Friday, December 19, 2008

2nd Coaching Session

Two Weeks Before the Session

After my first coaching session, I spent an evening going through 50 positions in Hertan's Forcing Moves, while focusing on checks - captures - threats. Also I avoided a lay-off, renewed my commitment to fitness and lost four pounds, and started taking DHA supplements to boost my chess concentration. A busy time.

I then turned in this miserable performance:


I took a day off work to lick my wounds, patch my repertoire, and play over model games. What can I say? At least I'm putting it on the line, training seriously, and playing opponents that I can learn from. This is not failure. Failure is never entering the ring.

The Session

Yes, my coach had noticed my loss, and right away we discussed why I had played that way. He also explained several ways to streamline my per-move thought process.

Maybe he noticed my tone, because we went over one of his games, one where he missed a GM norm due to a silly mistake. At key points we discussed what I was looking at, and what he was looking at--an eye-opener that also made me feel better about my loss.

Before the next session, he wants me to play more, many more, slow games.

If I don't have time to play a full game, I should at least play solitaire chess with a clock and write down my thoughts. He said improving one's thinking process takes lots of practice, and my attempts will help him direct my studies more effectively.


Blue Devil Knight said...

That was a fun game! Too bad you lost but it seems to hold a lot of good lessons, unlike my losses where the lesson is typically 'Don't give away material.

I'll have to look into this DHA stuff. I just did a little pubmed search and it seems to be an interesting supplement.

likesforests said...

At least three sources have tried to sell me on DHA: (1) My nutritionist, upon learning I do not eat seafood, for health. (2) My co-worker takes 'focus factor' and swears the expensive pills work. DHA is a key ingredient. (3) The USCF Chess Life article 'The Grandmaster Diet' advocates taking DHA and points to an NFL trainer who gives it to players.

The "It's good for you." argument got me to buy it but not to take it. That it will help my chess?! I am taking Nordic's MorDHA daily. :)

chesstiger said...

Intresting game. Pity you were to so focussed on the kingside that you forgot your pieces on the queenside.

Anyway, your trainer looks a good choice for you. He even knew of your lose so he is certainly intrested in his students.

likesforests said...

Yes, I think my coach is cool!

I do not feel completely outclassed when I play ICC 19002 or FIDE 2000s. I think I must be able to get there if I were just less careless and adjusted faster to changes. But that is sometimes what 800s also tell me and I know much work was needed to get from there to where I am now. ;)

tanc (happyhippo) said...

Interesting game, likesforests.

By the way, what were the time controls for this game?

likesforests said...

45+5. I usually go for that online because it's as close as I can get to USCF G/45 ie 45-minutes on the clock plus a 5-second delay. This is a common time control for one- and two-day weekend tournaments.

Anonymous said...

What is solitare chess?

likesforests said...

Solitaire chess is when you play over a master game... but instead of passively playing through the moves, you try to guess them in advance. I think Bruce Pandolfini popularized the term--he uses it as the title of his USCF Chess Life articles.

Rolling Pawns said...

cakisbI think your coach is right about playing more slow games. I just played in the big tournament ( described it in my blog ) and playing correspondence games helped me to get a good result.
Explaining "several ways to streamline my per-move thought process" is a good idea ( I wish somebody would explain that to me ) and I think your coach knows his stuff.

likesforests said...

"I wish somebody would explain that to me" -- Don't be so sure! As I practice this new thinking process, I've been getting flagged left and right and losing rating points. But I think this phase is only temporary. ;)

Rolling Pawns said...

likeforests - in the tournament before the last 2 I lost 39 rating points at once. But I learned good lessons about choice of the opening (never play your opponents opening), time management, etc. Now I already got 31 point back after next tourney and will get more after the last big one ("Snow Chess"). So, getting things straight and right is worth some rating points, you will get it back. Just try to control the process, to see that the changes are right.

Chessaholic said...

I don't think this was a "miserable performance" like you say! Yes, 9.e4 was unfortunate, and so was missing 19.Rb6. But this wasn't a bad performance against a 1934! Sounds like working with your coach is already starting to pay off, looking forward to seeing more games as you progress :)