After analyzing my recent on-line Chess Ninja tournament game. I have come to the stunning realization that at this moment my tactics are about as sharp as a bowling ball. My recent suckiness hasn't gone unnoticed. The chess servers keep a pretty accurate record of my on-line games. I have just refused to believe the numbers shown beside my playing handle. At first I thought it was because I haven't played on-line and I drop a few points the first few days back to the realm of 2-D, but I usually rebound quickly and have always ended up with a higher rating than I held between my last break and hermit study session.
Not this time, I dropped as expected but have barely been able to limp my way back to within a 100 points of my "highest". Last night's game was just the icing on the cake. I continuously failed to even look at exploiting any of advantages that I obtained. Stuff that I would have normally pounced on, or at least would have had a glimmer of an idea to start chipping away. But I didn't even consider the good moves. My only consolation was my assessment of the position. I knew when I had the advantage, then I knew when it was even, and then I knew when my opponent had the advantage. Fortunately it ended in a draw. This sourness is not to take anything away from my opponent's play. I thought he played a great game. He completely stifled any counter-play on my part.
Anyway I have been neglecting any kind of study other than hopping pieces around the "hapless King on d5" and making lap after counter-clockwise lap around an empty chess board with my knight.
My tactical rust of course cannot be blamed on following the prescribed method found in "Rapid Chess Improvement" I haven't even entered into the "tactical saturation" chapters. I firmly believe that if anything I have a greater understanding of the pieces thanks to Mr. Michael de la Maza. I know that after just a few short weeks I do see target squares much faster and with more clarity than I can ever remember having in the past. I will continue to follow these drills.
No my rust is mainly due to neglect.
Over the last few months I haven't even bothered to review any of my games searching for improvements with Fritz humming along side offering up juicy tactical tidbits of advice or having Herr Fritz laugh at my blunders. Nor have I bothered to look up any of the deviations played by opponents while searching for improvements in my favorite openings.
This brings me to my accelerated jump in my training schedule. I fired up the CT-Art 3.0 program and started working on the exercises. I still plan on continuing with the prescribed drills but I had to get started on stopping the points slide.
18 down 137 to go.