pawn and rook endings occur so often and I really love those books. :)

likesforests said...

thanks, dk. My plan is so simple now compared to before. But I'm making real strides to complete it and it's well-aligned with my goal of gaining an expert or master title.

We too often read advanced books and, even if we finish them, the knowledge may have little applicability at our level of play.

Tommyg said...

Hi Likesforests,

Have you ever checked out the book Practical Endgame Lessons by Edmar Mednis? I am thinking about checking it out.

Oh and I played my 2nd Over the Board mini-event last night. It was a quad. I went 0-3 but felt good about the games. Two of the games were against people rated over 2000 (WAY WAY above where I am). I am getting psyched for my first two swiss tournaments in a few weeks. Your sucess at the World Open has me revved up to keep studying and playing.


likesforests said...

tommy, he's a well-known author, but I don't have that book on my shelf, sorry. I'm surprised (and glad) my games are encouraging people. If I can do it, anyone can do it. ;)

RT Solo said...

Hey man do you mind if I steal one of your goals? "...take my time to avoid simple, 1-2 move tactical errors..."
I just got slaughtered by a 1600 player on FICS within 15 moves because of simple tactical errors.
Take it easy man, keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Did you see all these pictures:

Did you see all these pictures?

World Open 2008 Pictures

Getting to 2000

RT Solo said...

I just scored my first two wins on FICS, if you get a chance could you check them out and let me know what you think? Thanks man.
On a side note about your profile, I love that song "My Immortal" too...that girl has the most angelic voice sometimes.

likesforests said...

Ivan, yeah, thanks for taking 'em! :)