Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Day 53

Lost a few points on the "draw" exercises.
I need to remember to relax a bit after work before I jump into these.
Dinner before hand would probably be a good idea too.
ELO 2095
Scoring Percentage
Level 10 - 99% (Completed)
Level 20 - 96% (So far)
319 exercises completed 890 remaining in circle 2.
53 days down 102 to go.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Day 52

Started getting sloppy on a few of these.
Scoring Percentage
Level 10 - 99% (Completed)
Level 20 - 97% (So far)
254 exercises completed 955 remaining in circle 2.
52 days down 103 to go.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Day 51

ELO 2015
Scoring Percentage
Level 10 - 99% (Completed)
Level 20 - 99% (So far)
191 exercises completed 1018 remaining in circle 2.
51 days down 104 to go.

Day 50

Taking more time on this set of exercises. I'm trying to visualize myself playing in a rated game as I work through circle 2. I found myself getting lazy towards the end of the first circle with my potshot method. I want to eliminate my bad habits not start a bunch of new ones. Time to flex what Don calls the "calculation muscle" now that my new bag of tricks is beginning to runneth over.
I think I may go as far as setting up a real board while I solve the problems.

ELO 1912
Scoring Percentage
Level 10 - 99% (Completed)
Level 20 - 100% (So far)
130 exercises completed 1079 remaining in circle 2.
50 days down 105 to go.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Day 49

Pleased and ticked at the same time. I missed one move in the Level 10 exercises.
It placed a blemish on what would have been a perfect score.
Enough whining, now for the upside. After getting hammered by the Level 8o and 90 exercises in the first circle, it was nice being the hammer for a change. It took all of 20 mins to cover the first 65 problems of circle 2.

ELO 1550 (Start) -> 1773 Current
Scoring Percentage
Level 10 - 99%
65 exercises completed 1144 remaining in circle 2.
49 days down 106 to go.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Circle 1 Completed

Had a nice day spent with family and friends enjoying the holiday.
Tomorrow is the start of circle 2.
I still plan on posting my ELO dynamics and scoring percentage totals.
It should be interesting.

1209 exercises completed 0 remaining in circle 1.
48 days down 107 to go.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Day 47

1200 exercises completed 9 remaining in circle 1.
47 days down 108 to go.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Day 46

Yes I could easily go ahead knock out the remaining problems.
But once I do that it will open the Pandora's Box named Circle 2.
Now that I have a better grasp on the tactical themes I plan on using more time per exercise than I did in the first pass, and search through the variations in their entirety.
1190 exercises completed 19 remaining in circle 1.
46 days down 109 to go.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Day 45

1180 exercises completed 29 remaining in circle 1.
45 days down 110 to go.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Day 44

1170 exercises completed 39 remaining in circle 1.
44 days down 111 to go.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Day 43

1156 exercises completed 53 remaining in circle 1.
43 days down 112 to go.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Day 42

I apologize for the cookie cutter format.
I have a full plate at the moment and it doesn't look like that will change for the next month or two.
1144 exercises completed 65 remaining in circle 1.
42 days down 113 to go.

Day 41

1130 exercises completed 79 remaining in circle 1.
41 days down 114 to go.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

40 Days

1115 exercises completed 94 remaining in circle 1.
40 days down 115 to go.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Day 39

Entered the Level 80 exercises.
It's going to be interesting to see what the lower level exercises will feel like on the next circle after going through these beast.
1100 exercises completed 109 remaining in circle 1.
39 days down 116 to go.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Day 38

I find myself starting to look for moves that I would have previously discarded in the past.
Must be a good thing.
1084 exercises completed 125 remaining in circle 1.
38 days down 117 to go.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Day 37

Didn't get the chance to do my normal "Football and a Laptop"TM
1060 exercises completed 149 remaining in circle 1.
37 days down 118 to go.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Day 36

Entered into the Level 70 exercises.
Now it's about stringing several of the ideas together.
Glad to see Don recharged and excited about the quest.
1043 exercises completed 166 remaining in circle 1.
36 days down 119 to go.

Friday, November 12, 2004

5 Weeks

1012 exercises completed 197 remaining in circle 1.
35 days down 120 to go.

