Thursday, 23 June 2016

Day 84 / 281 to go

Today I got a bit further with my opening variation with Black. In addition I did use Aagard´s book to practise my positional understanding, using my PAT (with the usual 6 positions in roughly one hour). I did score pretty well, but failed the following one (White to move):
Unfortunately, I didn´t even consider the correct move at all. Although I would say that it should be a rather easy one to grasp...  8-/      Can you get it?

Day 82 + 83 / 282 to go

The Euro soccer events on day 82 as well as work + heat on day 83 made me pause. (As simply as that!)

Monday, 20 June 2016

Day 81 / 284 to go

Today I practiced my PAT using Aagard. The following position was both a nightmare and very typical for me, White to move:
A nightmare, because I really couldn´t come up with a decent move or plan for White at all. My mind was stuck by Black´s posibilities on the king-side.... My calculation as well as simply my intuition told me that White has to aim for "something" in the centre or the queenside.
So typical for me because I was calculating Bxc5, dxc and d6 but I stopped after c6 and ended by commenting (to myself): d6 is too great a weakness, forget it!  This is embarrassing and annoying at the same time: I simply stop calculating too early!  I consider this my greatest weakness these days...  (As, of course, c6 is simply a very bad move --- Na4!)

In addition, I studied my new opening with Black using software (which assists me learning the correct move-orders and also with eliminating unfavourable variations).

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Day 80 / 285 to go

I continued with Edouard´s "Avoidable Mistakes". Below a one of which I am actually somewhat proud of, because Edouard indicates to solve it in 12 - 24 minutes whereas I actually saw it within 1 and solved it in 2 minutes!  Black to move:

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Day 79 / 286 to go

Today I worked with Edourd`s "Avoidable Mistakes" - again trying to solve puzzles (but all being based on real games - not like Lommer). Here is a one I didn´t get (Black to move):
Actually, even after consulting the solution, I still don´t get it:  I went for Bf4. Although Kf8 crossed my mind for a minute, I couldn´t see why it would be better than Bf4...  Best move is - according to the book - Kf8, but why?  Any hint?

Day 78 / 287 to go

I decided that I will (try to) include a bit more fun (i.e. online chess) into my overall efforts to increase my strength. BUT ONLY after I achieved my daily targets!  I simply have the feeling that being too ascetic is not really supporting my motivation...

So, yesterday I spent some 90 minutes on two Lommers. I solved one, but oversaw one (important) variation at the second puzzle... 8-/
In addition, as stated above, I played some online chess and again increased my rating - I am almost where I were before my deep dive!

Friday, 17 June 2016

Day 77 / 288 to go

Free at last (I know that these words were spoken in totally different circumstances and with much deeper meaning; but these words crossed my mind early this afternoon, after some 2 horror weeks finaly came to an end)!  Today I delivered my speech at the annual 2-day-conference held by my employer. So I am now able to go back to normal sleeping hours and (much) more leisure time --- including returning to my 2h chess sessions per day!

I did one Lommer - and actually even solved it. Tomorrow I will finally have the time to go for the full 2h!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Day 71 - 76 / 289 to go

Sorry, but there was really ZERO chance for any decent training these days: I had/have to prepare a speech for Thursday (as ususal next to a fulltime job) and it took me a few nights to get it done.  Yes, I did some online chess - for pure relaxation - and I managed to get some 50 rating points back (from the approx. 100 which I lost lately)...
So - as indicated in the headline: next training session will be on Thursday!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Day 70 / 295 to go

Finally! Yesterday I was finally able to go for 3 Lommers! I managed to "almost" completely solve two (one was definitely too hard). However, with one position I made my "old" mistake: I simply finished too early, not getting the final "beauty" of the position...  I simply still need to force myself to "think one more move ahead"!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Day 69 / 296 to go

Once more, I couldn´t go for the full 2h and actually had to skip Lommer-training (due to work - including work-preparation at home). At least, although not really spectacular, I worked on my new opening with Black!
 TOMORROW is definitelly a Lommer-evening! (My plan is to get home and start to "lommer" pretty early, right after dinner...)

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Day 67+ 68 / 297 to go

Yesterday I came home at 1930 and was in bed at 2040 -- no chance or anything else than grabbing some food.

Today I did 6 PATs based on Aargaard´s puzzles, but left No. 6 out - I simply didn´t want to push myself for a move just for the sake of it. But I also felt that I needed a break. So instead of simply picking any move and head for the solution, I decided to give it another try tomorrow!
For one position it took me a while to come up with a plan - and I was actually positive because I found one. However, the solution was something totally different. I guess/hope/expect that I will be open for that kind of moves/positions (at least in the nearby) future...
Can you spot the correct plan - Black to move (actually, even Komodo needed a few minutes to downgrade my move/plan to be only second best)?

In addition, I worked on my new opening with Black. Tomorrow is Lommer-time!

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Day 65+66 / 299 to go

ON PURPOSE - sorry, Coach - I played online chess! I simply wanted to have some "chess fun"!

And how hard was I punished!  Just like I lost some 100 rating points with "traditional" chess, my 4 online rating indicators ALL dropped between 50 and 200 points!  (I actually play both slower and simply worse than before...)
This can now safely be called my motivational all-time low!

In addition, I started to dig into yet another opening with Black. I actually did have a first look into the book yesterday, but didn´t formally go into the variations. Today I did use my software to extract those variations relevant for me. After this, I will have two new weapons with Black - that was simply a necessity (and it took me one "wrong turn" before I found something "suitable")! Luckily, these sessions are more "technical" and much less "brain-instensive" - so the coming days I can focus on that and allow my chess-braincells some rest (while still savely proclaiming that I am continuing with training) ...

Day 64 / 301 to go

Friday - the day where I have to drive for som 3h in addition to having a "normal working day". Hence, I took a day off.
I anyway have the feeling that I probably need to phase in some breaks - decently and conciously! The last days showed that my thinking got actually slower...  Slight motivational dip

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Day 63 / 302 to go

I have done 6 PATs in the "usual" 60 minutes and managed to go for one Lommer. That was it.
(Working days are currently too long for more.)
How I did on the Lommer?  As usual, I am afraid: I still don´t solve them 100%. And I feel that setting stepping stones doesn´t really work the last couple of days, which is a clear sign for the circumstance that I can´t focus on chess the way I want to...  But I am fighting!

Although I was pretty tired, in three of the six Aargaard positions the right move almost "jumped" at me - not sure if my x-ray starts to improve or the positions are simply pretty easy.  What do you think of the one below (White to move) - "instantly spottable"? I guess so...

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Day 62 / 303 to go

I have done 5 Aargaard positions practising my PAT for one hour - failing on the last two.  I am simply way to tired since I am currently doing 10hours+ at work...  8-/    No chance for any Lommers tonight.
Good Night!