Thursday, 22 September 2016

Day 174 / 191 to go

I started continuing with adding lost or drawn matches to my database - analysing/categorizing the reasons for any sub-optimal moves made.
In addition, I did some middle-games puzzles in Oudeweetering´s book "Improve your Chess Pattern Recognition". I have to admit, I only went for the first 4 - but at least I got all of them correct...

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Day 173 / 192 to go

Today I continued with the creation of my very personal loss database (as indicated before). Time-consuming...   Do you know this feeling: Even when going through matches played only some 6 months ago, I ask myself: "Why did I play this move? I would definitely NOT play it again now!"   Somewhat strange...  8-/

 I have to admit, that I currently lack somewhat the motivation to go for any Lommers. But tomorrow I will definitely do some middle-game puzzles in order to practice my PAT - and finally internalise it as well as strengthen my intuition! So within the coming days I expect to be back on track...

Day 172 / 193 to go

Unspectacularly, I continued to extract relevant matches in order to create my personal database focusing on one variation with Black.  Pretty time consuming... But I made it/finished it!

Monday, 19 September 2016

Day 171 / 194 to go

I did a decent post-mortem of yesterday´s game. I searched the database and extracted relevant games, set up my own little database for that opening. Therefore, I sharpened my understanding of yesterday´s variation but also of some of the other continuations.
From that excerpt I will create an even more dense version tomorrow in order to hammer that into my CPT - so that I can practise these whenever in need (e.g. prior to match with Black - especially when preparing for an opponent).

Day 170 / 195 to go

Today was the first team-match of the club my son and me play for: we both lost (my opponent was a 2170 dude). I was not fully aware of the oppening, remained passive throughout the match with a minus of up to 1.10, two moves prior to time control he threw it away and allowed me to bring it down to minus 0.2 - but due to the constant passive position I had to invest too much time; so when my chance arose, I only had seconds on the clock and didn´t go for the right continuation.

Days 163 - 169 / 196 to go

Sorry, I simply was not in the mood - neither mentaly free enough nor motivated at all - to conduct my normal training sessions. All in all, did "have a look" at Smith´s book a few times and actually did one decent session last Thursday - but failed misserable when trying to solve the puzzles...  8-/

However, I marked these one just like I marked all those Aagaard puzzles I found highly inspiring or simply didn´t solve. So, one day soon, there will also be a session where I "follow up" all those puzzles I wasn´t able to solve before...

Friday, 9 September 2016

Day 162 / 203 to go

Today I continued with Smith´s book - one of the tasks was to evaluate the following position:
Personally, I prefer Black. Smith at first, too, but he then considers the chances "fairly even"; Komodo prefers White (with about +0.3). What bothers me is the circumstance that I did forget about Day 154: opposite coloured bishops favour the more active side (although this probably would have resulted in an even worse evaluation of the position)...

In Chapter 3 Smith provides me yet with another important advice (see my Training Achievements): Next to practicing my PAT not in order to apply it continuously during the game, but to apply it during training in order to strengthen my intuition, he also advices to use my PAT (and therefore the accompanying (auxiliary questions") only when intuition during a game fails or especially during the opponent´s time my PAT should be applied!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Day 161 / 204 to go

Here we go - I started with some puzzles using CT-Art 4.0. The following is an easy one which I missed (how silly of me):
However, I finally managed to elevate my "CT-A-rating" to a rating of 2115 by solving some others...  8-/

Furthermore I went after some of Smith´s puzzles, here is a nice one (Black to move):
Interestingly, Komodo switches back and forth, putting the right move according to Smith onto the top and then totally out of the list of the best three moves. After some 5 minutes of decreasing advantage for White, Komodo doesn´t consider Ba3 any longer as "good" --- but I still like the thinking behind it: disallow any chance for counterplay on the queenside!

Day 157 - 160 / 205 to go

I was definitely not in the mood - literally for "anything" - during the last days (hard enough to keep going to work). Still tough times ahead but I will go for a session tonight!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Friday, 2 September 2016

Day 155 / 210 to go

Today I can cut it short: I continued to put the relevant game statistics into my new database. As indicated yesterday, I follow Smith´s advice and collect data on my lost and drew games to find out where I am still messing up...   It is a rather time consuming and somewhat dull job, although it is also somewhat interesting to see what sort of moves I would definitely NOT play right now...

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Day 154 / 211 to go

Just the other day (on Day 143) I was mentioning the bishop pair´s value and Rowson´s analogy with Plato´s hermaphrodite being one way to get a better understanding of it. Today I read some interesting stuff about imbalances in Smith´s book, mainly in case of
- bishop versus knight
- rook versus knight or bishop + pawn
- rook versus knight + bishop
It actually also fit´s so nicely to Rowson´s  E=mc2

ONLY NOW (after todays session), I might (!) have a somewhat decent (but yet purely theoretical) understanding of a major concept introduced by my coach which is also part of my PAT: The concept of imbalances! I know that I sometimes find this sort of imbalances in some of my English-variations - but now I might finally be able to think about it more actively and, eventually, in a more helpful way...

Here are some interesting rules of thumb (which were actually new to me, except for the first one):
  • opposite coloured-bishop favour the more active player
  • an exchange sacrifice is somewhat more likely to be succesful with opposite-coloured bishops
  • the side with more pieces (e.g. 2 pieces for the rook) has a static advantage; hence, the side with less pieces should look for dynamic play/advantage
  • fighting passed pawns is often easier with a rook
  • when being the exchange up, you should try to trade queens
  • an exchange sacrifice is more likely to be favourable with your second rook still being on the board (vice versa: being an exchange up, you favour to trade the remaining pair of rooks)
The question is how to incorporate this sort of pure theory into my personal practice at the board?