Day 34

958 exercises completed 251 remaining in circle 1.
34 days down 121 to go.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Day 33

Ugh... Fighting off a cold.
915 exercises completed 294 remaining in circle 1.
33 days down 122 to go.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Day 32

882 exercises completed 327 remaining in circle 1.
32 days down 123 to go.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Day 31

Hang in there Don!
Take two Fosters and call me in the morning.

842 exercises completed 367 remaining in circle 1.
31 days down 124 to go.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

More Football and a laptop.

Watching football and working the exercises.
This seems like a really good way to kill two birds with one stone.
Completed the level 40 exercises.

I read Don's view on building "Calculation Muscle". I understand and respect his approach, but I'm still holding to my plan of attack. It just makes more sense for me to gain exposure to the various tactics at my disposal before trying to waste over 100 hours (5 mins per exercise approach) on stuff I obviously didn't grasp before hand. I still spend about 5 mins total on each problem, it's just that I make a move at the 1 minute mark regardless. Then if my guess is correct I proceed with the next move. If it's incorrect I spend another minute before I take my next attempt/potshot. Once I have reached the correct solution I replay the exercise from the beginning to drill it once more into my memory.
On the second circle my idea is to be able to see the entire sequence from beginning to end before making any moves, this will work the "calculation muscle" but at least with that pass I will have a better understanding of where I should begin my search.
I also plan on posting my ELO dynamics and scoring percentage total.
822 exercises completed 387 remaining in circle 1.
30 days down 125 to go.

Day 29

765 exercises completed 444 remaining in circle 1.
29 days down 126 to go.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Day 28

Reached the level 40 problems. These seem easier than the level 30 problems.
Makes you wonder.

630 exercises completed 579 remaining in circle 1.
28 days down 127 to go.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Day 27

Don's been wondering how I'm able to complete so many of these exercises so quickly.
Well it's not from any giftedness on my part, but more in part to how I'm approaching this first circle. The first two levels were easy. The level 30 problems of course are way more difficult as expected. I'm allowing myself about a minute max before I make a move. I'm not going to beat myself up trying to solve these puppies. Either I see the win automatically or I don't. If I could see the solutions then I wouldn't need to do these exercises. Bottom line I'm here to learn and hopefully get better. As I work through the problems I'm able to apply some of these new found techniques to solving these exercises that I would never have been able to do before this suffering began.
Let's face it, some of these exercises are so screwed up that I doubt many players below Master could solve them.
Especially the problems that aren't forced mates and require you to see all of the subtle in between variations that are about 6 moves deep and lead to the capture of a pawn at the end of a sequence that is played out automatically by the computer side.
Drift back to the days when you were in school and the teacher presented you with a problem that seemed impossible to solve. That was until the teacher worked through the solution by showing you how to break the problem down into smaller easier to digest blocks of mini problems. Then you realized how easy it was to solve all along. Well the same applies here with the CT-Art problems. You have to get that moment of "Ah-Ha!" so that's how it's done. Then start worrying about being able to solve the problems correctly each and every time you do the following circles. I'm not going to allow my ego to dictate my dedication to completing all 7 circles. I check it at the door by kicking frustration to curb each and every night before hammering away at this stuff.

On a lighter note, I did manage to win a rated Game 90 at the club tonight against an 1847 player. I didn't blow him of the board with any tactical brilliance; he got into time trouble and walked into a mate in one, while in an equal position. Those level 10 exercises paid off.
But seriously I'm just happy that I didn't self-destruct. So I guess if not dropping a piece is a start on the road to chess improvement I will take it.

605 exercises completed 604 remaining in circle 1.
27 days down 128 to go.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Day 26

550 exercises completed 659 remaining in circle 1.
26 days down 129 to go.

Day 25

500 exercises completed 709 remaining in circle 1.
25 days down 130 to go.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Long Day

431 exercises completed 778 remaining in circle 1.
24 days down 131 to go.

Football, and a laptop.

Had a good run at the exercises again today while watching football on TV.
You'd be amazed at how many exercises you can finish while wading through the time outs and commercials.
400 exercises completed 809 remaining in circle 1.
23 days down 132 to go.